2013 Summer & Beyond: Pics and Conversation - Volume 2

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi everybody,
The old thread got sooo long. With Autumn aproaching (and possibly more pleasant temps) now seems as good as any to start a new page of this popular thread. So to follow juhur's great suggestion, here's Volume 2.

We came from here:


Don't forget to go back to the old threads now and then to look at all the beautiful pics!

I don't have a lot blooming right now. A few annuals and a few perennials. Anyways, here are some just to get us started (mostly volunteers).

'Rocket Red' Snapdragon (my first Snapdragons)

Volunteer Goldenrods (native plants in Illinois, we see them in fields everywhere). Hard to tell from the pics, but these are covered with pollinators of all types plus predators like Lady Bugs.

Small Sunflowers from seeds planted all over the place by the Squirrels.

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Nuts: Really love those Red Snapdragons !!!

A few pics today ,

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

A few more ' 4 AND 5 above are a hollyhock and a Dahlia beginning to fade
Below the in first pic is some Goldenrod that came to visit , visiting and nutsaboutnature's place also ..lol
2nd is a coneflower trying to come back

Nuts We have some of the same ,, but, the bees love us !!!

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Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Beautiful flowers, juhur! Yes, I guess we have a few things alike, but I can only dream about having as many different blooms as you. As it is, I'm always surprised how many of my full-sun plants thrive in part shade.

We should also have tons of butterflies on some of those plants. Well there's always next year.

Thanks for the compliment! It's a good thing I took pictures before our rain on Friday. It knocked off most of the Snapdragon blooms. Good thing they still have lots more buds.

My Sedums are getting so close to blooming. I'm seeing hints of light pink mixed in with the green and the bees are already starting to check it out.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I've been in the garden digging today , Our Sunflowers should Bring Question mark , Silvery Checkerspot to name a couple , I think the Silvery Checkerspot our leaving larvae on my BES
There are four or five that like Goldenrod and Sunflowers .
Yesterday a Monarch , Black Swallowtail , and a large yellow Female Sulpher (I think the Female is that , the males are white like cabbage .
Humidity is smothering here , going easy at it (the garden)
Lots of; Big Ugly Looking Spiders out There !!! ooooooooo hhhhhhhh like a ghosts and chills

Hobart, IN

I did notice a lot more spiders this year and huge webs. And I had two black swallowtail caterpillars feasting on carrot foliage a month ago but they've disappeared. Either the birds got them or they've wandered off to get ready for fall. I'll have to be careful cleaning up the garden in that area or they might end up in the compost pile.
I, too, like your red snaps, nuts. And the rain has twisted and bent some of the taller dahlias and snaps as well. Still a great flower turnout for me anyway after struggling with too much shade and low-performing impatiens all these years. The browallia that I've always loved in the past, despite the fact that it rarely got 9 inches tall in full shade, has ballooned to over a foot tall and loaded with flowers, making me love it even more.
I have a zucchini! I discovered it this morning, trying to prop up bent plants and it was hiding on the ground. Yippee! Beats last year with lot of blooms but no fruit. Of course it comes at a time when I just froze excess zucchini yesterday that I impulsively bought at the farmers market without a menu to use it.

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

It rained really, really hard last night. It only lasted about an hour or so. We were driving home after being out most of the day and watched the clouds build. Just after dark, one area was putting on a constant "light show" almost to the point of "strobing" non-stop. Then all of a sudden it came down...HARD! I was so glad we could just drive into the garage. We would have been soaked otherwise.

Congrats on all the BF activity, juhur, especially the Monarch!! Still nothing, but Cabbage Whites here.

Thanks, Cindy! I'm really going to try saving the Snaps, somehow. I have several ideas to try and I've also gotten lots of encouragement and suggestions on a thread I started about my snaps a little while ago.

Congrats on the Browallia and the Zucchini!!

Our neighbor planted a small bed with just zucchini and cucumbers this year. We started out with lots of rain so they grew huge with tons of flowers, but then they started dying. I doubt he harvested anything from them. He's kind of funny, though. He doesn't want any suggestions and absolutely refuses to water (figures God will do it). He doesn't get it...that those types of plants have pretty shallow roots. Once it got really dry here they started wilting and dying and they were so close to producing.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I'm covered in vines with small fruit as it's dry , misty but no rain ,
I was planting willow aster and yarrow and a Delphinium yesterday we will see how fall planting goes . White garden for next year ..

This morning while doing that , Here's a frequent visitor to Rudbeckeia and Sunflowers .
Silvery Checkerspot, their little but their cute . Drying it's wings to fly this morning , air was heavy wet , and foggy .

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Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

That little Silvery Checkerspot is pretty, juhur!

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

nuts ; You should have some visiting your sunflowers also . I cannot believe you have not seen any Buckeye BF's visiting those snapdragons , It's there favorite.

Black Krim Tomatoes ; from the garden

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Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Yum!! I'll be over in a few minutes for lunch! Oh, I forgot...I live HOURS away from you. Well, you'll just have to eat them without me. ^_^

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

LOL !!! ^_^

Coneflowers making a come back , Ammonia x Listerine . Getting at those microbes ..

