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Showing posts from May, 2010

A touch of White

It has been a hot dry week and this weekend was no exception.  The flowers are blooming quicker but with the heat they are fading faster too.  My Japanese Tree Peony was beautiful but the blooms lasted only a few days.  Much too quickly to enjoy them.  I have been taking pictures of each bloom as soon as I see them in case they perish. Our grass is brown and crispy like the middle of July.  I like the heat after the long winter but we could really need a good rain now.  How about you?  Are you noticing this as well?   My mosiac is John Paul II clematis, a pale pink, a white bearded Iris, pink and white Filipendula or Queen-of-the-Prairie, and a white Clematis "Guernsey Cream".  The middle is the Japanese Tree Peony.   Have a great week.  

For more Mosiac fun visit our host Mary at DearLittleRedHouse.


Can You Guess

Can you guess what these are?  They look like those little coloured glass stones you put in a vase but they are not.  Just having fun with the camera.  They are water droplets on top of the table cloth outside on the deck.   I thought it was just cool.  I used my macro lens.   For more fun look at the photos on Straight out of the Camera Sunday here.

A View of Contrasts-Skywatch Friday

<> Blogger is not putting my pictures where I want them again. Grrrr!

Forest pond on Watery Wednesday

I took this shot last weekend of a pond in the Koffler Scientific Reserve in York Region. I loved the reflection of the trees in the water. For more wonderful watery photos visit here.

Wild Columbine on Straight out of the Camera Sunday

Aquilegia or Columbine for Macro Saturday

Aquilegia or Columbine is a delicate and airy flower in the garden.  This one is pale pink.  I have a white one and also a purple which have not bloomed yet.

These plants are easy to grow in just about any soil.  They even tolerate dry conditions which makes them perfect for the Sandbox.  The plant does reseed so next year you will more.  For more macro photos visit here.    


Meander Down the Holland River- Skywatch Friday

Papaver Orientale in the Sandbox

The Oriental Poppies are just starting to bloom in the Sandbox.  These plants have big showy orange red blooms but unfortunately they only last a few days.   This is one plant I do not put in a plant sale.  I have rarely had success with digging them up and repotting them.  You are probably better off to wait for the seed pods and then sow them where you might want new plants to grow.

I think the bud of the poppies is so interesting.  It is rather bristly.  I am sure there is a reason for that phenomenon  but at this point I don't know what that is.

The  deep green leaves are shaped like a fern with serrated edges and a fuzzy surface.

When the last flower has bloomed the plants begin to die off and disappear into the ground.  Unfortunately that leaves gaps in the flower bed.  Oh Dear.   If you like big and showy you might try these.

Mid May Bliss

Today was such a beautiful day here.  You just wanted to stay outside and enjoy as much of it as possible.  It seems the plants are happy too as they are in a hurry to bloom this year.  I worry that in the middle of June I will have nothing left to show.   It will take some thinking to plant some pretty annuals to fill in the gaps.   Today's mosiac is a collection of plants that are blooming now.   I am sure if you check out Mary's Place at DearLittleRedHouse that you will find more inspiring mosiacs to make your week.   Have a great week.

Leopard Frog on Straight out of the Camera Sunday

Baptisia australis on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Although it is not in full bloom I thought I would show you a beautiful plant with  violet blue lupine like flowers. Not only are the flowers this intense colour but the stems of the plant are also.  The plant is called Baptisia australis or Blue False Indigo.  It is the 2010 Perennial Plant of the Year for 2010 chosen by the Perennial Plant Association.   Baptisia is a plant native to North America that is home in any style of garden from cottage garden to meadow or prairie garden.  It grows 3-4 ft tall and can be 3 to 4 ft wide if it is happy in the garden. Flower arrangers love the charcoal black seed pods for use in flower design.  It loves the sun or partial shade in a well drained soil. This plant is drought tolerant after become established which is good here in this garden.  The plant has no serious insect or disease problems.

 The Native American natives used the Baptisia as a treatment for snakebite, bathe cuts and wounds.  The Colonists used the plant for a dye in their text…

It Was a Rainy Day-SkyWatch

Last Saturday I was participating in a plant sale in Markham Ontario. Thankfully the plant sale was indoors but as I looked out the window I noticed the Canada Geese hunkered down under the trees out of the rain. See more SkyWatch photos here.

Scourge of the Lily

In the Sandbox we try to incorporate many Native plants into the landscape.  My husband's favourite is the Lilium superbum or Turk's Cap Lily.  This is a lovely plant with orange petals dotted with black speckles and long stamens.  It grows in our front flowerbed on the north side of the house.   The soil there is slow to warm up and  through the summer can be quite dry.  
At this time of the year on the lily this type of damage occurs.  The leaves are torn and full of holes.   Not appealing foliage.

This is the problem.  The Lily Leaf Beetle or Lilioceris lilii is the culprit.  This beetle was introduced to North America from Eurasia.  As an adult this brilliant red beetle lays its eggs on the undersides of leaves.  The larvae are orange-red and carry a layer of excrement on their backs.  One generation is produced a year.  The adults and larvae eat leaves, flowers and seed cases.  The entire plant parts can be consumed.   Not only lilies are affected but Fritillarias and enve…

Down at the Pond

A White Mother's Day

My Mom

Wishing all the Moms out there a wonderful day. I hope you are pampered as you so rightly deserve. Valerie

Blue Jays at the Birdbath

A Stormy Sky- Sky Watch

Spring Pleasures This Week

Spring and early summer is the best time for blooms in the Sandbox.  Because we get a fair share of rain in spring everything gets a good drink to give lots of new growth.   Adding composted materials to the soil holds that moisture for a while.   By July the weather will be extremely hot and humid.  Any water that the soil receives then seems to bead on the top and does not penetrate but runs off.   The Aurinia (formerly Allysum)  Basket of Gold is just so pretty right now in the garden. Thankfully it is drought tolerant and does well in lean well drained soil.  A winner here.  It really stands out and catches your eye. 

The dwarf Iris is coming up now.   This one is a purple variety.  I have no idea what the name is.   It was probably given to me.   I need to keeping track of this information.  The tall bearded ones will follow these ones in the garden.  As Iris only bloom here in the spring we enjoy them now.

The apple tree in our backyard is now blooming.  It smells heavenly when y…

Down by the Pond

Magnolia liliflora 'Betty'

I planted this magnolia the first time 4 or 5 years ago and then moved it 3 years ago.  Until this year she has not bloomed for me.   I am just thrilled to see the magnificent bloom on this wee shrub as she is still not very tall.  At maturity it should be 8ft tall with an equal spread.  That may be a while for this little girl.  Mary at DearLittleRedHouse  is again hosting Mosiac Monday.  I hope that you will join us.  We love to show off what makes us happy.  Happy Gardening Week.

Yellow and Blue Dwarf Iris