Monday, June 27, 2011

Peonies in My Garden

I have 12 Peony plants in my garden which sounds like a lot, but I love the plant so much I want more. Six of them I bought from Klehm's Song Sparrow three years ago, four of them are from my mother's garden in Indiana, and the other two I purchased last spring at the Friends School Plant Sale.

Last year a late spring frost killed all the buds so I babied them this year to make sure the same thing didn't happen. Six of the twelve bloomed this year (the ones from Klehms are still "young"). Here are the five I was able to photograph. Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt has the strongest fragrance...really nice!

Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Pastel Sunrise

Burma Joy

Coral Charm

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monarch Caterpillar in My Garden


One of my garden project goals has been to buy plants that attract butterflies, so I have planted plenty of them in my yard. But I want Monarchs! So I did some research and learned that you need to also have plants that attract butterflies to lay their eggs on, so their kids have something to eat too. Monarchs only lay their eggs on Milkweed plants as it contains a mild toxin that protects the caterpillars from predators, making them poisonous to eat.

Since I have not been able to find one single Garden Center in the Twin Cities that sells Milkweed, I decided to grow my own last year from seed. In late Spring this year, I was rewarded with new plants emerging (they survived the winter!). Much to my surprise and joy, a week ago I found this little guy (a Monarch caterpillar) eating away my Milkweed leaves. I don't mind...that's what they're there for!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pretty Yellow Swamp Buttercup Wildflower

Taking photos of flowers is something I love to do. I have a Macro lens which helps me capture great photos. The trick to flower shots is using a tripod, getting really low to the ground sometimes, and not having any wind. You can also get some great images after a rain, like I did with this Swamp Buttercup wildflower I found this Spring. It was a light drizzle in the park, so the trees gave me some good shelter. This Minnesota wildflower likes it wet so it can be found around streams, waterfalls, and swampy areas.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wild Geranium

The Wild Geraniums found along Minnesota trails and paths are starting to wane,but are very beautiful in mass. This little bug was so nice to pose for the picture.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Exchanging a Dead Bush at Bachman's

Last spring I planted a Hydrangea "Invinicebelle Spirit", a pink version of "Annabelle". It's a new shrub that I thought I would try out...I like different/new things in my yard. This spring, the below picture shows you what was left of the plant. Surprisingly, it didn't survive as these new Hydrangea shrubs are suppose to be hardy to Zone 3. I had a sneaky suspicion before winter came that it was already on its last leg, so I called Bachman's to verify their return policy on failed plants.

I was told to bring in my receipt (which of course I did not have), or to bring in the Bachman's plant tag that had been attached to the shrub. Now this is not the official plant tag that is all pretty, but is a long white tag with Bachman's logo on it, as well as the date of the plant. I always keep my tags, so I took this into the Apple Valley Bachman's two weeks ago.

I walked out with a new replacement plant, no hassle at all! Here it is planted in my yard. Hopefully this one survives, or it is adios to "Invincibelle".