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Effingham, SC(Zone 8a)

Taken today

Budda with Dicentra 'Luxuriant' and Heuchera 'Blackout'
Achillea 'Pineapple Mango'
Leucanthemum "Phyllis Smith'
Ratibidia 'Red Cornflower'
Rudbekia 'Cherry Brandy' Got this yesterday - fell in love with it.

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Effingham, SC(Zone 8a)

Some more from today - some from the new 'Rock Garden' I built at the season's start.
1,2,3 as seen from the driveway

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Effingham, SC(Zone 8a)

1 - A n Ice Plant in the Rock Garden
2 - Male Ruby Throated hummingbird at the feeder on the back porch
3-5 - Female Ruby Throat that kept the male away most of the time. #4 shows her with her tongue partially out. I just moved to NW Indiana after 30yrs in Florida and it took till here to see my first wild humming bird.

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Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Juhur, was that one of the "infected" Coneflowers? If so, that's exciting! CONGRATS!!

Stu, beautiful blooms and I love your brick planter box!! The Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy' really is pretty. It reminds me of a Gaillardia. Your rock garden is looking better and better all the time. You did a wonderful job on it!

That's so amazing about the hummers! I would have thought you'd see tons down in Florida. Better watch out...soon you'll get hooked on them like the rest of us.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Great flowers Stu !!! Cool temps already , were going to enjoy all these this winter once in a while , Besides now !!!

Sure that Coneflower is on with aster yellows . I am mostly sure that is what they have or had , but so many diseases affect plants and seedlings . I believe I have a good one for seedlings and plants , Only my counting drops to mix things myself could be a lot better .
My wit is a little impatient,
A few of my other plants like being light sprayed by this latest attempt at a solution also . It is something similar to some of my Grandmothers time that people use to use , only it is useful .
It delights me , knowing how to keep a plant healthy , I'm sure you all know the feeling .

Hobart, IN

Stu - you've been busy! and some beautiful specimens! The hummers here seem to be "bulking up", getting ready for the return flight which should happen in the next couple of weeks. We did watch a male hummingbird chasing off a chickadee from the hummingbird feeder. The small birds (other than hummers) like to drink from the ant water well on the feeders.
nuts - have you decided which method you're going to use to keep your red snaps going? I have to start thinking about getting some cuttings of various annuals before frost hits. I saw that lightning show (amazing) the other night and thought we'd get some of that rain but it headed south just to the west of us.
juhur - Listerine and ammonia - what is this commonly used for? Might have to add to my arsenal.
Beautiful weather yesterday. Spent some time editing the sunny bed and sifting compost. Have more to do today.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

There is no common use of the combination , Ammonia household cleaner (i keep some in a gatorade squirt bottle ) My nose and head can't stand it )
Listerine , mouthwash , yep that stuff .

Usually starting from a dozen drops of Ammonia in a quart sprayer of water
Listerine a little more than covering the bottom of the bottle cap . I work from there ,
Usually until there is a slight odor of listerine from my plant quart bottle.

You know , not organic , but it kills plant disease or seems to so far ,
Ammonia , remember grandma with a teaspoon for nitrogen , or the teaspoon of vinegar for acidity .
Ammonia or the other full strength are also used for weed killer .

Just don't drink any ,, okay ? That would not be good .. (bad joke )

Hobart, IN

Definitely not good to drink! Neither of my grandmothers were gardeners although great cooks.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

My grandma on my mothers side was both and married to a farmer , All three are a few beyond me , (oh well , sigh)

I'm using the Listerine and I believe back then , that was a drop of lye soap and a tincture of Terramycin powder , Use to fed to the animals ,

Anyway it makes sense to me, ? lol

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

All quiet here , lots of things going on elsewhere .
My pics were all terrible today , tried the bees and female Sulpher Butterfly , oh well
mums trying
Maximillion Sunflower

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

This almost a pic , bee did not want to sit still for the portrait

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Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Cindy, I'm going to try EVERYTHING on the Snaps...collecting seeds and wintersowing, taking cuttings, potting up one or two plants and overwintering in the garage and, possibly, transplanting one into the sunny bed at the back of the house and adding some extra protection. I may also scatter or bury some seeds and see if they grow in spring. It will be a fun experiment and I'll find out if any of it works.

Lovely flowers, juhur! Yeah, bees don't often sit still. It's fun trying to chase them around with the camera.

My Sedums are blooming, one in full sun and one in part shade. They're both looking very healthy, but the full sun plant does have more blooms. I finally have one Zinnia bloom from some seeds I planted early summer. I didn't even realize one of the plants was growning (thought it was more of the squirrel's sunflowers) until a bud opened bright pink about a week ago. I hope I get more.

1) Another one of the Sunflowers the squirrels planted
2) Sedum 'Autumn Fire' in the early stages of blooming about a week ago
3) Zinnia (from a mix) when it first opened. The flower has since doubled in size. Some insect has been chomping on the leaves (possibly a grasshopper)

This message was edited Sep 9, 2013 10:58 PM

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Hey nuts ; Our flowers are real close to same this time of year . You bee pic's are clearer !!! lol
Yours Are Pretty Too !!!

