Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Birthday Garden Pics

Mine, not its. Though, you know what, they're close enough. It was about 2 years ago this garden was nothing but a bed of mulch. Et maintenant, vas-y.

That's sweet autumn clematis on the arbor, the native one mind you. In its second year it is 10 times larger. Cool.

Can you find the monarch caterpillar above in the milkweed buds? Free caterpillar if you can. (click to open larger)

This goldfinch was picking out liatris petals and eating them. Whatever, you know?

First year with echinops and I am enjoying the balls, just not their aggressive foliar nature.

Then again, that's why we have 5,000 grasshoppers. Sigh.

Greyheaded coneflower, ironweed in back.

'Swan' echinacea and little bluestem.

Culver's root either looks angelic or demonic depending on my mood. It's an elusive classification for me. Either way, it looks painful.

Vervain is interesting, though petite blooms on 6' plants. These are placed right next to the ironweed--a mistake, since they get lost in the entanglement of ironweed stalks.

The above pics were taken with two cameras: a Canon PowerShot SD800 IS point and shoot, and a Canon Rebel XTi. Can you tell the difference? I sure can. And I'm amazed at how the time of day and angle of light can be used more effectively with the Rebel, if you know what you're doing. Or are occasionally lucky.


VP said...

It's looking good! It's my first year for Echinops too - I love them :)

Happy birthday - a little Blotanical bird had let me know before I saw your timely post was up :)

Les said...

Nice shots! I am sorry you are having a plague of grasshoppers. They didn't even take a break for your birthday? I just bought a new camera (Nikon D5000) to upgrade from my point and shoot. My latest post has both cameras on it and like yours, you can tell the difference.

Frances said...

Happy Birthday, Benjamin! Blotanical sent me a note also about it. Your plot on that site will be full of good wishes, I am sure.

Your garden has matured so much since the beginning. Those architectural plants you show are exactly the style for your area too. Research, or just personal taste have led you to the perfect choices. Well done!!! Hey, I saw the caterpillar too, will I be getting one in the mail? Better overnight it. :-)


Unknown said...

Happy Birthday, Benjamin! I love the bright ironweed, and the white echinacea against the little bluestem is a fantastic combination that I wish I'd come up with myself.

Glad that you mentioned the caterpillar on the milkweed, or I'd never have noticed it. I think I need to go back out and look at my milkweed to see if I've missed anything there as well... :)

(Oh, and I am determined now to get a huge, gorgeous pot of some sort to break up the fine-textured foliage in one area of my garden. That makes such a great focal point in your garden!)

Olive Branch said...

Happy Birthday! Did not know Sweet Autumn Clematis is a Nebraska native. Good to know, thanks for the tip. I'll be using that.

Gail said...

Happy Birthday...the garden has put on a great party for you and topped the cake with veronicastrum, liatris and vervain. Benjamin, the garden is beautiful. I saw my first giant sized grasshopper this summer, big and ugly....they do so much damage. They do love those prairie plants. gail

Helen/patientgardener said...

I do like your echinops - mine got blown over, really annoying

Benjamin Vogt said...

VP--What do those blotanical birds look like? Globe thistle is very neat, and contrasts nicely with most other "typical" blooms.
Les--Well, I was gonna spread some sevin flakes this morning for the hoppers but it's raining.
Frances--Oh, lots and lots of research. Keep in mind that's how I spent the last 9 years of my life, nose in books. Thanks! You monarch cat is on its way, via a monarch butterfly hovering over your milkwed right now laying an egg. See her?
Kim--And if your pot has water coming out of it, how cool would that be? We get robins bathing in ours all the time!
Olive--Oh it's not a NE native, I'm petty sure it's eastern U.S. But the native U.S. is C. virginiana with serrated leaves. Watch out, they sell both at nurseries under the same (wrong) botanical name! And the non native seems much more invasive from my research and experience so far.
Gail--That's the problem! I need fewer prairie plants! Thos ebig 4" grashopper are scarey--they must feed exclusively off of pesticides and uranium.
PG--Sory abou that. There's always next year. (don't you hate that when people say that?)

Rosemarie said...

Your garden's really looking great (these things tend t better with age, unlike us humans, right?) by the way - joyeux anniversaire (I just had one too so I'm feeling it).

Benjamin Vogt said...

Rosemarie--I lift a glass of chocolate pudding to you and our shared birthdays. Alas. But I've seen some gardens taht don't better with age, but that's because it's all orange daylilies.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Happy belated Birthday! your garden looks like a paradise for critters & for humans. I love all your natives, and yes, I could see the little caterpillar in the midst of the Milkweed buds. I've never seen the Goldfinches pulling out Liatris petals, but I've seen them picking at the Coneflower heads while the plants were still blooming. Just for those Goldfinches I keep more Coneflowers than I would prefer. (Okay, for the bees & butterflies too.)

Benjamin Vogt said...

MMD--Thanks! That goldfinche must've been high, or just angry at the wife, I don't know. I've never, ever seen them on my coneflowers, but everyone says they love the seeds.

Pam said...

Happy (late) birthday! The garden looks beautiful - great photos!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Pam--Thank you kindly. It's the big 33.