Saturday, August 31, 2013

Community Gardens

We have a community garden here in Nashua where residents can get a plot of land to garden in. The gardens are a haven for migrating songbirds this time of year so I decided to go for a drive with my camera to see what I could see. Well, the gardens are absolutely full to the brim with sunflowers! What a delight! I spoke with a couple of gardeners and apparently the sunflowers self sow and they are mostly volunteers. A few of the gardeners plant some fancier varieties but, for the most part, the sunflowers come up wherever they want. Apparently one of the spring chores in the gardens is weeding out the sunflowers where people want to plant vegetables. 

The gardens were alive with Goldfinches yesterday. There were probably over a hundred birds feeding on all the sunflower seeds. Our American Goldfinches breed later than most North American birds and they normally nest in  July when milkweed, thistle, and other plants have produced their fibrous seeds and down. The birds use the milkweed and thistle down to make their nests and use the seeds to feed their young.  They are also our only finches that molt their body feathers twice a year. The brilliant yellow males only keep this coloring during breeding season.

I got so caught up with getting pictures of the beautiful sunflowers, birds, butterflies etc. I forgot to get the smaller lens out so I could take an overview photograph of the gardens.  I guess I'll have to go back soon to grab some more shots!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Favorite Plant in the Garden this Week

Better late then never I say, so without any further ado or fanfare I'd like to introduce everyone to my Brugmansia suaveolens. I've had this plant for at least six years or so and it might even be longer than that.  It came as a cutting from my friend Sue at Idyll Haven.  This is the most floriferous of the several cultivars of brugmansia I grow. I counted the blossoms this morning and this plant currently has 195 flowers on it. Woohoo!  It's the first to set blossoms and typically will produce one to two hundred flowers on its second flush of blooms.  So as it is in its glory right now it is my current favorite. Wish I could bottle up that fragrance.

You can view Loree's favorite plant this week and link to other gardeners' favorites at Loree's Danger Garden blog.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend Walkabout

I've been slowly winding down the amount of deadheading and garden cleanup being done as the season rolls along to fall.  The daylilies are looking a bit ratty and I've shovel pruned a few more large clumps of them in the last couple weeks. They truly are beautiful perennials with gorgeous flowers that make such a splash, but, if you like to keep a tidy garden, which I do, they take a lot of upkeep. So, sayonara hemerocallis. I'm not getting rid of all of them just about half will be going to new homes.  Some of the hostas are showing some yellowing leaves and my mountain ash tree is losing leaves.

But amidst all the perennials fading out for the year the annuals and temperennials are still putting on a great show.  The fuchsias are getting ready to produce their large flush of September flowers.  The fall bloomers like sedum and asters are just starting to open up and the Hydrangea paniculatas are gorgeous. Anyway, instead of deadheading yesterday I decided to walkabout with the camera and lounge on the patio waiting for hummingbirds. I can't think of a better way to spend a late August afternoon.

This gorgeous Lotus was a gift from a friend and is the first Lotus I've ever had bloom here in the garden. Loving it!

The Bumble Bees love it too!

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' - the hummingbirds love it

Clematis 'Mrs. Robert Brydon' scrambles through the terrace garden this time of the year
The light changes so quickly in the afternoons, this picture was taken about five minutes before the next one.
Amazing what a shaft of sunlight does.

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' with Chasmanthium 'River Mist'

Tricyrtis, how can anyone call this beautiful flower a Toadlily?

Heuchera blossoms amidst Rudbeckia

Chasmanthium 'River Mist' with Phlox 'Shockwave'

Castor Bean seedhead

Alocasia portodora
Ensete maurelii
Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi'

Brugmansia 'Shorty's Variegated'
The butterflies have been scarce this summer. This is the first Painted Lady I've seen
A seedling sedum that produces gorgeous yellow flowers with purple leaves. One of my favorite things!

Hydrangea 'Pinky Winky'

Hybrid Tea Rose 'Fascination'

Hybrid Tea Rose 'Fascination'

And yet another shot of 'Fascination'

Phlox paniculata 'Shockwave'