Category Archives: garden

In A Vase On Monday – A Posy For Nine

In A Vase On Monday – A Posy For Nine

In A Vase On Monday turns nine today! Every Monday for the past nine years Cathy at Rambling In The Garden has shared a vase highlighting blooms and foliage from her garden and she has encouraged other garden bloggers to join her. I’ve joined with her 452 weeks.

In A Vase On Monday – A Posy For Nine

Yesterday Cathy hosted contributors from around the world to meet each other on Zoom. I was excited to meet with this dedicated group of gardeners. By now we are like old friends really and it was very special to be able to connect gardens and names with faces and voices.

Last week Cathy posed an anniversary challenge to create a hand-held posy. We shared our posies with each other yesterday during our get-together.

In A Vase On Monday – A Posy For Nine

My posy was created during a hurried wandering through the garden. Consisting of zinnias, cerinthe for foliage, angelonia for filler, two white semi-cactus dahlias and fragrant ginger lily added in back at the last moment, the bouquet is a colorful achievement for so late in the year.

In A Vase On Monday – A Posy For Nine

In A Vase On Monday – A Posy For Nine

In A Vase On Monday – A Posy For Nine

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia ’Serena Blue’
Button Chrysanthemum
Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’ (Semi-cactus)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Hydrangea macrophylla
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Zinnia ‘Cactus Flowered Mix’
Zinnia ‘Cut & Come Again’
Foliage
‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)
Hippeastrum (Amaryllis)
Container
Glazed ceramic vase

In A Vase On Monday – A Posy For Nine

Happy Anniversary to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden and thanks to all Monday vase aficionados, arrangers and readers.

In A Vase On Monday – Savory And Tang

In A Vase On Monday – Savory And Tang

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Savory And Tang

In A Vase On Monday – Savory And Tang

Temperatures Saturday and Sunday were around 80 F°, a lovely weekend. White, semi-cactus type Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’ produced several nice blooms this week and I found one pinkish D. ‘Great Silence.’ There are still a few buds on the plants. Skippers and bees are finding their way to the few zinnias scattered through the beds. I was excited to notice a couple of hydrangeas that still have some nice color. Most flower heads turned brown long ago.

In A Vase On Monday – Savory And Tang

In A Vase On Monday – Savory And Tang

In A Vase On Monday – Savory And Tang

Materials
Flowers
Button Chrysanthemum
Dahlia ‘Great Silence’
Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’ (Semi-cactus)
Echinacea ‘Sombrero Flamenco Orange’
Hydrangea macrophylla
Zinnia ‘Cactus Flowered Mix’
Zinnia ‘Cut & Come Again’
Zinnia ‘Senora’
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Ellagance’ (Ellagance Lavender)
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)
Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald’ (Arborvitae)
Container
Textured, incised ceramic pedestal vase, rice or bone color. 5×6-inches.

In A Vase On Monday – Savory And Tang

In A Vase On Monday – Savory And Tang

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Charms Of Early November

Except for a few quick vases I haven’t posted much the past several months. Suddenly it is November. Autumn has been dry and mild. Camellias are on center stage with Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ providing the finest display of its 20 years or so.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

The camellia faces the street and sits between the corner of our house and the neighbor’s driveway. Further down the row is red C. ‘Yuletide’ just starting to flower, and a row of gardenias. Usually by now cold would have damaged the open flowers, although the buds would continue to open. This year with no frost yet most of the flowers that have opened are still looking pristine.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Two very different passalong chrysanthemums are blooming well also this year.

Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’

Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’

Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’

Button Chrysanthemum (passalong)

I’m always delighted to see flowers but irises in fall feel rather out of place. This yellow one has flowered for over a week. A purple one opened even earlier and there are a few more stalks with buds.

Iris (passalong rebloomer)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Perhaps I will get around to writing a review of butterflies in the garden this summer.  There were not many compared to last year but a highlight for the past month were daily sightings of Cloudless Sulphurs.

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

Sunday we’ll be returning to Eastern Time here in North Carolina. Have a happy weekend!

