Saturday, September 8, 2012

I've been watching a pair of goldfinches who are coming daily to feast on the seeds of purple coneflower. We have two big stands of purple coneflower, or echinacea, and a smaller patch of the white. l notice the birds most in the patch in front of the greenhouse, although they also visit the medicinal meandering garden.  I never cut coneflowers back in the fall, leaving the seedheads for the birds is the winter, but the way these two are going at it, there may not be any left this winter.

I was sitting outside one day and l noticed a beautiful combo in the four~square garden. The tall white garlic chive flowers were in full bloom and behind them, in the background, was the intensely purple foliage of ‘Red Rubin* basil. Also, in the picture were the bright yellow and orange blossoms of calendula.  Just a lovely combination!  Speaking of garlic chives, the bees are absolutely delirious over the flowers-they were loaded with bees yesterday. My practice is always to let the bees work the flowers till they're satisfied and then out them back. Because garlic chives reseed so prolifically, l cut them back when the seed heads are still green, hopefully eliminating reseeding. Although I just found another bit that popped up somewhere they didn't belong, so l must be even more ruthless.

I’m noticing an effect of the extremely high temperatures in July.  Many plants will not set buds when temps get high (usually above 85 or 90 degrees). So late-bloomers are definitely being delayed.  Hyacinth bean vine is just blooming now, so the bean crop will be down. I‘ve seen only one flower on nina or firecracker vine, also an annual vine with sprays of yellow, orange and red flowers.  Then I went looking at the late sages. 1've seen only a few small buds forming on both the mexican bush sage with fuzzy purple flowers and pineapple sage with red tubular blooms, Hopefully,  we'll have a late frost season and still get to enjoy these late season beauties.

The greenhouse and herb shop remain open 5 days a week~Tuesday-Saturday 9-5. Many people think we shut down after the plant sale.
Not so!

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