Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Hummingbird!

Yesterday I saw my first Ruby-throated Hummingbird that stayed around long enough for photos.  We've seen quite a few that dashed past, perhaps stopping for an instant, but none have stayed to feed, even though we had a Hummingbird feeder up for a couple of months.  But now that the first bloom on our Butterfly Bush has emerged, there it was, hovering up and down to visit for several minutes.

I grabbed for my phone pretty fast when it arrived, hoping I could get it set before it sped off.

But it hovered for a full minute or two, allowing me to get several photos.  These are the best of about 25 photos.

And that wasn't enough, it also stopped at the Hostta that's still in bloom to investigate several blossoms.

Mind you, along the way there were lots of photos like this or worse as it hid on the other side of the flower.  Rain this morning and thankfully it's a bit cooler than the sweltering heat of yesterday.






Monday, August 10, 2020

More Hostas!

Regardless of their interesting flowers, Hostas, big and small, are the backbone of our garden all summer long.  We had over 300 at our former home, but only brought 'a few' here, about 50 or 60.  Digging them all up was one of the last really physical tasks I did before ending up in a wheelchair!  With their widely varying leaves they're best known just for their foliage.

A lot are just green, but a large number have two-tone leaves like these too.

This is one of the two patches mostly in the shade of the house at the back.  If you look carefully you can see at least 6 different Hostas; there are about 10, densely packed among other plants.  We have really used these two patches as holding beds, and now with our expanded garden we're ready to move a lot of the plants out, leaving more room for the others.

Here are four different Hostas just at the far end of that bed, along with a single leaf of a fifth one.

The front bed doesn't have quite as many because Mrs. F.G. planted several shrubs and that beautiful blue grass, but you should be able to see three easily.  There are another 10 down the side of the house, and another 8 of the tiny ones in our scree garden.

The leaves range from very large ...
to small and narrow,....
to tiny and bright green in spring when this picture was taken.
Some are dark green and wrinkly...
and some are mixed colours.
If you look carefully at these you'll see that the closer leaves are dark in the centre with a lighter yellow border, but the ones in the background are the reverse, yellowy centre and dark borders.
And some are just light, almost yellow green.

But I still like the tiny ones best.

And I haven't told you the best thing about the Hostas, because they are almost the ideal garden plant.  Since their leaves spread out so well, they usually do not need weeding.  And they grow best in the shade.  They are occasionally subject to pests though; deer like them.  At our previous home most of our Hostas grew in the shade along the old fencerow, and the deer would come along and simply eat every flower stock off.  We never had to cut down the dead stalks!   


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Hosta Flowers

 The other big group of flowers we've seen in the garden over the past month have been the Hostas.  We have a lot, and there always seem to be several in flower, though we're down to the last 5 or 6 now.  Personally I favour the smaller Hostas like those in the scree garden at the front door, perhaps because I can get really close to photograph them  

These are the tiny purple ones I favour, right at the front door beside the sidewalk.
With these my view almost straight down gives a quite different perspective.

Some have so many flowers they appear all jumbled together.
This is one of our favourites with tall dignified flowers and interesting leaves to boot.

Still it's the small ones out front that are my favourites.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Clematis in Our Garden

 I'm trying to get caught up showing you the plants blooming in our garden, in between the other things I write about.  I've almost missed the Clematis season, though there are still a few blooms out there.  We have 8 Clematis plants altogether, but two bloom in spring, and I'll share 4 of the others with you which are still in bloom a bit now.

Two of them, one white and one purple, are growing on a trellis against the shed, with two almost yellow Hostas at their feet.

Personally I find that Clematis get more interesting the closer you look at them.

It's amazing what an iphone can do.  Mrs. F.G. is the photographer or all of these.

In this photo you can actually see the difference between the outer stamens and the inner pistils.

This Clematis grows on the side of the house.

I've always said 'Clem-a-tis', but I often hear 'Clem-atis'.  Take your pick.

Two hot days here over the weekend, hoping for cooler but still sunny next week.



Friday, August 7, 2020

Day Lilies

The Day Lilies have been blooming the past couple of weeks, and are nearing the end of their flowering season all too fast.  They're so bright and colourful, they're really a highlight at this time of year.  And they were the undisputed star of our former garden.

One of my favourites, with prolific two-tone blooms.
The Day Lilies are mostly down the side of our house, interspersed with Hostas.  These houses were built with swales, a little dip between each house for water runoff during heavy storms, but over time some of the swales are sinking, creating more of a V-shaped ditch than a gentle dip.  So I can't safely drive down past the Day Lilies to enjoy them.  We're trying to figure out how to fix this.
Day Lilies come in a range of colours, but I like the bright ones.  Since she's always trying to do things for me, Mrs. F.G. mostly purchased bright ones.
We plan to relocate most of these to the new back yard where I'll be able to see them easily in any case.
Just in case you don't grow Day Lilies yourself, their blooms really do last just one day.  You have to go out and deadhead to keep the plants looking good.  Some dedicated Day Lily growers deadhead in the evening even though the blossoms still look good, knowing they will have wilted by morning.

If not for that swale beside the house you'd probably have seen a lot more Day Lily pictures the past two weeks!

I complement these pictures with memories of the large patches in our former garden where the Day Lilies (and the False Sunflowers here) grew in profusion!  Have a great weekend!




Thursday, August 6, 2020

Achy Back Acres

We stopped in at Achy Back Acres on our way home from physio in Owen Sound a few minutes ago, and while we two guys chatted Mrs. F.G. hopped out and chose a few fresh veggies.  Their garden has become our favourite farm stand.  

I believe this is the first year they've grown potatoes, and we love new potatoes.
We also love beans, fresh from the garden if possible.  And tonight I get my first fresh tomato sandwich for supper, along with a fresh cob of corn!  Yummy!

Blogger was playing tricks on me today.  Those blue fonts and underlining is their doing, not mine, and I can't undo it for love nor money.  Mysteriously changed to black print partway through.  Spacing is off too, so this new blogger format may cause me more trouble than I thought.