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Dahlias

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Dahlias

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

Several late-season dahlia surprises guided the direction of today’s vase. Last week I had written off ever seeing Dahlia ‘Fairway Spur,’ but it turned out to be a true “late bloomer.” Over the weekend a single flower, one large peachy specimen emerged on an elegantly long stem which I stubbornly refused to cut, making the vase a little top-heavy I realize in retrospect.

Dahlia ‘Fairway Spur’ (Dinnerplate)

Dahlia ‘Fairway Spur’ (Dinnerplate)

Another dinnerplate, Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’, had bloomed earlier but I thought it had died back completely in the drought of summer. Then yesterday I discovered one stem in its best iconic coffee-colored form.

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Semi-cactus type Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’ seems to take all summer to get going. Its autumn blooms are usually larger, better formed (and with fewer pests) and this year is continuing that trend.

Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’ (Semi-cactus)

Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’ (Semi-cactus)

There was a good variety of foliage to explore this week including gaura with a slight tinge of red and itea leaves with their unmistakeable redness.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Dahlias

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Dahlias

Materials
Flowers
Button Chrysanthemum
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ (Dinnerplate)
Dahlia ‘David Howard’ (Decorative)
Dahlia ‘Fairway Spur’ (Dinnerplate)
Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’ (Decorative)
Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’ (Ball dahlia)
Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’ (Semi-cactus)
Zinnia ‘Cactus Flowered Mix’
Zinnia ‘Cut & Come Again’
Zinnia ‘Senora’
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe
Gardenia jasminoides
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire)
Spirea
Container
Black metal suiban. 4 x 9.5 x 6.5 inches. Japan.

Thank you for your continued good wishes for my husband’s health. It’s not a straight path but he is doing better. The garden has carried on since mid-August on its own, literally no rain since Hurricane Ian brought a small amount here at the end of September.

A college friend brought a wonderful gift on Friday—dark and light purple, white and apricot pansies which I actually got planted the same day and watered. The earth in the meditation circle was so dry I couldn’t plant them along the paths as I’d planned. Instead I placed them around the dahlias which will soon be dying back.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Dahlias

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

In A Vase On Monday – A Mixed Floral

In A Vase On Monday – A Mixed Floral

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

Last week portions of the garden squeaked by without cold damage as temperatures danced around freezing for a few days. Late into October some dahlias are finally starting to produce reasonably-sized flowers and there are a good number of buds. How nice it would be to see them thrive a few more weeks.

After a poor season some zinnias too have rallied recently. Today’s vase began as all zinnias. Somehow it ended up a mixed floral.

In A Vase On Monday – A Mixed Floral

In A Vase On Monday – A Mixed Floral

The colors might be viewed as autumnal, but commenting a couple weeks ago Chris at Country Gardening described several of these dahlias as almost tropical. Since then I see these hues as mango, papaya and other exotic fruits rather than as fall tones.

In A Vase On Monday – A Mixed Floral

In A Vase On Monday – A Mixed Floral

In A Vase On Monday – A Mixed Floral

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia sp. (unknown)
Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ (Decorative dahlia)
Dahlia ‘HS Date’ (Single)
Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’ (Decorative dahlia)
Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’ (Ball dahlia)
Echinacea ‘Sombrero Flamenco Orange’
Tagetes ‘Durango Red’ (Durango Red French Marigold)
Zinnia ‘Cut & Come Again’
Zinnia ‘Senora’
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Gardenia jasminoides
Container
Red/black raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery—Seagrove Potters
[version 2: Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”]

The flowers are arranged into a small plastic dish which gave me a chance to try out several vases but I didn’t find a perfect container today, but this was less heavy and fit the shape of the design well.

In A Vase On Monday – A Mixed Floral

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Moment Of Calm

In A Vase On Monday – Moment Of Calm

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

Time is precious. Dahlias continue to delight.

