Thursday, June 20

Good Work If You Can Get It...

I was thoroughly amused to find this solicitation taped to my front door today:

Excuse my finger - it's hiding their contact information.
I have a tiny urban hellstrip (tree lawn) and a little square (around 10 x 20 ft in size) of lawn in the backyard. Steve and I figure that at their quoted price, they would be making around $2.50 per minute!

Note: I appreciate that people who are enthusiastic about getting their business name out there. But, really... 

Tuesday, June 18

A Winning Combo: Bloom Day + Foliage Follow-Up

I do love my combinations... but what's "winning" about these is that I can use them for both Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-up! Since I'm late on both counts, these front yard garden pics are definitely a win in my book.

Clearly, I am incapable of taking a straight picture in my front yard. Oops.
Above you see my view when I pull into the driveway... now that I usually get the second spot. 'Red Rocks' penstemon, the short but flower-covered lemon thyme, the last fragrant sea kale blooms, and the first white torches of the oakleaf hydrangea. The faded purple ninebark blooms are my favorite of their many stages--a rich crimson pink.

 Below, the view from the sidewalk:

Oakleaf hydrangea blooms dominate here, but you can also see the first few amsonia blooms in the shade at left.
I ADORE the bright spiky yucca leaves... the flowers will be a bonus.
A close-up of the penstemon, and the fat hens-and-chicks at its feet:

Okay, you got me. I just wanted to show that stipa/nassella tenuissima again.
(The beauty and gras of that grass just floors me.)
Another poorly disguised shot of the stipa--but, really I was trying to show the bright-hot green in the light blue sea kale leaves. These photos look a little burned out, but the colors really do look this bright in real life, so I didn't bother to correct them at all:

Shaded from the light, the burgundy eucomis leaves, peachy-wine heuchera leaves and brown carex buchanii add a calming, anchoring effect:

And that's all I've got for now.  For more flowers, visit Carol's June 2013 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day post.  For more fantastic foliage, check out Pam's Potted Plants and Stripey Foliage post--and click through the comment links.

What else is blooming in the garden right now:
'Vodka' wax begonias, golden creeping jenny, salvia lyrata, 'Caradonna' salvia, verbena bonariensis, lonicera sempervirens, 'Zweiweltenkind' goatsbeard, mom's passalong pink lamium, 'Purple Dragon' lamium, red snapdragons

Tuesday, June 11

Alternative Harvest: When to Cut Your Cherries

Yes, you read that right. To harvest my first tart cherries of the year, I used a novel tool:

When would you want to use a garden scissors to harvest your cherries?  Well, there are actually a few drawbacks to its use, so I would really only recommend it when you have to deal with this: 

Look closely, top center. There's a telltale tangle of twigs...

Mama Robin (I think) is hanging out in the nest that you can barely see above, while Papa Robin visits intermittently. He will "yell" at me incessantly - usually from the safety of a nearby wire - if I'm hanging out near the tree when he arrives, but she prefers to ignore me as long as I don't get too close. Or shake the tree.

That last thing is the reason for the scissors. When I harvested the first few cherries, she rose up out of the nest and squawked at me in a high-pitched tone that I think made me just as distressed as she seemed to be. I beat a quick and hasty retreat.

Today I grabbed the scissors and took them outside with me, thinking that I might be able to at least get a handful or so of cherries before I upset Mama. Surprisingly, she didn't seem to care one bit about my presence, just so long as I was cutting instead of pulling and rustling. So I'm thinking that I will need to continue my harvesting-with-scissors approach for the rest of this season. It seems like a win-win to me!