Another mish-mash post!
James has been under the weather, but is getting better. I think it was something he ate. I was up every hour or so with him the other night, but he did the same for me a few years back.
In the Garden
I know I've been going on a bit about it having been a cool, cloudy spring (check out the cool mushrooms on my tree stump, for example!). But now summer is here and it's hot (high of 90) and very very humid. This makes it hard for me to work in the garden, though I have a lot of clover to pull.
I just love gaillardia and I love my camera's macro feature.
Things are looking pretty colorful here at the moment, and that's the way I like it.
The tiger lilies are just starting to bloom...
...as is lavender...
...and creeping thyme. I'll take a wide shot once the whole carpet is in bloom.
I liked how ox-eye daisies inserted themselves in between the evening primrose.
The veggie garden is making overall slow progress, except for the zucchini which has two flowers!
I was amused to find both fuchsia and white blooms on one plant of rose campion. They must hybridize!
The sweet William catchfly (Silene armeria) are the runaway winter-sown plant winner in that they are all blooming their hearts out. I love this annual and it looks really nice near the bright yellow of my yellow chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria) (a perennial winter-sown in 2007 now really coming into its own).
I just love love-in-a-mist, both the flowers and the seed pods. Marnie asked how I plant them, and I literally just sprinkle the seeds on top of the mulch and they do the rest. This grouping sowed itself, even.
Last year I was so excited when my yucca bloomed for the first time since I planted it three (or four?) years before. I know some plants don't like being transplanted and/or take a long time to bloom for the first time. Gardeners are patient. But I assumed it would rebloom every year after that, but it turns out, no. Yucca only bloom from new rosettes every three years or so. I have two plants but they're both on the same cycle, so I won't see blooms again for a while. Bananas!
I almost cried when I saw dozens of echinacea buds all over my garden today. Seriously. Over the past two years, the groundhog ate them off so they never bloomed. This year (knock wood) I haven't seen the groundhog much, and I'm really hoping the echinacea will all bloom (knock wood). I did see a young groundhog the other day, about the size of a fox squirrel, and dagnabbit if it wasn't just so cuuuute! I know if I see a baby, an adult is nearby but I think (knock wood) they're living down the street a bit, instead of in my yard. The two-layer (wire mesh and plastic lattice) fencing my handyman put all around my deck and porches earlier this spring seems to be working (knock wood). I've never minded sharing my garden with wildlife, and in the beginning the groundhog and I had the agreement that s/he could eat a little of everything but not all of anything. And that worked fine until s/he discovered echinacea, which s/he really, really liked.
I haven't seen the turtle since my last post. I'm guessing she laid her eggs in the nature area bordering my house. However, I have seen a deer in my garden a few times since. In the middle of the day, which is odd because deer are crepuscular.
You may recall I decided to visit all of Ann Arbor's ~160 parks this year. I'd done about 50 and then got off course. The other night I visited Lakewood Nature Area as part of a tour. It was a nice forest without the shrubby undergrowth most forests have. You can see a bunch of jewel weed (native) on the ground. These are also called touch-me-nots; not because they're poisonous, because they're not, but because their seeds explode and shoot all the heck over the place. (Which of course makes me want to touch them, but, whatever. No one ever asks me when naming things!) They bloom in orange a bit later in the season.
Unfortunately, my camera was acting up and the rest of the photos from that day look like this. I really need to buy a new camera!
I learned that the burrs of the burdock plant were the inspiration for Velcro and that swallowtail larvae eat only the leaves of prickly ash (Xanthoxylum americanum), and I heard the song of a red-eyed vireo.