Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cone Flowers Upclose

My cone flowers are doing great this year. Probably the best year yet. So I got out the camera and snapped a few for future reference.

I planted two different varieties. Magna was one type and I forgot the name of the other. I just looked up the correct names......the photo below is of Magnus and the second photo is Ruby Star.

Did you notice that the petals are different? On one type the petal sticks out and the other the petals droop. I could stick a Viagra joke in here but I won't. Just chuckle and smirk and let's move on.'s a little honey bee. He's a busy little bee.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I've Got a Monkey on my Back and It's Called Daylily

Oh boy.......I figured out how to legitimize my day lily addiction.

Once I get my fence row cleared out and plant more lilacs, I will need to fill in spots with plants that are hardy. Day lilies fit the bill. Day lilies are on sale right now.

So that means I bought more day lilies.

Daring Deception.....a lovely day lily for close to the house. I also bought a dark purple day lily but it is currently not blooming.I bought 6 each of these two types of miniature day lilies. The yellow variety is eenie meenie and the other variety is eenie allegro. They only grow to 12 inches tall. We decided to use hot bright colors in the outside fence row planting area. Our reasoning was that as people speed by at 55 mph they will be able to see bright flowers easier than plants with flowers of subdued color like pale pink.I can also add in all the orange/dark rust color day lilies I have in the back yard.

Speaking of addictions. I normally cut the flowers stalks off my hostas unless they are white. Since I have been side tracked with other projects, this chore went undone. But lo and behold of the hostas has bloomed with a dark purple flower stalk. Not only dark purple but stripped dark purple.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Feel a Day Lily Addiction Starting

I like easy to care for plants. You know the kind you stick in the ground and occasionally water and maybe give them a dose of fertilizer now and again. Finicky plants don't belong in my garden, I haven't the patience for them. This is why I like hostas, day lilies, shrub roses, and peonies.

My hosta addiction is going strong but I rarely find a hosta I don't already own. I might be able to add one or two here and there but I'll save those spots for something special. So it's on to day lilies. I purchased several more the other day and filled in a bed that has killed a handful of plants already. This bed also has irises happily growing so I know day lilies can take the heat and occasionally dryness that this bed throws at it's residents.

Check out these additional day lilies that are now blooming in my yard.

An unknown variety that was on sale for 5 bucks.
Strawberry CandyPandora's Box
I have finally figure out which is which with these next two day lilies.

This is Silk Stockings and.....
this is Bela Lugosi........I think......don't hold me to it.
I have another variety that should open tomorrow.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Garden Update

Let take a walk around and see what is new in the garden.

Only a few new flowers blooming in the garden currently. Of course the hostas are in bloom but I normally cut the flowers off the hostas unless it's a white fragrant bloom.

The next two photos from different angles of the same hosta bed out by the street. You can see in the second photo the awful looking chair link fence. My plan is to paint it satin black in the hopes that it fades into the background when you look at it. Right now it just sticks out like a sore thumb.
Here are two of my favorites hostas. June in the foreground and Krossa Regal in the background. Slightly to the left is the upright hosta called Praying Hands.Normally I do not mulch but I found that at this house is it necessary. This rose bed by the driveway is just one of those places. The lavender is finally starting to look filled in and spectacular. But of course there is always one or two plants that will not cooperate. I am waiting to remove one almost dead lavender and will buy two to replace it when plants go on sale this fall.
An unmarked sale rose that I recently purchased.A Portland rose that is very fragrant but on the small side. Also the blooms last maybe two days, max.
These three butterfly bushes are suppose to be Black Knight but I am skeptical. They tend to me more of a medium purple and no where near as dark as the photos of Black Knight that I have seen elsewhere.This I believe is a white version of Veronica or the common name Speedwell but don't quote me on that.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fruit on the Trees and on the Ground

I'm at loss for why our fruit will not stay on the trees. R thinks it's because the tree just are not big enough yet to sustain the fruit.

All the peaches, nectarines, and apricots have all dropped off the trees. Apples, plums, and pears are hanging on. The plums are falling but we still have fruit on the trees. The Stanley plums are doing the best of all the plum varieties. The pears have always done well especially the Asian pears. We didn't spray the apples so they are looking bad but at least 50% are still on the trees.

These next photos are of 3 different types of plums. We have a 4th type, Satsuma plum, but the Japanese beetles have had a sweet old time and have destroyed all the fruit and some of the leaves.
20th Century Asian Pear.

