Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July Garden Blooms

You might think this is five days late, but really it's 26 days early (holla!) for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. This gorgeous Rocky Mountain beeplant (Cleome serrulata) came in a Rocky Mountain Native Wildflower seed packet from BBB Seeds. (It gets the coolest legumey-/beany-looking seed pods.)

...as did this noogie cute Coreopsis tinctoria--I mean, even the bud has gorgeous color.

A little splash of color.

...and close-up.

My 'Uchiki Kuri' squash is just wonderful on many levels. Its bright yellow flowers are so sunny and friendly...

... and attract many busy pollinators (look at the hind legs, noogie!).

...and, oh yeah, it has fruit, too.

My first rose ever 'Golden Wings' is doing well, despite being in my care. Thanks, Nancy Lindley, for the recommendation.

The chocolate cosmos buds are nearly black (!)...

...and open up a warm reddish brown.

The planter on my north-facing side porch (the only non-veggie container I have) is looking really good. I planted those Coleus from seed! The elephant ears (Colocasia 'Illustris' circa 1902 from Ann Arbor's Old House Gardens) come in the house over the winter, and ferns I have up the ying yang and treat as annuals. Bizi doesn't normally photobomb (!) my shots but she gives a good size reference.

This Echinops reminds me so much of Chihuly's Blue Moon at Meijer Gardens.

The bud of this cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) is just so so sweet all tucked up and ready to rumble. The plant gets 6-7 feet tall and will have little yellow flowers. Mine is planted entirely in the wrong location (not enough sun, too dry) but it gets to over 5 feet. (I mean to move it every year and somehow never have.)

Cup plant has a square stem that shoots up through the leaves, and collects water. Larger insects like bees and butterflies drink from this water, whereas tiny ones get stuck and the plant absorbs them to help it grow. (H/t to Prairie Moon Nursery for the carnivorous bit.)

One of the sunflowers that grew from spilled birdseed.

I have three rose of Sharons, two white and one purple, along the bed next to my neighbor's driveway. I got them as tiny sticks in 2004 from a person in my master gardener class, and now they're at least 6 feet tall.

My balloon flowers tend to get very leggy because I forget to cut them back in time.

This huge clump (maybe 10-ft. wide by over 5-ft. tall) of native sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) is in my south wild bed.

Helianthus divaricatus up close.

Ligularia stenocephala 'The Rocket' does indeed rock it in my east wild bed.

I have two huge clumps of gooseneck loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides 'Marlene'), which I painstakingly keep in check each spring. I'm not usually one to do garden things painstakingly, but a friend and coworker, who has since passed away, gave me these when I was first starting my garden and I can't bear to get rid of them entirely. (I have no idea what the real cultivar is, I call them Marlene in her honor.)

I have tons of clumps of Rudbeckia, even in shady locations.

A few large clumps of native bee balm (Monarda fistulosa)...

I found this heart-shaped chomp in the bee balm leaf and immediately thought of Katie.

A few cultivar bee balms (Monarda didyma) have self-seeded where they want to go.

Many clumps of Echinacea, including this big one (I was envious of Rose's clump before realizing I have my own, lol!)

Front of the house, looking south. Yes, friends, things are looking a little wild at Garden Faerie's Musings this year.

I love the bright fuchsia of this swamp milkeeed (Asclepias incarnata)... and I love that Asclepias is a public way of saying ass...

And check out this cute red milkweed beetle on, amazingly enough, my milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)--thanks Lisa for the bug ID in your most recent post! These beetles are immune to the toxins in milkweed but absorb them so they taste yucky to predators, much like monarch and viceroy butterflies.

Ah, orange. Glorious orange. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is one of my favorite flowers. Attracts butterflies, my favorite color, no big surprise there.

