Posts Tagged ‘sternbergia’

It seems that the desert heat of July and August are over.   We got quite a bit of rain in September, not enough to make us even for the year, but enough to make everything much much happier.   Especially me, when I get my water bill for September!

However, rain means grass, which means mowing.   Jim has been keeping up on that chore; in fact he is out there doing that thing right this very minute.    Now, I have lots of clients who have lots of things to say about how their husbands mow off their shrubs, etc.   One of them got to the point where she would plant an 8 inch piece of rebar with each plant she did not wish to have mowed off.   After her husband injured his lawn mower trying to mow off the rebar, he stopped being so callous towards her shrubbery.  I certainly do not have that problem.   This is how the lawn looks after Jim has mowed around the wild flowers and grama grass I am hoping to collect seeds from.

This sort of piecemeal mowing job gives the Compliance Officer heartburn, but we are generally such good citizens that they don’t cite us for our tall weeds.   I can hardly wait until I start the front prairie garden installation.  I’m sure to have several amusing conversations with our local constabulary regarding the height of my weeds flowers.   Doing a front yard no-mow garden often involves educating the local politicians.   I’m practicing my non-confrontational polite tone of voice now in anticipation of needing it later.

Anyway, the grama grass has a friend.   This crab spider has been in the same place for several days now.

This is my curbside Mexican hat  (Ratibida columnifera).   I have a lot of it in the prairie too.

Aside from the fanciful name, I love this flower.   It is a perennial that reseeds itself freely, and yet is not terribly invasive.   It also was one of the few things that continued blooming throughout the harsh conditions we had this summer.

Up in the front entry garden, the colchicums are drawing to a close.   I moved the sternbergia around last year because I wasn’t happy with its location behind the peony, where I couldn’t see it unless I walked out onto the lawn. This is why I love bulbs.  You buy six and after a while you have a lot more.   Anyway, these are doing quite nicely in their new locations.

I have a minature rose by the front door step.   Miniatures seem to be the only ones I can keep alive for any appreciable period of time.   Please don’t freak out at the following picture.  Remember the rose is only one inch in diameter, and you are not even seeing the whole rose.   This little occupant is probably why the rose isn’t full of holes.

Out in the labyrinth, I planted a few bulbs by the central rock.   In the spring there are crocuses and chionodoxa.   Now there are colchicums.   I think I may put a sternbergia out there.

I put in a few hours in the last couple of weeks putting the vegetable garden to bed; at least as “to bed” as I ever get it put, I suppose.   Needless to say, there were a few things that I couldn’t pull out because they were doing so well; like the salad green patch, the chard, the beets, the zucchini squash.   There are also butternut squashes that are still ripening.  In spite of that, I planted all the beds with a winter cover crop.   The first stands are well up, as you can see in this shot.

In the foreground are the leeks, which will stay in the ground all winter.  We pull them as needed.   The far background is the asparagus patch, which I have not cut back because it is busy being the lady bug nursery and pupating ground.   On the right in the background you can see the zucchini plants.

They are not done.

All that gorgeous mulch came out of the compost pile I made last fall from the leaves we mowed up around the place.  That condensed down from a pile three feet deep to one about 9 inches deep.   On top, it doesn’t look like much, but when you take off the top half inch, what is underneath is pure black gold.

Every bed in the vegetable garden has gotten its layer of this grand stuff.   The rest is going onto the hostas and out in front.   Just as soon as I finish this post, actually.

Moving along, we have drifts of wild flowers around the pond and all over the root cellar mound.  There are white asters like snow banks, and clouds of goldenrod and New England asters.   The pollinators are loving this.


The stroll garden is looking quite special right now.

There are all sorts of things blooming in there:  red annual sage, two colors of hummingbird mint  (agastache), a few late canna lilies, little white asters, mexican hat, goldenrod and some other things that aren’t in the shot.

One of the ones that isn’t in the shot that I am quite fond of is a plant I acquired at the Missouri Prairie Foundation plant sale last year.   It didn’t do a darn thing last year except not die, but this year it went to town.   It started blooming in July and hasn’t quit.   It’s common name is Texas Green Eyes, a perfect name for this little beauty.   Sceintifical appellation:   Beriandiera texana.

