A Nerd In The Garden: Landscaping & Hummingbirds

Vertical gardening

3 yard^3 of hazelnut shells

3 yard^3 of hazelnut shells

This weekend the hummingbirds made their return presence known. I was delighted to see them visiting the crocosima and I’m pretty sure that I heard the chicks in their nest. The crocosima and my mallow plant bloomed about two weeks early this year and I was worried that the hummingbirds would be late. I hope the blooms last long enough for the chicks too.

A local nursery was having a sale and we picked up four plants for the empty flower bed. We got two Rose of Sharons and two elephant ear plants. I also re-planted the gunnera that died in the unexpected freeze last year.

This week we had 3 cubic yards of hazelnut shells delivered so that we could mulch everwhere we didn’t want to have to weed next year. There were a surprising amount of whole nuts in the delivery and we set them out for the squirrels and the crows.

I like the look of the hazelnut shells and they are lightweight so it is easy for me to shift a bunch of them by myself. Since we had a heat wave this weekend I was glad that I was able to get a lot of the work done myself.

Vertical gardening

Vertical gardening

The gunnera got pretty badly sunburned before we got it properly mulched. It spent a week in the ground before we were able to get the mulch delivered. Thankfully there is a bunch of new leaves coming up. It seems a lot happier now that there is a whole thick layer of mulch over it.

We planted the Rose of Sharon and the elephant ear plants inbetween a rhododendron and two pink roses. It’s a long narrow strip of a bed that follows along a fence, and I’m using the term bed very loosely here—it’s more a strip of dirt that mere weeks ago was a long narrow strip of weeds.

Garden

Garden

The pumpkins and squash are taking to growing vertically very well. We picked up some more tomato cages and they are vining up them quite merrily. We also have a nest of bumblebees living behind a rose bush. I’m fairly certain they are the ones who are so kindly pollinating the tomatoes. I made sure not to bury the entrance to their nest when we were mulching.

It’s been a very busy few weekends but also very satisfying as the garden and yard start to come together. Next weekend will be more gardening and also 4th of July celebrating. K

Along the fence

Along the fence

A Little Bit of Gardening

IMG_2641

IMG_2641Well this heat has made my roses very happy–at least so long as I water them frequently. I only have one red rose and it was languishing in the spot I had originally chosen for it. Last fall we moved it to a better spot and it is flourishing.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

The hummingbirds I suspected were nesting in the neighbor’s tree which overhangs my garden proved to be doing just that. A few nights ago I was treated to the sight off 4 little ones buzzing around in the tree while the 2 parents watched from the top of the tree. I wish I could have gotten a picture but they are iridescent green against green leaves that are almost the same size as the birds and while I could see them when they flitted about, I doubt my cell phone could have captured enough detail for a picture to be worth while.

I also discovered that I have a spectacular gladiolus in my flowerbed. I don’t know how I lucked into this beauty but I hope it blooms again next year. Watering seems to be key when it gets warmer. Last year the gladiolus didn’t flower and I suspect it’s because I failed to water them enough.

Speaking of watering and growing, my Gunnera are growing very well. I’m very pleased with them. I hope they get huge next year. From what I’ve read about them, they take a year to establish themselves.

Gunnera

Gunnera

I also have some Coleus that is happy as can be and some New Zealand Impatiens that are gorgeous and flowering for the second time since I got them. K.

New Zealand Impatien

New Zealand Impatien

In My Garden: A Rose Called Distant Drums and Hummingbirds

Distant Drums bud

Distant Drums bud

Distant Drums bud

My garden is a source of great satisfaction, peace and joy for me. I have several rose bushes and one of my favorites is one named Distant Drums. It has a mauve, dusty rose color to the blooms that I find soothing and gorgeous. This week it has burst into bloom. I have some lovely pictures to share with you.

The hummingbirds are still visiting the Crocosmia Lucifer, much to my delight. I had planned on removing most of the flowers and moving the rest of them to other places but I’m going to hold off on that so long as the hummingbirds visit.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

It has been quite dry here so I’ve had to water more than normal. My Gunnera isn’t grwoing as large as I would like but I suspect it’ll take a year or two to develop a large enough root system to produce the really huge leaves I’m looking for.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

My gladiolus is blooming one at a time. I’ve got three coming on but they don’t look like they will bloom together. It keeps my garden pretty though to have different flowers blooming at different times.

I also have this gorgeous double flower daylily I got from a neighbor who was moving out and had some landscaping done. They were throwing away the plants and asked if I wanted any. Since I had a corner of my garden that needed a ground cover and I love flowers I accepted a few of them. Much like the Crocosmia Lucifer, these are naturalizing quite nicely. K.

Double flower daylily--name unknown

Double flower daylily–name unknown

Distant Drums in bloom

Distant Drums in bloom

My Garden Has Enticed a Hummingbird to Visit

Hummingbird in Crocosmia Lucifer

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

I wasn’t going to post about my garden again so soon but to my utter delight a hummingbird stopped by today and I got pictures. She’s very shy and lovely and she sounds like being buzzed by a humongous wasp when she flies by my head but I’m so pleased she stopped by for a sip of nectar. Interesting story, I got 5 Crocosmia Lucifer bulbs as a gift when I moved into the house years ago and the flowers you see are the descendants of those 5 bulbs. I never planted any more. They are naturalizing and spreading. Thankfully they are beautiful and they attract hummingbirds because I don’t think I could get rid of them if I wanted to.

Pineapple Lily

Pineapple Lily

My pineapple lily is blooming. I love the color of this plant and the shape of the leaves. Also I have some gorgeous coleus growing. The shape of the leaves and the colors are quit striking. One lonely Gladiolus is blooming. I’m afraid my neglect of my flowers in years past has taken a toll in my glads, which is a shame because they are one of my favorite flowers.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

There is still a ton of weeding to be done and I’m hoping to get the spot in back ready for raised beds this fall. I may not be able to grow much in the fall but they’ll be good and ready for the spring if I can get the area cleared and the beds made and installed in the fall. K.