In A Vase On Monday – Moment Of Calm

In A Vase On Monday – Moment Of Calm

In A Vase On Monday – Moment Of Calm

In A Vase On Monday – Moment Of Calm

In A Vase On Monday – Moment Of Calm

In A Vase On Monday – Moment Of Calm

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ (Decorative dahlia)
Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’ (Ball dahlia)
Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’ (Semi-cactus dahlia)
Zinnia ‘Cut & Come Again’
Foliage
Gladiolus
Container
Dark blue matte ceramic jar (by NC potter Julie A. Hunkins, c. 2000)

My husband is back home and bouncing back after another brief hospital stay. The garden carries on. Bracing weather is forecast this week but will hover just above freezing.

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Floral

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Floral

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

Dahlias and zinnias sustain color in my October garden.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Floral

I planted a few new dahlias this year in search of varying shapes and  colors. Knowing their season is ending it was all I could do to resist stuffing today’s vase with more flowers, but with discipline I nearly managed a golden and apricot palette.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Floral

Behind the dahlias colorful dogwoods leaves are visible in the upper left with bits of dark red Sedum ‘Thunderhead’ to the right.

Dahlia ‘Art Deco’, ‘Noordwijks Glorie’ and Dahlia ‘HS Date’

Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Dahlia ‘HS Date’

Echinacea ‘Sombrero Flamenco Orange’ got off to a slow start, nibbled by rabbits, and has had only a few blooms. If it makes it to next year I’m expecting a grander show.

Echinacea ‘Sombrero Flamenco Orange’

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘HS Date’
Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’
Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’
Gardenia jasminoides
Sedum ‘Thunderhead’
Zinnia ‘Cactus Flowered Mix’
Foliage
Button Chrysanthemum
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Gardenia jasminoides
Container
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Floral

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Floral

The blooms are arranged into eco-friendly floral foam that has been inserted in a flat plastic Lomey dish. They sit atop a glazed pedestal vase enigmatically stamped “Vintage 4.” The traditional design style and the nostalgic flowers reflect a vintage quality.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Floral

Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden delights she and others are offering this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Blend

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Blend

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

We had some wind gusts from Hurricane Ian, but mostly steady rain fell which the garden absorbed readily. Today’s vase is a blending of all the dahlias I cut ahead of the storm.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Blend

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Blend

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Blend

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Blend

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia sp. (No ID)
Dahlia ‘Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Great Silence’
Dahlia ‘HS Date’
Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’
Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’
Zinnia ‘Cut & Come Again’
Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides
Container
Black metal suiban. 4 x 9.5 x 6.5 inches. Japan.

In the first iteration the vase held all flowers because I just hadn’t collected any greenery. Stems of gardenia foliage completed the design by adding more dimensionality and contrast.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Blend

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Blend

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden delights she and others are offering this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Great Silence

In A Vase On Monday – Great Silence

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

I managed a quick assemblage for today from among the very few flowers not beaten down by the dry weather. The featured dahlia is my favorite this year, D. ‘Great Silence.’

In A Vase On Monday – Great Silence

In A Vase On Monday – Great Silence

In A Vase On Monday – Great Silence

The color of this zinnia makes me smile. It’s from a second sowing that proved to be a good idea. My neighbor Eileen gave me some ferns from her garden last week, so I’ve included some for textural accent along with glossy gardenia foliage and feathery, silvery artemisia.

In A Vase On Monday – Great Silence

In A Vase On Monday – Great Silence

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ (Decorative dahlia)
Zinnia ‘Cut & Come Again’
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Fern (noID)
Gardenia jasminoides
Container
Textured, incised ceramic pedestal vase, rice or bone color. 5×6-inches.

As my husband continues to recuperate at home, we’re grateful for caregivers coming in to work with him to get stronger. I appreciate your many kind wishes and look forward to catching up with your garden posts again eventually.

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Ikebana With Spider Lily

In A Vase On Monday – Ikebana With Spider Lily

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Ikebana With Spider Lily

We’re still in the throes of health issues but finally back home. A quick skip around the garden today yielded some nice flowers but I had only a few minutes to arrange them. I knew I wanted a tower of spider lilies and the other flowers fell in line.

