Garden Report: July 6

So, what with a couple of deaths and everything else we've had going on, we haven't done much on the house lately. I've been slacking in the garden, too, but last week a friend lent me a camera body so I could use my super-awesome macro lens to take digital pictures, and I went out to practise with it today, so at least you all get a post, right?

Let's see what's going on in the neglected garden (seriously neglected, folks; I used the macro lens in part to avoid those wide shots that show just how bad the front has gotten).

We have clematis in bloom, always nice.


Here's a super-closeup of Geranium 'Bill Wallis' burning out in too much sun. This is an awesome little geranium because not only does it bloom like mad for most of the season, but it self-sows very politely.

Bill Wallis geranium

The passionflowers were in bloom yesterday and already they are closing up to make fruit. We got three passionfruits last year, so maybe we will get more this year.


The poppies by the apples are mostly done with, but the seeds are so pretty that I leave them in place until they start looking ragged.

Poppy seedheads

Speaking of apples, we have quite a few on our eight apple trees this year. I'm thinking this might be the first year we can make a pie from our own apples. One pie, and not much else, but I think we might do it.


The thing about photography at midday is that all the colours blow out in the intense sunlight. These are pale blue Wahlenbergia, one of those plants I think everybody in the Bay Area needs somewhere. It's very hardy, needs no water, and attracts all kinds of native bees. I was trying to catch one of the bees in this photo, and it did not work out.


I did manage to catch a couple of the butterflies that have been hanging out in the scabiosa. I think this is a Western Tiger Swallowtail based on a really cursory web search:

Butterfly #1

And I couldn't get a good enough picture of this smaller butterfly to ID it:

Butterfly #2

It's pretty neat having them flapping all over the place. Maybe benign neglect is not so bad, after all.

We also have lots and lots of bees, perhaps because it is now fashionable to keep bees again. I haven't had the excessive free time to track them back to their hive, so I don't know if these come from a feral hive or from a kept one.

Bees, too

Speaking of bees, this is my "Honeycomb" Buddleia. (Ha ha ha.) The buddleias are great this year: eight feet tall and full of scented flowers, covering up the ugly side fence and hiding the slumlord's house.

Honeycomb buddleia

The yellow "Honeycomb" doesn't really have much scent, but the two purple ones (Opera, pictured below, and Royal Red) have quite a heavy scent that makes up for it.


In the back by the chicken yard, I planted some Flanders poppy seeds that somebody gave me. They came up nicely, and are still blooming. They have a slightly different seedhead than the "Lauren's Grape" poppy.

Flanders poppy

This one is growing in the raspberries, which is kind of funny. Some of the raspberries are doing really well, and others are, well, having some issues because of chicken behaviour. See, the chickens like to lie in the dirt and kick, and the thrown dirt is landing on one of the raspberries and making it not totally happy.

Chickens are very destructive animals.

Poppy in raspberry canes

I've pretty much killed half our tomatoes by messing up their irrigation. But we will have plenty of Romas, because those got in the ground and on the known-good irrigation before anybody else. I'd feel bad about it but we had like 32 plants when we started the season so nobody is going to be missing out on tomatoes for having lost some.

Roma tomato

This is Feverfew "Virgo." I'm undecided on this plant: it's in too prominent a place right now, but maybe if I transplant it to a more background place it will charm me more.

Feverfew 'Virgo'

As there are apples, there are lots of Asian pears.

Asian pears

I'm not sure what this is but it appears to have sowed itself into the yard, as I don't remember planting it. That doesn't mean I didn't, of course.

Mystery self-sower

This is a great little penstemon I got from Annie's. Another California native, adapted for dry summers and prone to rot where it is wet. This one has been blooming non-stop since April, I think.


These are the seedheads on one of the succulents in the strawberry pot. It bloomed earlier this year, wildly purple-magenta flowers.

Blooming succulent

The hydrangeas are looking pretty amazing this year. I didn't both underplanting them because they are already so large, and that has been a good call because they grew even larger. This is "Ayesha", chosen not just because it shares my name but because I love the thick fleshy bracts.

Hydrangea 'Ayseha'

And another one. I didn't kneel down and check the tag on this one.


This one is 'Harlequin,' and lives up to the name.

Hydrangea 'Harlequin'

'The Fairy' miniature rose, a bit past its prime. I have been slow about deadheading the roses and they have been looking yucky because of it.

The Fairy rose

Just so you can see the extent of my neglect: this is the Fern Walk. Or the Weed Walk.

Fern Walk

And to end it out, three kinds of lavender:


White lavender

Purple (allegedly "English") with accompanying bee:

Purple lavender

And allegedly Spanish or French, depending on who you talk to.

Spanish lavender

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posted by ayse on 07/06/09