Saturday, June 09, 2012

A Spider, and Other Pink and White Things

The kids first spotted something strange on this plant: a white spider with pink stripes.  I had never seen anything like it, but this Golden Crab Spider is not really uncommon.  It is named "Golden" because it likes to be around goldenrod, which grows in the ditches around here.  Articles about crab spiders indicated that they are ambush hunters, hiding out in flowers until other unsuspecting insects wander by.  This is interesting, because when we found it, the spider was directly below a butterfly.  I don't know how it would have managed to eat something that large.  When bothered, the spider clung to a stem and stuck its appendages out at an odd angle, looking a bit like some kind of flower.
Golden Crab Spider on a Bergenia leaf

My tulips are really creating color in the flower beds, with the bulk of the tulips (most are late varieties) blooming now.  I see a few stragglers that should be dug up and disposed of, as they are getting too old and small.  It is interesting that certain colors of the same type of tulip are longer-lived than others.  My dark pink "Florissa" tulips are the most successful I've ever had.  Several other tulips lived their tulip lives and were tossed out while Florissa continues to make respectable blooms for several years.
Double late tulip "Angelique" with a sea of forget-me-nots in the background.

Dicentra spectabilis "Alba", the white version of Bleeding Heart, a hardy shade perennial that blooms in early June.  The plant mostly dies back after blooming.
Raised bed with tulips

White "Wildhof" Triumph tulips in the center raised bed, among growing lilies.  There are direct-seeded cosmos growing in and around these tulips, which I hope to hide the dying tulip foliage.

Blossoms of a wild Viburnum trilobum, often called highbush cranberry.  It is one of the edible berries of the north.  The leaves are distinguished by their three points (as in the name TRI-lobum).
Linum perenne, the perennial flax.  I started these from seed last year and they are now flowering for the first time.  It is a pretty, delicate-looking hardy blue-flowering perennial.  Chives adorn the background in this flowerbed.

The blackflies are zooming around looking for blood these days.  Bug spray is an essential gardening tool now.  I planted my pepper and tomato plants out in containers yesterday, as it looks like the weather should be warm enough for them now.  I robin nesting under the deck harassed me through the whole process.  I can see the edges of the nest just a few inches under the deck boards, but can't quite see those pretty blue eggs.  Soon we'll hear the little chirps, I'm sure.


Northern Shade said...

The Angelique tulips with the forget me nots are a terrific combination. I really like that shot of them.

With my Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba', the ones in the most shade seem to make it the longest through the summer without retiring.

The picture of the Linum perenne makes me want to plant some again. Mine died out as their bed got shadier, but I should put some more in.

Barbara said...

I noticed, I haven't been here commenting for a while. Your garden really looks beautiful. I also like the dicentras (both white and pink) and I'm glad they survived our -18°C this winter. As we'll cut a lot of big trees in order to get some more free space for my plants which were in the rosegarden, I guess, the plants of the shadow corners have to move too. There will be less shadow in my new, old garden, I guess. Everything will look a bit different then.