Monday, August 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - August 2011

As I work on this August Bloom Day post I'm listening to the blissful drumming of rain on the roof. We haven't heard that welcome sound often this summer, which makes us greatly appreciate this almost full day of rain so much more than we otherwise would. 
While the hot, dry summer has been hard on our upstate New York garden, it hardly compares to the heat and drought our gardening friends are experiencing in Texas and some other states. My heart goes out to the people of Texas, praying refreshing rain and cooler temperatures will ease their situation very soon.

We had some good rain on August 6th, 7th and 8th, bringing the green back to the lawn and giving the plants a boost. The moderate temperatures made gardening a pleasure during the past week.

Rather than digging these gladiolus, planted in the veggie garden last year, we covered them with bales of straw in the fall and they overwintered well. I planted more this summer but they'll be blooming much later.

Window boxes and containers have filled out and are looking bright and colorful.
That's "Misty Lilac" Wave Petunia in between a couple of regular Petunias. One Wave goes a long way!

Hydrangea macrophylla "Oak Hill" has been blooming since early July.

These perky pansy faces are growing at the base of the hydrangea. Posted by Picasa
Mr. Lincoln Rose had a late start, as did all the roses this spring, but it's done a good job catching up. I wish you could smell the wonderful perfume!

Sea Pearl Rose, in the pink garden, is still very small but it has bravely produced this pretty bloom and has more buds coming.

I was thrilled to find Agastache "Salmon and Pink" at our small local nursery. The hummingbirds love this plant.

The lovely Fuchsia in the hanging basket is "Marinka". It's putting on a spectacular show after overwintering in an upstairs bedroom. Posted by Picasa

Here are some of the containers crowding the back patio. I got a little carried away, as usual, even though I was determined to plant fewer this year. There are several overwintered geraniums in the mix, and a few other overwintered plants as

Ivy Geranium "Comedy"

And on the front porch, baskets with "Tidal Wave Cherry" and "Pink Morn" Wave Petunias.

Ivy Geranium "Belladonna" with "Marimba" in the background, both overwintered. Posted by Picasa

This lovely Lophospermum was also overwintered.

As was this container with Vancouver Centennial Geranium and Blackie Sweet Potato Vine.

I love this very tall self-sown Sunflower growing by the front porch under the bird feeders. It branches more and has smaller flowers than the usual large-headed sunflowers (Blackoil) that sprout from dropped birdseed.

In the small rock garden pink Batface Cuphea, planted last year, has sown itself and produced several pastel colors. This was another exciting find at our wonderful local nursery. Posted by Picasa

The Daylilies are almost finished. There are just a few producing a last flower or two.
This one is "Dallas Star" and beside it is Sedum "Autumn Joy", which has grown much bigger than I thought it would.

Coneflowers are blooming up a storm - bee and butterfly heaven, although none were about when I took this photo.

Hydrangea paniculata "Limelight" has abundant blooms.

In the Lilac Garden, tall Phlox blooms with Shasta Daisies, red Bee Balm/Monarda (another absolute favorite of hummingbirds) and Gloriosa Daisies/Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susans). Posted by Picasa
The Driveway Garden has plenty of tall Phlox, Monarda and Lilies.

The elegant Tiger Lily blooms last a long time. I planted this one from a seed several years ago.

August is a colorful month for the front yard.

Posted by Picasa



Gloriosa Daisies bloom for a very long time.

The Rudbeckia laciniata hortensia/Golden Glow (aka Cut-leaf Coneflower, "Outhouse Flower") is sprawling outside the little fences that my hubby built to keep it upright. It spreads rapidly and I haven't had time to dig up the escaping plants and give them away to other hapless gardeners who are blissfully unaware of its spreading habit. Today was too wet to get a wider shot of how it looks now. We're actually enjoying its sprawling outside the fence as it looks very pretty doing it, which makes it easy to forgive its tendency toward thuggery. Posted by Picasa

You'll find well over a hundred gardeners eager to show off their blooms over at Carol's blog, May Dream Gardens, in Indiana.

Happy Bloom Day everyone!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Red-bellied Woodpecker - Diligent Dad

Sometimes I spot him as early as 6:30 AM if I'm lucky.

But Mr. Red-belly can be seen at various times throughout the day, diligently gathering food for his hungry offspring.

Such a hard worker! He carries a sunflower seed from the feeder over to the nearby sugar maple and cracks it open.
At first I thought he was gathering his own breakfast until one morning I spotted....

...this little fellow peeking over the branch,

....waiting for Daddy to bring another seed.

Ah, here he comes. Hurry Dad, I'm starved!

I wonder how many tiny morsels it takes to fill that little tummy.

How about some suet?

Oh, yes please! Posted by Picasa

And back he goes for more.

What's taking so long?

Sometimes Dad has to argue with the sparrows about whose turn it is. They're feeding babies too, you know!

But can't you see I'm hungrier than they are?
(Notice he doesn't yet have a red head? There's only a faint smudge of red on July 26th). Posted by Picasa

Overworked and underpaid, don't you know?

I work my beak off, and what do I get? Squawk, squawk, more, more!

Doesn't this child ever sleep? Why can't his mother do this?
(see, there is a little red on his belly...not much, but it's there).

But Mommy is nowhere to be seen. Perhaps she's on duty elsewhere.
(This photo is from '09).

I did see this female on the maple trunk back in the middle of May, but haven't noticed one since.

Notice the difference in the coloring on the female's head? She has a gap in the red while Daddy's head color goes all the way to his beak.
Red-bellies are often misnamed red-headed woodpeckers for obvious reasons, but you can see what a red-head looks like here at Cornell Lab of Ornithology's great site, All About Birds.

Last time I saw the youngster was August 4th. He came by himself, or at least he appeared to be alone. Daddy was nowhere in sight. See how the red has come in on his head in just over a week?
I didn't see him eat anything before he flew into the maple tree, but it looks like he's becoming more independant, getting out on his own. I'll bet Dad is happy about that!
I hope we're lucky enough to see the little guy feeding a baby of his own next year. Posted by Picasa