Lycoris (Spider Lily)

In A Vase On Monday – Ikebana With Spider Lily

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia ’Serena Blue’
Angelonia ’Serena Purple’
Dahlia Decorative ‘Great Silence’
Lycoris (Spider Lily)
Zinnia
Foliage
Container
Black metal suiban. 4 x 9.5 x 6.5 inches. Japan.

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ (Decorative dahlia)

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ (Decorative dahlia)

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

A Week Into September

Spider Lily (Lycoris)

Out of the hospital, my husband is in a rehab facility to restore his mobility and strength. I’m happy to see improvement and am so very touched by your many kind well wishes for us. Our daughter’s recent visit was good medicine.

September is moving along at a fast clip. I have taken only a brief few minutes most days to pass through the garden. There are several standouts I wanted to share.

More Spider lilies opened and I can’t get enough. I’m fascinated by these flowers steeped in my childhood.

Spider Lily (Lycoris)

Spider Lily (Lycoris)

Planted last year this Sedum ‘Thunderhead’ slept through its first season, but this year it has done well. It began waking up in July and finally is in bloom.

Sedum ‘Thunderhead’ July 25, 2022

Sedum ‘Thunderhead’ August 28, 2022

Sedum ‘Thunderhead’ Sept 5, 2022

Sedum ‘Thunderhead’ Sept 7, 2022

Sedum ‘Thunderhead’ Sept 7, 2022

Finally, the dahlias are holding on. Two new ones this year are particularly fetching and have managed to charm me into dreaming about ordering more dahlias next year.

Dahlia ‘HS Date’ (Single)

Dahlia ‘HS Date’ (Single)

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ (Decorative dahlia)

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ (Decorative dahlia) with Sedum ‘Thunderhead’ in background

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ (Decorative dahlia)

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ (Decorative dahlia)

In A Vase On Monday – Respite

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

I’ve been away from the garden dealing with family health care issues so when I had a chance to wander through one day recently I collected flowers for a vase, of course.

The gatherings of dahlias and zinnias spilled over into several vases—a few minutes of floral meditation and respite. Taking time. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do.

Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Garden Journal August 6 – 11, 2022

I recorded 23 butterflies this week. As of yesterday I have noted 272 casual observances this year spread among 26 species. No lifers to report this week but I did see one species for the first time this year, Red Admiral, back after a 7-year absence.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are more frequent visitors recently, including this female. Females have this blush of bright blue near the base of the tail.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

I love seeing the swallowtails. This one stayed only for a moment before sailing out of the garden.

Spicebush Swallowtail Papilio troilus

Spicebush Swallowtail Papilio troilus

Monday, August 8, 2022

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Here are three views of the same Zabulon Skipper. This is the second one seen this year.

Zabulon skipper (Lon zabulon)

Zabulon skipper (Lon zabulon)

Zabulon skipper (Lon zabulon)

Dark morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are always female.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Homesteading above an Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ this spider designed an interesting web.

Lined Orbweaver (Mangora gibberosa)

Last year I saw three species of Hairstreak. So far I have spotted only the Gray. They are small butterflies.

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Ocolas are common visitors.

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

I have not tried to ID all the little grass skippers this year, but this one looked pretty nectaring on thyme in the meditation circle.

Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

I chased a few more around and caught up with some settling onto the zinnias, their open wings revealing more detail.

Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

There are usually one or two Silver-spotted Skippers around the garden on any given day.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Three is the most ET Swallowtails I have seen at any one time this summer. A few years back there would easily be six to ten. Their presence is no longer taken for granted.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

There has been a significant decrease in the number of small bees and other insects in the past several weeks, but these large Eastern Carpenter Bees are still finding sustenance.

Eastern Carpenter Bee, Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

They are partial it seems to salvia and don’t mind taking a deep dive.

