Monday, August 27, 2018

Invasion of 'Red Admiral' Butterflies

I named this post 'Invasion of Red Admiral butterflies' because they are everywhere in my garden. I don't know why but I've read it happened due to the hot summer this year. Here is what I learned about 'Red Admiral' (Vanessa atalanta):
"The wingspan can reach 76 mm. These butterflies are found from the tundra areas to the subtropics. Females lay one egg each on nettle leaves, which serves as a food for hatched caterpillars. Before turning into a chrysalis, they fold the nettle leaf into a "bag" and entangle it with a silk thread. Unlike many other butterflies, red admirals prefer gum from trees and the juice of rotting fruit to nectar". (wiki)

Butterfly invasion continues for several days. They are everywhere: 
on a Physocarpus opulifolius bush, 
on a drainpipe, 
on a water barrel, 
on a greenhouse, 
on an old towel, 
on a Elaeagnus argentea bush, etc. 
I've taken macros to see a head and a body of Red Admiral. Watching close I guess it looks like an alien.

Here is a vase with Callistephus and Cineraria leaves:


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

White Color of This Summer

White Dahlia

They said white flowers in the garden bring a sense of serenity, that color white symbolizes purity, innocence, love, elegance etc. I suppose white flowers can brighten up shady areas and bring quietness to the garden. In the evening, especially in the season of 'White nights' they can also make my garden come alive.

White Asiatic Lilies

White flowers look interesting planted with green foliage plants, as Hostas, Miscantus, Conifers, Rodgersia, Potentilla. I usually plant white flowers mixing them with other colorful plants because white color always combines well with any plants in any garden.

White roses 'Swany' and Rose-Marie (Austin's roses)

White Phlox paniculata

When I'd been visiting the Wisley gardens in the UK I saw an all-white garden. I learned that to do it is more difficult than it looks. As you see on my photos color 'white' can often be partially yellow or creamy. Nevertheless, white flowers can be a spectacle in a garden, bringing a sense of coolness on hot days.

Camomile (Leucanthemum vulgare) and White Impatiens

Нydrangea arborescens and Нydrangea paniculata

White Begonia

There are many plants with white flowers but I usually determine the right plants for my garden, choose varieties available to my gardening zone 5a, to garden soil.
Do you love white
color in your garden? What plants do you choose in this case?

Monday, August 6, 2018

Cineraria maritima

Cineraria Maritima (common name Silver Dust Plant or Dusty Miller) is one of my favorite ornamental garden plants. I love it for its attractive silvery-white leaves, which add variety to the garden. I think Cineraria is ideal for beds, borders, rockeries and even containers.

There was a plant of Cineraria that grew and bloomed from May to September in my garden, then overwintered on my windowsill in the city and the next spring was moved back to the garden. In April I sowed Cineraria seeds, planted seedlings in May in the border where young Cinerarias are growing.

In July I decided to conduct an experiment with Cineraria cuttings. So I made a soil mixture: garden soil + sand + ash. I've prepared 6 small pots for cuttings, filled in the soil mixture and planted the cuttings.

Thus, a tray with pots of Cineraria cuttings was placed on a shelf in the greenhouse. They were growing in the company of rose cuttings, dill, coriander and cucumbers.

Two weeks passed and 4 young Ceneraria cuttings are well, healthy, rooted, and new leaves sprout. I'm sure they will be OK in the garden.

This was my first experience in growth new plants of Cineraria. Did you conduct the similar experiment with Cineraria or with other plants? 


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Clematis in August

Clematis 'President'

The unusually hot July has ended and if you believe the weather forecast August will also be hot here in St. Petersburg. Will there be rains? It is to be hoped that clouds will fly over my garden and fill the barrels with rainwater.
Clematis decorate the garden, I'm glad because last year in cold winter my six Clematis died. I was very upset, especially for 'Jackmanii' variety, it was so tall and flowered for 2 months without ceasing. Last autumn I bought the 5 new, they wintered in the greenhouse, covered with earth.

Clematis 'Blue angel' Viticella

Clematis 'Blue angel'

Clematis began to bloom in June, first with single flowers. In July, with the onset of very warm weather and rare rains, their bloom pleased me every day. In the morning when I walk around the garden to see how my plants are, I always love touching bright Clematis flowers and praise them for their beauty.

Clematis 'General Sikorski'

Clematis 'Justa'

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis 'Jackmanii' is the most unpretentious and well wintering plant. It survived in the cold winter and blossoms for the fourth year, decorating the gazebo. Some gardeners do not like its very simple flowers. I love this variety (somebody calls it 'Maltese cross') because there are no problems with 'Jackmanii'.

Clematis 'Rouge cardinal'

I think my clematises will get strong this summer, will well overwinter. Usually in late autumn I cover their roots with a thick layer of dry leaves to keep them in warmth in cold and snowy winter.

Clematis 'Blue angel'

What is your experience in Clematis growing?