Thursday, July 12, 2018

Blooming Garden, July-18

Summer is in full swing, night temperatures are about +15 C, summer rains are warm, days are sunny with clouds. Last month I was worrying about watering and now water barrels have long been filled, so vegetables and flowers are always watered. I love this season when one have time to relax not only to work.


 Meadow-rue


Meadow-rue (Thalictrum) is a very humble plant, its delicate leaves appear in early spring. As soon as it starts to bloom, insects constantly fly around the amazing Meadow-rue flowers. Just after the buds open, their petals fall, but numerous stamens stay that make the flowers look like fluffy balls or brushes.
Roses began to open their buds earlier than previous summer. Probably the very hot May warmed the soil and the plants began to grow faster. Climbing Flammentantz rose opened its bright red buds in mid-June and will bloom up the end of July.

Flammentantz rose climber




Floribunda 'Folklore' rose


Miniature patio rose


Floribunda 'Proud of England' rose



  'Velvet' shrub rose

Floribunda roses are always quite problematic and capricious roses in our climate. Their wintering largely depends on winter temperatures, snow level, precipitation and ice. Due to these problems I try to plant patio, miniature, bush roses, hardy floribunda, Canadian and polyanthus roses, which grow and overwinter well here in North.


Canadian rose 'Martin Frobisher'

I'm pleased that I have grown many Pelargonium cuttings, now they bloom well in different pots all around the garden and make a bright note between conifers and perennials in the garden.


Pelargonium and Aquilegia


Pelargonium near the pond




Clematises bloom in the gazebo. This summer I have not sat there, because the gazebo is old and needs repair. But Lonicera caprifolium and clematises will have grown there until I finally decide which gazebo design will be installed in the garden. Then I will transfer them to another place.
This Philadelphus blossomed in June, last flowers faded previous week but I want to show you butterflies that love it. So do I :-)


 

And finally an unusual plant (maybe for some of you). It's Rodgersia aesculifolia, commonly called fingerleaf rodgersia, native to moist woods and stream banks in China.
It has dark green leaves with bronze tinting, it's often the main reason gardeners grow this plant. From June to August, creamy white (sometimes light pink) flowers bloom in large, astilbe-like panicles rising well above the foliage. Flowers are fragrant.
Rodgersia grows well in shady gardens, bog gardens, water garden or along stream banks. 
Admiral John Rodgers (1812-1882), distinguished American naval officer has discovered this interesting plant during his Pacific expedition. (sourse)
I have been growing Rodgersia for 10 years and its amazing flowers with hard petals and the feeling that they are made of wax always astonish me.


What are your 'to do' plans in July? Do you have free time to sit and look at your garden, or at the park?


 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Green Harvest


Today I show you my first crop of green veggies that have grown in my greenhouse. As I wrote in February,  I bought many packs of flower and vegetable seeds. The sowing happened at the beginning of May, the days were hot and vegetables started to grow well.
Then I planted 20 large bulbs of onions and now have harvested a lot of spring onion. I guess I'll freeze some for winter. I also sowed lettuce of different varieties, it turned out the best is the "Curled" green lettuce. The whole leaves of lettuce I use to decorate the plates with meal.


Today I've gathered a nice set for green salad. It's arugula, parsley, cucumbers, basil and lettuce.


I love arugula and planted it in different places. I noticed that in the greenhouse it grows quicker, leaves are larger, with the tangy flavor. It provides many of the same health benefits as other vegetables as broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts.


Parsley actually grows poorly in my garden soil, because it's originally from the Mediterranean region. So I added sand and ash to the soil when I planted parsley seeds. Here is the first harvest, parsley is still young and has pleasant smell. It is consumed in many different ways, including garnishing, salads, and sandwiches. Parsley contains several antioxidants and unusual components that provide unique health benefits.


Basil is a rare plant in my garden because it always lacks more sun and heat. In the greenhouse Basil 'Lemon' variety has grown tall and sprawling, so I tear off the side leaves. I learned it contains beta-carotene, powerful antioxidants, vitamin A, K. I especially love adding basil leaves making tea. It has pleasantly lemon flavor.


Now the first cucumbers are, I gathered them in the greenhouse early in the morning and have immediately tasted one, it was sweetish and crispy, it's good for salad and to make pickles.



Well, I've told you about my green harvest. Do you love spicy herbs and cucumbers? How do you use them?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Drosera

Drosera, commonly known as the sundew, is one of the largest carnivorous plants. The insects are used to supplement the poor mineral nutrition of the soil in which the plants grow. Various species, which vary greatly in size and form, are native to every continent except Antarctica. The English common name 'sundew' refer to the glistening drops at the tip of each tentacle that resemble drops of morning dew. 



The round-leaved sundew that I have found in the nearest bog is a specie of this carnivorous plant. It may be found in bogs, marshes, fens and is the most widespread sundew of northern Europe, much of Siberia.


The plant feeds on insects, which are attracted to the glistening drops loaded with a sugary substance, covering its leaves. It 's carnivorous behaviour in response to usually poor in nutrients soils. The plant uses enzymes to dissolve the insects which become stuck to the  tentacles and extract nutrients from their bodies. (wiki)
I first saw sundew in the bog close to the river, where I often walk (read 'All the rivers run'). In general, I was looking for wild strawberries, because they usually ripen in June. 


Lovely wild berries and very sweet.

 
Having read in detail about the behavior of the sundew, I thought that if it were larger and consumed more bloodsucking insects causing harm to people, pets and livestock then mosquitoes and horseflies would not even be in the garden :-)  What is your opinion?