Eastern Carpenter Bee, Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Thursday, August 11, 2022

On Thursday I saw the first Red Admiral in the garden since 2015. I’m told they are not usually seen on flowers, instead they are found on the ground on dirt or mud, rotting fruit, scat, etc., so this is a good “find” in a yard/garden.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

The much larger swallowtail is what had initially caught my eye before I had my attention diverted by the Admiral. A Black Swallowtail, it darted off quickly so I couldn’t get a closer view, but it seems quite fresh and in good condition.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Dragonflies dart around constantly but often let me get close enough to photograph. This Great Blue Skimmer posed for several shots but most ended up out of focus. One of the larger skimmers, it is 2-2.5 inches (50-63 mm). Immature ones are brownish, blue ones are mature.

Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)

Like so many gardeners this year we’re watching anxiously for rain. Temperatures are expected to cool so that will bring relief. Hope your gardens are active and vibrant and bringing you joy this summer.

The Borders In Early Morning Light

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Our house faces due east and the garden sits in back. Early sunlight slips in through the side yards, the narrow openings between our house and the those of our neighbors. It soon pours in along the back fence that marks the western border of the garden. From there it slowly tracks eastward up toward the house until by noon the entire garden is flooded in harsh summer light.

Being in the garden as the early light enters is my favorite way to experience it. Admittedly a bit unruly in appearance, this summer the southern border (north-facing) has filled out with a myriad of blooms. Two days ago I discovered the first spider lily had popped up among an ambitious patch of black-eyed Susans. I have loved these flowers since childhood and although these particular ones are more pinkish than red, I’m delighted to see them again.

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Looking behind this shrubby Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ the spider lily is visible emerging out of the yellow black-eyed Susans.

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

Zinnias, once easy for me to grow, have struggled in past years but a few finally are making their presence know. Pollinators flock to them, including lately the swallowtail butterflies.

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Cactus Zinnia

Zinnia

Airy drifts of sky blue salvia serve as generous way stations for bees, butterflies and other insects.

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Bees are fond of this darker Black and Blue saliva and hummingbirds have a regular daily route through this border. The smaller honey bees have been absent the past few weeks and mostly I see the large carpenter bees.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

The tiny flowers of orange coneflowers have just begun to open. These came from the local North Carolina Botanical Garden years ago. They are fairly insignificant but do return faithfully.

Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower)

A small patch of coral bells are in flower. The leaves always look shabby by this time of year. This is Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’.

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

Moving around to the southwestern edge of the garden, the Peacock Orchids are beginning to flower. After one day the dark maroon center has turned brown. I don’t think they will last long. Beside it the oakleaf hydrangea ‘Lil Ruby’ has been disappointing this year.

Peacock Orchid (Gladiolus acidanthera)

I usually plant gladiolas in a grouping, but this year I interspersed corms throughout the borders, where they have added some interesting color and textural contrast. In the western border facing the back of the house, this one is Gladiolus ‘Performer’.

Gladiolus ‘Performer’ (Large Flowering)

Gladiolus ‘Performer’ (Large Flowering)

Gladiolus ‘Performer’ (Large Flowering)

More dahlias didn’t make it than did but I am happy with all the buds and blooms on Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’.

Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

After trimming back some of the echinacea some new flowers have formed.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Lastly a foxglove opened this week. Only the second of five to flower I had not expected to see any more. It’s a tiny little thing but gardens do have a way of offering up sweet surprises.

Foxglove ‘Dalmatian Peach’

Peacock Orchid

Peacock Orchid (Gladiolus acidanthera)

Yesterday I noticed flowers had formed on the Peacock Orchids. This is the first year I’ve grown them so wasn’t sure what to expect. An Iris family member, the foliage is similar to gladiolus (unlike my glads these stalks stand quite erect).

Peacock Orchid (Gladiolus acidanthera)

The first opened this morning revealing a gently nodding flower, white with tinges of pink on the tips of the petals and a dramatic maroon center. The flowers seem rather delicate, but I read they like hot afternoon sun so they should find themselves at home in this garden.

