Sunday, August 31, 2014

Garden beauty for Mosaic Monday

It's time for Mosaic Monday, hosted by Judith at Lavender Cottage.  Be sure to head on over and see all the lovely mosaics.

The theme of my first mosaic is "Pink and Purple."  For my second, it's "Butterflies in my garden."

 Beginning in the upper left corner and proceeding in clockwise fashion: Swamp milkweed, Clematis, Poppies, Clematis

Butterflies in my garden
Beginning in the upper left corner and proceeding in clockwise fashion: Swallowtail, Black swallowtail, Painted lady, Monarch

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Butterflies, birds, and blooms

It's late August and the garden is changing. Let's take a walk through, and I'll show you what's happening these days.

 A butterfly on a zinnia in the cottage garden

 I was so glad to see these guys! They are monarch caterpillars, and there were two on this common milkweed plant, one on another common milkweed, and three on a butterfly weed (below).

 Annuals are the stars of the garden now - annuals are great for season-long bloom. Above, an annual rudbeckia

 I planted tall mixed zinnias from seed this spring. Love 'em; they are so colorful!

 Verbena bonariensis is a butterfly magnet! It's a self-sowing annual and it is interspersed throughout the gardens.

 An heirloom sunflower, planted from a sunflower mix from Seed Savers

 The rudbeckia vine is starting to show a lot of flowers.

 Kiss me over the garden gate, another self-sowing annual. Tall and colorful!

 The Supertunias ('Vista Bubblegum') have done, well, SUPER this year.

 These two pots started out on the front porch but the location wasn't sunny enough; moved to the deck, they're thriving.

 These on the potting shed usually look better, but heavy rains have taken their toll when they "poured" off this roof (there are no rain gutters on the shed).

 The phlox are re-blooming after being deadheaded.

 The coneflowers are fading. The goldfinches love sitting on them and eating the seeds.

 There are a few daylilies still blooming. This tall one is 'Autumn Minaret.'

 The elephant ears are getting big.

 I hope my mums will bloom till frost.

 The hostas are blooming now too.

 The hummingbirds continue to visit.

 The hummers and other birds, particularly wrens, seem to spend a lot of time in the honeysuckle.

Honeysuckle berries, beloved by birds

 Ligularia - a gift from a friend

 There are still a few clematis blooming (2nd flush)

 The Rose of Sharon is blooming now too.

Gone but not forgotten: Resurrection lilies - they bloomed for a week or so - they were gorgeous, and very fragrant - gone now for the year

The garden is changing. I strive to have something to enjoy in every season, although peak time is now past.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Oh Canada!

Recently we had the privilege of traveling to Canada. We flew into Buffalo, New York, and drove over the border into Niagara Falls.

 From our hotel room, we could see both the American Falls (above) and Horseshoe Falls which is on the Canadian side.

 There is a lot of mist or water vapor in the air above the falls, more at some times than others. If the sun is shining and there is mist, often a rainbow will be seen. Above is Horseshoe Falls.

As the sun "moved," so did the rainbow.

A closer look at the American Falls. To the far right of the falls, you can see persons in line to get on the Maid of the Mist.

 Maid of the Mist and Hornblower Niagara cruises take you right up to the falls - past the American Falls, and into Horseshoe Falls. Notice how everyone is dressed in green? Well, that's a rain poncho provided to help you stay dry!

 Getting closer...

It was quite an adventure!

600,000 gallons of water pass over the falls every second! What power!

You can see this steel barge that was marooned above the falls in 1918. The three men on board opened the hatches of the barge to let water in, to stop it from going over the falls. It remains stranded there to this day.

The falls are lit up with color every night. Some nights, there are fireworks.

 (Niagara Falls is not just the waterfalls; it's two cities, one in New York and one in Ontario.)

 Black squirrels, and beautiful flowers

These were outside a restaurant.

The highlight of our trip was meeting blogging buddy Judith, who blogs at Lavender Cottage, and her husband Glenn.

 Judith has a beautiful garden and I loved seeing it.

 In front of Judith's pond

 In the foreground, the pond and Judith's dog Topaz, and in the background, the Tea House, a delightful spot to sit and relax with a cup of tea and good conversation

 We went to a country inn for lunch - look how fancy my soft drink looks!

 The food was presented beautifully, and it tasted good too!

We enjoyed our trip to Canada very much! A special thanks to Judith and Glenn for their hospitality!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Vestiges of summer

Today I'm joining Judith at Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday.

Summer is waning, and fall is in the reflected in my images below. These photos were not taken this year but the summer ones do reflect my mid-late summer garden, and the fall ones the glory of autumn to come.

Daylilies galore! I have around 80 and my goal is 100!  LOVE THEM!!!
clockwise beginning upper left and ending in center: 'Lavender Stardust,' not in my garden-name not known, not in my garden-name not known, 'Just Plum Happy,' 'Joel,' name unknown, 'Hush Little Baby,' 'Jungle Beauty,' 'Coral Stone,' 'Frans Hals,' name unknown, ? 'Just Plum Happy,' 'Frans Hals'

top to bottom, beginning in upper left corner:  'Janice Brown,' 'Blueberry Candy,' 'Whooperee,' 'Lacey Doily,' 'Frans Hals,' 'Bold Stripe,' 'Custard Candy,' name unknown, 'Happy Apple,' name unknown, 'Catherine Woodbury,' 'Coral Stone, 'Joel'


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