Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More flowers (sick of them yet?)

Back to my local flower pics – it seems like it’s easier to wander around the yard clicking than to go out and do it. I want to go see the Bellagio conservatory, perhaps we can pull some time this weekend.

These aren’t native flowers. Last year we put in some raised beds, which we filled in with tomato and basil plants. We filled the front one with carrots and beets, but put some gladiola bulbs in back, and moved some glads we found planted up front.

Starting to bloom now. You can see a lot of spears with buds behind the one blooming. Our apple tree is in back.

A volunteer popped up in one of the tomato beds – we have a compost bin that we throw all our veggie waste into, and it looks like those seedless watermelons wasn’t so seedless.

We scattered low growing plants down under the higher bushes and trees, something that spreads out and covers the rocks. Lantana seems to do quite well. It’s usually covered with flowers, and blooms all summer, dying back in the winter. We've got serveral colors of lantana, purple and orange and red and bright yellow.

This is another non native that B likes. It’s a trumpet vine, but we had to look a long time before finding one with the big flowers – these flowers are about an inch long. It’s a vine that we had in SD, and put this one at the corner near our breakfast table, to cover an open area at the end of the walk. After one year it’s gotten up to the overhead, and has some blooms on it all the time.

The hummingbirds like it.

We found some small native plants that always have flowers on them. These two are about six inches high.

They stay as small bushes, so again we’ve scattered them around the yard.

There is a low wall (about a foot high) across the back yard. Our patio is on the lower side, and the grassy area with trees is above. We planted lots of rosemary along the wall to hide the blocks. This is prostrate rosemary, not the tall growing kind. After two years the bushes seem to be doing well. The wall runs all the way across the yard, about a hundred feet long. Our son framed some steps when we had the patio poured, and we planted about fifty of these rosemary bushes.

They almost always have these little blue flowers, but put on a dramatic show in early spring. Even though the flowers are small the hummingbirds like these also. It smells nice when we brush against them, and also have lots of leaves available for cooking. The blue flowers make a nice counterpoint when scattered on top of cold soups.

There is a small walled courtyard at the front of our house. We are working on fixing the courtyard, putting up a cover, laying down pavers and installing a fountain. We also want to replace the big front window (about ten feet long) with French doors so that we can walk out to this area from our front room when it’s cooler. There is a planter between a sidewalk and the wall, which we have filled with mint and rosemary and yellow lantana and whatever else is in there.

As long as the soil is amended (compost is good for that) and watered lots of plants seem to do well. More plants are affected by the winter frost than the summer heat.

That’s it for my flower photos. I had to respond to the gorgeous photos that Deana takes around her place.

We usually take our shoes off before walking around the house. We found our friends in Sweden do that all the time too. So we have flip-flop sandals outside every door, to slip into as we go outside. We now have concrete all around, which is warm and OK to walk on compared to the gravel, but at times it’s too hot, so the sandals are available. A few days ago a new pair appeared next to the standards.

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