Peacock Orchid (Gladiolus acidanthera)

Peacock Orchid (Gladiolus acidanthera)

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’ is classified as a decorative. Its flowers are expected to range 6-8 inches. Mine are smaller, about 4 inches across, but as promised this dahlia is a prolific bloomer.  New to the garden this summer its color is variously described as butterscotch, peach, even copper-orange. These petals have some soft peachy tones.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

But as I study it the color shifts.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Once placed in today’s vase, the flowers appeared more bronze or maybe a bit like butterscotch—either way, a bit too reminiscent of fall for these hot August days.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

I went back and forth as to whether these zinnias with their pure bright hues work as suitable companion flowers for the subtly-colored dahlias. In the end I stayed with them.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Though I had picked many more flowers in different sizes and colors for today I never got back to experimenting with this arrangement.  I suspect switching the vase color to blue might make it feel more summery and in turn would make me feel less distressed at seeing summer’s end inching closer. The heat, I know, will be with us a long while, but every day I sense the change in light.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’
Zinnia ‘Cactus Flowered Mix’
Zinnia ‘Cut & Come Again’
Angelonia ‘Serena Purple’
Cosmos ‘Bright Lights’
Foliage
Italian Oregano
Container
Glazed ceramic pottery vase, circa 1980.

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Garden Journal July 31-August 5, 2022

Garden View August 5, 2022

The garden had a good tidy and mow this week. Considering it is August, I am happy enough with the way it looks I will share a long-view photo. There are still some sections (lower corners of the photo) where I am battling bermuda grass. It does not want to give up, nor do I. Covering the affected areas with heavy layers of cardboard and mulch for months has been effective, but unsightly.

We have had several rains, some with thunder, some with sun. They didn’t bring much precipitation but each drop this summer has been especially satisfying. Each shower encouraged a fresh batch of summer flowers and butterflies.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Butterflying has been very casual this year, still I have noted 248 butterflies, 24 species in the garden. This week added two first-of-year sightings—Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe) and Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos). Both were difficult to photograph but whereas the Sleepy Orange didn’t return for a photo op, I had multiple chances with Pearl Crescents throughout the week.

Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) on Green-Headed coneflower

While Common lantana, Zinnias, Butterfly bush, Green-Headed coneflower and Black-eyed Susans were popular insect hubs this week, dahlias seldom draw more than a passing glance. I ordered some single variety dahlias this year, which are supposed to be more useful than doubles and semi-doubles for pollinators, but they didn’t grow.

Here are some of my favorite scenes from the past few days.

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) often draw hummingbirds

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – dark morph female

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Zinnia

Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’

Gladiolus ‘Performer’ (Large Flowering)

Gladiolus ‘Performer’ (Large Flowering)

Double-banded Scoliid Wasp (Scolia bicincta) on Green-headed coneflower

 

Common Thread-waisted Wasp (Ammophila procera) on Green-headed coneflower

Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – a fresh beauty

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – Side view of same butterfly

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – One more side view of same butterfly

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) -Nectaring on zinnia in front of a sea of black-eyed Susans

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Angelonia ‘Serena Blue’ and Italian Parsley

Zinnia

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Little Glassywing (Pompeius verna) on Green-headed coneflower

In A Vase On Monday – Nature’s Pulse

In A Vase on Monday – Nature’s Pulse

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

After a sere month, the rhythms of nature were heard and felt during the last week of July as storms at last brought rain into the garden. Sometimes pounding, thunderous. Often, hurried and incomplete. Yet, rain did come.  Sensing nature’s quickening pulse, the garden’s response was a swift burst of color—pace, pattern and purpose all restored for a time as we enter August.

In A Vase on Monday – Nature’s Pulse

I first planted dahlias a few years ago and had enough success I came to believe they were easy to grow, only to discover it was beginner’s luck phenomenon. Each season now they become more of a mystery. Some have returned, some are new, some old and new failed to appear.

Usually advertised as buff or cream color in my garden the well-known dinnerplate Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ more often throws out pinkish with purple striped petals. (A version of this streaky form is sold as ‘Café au Lait Royal’.) My D. ‘Cafe Au Lait’ does occasionally produce the classic coloration, but not so far this summer.

