Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another Garden Morning

Doesn't this look like a ruffly pink petticoat with a green over-skirt?

Each morning I look at the fresh poppy blooms bursting from their green husks--and I am reminded
of the beautiful and voluptous Dolly Parton whose charms seem about to erupt from her gowns!

This stand of purple coneflower was started from direct seeding last spring.

I transplanted a clump of butterflyweed [asclepias] from the pasture last July. It is being consumed by stripey caterpillars--the price to be paid for the beauty of Monarch butterflies in the garden.

A wildly frilled poppy--I think these are my favorites.

Although many flowers in the border are past their best and others have sprawled before the rain and wind,
still this view enchants me. I took the photo while on my knees weeding.

Seed-sown dianthus nestled in a tangle of mint.

A sprig of trumpet vine shines in the morning sun.

These zinnias grew from seed that fell to the ground last summer.
I enjoyed my plantation of zinnias last season, but didn't find room to include many of them this year.

A clump of elderflower near the clothesline.
I can't think why Mr. Rogers, the former resident here, planted garlic in such odd places.
It co-mingles with the elders, pops up near the peonies, surprises me leaning out of the shady tangle near the carport.  There is even a stalk of it in the box hedge!

Mr. Rogers created this raised bed at the rear of the garage when his late wife could no longer stoop to tend  flowers.  Last year it was a jungle of clambering morning glory, thickets of Sweet Annie. Roots of Johnson grass thick as my fingers run through the soil. 
I cleaned it out with Matt's help and planted sunflowers.
It would seem that cultivating brought up a few million more morning glories and the thick stalks of grass continue to thrust up. The bed is too deep to weed except by climbing in.
I rather despair of making anything workable here.

Willis raced from one end of the raised bed to the other, charging through sunflower stalks, pouncing on my hands.  When I gave up and left the sunflowers to their own devices, he flung himself into the poppies--which are too delicate for his robust attentions.

Hoping to discourage Willis I moved on to weed around the mint and pinks.

Willis flung himself down in the gravel of the driveway, so obviously abused!

Grubbing in the mint which threatens to throttle the Double Knock-Out Roses, I noticed this shiny black spider scuttling away.

As she floundered through the uprooted grass I noticed the red hour-glass shape on her underside.
What was it I had heard about spiders with that marking?
The information eluded me.
The spider remained in the clump of grass while I fetched the camera.

I have been thoroughly chastised by the males of the family, by my dear friend in Wyoming and by the editor of the local on-line magazine--for messing with a Black Widow Spider.
Apparently the thing to do is to mash them on sight!
Still--she wasn't being aggressive and I think I prefer a spider sighting to a snake any morning!


  1. You were lucky ...the bite is horendous, though not often deadly ...aparently most likely to happen if eggs are being guarded when she is disturbed.....great photo

  2. I do enjoy seeing your garden. The wild poppies are so pretty and that stripy caterpillar is like something from a Roald Dahl book!

  3. Thank you for another morning tour of your lovely gardens. I really like the photo you took while on your knees in the flower bed.

    Oh my gosh, when you mentioned the hour glass shape on that spider I thought Oh no, a black widow.

    I saw a garden snake in the bushes the other day and came in for the camera hoping it would still be there wen I got back, but it wasn't.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  4. Goodness, I wouldn`t enjoy meeting a Black Widow in the flower beds!

    Your poppies are beautiful, as ever. I`ll take some more photographs of mine if the rain stops.....

  5. I must get hold of some "wildly frilled poppies" - they're amazing! You can keep the black widow spiders though!

  6. Angie: I was obviously very lucky that the spider was only interested in getting herself away from my presence!
    Kath: Watching a caterpillar move about is always fascinating. I am surprised that these are eating not only the leaves of the plant but the blossom as well.
    FL: That humble weeding position makes for some interesting views of the garden. I wouldn't be taking a photo of a snake, though, I'd be up and away as fast as my creaky knees would get me out of there!
    DW: The needed rain always seems to ruin some of the flowers, doesn't it---the poppies are particularly vulnerable to wind and rain. I've found petals of the ruffled ones hanging in streamers from the plants.
    John: My poppy seed came from a mail order source [US] called Select Seeds. They have other varieties that I'm coveting. I think one of the best ways to acquire more poppies is to ask for a seed pod from other gardeners.