The Tuesday View August 1

August 1, 2017

The garden is in its prime season and we’re getting much pleasure looking down upon it from the deck where we take all our meals when the weather permits.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) are flowering abundantly, attracting many different bees and butterflies.

Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) is covered with bees and fluffy spires of pink/purple Astilbe taquettii are making a statement. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ surprised me with abundant blooms. It had a slow start and caught up in a flash. The hummingbirds are loving it.

Along the front, Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina) bookend Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrical) surrounded by Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella sativa).

Tucked in the middle and back are red-burgundy and double orange daylilies (Hemerocallis). The sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) have finally begun to blossom in earnest, delighting us with their scent.

Sunflowers are budding up and will soon give a great show along the back.

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 – Pink and Purple

Topped by a starry mandala, gray-green poppy seed pods (Papaver somniferum) vie for attention amid purple larkspur (Consolida ajacis) and lavender Hosta flowers.

Pink racemes of Astilbe taquettii and the first pink phlox (P. paniculata) of the season, along with a couple wild mallow (Malva alcea var. fastigiata) compliment the purples.

White gooseneck loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides) match the white ironstone milk jug chosen as a vase. A few fronds of Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) complete the arrangement. The crocheted doily was a handmade gift from my sister.

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

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We Have Babies!

Last week when I spotted a female Monarch (Danaus plexippus) on my coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), my hopes soared that this year we might host a new generation of this imperiled species in our backyard.

Today, I spotted a male and my hopes grew. I wandered over to my milkweed patch (Asclepias syriaca) to check and I found 5 instars. What a thrill! Who would have thought that seeing a caterpillar munching my plants would make me so happy?

While there are several factors leading to the decline of this unique migratory insect, including widespread use of herbicides killing off milkweed host plants, habitat loss and climate change affecting their winter home in Mexico,  some scientists believe the major cause lies in the use of neonicotinoids, a systemic pesticide used in commercial agriculture and the nursery trade, which is killing pollinators that visit the flowers of contaminated plants.

It is important for us to put pressure on growers, retailers and politicians to ban the use of systemics in flowering plants, as well as urging the practice of organic methods in home gardens. We must be good stewards if we want a world that works for every species, not just humans.

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The Tuesday View July 18

July 18, 2017

The garden progresses quickly and it feels like summer is flying by. This garden is heading into its prime season, so the next month will be delightful for viewing.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) have started flowering, attracting fritillary butterflies and a single female monarch this week, which was a thrill to see. Hoping for a male to help her procreate. Three varieties of Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa, incarnata & syriaca) await their progeny elsewhere in the yard.

The huge clump of Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) is about to open up for bee business and spires of pink/purple Astilbe taquettii are opening as well. I’ve trimmed some of the Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina) blossoms in front, but as the bees are still visiting, I’m holding off cutting them all down until the Thistle comes into bloom.

Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’ is finishing, as are the Sundrops (Oenothera fruticans). An orange Asiatic lily, forgotten for several years, put in a showing on the left and a solitary Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ blooms on the right. That side of the bed gets morning shade and between the voles and lack of sun, it isn’t performing well. The corms need to be moved to a sunnier spot, but isn’t high on the endless to-do list.

Surrounding the Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica) in front, a sea of Love-in-a-mist (Nigella sativa) is ready to open. I’ll try to catch a photo of it at its best, but I’m vacationing next week, so I may miss it, alas. Small Zinnia ‘Double Cherry Profusion’ plants are struggling to gain a foothold against the nightly onslaught of slugs. It’s been a good year for those pests.

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 – Red & White

Nothing says mid-summer to me like Beebalm (Monarda didyma) and Gooseneck Loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides). Both stands are abundant in my yard right now as we settle into July with its hot summer days.

I’ve added the last of the white foxglove (Digitalis purpurea alba) and a few pink-red daylilies (Hemerocallis no ID). Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus) is a cheerful favorite of mine and a few fronds of Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) complete 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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In A Vase On Monday – Ephemeral

In A Vase on Monday – Ephemeral

Our wild daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) begin to bloom without fail during the first week of July every year. This year’s abundant rain has produced a bumper crop.

Although their blooms last only a day, I still like to make arrangements with them. Not all buds will flower, but many of the larger ones will. While I do need to trim the arrangement daily, it is worth it.

White mounds of Oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia) blossoms and a raceme of Hosta ‘Frances Williams’ provide bulk, while arching stems of Coral Penstemon (P. barbatus) provide accent.

Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus) is filler and foliage is Baptisia and Patrinia.

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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