Dinnerplate Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ with white D. ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’ and reddish-orange ‘David Howard’

With nice color and form Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’ is a fresh addition to the garden this year.

Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Also newly purchased this year, Gladiolus ‘Flowering Performer’ popped into bloom this week. Brushstrokes of white along the center of each petal are punctuated here by tiny flowers on sprigs of Italian oregano.

In A Vase on Monday – Nature’s Pulse

As an aside, I’ve never had pests attack gladiolas but I blame the rabbits for this shocking treatment of a beloved summer mainstay. These would have been deep red.

Zinnias are blooming with more vigor after a slow start. More seeds sprinkled early in the week germinated within two days.

White ball-type Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’ peeks out between a pair of Zinnias

In A Vase on Monday – Nature’s Pulse

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’
Dahlia Decorative ‘Great Silence’
Dahlia Semi-Cactus ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’
Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’
Gladiolus ‘Flowering Performer’
Zinnia ‘Cactus Flowered Mix’
Zinnia ‘Cut & Come Again’
Foliage
Italian Oregano
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)
Container
Black metal suiban. 4 x 9.5 x 6.5 inches. Japan.

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Silent Sunday – Garden Journal July 25-30, 2022

Monarch (Danaus plexippus) – Male

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

Ringed Assassin Bug Pselliopus cinctus on Liatris Spicata ‘Blazing Star’

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’

Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta)

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) – Open Wings

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – Female dark morph

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Zinnia – Heard a different drummer

Zabulon Skipper (Lon zabulon)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Fork-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia furcata)

Ah, Summer In July!

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) – Meditation Circle at Sunset July 14, 2022

Hot, yes. But summer, ah! My husband and I enjoy the daily comings and goings of hummingbirds and American Gold Finches as they forage. Songbirds and cicadas provide a satisfying soundtrack to garden wanders. Paths in the meditation circle are too overgrown to make room for walking but at least the culprits are not weeds this year, but rather cleome rising up 5 or more feet. They seed easily and though I committed to staying strong and trying to reclaim the meditation circle for walking meditations, I aways think maybe I’ll keep just a few.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Last year I made a habit of checking the garden every day for butterflies, logging 600 individuals from 33 species.  This year I have checked only sporadically, counting 113 from among 20 species. So far I have managed two lifers, a Least Skipper and a Great Spangled Fritillary.

There are two stands of green-headed coneflower in the garden and both are abuzz with activity most of the day with a diversity of insects: bees, a few butterflies and various insects I have identified previously but haven’t learned. They work the flowers with intentionality—some hustle, some accommodate. Their encounters set up a communal rhythm of lighting, feeding, and scrambling for another place to land.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

This is one of three buckeyes spotted this year. Like many of the butterflies seen so far it escaped being dinner for something higher up the food chain.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

It is fascinating to discover how varied butterflies present themselves depending on position of wings. This Eastern Tailed-Blue allowed just a tease of its spread-winged blue coloration. Can you spot it in the lower right quadrant above the unopened black-eyed susan?

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Dragonflies are numerous.

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)

Since March eight Eastern Tiger Swallowtail have appeared, though it seems like fewer.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Not quite sure but iNaturalist suggests this is Slaty Skimmers (Libellula incesta).

Slaty Skimmer

A second hairstreak showed up this week, also on the Rudbeckia (I suppose it could be the same individual, so I should say second sighting). Last year I observed two other species of hairstreak as well that are absent this year.

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

This American Lady was too speedy and feisty for me to approach.

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

A few zinnias are established from seed. Never got them all planted because the rabbits were devouring them (even with my rabbit fence—they’re ensconced within the fence!).

Zinnia

This entire section of the border was meant to be full of dahlias. Some tubers didn’t return, some new ones didn’t emerge, some still hold promise. More rudbeckia in background full of insects. Only one phlox survived the rabbits.

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’, Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Lantana and Black-eyed Susans are adding a big splash of color in the southern border. Drought-resistant, yes, but they appreciate water too and it has been very dry. I am headed out soon to give them a drink. A shower yesterday lasted only 2-3 minutes.

Lantana camara (Common lantana) and Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Sipping at the butterfly bush, this black swallowtail appeared yesterday and marks the 20th species of butterfly for 2022. The swallowtails are so lovely.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ is about 4 feet tall and is beginning to offer a few flowers.

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ (Decorative dahlia)

The blackberry lily seeds from my sister were a great gift to the garden. Polinators find them attractive. Most are orange but this one has a decidedly red tendency.

Iris domestica (blackberry lily)

Can you spot the Silver-spotted Skipper at center of the frame? The wings glow in the gold of the black-eyed susans.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Why don’t I stake gladiolas? G. ‘Flowering Performer’ is new this year with a whitish streak in the center of the petals.

Gladiolus ‘Flowering Performer’

Several liatris survived nibbling and have become popular way-stations for bees and other insects.

 

Liatris Spicata ‘Blazing Star’

The garden is feeling more robust this year despite the dry weather. A haven from worldly cares, it offers a kind respite where the pace of life can slow, where nourishment can be found.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement of materials gathered from our gardens. Dahlias and zinnias, usually my go-to summer flowers, are lagging behind my expectations. For today I trimmed a little bit of this and some of that to put together what turned out to be a happy, colorful summer vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

Recently my sister surprised me with two lovely and well-chosen floral books. I am looking forward to exploring From Seed To Bloom by Milli Proust and have already delved into Floret Farm’s A Year In Flowers by Erin Benzakein. I have enjoyed Erin’s luscious designs for years and have taken several of her free mini-courses. In creating today’s vase I was inspired by her book to experiment with looser foliage and a variety of textures.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’ and Zinnia

Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia ’Serena Purple’ and ’Serena Blue’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’
Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’
Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’
Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)
Liriope muscari
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)
Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Hill’
Tagetes ‘Durango Red’ (Durango Red French Marigold)
Zinnia -Cactus Flowered Mix
Foliage
Angelonia ’Serena Blue’
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) Seed heads
Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Hill’
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Container
Textured, incised ceramic pedestal vase, rice or bone color. 5×6-inches. Red wooden platter.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

Have a great week in the garden. Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for encouraging us to create and share our vases. Visit her to discover what is blooming in her UK garden and across the globe this week.

Wordless Wednesday – Celebrity Sightings

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis)

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Tomato ‘Celebrity’

In A Vase On Monday – Resilience

In A Vase On Monday – Resilience

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens. Summer in North Carolina is always hot and humid but this past week felt like summer was being served deep fried. Dahlias buds are drying up or developing malformed flowers, but zinnias are just getting started and enjoy the heat.

Oppressive humidity, temperatures above 100 and heat index warnings several days amplified the severe drought conditions. For weeks while some areas nearby were getting severe storms with plenty of precipitation, we had none. Then Friday night, at last, a strong steady rain poured out from the clouds.  Although I have hand watered frequently the results of my efforts cannot compare to the refreshment this rainfall brought. Early Saturday morning I relished in the garden’s rehydrated state. Nice rain fell again on Saturday evening and all through the day on Sunday, a soft watering.  Ahh!

Today’s flowers were prepared Friday prior to the nourishing rainfall, thus the title Resilience to emphasize respect for those garden stalwarts that carry on under dire hot, dry conditions. I’m curious what you count on to carry the garden through tough times.

In A Vase On Monday – Resilience

In A Vase On Monday – Resilience: Clusters of tiny yellow Tansy flowers and fernlike foliage with cactus zinnia

In A Vase On Monday – Resilience

In A Vase On Monday – Resilience

Materials
Flowers
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)
Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’
Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora ‘
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Zinnia -Cactus Flowered Mix
Foliage
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Container
Dark blue matte ceramic jar

Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for encouraging us to create and share our vases. Visit her to discover what is blooming in her UK garden and across the globe this week.