Friday, June 29, 2012

Enjoying it While it Lasts

Early morning, just as the sun is beginning to peek over the trees.

The front sidewalk flower bed is reaching a crescendo this week, and not a moment too late since the impending 100 degree temperatures this weekend are sure to bring it to its knees, if flowers have knees, that is.

Sun's up a little further now.

This is the second and third year for most of these plants and they've really filled in well. I'm so pleased with the combinations, the various shades of pink, orange, and chartreuse, and they all have scented foliage and/or flowers. Of course, everything is a native or native cultivar and a pollinator magnet!

Ten minutes later and the sun is blazing!

This half of the front sidewalk bed has a summer blooming theme, the half not pictured, is fall blooming. This is a full sun with afternoon protection site, and everything is quite drought tolerant. Plants include Purple Coneflower, White Coneflower (mystery), Wild Bergamot (monarda fistulosa), "Raspberry Wine" Bee Balm, "Shades of Orange" hummingbird mint, Common Milkweed, Italian Parsley, Dill, "May Night" Salvia, Purple-leaved Coralbells (mystery), Anise Hyssop "Blue Fortune", "Rosita" hummingbird mint, and a mystery sedum.

I've really fallen in love with the pink, orange, and chartreuse color combo. (Dill and Purple Coneflower)

This is my mystery White Coneflower. When I bought it, it was a pure white flower and was labelled "White Swan", a common and durable white cultivar. Over the years, however, it has morphed into a flower that opens yellow, then fades to white, I like it better this way!

Monarda fistulosa, aka Wild bergamot, I love this plant!

While I was taking these photos, trying to preserve the memory of this fabulous flower feast in my mind, I happened to notice several insects were also patiently waiting for the sun to rise, so that it may warm their bodies enough to get moving before a predator should stop by.

Cool, early mornings are the best time to photograph insects like this moth, it's about the only time most of them sit still. (Wild Bergamot)

I think this bumblebee had just waken up, he was a little groggy. (Anise Hyssop)

Your only chance to find a cooperative hoverfly is on a cool morning.

A Camouflaged Looper, not yet camo-ed, heading for one of their favorite flowers, Anise Hyssop.

A Skipper, another insect that rarely sits still long enough to get a good photo.


  1. Come on you lazy so and so's! Julie lovingly prepared this post for you on MY BIRTHDAY!! Yes, she should have been out doing last minute shopping, cake baking, tinsel hanging etc...but no, she baked this moist delicious post for you all. Enjoy and comment;)

  2. Just beautiful photos. I'm especially fond of the final skipper one and all the textures and colors therein.

    I just got back from a few days of travel. It was 105 when we landed at the aiport, 108 on the car thermometer on the way home.

    I'm afraid to look at the garden.

  3. Happy belated birthday, Jeff! I'm sorry I didn't see this yesterday - we just got back in town and were doing minimal internet in the Smokies. Got home to scorched earth here and I don't think I'll get many good pictures of some things this year as a result.

    The grouping is beautiful Julie! I love the combinations. Stellar pictures - the one of the hoverfly is amazing but they are all great.

  4. Aaron, Thanks! I've never had a Skipper sit still long enough for me to get that close. I hope your garden is OK, this heat and drought is so depressing!

    Ellen, I hope your plants survived while you were gone, a trip to the Smokies sounds like fun, haven't been there in years.

  5. Julie,
    Your flowers are beautiful! Well done. Did you present Jeff with a bouquet on his birthday? Who is Ginger, a new addition, a birthday gift for Jeff?

  6. Joanie,

    Scroll down the page a bit to see the post titled "When Life Gets in the Way..." for the story on Ginger. There's also Lucy and Ethel now, ask my mom about them! ;)