Saturday, July 19, 2014

In the Garden...

Come stroll through my garden with me...
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This Rose of Sharon, or Althea, as my Grandma Collier called it

(Hibiscus syriacus, actually) ~

is a "daughter" of the one(s) in Grandma's yard from almost 50 years ago...

(it's really two different-colored varieties combined in one clump).

My mom took off-shoots to her house, then moved them with her twice more.

Three years ago on my birthday, I told my children that all I wanted was for

them to move the shrub from Mom's last home (I got permission from the new owner)

to my yard. It was quite an undertaking, but they did it!

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One of my favorite things to "pretend" when I was little,

was that the Althea blossoms were little Faerie ball gowns...

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Who would have guessed that 50 years later I'd be making shoes to match?

Hmmm...now, do these go best with the pink or white gown?

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I know ~ the white blossom makes the perfect petticoat!

What do you think?

Fae-approved, I believe.

(BTW, if anyone else wants to play, I'll have more Faerie Shoes in my Etsy shop next week!)

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My friend Elaine started my growing (no pun intended) obsession with Daylilies a few years back

by sending me these, which have multiplied greatly!

This is called Decatur "Cherry Smash"...

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This gorgeous pale peach ruffled Day Lily is called "Land of Cotton";

given to me by Elaine as well, in "honor" of the region ~

my current yard and garden were a cotton field just a few years ago!

It smells heavenly (more so in the evening) ~ like honeysuckle!

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(If Grandma had grown Daylilies, I'm sure these would 

have made lovely gowns as well...ruffly underskirts built-in!)

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A little visitor to "Land of Cotton"... think he was whistling Dixie?
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One more Day Lily...this one is "Star Dream"...such a beautiful, sunny yellow!

Thank you, Elaine!

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Pretty in pink...
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A bee in the Pentas!

This is my first year for growing this pretty perennial, and I am quite impressed!

They are holding up extremely well in the heat ~ they seem to thrive in it ~

just as the petunias are pooping-out on me...

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I first thought this was just a "regular" Bumblebee,

but I looked it up, and it's an Eastern Carpenter Bee,

which makes sense, as he (or she), along with some friends, have been

doing a little (ahem) work on my wooden trellis...

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I kept getting closer and closer with my phone's camera!

It was okay; the bee was much more interested in the yummy Pentas!

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Honeybees love Echinacea!

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Another little pollinator!

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Yellow Floribunda "Julia Child".

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Clematis "Will Goodwin"
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Pretty Astilbe...I used to have such an abundance of shade,

and now it's just the opposite...

I have only one little (day long) shady area!

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"Next window, please!"

My vintage bank teller's window (circa 1900) is being engulfed in Cypress Vines...

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My flower border...I planted it really thickly (and thinned very little)

to try and have the flowers "crowd out" the weeds...

We'll see how this works as the season progresses ~

Maybe a good idea, maybe I should have thinned!

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I'm really loving the large "Cactus Flower" Zinnias...

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Pentas, pretty little "Heart" (on some blossoms) petunias,

and Verbena "Wicked"...wicked cool, huh?

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The herb garden...

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A gift from daughter Katie two years ago...Butterfly Bushes ~ they've gotten huge!

(They would have been even bigger had we not had such a cold winter; I had to trim a lot...)

I love the honey-wine (mead) fragrance (and so do the bees)!

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Tuberoses, tuberoses, tuberoses...

I get more excited over these beauties than I can even tell you!

Maybe I'll have flowers by next week!

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More garden visitors ~ tiny...

an itsy-bitsy snail...

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And BIG!

This is a female Eastern Hercules Beetle (also called Rhinoceros Beetle or Unicorn Beetle

because of the male's big "horn") ~

They can grow to nearly 3 inches long! This one measures 2 inches.

You can read more about them here.

(Son Jon found this one at work today and brought her home for me to see...

we'll let her go after we observe her for a bit!)

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The Waved Sphinx Moth...Ceratomia undulosa.

A subspecies with an undulating wing pattern instead of the more commonly seen

banded wings. Look at those colors!! Even a tiny bit of Cerulean Blue!

(On our porch this afternoon...flew away after the "close-up".)

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Arachnophobes....avert your eyes!

Believe me, I was so "arachnophobic" for most of my life...

and I'm still not entirely fearless, but I am trying to look at spiders in general in a new light...

I'm striving for "enlightenment", if you will.

I take harmless spiders outside in a paper towel instead of killing them...

Exception: Brown Recluses (Satan's spawn).

We even have Black Widows around quite often...they like to hide in rock and

wood-piles, and I'm careful not to reach into something like that where I can't see...

they're really shy, however ~ not aggressive like the dreaded "BR". (Shudder.)

