Monday, September 2, 2019

Garden successes 2019

A few days ago, we managed to catch the monarch butterfly emerging from the chrysalis. I noticed that it had turned all black, which is actually the wing markings showing through the chrysalis. Then the bottom began to split and the butterfly's body dropped out. My husband said "it's too small!" as it only appeared half-size. But its wings were folded up and we were only seeing the smaller set of upper wings. The lower wings had to unfold which they did within about 10 minutes. Then it just hung there. I didn't know how it was going to survive. It was a very windy day.

In above photo, it has just emerged and its wings are scrumpled up, looking quite small.

Now it has moved to the side of its chrysalis and is beginning to unfold those magnificent wings.

It began to walk along the bottom of the deck railing and then climbed up to the top. Very windy up there and there were a few slips. Then it dropped down onto the deck but moved immediately so I knew it wasn't fatally injured. I let it walk onto a piece of paper and moved the paper back up onto the railing. It eventually went over the other side, and dropped again but caught itself on the lattice work. Then it dropped onto the ground where it seemed to be listing  to one side. But a few minutes later, I saw that it had climbed up onto the lattice a few inches above the ground. It remained there for about 2 hours with its wings held together. I figure this was drying time. When we looked again, it had gone.

There are actually a lot of successes this season, but I just took some photos of some of the best as I was watering this morning.

 A total surprise, in the compost pile (one of them) up sprung malva.  I guess when I discarded the plants last fall, it seeded itself in this pile of rich stuff. The prettiest flowers and so unexpected.

Another malva in solid purple. And below is a tomato plant that has sprung up in the compost pile. I think there are three tomato plants here, grown from some cast-off cherry tomatoes last fall.

This is a climbing rose, called "Above All" with lovely salmon orange flowers. It is rated hardy to zone 4 so it will need some protection this winter as we are in zone 3B here.

And dahlia success for sure. Two dahlias (don't know the names, as I discarded the cartons) planted together out of laziness. They sure give a lot of bang for the buck with their plate-sized blooms.

And the prettiest hydrangea of the year award goes to Strawberry Sundae, as the blooms turn to pink. This always has bees drifting in and out of the flowers.

And a personal colour favourite - the purply-pink echinacea with the yellow black-eye susans mingling together.

Sunday, August 25, 2019


 Strawberry Sundae planted August 2018


Strawberry Sunday summer 2019

      Bobo planted summer 2017

                          Bobo summer 2019

   Bobo in front shade bed 2018, no blooms
                Same bobo summer 2019, doing well

 Little Lime Light planted summer 2017

    Little Lime Light summer 2019

 Sweet Summer Peegee planted summer 2018
      Same Peegee summer 2019

Quick Fire hydrangea summer 2018, only 2 blooms

           Quick Fire summer 2019, tons of blooms 

Climbing hydrangea summer 2018
  Climbing hydrangea summer 2019       

Three Lime Light hydrangeas summer 2018

                   Same three summer 2019                       


Bobo hydrangea in front bed summer 2018

            Same Bobo summer 2019

Little Quick Fire in front bed summer 2018

         Same Little Quick Fire summer 2019

   Jack Cataraqui summer 2018

      Jack Cataraqui summer 2019                                                                

Thursday, August 22, 2019

August 22 update

Nice flowers on two dahlias planted close together.

A large purple dahlia on the left and a pink one growing together. Can't remember their names.

Digging out a new bed around the gingko tree. At the back are two daylilies, and on the left, I have planted a gaillardia plus a goose-neck loosestrife that I moved from another bed. It wasn't very visible in its first spot and I find it so pretty that I felt it needed a better location.

Another photo of the new gingko bed. I have planted two blue salvias in the middle and on the right is a potentilla pink beauty. I have also a yellow tickseed to tuck into the left side of this bed. Then I will dig it a little larger in order to have lots of room for pink and yellow tulips this fall.

Another view of the gingko bed. The cosmos planted around the bottom of the new gingko tree have been one of the best flowers this year.

The small bell-flowered clematis that did well last year and has returned again this year, this time  encircling the clothes pole. 

A new hydrangea, Strawberry Fraise, planted on the edge of the back garden. It gets about 4-5 hours of direct sun in this spot. I have noticed that the hydrangeas that get the most sun are putting on the most blooms. 

Hydrangea Strawberry Sundae planted last year is putting on a great show this year. It is definitely in the perfect spot. 

View of the echinacea and black eye susan bed, with the three hydrangeas in the background - Annabelle, Strawberry Sundae and Strawberry Fraise. 

The phlox bed, which suffered from powdery mildew. I found a recipe for a baking soda in water mix that seemed to do the trick. The leaves have died lower down on the plants but the mildew has stopped spreading.

Closeup of a climbing rose - it is recommended for zone 5 which makes me wonder why they sell it here at the local store. We are a zone 3B which is much colder than zone 5.  I will mulch this really well and see if it survives the winter. 

The bed of beefsteak tomatoes which are just starting to turn colour.

I love this combination of echinacea and black eye susans.

 A pink dahlia planted in a pot with pink petunias.

Bobo hydrangea doing its thing. This plant is just great.

A photo of the apple tree, now planted for two years.

A lovely daylily that was here when we moved in. It is quite large and should be divided. I would get at least 3 plants from this one.

 Another photo of the daylily, it has an exquisite colour, deep pinky-red with a yellow throat.

My most successful planter, packed full with pink petunias. This has already had a haircut and it bounced right back with lots more blooms.

A favourite of mine, the black eye susan vine. This one grows and grows, putting out the cheeriest yellow and orange flowers all summer long.

This is a pot that I filled with some seedlings that I started indoors. The nicotiana has taken off and has grown three feet tall. It has the loveliest scent especially in the evening.

A rather blurry photo of a planter filled with double impatiens, lobelia and fuchsia.