Another variety of Asian pear.The next two are Comice and Keiffer but I don't know which is which.
We also have some tomatoes. Earlier in the week we had our first BLT of the year that was made with one of our home grown tomatoes. Despite the unfriendly tomato weather, we did pick two maters this last week. Even though we planted Early Girl, our first tomato was a smallest Mortgage Lifter and an average size Amish Paste tomato. While taking photos today I noticed several more that are starting to turn. Early Girl was not among them. I guess I must have bought the late blooming variety of Early Girl.Either Brown Berry or Grape tomato.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gear Acres' Day Lilies

Despite the cool weather........let me rephrase that......despite the cold weather we have been experiencing in Michigan this July the day lilies are blooming.

I like day lilies. They are so reliable. I have never lost a transplanted day lily and day lilies are fairly bug resistant. About the only insects that have harmed any of my day lilies are the ants. The ants built an ant hill on top of the plant and this causes the leaves to die but I bet it will come back next year.

I've tried to keep my day lily buying limited to pinks, purples, reds, and whites. This spring I transplanted a day lily of unknown color from the Torrey Road house to the Grand Blanc house. The plant never bloomed because it was planted in heavy shade. This past week it bloomed. Once I saw the bloom it jogged my memory and I remember buying it. I have no idea the name but I purchased it because it was a very very dark purple....almost black.The next day lilies are called Little Grapette. They are short like me.These are kind of red and kind of burgundy. Pardon Me is the name.
I think the next day lily is called Prairie Blue Eyes.
I have no idea what the name is of this cream color day lily. More than likely it was labeled 'white' but I think it is more of a cream color than white.When it comes to day lilies I prefer mine to be tetraploids.

According to

Tetraploid daylilies are heralded by some growers as having a number of advantages over diploids. In the tetraploid:
  • Flowers tend to be larger.
  • Colors of the flower tend to be more intense.
  • Scapes tend to be sturdier and stronger.
  • Substance of both flower and foliage tend to be heavier.
  • Vegetative vigor in leaf, stem, and flower tend to be greater.
  • Breeding possibilities tend to be greater because of an increased number of chromosomes
Diploid daylilies continue to charm growers with their exquisite flower form, grace, and color.
  • Good pink daylilies are still more prevalent in the diploid ranks.
  • Spider and double daylilies are still more prevalent in the diploid ranks.
  • Diploid daylilies are easier to cross than tetraploids.
  • Many diploid daylilies have been converted to tetraploids, thus advancing the tetraploid lines.
  • There are more diploids than tetraploids.

I like tetraploids because the petals are thicker.

The fact that I can just cut them down to the ground in the fall and that's it is another big advantage of day lilies. Another plus is that when they need dividing you can just cut them in half with a shovel, throw the divided plant into a hole and plant.
I promised you an updated photo of the Monarda (bee balm) plant. Guess what???? Last year I must of purchased multiple colors because I have flowers that are red, burgundy, pink, and light lavender.
Here are a couple of light pink lilies that sprouted up in the middle of my white lilies.My cone flowers are in full bloom.
And before you think that I have forsaken my hostas, here is a photo of Blue Mouse Ears in bloom. Isn't it just adorable. The entire clump is about the size of my hand.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Garden Tool and More Flowers

My neighbor, Mr. Frost, gave me this garden tool a couple of weeks ago. It works great. I have soil that tends to compact and get hard. This tool breaks up the clumps and loosens the weeds.
Here is the soil around the roses after a quick tune up with the Garden Claw. A bonus is that it needs no fuel except elbow grease and emits no hydrocarbon filled emissions.I think this daisy is called Crazy Daisy and the one below it is Sunny Side Up.
This is a close up of my neighbor's climbing rose. I think it is called Seven Sisters. We have the south side of the fence so we get to enjoy the flowers more than they do. The flowers are on the small side but they bloom in large clusters. They only bloom once a summer but appear to be very very hardy.
These lilies are blooming in the back and the lilies in the following photo are blooming in the front yard. Don't they look like white lilies that have been spray painted in the center.
This pink lily is accessorized with a little green bug.
This Monarda or bee balm is just starting to bloom. I think I am going to try and find other colors of bee balm. I really like how they change daily as they mature. I'll try to get a newer photo tomorrow so you can see the difference a day makes.The lavender is looking great!!!!!
I bought two pink lavender plants last year. The jury's out on whether or not they stay in the current location with all the other lavender. My initial reaction is they are kinda blah.