Saturday, May 28, 2011

Catch-up report for the pleasure grounds

Three birds seldom seen here visited last week: ovenbird, redstart, and Blackburnian warbler. The figs grow larger with each day, but are not yet ripe enough or sweet enough to attract the creatures. We've been harvesting yellow wax beans, and they're delicious. Poppies are nearly finished. Hyacinth beans, Turk's caps, and lantanas are blooming profusely. We still see a few poppies. Bachelor buttons are still going strong. Morning glories, both volunteer returns and those sown afresh, are producing more flowers each day, in many varieties. In addition to the very large and showily pentagonal flowers with blue striations, we're now seeing smaller, less pentagonal morning glories with magenta striations. Calendulas are holding on. Bright Lights cosmos, again both volunteer and deliberately cultivated, are very showy and already producing seeds. Fennel is attracting the honeybees, now that their favorite poppies have gone to seed. Serrano chiles from wintered-over plants in pots are hot, hot, hot. Returning four o'clocks are blooming, and there are many immature seedlings as well. Our plumbago is at last blooming, much later than those of all the neighbors. Delphiniums are rather stunted, but they're producing showy flowers nevertheless. The same is true for firewheels. Pride of Barbados has finally returned from the roots and at least one is far enough advanced to have flower buds on it. Sweet peas are past their peak, and the earliest to bloom already have mature seeds (the first of the seed pods split open yesterday). Milkweeds (asclepias) are happy to bloom in their pots. Miscellaneous tomatoes in pots are producing for the table. Calendulas in pots and in the ground are still in bloom. The last of the Dutch iris greenery has turned brown and was pulled for the compost pile.


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