I discovered the purple finches' nest in one of my two 'Bonfire' begonia hanging baskets a couple of weeks ago. I was setting the basket out into the garden on a rainy day when the first (and only, at the time) egg rolled out of the nest. OOPS! I used a leaf from my oakleaf hydrangea to gently move it back to the nest without getting my scent all over it, then kept watch. Five eggs were laid in total--including the one I might have inadvertently ruined--and it's amusing to see mama and daddy finch put on the brakes and turn around in midair when they are en route to the nest and see me on the porch.
Is anyone reading this skilled at baby bird counting? Steve and I figure that there are probably four, based on the bird parts we can ese and the overall amount of fluff and finchlet piled up in the nest... but we're amateurs. Click on the photo to look at the nest in super-large size... and PLEASE feel free to weigh in via comment if you have a better count!
Time to get back outside and resume planting, post-dinner. But first, a few quick glimpses of the front yard, where the spires and sprays of flowers are stealing all of my attention:
A peach heuchera, 'Purple Dragon' lamium, 'Solar Flare' bergenia in its flat green summer color, 'Northern Halo' hosta, and golden oregano mingle beneath the Japanese maple
Same combo as above... slightly different perspective
Around the corner of the Japanese maple is a small ring of digitalis parviflora (aka Spanish foxglove)... the lamium spills over the side of the raised bed above them.
From further away, you can see (bottom to top): unnamed purple heuchera, 'Ivory Prince' hellebores, 'Beatlemania' carex, digitalis parviflora, 'Amber Waves' heuchera, all the plants you saw in the photo above, and then Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'
From even further away (I'm down by the sidewalk now) you can see all of the plants in the photo above plus: 'Diablo' purple ninebark, more golden oregano, the newly planted 'Sun Power' hosta, clover and other assorted weeds that grew up because I didn't mulch after planting the hosta, more digitalis and an unnamed bergenia.
Taking a good photo of the "fruits" of the purple ninebark always seems beyond me for some reason, but I prefer these to its too-pretty (for me) flowers.
Heading back up to the porch, you can see the other stand of digitalis parviflora that is beginning to bud up as well. Its rusty orange colors pick up the shades of the bronze sedge that you can barely see in the lower right corner, and also work well with the golden oregano and peachy heucheras. Steely, powdery blue ('Blue Ice' amsonia, and the leaves of sea kale) cools down the heat a little here.
More photos later--for now, it's time to get back outside and plant! ('Tis the season... :)