Tuesday, August 12, 2014

High Summer ~ Tuberoses! ~ And More Little Critters...

Hi, Everyone!

Good Tuesday to you!

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The Tuberoses are in full bloom... 

Get ready for a few too many photos!

(I can't help myself, I am so enamoured with them...)

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I know I've written about it before, but my Grandma Launius grew Tuberoses,

and my favorite summer memory is spending the night with her and Grandpa

(a real treat on a hot, sticky summer night; they had air conditioning, and we didn't)

and breathing in the heady fragrance of the vase of Tuberoses Grandma placed

in front of the window air-conditioner...they perfumed the whole house!

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I grow them in memory of Grandma now.

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This year they were especially beautiful;

I started using Miracle Gro on them as soon as I "watered-in" the bulbs...

it really made them strong-stemmed and spectacular!

What do they smell like? 

A little like Jasmine...with maybe some Gardenia thrown in...

a touch of Easter Lily...

a "White Flower Fragrance", very heady, very cool...

(Which works best on a hot August night...)

The texture is waxy, not unlike Hyacinth blossoms.

Lovely.

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A little visitor...

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After the rain...

Okay, no more Tuberose pictures...

(not until next year, anyway!)

Thank you for your indulgence! ;)

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Moonflowers..."Opening Night"

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This was the first Moonflower bud...

I was SO excited!

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(Now there are hundreds of buds covering the new growth...)

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Oops, a Tuberose accidentally photo-bombed the Moonflowers!

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Beginning to open...

(I thought it had to be DARK...but they actually start opening

about six o'clock (CST)...when the sun is still pretty high!)

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Unfolding...

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Almost...

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Open!

They are HUGE...about 6" across..."saucer sized"!

So, okay...the Moonflowers are blooming...

More every evening (each bloom stays open for only one evening)...

Literally hundreds, by the looks of it, to come...

BUT...

They are supposed to be exquisitely, Heavenly-fragranced...

and mine have no scent at all. None.

Nada.

Zip.

Zilch.

Disappointing, actually, although they are pretty. I'm a scent-person.

Son Jon said they smelled "kind of fresh"....very diplomatic.

If anything, they smell sort of like a damp Kleenex.

How are they going to attract their moonlight-pollinators with no fragrance?

Is it that they are some sort of hybrid seed??

I'm going to give them one more shot next year, getting seeds from a few different

heirloom seed companies, instead of the garden-seed rack at Walmart.

All these folks who say they are divinely fragrant can't be wrong!

It should be interesting.

So much of gardening is "next year", isn't it?

Have any of you had experience with Moonflowers? Tell me!


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The Cypress Vines have been beautiful, as well...

Red, pink and white...

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This huge hybrid Hibiscus is called "Cherry Cheesecake"

(Again, I am such a push-over for names of things...)

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A "day's picking" from the garden...

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Did I mention that the garden has been really muddy the last couple of days??

(Thank goodness for rain, though...we've needed it!)

This is "breading and frying" okra, not Vulture-Okra ~ ;)

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A baby Jack-O-Lantern!

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I was so excited to get this pretty hummingbird feeder,

as I had seen several little Hummers darting around the Cypress Vines...

But have I had a single one come around for lunch at Chez Anne?

Nope! Not that I have seen, anyway...

However, my friend Zandria told me about how important it is to keep the

nectar fresh (especially in high temperatures)...I didn't know!

I found this article at How to Enjoy Hummingbirds,

 and it's really informative... click here to check it out.

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We just keep having robins nesting by the back door...

There are a total of THREE nests now on the beam above the wind chimes...

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The first one was re-used by a second set of robin-parents;

then another was built slightly out from the first...

and the last was built on TOP of the second nest...a total of four nestings this year.

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We had a storm a few days ago and this little fellow was on the patio...

at first I thought that maybe he was fledging, then I looked at his

under-developed wing-feathers and thought "Maybe not..."

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"Are you my Mother??"

We got him back in the nest...where he stayed for another couple of days

before he actually did fledge...


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Look at this sweet little mama Mourning Dove...

Doves are such notoriously awful nest-builders, I often wonder how the species has endured!

This one's nest is at the top of the trellis, in the middle of the Moonflowers...

At first she would startle and fly when I climbed up to check on her...

now she just watches me..."the silly human with the clicky-thing means no harm",

I guess she has decided.

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I finally got another photo of one of the Bumblebee/Hummingbird moths...

this is a smaller one...they are incredibly fast!

(My lens was a little foggy here.)

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A June Bug!

I have been looking for one all year...there used to be so many when I was small!

Son Jon found this one...

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And then this one...in the same day.

They are so beautifully GREEN!

(Although the bottom fellow is slightly more golden...)

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Cicada!

I love hearing them...

However, in a couple of weeks their droning will reach a fever-pitch,

starting early in the day instead of in the evening...

When she was small, my daughter Katie called them the "Hot Bugs",

as it's usually so hot when they at their loudest!

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A male Hercules (or "Rhino") Beetle...

also found by Jon.

(A photo of a female is in my post of July 19th; "In the Garden".)

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I KNOW this is a destructive,"bad bug"...

a Japanese Beetle...they can lay waste to plants, and have no natural predators.

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But they are even more"jewel-like" than the June Bugs...

So, I just took pictures.

"Make Lemonade", you know?

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"Lunch Date"

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Look at this cool fellow!!

This is "Front Porch Toad".

He lives in a flower pot on my front porch...

