Saturday, September 29, 2007

Queeny Purple Hollyhocks

Over the next few weeks, I hope to do several posts on some of the flowers I consider to be "Keepers" in my garden.... some new to me this year that I liked well enough to grow again, as well as some favorites I have grown for years.

This was my first year to grow Hollyhock 'Queeny Purple', a dwarf plant growing to only 2 - 3 ft. I planted mine in a large pot, from winter sown seed purchased from Parks. They had a long blooming season, which started well ahead of the regular Hollyhocks. Although I usually prefer the single old fashioned Hollyhocks, I found this one to be quite charming!

'Queeny' stopped blooming in the heat of late summer and set seed, but gave me another flush of blooms, on the same stalks, when the nights began to cool. This photo shows a single fall looks a bit more pinky-purple than the earlier blooms. The flowers in the background are 'Apricot Profusion' Zinnias, which I grew around the edges of the same container, with the 3 hollyhock plants in the center. I liked this combination, as the zinnias are still giving me color, now that the Hollyhocks are no longer blooming.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More Butterflies

Today I am posting a few more butterfly photos, taken at various times over the summer.

From my limited research, I think this may be a Mylitta Crescent. Anyone know for sure? I caught it here on my Zinnia 'Profusion Apricot'. The flowers of this zinnia start out a solid Apricot color and as they get older they fade to shades of yellow with apricot spots, which gives them a really cool effect!

I'm not sure about this one, but think it could be a dark Wood Nymph? It is sitting on a Heliopsis flower and is kind of in the shadows, but has a prominent spot on the upper wing.

The Cabbage White butterfly, lighting here on Verbena Bonariensis.

This looks to be the same species as the first photo (Mylitta Crescent), stopping for a moment on a Calendula 'Radio' flower.

A Zebra Swallowtail on purple Pincushion Flower. It looks to be in mid-flight, but the flower it is sitting on is actually covered by it's wings. I've seen several Tiger Swallowtails this summer and have posted about them here and here, but this was the first of only two Zebra's I've seen.

The same Zebra Swallowtail as in the above photo. Although his wings are a bit out of focus here, I liked the close-up of his legs clinging onto the larkspur flowers.


This post is for my garden friend Catherine, who has requested "more pictures!"

(In return, I'd like to see you retrieve your lost password and leave me a comment!)

Fair enough? :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another Surprise

I did a recent blog entry called Garden Surprises where I documented some of the mutant plants in my garden. Today I discovered one more.

I was collecting seed from this Calendula 'Radio' plant this morning and came across this flower which had several smaller flowers growing out from the base of the main flower. Except for a few petals left on a tiny little flower you can see on the right, the smaller flowers are already in the seed stage. I was wishing I could have seen it while the smaller flowers were in still in bloom!

I got my wish a few minutes later when I saw this same mutation on another plant nearby. This one had three small side flowers growing out from the base of the central flower and they were each still wearing their petals!


Friday, September 7, 2007

Garden Surprises

A few surprises show up in the garden from time to evidenced in the photos below.

A tomato with a big "shnoze"! :-) I noticed this one back when it was green and made a mental note to get a picture of it, but kept forgetting. It got riper and riper and is now actually over-ripe, as you can see by the age spots. But it does give him a bit more more character, no?

This is half' a sunnie! I have noticed that the flower heads on my multi-branching sunflowers get smaller and smaller after the larger heads at the top start to dry up and they sometimes get a little misshapen, with their centers off-center, petals uneven, etc. But this is the first time I have seen one like this. I think it is kind of cute. This was on my 'Velvet Queen' plant.

Here is what I call a 'Siamese Cucumber'. This variety is called Long White, an heirloom type. It wasn't very good eating as the fruits were rather bitter.

This is a sunflower from my garden last summer. It looks pretty normal here, doesn't it? But if you look very closely on the left side you can see a second set of petals in the back, curving out and away from the front flower petals.

This is the back of the same sunflower. These two flower heads were growing directly out of the back of the larger sunflower head in the previous photo.

A side view of the 'conjoined' Sunflower. I also had one of these show up in this year's garden, from volunteer seed, so wonder if it could be a genetic trait that was passed on to another generation of seed. Some food for thought!


"Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed." ~Joseph Addison