Saturday, August 05, 2017

Night and Day

Actually, more like early morning and evening. Here's what the same flowers (Rose of Sharon) looked like when snapped on my Google Pixel phone, one as I left for work and one after I returned from work:

The true (i.e. natural) color is closer to the right hand image, with perhaps a touch more blue.

Born to Bloom

Desperation to bloom, from two small shrubs that I planted last year. They are both less than two feet tall now, dwarfed by much older plants in the neighboring yards. Yet, they are producing huge and impressive flowers. Of course, after some help from me: I had to spray a very smelly deer-repellent concoction on them to protect the buds.

Pictured below are my two star performers: a blue Hydrangea and a Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus):

The Hydrangea seems to be naturally deer-resistant, though the Rose of Sharon got routinely clipped at night. I hope these grow large enough to eventually be enjoyed by both the deer and me :-)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A splash of yellow

The 'Zagreb' (Coreopsis verticilliata) suddenly bloomed last week, spraying yellow from within the lilies: 

An explosive balloon-flower

A profusion of stars:

A pair of purple plumes

A double of purple daylilies, and an artistic shade of mauve:


Hydrated hydrangea!

The greenish-yellowish-bluish blooms have morphed into a deeper and more consistent blue now:

It now mirrors those across the street in the neighbor's yard. Note the insect tunneling through the florets.

The Lone Cone

Last year's purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is testing the waters with a solitary bloom:

Sunday, July 23, 2017

It's beans a while

Here are the results of the last of the previous year's stock of bush beans:

This variety is not a climber, which makes it easy to grow almost anywhere. I mistook the saplings for sunflowers last year and was pleasantly surprised to find beans growing under the leaves.


What is a garden without some roses? Here are some yellow ones with a reasonable amount of scent:

These somehow escaped the wildlife.

Beautiful dahlias

I love the dahlia for its beautiful flowers and the range of colors and patterns. It is amazing to watch the buds evolve. Too bad they are not perennials!

Hydrangea mania

The hydrangea appears to be deer-resistant, since it is escaping the chomping fate of its neighboring plants. Here is the same bunch of flowers a week or so apart:

A nice transition from green to blue-yellow:

Wonder what the final version will be?

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Daylilies galore

The daylilies are beginning to take over, adding some much-needed color to contrast the surrounding greenery and compete with the milkweed. And all glistening with the raindrops from a sudden thunderstorm.

Hemerocallis Purple de Oro:

More daylilies (The red Superlative and the yellow Happy Returns):

The Tawny (Tiger) Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva):

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Balloon flower

The balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) is about to open up! The deer have left it alone for now. Hopefully, they can bloom before they become deer salad...

Butterfly weed begins to blossom!

The bright butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is starting to bloom! It attracts hummingbirds and... butterflies. The Monarch is apparently partial to this member of the milkweed family.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Grape expectations

Update after about two weeks:  the vines are in good spirits!

It is very interesting to see these grapes grow from scratch! The leafy vines have created quite a shield around these emerging bunches, and I hope they are sufficient to keep the birds away...

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Commonly referred to as Lynwood Gold, the forsythia (Forsythia intermedia) is one of the first profuse bloomers in the spring:

It is amazing to see a tall bush lit up entirely in yellow from ground to the top, the leaves yet to arrive and dilute the effect.

The bleeding heart

A little experiment with the Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis), for both its spring blooms as well as for its shade tolerance:

Iris season

A profusion of irises this time around! All of mine were obtained through the largess of a very generous neighbor and a few Freecycle donations:

White iris (Iris siberica):

Beautiful clematis!

Clematis varieties are proving to be quite difficult to get going in my yard. I got one to flower well last year but it is struggling to survive this time around. I am beginning to suspect that my chipmunk epidemic is somehow responsible for this, as evidenced by numerous deep holes around the roots.

One escapee is the clematis I planted last year, somewhat far from all the chipmunk mayhem (but close to deer haven; there is no free lunch, unless you are a deer!). It produced four gorgeous blooms this spring:

There are so many varieties of clematis, and I want to try them all! Well, let's first see how far I get with the eight plants I have now!


The humble beginnings of our first red grapes:

I hope the wildlife leaves at least some of these alone for long enough!

Peonies rock!

From ice cream scoop...

to full bloom, in a couple of hours!

Here is a pink peony in an early state of bloom (it filled up nicely over the next two days):