A Good Day for Butterflies

It was gorgeous on Saturday, mild and sunny. I was doing this and that in the front garden when I noticed that we had no fewer than three Monarch butterflies fluttering about. That’s the most we’ve had so far this year, though we’ve had as many as half a dozen in August and September, as the migration southward picks up steam.

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A Plant Called … Golden Glow

So remember those two substantial-looking plants that were growing in the Driveway Border, except I had absolutely no memory of ever planting them? Well, they’re blooming now, and they turn out to be Rudbeckia laciniata, which also goes by the truly wonderful common name of Wild Golden Glow.

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Wild Golden Glow with Mexican Sunflower and Joe Pye Weed. 

 

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Should There Be Blue Chrysanthemums?

According to a recent article in the New York Times, Japanese scientists have developed a blue Chrysanthemum through splicing in genes from two blue-flowering plants.

Research suggests that blue is the most popular color among people, but blue flowers are relatively rare. It turns out that a plant needs specific genetic machinery to have blue blooms. The pigments in blue flowers are actually orange, red, or purple. With certain plants the pigments undergo a chemical reaction that results in a blue flower.

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Blue Wild Indigo

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Iron and Purple Fuzz

I planted Prairie Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata) all the way back in 2010, but it wasn’t until the last couple years that it started to be a real presence in the Driveway Boarder.

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Ironweed with Cup Plant in the upper right corner.

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A “White House” That Delights

The OT Hybrid Lilies are done blooming, in fact I’ve snipped off the tips so that they won’t waste energy making seeds. Happily, the Oriental Lily ‘Casa Blanca’ has taken up where the OT Hybrid left off.

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Cup Plant: A Plant You Can Look Up To

Judy and I like tall perennials, and we have lots of them in the garden. I mean really tall, like you have to look up to see the flowers. We’ve considered starting an organization for ourselves and others who admire towering plants. It could be called the American Prodigiously Tall Plant Society (APTaPS).

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Taking The Long View: July 23, 2017

So I know I said I wouldn’t do the long views as a weekly thing, but I changed my mind – at least for now. So sue me.

DSC_0782Here’s a view from the street in front of our house. The Clematis is almost done flowering.

DSC_0781Coming closer, here’s a view of the Driveway Border from the sidewalk. You can see the Green-Headed Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata) are also coming into flower. They are the tall guys in the center. The Green-Headed Coneflowers are about 7′ tall, but the Cup Plant (not seen in this picture) is at least 10′.

Sadly, the ‘Conca d’Or’ OT hybrid lilies are starting to drop from their stems.

DSC_0761aHere’s that view to the street from the front door. The main thing that has changed is that the Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum – the really tall guys in the upper right) are now full of blooms.

DSC_0794Here’s the view in the opposite direction.

DSC_0790Here’s a view of the grass path between the Driveway Border and the Front Island Bed. Green-Headed Coneflower on the right, Cup Plant on the left.

DSC_0778And here’s the view of the Left Bank Bed from the sidewalk. The Allium lusitanicum ‘Summer Beauty’ is showing fuller blooms and the apricot-colored ‘Egyptian Spice’ Daylilies are now able to make a visual impact.

That’s all for now.

The Unknown Coneflower

OK, it’s not really unknown. But generally when people talk about Coneflowers, they’re talking about the genus Echinacea, or less frequently, Rudbeckia. Seldom are they referring to the Yellow Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata.

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Life is a Monarch Highway, Maybe

The last few days there have been two Monarch Butterflies fluttering around the front garden. I hope they are a mating pair.

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Monarch on Mexican Sunflower

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More Monardas, More Butterflies, and a Troll Bridge

‘Raspberry Wine’ Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) is the first of our Monardas to bloom.

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