Monday, August 06, 2012

Lily Perfume and Other Lovely Blooms

Tall delicate flowers of Thalictrum rochebrunianum (Giant meadow rue).
 How are your gardens growing?  It is that time of year that we do seem to spend less time in the yard, and the yard isn't doing as much as it was in spring.  Of course, this leaves time for other summer activities. 

Thalictrum seeds itself around generously and I pull out seedlings all around the flower beds, but I leave a few to grow these 6-8 foot delicate towers topped in tiny pink and yellow flowers. The flowers are hard to photograph, hardly appearing more significant than spider webs. 

Oriental lily "Acapulco", planted in fall 2010
 The Oriental lilies seem to be the last lilies to flower in my garden.  They are just getting into their prime today and smell amazing.  Orientals are known for their amazing fragrance.  I would plant some more of these just to have more end-of-summer-color, if I could remember where the empty spots are (the remains of tulips are now disappearing and I can't keep up with my own signage).  I buy my lilies by mail order and plant them in fall.  I prefer to buy only the types of lilies with upwards facing flowers, which includes the LA Hybrids and the Orientals, but not the Martagon lilies and some others. 
Hardy geranium "Rozanne".

 I think the bees, frogs, spiders, and ants enjoy my yard a whole lot.  We see many insects here and they seem to thrive, except for those 300 or so dead ants I just dumped out of the new hummingbird feeder.  That made me decide that there is indeed a purpose for those ant moats they sell to keep ants from hummingbird feeders!  

The hardy geraniums are known to spread seed a fair bit, but Rozanne does not make seeds and has very attractive flowers on a nice compact rounded plant, making it one of the most recommended hardy geraniums.
Large raised bed with Oriental lilies; Lac La Ronge in the background.

Annual poppy Papaver rhoeas
After a losing battle with the squirrels last year, I started my "Tiffany" sunflowers indoors this spring and planted them out as 4 week old plants.  This was more successful and we are getting a few of these bright flowers for August.  I was planning for blooms in fall, but their headstart may have accelerated their blooming season.  "Tiffany" is another sterile flower that doesn't make seeds -- much to the kids' dismay --but this feature ensures that the squirrels won't ravage the blooms either.   

"Heavenly blue" morning glory, an annual vine.
The yard, just before mowing today.