Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Black-Eyed Susan Grass

Today I found a new plant:  black-eyed susan grass.  Never heard of it?  That could be because it doesn't exist.  Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolia): now that's a thing.  I've even grown it, though not reliably.

So how did I happen to find this non-existent black-eyed susan grass?  Well, first, I didn't mow my yard for a month.  Maybe five weeks.  Normally in the summer four to five weeks is a typical span between mowings, but with actual rain this year it needed mowing about three to four weeks ago.  But I was on vacation.  Then it was hot.  Then I was so busy I had not a single daylight moment to myself.  Then I was gone again.  Then yesterday, well, yesterday I took a breather.  Then today I started to continue that breather.  But 1/2 hour before dark I decided the yard must be cut right now.

I dragged the mower out of the garage and coaxed it to start.  I sweet-talked it into venturing through the tall grasses and taller weeds.  "They" say one should cut about a third off grass stems in a mowing. At my mower's highest setting (where I generally leave it), I was cutting off not less than 2/3 of the growth.  It was slow going.

Because it was slow going, I was able to take time to look at what was being mowed down.  And there it was:  black-eyed susan grass.  It closely resembled an annual rudbeckia, just starting to flower.  Since it was growing in my lawn, however, it must have been a grass. 

If I'd stopped to photographic-evidence-taking, there's no way the mower would have started again.  You'll just have to take my word for it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 2013 Blooms

Once again, my bloom day post has been delayed.  I blame the excessive heat.  Oh, I took pictures on the 14th and 15th, but the heat has completely sapped my energy for even the most sedentary tasks, like blogging. 

Fortunately the garden doesn't complain quite as much about the heat as I do.  I did venture out earlier in the week to find a cucumber hiding among the very tall weeds.  It is over a foot long.

On to the blooms ...

Most of the yard this month has been daylilies and Rudbeckia.  But I also have these:

 Echinacea on the patio, forming the backdrop for the glider.  The 'White Swan' Echinacea is barely visible in this photo, just behind the glider and on the right edge.

More Echinacea in the side garden, shading some yellow-blooming blue spruce sedum.  Oh, and there's something else in there ...

It is all flopped over and only made two blooms this year, but the stargazer lily, declining for the past few years, is still there. 

And here's a closeup of the blooming sedum

The lower border in the front has some sedum, too.  I don't remember what this one is, with thick grayish leaves.

Also in the front border:  four o'clocks and catmint.

The upper garden is sporting some cute little Coreopsis rosea.

The garage garden is full of phlox.

The side garden, in addition to the Echinacea and lilies, has balloon flower (shown here with daylilies) and heliopsis (with a rose campion).

Back in the front are this year's new bulbs:  Acidanthera (Gladiolus callianthus).  I just love them!

Oh, I'm pooped now, just thinking about those plants out in the heat.  Time for a nap.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Storms

I've been away on vacation for the past week.  During that time, there have been storms every day.  I was a bit worried what state my yard would be in when I returned this evening.  Fortunately, the worst damage was this:

I really should have planted some of those things before I left.  I think they all survived.  The only questionable one is the dahlia in the black pot that got completely squashed by the grill.  We'll see.