December 29, 2011

Top Ten Favorite Photos From 2011

It's hard to pick just ten favorites from the 372 garden photos that I posted last year, but here are a few of the best, anyway. Purple crocus are commonplace, but I love the sunlight and vivid color in the shot above. Both are in short supply right now during winter.

Again, I love the light here with these daffodils growing in my dad's Moses Lake garden.

My new 'Keiko' intersectional peony had lovely blooms.

The West Bed was full of color at times this year, including when this shot was taken in June.

Delphiniums like these 'Pagan Purples' are just gorgeous. Even if I forget to stake them and they fall over in windstorms.

Here's some more good evening light backlighting 'Eglantyne' english roses. I don't get up early enough to catch good morning light in June, when the sun rises at 4 am.

Love these true blue siberian irises. This cultivar is 'June to Remember'.

'Frances Joiner' was new to the garden this year and delighted me with her ruffly, warm apricot blooms.

The 'Cranberry Double Click' cosmos showed great, rich crimson color.

Another shot with crocus and beautiful light - this time in the fall. Would you believe that there are still some scraggly autumn crocus blooming in my yard today (December 29)? I'm not sure if they're just frozen in place or if new flowers keep popping up every time the ground thaws a bit.
And that's it for this last post of the year. With a 4-month old baby, I'm way too in love with sleep to stay up until midnight just to celebrate, so have a good time for me on New Year's Eve!

December 12, 2011

Big Bumblebees in the 'Spring Snow'

I wasn't thinking about bumblees and little birds when I planned my garden. I was thinking about flowers, mostly. But the bees and birds started coming to visit and added so much fun to the backyard.

The giant bumblebees are my favorite, especially when they're having their way with the crabapple blossoms in the spring. It's entertaining to watch them manhandling the petals to get at the pollen.

These guys were definitely 'busy as bees', so they were even worse than my kids (!) at holding still while I made the shots. I took so many blurry photos last May to get these few that were in focus. Thank heaven for the delete button on the digital camera.

I was really tempted to try to pet their fuzzy backsides, but contented myself with taking pictures instead.

The seven 'Spring Snow' crabapples that attract all these bumbles are growing nicely. This photo shows how big the crown was on one tree last year - at least double what it was when we planted it 3 1/2 years before.

Have I ever mentioned that I can see parts of 63 other houses from different areas of my backyard? Yeah, I can't wait for these trees to fill in the perimeter so we can enjoy the garden without feeling like we have an audience.

My kids sing a song about popcorn popping on the apricot tree. It could certainly be changed to popcorn on the crabapple tree, eh? Only five more months until the flowers show up again.

December 7, 2011

'Green Jewel' Coneflower (Echinacea)

Green flowers are so cool. Here are a few pictures of 'Green Jewel' coneflower from my summer garden. This plant would be larger if it was growing in full sun, but it's doing OK in partial shade. Despite the less than perfect conditions, it hasn't needed staking to keep it upright.

This coneflower grows about 2' by 2' with 4" green, fragrant flowers in summer. Hardy in zones 4-8, it's drought tolerant and prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

I've been neglecting this blog lately and will probably continue to do so until after the holidays are over. Then I'll get back to a post each week. One project that's keeping me busy is brainstorming ideas for the annual beds and pots at our church's nearby temple. In my own yard I've been too busy thinking about and buying trees, shrubs and perennials to spend much time or money on annuals, so it's fun to get to work with them for the temple.