Going for at least 94 degrees today , this weather is getting tououououfffff !!!!

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks!! Maybe a few of my bees are clear, but you sure know a heck of a lot more about plants than I do (and have a lot more varieties, too) ^_^

Yeah, we're going up to at least 95, some places 98...yech. I thought it was going to cool down tomorrow, but now they say almost 90. Thursday's the day I'm looking forward to. After possible thundershowers Wednesday we're supposed to have a week or more in the 70's and maybe even high 60's. My fingers are crossed.

Hobart, IN

Ugh! It's hot! I'm indoors the past couple of days canning tomatoes and I much prefer that to being outdoors. I am sneaking out to move the lawn sprinkler around - wouldn't you know DH put down grass seed and fall fertilizer last Friday. I, too , am looking forward to cooler temps
juhur - your mums are ahead of mine although mine has teeny, tiny flower buds. Looks like flowers for T-day. My blue sky vine is finally blooming. I have the timing off on the poor thing since it bloomed in the little GH back in March.
nuts - good luck on the snaps. Make sure you let us know what method works for those. For the first time ever, I'll have dahlia tubers to dig up and store (successfully, I hope).

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks, Cindy and congrats on the Dahlias. I've been tempted to try some, possibly in containers, so I can put them somewhere sunny.

I've been pleasantly surprised that my Spirea 'Neon Flash' has continued to bloom. I was once shown at a nursery how Spireas can be sheared over and over all season and they'll continue blooming. Since this is only the 3rd season, mine is still relatively small, but it responded well to shearing after the first bloom. The blooms aren't quite as large as the first ones, but they look pretty at this time of year.

My neighbor has some huge old Spireas in a border around their house. Theirs only bloom once and they probably don't even know they could make them rebloom. I might mention it, but I really doubt they would bother to shear them.

Hobart, IN

nuts - does the shearing method work on the old-fashioned bridal wreath spireas as well? Those are my faves of the family.
As for the dahlias, I wasn't attracted to them all that much before this year after seeing them previously in a hotter, drier climate. Now I'm a convert. I did pick shorter varieties to grow but some ain't so short and can get blown into disarray with some of the stronger storms of summer.
Yellow waxy bells are blooming but this wasn't the best summer for them (nor was last summer). Anemone blooming, a few roses here and there. Tricyrtis hasn't started blooming yet. Running out of flowers yet to bloom - must mean fall is here.

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

My actual Spirea knowledge is limited. The first time I saw it was at a demonstration of shrubs at Platt Hill Nursery. They sheared one and said you could shape them at any time and even keep some varieties blooming.

Then a couple of years later I was looking at one of the golden leaf varieties and one of their shrub guys sheared one right in front of me and said you could keep them blooming all season. This is my first Spirea. I would think you'd probably want to do it soon after the first blooms finish, though.

Cindy, after I saw your post I decided to give Platt Hill a call. The guy I spoke with said NO regarding Bridal Wreath. He said Bridal Wreath only blooms for about 4 weeks during the summer. The ones it works on have to be types with the potential to bloom all summer...SORRY, was hoping I'd have more exciting info for you. :o(

Hobart, IN

I guess that makes sense because the bloom habit is different.
I'm hoping to get some of this rain going through our area this afternoon. Have already received a few sprinkles but no real rain. I did run the lawn sprinkler this morning trying to entice the rain though.

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Try washing your car. Maybe that will help :-)

We've also only had a few sprinkles so far. Fingers are still crossed.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I was going to pic the dahlia to put here , never got to that .
Dry as parchment here , no rain still ,
Good luck with those and the Spirea

Baby Clematis cutting , on the grow !!!

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Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Ooh...that's purty!!!

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

HI YA nuts ! Thank you !!! Now if only I get the other half dozen that still growing green to look like that one .. I would jump up and do ""The Snoopy Happy Feet Dance !!!""

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Ha ha! Well, good luck with them.

I may be doing the "Happy feet" dance if our temps drop tomorrow like the weather people keep saying they will.

Hobart, IN

Only received a few sprinkles yesterday - not enough to wet a leaf - although I could hear thunder all around me. Back to the sprinkler today since grass seed has sprouted and fertilizer (chicken poo) is greening up the lawn for fall. Beautiful today though. Spent a little time rearranging my sunny bed by moving some sorrel plants in anticipation of next year's veg planting.
Congrats on Clem cutting! I've vaguely thought of trying that from time to time but wouldn't have a place for it to climb.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

It started raining just before 5am this morning , Power outage at 7 am Finally came back on about 9 am .
Gravel is still wet , ground soaked it up pretty fast ,
Lots of rain , good old fashioned down pour .
Weather cooled down, 73 degrees with a good solid breeze . nice , really nice !!!

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

No rain here...boo :-(

Anyway, even without rain the weather is beautiful today. They're saying a low of 46. Hope so.

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