Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer is the best time!

It's summer. It's hot. It's humid. It's rainy; so rainy, in fact, that I keep getting "flash flood warnings" from the National Weather Service on my phone. Actually, we have gotten a nice amount of rain here but in northern Iowa they have gotten way too much, and our rivers are swelling - and flooding too.

In addition to working in my own garden, I've been helping a fellow Master Gardener who is having some pain issues to whip her garden into shape (i.e., weeding and deadheading).

Mosquitoes abound after all of the rain. Ticks are around too. And those 17 year cicadas - have you heard about them?

 The periodic cicadas emerged after 17 years underground, where they fed on tree roots. They will mate, lay eggs, and in 4 - 6 weeks, they'll be gone. Their offspring will emerge in another 17 years.

Some people think they are extremely "yukky," but I think their story is kind of cool. We have had a few in our yard and many more in some areas of town.

 Walking about the garden, you'll note the blueberries are beginning to ripen. They don't all ripen at once, which is a good thing. The robins and catbirds have been chowing down and I've picked my fair share as well.

 My one and only delphinium. They are so pretty; I think I will be adding more next spring.

 The beebalm is striking. I use it as a repeater in multiple areas of the garden. It really stands out.

 The annual rudbeckia are colorful as well. Not sure if this is two plants growing together, or if the flower starts out plain yellow and then develops the red center.

 Red and purple look nice together. Here, it's larkspur and achillea (yarrow) 'Paprika.'

 There isn't much more delicate and beautiful than a ruffled poppy. This is poppy somniferum 'Lilac Candy Floss.'  I planted these from seed and they self-sow.

 While walking in this area of the garden, I noticed a sweet fragrance. I thought it might be the poppy, but no, it was the common milkweed. I allow these to grow for the monarchs.

 Speaking of milkweed, this is swamp milkweed and I think it's absolutely gorgeous.

 Sedum along the stone pathway

 Hydrangea 'Incrediball' is a great performer. This plant is only two or three years old.

 The coneflowers are beginning to bloom now. They are absolutely one of my favorite flowers.

 Clematis (cultivar unknown) is doing well in the garden. I need more of these beauties - I probably have 15 or so but room for more!

Tortie, Garden Supervisor

Summer is the best of times. So many fun things to do, better food, no snow to shovel, and, of course, FLOWERS!!! I find myself continually looking out the window onto the garden when I'm inside...and I like what I see. Uniquely mine, designed by me, but growing and thriving through the grace of God.


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