Saturday, June 25, 2011

Flowers in the Garden

We all like flowers here on the farm and have carefully nurtured the flowers that were already planted when we bought the place and we have planted many more. We admire the English garden style that mixes flowering shrubs, flowers and different foliages in a meandering billowy non-linear fashion rather than a formal look and we plan to add to our garden every year (we are only in our second year here). We are also aiming for dual use when possible so we have lots of day lillies which can be eaten, they have an attractive and easily maintained foliage, the flowers are beautiful and attract butterflys and bees which helps pollinate our vegetable garden and the fragrance on most varieties is rich and sweet and wafts through the air as we walk around the yard. Similarly, the marigolds we plant throughout the veghetable garden repels unwanted pests and brightens an otherwise green landscape and the sunflowers we plant provides a flowers and seed for the birds.

There is just something so peacefull and calming about flowers which is why we have them at funerals and send them to the sick or to someone you love. As we walk through our gardens and smell the sweetness and listen to the bees buzzing around and watch the butterflys flit from stamen to stamen its hard to be depressed or angry. We plant for succession and have something in bloom all year long starting with the Forsythia, Lilacs and Crocus progressing to the Iris and Rose bloom and on into fall with the Autumn Crocus but this period of early summer has given us a rich variety of color and fragrance.

We have many Mimosa trees we are nursing back to life after the previous owner cut most of them down (grrr) and they have an interesting wispy flower and the peculiar habit of the leaves on the tree folding up at night.

We have three Hollyhock gardens and though they are just about played out for this year they are spectacular. Ours have grown to about 7 feet tall and they are just loaded with blooms though the wind we have had has taken a toll on them this year.

And we have lots and lots of Day Lillies including this garden. Our friends Jack and Rene gave us all of these day lillies out of their own garden last year and they have just thrived.

Day Lillies come in a seemingly endless variety and gardening with them is an addictive hobby.

They have thick petals and very pronounced stamens and attract butterflys and bees in swarms.

Some are low to the ground, some mound and some are very upright and can get 4 foot tall or more

And they are very can smell these flowers all over in our back yard.

We just enjoy the variety

And we have Geraniums, Poppies, and Honeysuckle in back of the well house

Honeysuckle is also very fragrant and we have several patches of it but this particular one gives you a dose of fragrant Honeysuckle as you go through the grape arbor and right before you get to the big Day Lillie garden.

And we have Oriental Lillies interspersed with more Day Lillies and some small Mimosas

Lots of colorfull Petunias

Old fashioned Day Lillies in back of the wood shed

Hydrangeas, Day Lillies, Holly Hocks and Clematis along side of the house with Hybiscus getting ready to bloom.

We have planted a Day Lillie grden with Butterfly bushes next to a water source for the butterflys. We will eventually replace the ungly blue tub we use for water with a natural stone pond and a solar powered small fountain for the butterflys and birds.

The Camas Lillies are about played out but added some nice color out front.

And of course the unique and ubiquitous (to the Midwest anyway) Coneflowers...loved by butterflys.

More Petunias greet visitors at the front door

Along with Crysanthemums starting their colorful bloom

And we have planted Trumpet Vine for our Hummingbirds

Judy's Salmon Poppies didwell this year and I suspect we will have a great many more next year as they are colorful and hardy here.

And another addictive hobby is the cultivation of Knock Out Roses

They provide a steady bloom unlike traditional roses and come in a wide variety of flowers...some very fragrant and some not

Pansys greet visitors to Judy's house.

We have several varieties of Marigolds throughout the vegetable garden and we enjoy their color while we are tending to that garden.

We never could grow Sun Flowers in Alaska and we like the color, the height, and the seed they provide for our winter bird feeding.

We plant them at the end of all of our vegetable garden rows.

We have 6 or 7 Clematis vines all in a flowering state right now

We have purple, lavender, blue and a blue and white variety and there will be more next year to be trained along some of our field fencing.

I think these are Impatiens but ???

And finally...Persian Zinnias

These pictures wer all taken today, not all our flowers are shown and we have a pasture full of natural flowers, wild roses now in bloom, Mullin, etc. I guess..we do really like flowers!

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