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Friday, July 29, 2011

Loving the Calyx and other things...

                                      Hibiscus 'Lady Baltimore' - Height 48-60 inches, zones 4-10
                                                     This is a lovely Hardy Hisbiscus.
                  The detail of the green calyx showing through the slits in the red throat is a beautiful detail,
                                                                     A glimpse of glory.
                                       The Calyx on this Cleome holds the shiny thread like stems
                                                        that spring forth with attached petals.
                                When the petals unfurl, the bloom bursts open, reminding me of a firework.

 With the temps being so high, I find I'm in the garden either in the  early morning or in the evening. I really like the light  around 7pm. The air is thick and kind of hazy. The sharpness is missing in photos and edges
                                     are slightly blurred. It makes the world seem more relaxed.
                                             'Karl Forester' grass has turned a lovely amber-tan color
                                                            that shows beautifully in the evening light.

These are just a few of the things I'm loving in the garden right now...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Butterfly Indentification

So far, it has been a good year for butterflies. These are two of the butterflies currently visiting my garden.
The photos were taken on separate days. While in the garden, I thought I was seeing the same butterfly until a few days later when I compared the photos. 
This first photo is the Dark female Eastern Swallowtail which mimics the Pipevine Swallowtail.
The Pipevine Swallowtail is nasty tasting because of a diet of the Pipevine, hence the reason for mimicking.
Female Tiger Swallowtails will only have the dark form if there are a lot of Pipevine Swallowtails living in the area. So, is this the real thing or the imposter?
The mostly back one in the first photo is very territorial and chases away the orange Monarchs that try to land on the Buddelias that are near by. 
The Yellow Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is a beauty! The males will have a few orange and blue spots neat their tail. So I think this might be a male. It is much larger than the dark female in the first photo.
This butterfly has many bird predators.
They both allow me to get very close to them. Very Fun!

Friday, July 22, 2011

tropical- ish- ness

Okay, Back to talkin gardening...
Rose Mallow - Hibiscus Moscheutos 'Luna Red' zones 5-9
Heat and drought tolerant once established
This plant is loving the hot weather! Yay!
The Poppy-like crepe-paperish petals are so pretty in the warm blowing breeze.
Rose of Sharron- blue
I bought this plant for $5.00 at an end of season sale. It was about 1 ft. high and now a few years later about 5 ft. high .In its defense, I've moved it three times and its been a good sport about it.
Hort Couture's Mandevilla Pergola 'Surprise'
Unsure of cultivar- water makes it look more tropical.
Again, unsure or cultivar, I dug this up (with permission) on an old property whose house was being torn down. A new mansion was going up.

Here is the recipe for the Caramel Apple pecan cheese cake in prior post.

Ingredients for crust:
1 C. graham cracker crumbs ( Honeymaid is preferred)
3 Tbs. sugar
1/4 C. butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs. finely chopped pecans

Filling Ingredients:
3 packages cream cheese (8oz.) each, softened
3/4 C. sugar
3 eggs
3/4 tsp.vanilla extract

Topping Ingredients:
2- 1/2 C. Choppped and peeled Granny Smith apples
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4C. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbs. caramel ice cream topping, divided

pecan pieces and whipped cream if desired

Combine first 5 ingredients and press into lightly greased 9 inch springform pan.
Bake 350 degrees for 10 min. cool
In mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and beat on low just until combined.
Stir in vanilla and pour over cooled crust.
Toss apples with sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Spoon over filling.
Bake at 350 for 55-60 min.
Cool on wire rack for 10 min. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen.
Drizzle with 4 Tbs. caramel topping.

Cool for 1 hour. Chill overnight. Remove sides of pan.
Just before serving garnish with remaining caramel and pecans.
12 servings.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Are we done Yet?

Okay. I admit it. I am an obsessive list maker. Nothing thrills me more than accomplishing a task ( other than getting to cross it off of the list, of course).
And with this gardening thing....it just goes on and on....
So, its a bad sign when I start loosing steam about Mid-July.
Its hot out, I'm sweating , the bugs are buzzing around my head and the plants do not have the same provocative attraction they held back in May.
My early spring exuberant  attitude of wanting to garden in my p.js and sleep in the potting shed, so "I don't miss a thing", has waned ever so slightly to a " Lets get this task done before I fall down from heat exhaustion."
So, what do I feel like doing?
Baking and cooking in the air conditioned house.

                                                   Caramel  Apple Pecan cheese cake

                                              I baked this for the gym staff where I work out.

                    Next time I'll cut into it so you can see how lovely the caramel drips down the slice of cake.

                         And for lunch an Arugula salad with peaches, feta, and good olive oil.
                                    Some chopped toasted hazelnuts would have been nice.

