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Friday, June 29, 2012

More Flower Power*

*With a Little Help from the Ladies

Last week, we explored my garden, but I had too many pictures to fit into one post.  This week is part II, with more photos of my perennial garden.

Looking ahead, I'm sure I'll post more. Butterfly season is just beginning, as my butterfly bushes are in full bloom--and I saw my first monarch of the season yesterday. This year, I'm trying an experiment with truly organic pest control: insects!  I received my first shipment of ladybugs, lacewings and nematodes yesterday. I would be thrilled if I never (or rarely!) had to spray my flowers. (Though when I do, it's with an organic treatment.)

Last year, I tried just the ladybugs--even going so far as buying and installing a ladybug house for them to rest in--and maybe overwinter. I'm not sure if it worked, but I have seen a few more ladybugs this year than last--and a few less pests. In fact, a few of my plants were attacked, and then seemed to fight off the infestation. Maybe it was the ladies.


I am a great fan of vines, and I've planted quite a few. This is just one of the varieties of clematis.

Another clematis, this one growing along the fence.

I love the colors in this clematis variety--deep purples and lavenders and dark plums.

As the clematis flower unfolds, it looks like an empty embrace.

Another vine; a gorgeous honeysuckle. The hummingbirds like these. And yes, it is orange.

More orange; every year, I try to grow a few flowers from seed. Here is the first nasturtium, which I'm hoping will grab onto the trellis I've placed nearby.

I added several varieties of columbine this year. I love their color combinations.

Such pretty blooms; why is this plant called spiderwort? It sounds just awful. No matter; I have several varieties in my garden.

And this is Speedwell. A much more positive sounding name, yet I think these flowers have a soporific effect. I tend to find bees fast asleep on the tall stems.

This is the year of bee balm for my garden. Usually I have to fight to keep it growing; this year it is happily spreading and blooming

Lady bugs are welcome visitors to my garden, since they love to snack on garden pests. I encourage them to stay with a ladybug house, where they can hang out at night. This bug is probably munching on aphids that want to attack my foxglove.

Several days later, early morning rays highlight the foxglove in bloom. Thank you ladybug.

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