Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Wednesday Wandering

I love this time of year in the cottage garden when Daylilies are in bloom. I've had most of mine for over 30 years. 

Lots of roses are in bloom. Most of my bushes don't ever get bushy anymore because rabbits and deer eat the canes in the winter. 

You can just walk by these and smell such a wonderful fragrance. 

And just when I thought I was going to escape the Japanese Beetles this year...
I used to pick the ugly thing off and drop them into soapy water but this year I'm using soap spray. That way I don't have to touch them. 

The Orienpet (Tree) Lilies are starting to bloom. This is my second year for these. They are about four feet tall and so far nothing bothers them. They are a cross between Oriental and Trumpet Lilies and oh, the air all around is full of their scent. 

Some of the Oriental Lilies are opening too and they are also scented. 

This is my Trumpet Vine that is a beast trying to swallow up the whole area. We have a large above ground pool across from it that we don't use anymore (and really need to have disassembled) and I used to swim and watch the hummingbirds at the vines. There's some Dutchman's Pipe Vine tangled up in there too. The Blue (or Pipevine) Swallowtail caterpillars eat the leaves and seedpods of Dutchman's Pipe. 

And lo and behold...I was shocked to see I had a very short and sad azalea in bloom. About six or seven years ago or so I bought four different azaleas on clearance at Walmart. Either deer or rabbits eat the branches down to nothing over the winter.  This one has a pink flamingo protecting it and it is near a motion sensitive light. 

Patches of Purple Coneflower pop up here and there. 

I have a very old Balloon Flower that I thought disappeared a few years ago but I see a few blooms this year. 

In the cutting garden the Zinnias are starting to bloom.  I save the seed from year to year and had a lot more than usual saved from last year.  This year I planted the seeds too close together and never got them thinned so the stems are a lot shorter and the flowers smaller. 

Also near the cutting garden I thought I would plant a Sunflower House around a concrete slab where my hubby used to have his telescope.  When the kids and grandkids were younger I would plant a Sunflower House for them to play in. It is basically just Sunflowers planted in a square with room for a "doorway' and with Morning Glories climbing up the sunflowers and over the tops to form a roof.  This year I was planting it just for me. I guess it was not meant to be. As you can see something has been eating all of the Sunflower leaves and on the other side of the house the Sunflowers have all but disappeared. The ones that have not had their leaves eaten (by a groundhog I think) have had borers attack the stems.   In back of the Sunflowers I put up an old snow fence to enclose a couple of Blueberry plants that are very small and tender. Some day I may have a few blueberries if the critters (nasty varmints, wascally wabbits) think I should. . 

Also in the cutting garden my rows of Cosmos are starting to bloom... are the rows of gladioli. 

The Sweet Peas are another fragrant flower. They kind of struggled this year with our early heat waves. 

My peach tree might yield a few peaches this year. It has had so much wind damage over the years I am surprised it is still alive. 

I might have a few apples too.   This is a columnar Apple. It is supposed to narrow and upright and is good for small gardens. But my old columnar is not really columnar anymore. It has lots of side branches I guess because of deer damage and it is so tall that I can't really reach the apples without a ladder. I really should prune it. Should do a lot of things. 

I have several patches of wild black raspberries. If I'm not feeling too lazy I pick about a quart or more a day. I let them soak in a little salt water, drain, and lay out on cookie sheets in the freezer and when frozen put in ziplock bags and back in the freezer. Hubby wanted me to make some jam but I thought it too hot to make in a house without a/c during a heat wave. Well, he went ahead and made some himself. I'll have to remember that trick. We usually have homemade bread around for toast in the morning and it is even better with homemade jam smeared on top.  He eats toast with a couple of hard boiled eggs and I eat mine with yogurt. Talk about set in our ways!

This is year two for my native wildflower area. I started most of the perennials here from seed. Here's some Ox Eye (or False) Sunflower and Anise Hyssop. There's a little bit of wild Fleabane in the back that I let grow but that can get very invasive and really sucks the moisture out of the ground all around it so I pull most of it out. 

Gaillardia (or Blanket flower)


A lot of times when I put out my little plants I go out the next day and found my markers thrown about and sometimes my plants are dug up. I think a racoon does that but I'm not sure. This yarrow is completely gone and now there's a hole in it's place. 

And I also just set out Spiderwort plants I started from seeds. Now I have a hole with a dead plant in it. Same goes for the Blackberry Aquilegia I planted back in the shade. 

And talk about devastation...I  went out early one morning to harvest a couple of heads of lettuce so I could make wilted lettuce for dinner. All of my heads had been eaten. I know it had to be a groundhog because I caught it at the scene of the crime also eating my beans. No wonder I've had only a few beans on my plants. This is not a good veggie garden year. Early on a rabbit or maybe it was the same groundhog ate most of my brassicas (cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts) to the ground right after I set them out. And I had put little cages made of that black plastic drainpipe around all of them when I planted them. Normally that keeps the critters at bay. The ones that weren't eaten by rabbits had leaves eaten by insects. I think that is because it had been so dry for so long. 

Our companion plants of marigold and...

...basil seem to be doing just fine.   In fact I've already dried some basil leaves. 

And so it grows...



LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Your daylilies are so pretty, Cathy! I didn't realize they came in so many colors. Sorry to see that the critters are so determined to eat your veggies, though. It must seem like quite the smorgasbord to them!

JCzh said...

I love the lillies. So many colors. It's frustrating when you try to grow stuff and wildlife destroys it. I realize they have to eat too but can't they find another restaurant. At one time i had all kinds of lillies too and in one winter the chipmunks ate Every bulb there was. Lovely garden-thanks for letting us enjoy it!

Ali Honey said...

great photos.

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

You have such a variety of flowers in your gardens. Maybe you need to do the lettuce in pots closer to the house where you can keep an eye on it. It's really disheartening to see all of your hard work disappear.

Mystic Quilter said...

Thank you so much for a 'walk' around your glorious garden! Shame about the munched veggies and herbs but the photos of your colourful daylillies are amazing, such beautiful colours, do any have a scent? They're a favourite of mine, I had a great many at one time but the humidity here has had me lose some of them. Roses - always a winner with their glorious perfume.

Linda said...

What a lovely garden you have. If I kept getting problems with groundhogs I think I would have run out of enthusiasms for planting years ago.

gayle said...

Oh, those wascally wabbits! And groundhogs! Argh!

MissPat said...

I had high hopes that I'd get to see some day lilies bloom. I sprayed the buds with Liquid Fence late last week. Alas, it didn't work. The buds on the earliest bloomers have all been nipped off. I don't know how you find the time to grow all these flowers (and start so many from seed) while also producing so many quilts. I get tired just reading about them.

Tracey said...

Gorgeous flowers, Cathy! I enjoy your Wednesday wanderings. I am curious how effective spraying soap is on those horrid Beatles?? They are just starting to arrive in the Northeast and they make my skin crawl. My grandmother used to pick them off her plants and squish them in her fingers…. Truly nauseating! I have sprayed them with liquid Seven, but if there is a remedy less toxic than chemicals I would love to use it!


maggie fellow said...

we have had the same experience with the whole plant roots and all being gone. We have caught racoons and a groundhog maybe that will do the trick next year. lovely gardens