Saturday, August 29, 2009

August: Waning interest


Am I the only one who starts to lose interest in the garden by the end of the summer? It's too bad because the plants desperately need work. Many need to be relocated, others need to be cut down (hello, powdery mildew! What did you do to my asters?), and oh my goodness the weeds. There are still several plants that look great, including Rudbeckia triloba, brown-eyed Susan; Rudbeckia subtomentosa, sweet black-eyed Susan; volunteer Ageratina altissima, white snakeroot; and Helianthus mollis, downy sunflowers (plus a cool bee that has been terrorizing my bumblebees by smacking into them; it finally settled down in today's cool temps so I could get a picture).

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brown-eyed Susan; downy sunflower avec bee

But now is when I need to turn my attention to the indoor plants and get them ready for winter. And what do I discover on my precious, lovely Stromanthe sanguinea 'Tricolor'? Mealybugs. ARGH. I relocated the plant and have treated with rubbing alcohol. Fingers crossed... I'd really hate to lose this one. The evil hell-spawn of a Walmart philodendron that is the likely source got a one-way ticket to the dumpster, do not pass Go, do not infest anyone else on your way out the door. Yet another reason not to shop at Walmart, as if I needed any more.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

August: Bloom Day!

The August garden looks like I feel: faded, tired, and ready for fall to hurry up and get here. I've been very neglectful of the garden this summer because I've been out of town so much, and it certainly doesn't help that it hasn't rained in ages. Huge fissures are opening up in the lawn and even the black-eyed Susans are droopy. Remember last spring when the back yard was under water? Mother Nature is hilarious, isn't she?

The newly-installed butterfly garden, a tangle of ageratum, rudbeckia, lantana, and gaura. The coneflowers are totally lying down on the job. The heat must make them sleepy.

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Viburnum opulus berries; Heuchera micrantha 'Palace Purple' flowers; my brand-new Viola 'Heartthrob' -- isn't it cute?

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A gallery of Asteraceaes: Silphium terebinthinaceum, prairie dock; Helianthus mollis, downy sunflower; Aster macrophyllus, big-leafed aster, tangled with Heuchera micrantha

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Commelina communis, Asian dayflower (one of my favorite weeds!); Hibiscus; Rudbeckia hirta, black-eyed Susan

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Rudbeckia subtomentosa, sweet black-eyed Susan, and Agastache scrophulariaefolia, giant purple hyssop (purple? really?!); Agastache again; Chelone lyonii 'Hotlips'

Rose of Sharon

Beans!! My first edible crop!

Thanks as always to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting Bloom Day!

Friday, August 07, 2009

August: Utah photos

I spent the last week of July in Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Mountains. First was the Botany & Mycology Conference at Snowbird where I did my first conference talk, a terrifying and humbling experience that went more or less well. :/ It was gratifying to know that there are other people out there who think Tilia phylogeography is worth learning about!

After the conference, my husband met me there for a few days of hiking and sightseeing. He knows the area well but only as it appears in winter, so seeing it in summer was a new experience for him, and I had never been there before. The mountains were gorgeous, with hidden lakes, amusing native Wasatch squirrels ("potguts"), and stunning vistas of alpine flowers around every corner.

overlooking Alta, Utah

First up: Little Cottonwood Canyon, including Alta and Snowbird ski areas and hikes to Germania Pass and Lake Catherine.

Next: Big Cottonwood Canyon, the next canyon to the north, where we stayed at Silverfork Lodge and hiked to Donut Falls and Twin Lakes Reservoir.

Then: Salt Lake City's Temple Square, home of the Mormon Church

And: Antelope Island State Park, a desert island in the Great Salt Lake

Finally: Red Butte Garden, the botanical garden of the University of Utah

Salt Lake City and the university as seen from Red Butte Garden

In about an hour I head out the door to what is hopefully my final collecting trip for the ol' dissertation. I will be gathering basswood samples in upstate New York, then visiting the Harvard Herbaria to photograph and observe samples from North America and worldwide. The travels have been fun but I'm kind of looking forward to staying home for a good long while.