Sweet Summer Love

'Sweet Summer Love' Clematis is starting to bloom in my garden now.

Climbing up one of the deck supports, its small purple blooms are visible from below as well as from above!


Thirsty, and Not

Some before and afters of very thirsty plants. Starting with bamboo...

...which curls its leaves when things are dry, especially in direct sunlight. When in shade or in the evening and leaves stay curled, that's a very thirsty plant!


A view of the back garden

Since you saw a little of the garden that surrounds the patio in yesterday's post about the bananas, I thought I'd show you a little bit more today.

This is mainly for comparison later in the summer (and for winter soul recharging).



Last week I posted some photos of the side garden that included some shots of the hardy bananas, Musa basjoo. Technically they are in the back garden, but since you can see them in the long view along the side of the house I tend to think of them in the side garden too.

Since there was some excitement about them (okay, one comment, but I'm easily guided into post topics these days) I thought I'd post an update.


A look at the side garden

The south side of the yard is not wide, but it gives some long views. I'd like to share a few right now, starting with the back half:

Which is essentially me standing at the back corner of the house and looking to the back. All foliage right now -- hardly a bloom in sight, which is a big change for this area from just a few years back.


Late bamboo shoots

My latest-shooting bamboo is Shibatea kumasaca (also its close relative, the almost identical Shibatea chinensis).

Gets going mid-June, a full 8-10 weeks after the first species start shooting. Like most of my other bamboos it's really putting on a growth spurt this year after a mild winter.


Potting up some agaves

I've had several Agaves in plastic nursery pots for over a year. Some of them were inherited, and some I bought.

I finally put them into permanent pots, or at least pots that will hold them for a few years.


A little bit of red

These little red moths rob me of salvia blooms each year, their caterpillars feasting on the buds:

It looks great in this setting though!


Brief look at front walkway

I guess you'd have to say that my youngest part of the garden is the walkway, as I built it just a few years back. Its addition was a huge positive change not only for me as the gardener, but for the wildlife and neighbors.

Let's take a quick look at it today, as it's looking surprisingly good compared to the amount of time I've spent on it this year (very little).



I'm so happy that the Verbena bonariensis has become established in my garden, especially after a mild winter.

So many of these plants survived and are dotting the views in my garden with their lavender blooms held high on thin stems.


Just Pink: Queen of the Prairie

I've been excitedly talking about it for a while now, but the Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra) has started blooming!

I have a couple of plantings of this, but the other is tucked away somewhere that I don't see very often. I'm not even certain if it's blooming -- the deer and woodchucks may have gotten to it. This one though is babied and protected.


Hot, Forgotten, Dry

When temperatures hit 95ºF (35ºC) for several days in a row, you find yourself having to water the potted plants and those just recently put into the ground pretty regularly.

It's easy to overlook something.


Whites and Pinks

Just whites and pinks today...

...with a little bit of creative liberty on the definitions of both colors.


Friday Miscellany

Again, the end of the week brings a scattering of topics and photos. Let's start with the clematis that I can't remember the name of:

Finally flowering a bit this year, loving the different look and feel of this one!  (It's Clematis tibetana var. vernayi 'Orange Peel' -- I looked it up. So glad I post regularly...)



I've seen a woodchuck on my driveway the last few days, walking around as if he didn't have a worry in the world. He even turned over my trashcan full of prunings to see if anything good was to be found in there. His goal is the mulberry pile on the driveway I think, created when I sweep up.

Woodchucks are always hungry though, regardless of how many berries they eat, and this one has found my wild ginger.


Opuntia blooms

It's the brief time of year when the Opuntia in the cactus beds turn from an interesting yet subdued mat of prickly that can get overlooked...

...to a bright and sunny spectacle that you just can't miss!



It's all how you look at things. Maybe your garden (or life) is a thing of beauty, something unexpected or exciting...

...like these Queen of the Prairie blooms that will soon be dazzling all who pass by.



As I mentioned recently, I've had some time to spend in the garden finally, and this post is a look at some of what I accomplished. It may not be the most inspiring of posts, but it makes me good to share my progress.

Starting with weeding. Those cute little seedlings grow up so quickly! I'm not usually pretty good about weeding a little bit each day, making the overall task seem smaller. Not this year though, as the bakery and new woodworking business are eating up my garden time. So I've been pulling larger plants by the barrow full!


Simply Sago

Sago palm fronds never disappoint when unfurling!


Unusual texture: fun!

I noticed something interesting in the garden the other day: a fungus that was creating an interesting texture on the mulch surrounding one of my bamboos.

Thousands of tiny dots making things much more fun!


Tiny bugs

I was inspired to take macro photos of tiny insect nymphs yesterday. It's been quite a while since I've done this, and I'd forgotten how much fun it is!

I started with this katydid (I think?) nymph. For a sense of scale, it's on a bloom of Verbena bonariensis. This is a baby insect!


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