Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hummingbirds Like Blue, Too

While red is the traditional color that attracts hummingbirds, they like blue, too. This one is feeding on black and blue salvia.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Gooey Eyeballs in the Soil?

Another specimen brought into the Ada County Master Gardener lab - it looks like a rotting bulb. It was found underground, along with a black-topped mushroom-looking thing. The skin on the ball of blob is pinkish, which is a great big clue that this, and the nearby mushroom, are the same thing: a stinkhorn. The stinkhorn mushroom will grow out of this pouch when it's ready, and may grow up to 10 inches tall. It doesn't live very long, thrives in woody material (such as bark chips/wood mulch), isn't harmful, but isn't edible. "Stink" is in the name for a reason. This mushroom thrives on decaying organic matter. Pull and discard the mushrooms if they are bothersome, or if pets or children might be crawling around in them.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mossy Rose Gall

A wasp did this to a rose bush. The sample showed up this week in the Ada County Master Gardener lab, so be on the lookout for this in your home roses. The gall is caused by Diplolepis spinosa, a cynipid gall wasp. The story is a bit disgusting. The wasps lay their eggs in the stem and the newly-hatched larvae grow inside until they are adults. The plant is tricked into growing the gall to house the babies, stealing nutrients from the plant. A lot of galls can kill the rose. Insecticides aren't an option because they don't work. The galls have to be picked off and disposed of. Check for galls that may have fallen from the plant in autumn. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Purple Coneflower

Also known as echinacea, purple coneflowers are easy-going perennials that attract pollinators.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Small Sunflower

A sweet, little volunteer sunflower. Thanks for growing in my garden.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Grubs. Yuck.

It looks like a piece of snot, and that's how I feel about it. Yuck. Blargh. Lawn grubs. I have a couple of dead spots in my backyard lawn, so I did a little digging and found plenty of these squiggly bad guys, munching the lawn to death. Treatment will be a pesticide so they don't ruin the entire lawn.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Balloon Flowers

About a month ago, I was given an unlabeled "perennial." I planted it in my new pollinator garden and what a nice surprise! It's a balloon flower (platycodon).

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Lantana is a perennial flowering shrub in warmers areas of the country. For me, it's a superstar annual in a planter.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Mallow Bloom

Mallow is a perennial that grows 4 to 5 feet tall and blooms in mid-July. The flowers are usually white, but this year, they have pink hues.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Asiatic Lilies

I love this orange version. These lilies were given to me by a neighbor who was re-landscaping part of her yard. I tucked them into the corner of a garden bed.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What a Mess - But it's Pretty

Cosmos are the first thing to notice here. I planted them from seed 8 years ago and they re-seed themselves each year. There's also some thyme in bloom, and Kenilworth ivy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

St. John's Wort

A creeping groundcover that does well in dry conditions. It's also a medicinal herb.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pink Penstemon

This perennial is part of my new pollinator garden. In the background, black and blue salvia.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Angel Wings Begonia

The flowers are so delicate on this plant. This begonia is called "angel wings" because of the shapes of the leaves. They're incredibly easy to propagate and save over the winter. Just take a stem cutting and stick it in moistened soil. It's that easy.

Year of the Gerbera Daisy

In gardening circles, this is the year of the Gerbera daisy. The National Garden Bureau chose it as its choice for an annual to try this year. They work well in planters and as landscape color spots in our growing zone.

Dependable Clematis

Clematis is a dependable perennial is our growing zone. This one blooms with purple profusion, drops its flowers and usually blooms more gently in autumn.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Allium Spent

At the top of the page, you can see when they were purple. I like them this way, too.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mystery Flowers

I adore their shaggy teddy bear appearance and orange and brown colors. I think they're related to daisies, and I hope they're perennials. These flowers are part of a new foundation planting for pollinators.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Blue Aster

Interesting that it looks more purple to me. I like that. It's one of several perennials is a new flower garden foundation planting to replace bacterial cane blighted roses.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


A friend gave me a clump of this herb, which is related to mint. It has a long medicinal history and is said to calm feelings of anxiousness when brewed as a tea or an infusion. Bees loves this plant.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hot Lips Salvia

Sometimes called Hot Lips Sage - this is a perennial is zones 8-10. That's just outside our range, so I may dig it, cut it back and put it in the garage for the winter. I grows fast to about three feet. Well-liked by bees and hummingbirds.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fern-leaf Coreopsis

A neighbor was doing some landscape remodeling and offered up her perennials. I took a clump of fern-leaf coreopsis and divided into three plants. They're happy in their new home.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bye-bye Spirea

A mix of mostly perennials and a couple of annuals in this foundation planting. This strip used to be filled with spirea.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Candy-colored Zinnias

These are my go-to flowers to adding color to garden spots. Easy growers that don't complain much, and they have a natural resistance to many flower-eating insects.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Honeybee on Greek Oregano

I use Greek oregano tucked into plantings all around the yard because it attracts honeybees.

Brewer's Blackbird Teen

The parents seemed to "park" this kid at the feeder for an hour or so. The teen kept begging to be fed, and the parents ignored the begging and just hovered as he slowly ate on his own. Growing up!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Parrot Head

This annual was common at nurseries this spring. Interesting needle leaves and flowers that look like flames.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fancy Tomato Cage

Great idea here. Solid construction and architectural interest.