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Archive for August 15th, 2009

It seems hard to believe that it is the middle of the month again, but it sure is.   That means that once again it is time to share visions of our gardens as they are at mid-month, a very lovely tradition begun and hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. By all means, visit the comment section of her Bloom Day post and sample some of the other gardens listed there.   There are a lot of very beautiful gardens out there, with some great photographers masquerading as master gardeners.

I’ve been participating in this tradition since June 2007.  If you check that first post, you will notice that there has been a lot of leeway applied to “the rules” of the meme over the years.   Lackaday, I never have time to run around and do an inventory.   Besides, half the time I have no idea what the exact name of everything is, what with the blue jays stealing plant tags and my half-hearted record keeping.   Once I have finished making a planting, I rarely have the energy to actually write down what I put where.   Plus stuff is always dying, or getting moved, and sometimes it is dormant.   I’m not a Botanical Garden, so sue me.

I also fear that the monthly posts are going to start seeming repetitious to my faithful readers, so I am always looking for new angles on the place.   It doesn’t hurt that we are still in the process of developing the gardens at The Havens, so I still have plenty of new material to present.

For example, the new bed that I have named the Petite Prairie — also known as the smallest prairie in the known Universe — has really filled out.   Right now, there are several different grasses really going to town, and I have spent a considerable amount of time and energy trying to get a picture that presents all the wonderful textures and colors of this particular bed.   Last night at sunset the light and the grasses conspired to give me this:

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Just to the right of this area is a grouping that includes agastache, Mexican hat, lance leafed coreopsis and tall prairie coneflower, plus a scattering of corn flowers in addtion to the grasses.

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This area is still under development.   I have been looking for prairie flowers to add to the mix, and the following picture shows some newbies that I have transplanted from different friends’ fields.

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In the back is a second blooming of a new butterfly weed plant.   The bright green plant in the center is a little lesson for us all.   That was a white milkweed that I transplanted from a group out in a field.  When I dug it up, I realized that the hundreds of milkweed plants I saw out there were actually probably all one plant, as the milkweed seems to extend its territory through deep underground rhizome systems.   Well, I did the best I could to get a good amount of root, and treated it with rootone, planted it and hoped for the best.   Alas, it appeared to be dead after a couple of weeks, so I cut off the dead stalk, and determined to try again later with a larger shovel.

Then my mother gave me a selection of grasses from High Country Gardens for my birthday.    I had a hole in my plantings, so where the dead milkweed had been, I stuck in a nasellia grass plant.    Imagine my surprise when after about a month, the milkweed reappeared, happy as anything.   I decided that since grasses and milkweeds share space out in the fields and prairies, they could do the same in my garden.  Anyway, the lesson is:  “Don’t write off your transplants too soon.”

Right behind the Petite Prairie is the section of the stroll garden where we planted the blueberries.   They are doing okay, although two of the eight died.   However, right now the place is being called Squash Hill.   This is because we didn’t have the money for shrubs to finish off this area, and so I planted my butternut squash there.   I was concerned that the pine trees would shade them too much, but evidently I needn’t have worried.  We have over two dozen squashes ripening there, and many of them are just about ready to be picked.

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Just down the slope from Squash Hill is the area of the garden where the rain garden and the rock gardens are.   The rock garden is sporting a dianthus which I am very, very happy with.  It has bloomed non-stop all summer.

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The tall red in the background is the hibiscus at the edge of the rain garden.   I was watching the flowers in that area, and a trio of hummingbirds proceeded to enter the picture and battle over who had the right to sip from the flowers of the cardinal flower.   The winner sat in triumph on the elm at the edge of the stroll garden.

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After a short victory celebration, she got to work and had some dinner.

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The grapes are ripening out in the vineyard.  We had some concord grapes over by the vegetable garden, but the squirrels really like them.   We’ll be lucky if we get one bunch of them.   Not so the wine grapes, these are the Marechal Foch grapes, which are rapidly achieving a sugar level that will make them ready to pick and make into wine in the next couple of weeks.

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Out in the front garden, if it wasn’t for the garden phlox and the black eyed susans, there wouldn’t be much to see right now.

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Well, except for the cleomes and the coreopsis, I suppose.   It won’t be long before the colchicums make their appearance.   In between the Bloom Day posts, we enjoyed the Naked ladies, which are all done now.

I’m not the only one who is enjoying the garden phlox.   I managed to catch three bumble bees enjoying one head of flowers.

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I’ll leave you with a couple of images my macro function provided for me.   The first is what a cleome flower looks like in the afternoon from below, before it has completely unfurled.  The second is a close-up of one of the more subtle zinnias on the place.

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There’s a lot more going on around here, but I think this about covers the highlights.

Y’all come back now.

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