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Sunday, 8 September 2019

Monarch Magnet

Lately it is hard to wrap my mind around a post but Monarchs have been absolutely insistent that I do something about that !
This has been the most spectacular "Monarch" year ever in my garden and all thanks to the hydrangea standard "Pink Diamond" planted by the deck, reaching up to the banister.
First it was the incredible scent of the flowers .. not overwhelming, just a fine waft of their perfume.
Then the "traffic" of pollinators and Monarchs became amazing.

They share very well most times, unless the buzzing seems to annoy them.
I am more than happy to see these little bees also get the nutrition they need as well.

Wind had been a problem for these tiny miracles, but they are stubborn little creatures and kept at the tree until they had their fill of nectar for each visit.
Their story is profound, considering the migration journey through generations of their kind.
How they do what they do, for such a delicate, tiny creature, that has to battle so many obstacles plus nature herself, to get to their end result, makes you wonder "what isn't possible" ?
The wings are so vibrant yet with an almost transparency that you can see the outline of objects through the other side .. see the shadows  ?

I took so many pictures that trying to choose the "right" ones to tell the story has been difficult.
I am so glad I got to see this event in my own garden.
It gives me hope that some turn around is happening for their survival, perhaps thriving at some point, if things keep changing for their benefit.
I will do my part and make sure they have "food" in my garden.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

 The sky, the light, and the shadow values of August are changing from summer to early almost Fall?









Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Agonizing August ?

What I am about to type may not be all that popular .. I can't wait for AUTUMN !
As winter follows Autumn .. how can I possibly wish this ahead of schedule ?
I don't wish for winter right away .. I only wish for Autumn, sooner than later.
The funny thing is the gardens are not suffering as much this year at this time, as they were last year.
Things don't look all that bad .. but I am so running out of "juice"

However .. one of my experiments of transplanting what few Lamb's Ears I had left after this winter's destructive bout targeted upon them (plus the weird fact that no garden center supplier had them this year .. which made me very suspicious of complete crop failure because these plants are a staple)
Well they "took" and multiplied ! .. and I am very grateful because I love these silly fuzzy plants sweeping the walkway with their ears.
They mix and match with other plants so well because they are so neutral yet interesting.
Sneaking in a shot of bugbane and a pretty pink yarrow with some thalictrum foliage peeking through.
Gratuitous shot of echinacea (could be Pow Wow Wild Berry) and sumptuous hosta, who's name I wrote on a piece of paper (cheat list) that I can't find yet again .. plus peony foliage photo bombing?
Some  of my photos are missing my water mark because of temporary insanity while deck and lattice work were being redone (scraped and repainted) .. that is a legit excuse right ?
Shade garden side not doing so badly so far ?
A beauty in the shade .. and I do mean shade, is this double roselily Corolla , even with unrelenting attacks by that blanking lily beetle, it glows with dignity and serenity .. sigh of relief !
One of my favorite later astilbe is Delft Lace .. the striking red stems are eye catching even when the flowers fade .. you could time a whole season with astilbe blooming after each other.
One year I am going to do exactly that !
I love the look of some astilbe even after they have done their job flowering .. the contrast of flower head against the gorgeous lilies brings out the best of both.
Gratuitous Joe Pye weed sneaking into the picture .. another photo bombing plant ?
So .. Fall ? .. ok .. lets say late summer .. though it isn't really ... yet ..
The grasses are beginning their "turn" with those naughty out of control anemone, which I ban to the ally way garden to keep the thugs under control.
These plants have the dual purpose of "hiding" ugly utility gizmos, we all need that right ?
I love the green "seed pearls" for flowers of this grass .. when it waves in the breeze it is beautiful.
Backdrop is a huge hydrangea that hides the AC unit .. it is flowering nicely too.
Gooseneck loosetrife .. some gardeners have a fit over this "thug" but again, I confine it to the ally way garden where it can run amok and I can crack the whip when need be .. but a sure sign of later summer indeed.
More Autumn colour to come
The promise of Toadlily
Gasp ! 9 foot tall thalictrum never fails to have me in awe .. thank goodness for the support of my Royal Purple Smokebush tree .. I can't wait for the clouds of tiny, perfect flowers to pop !
One last picture of Mrs. Harvey .. that is a knock your socks off, summery blue I love.
Have I totally confused you as to whether I want Autumn NOW or holding on to the last bits of summer ?

Friday, 19 July 2019

Cats to Chrysalises ?

OK, it was time to do the big reveal.
Like any mom I was nervous and still am because you just don't know how this is going to turn out ?
I keep kicking myself for not capturing all the little ones and keeping them inside so they would be totally out of the way of any ... mishap ?
Unveiled !
There are a total of 4 chrysalises
I could only get two decent pictures.
So now the wait is on.
My previous experience,and I actually over wintered one in my fridge all winter and brought the jar out in Spring when it was warm enough.
This is what happened .. after it emerged it went to my son's arm
This is what they look like as an adult, how beautiful are they ?
As they mature inside their chrysalis, it goes to a tan brownish colour .. fingers crossed !
Other events .. the "heat is on" .. reference to an Eddie Murphy movie .. the music is stuck in my head now ... that is an ear worm right ?
The three new "Bobo" hydrangea I planted are blooming their little heads off which is amazing because I didn't expect them to do anything this year.
Yes ... I know .. I planted them too closely .. adjustments will have to be made .. big sigh !
The hydrangea to the left are large "Quick Fire" and "Little Quick Fire".
You might say I am hydrangea obsessed ?
Another surprise is this white tiger lily I totally forgot that I planted last year.
I love that hit of white in the garden .. it truly does shine.
Now how pretty can it get ?