Thursday, August 30, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
But thanks to Zoey they're still crawling around on my parsley, and sometime soon they should form their cocoons and then turn into beautiful Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies.Today I counted 11 caterpillars on my two Italian parsley plants. I'm hoping they do the cocoon thing somewhere I can watch the daily progress.
But if I can't, Zoey put two of hers in a jar and is posting regularly about their progress. If you go to her blog, look at Aug 19, 23, and 24th. On the 24th, she videoed one of caterpillars shedding its skin. It is absolutely awesome! I've linked Zoey's blog here. Check it out!!
Thanks Zoey - this is VERY cool!!!
September 5th update: I just read an article that I found very informative. Butterflies come from chrysalids (chrysalis is the singular); moths come from cocoons. I had in my head that chrysalis was the process of becoming a cocoon or a butterfly (yeah, it's been a long time since I was in grade school!). Anyway, now I know!
Friday, August 24, 2007
These all started from seed brought by the wind or birds or ??
They bloom, like, forever! I love it!
these blooms smell sooooo good!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I was feeling like my gardens were done, and it's only August 23rd for heaven's sake. So this afternoon between rain showers and drizzles, I took the dogs out and we did a little garden recon. There is still color in the garden! Hooray! So over the next few days I'll show you some of the things blooming, a few of them reblooms - that's always fun!
Mark has been out of town on business all week, which probably accounts for some of my blahs. I've been doing fun stuff like moving the compost pile to a new home, edging and weeding gardens (between showers - the weeds pull out really easily at least!), roasting tomatoes, etc.
Well, yes, I have had some real fun too. There has been very little wind and the grey skies have kept boaters off the lake, so I did get in a couple of wonderful kayak paddles. Tuesday I did 4.2 miles - on my own - and that felt great. Here's one of the things I love about kayaking: you go out and at some point you think, okay I have to turn around - I'm tired. And then you get back home and you realize that you have energy left! You could go out and do a couple more miles! It is just that much fun. I love it. Down side is I sit in water in mine (sit-on-top model), and very soon I am going to need some neoprene shorts. Once it starts dipping into the 50's at night, our lake starts cooling off quickly. Most of the summer the lake is like a tepid bath - not even refreshing on a hot day. But it is starting to cool down, so I'll be doing some on-line shopping very soon.
All Summer Beauty - starting to turn its fall colors
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Isn't this a beautiful daylily? I just planted it this spring, so not sure if it will always bloom late. I'm thinking I need to add more late bloomers, so hope it will. It's a smaller daylily bloom, but a lovely rich color.
I love Japanese anemone. They aren't real showy from a distance, but up close they are very pretty. I love the way they nod in the breeze. I have them in a couple gardens - in light shade and in almost full sun. They seem to be okay everywhere I try them.
A couple more of my smaller dahlias. The colors have been so rich this summer - I love them! The dinnerplates are definitely more showy, but I'm hoping I can overwinter the tubers and have them all again next year. I do have to remember to stake them as I plant them though. This year the ones in partial shade are pretty much laying on the ground.
Turtlehead is another fall bloomer that I love. The plants get very large and the blooms aren't super showy until you get right up to the plant. But they are so cute! And it keeps blooming for quite a long time. When I first bought turtlehead, it was for a shady space. But mine does much, much better in full sun as long as the ground is moist.
And what late-summer/fall post would be complete without brown-eyed susans? I used to think these were too "gold" for my gardens. But now I rely on them to add bright spots throughout my late summer gardens. I can't think of any flowers I don't like, but I do have a soft spot for the prairie-type flowers.
We have had a cool, rainy weekend here. No complaints - we desperately needed the rain. But I do hope it plans to warm up again, so we get more tomatoes. I roasted and froze several batches, but not nearly enough to last the winter!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
(This year I planted Caspian Pink and Soldacki heirlooms instead of Brandywines. They taste really yummy - but I'm kind of missing my Brandywines right about now!)
The tomatoes are coming in like crazy - it's only 69 at 11 am - so decided I could fire up the oven and roast some today. Here's what I do:
First I peel the tomatoes. I just peel them with a knife because heirlooms peel really easily. If you do the hot water, cold water thing, that's cool.
Next I cut them into halves, thirds, quarters, eighths, ?? - depending on the size of the tomato. My Romas I leave whole - I cut the heirlooms to approximately that size.
I line a baking pan with parchment paper - and drizzle some olive oil over the paper - a very light coating. Then I put the tomatoes on the paper and drizzle more olive oil over them. Sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground pepper on the top.
Roast at 425 degrees F. for about an hour. I bake them until they just start to soften and lose their shape.
Cool. Put in freezer bags and freeze until you need them next winter.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
This was the note card - a photo of theirs - what a gorgeous butterfly. And inside were the cutest seed packets I've ever seen! Thank you so much, Chris & Laurie! I love them - both the seeds and the beautiful way you packaged them up. Very fun!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
This is a hibiscus I put in last year, and it is blooming for the first time today. It's supposed to be a pale yellow. The bud that will open tomorrow looks yellow compared to these blooms, so maybe the longer it blooms, the more yellow color I'll get. However, I am not complaining about the white - very pretty!
Thursday, August 9, 2007
The verbage is in Russian, but the photos are universal.
First my apologies - I have a lot of photos on this post - I hope it doesn't take an obscene amount of time to upload for everyone.
I won't go into great detail about each of these. The first three are the view from the porch roof. Basically, it's what I see when I wake up every morning.
Then I just walk you down the east side of our lot - these gardens are mostly shady until you get past the river birch clump - so a lot of hosta etc.
The lakeshore gardens and big garden on the west side get a lot of sun. The 8th, 9th, & 10th photos are taken from the dock looking back up towards the house.
The big garden on the west side used to be filled with prairie type plants - purple coneflower, black-eyed susans, etc - and I'm leaning toward doing more of that again. It has good color in May, June and most of July - but right now all I'm seeing is pale purple, white and yellow. The purple coneflower gave it some punch. Along the same thought, the west lakeshore garden used to be full of monarda which I dug out because it was very invasive, but I haven't figured out what else would fill it in as nicely. We'll see...