|Jewel Crown Siberian Iris|
Anyway, unrelated to gardening, I don't like it when computer applications run fine and then the company decides to modify the program and change everything around so things that used to work fine are now left to your imagination to find out what they changed and how to use it to do what you want it to do (all without instructions or even a notice that the programs have been changed). That's what I found out using the Blogger Program (from Google) that I use to write this blog. I used to be able to upload photos to Google and then post them directly to this page, but now I have to upload the photos, then put them in an album first before I can add them to this page. Then I have to go back into Google and search for the album I created. I'm sure I'll forget all this for the next blog post I write so at least I'll have this page to refer back to for instructions. hahaha.
There was a lot of rain damage around the Syracuse area the last few weeks because of the intense amount of rain. Some areas had over 3 inches. Of course we can't complain because at least we're not in a drought like most areas in California, and we haven't had the damaging amount of rain like areas in the mid-west and Texas. And no tornadoes. Just rain. The golf courses look wonderful around here. I even played golf today! 9 holes! I didn't bother to keep score, but I did par the last hole (after taking a Mulligan). And, I actually got the ball over a pond on the first shot which has been me some problems in the past.
|Tall Bearded Iris (unknown name)|
Thought I would let everyone know that the golf course meadows were loaded with blooming milk weed. It smelled so great! I was hoping to see a lot of butterflies around, but I didn't notice a one the entire time I was there. I also heard a loon in one of the ponds, but my husband didn't hear it, and he thought I must have been hearing things. When I first heard it I thought it was I pileated woodpecker, but then I realized it was a loon and not a woodpecker.
It's been a great beginning to our summer. The rain is keeping everything green and the flowers are doing great. I'm not experiencing any problems because of the rain, but I'm sure a lot of people have had their fill of all the precipitation.
It also has been a toll on some vegetable gardens. The seedlings and seeds have rotted and have been washed out. A lot of the corn fields around the countryside are doing poorly because of all the rain. It's washing away the nutrients in the soil, and it's stunting the corn. I think there will be a lot of farmers with monetary losses because of the weather.
Siberian Irises (Iris Sibirica). In the first photo on this page, is a picture of one of my Siberian Irises called Jewel Crown. Siberian Irises, in our area of Central/Northern New York, are late spring bloomers. They start to bloom when the tulips are finishing up. They will give you a few weeks of color, and they are easy plants to take care of. They will spread out and form a dense clump. After a few years, they will need dividing when the center of the plant starts to die out. Then you can dig them up and divide the clump and transplant the new divisions.
Siberian Irises will grow in just about any soil. I've read conflicting information on this plant where one article recommends well-drained soil and another article recommends wet conditions as long as it's not in a pond. You can plant them in full sun or partially shady areas. They have upright, narrow leaves, and will stay green all season after the flowers have died. Fertilize in spring and after they bloom with a high nitrogen content fertilizer. They are rarely bothered by rot or borers like the bearded irises are. The Siberian Irises are available in several colors such as blue, violet, pink, yellow, and white. Depending on the variety they can grow from 2' to 4'.
Here is a link to the hardiness zones: US Plant Hardiness Zones
Here is a little story for you that you might enjoy. A friend of mine has several irises varieties and other perennials. I was admiring her extremely tall Siberian Irises and she offered to dig one up for me. She asked me which one (color) I wanted because there were several varieties in this one section of her garden near the road which was in a ditch. She used that area because they would get a continuous supply of rain water and would make a nice welcoming for visitors. I picked out a tall one and she dug it up for me. They had already bloomed so I would have to wait a year or so before I could enjoy the blooms on this one. I went home and planted it, and watered it well. It came up the following year, but no blooms. I had to wait another year. The next year rolls around and still no blooms. Well, it did bloom the following year, but it wasn't a Siberian Iris. It was a cattail! I waited and nurtured that plant for three years or so only to find out it was a cattail. So that's your laugh for the day!
I have had several people ask me why their foxgloves have disappeared. If the foxglove you planted last year didn't come up this year it's because they are a biennial and probably died off unless you let it go to seed and either saved the seed or let the seeds fall to the ground. A biennial means the flower comes up the first year and doesn't flower. The second year it comes up, flowers, produces seeds and dies off (most of the time the entire plant will completely die). If you purchased a flowering foxglove, it's in its second year and will most likely die after it flowers. At this point, if you want to have foxgloves in your gardens the following years, you can't cut the stalks off after the flower dies. The flowers need to die on the stem and the stems and seeds need to dry on the stalk to be effective seed bearers. So DON'T CUT YOUR FOXGLOVES BACK IF YOU WANT FLOWERS IN FUTURE YEARS. But you also must remember, that when your seeds come up that following year, they will not produce flowers until the second year. It's probably a good idea to mark where your foxgloves are planted because when they come up in the spring they look like weeds. Actually several perennials look like weeds when they come up. Now to confuse you even further, there are new hybrid foxgloves on the market that are sterile (will not produce seeds), but it will perform like a regular perennial and you will be able to divide it up by divisions. I've been following some articles on these hybrids to see how they do in following years. One of the hybrids is called "Illumination Pink" and a very striking tropical color of pink and yellow.
|Goldfinch on sock thistle feeder|
The birds pictured here are some of our current visitors.
Goldfinches like sunflower seeds and nyger seeds. (The sunflower seeds won't work in the sock feeder.)
|Immature female cardinal|
|Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak|
|Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Oriole Feeder|
"I must have flowers, always, and always."
Thanks for stopping by~
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