Sunflowers shine on my garden.

gl dragonfly 2 by JR 5-31-16

So many flowers are growing in my garden that I haven’t ever grown before, or not for a long time. The Kangaroo Paws are ever-changing and fascinating.  One of the three plants sent up a flower stalk months ago, and the blooms are opening now. I didn’t know that these little rising-sun flowers that have popped out were even part of the deal.

In May Mrs. Bread took this photo of a dragonfly who flew right to that plant that matched his own color. He knew, even though the buds were small then. >>>gl P1040891 k paws 7-25-16gl P1040891 k paws closegl P1040894 k paws

 

 

 

 

When I was in Monterey, on California’s Central Coast, I saw lots of Kangaroo Paws in different colors. Some plants were seven feet high.

Maybe next year all three of mine will bloom at the same time!

 

gl rice straw P1040853

I bought a bale of rice straw with which to mulch the vegetables and strawberries, and I did get the job done just before the heat wave rolled in. While I was pulling hay out of the bale I was swept back to my childhood when we used to play in the hay barns at the neighbor’s horse ranch. I had completely forgotten about what was a fairly brief, but special year or two of my life, but that hay smell….

My everbearing type of strawberry plants are producing their second crop, and I’m getting more than in their first fruiting. Every other day or so I pick a few to eat in the garden. I’m enjoying them more than I expected, now that they are responding to the summer weather and being healthier.

gl berries P1040889While most plants are growing taller, the fennel is getting fat. I’m growing the bulbs to roast as vegetables. It must be time to pick them, because flowers are beginning to form on the feathery tops.

gl fennel P1040851

gl P1040862 chamomile

 

 

 

Chamomile flowers are cute little skirted pom-poms. This is the German variety, which is said to grow to 2 ft., but mine is 27″ high 🙂 The short Roman kind is on the other side of the garden, covered now with tiny yellow buttons, and no skirts.

 

 

 

 

 

When I bought plants in the spring, for some reason I thought I was getting an orangey-brown variety of sunflower, but my giant specimens are lemon-yellow, and I do love them. They are nearly 8 ft. tall, and would be all of that, if they held their heads up just a tad straighter. But then they wouldn’t look quite right.

The goldfinches have been hanging around a lot. This morning six goldfinches and one house finch were having a drinking party at my fountain, and taking baths, too, while I sat in the garden eating breakfast. Later on I surprised one that was pecking at a sunflower leaf, and last week as I was walking around in the evening I came upon a goldfinch perched quietly on a bachelor’s button, enjoying the air a bit before retiring.

gl garden sunflowers

I wonder if it was birds who ate my green beans…. Well, I consider everything experimental this year. It will be interesting to see which things want to come back next spring. In the meantime, I have learned how not to plant tomatoes in a box, and that if aphids show up on my kale, I better wash them off quickly. The sunflowers are trying to convince me — and so far it’s working — that they are a success.gl P1040874

If we would all break out into such glory when the summer sun shines!

10 thoughts on “Sunflowers shine on my garden.

  1. All so lovely does your garden grow. When a fragrance carries me to a time before I find it such an interesting clue to how memories can be tucked away and secured until released by a note of music or a scent of hay.

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  2. I’ve never heard of the kangaroo paws. And you still have strawberries! Ours were gone by May — but of course they began producing in late January.

    You may know that you can purchase ladybugs by the hundreds (or even thousands) to take care of those aphids. I once gave a friend’s father 5,000 ladybugs as a birthday present. He was thrilled. The trick is to put out a few hundred at a time, and keep the rest in the refrigerator. They think they’re hibernating. Once you take them out and then warm up, they begin munching on the aphids.

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    1. I do know about the ladybug treatment, but have never had occasion to try it before. I’d never had such an infestation as I did this summer when I returned from a week away. I appreciate your tip about not releasing them all at once, as I’ve heard stories of the insects all flying off somewhere and not eating the feast set before them. Maybe that happens if there are too few aphids for the population of ladybugs — I’ve heard that they won’t stay around if there is “nothing” to eat, and who knows the mind of a ladybug and what seems to them a puny meal?

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  3. Besides the glorious plants, your raised beds are a thing of beauty.

    My experience with imported ladybugs was not great — I had masses of aphids, but the ladybugs did not stay and the aphids thrived. Then, suddenly, they were gone. Birds maybe?

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  4. Your garden is just lovely. Finches do love sunflowers. I love to listen to their chatter. They will start following you around chattering when the sunflowers are gone. They are very companionable. I love your chamomile. They are nice in early spring but the heat always kills them.

    I need to find some of that Kangaroo Paws. I love the way it looks. You have made yourself such a nice garden. It’s lovely.

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  5. What fun to look at your beautiful garden! I am not familiar with Kangaroo Paws. How unusual and gorgeous. I am familiar with sunflowers and love your tall, lemon yellows! Keep on sharing with us. It’s fun to see how things are growing.

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