Lazy Gardening

IMG_2852Gardening for wildlife involves embracing a messy garden– chewed leaves, piles of brush, reeds left standing through the winter. But the benefits are many– birds eating unwanted insects and butterflies flitting about, bees buzzing and pollinating your fruits and vegetables. Not to mention the gift of seeing every day the beauty that is inherent in dormancy.

Yardmap is asking us to make a pledge to Be A Lazy Gardener and leave our garden messy until spring 2018 for the benefit of wildlife. Join me in taking the pledge by clicking the link to learn more.

Your wild friends will thank you!

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The Tuesday View September 26

September 26, 2017

Three perennials are blooming and the rest of the garden will be carried into frost by annuals. Two mounds of lavender Heart-leaved Asters (Symphyotrichum cordifolium), far left rear and middle, are peaking and buzzing with bees. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and white Phlox paniculata are still blooming, but are about done.

Morning Glories

Morning Glories on Sunflowers

Morning Glories (Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’ & I. purpurea ‘Grandpa Ott’) clamber up the tall Sunflowers along the back, and to the left, Helianthus annuus ‘Italian White’ hide my only pink Cleome hassleriana to self-sow this year. Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are still putting out scented heaven, despite being choked by Morning Glory vines.

Orange and yellow Calendula officinalis and white Nicotiana alata are scattered about,  along with a clump of Zinnia elegans ‘Cactus’ and several ‘Sprite Mixed.’ All of which are being visited by many bees, migrating Monarchs, Painted Lady and other butterflies. A yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) has placed her egg sac on one of the Zinnia plants and I will have to be careful to set it aside after frost has finished the plants. As her web was lower in the foliage, I think she mostly ate Japanese beetles, which plagued the plants in August.

As seen in the first photo, in rows far left, Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is ready for its third harvest (it makes a healthful and refreshing tea). I picked the Orca beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) over the weekend, resulting in half a bushel of pods. Once they’re dry, they’ll have to be shelled, a task for mindful meditation.

Zinnia 'Dbl. Cherry Profusion'

Zinnia ‘Dbl. Cherry Profusion’

Along the front, Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina), a few hot pink Zinnia angustifolia x elegans ‘Double Cherry Profusion,’ Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica) surrounded by Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena) seed heads and a few more clumps of white Nicotiana at the end.

To the left of the main garden Dahlia ‘Voodoo’ and ‘Tiki Torch’ are blazing up a storm.

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting The Tuesday View, a meme showing the view of one or more of our gardens over the course of a growing season. Visit to see links to other garden views from around the world.

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In A Vase On Monday – Autumn’s Arrival

Autumn is officially here in the northern hemisphere, so I’ve chosen to celebrate the season for this week’s IAVOM. Featuring another of my Artesa pocket vases, this one sports two looks, cobalt and turquoise, along with a small sugar pumpkin prop (which may or may not be eaten in a few weeks).

Golden cactus Zinnias, rust-colored cushion Chrysanthemums, cut from a plant I picked up recently, and arcs of Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea) add pizazz in autumnal colors.

Top shot: Vase w/Cactus zinnia and pumpkin
White Panicled Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum) mutes the bright colors and cobalt-blue Salvia (S. guarantica) offers contrast while matching the vase.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts a weekly meme to showcase arrangements created from our gardens. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.

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Silent Sunday

Honeybee on Aster

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The Tuesday View September 19

September 19, 2017

Triggered by cooler than normal temperatures in August and early September, the garden is heading towards dormancy as the trees behind it attest.

Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’

The tall Sunflowers along the back have gone to seed with a few Morning Glories clambering up them, taking advantage of their height. Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’ has finally joined I. purpurea ‘Grandpa Ott’ in blossoming. I was beginning to wonder if it ever would bloom!

Cosmos ‘Sensation’

To the left, Helianthus annuus ‘Lemon Queen,’ ‘Italian White’ and ‘Pro-cut’ continue to provide flowers for vases. To the right, a clump of pink self-sown Cosmos ‘Sensation’ put out the last of its flowers. I’ve left the seed for the goldfinches and next year’s seedlings. Orange and yellow Calendula officinalis and white Nicotiana alata are scattered about, giving the garden some lasting color, along with a clump of Zinnia elegans ‘Cactus’ and several ‘Mixed Sprite.’

Far left, Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is on its third harvest, I hope with one to go before frost, and Orca beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), soon will be picked for drying.

Two mounds of purple Heart-leaved Asters (Symphyotrichum cordifolium), far left rear and in the middle, have been a delight. I pruned them back in June, which has resulted in denser, less floppy stems. Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) has faded to mauve, its prickly heads full of seeds. I need to deadhead them soon before they self-sow all over. I leave the cut heads in the field for the birds. If they self-sow there, all the better. White and pink Phlox paniculata are about done.

Along the front, Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina), a few hot pink Zinnia angustifolia x elegans ‘Double Cherry Profusion,’ Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica) surrounded by Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena) seed heads and a few more clumps of white Nicotiana at the end.

Dahlia ‘Voodoo’

Worthy of mention, now in its second season, Dahlia ‘Voodoo’ is putting on a spectacular show in a bed to the left of the main garden. Because of its success, I will have extra tubers to share with a few admirers.

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting The Tuesday View, a meme showing the view of one or more of our gardens over the course of a growing season. Visit to see links to other garden views from around the world.

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In A Vase On Monday – New Vase

This week my sister sent me a fluted Lenox glass vase in the most beautiful shade of amethyst.  I’ve filled it in complimentary colors with the tallest flowers I currently have blooming.

Lavender Heart-leaved Asters (Symphyotrichum cordifolium) and spikes of Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) offset Dahlia ‘Voodoo,’ which is flowering abundantly.

Fluffy white and pink Phlox (P. paniculata), light and dark pink Cosmos ‘Sensation’ and ‘Lemon Queen’ Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) add a bit of contrast. Arching heads of Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) and green blades of Iris ensata finish the arrangement.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts a weekly meme to showcase arrangements created from our gardens. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.

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Silent Sunday

IMG_8784

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