I digress, though... I was weeding in the herb garden and saw this spider;

at first glance she looked furry ~ then I took a closer look and saw that the "fur"

was all her little grayish, semi-transparent babies, hanging on for dear life...

How cool is that? You can read about her here, at the Missouri Department

of Conservation's website.

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A little Southern Leopard Frog, resting on a hosta!

Such a beautiful little creature...look at the metallic-gold eyes!

(Click on the name to read about them at the Missouri Department of Conservation's site.)

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A little American Toad.

My son Jon is The Toad Whisperer. 

When he started his summer job, he was told that one particular employee was

the "resident toad-killer".

How awful!! Mosquitoes would carry us away if not for little fellows like him!

So, Jon has been relocating as many as possible to our toad-friendly

yard and garden...

(My spaghetti pot contained about 20 relocatees one night last week!)

I washed it, don't worry.

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Oh, one last visitor!

A particularly furry one!

Cyrus had actually never been outside and "down" before...

(he is "fluffy" enough that I was pretty sure I could catch him if he ran...but he didn't...)

He sniffed the herb-pots on the patio and looked around for a few minutes,

then decided it was time to go back inside...like, now.

"Outside was nice, Mom...I've seen all there is to see...now let's go back in!"

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We have a winner for the little Cheshire-Cat rock!

Elizabeth, of "Life at Hilltop"...
(she has a great blog; click the link or check it out over on my sidebar!)

Chessie will be coming your way, Dear!

Also linking to Beverly's Pink Saturday ~ it's been a while!

Love,

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17 comments:

  1. Anne i have to tell you its been so nice to see you posting again! I've missed you greatly my friend! Hugs! deb

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  2. Your gardens and garden critters are fabulous. Thank you for the lovely stroll. I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

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  3. Truly lovely to see your gardens Anne! Wow, I see how your cypress vines just take over ! My cypress try so hard and yet the sun can just dry them up! They just keep trying! The spider is fascinating even though I am creeped out , I know how important they are too the environment.
    What wonderful kiddos you have to go and fulfill your birthday wish! Just Beautiful!! I do hope to spy your tuberose as they bloom! Keep um coming!!! Cyrus is adorable with all his curiosity<3

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  4. What a lovely little garden! I used to be horrified by spiders too until we bought this house and I had to take the yard work on. We have agriopes in our garden every year, just in time to hinder the mosquitoes!
    Thank you for sharing your garden!

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  5. Oh Anne, your garden is so lush and colorful... I just love it... and dear little Cyrus, such a dapper cat!
    Thank you so much for this wonderful tour around your garden.

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  6. Dear Anne
    What a lovely wander through your garden - the plants are so lush and healthy. The other occupants of the garden are amazing too. I particularly like your clematis - it is fabulous - oh and the hibiscus and the roses, and ...
    Thank you for sharing
    Have a lovely week
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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  7. Thank you for the sweet stroll ..I love it
    Sweet hugs x

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  8. Gorgeous...Until I got to the spider LOL...Mother Nature's palette can't beat it
    ...:)...
    blesings

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  9. I love your flowers. I have so many daylilies that looks like yours only they have different names and like you I have toad friendly gardens. I'm not particularly fond of bugs and stinging insects like mosquitoes.

    Hugs,
    JB

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  10. Pretty flowers . Great pictures! I hope you're having a wonderful day.

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  11. Hi Anne,
    What gorgeous, beautiful flowers. I adore your day lilies, and am still quite enamored with that cypress vine.
    Cute little fairy shoes... you are so creative!!

    Thanks for sharing with us today, and congrats to the winner of your giveaway !

    K.

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  12. What pretty flowers! I found a whole bunch of frogs and toads in my yard this week as well. :) They're such fun little creatures!

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  13. Wow, Wow, Wow!! Stunning!!!! Love the flowers and all the little creatures ;o) Give your fur baby a hug for me ;o)

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  14. WOW that is some garden. It has everything in there. Every thing is simply gorgeous!!!

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  15. Wow, incredible photos! I did shudder at the spider and her babies, tho... I too take insects outside safely in a cup. Even at work, they know who to call... ;)

    Beautiful, awesome post!

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  16. You take the most amazing photos! We have a little frog family in our courtyard and they come out at sunset. We are like little kids going out there every evening to watch them hop! lol Enjoy your day! Congrats to your lucky winner! Hugs, Diane

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  17. Your day lilies are spectacular. Since moving back to Florida only a few types grow way down in the SW area. But, Hibiscus are abundant here. Thanks for Sharing...

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I love your thoughts and comments, and I read each and every one! Sometimes life gets in the way, though, and it takes me a while to respond...Thank you for understanding! ♥...Time is precious, and the time you've taken here is truly appreciated!