anemones dahlia and penstomon

In a Vase on Monday – Anemones with other pastels

It’s been another lovely Autumn weekend. Thankfully my finger was healed enough to get a big size glove over it and I was able to finish my garden tidy up and bulb planting. The Anemones are wildly flowering – a huge row of them all like soft cotton pleats and ruffles. And the first of my random seedling dahlias has flowered! Although it’s parent was a rather garish raspberry ripple this one is a smaller soft lemon and white. Probably nothing for the show bench but perfect for me.

dahlia and pelargonium cut flowers

In contrast to the wild colours in the garden right now, I’ve tried to keep the colours soft and quiet so as not to overpower the anemones. Pelargonium Appleblossom Rosebud which I used to have years ago, and recently got again from C’s aunt, who has a garden full of wonderful things, is doing brilliantly under the lime trees, so I picked quite a few of these.

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Breakfast for Bees

I was surprised the other morning as I walked around the garden listening and looking to see what the bees were enjoying most this week. Hundreds of bees were leaving and returning to the hive, ignoring the blazing mass of goldenrod, dahlias, coreopsis, and heleniums I have planted, not to mention the masses of wild carrot and thistles which have edged in to take advantage of the new compost.

The blue mist and the sedums down the driveway were happily filled with bumble bees, but not many honeys. When I arrived at the Louisa plum trees the reason was clear, fruit was the breakfast choice. On the tree and on the ground, the overripe and bird-pecked plums were full of bees. Not a wasp in sight, only bees.

bees on bird pecked fruit plums

I haven’t seen this before, but several things are different this year. We have had unusual cold weather – it’s now been now confirmed that it has been 1 degree colder than the norm this summer. We also have seen none of the Vespula wasps which often infest the area at this time of year. And it’s the first year that the Louisas have had a good crop of fruit.

Later in the day, as C was cooking second breakfast, the bees were having lunch in the asters.

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lambs and mom

Spring – hail, thunder, howling gales and lambs

Hail, thunder, gale force winds, and the mud that results from weeks of the same made it an interesting weekend for gardening. The rain may have softened the blow for the dogwoods which I mistakenly planted on a steep dry bank – having survived for two years their reward is to be dug up and wrestled into a wheelbarrow for transport to a wetter place.

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Tulips and Honeysuckle cut flowers

Winter Tulips and Honeysuckle in a Vase on Monday

My tulips are up. I’m especially happy with these because they are the ones which I’ve dug up and chilled each year for the last 3 years. I know this because all the new bulbs are still small leaves, whereas these red ones are all blooming. I think this is because my fridge has glass doors, so they probably had more light than they should have had during the chilling process.

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bumble bee on dianthus

Flowers for Bees in mid Summer

Artichokes, scarlet runner beans, pumpkin, zucchini, tomatillos and other vegetables,  herbs, and flowers were full of bees in January.

Scarlet runner beans are so pretty and useful. This year I collected the mature beans to try as dried beans, since they get past it so quickly. The dried beans are very pretty, but I have yet to taste them.

bumble bee on scarlet runnerOregano flowers are extra popular.

honey bee on oregano

bumble bee on oregano

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bumble bee on wallflower

Plants for Bees in Early Summer

Each month I’ve tried to photograph the most popular flowers for bees and bumble bees. Summer was a blur of growing and harvesting which is slowing now so I can post some of them.

Soldier poppies, California poppies and some of the later perennial poppies continued into December and later and were often full of bumble bees which blended so well and buried themselves so deep they often looked like part of the flower.

bumble bees on poppies
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