Tuesday, September 30, 2014

End of Month Views September 2014

A few cool, cloudy days with some rain and today a mist leaves the garden verdantly awaiting fall.

Come with me for a quick walk through the gardens, starting near the house.

Brugmansias in a last hurrah.

Looking SW in front of the house across White Shrimp
Plant and red Pentas toward a bed of Lycoris radiata.

 Imagine that you walked down the south drive and across the lawn and looked back.

 Turn around and you look at Purples and Yellows:

From the Front Gardens we go up these rough steps to the Upper Garden. There are Angel Wing Begonias atop the dry stacked brick wall at right, Salvia leucantha coming into bloom beyond in front of rosemary and farther in, Lycoris radiata.

The Upper Garden has long paths. Stick House at left overlooks a field of 
Peanuts ready for harvest when the rain moves out.

Long paths through the Upper Garden end at the Oval Lawn on the east end.

Roses, Pentas and a late blooming Brug blooming in this bed.
Understory trees include Dogwood and Loropetalum.
Dogwoods have berries, Loropetalum has fall rebloom.

Two views of the Pole Garden on the upper side of
the Upper Garden. Summering tropical plants have
already left the their pole pedestals.

Field road through the north side of the Upper 
Garden which has a bottle tree and Tropical plants.

Thanks to Ronnie of Hurtled to 60 for the reminder that it was time to join Helen at a Patient Gardener for end of month views.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Newly Discovered Old Plants: Lespedeza and Evening Primrose

Every year I discover plants new to me growing in the wild. They've been somewhere nearby all the time; they just turn up in new places or I notice them in a different light.

I'm pretty sure I never saw Lespedeza virginica growing in the meadows before.

I might have missed the Lespedeza had I not gone across the meadow to look at this clump of Eupatorium. Then I was so excited to find Lespedeza I forgot to make more pics of the Eupatorium.

This is the only clump I saw in several acres of meadow.

Lespedeza, a legume.

The seeds are eaten by game birds, particularly Bobwhite Quail.

On the way out the gate, I saw Evening Primrose in the ditches on each side of the dirt road. I've seen these yellow flowers before but never paid much attention to them. Evening Primrose to me is the low growing pink flowers seen in the median of the four lane highways between here and T'ville, planted by the DOT.

A closer look showed a tall plant, lying on the 
ground. It was probably 5' tall.

Oenothera biennis, Evening Primrose

The heart shaped leaves belong to morning glory, sharing
the ditch.

There is another little primrose, Sundrops, that grows throughout the meadow.

You can read about various cultivars of the Oenothera tribe Here. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Purple Gerardia and Bluestems in the Wild Garden

How do all the various plants know when to be ready for the first cool fall days? Isn't it wonderful they're all primed and ready to burst into a new show?

What is truly wonderful is which plants know to plant themselves together, like the Bluestem, Silk Grass and Purple Gerardia above.

Let's take a closer look at Purple Gerardia, Agalinis purpurea.  The tallest plant above was 5 feet tall, unusual for Agalinis. It is just starting to bloom.

Sometimes called False Foxglove, 
Agalinis is one host for Buckeye butterflies.

Buckeye caterpillar.

A closer look at Little Bluestem growing with
Beautyberry and a clump of Eupatorium.

Big Bluestem

It was hard to decide just how many wildflowers you could stand in one blog post. I wanted to present them a little differently than last year. Some posts about the wild garden from last year can be seen by going to Agalinis in the Wild Garden.

In the next post I have two wild flowers that I've never blogged about: one I had never seen here and the other I never knew for sure about its name.

Friday, September 26, 2014

In Search of Wildflowers

Our Autumn Wildflowers are colorful and interesting. I usually find at least one new thing each season.  I found two today.

When I go to look for wildflowers, I usually go to the north end of the farm where there's less cultivation. I was not out of the yard before I found this Centrosema, species undetermined. 