So to all of our garden blogger friends in the west, experiencing an extended heat wave, feel free to blog
about anything else. No worries,we won't hold it against you.

Who am I kidding? I will be back to loving gardening tomorrow!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Garden Nursrey Tour

One day while trying to think of something fun to do with 5 of my M.G.G friends (Master Gardener girl) I came up with an idea for a tour.
Instead of going on a regular garden tour, I organized a garden nursery tour.
I mapped out some of the best nurseries in the area ( Okay, so I know all the nurseries within a 50 mile radius of my house) They are in abundance on the North Fork of Long Island!
I cut any coupons for participating nurseries and included them  in a pretty goodie bag along with
various botanical products( lip balm, trial size hand cream, hand wipes), some small snacks and a water bottle.
On The day chosen, we all met at my house and piled into 2 cars.
The day was a lot of fun, oohhing and aahhing while shopping for plants together. It not only gave us a great opportunity to be together but we also got to exchange knowledge/experience for a lot of different plants.
We ended with a lunch at my house.
While this idea may not be original, I had never heard of it before.
Has anyone else heard of this?
So for this post, I wanted to share three of my favorite nurseries.
If you are in the area, they are definitely worth a visit.
                                    Located at 1350 Main Road Jamesport, N.Y   631-722-2121
                      Great prices, Great service ( The nicest family owned nursery), a ton of plants!

         My next favorite is Verderbers Nursery
       459 Main Road Aquebogue, NY
            631-722-4388      www.verderbers.com
I stopped at Verderbers this past week to take these photos and while I was there a certain famous person who shall remain anonymous, but whose initials are M.S. ( she has a t.v. show and magazine) was shopping by phone!
                              They have a HUGE array of plant material, including specimen trees
                                                      and ornamental shrubs and statuary.
                                                 They have fair prices for the quality they offer.

                                                          Last is Peconic River Herb Farm
                                                          Calverton, NY 631-369-0058

                         A vast array of plants including a ton of herbs, trees, vines and shrubs.
                  Located on a beautiful river front setting and they encourage you to bring a picnic lunch.

We must have hundreds of garden centers, farm stands, wineries and nurseries here on the North Fork of Long Island. It is a beautiful place to live. Now if I could just get to the local grocery store without having to pass all of these places....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bloomin Hot Out

It's a true Long Island summer, hot and humid. Temps have been in the 90s, but with the high humidity its a real feel temp of low 100s some days.
 Not that I'm complaining...I like it hot!
And some of our blogging friends are experiencing an extended heat wave, not to be believed!
Our hearts are with you guys! We pray for cooling thunder showers to break the wave!

So this week I'm joining in to the Cottage Flora Thursdays link up
and May Dreams Gardens (G.B.B.D)  Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

Here's whats blooming in my yard...
This first photo is deceiving, the bloom on this Abutilon is only 1-1 1/2" ,
but its a beauty planted in this next pot.
Nestled between two Hydrangeas is a pot of annuals..Avalon Red Nicotina, Gerber daisy, Banana tree plant and Abutilon - red flowering maple, mature height 2-3 ft. Also in photo, Echinacea and Coreopsis, and in background 'Tidehill' Boxwood.

Next up: Daylilies:

Hydrangeas that are in part shade are not suffering, but the full sun day ones ( except for Annabelle) are weepy because of the high temps.
    'Annabelle' hydrangea is always a delight - it always looks so fresh during the hot summer days                     
                     A single bloom is huge! although this is really a grouping of tiny blooms

                                                 Buddelia (Butterfly bush) is doing its job

                          I have shown this bird house in  a past post, but now its really blooming,
                                                 so I'll show it again, you don't mind- do you?
                                                   Oh! I think a fat bird is leaning to the right!

                 I'm so excited I could spit! Wisteria is throwing blooms a second time -Yahoo!!

                                    Echinaceas bring the Goldfinches, bees, butterflys and hummingbirds
     Echinaceas, the first photo's flower has petals set more closely together, not sure if these are two different
           cone flowers or they are just growing that way. They are growing in different gardens in the yard.
                                                             White Echinacea - Maybe 'Alba' ?
                                               Phlox paniculata 'David', grows to 40" tall, zones 4-8
               'Provence' lavender is one of the lavenders I grow. I also love 'Hidcote' and 'Munstead'.
                               This is the cultivar most used in France for oils and perfumes.
I have encircled a Hydrangea Piniculata tree form with 12 or so lavender plants. The bees become drunk with nectar and just hang so perfectly still on the lavender wands, that you can pet them.
I will  post a photo when the tree comes into bloom.

I'll end with quirky looking Black Eyed Susans just coming into bloom

So that't whats bloomin in my yard...
What's blooming where you are?
Hope everyone is staying cool!

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