Yes, it really is 4:30 a.m., this is not a scheduled post. I've been up since 3:00 because Jimi, Radioactive Cat, has been yowling (meowing is too quiet a word) non-stop for about 8 hours. He had radiation (iodine) therapy for a thyroid problem and has to be isolated for two weeks, which he doesn't understand at all. I can only have limited contact with him. We're both a little exhausted! (Dear ASPCA: The photo shows him in the car right after I picked him up from the vet; he is in my spare bedroom now, not a tiny cat carrier! Also, I don't wear fur except what has been shed. Thank you.)

Update: I just got clarification from the regular vet who wasn't there yesterday when Jimi was discharged: I only have to isolate him at night (because he usually sleeps next to me and 8 hours is too much exposure) and if I leave the house (so I can be sure he doesn't use Fiona's litter box or eat her food). It's a good thing I'm a self-unemployed hermit I work from home!


  1. Good Morning Monica, I too am up before I wanted to be. Another big storm just ripped through here. I usually sleep through storms but this one was quite noisy with flashing light.

    Your garden looks delightful. Of course I like a "full" garden.

    I hope your kitty gets well soon so you can all sleep better.

  2. How funny - I immediately thought of Chihuly's Blue Moon when I saw your Echinops picture. And then I read your caption. Great minds think alike! :-)

    Poor Jimi. I showed Shadow his picture and told him that he's going to be put in jail if he doesn't stop bringing all the dirty laundry up from the basement while I'm sleeping or at work.

  3. Wow! Lots doing in your garden. Fabulous photo of the bee. I'm glad to hear Golden Wings is so dependable. I will have to add it to my collection.

  4. Poor Jimi! I hope he is feeling better soon. I was up at 2 AM because Sophie decided she needed to do some more business. I'm sure Jimi will be happy to get out and socialize again. And I also don't wear fur...but I do wear furry clothes:)

    Your garden is looking gorgeous, Monica! I love the clumps of coneflowers and is it sneezeweed? I can't remember its botanical name right now. Of course, I love "wild" gardens and any kind of native plantings. Great photo of the chocolate cosmos--now I get it why everybody raves over these! Thanks for the link love, too:)

    Great close-up of the bees! And I agree the Echinops does look eerily like Chihuly's 'Blue Moon.'

    Except for one weekend, Sept. sounds good for Chibot--I'll be in touch.

  5. Appreciate your photo perspectives, love the bees. My sympathies on your cat situation, that's worse than the cone for a dog.

  6. Poor James. Animals just don't understand and that is what makes medical so hard for them IMHO. Your pretties are wonderful. A friend was asking if anyone knew what kind of flower she had at garden club and none of knew. Now I know! The coreopsis tinctoria. I called her and told her. She unfortunately does not use computers. It is a cool plant! Thanks for showing it. All your lovelies look good. Even the gooseneck. How the heck do you keep it in check??

  7. I am very impressed with your early Bloom Day post! Please don't tell me you are the kind of gal that has all her Christmas shopping done a month early!

    I am in love with your Chocolate Cosmos! But then I am in love with anything chocolate....mmmmm, Dove Dark Chocolate...focus--focus.

    Poor little Jimi. It's so hard to see them sad, sick, or hurt...no matter how often you tell them it is for their own good, they just don't understand (much like human children). I hope he is better soon and his treatment a success.

    I can understand why you put up with Loosestrife's "loose" ways. It is striking, and I bet the hummers and butterflies love it.

    Your garden looks wonderful. So much going on--so many blooms--so full and vibrant.

  8. Lots going on this month in your garden Monica, it doesn't look wild to me, just lush & beautiful! That planter with the Coleus & Elephant's Ear is really doing great and love how your kitty got in the pic. lol ;) Sorry to hear about your other kitty being ill, hope he gets well soon so he can be less isolated from you & the rest of the household.

  9. Gardens are gorgeous! I had one of those nights the other night but didn't even think to do a post at 3 am.Thanks for sharing all the great photo-shots!!! Meg

  10. Hi Monica, good luck with the kitty, I hope he recovers quickly and completely.

    Your Mardi Gras is looking great. Mine isn't blooming very well this year.

  11. hello Monica! The diseases cats can get~We do love them a great deal and want them to be healthy! Give Jimi a nice purrfect pat from me.

