Author Archives: pbmgarden

About pbmgarden

Contemplating plants. Reforming my garden. Savoring peaceful moments. pbmgarden.blog

A New Acquaintance

I spotted a large dragonfly Tuesday evening and yesterday had time to photograph it.  For a long while it flitted about the garden, moving quickly away as I approached, until finally relenting, it selected an unattractive backdrop for perching. I still couldn’t get close enough for a good image, but the picture was clear enough to help with identification. (I googled to come up with a suggested ID, and had it confirmed this morning through iNaturalist, a fun and helpful tool for verifying garden visitors.)

As often is the case when I discover an unknown creature in my garden, my discovery yesterday proved to be an insect common across the Piedmont of North Carolina where I live as well as across the entire state and much of the US: Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa).

Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)

It doesn’t have to be rare to be interesting though. Good to know there will always be lots to learn about in this world and when the time is right, connections can be made.

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

Only a few gladioli have returned this year, but there should be more soon. Proper record-keeping has gone by the wayside this year so I am not sure when, but I planted several bags of new corms from Longfield Gardens: Gladiolus Large Flowering ‘Espresso’ and ‘Purple Flora.’  And of course there is one more bag to plant should I get around to it this summer.

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

In today’s vase are two red gladioli planted June 2016. They came into flower Thursday. I had planned to do something adventurous with them, creating an abstract design using a small brass sculpture my husband created around the time I met him. (We celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary Tuesday.)

I will save the sculpture for another time as the flowers were so perfect they needed no support to embellish their virtue.

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

Materials
Flowers
Gladiolus
Foliage
Gladiolus
Container and Mechanics
Florist frog
Shallow, round, black dish
Black polished stones

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

Scarlet Beebalm with its spicy, minty scent has been blooming several weeks. I have been planning all week to showcase it in today’s vase, along with red daylilies.

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

Unfortunately Sunday was a resting day for the daylilies and the only blooms open were pretty tired. Think of the pair in the vase as placeholders.

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

Here are a few that were blooming Saturday—they really have been beautiful this year and more will open soon.

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

For filler I chose Salvia greggii, which is blooming better than usual now that some trees are cut and it gets more sun. All these red flowers were most uncooperative when I tried to photograph the arrangement late yesterday afternoon—lots of dark shadow and blobs.

I had Shasta daisies ready to step up and add light but I decided against them. A black and white image underscores the overall dark tones of the arrangement. Next time I would try to balance the lights and darks better. Also I feel the Monarda (beebalm) is a lost against the shaggy foliage of the salvia, the textures are similarly sagging and loose. In person this is much easier to read.

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

Materials
Flowers
Hemerocallis (Daylily)
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)
Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)
Foliage
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday – Fragrance And Pink Petals

In A Vase On Monday – Fragrance And Pink Petals

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

I am not a fan of pink but it often dominates the blooms in my garden and commands today’s vase as well.

In A Vase On Monday – Fragrance And Pink Petals

Hydrangeas I adore, even in pink, and especially at this fresh young stage.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

Pink persists. Cleome (spider flower) freely self-seeds in the meditation circle and is just beginning to bloom.  All parts of the the plant display interesting architectural features.

Cleome Hassleriana Details With Hydrangea Macrophylla

Cleome Hassleriana Floating Above Hydrangea Macrophylla

To my mind the stars of this early June vase are gardenias.  They have scented the garden for several weeks, blooming magnificently this year. When temperatures blazed upward the gardenia flowers pouted and turned brown, but a few new buds continue to open. Their fragrance is unparalleled, inviting one to breathe—deeply inhaling sensuous joy and exhaling, letting go with a sigh.

Hydrangea and Gardenia jasminoides

Gardenia jasminoides

Materials
Flowers
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Gardenia jasminoides
Hydrangea macrophylla
Foliage
Container
Small matte-glazed blue ceramic vase

What color prevails in your garden this week?

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

Kissed By The Rain

Friday and Saturday the garden gratefully welcomed more rainfall. By mid-morning Saturday the showers had stopped and I hurried out to see the first daylily blooms of the summer.

Hemerocallis (Daylily) (red in southern border from Mercers’ may be ‘Michael Arnholt’

Hemerocallis (Daylily) (red in southern border from Mercers’ may be ‘Michael Arnholt’

The garden is taking on a summer look.

Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Only a few Shasta daisies have opened. There are many tight buds.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) just starting to open

Monarda and cleome have been blooming about a week.

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Though not very tall, much of this pink yarrow was flattened by the rain.

Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)

Scattered throughout the borders, Purple coneflower is having a good year. Last year it scarcely made an impact at all.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) backed by Canna

The color and form varies widely.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

I especially like the white echinacea, but it does not spread like its pink relatives.

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

 

Lunchtime In The Garden

A couple of weeks ago the weather was unseasonably hot and dry. These are photos from May 27, 2019. Lots of butterflies were visiting the garden then, flitting from one flower to the next (especially popular was Verbena bonariensis—must be quite tasty.)  This is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus). Females are dimorphic and can be yellow or nearly black. Blue spots along the hindwing indicate this yellow form is female.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

At some point this swallowtail apparently escaped a bad encounter, but managed to get back to lunch.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

At first I thought this next one was a female dark morph of Eastern Tiger Swallowtail—I noticed it nectaring on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue.’ The coloring didn’t quite seem right though and I finally decided it is a Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus). The spicebush has blue markings, one of which is missing its orange spot.

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)

I followed the same butterfly around the garden. It stopped to enjoy the Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ before moving on to the verbena.

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)

Verbena and penstemon are also popular with bees. Shown here is an Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) sampling the buffet.

Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica)

Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica)

Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica)