Tag Archives: Blue Point Juniper

Monarch Sighting

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Briefly I glimpsed a Monarch butterfly earlier in the summer, but was unable to get a photograph. Fast forward and today a Monarch was in residence in the garden exploring, flitting between recently opened zinnias and lantana and I snapped several shots before it darted away.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

I stationed myself close into the lantana where, while waiting for the monarch to reappear, I was lucky to witness this fascinating Hummingbird Moth (Hemaris thysbe) Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis). Thought you might enjoy seeing it in action. I have noticed more than usual of these hummingbird clearwings moths around the garden this year. [2018-07-23 note: Had help correctly identifying this through iNaturalist.org.]

When the monarch returned and began enjoying lantana, the hummingbird moth buzzed by rather aggressively. Collecting itself, the butterfly hopped to another flower and resumed the business at hand.

In the past several years I saw few or no monarchs, but I hope to see lots this year. The flower that attracted this one is Lantana camara (Common lantana).

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

The tree in the background is Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper). It is one of five planted about 7 years ago as a screening hedge and is the only one that survived the past winter.  The others are completely brown but I’m waiting until fall to have them removed.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

 

 

 

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – December 2014

Seed pods of Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

Seed pods of Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

Today is the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Arrival time in pbmGarden is 6:03 PM EST.

Tomorrow is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides. In anticipation I walked around the garden with the camera in late morning, when the air was quite chilly and the sky, quite gray and dull. Later the sun peeked out.

The Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) lost its leaves long ago but the seed pods still provide a bit of interest and an interesting coloration on the bark of the Crape Myrtle’s trunk set my imagination to wandering.

Intriguing mark on trunk of Crape Myrtle.

Intriguing mark on trunk of Crape Myrtle.

The screening hedge of five Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ has grown considerably this year. I like the height, but not the shape of these trees and how to prune them properly is a mystery to me.

Juniperus chinensis 'Blue Point' (Blue Point Juniper)

Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper)

Last December the junipers were decorated for the holiday season, but not yet this year. This picture is from last year’s GBFD post.

Juniperus chinensis 'Blue Point' (Blue Point Juniper)

Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper).  Lavender is in left foreground.

The small Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ in the Western border continues holding on to its rich fall color.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Some of the gardenia hedge is not doing well along the Western border where many bushes never recovered from the deep cold last winter. A couple are looking fairly green, but others look miserable. I read it is possible to cut them to the ground to rejuvenate them and may give it a try for those worst affected.

Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

This Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’ is doing well.

Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

This Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’ needs rejuvenation.

In the meditation circle many Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) have volunteered. I keep moving them around into different areas of the garden. The foliage stays colorful and healthy through most of the winter.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

When we moved here the front foundation shrubs were underplanted with a row of Liriope spicata (creeping lilyturf). This spreads by runners and is a difficult plant to remove or even contain but it does have attractive fruit this year.

Liriope spicata (creeping lilyturf)

Liriope spicata (creeping lilyturf)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) is nearing the end of its usefulness for 2014. I really like its early green florets and enjoy watching it move from pink to dark red. I have left its browned flowers alongs with many other plants for birds.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

This sedum maintains a brighter, more colorful presence in the garden. It is Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ (Angelina Stonecrop). Most of it is yellow, but some tips are bright pink.

Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ (Angelina Stonecrop)

Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ (Angelina Stonecrop)

On the north side of the house this camellia hybrid is full of buds. An unusually cold winter kept this from blooming last year so I hope 2015 will be kinder to it. Its green leathery leaves are glossy and attractive year-round.

Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

Thanks to Christina for hosting the GBFD review. Visit her to see what foliage she and others are featuring this month.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – December 2013

Juniperus chinensis 'Blue Point' (Blue Point Juniper)

Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper).  Lavender is in left foreground.

Planted as a screening hedge several years ago this row of evergreens makes a nice seasonal focus in the garden.  The pyramidal-form trees are Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper). They need a nice trim but I have yet to figure it out precisely how to prune them.

[These junipers provided an opportunity for an abbreviated entry for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides.]

Today is the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and a strange one here. I read the high today of 74°F shattered a record of 71°F set in 1967.

At a time of year when 52°F is the normal temperature, it was a treat to have meals on the screened porch and watch the cardinals at the feeders. And before it starts getting cold again, there is one more warm, but overcast, day ahead. The forecast for Sunday—77°F.

 

 

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – June 2013

Joining Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), today I am examining the impact of foliage in my June garden.

I like to use silver-foliaged plants and am pleased with the perennial Dusty Miller along the front of the western border.

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller

A privacy hedge was installed in February 2011 along the southern border. The ‘Blue Point’ Junipers have remained healthy and are noticeably taller this year. Suddenly branches are growing in weird directions so I must figure out how to prune them better. It will still be a while before these trees fill out the edge of the southern border, but already they help provide a sense of enclosure when standing inside the garden.

'Blue Point' Juniper

‘Blue Point’ Juniper

'Blue Point' Juniper

Looking from behind down the row of ‘Blue Point’ Junipers in the Southern Border

The hydrangea planted this year is growing well, although I had imagined it would be larger by now. The foliage is supposed to have nice red color in the fall.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)-3

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Having finished blooming, now Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) and Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ add garden interest with their seedpods.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Clematis 'Jackmanii' and Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ and Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) is a native plant I picked up through a friend’s plant exchange. I have found this plant to be rather aggressive. Growing to 5-feet, its dark-green leathery leaves are interesting and later in summer and fall the border will shine with its bright yellow daisy-like flowers.

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

A storm last week felled several trees and blew numerous branches and leaves around the neighborhood. Yesterday in the western border I encountered these browned leaves from a neighbor’s Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore). They serve as a reminder Summer has just started but it will pass quickly. Take time to enjoy every minute.

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Thanks to Christina for hosting. Be sure to visit her to see her featured foliage and find links to other foliage highlights of other GBFD bloggers.

Closing Out June — Yellowing, Browning, Wilting, Crisping

Despite many ominous indicators around the garden, Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ cheerfully showed itself off in the new front garden.

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

I worry most about the shrubs and trees, which take so long to establish and are so expensive to replace. Inexplicably though, I spend the most time watering the Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes,’ which is ever so close to blooming, and also the patch of annuals where this morning I discover the first zinnia flower of the summer. Last year’s ‘Blue Point’ Juniper hedge gets a reasonable amount of water.

Watering the garden is something I rarely do, but for two of the last three days I have entered the garden very early and dragged around a water hose, encouraging selected plants to deeply soak in as much as possible of this cool, wet offering in preparation for serious times ahead.

The garden’s situation is diminishing rapidly as no appreciable rain has fallen here in a few weeks. The temperature was 105°F. yesterday and today is 102°F. so far this mid-afternoon. (These days forecasts are frequently supplemented with the feels like number, so I must add it currently feels like 105°F. if one takes the heat index into account.)

How do the plants like it? Much of the Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is shriveled and no longer blooming. Shasta daisies are wilting, wilting, with many of the 4-foot stems simply flopping over. Other floppers include the northern border’s rosy Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), which tends to land askew, pushing anything nearby down as well.

Almost evergreen here most years, the foliage of German bearded iris is yellowing throughout the garden. [Those irises really need to be divided this year.] Tall fescue lawn never tolerates the summer well and is a crispy brown, receding visibly and opening up patches of hard, cracked earth where weeds are waiting to take hold.

The garden always holds some measure of optimism. Just as I had begun to worry about it, thyme in the meditation circle (Thymus x citriodorus (Silver Edge Thyme)) presented a tiny little bloom yesterday. And today’s early morning walk around the meditation path was peaceful and full of sighs.

Thymus x citriodorus (Silver Edge Thyme)

Since starting to write this article our neighborhood lost electricity due to the demands from the serious heat wave. After 45 minutes it has come back on. Other neighbors across the highway were without power for 4 hours.

Early May Garden Views and Notes – Part 1

Forecasts warned today would be 92 degrees. Since there are a few new things in the garden I spent some time selectively watering them very early this morning. With the garden still sheltered at this time of morning by shade from the house, it was a peaceful time to be outside.

View from the Southern Border

With the grass freshly mown the garden is vibrant.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort) has moved into every available bit of soil, making the garden burst with color during the morning. By mid-day the little blue-violet flowers close up, diminishing the garden’s overall impact. I began cutting back large swaths of spiderwort this morning to make room for emerging echinacea purpurea, liatris spicata, foxglove and maybe a few more plants.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) has bloomed prolifically for six weeks and is beginning to go to seed. I removed many of the flower stalks today to make the garden look tidier and to prevent further proliferation of this native wildflower.

The one-year-old ‘Blue Point’ Juniper hedge is growing well, although I did notice a worrisome brown branch on one. Probably I need to clear some room around the trees to give them adequate sun and air to keep them healthy.

Japanese irises and white and black bearded irises continue to provide color and interest at one end of the southern border. The old-fashioned rose at the other end of the border is waning quickly. A group of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) caught the early morning sun as light began to enter the garden.

Late December Vignettes

As the year nears its close the garden proffers a few interesting scenes. The day is sunny and sixty-two degrees. The light entering the garden is low, filtered though trees from neighboring properties.

‘Blue Point’ Juniper

The ‘Blue Point’ Juniper hedge, installed ten months ago, has a long way to go before it provides privacy and screening. Although they could benefit from some shaping, these junipers are doing quite well. Worth noting, the grass rarely looks so nice as it does today, but having been reseeded in October, it has responded well to frequent and ample rains this autumn.

'Blue Point' Juniper hedge

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)

The mounds of evergreen candytuft in the meditation circle have been trying to bloom for several weeks now. Weather predictions warn the temperatures will fall drastically next week, so while the flowery show may not last, it does provide a pretty sight for the end of December.

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) in Meditation Circle

Helleborus Orientalis (Lenten Rose)

Wow, some of the hellebores are already blooming! While the hellebores normally do provide much winter interest, they have not bloomed this early in prior years.  Just last February I wrote about my experience with hellebores, noting that looking back through garden photographs since 2006, I had found hellebores blooming in a northern side bed as early as February 24. It would have been easy to walk past them today but I am glad I stopped and peeked inside.  There hidden away were these luscious blossoms.