    Love your wildflowers et al! Now it doesn't look wild to my eyes! I wasn't able to locate the chocolate cosmos this year~it is way cool and love the chomped heart~

    A beautiful early GBBD~

  12. Monica.....hope that Jimi continues to do well. Poor thing....

    Your garden is lovely Monica....it shows, all the hard work that you have put into it.

    I love the milkweek and the cleome.....both are gorgeous.....wish I had them in my garden.

  13. Those chocolate cosmos are beautiful.

  14. Hi Monica! thanks for stopping by..

    The Vchiki Kuri Squash.. It's flower and it's fruit are Gorgeous! the bees are really cute too" all coated in pollen..

    I too love Orange in the garden both it and the color yellow make me happy!

    Did you happen to see the Sunflower planted by the birds in my photo?

    Hope.. Jimi recovers faster than you expect him to.. It must be annoying for you both...


  15. P.S.. Monica I forgot to mention your new profile photo.. It's really cute"

    I like it of you standing in that tall corn..It makes such a pretty back ground and it matches your blog page..


  16. 26 days early. Crack me up.

    Sorry to hear Jimi is uncomfortable. This too shall pass!

  17. Wow, you have some great flowers. I like clumps. it looks so much more organized. Your gooseneck loosestrife is beautiful, and has such a beautiful history.

    I don't know what that beetle is, but I get them in my garden too.

    Hope your kitty gets better soon.

  18. Monica, what a wonderful trat to see so much of your gardens. They are all lovely. Not wild, just full of beauty. :) Be sure to save some othe chocolate cosmos for the seed exchange-wow what a color.

    I have a yellow butterfly weed that I am going to try to save the seed from and will send you some to go with the orange. They really look good together.

    Hope kitty starts to feel better soon and I hope you can both start getting more rest.

  19. Hi Monica, you have very beautiful flowers there, but most of them are alien to me, as i am from the tropics. But what specifically caught my attention is the very unique color of cosmos, we only have the yellow and orange, or pink somewhere though not with me. Do you think they might also grow here. How i wish to have some seeds of those. hehe. BTW, sorry about what your pet is going through.

  20. All looks wild and wonderful in your impressive photos, Monica. Don't you just love our chocolate cosmos ... I was wondering! Your shots are great! Do hope Jimi is on the mend and you are both getting a decent night's sleep. ((Hugs))

  21. Stunning picture of the flowers, will definitely make my day. Keep posting.

  22. Beautiful photos of your beautiful blooms Monica! I'm so happy the kuri squash is doing well and producing fruit. I too love the blooms. I think you'll you'll love the brilliant orange color as they ripen. I hope you'll enjoy eating the squash as much I do - best squash I've ever tasted - yum!

    I hope Jimi's treatment keeps him around for a good long time, and makes the sacrifices you're both making well worthwhile. I know how much he means to you.

  23. Great article and wonderful photos..like them...

    Keep on posting!

  24. Your whole garden is rockin' it, Monica, not just the Lig! Oh poor James, and good for you doing the right thing to help him get better. Too funny about wearing the fur, we are covered with it at all times it seems. I have been considering the cup plant, just trying to find the right spot for such a giant. Love that bee shot in the squash! :-)

  25. Monica, I like that, self-unemployed hermit. I'm one too when I get the chance. I'm glad he doesn't have to be cooped up all the time.

    You wrote about Coreopsis tinctoria too! I love that little annual. It's so pretty. In fact, all of your flowers look so great and fresh. Mine are kind of burned right now. High heat and no water for a few days while we fixed the irrigation system. Life is complicated you know?~~Dee

  26. Fantastic pictures. I love Rosa 'Golden Wings' - one of the best singles. Have you seen 'Mrs Oakley-Fisher'? It's also single, but a rich apricot.

    The Coreopsis tinctoria gets my vote, though. What a classy plant!

  27. I'm so amazed with the beautiful flowers you have in your garden. Keep it up.