Actually I found it when I went to throw spoiled veggies in the old stock tank that I used for composting. 

Emerging from the leaf mold in front of the compost bin 
were pinkish mushrooms that I have not yet tried to identify.

A last look at the butterfly pea.
This one is pink, unlike the blue ones I see at woods' edge.

Usually I just make one huge post with all the wildflowers I found. This week I think I'll make short posts featuring a single flower or two.

I though this was interesting, I'd never seen a grapevine climb a tree by grabbing onto Spanish moss. Muscadines are agressive climbers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Squirrels' Picnic

I see white mushrooms partly eaten and discarded in the lawn all the time.

Today it looked as if the squirrels set a little table for two. All that remained were two mushroom stems and a few crumbs.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Summer Goes Out in Flames

The sun reflects off red flowers making them look as though they are aflame.



Datura in flames of Tithonia

Gulf Fritillary on Tithonia

Flames were extinguished when a thunderstorm blew in this afternoon.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Refulgent Lycoris Radiata

Beams of evening sunlight seem to set Lycoris on fire.

They multiply in rich well-drained soil.

Naked stems hold aloft spider-like blooms.

Following bloom, green strap-like foliage will persist through the winter, making a great border for perennials and shrubs. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bloom Day -- Still Summer

There is no hint of fall in the air. Even Sassafras has no red leaves. Hot and humid here in the Coastal South.

We are seeing flower stems of late summer/fall blooming bulbs emerge. I don't know how they decide it is time.

Lycoris radiata and Rhodofiala bifida

Porterweeds show their true colors to attract butterflies.

Zinnias, Marigolds and Tithonia all attract butterflies. 
I would like you to believe I planned for mostly orange.

I did plan for Pentas to bloom in all colors. They will bloom until late fall.

Loropetalum makes a good addition to the southern garden.
They start bloom early spring before the Azalea show and again in fall.

Two Autumn blooming Sages: Salvia leucantha and Pineapple Sage.

Pink Crape Myrtle backs Roses coming back in bloom for fall.

Happy Bloom Day.

Bloom Day links are HERE. Join Carol and friends for a Fall Flower Festival.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Where is Autumn?

Fall is a bit late this year. You can see everything blooming on Bloom Day a year ago HERE.

I went to the far meadow where Lane mowed the paths out. I didn't see deer but I saw plenty for them to eat. On the way past the cornfield, I saw doves galore.

Wildflowers are different every year. Wind blows seeds to the east. Not much is blooming yet. I saw one small patch of yellow Solidago, the rest is still just green. Eupatorium is not as plentiful as last year and Rabbit tobacco is scarce. Maybe rabbits have given up chewing? What I did see was single stalks, not very tall. Last year Rabbit tobacco was tall and showy. 

Silk Grass is plentiful but not yet blooming, nor is Agalinis. The plants are lush and Silk Grass stems are tall. I saw two Buckeye butterflies.

Liatris is blooming purple on the roadside in front of the neighbors' house. There are a number of native grasses growing up tall and ready to bloom. I can't call the names of any of them except Little Bluestem, I just know they're natives.

Different this year is that Elephantapus was blooming a month ago. Few tiny pink blossoms remain in the tricorn bracts. 

I went to look at the persimmon trees that grow in the fence line. Since Lane cut down the big persimmon, 4 small trees have grown up. Three of them are loaded with small persimmons, already turning orange but I'm sure would turn your mouth inside out'ards.

I didn't see our friend the big Gopher Turtle who lives in the highway right of way. He's managed to survive these many years.

You can see persimmons from 2009 and the Gopher Tortoise's home and read about him HERE

Lycoris radiata is about to bloom. Pic from 2011.
Naked Lady stems and buds showed up after a rain.

Cool Spider from Front and Back

I almost ran into the web which would have been shameful, he's doing a wonderful job building a beautiful orb.

I'm guessing he's of the Argiope tribe.