I have been putting Sunflower seeds out for the winter birds here. So far I am seeing a lot of Dark Eyed Juncos https://www.allaboutbirds.org/... , Tufted Titmouses https://www.allaboutbirds.org/... , and Black Capped Chickadees https://www.allaboutbirds.org/... . The other day I did see a female Cardinal https://www.allaboutbirds.org/... and a Male Downy Woodpecker https://www.allaboutbirds.org/... once.
Also as I write this I see two male House Finches who have pretty red heads. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/...
The Candy Lilies are blooming.
As I looked at this bed I was thinking about how similar the Candy Lilies are to Bearded Iris. Well just the foliage mostly. So I got to thinking maybe it would work well to plant some Candy Lilies in amongst the Iris so that there is some color there this time of year.
The Pink ones have just started. If I do it, it will probably be these. Not only do I like the color but this particular plant seems more resistant to leaf spot than the others.
These started blooming sooner and are taller, although I don't like the color as much, it is still pretty.
I don't really think this garden needs the Candy Lily color right now. I feel like with all the color going on it is messy looking. The only thing is that when the DLs are done the Candy Lilies will still be blooming. So I think I should monitor this garden a little longer before deciding for sure what to do.
So these are only garden chore accomplishments just in case you thought I may have actually achieved something extraordinary.
Yesterday I got my Fence Garden weeded, edged and 2/3 mulched. I would have finished but the mosquitoes started attacking me even though I had applied OFF Deep Woods. They must have been hungry enough that they didn't care! So this morning I finished up and also got the other side where I have planted Iris mulched. I had recently weeded it so I just had a few escapees here and there that I need to pull. I also pulled up an Iris that had bloomed bright yellow that was supposed to be Denali. Upon digging it up I realized there was two separate pieces. The 2nd piece that had not bloomed seems much less vigorous. The yellow one was rather large for a SDB rhizome and the leaf was a good 9" tall. The smaller one was a puny little thing so I have a feeling it may be Denali so I left it with the tag in place to see what comes of it. I checked the vendors listings for one that looked like the NOID yellow and one they have in the catalog called 'Marksman' was right on so I bet that is what it is. I put it in a small pot in straight up Miracle Grow potting mix. I am sure I can find someone who will want to take it off my hands.
Mid Season 13" Smith 1999 - S. hot orange; style arms pale orange, crest hot orange; F. faintly smoked hot orange; B-vermilion; ruffled; slight spicy fragrance
Tweety Bird X ((((Melon Honey x Wright L32) x (229-2 x Melon Honey)) x Pumpkin Center) x Orange Dazzler sib)
I also gave up all hope of the following Iris. I guess it was more like acceptance of them rotting away. And removed the tags. R.I.P. White Hot, Raise the Curtain & Octave
There was one lone Iris with no tag near that may be something I had moved in an effort to save a rotting rhizome. So a girl can still hope. Maybe one of them will show up again in spring.
I also got to cross off some to-dos from my list yesterday, I did a quick weeding behind my pool. It still needs a thorough weeding but I grabbed some of the tall ones that were looking like they'd be flowering soon. Some Goldenrod that was growing where it is not wanted (which is anywhere besides the wood line but for some reason it keeps showing up all over the place here) But the big reason I had to do at least a quick weeding back there was 2 Purple Loosestrife plants (If you don't know why please read up on it, because you really should know about this plant in case you see it in your own gardens https://www.jackson-nh.org/con... ) that have no idea where they came from. We did bring the soil back there in from someone else's yard so I think it had a ton of dormant weed seeds. Another theory I have is that back a few years ago I was in a seed swap. I got a lot of seeds (more than I knew what to do with and at one point I thought it would be a good idea to sprinkle them all around out there.. Now I have seen every weedy plant you can think of growing out there and I do recall the hostess saying something about having seeds she was repackaging and sending out for people that have large areas they want to fill and/ or butterfly gardeners (for host plants). Hmm seems like someone wanted to get some seeds and sent in weeds seeds in disguise as other things. Lesson here, don't sprinkle any seeds around unless you saved them from your own plants because I feel like I have gotten weeds even from some places I paid for them online. Creeping Charlie had basically taken over out there until I spent a day ripping it out. Also a whole lot of Queen Anne's Lace randomly appeared last year. Although I hadn't planned it, I did end up liking it. Now this year there are only babies so maybe I will have some again next year.
So I guess some good came from it since I would never have knowingly planted that. Even though it is a butterfly host plant I went with Zizia instead which take scare of the Parsley family for caterpillars.
There were a lot....
Oh and that picture that shows the rock stairway to the slide has another weed on the left side that I found and dug. They are tough to get out once the root in. I forget their name but they are really ugly this time of year the seed heads look black and are very noticeable.
See how the Queen Anne's Lace actually look nice with the Karley Rose Grass and Hibiscus that grow along side my pool
Back to weeding, I also had to use a digging shovel to get out what I believe to be Burdock seedlings. I had let one go (thinking it may be rhubarb) to the point of flowering in the vicinity of the seedlings. I did dig it up but it had some flower heads that apparently made it to seed stage. The seed heads are those extremely annoying ones that get stuck to you and are really hard to get off, especially if they get in your hair. Or maybe there were other dormant seeds. Either way these had to go before they sneakingly grow and flower like their parent had. Another lesson learned here, don't assume what is probably a weed is a plant you want. I have learned and re learned that if you didn't plant it, 99% of the time it's a weed!
I will be taking the next 3 days off from the garden but when I resume their will be so much to do. That very busy time of year will be upon us gardeners before we know it.
I was out in the yard trying to get some pictures of the butterfly garden. As I noticed a Monarch and moved in closer for a picture I noticed the whole garden was a buzz with pollinators. I just stood there smiling happy to enjoy the fruits of my labor and plant selection. While I did select the plants to attract butterflies they attract a huge variety of pollinators as well. I found it quite the coincidence that I happened upon this article posted by Dave this evening. https://blog.nature.org/scienc...
I always thought to myself while reading all the save the bees articles that were talking about honey bees, why no one seemed to care that honey bees aren't native, so this article was refreshing to see someone pointing out that fact. I wish our EPA actually did the job they were supposed to and protected our environment instead of the rich companies that are destroying it while lining their pockets. I find it odd that they rely on information from the pesticide companies as to whether the products are safe for pollinators. Seems to me that this would just lead to skewing of the studies in favor of the companies profits!
These shots were all from this mornings moments in the butterfly garden.
Clearwing Hummingbird Moth
After planting the Iris I made some labels for them and brought them out. When I ended up with a label and no Iris left I realized one was MIA. Upon checking my order slip I realized it was noted that Marmot was out for the season. I did get 2 SDBs instead. Muppet's Sister