Posts Tagged ‘hydrangea’

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Protecting the Garden: A Dog’s Tale

May 29, 2016

Awakened by a noise, the sleeping dog jolted. He sat erect and stiff with a low growl in his throat. His head jerked to the right. Something in the shadows had moved. The dog lunged across the grasses and ran into the jungle like the wolfdog in his dreams.

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He followed an unfamiliar scent and treaded around the bottlebrush, rustling the foliage. Delicate red spikes dropped, sticking to his fur. A hummingbird dived in for nectar. The dog growled at the intrusion and tuned away.

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He sniffed along a path between Santa Barbara Daisies

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and whimsical Love-in-a-Mist.

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The dog, still a wolfdog in his mind, confidently moved alongside the butterfly bushes, purple clusters dangling over hydrangea blooms.

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Bored, he settled among the shadows and guarded the jungle entrance, satisfied his courage and colossal statue had banished the unseen intruder.

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Butterfly Bush (Buddleia spp.): full sun; zones 5-10, spring bloomer, attracts butterflies

Dwarf Callistemon (bottlebrush): full sun, zones 8-9, 12-24, spring bloomer, draught tolerate

Santa Barbara Daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus): full sun/light shade, zone vary by species, annual, blooms spring – fall

Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascene): sun-partial shade, all zones, annual, blooms late spring/early summer, reseeds

Hydrangea: full sun on coast, partial shade inland, zone vary by species, late spring/late summer/early fall

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Spring Bloom Tour

June 9, 2015

Before spring blooms come to an end, here’s a look at some of the flowering plants in my perennial garden.

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First up is Buddleia, a whimsical deciduous (or evergreen depending on your zone) shrub or tree. I love these because they attract butterflies and humming birds. I have six Buddleias, three in a row on two sides of the garden. Although they serve as an enclosure, I can see through them because of their wispy-like branches.

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This Hydrangea was a grocery-store gift from hubby. Last fall, I transplanted it from a container to the garden. What a wonderful pop of color these white clusters add to the garden.

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Cosmos . . . and my only blossom. I planted seedlings in three different locations. Snails loved these and quickly devoured the Cosmos in the bed near the front door. No explanation for losing the others. Perhaps the soil is too rich which the Sunset Western Garden Book says to avoid.

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Aww, red! Dwarf Callistemon (bottlebrush). I have to admit there are two things I don’t like about this plant. Even though the leaves are tiny, they shed throughout the year and create quite a mess. Also, the blossoms are not self-cleaning and have to be deadheaded.

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Spiraea is a small deciduous shrub with beautiful flower clusters that also have to be deadheaded. But I enjoy this plant so much, I don’t mind the work. Mine are fifteen years old and only waist high. So there’s no reaching or climbing a ladder when it is time to trim.

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Tall Verbena (Verbena bonariensis) is my favorite perennial. I LOVE the architectural structure. Little purple clusters sit on thin, six-foot tall stems. The view of neighboring plants isn’t blocked! The stems are so strong no staking is needed. Tall Verbena is difficult to photograph, but in person it is the STAR of the garden. Drought Tolerant. Attracts butterflies.

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That’s the end of the tour. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know there are other spring-flowering plants in my garden (begonias, variegated iris, Santa Barbara Daisies, saliva, snow in summer, and a few more), but I figured you have probably seen enough of those!

I would love to hear what spring blooms you have photographed and which flowers are you favorite?

Oh, I have updated my “About” page. Take a look.

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In and Around my Garden

July 6, 2011

Because of all the late spring rains and last week’s summer downfall, my snapdragons developed milddew. I neglected to keep an eye out for early signs and I had to pull them out. But first, I salvaged the blooms by stripping the leaves before snipping the stems near the base. Then I placing them in a bucket of water sitting next to me. Cut flowers will last longer when put immediately into water. This boutique will give me about ten days of pleasure.


 

Three years after planting two dwarf bottlebrush plants, blooms have finally emerged.


Other flowering plants in and around my garden are lavender, society garlic, vinca, begonia, hydrangea,  Santa Barbara daisy, potato vine, butterfly bush, pomegranate, columbine, calendula, Victoria blue salvia, black-eyed Susan, and the one pictured below.  Can you guess what plant produces the flowers in the photo below?

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