Monday, August 15, 2011

CM's Late Bloomer Post for August - With Butterfly and Bees

Yes, I was too busy for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day again. My non-blog, non-garden, non-work projects are so nearly finished, yet still not quite -- it's Xeno's paradox all over again!

So I haven't had time to try and ID the native bees or wasps or flies - whatever they are - in the photos below. So if you know.... I think the butterfly at the bottom is a crown fritillary.

The locally native wild sticky monkeyflower in the pool garden is looking lush still. It is in imported richer soil and gets a bit of watering. The ones in the wild, in the mudstone with no water - they are looking ragged now.


Also in the pool garden, the coyote mint is - oh so fragrant!


I love my spice bush!


I like how the pool garden border is beginning to shape up. I need to think about what to do here in fall to improve it! One disappontment: the hollyhocks bloomed wonderfully - and got huge! - but all the leaves got some kind of fungal infection.

I notice that this naked buckwheat plant's blooms are a lot pinker than the others. I'm going to try and take seeds from it and see if they grow into pinker ones too.


It's been fun watching the activity around the naked buckwheat. What is this fellow? A naked honeybee ;-)


Is this a hover fly?

I love this one's shining eyes:

This is a honeybee, right?

Here is the mass that is attracting them. With the lovely old satellite stand in the background (from the former owners' day), which we think one day Pete Veilleux might help us transform into a garden goddess sculpture!

Here they are in the pool garden - richer soil, more water - they got huge and all flopped over in a tangle of madia and buckwheat:

Here's a madia blossom, front...

And back!:


I like how this container came out, with a lupine and a madia and a monkeyflower - bit hard to see in this shot. (And btw we've decided to shingle the greenhouse wooden siding - instead of painting it - so it matches the house):



and one butterfly I haven't seen before, on the coyote mint! Crown fritillary maybe - Speyeria coronis?

In other garden news...

I've been fairly active in the garden this past couple of weekends, pruning and thinning out the chaparral shrubs near the top of the slope that falls away from our south garden - it's another area for prettification this fall, but a challenging one - dry slope with that powdery native soil, not very deep. It would be nice to get a touch of color in there - under and between the manzanita and toyon. Some perennials - good for the "defensible zone."

And again I failed to propagate our local artemesia from cuttings! how can I propagate that plant! It's hard for me to even recognize its seeds.

Oh and a nice little event - I had parked and hopped out of my car on a slightly wider bit of the creekside road, to check on the progress of the leopard lily seed pods (still not ready), and a truck pulled up. I'm used to people stopping to ask me if I'm alright or need help when I'm botanizing along the road like that - such a friendly place we live in! - but this time the guy who hailed me said "Looking at the tiger lilies? Fabulous aren't they!" (They are also known by the common name of tiger lilies.) And he told me where to see some more that I had missed, down the embankment on the other side of the road. So nice to meet a fellow enthusiast! Made me cheerful for the rest of the day. To view pictures of this lovely native bulb (Lilium pardalinum) in full bloom, see my earlier post, Leopard Lily in Full Bloom.

And -- we are going ahead with the natural pool conversion, with planning support from Rana Creek. Already a person from Rana Creek came by to take detailed measurements!

Triple megasize YAY!!

9 comments:

Joe said...

Your garden is truly beautiful! Thanks for the tour. :)

Town Mouse said...

Wow! Love that madia. Next year I really have to propagate some.

queerbychoice said...

Looks great, as always! With the artemisia, is the problem that it's difficult to distinguish the seeds from the flowers? Maybe when you see the flowers, you could try fastening some sort of container under them to catch the seeds.

Country Mouse said...

Thanks for leaving a comment! - QBC yes, I can't tell the flowers from the seeds. Your idea is good! - TM I have seeds to share to be sure! I'm curious to know if they will self-sow. A friend said she did not have good results attempting to naturalize them on her property.

Sue Langley said...

Wonderful photos of the flowers you have blooming. I'm eager myself to see the blooms of new ones I planted, that I've seen from your garden. Fun!

Do you ever just lay seedheads down to have them grow where you want them?

Country Mouse said...

Hi Sue,
I haven't had much luck with yarrow seedheads or penstemon. Yarrow in general, oddly, does not seem to grow well for me here. For everyone else it's a weed. Maybe I'll try it in the protected pool garden - prob bunnies eating it. It's a good suggestion and I'll get some artemisia seed heads. I read that you should gather it in October - will give that a go. Put some in flats, some in soil in ground, and maybe stratify some - see what works.

James said...

Interesting to see the variety in naked buckwheat colors. Our local E. fasciculatum populations include both white and decidely (pale) pink individuals. Maybe I'll take a clue from you and see if they come true from seed.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

The honeybees is the fuzzy one. The others -- that look like bees -- are some kind of hover fly. Look at their eyes, and you'll see that they look like fly eyes. Also, they don't have much in the way of antennae.

Country Mouse said...

Hey Lisa and Robb - thanks for those tips. I have so much to learn. That's the joy of it though!