There is so much more going on out there, but I really must get to work and finish spreading that mulch.   Because very soon there are going to be leaves to pick up and put in a compost pile, and I need that space…

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There are a few things going on in the fall garden.

The colchicums are still blooming in various places.   This one is a waterlily form that lives in the Hosta Dell.

The wild aster I planted that is trying to take over the whole rain garden is blooming in a frenzy right now.   The sulfur butterflies like it a lot, as do the honey bees, and numerous types of skipper butterflies.  In this shot, a sulfur is posing.

In the same vicinity I have a hen and chicks plant that decided to bloom this year.

Like bromeliads, the plant that blooms then dies.   You always hope they have several “pups” to continue the grouping, and this one certainly does.

Last, but not least,  the sternbergia are finally blooming.   I just love the bright yellow of this plant, it adds a nice note to the fall garden.

There is quite a nice group of these guys coming along, perhaps in a few days I can show you a drift of them.

The fall blooming crocuses have put their noses up.   I don’t expect them to bloom until the weather gets a bit cooler.

Now, I really must get out there and do some weeding.  The extended length of time I was gone allowed the weeds to get WAY ahead of me.

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I was wondering what I was going to use for a blog post this morning.   I was completely sucked away from the computer and into my real life yesterday.

With a little help from my niece, I cleaned the tomatoes out of their bed to make way for the garlic.  I have a five gallon bucket of green and partially ripe tomatoes sitting in the kitchen attracting fruit flies right now.   Meanwhile, the garlic is planted:

In the next bed back you can see the tomato cages.   One still has the vines inside it.   I inverted it so the roots are up in the air.  A lot of the tomatoes on those vines will ripen in the next few days.   If you look beyond the tomato cages, you will see some faint green shadow in the bed behind them.   That is the winter greens patch.

Behind that is the bed with the black beans in it.   As soon as we get a forecast that includes frost, we will place the cold frames over these babies.   There are a bunch more seedlings off in the left side of this bed, but you can’t see them because they are only about a day old.  I still need to plant a third generation of lettuce and mesclun mix and some spinach at the far end of the cold frame area.   Behind that you can see the volunteer cornflower seedlings that are colonizing this part of the garden.   They seem to like the gravel in the path quite a lot.

Another project that is in progress right now is the stacking of firewood.  Check out that pile back there.

That is extremely green oak that I am trading for massage with one of my clients.   That stack is about two and half cords.   There will be another two and a half cords delivered towards the end of the week.  That wood will be stacked and season during this winter and we will burn it in 2011.   We also received three cords of nicely seasoned wood that Jim has been splitting and stacking in the wood shed.

That picture also indicates another thing that needs doing.   The garden needs to be deadheaded.   That area behind the sauna is destined to be my nursery area for the perennial flowers I intend to raise for the new front yard project.  I haven’t been blogging about that much, but the plans for the de-lawning of the front yard have been much on our minds.  Perhaps I’ll do a post about that whole thing in the near future.

The rest of the garden seems to be going along beautifully.   I love my fall flowers, they are beautiful.   And it seems like this season is a very “pink” season, contrary to the usual vision of reds and yellows and oranges we tend to think of when we think of autumn.   The colchicums have got to be my favorites.   Such a delicate translucency combined with the ability to thrive in the harshest of conditions.

But they aren’t the only players in the “Pink Game.”   There are cleomes that are in the league.

The dew on the celosia is almost otherworldly:

I was starting to think only flowers whose names start with “c” can play the Pink Game.   But there seem to be no alphabetical limitations; the dianthus are pretty good at it too.

Not everything is pink around here.   The bittersweet berries are looking pretty special.   I’ve had a few finches checking them out.

There is sternbergia blooming right now too.

Well, I need to get out and about.   Time to walk Ruby.   Also, I have two gallons of milk waiting for me down at the dairy.  I’ll bring it home and Jim will make it into fresh mozzarella cheese.

Have a good day.

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