Thursday, June 26, 2008

Life In the Garden

The clematis vine on the lamp post out front is blooming well, now. It's kind of fun to have something so spectacular to enjoy in the morning sun. At first, I thought these flowers would just have four petals, but now that they have fully unfurled themselves, the six petals are more obvious, as are the red stripes on them. Sweet.

The rain of this week, along with the regular morning waterings, has brought great encouragement to nearly everything in the garden. Those cleome seedlings I was so concerned about are doing quite nicely and more are appearing here and there. The everlastings and asters and bachelor button seedlings are getting bigger every day.

The shasta daisies will be blooming very shortly and I've noticed that, like the sunflowers, there are many side-shoots on each stem. With every day, it's becoming more and more clear just how much these plants are thriving in this sunny location. I'm not sure I ever realized how little they were doing for me in our former shady gardens.

While we wait for the big perennials to begin their fireworks display, the pansies and dianthus are still going strong and the allyssum I've grown from seed along the edges of the fence garden are tall and strong, their sweet white flowers scenting the humid air this morning.

We had a temperature of 70 by 8 this morning. The sun was strong, though filtered a little from clouds slipping in overhead. As I did my morning tour of the border, examining different plants and their various growths, I could hear what sounded like a frog down in the forest of plantlife. I looked around, but wasn't able to find him. I'll be keeping my eyes open for him (or her) in the days ahead.

I also recently spotted a daredevil chipmunk tearing down the length of the garden, slaloming around each fence post as he came to it. It looked like he was having a good time, that's for sure. And it must be cool for a little guy like him to have a corridor of safety from overhead predators, so he can make his way around the neighborhood.

Last summer, a new plant appeared near the entrance to the restaurant parking lot. I recognized it as a hollyhock even before it began blooming and I polled all those who might care to see who it was planted it.

None of us had, however, and so we figure that it was just an accidental seedling, probably finding its way to us through the classy delivery system known as bird poo.

This year, there are several plants in that spot and already the flower stalks are taller than me. It's the perfect place for such a planting and the buttery yellow color is a nice contrast to the orange daylilies that are just starting to bloom nearby.

In the fall, I will try to gather some seeds from this plant. I wanted to buy a hollyhock or two this spring, as I think they would be a terrific tall plant along the fence here on Not Wisteria Lane. The nurseries only had the poofy double flowers, so I passed, since I think these single flowers are way more elegant looking.

Clouds covered the sky early this evening and seemed to promise showers. We still hadn't seen them by sundown, which happened behind cloud cover. In the fading light of the evening, there was some lightning...and some lightning bugs.

And then, to my delight, I spotted a bat, swooping through the dimming sky, looping and whirling back and forth over the top of the fence garden, no doubt sucking tons of bugs out of the air. She swooped around me a few times, as well. This was perfectly understandable, as the bugs were all around me, as well as around the evening-blooming flowers in the garden.

I'm sure there are those of you who are a little non-plussed at the idea of a bat, but they do eat their weight in mosquitos and other bugs each evening. As for swooping around me, well, I have faith in their sonar--they don't want to fly into me any more than I want them to. Plus, bats are just cool--only 22 days until The Dark Knight opens!!

I leave you this evening with this lovely double red rose, found on the fence in a neighbor's yard around the corner.


Patrick said...

I LOVE bats, mostly because of their mosquito eating ways in fact. It's one of the reasons I love dragonflies too. Frogs are pretty good on that front too, now that I think about it. Keep us posted on the frog search.

On a walk yesterday I was lucky to find a field of day lilies and some clematis like yours, but once again, my camera did not capture the color of the latter adequately. YOur shot is gorgeous.

Greg said...

Hello, Patrick! It must be the weekend--glad you found the clematis. I was about to send you a Purple Alert email!!

Bats are WAY cool, and of course, I enjoy the other guys you mention for exactly the same bug-eating reason, though they are also each beautiful in their own way.

We really need to get together and trade photog tips! I *love* your walks...