Every night he goes out to hunt...down the steps...

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 And every morning he returns...and climbs back up into the pot,

snuggling under a blanket of Spanish Moss...

(I actually saw him returning very early a few mornings ago, getting back into the pot.)

Front Porch Toad is being immortalized in a friend's calendar art...

More on that later!

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Oh! A last-minute addition...

Look what I found in the Lotus Vine!

(A "Very-Fairyish"~ looking annual, BTW...don't you love it?

I think this little fellow did!)



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One more furry little critter!!

Mr. Cyrus had just had a shampoo and blow-dry when I took these... :)

That's all for right now...have a wonderful rest-of-the-week!

I'm off to paint Alice in Wonderland gourds!

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Love,

Photobucket

16 comments:

  1. What a very wonderful post. I really enjoyed it!

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  2. There is so much beauty in this post but I always have to make mention of Cyrus as he is so adorable. Deb

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  3. Ah Dear Anne - I am so glad you are back blogging - your posts make me smile and then laugh. I think your tuber roses are gorgeous - alas I have had no luck with moonflowers - planted them many times and they never grow for me. So even if yours do not smell at least they bloomed. Can't wait to see those Alice in Wonderland gourds -hope you will share. Hugs! P.S. the best critter was Cyrus for sure!

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  4. What a fascinating post, I love finding out about what creatures live in people's gardens and you have such a variety! Xxx

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  5. I saw a lovely plant in a nursery last weekend. Now I know; it is a Tuberose.

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  6. WOW! What a collection of beautiful photos. I couldn't even pick a favorite. I enjoyed every single one!!!

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  7. Hi Anne,
    Such a wonderful post, full of treats for the eyes, and wonderful descriptions for the soul :)
    Love everything you've posted here, and I love your attitude in finding the positive and the beautiful in the every day-ness of life!

    Hoping that your next years moon flowers will be fragrant.
    I've never grown them, so I'm not sure about them being fragrant.

    I hope this week is a blessed one for you...

    K.

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  8. This was such a treat Anne! Grandma Launius must be smiling down upon all the beauty you create in her honor. The tuberoses are really lovely.Well worth the wait!!! How I wish I could smell them!
    I feel your frustration over the moonflowers not having that well awaited fragrance, especially when they are sooo beautiful and showy and yet lasting such a short time. I had a good laugh over your photo bomb!!!
    I was really drawn to your gorgeous cherry cheesecake hibiscus. Wow!!!
    My cypress vines are growing the best that they can in these hot Arizona 100 or more degrees! I have just had two red blooms show themselves today! =)
    You and your son must have a great time spying and photographing all the interesting critters in your gardens! Was that you playing in the mud?
    I am not sure if Mr. Cyrus was ready for his first photo and yet by the next one he seemed to convey, Oh REALLY, this again!

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  9. Oh, between your's and Vanessa's gardens . . . I would love to spend time in each! I grew moonflowers a few years ago and when I can start getting back to maintaining my little garden again I will grow them again. Mine smelled so nice! They aren't a strong fragrance that wafts on the air, you have to put your nose close to them, but I love their scent. Mine didn't have hundreds of blooms like yours, but I was growing them in a planter rather than in the ground. I'm afraid I don't have a lot of wisdom to offer on why yours didn't have a scent! Mine didn't open up quite as early in the day as your seems to. If I remember correctly, they didn't open until about 7 or 8pm PST.

    There used to be a body lotion with moonflower fragrance . . . I can't remember who made it, but I loved it.

    And Cyrus . . . so cute for his close-up!

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  10. Lots going on in your garden. Gorgeous blooms. Creepy crawlies. I always hated when the June bugs came out -- we lived in TX at the time, and at night they would just be everywhere. Along with the stink bugs. Yuck! I remember cicadas, mostly when we lived in Louisiana and I was 12. Used to climb trees and find the shells they left behind. Those moon flowers are rather amazing. Along with that huge cheesecake hibiscus. Sweet little Robin. Funny little frog living on your front porch. And those vegetables. What a haul! Have a great rest of the week. Tammy

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  11. Great pictures. Love the baby bird. And your muddy feet. You certainly have enough going on to take pictures of. INV that. Cute little froggy. Have a great day.

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  12. Such gorgeous photos! I had tuberoses in my wedding bouquet. You're so lucky to have them in your garden! Thanks for posting all these beautiful photos, Anne, I really enjoyed looking at them.

    Blessings,

    Victoria

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  13. OK I can't do insects but I do love your frogs, birds, and flowers! Especially that precious little baby robin and the mama mourning dove. I am a sucker for mourning doves. xoxo my friend Veronica says hey :~D

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  14. Oh my goodness... what incredible photographs. Such beauty at extreme close up. Nature is an amazing artist, isn't she?

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  15. So many fabulous photographs and stories that I would love to comment on, but then this would run to pages and pages!! I had not heard about Tuberoses, they're beautiful and especially so because you grow them in memory of your grandmother. I remember my dear grandmother who grew peony bushes in Chicago when I was small and as I recall the blooms were as big as cabbages!! She HATED the ants that crawled on them en mass...funny what sticks in your memory from those young years :) My southern mother-in-law calls them pe-oh-nees, emphasis on the "oh"...have you heard them call this?

    Looking forward to seeing how your extremely serious looking porch toad is immortalized in a calendar!

    Such a joy to read through all this post...thank you, dear.
    hugs,
    Ellizabeth

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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!