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Archive for September, 2011

Sunshine Blue Caryopteris (Caryopteris incana ‘Jason’), aka Bluebeard or Blue Mist Shrub, started blooming around the first week of September this year. I love this little shrub, it’s so nice to have something come into full fresh bloom when most of the other plants are tired and fading this time of year. This shrub gets about 3 and a half feet tall and about 3 feet wide, with bright golden to chartreuse foliage all summer, and is covered with medium blue flowers in late summer. It blooms on new wood and can be pruned in early spring to keep it more compact, and is hardy from Zones 5-9. (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

Sunshine Blue Caryopteris
Sunshine Blue Caryopteris

bumble bee on bluebeard shrub
Bumble Bee on caryopteris flowers

bees
Bees love these flowers

Sunshine Blue Caryopteris
Sunshine Blue Caryopteris in the slope bed.
I’ll definitely need to prune next spring.

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We have had SO many hummingbirds this summer in my garden, so many that I have put out five feeders and filled them numerous times over the past few months. I got a small new feeder on a low ground stake for the slope bed a few weeks ago, and have enjoyed watching them from the gazebo. It is a myth that if you leave your feeders up in fall, it will keep them from migrating. They need feeding more than ever right now as they prepare for their long southward flight. I’ll miss seeing these little jewels when they leave.

hummingbird at new feeder
Hummingbird at new feeder

hummingbird nectaring
Nectaring at feeder

closeup view hummingbird nectaring
A Closer view

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We went out to the houseboat during the Labor Day holiday weekend, and after no rain for months, of course it rained! I’m not complaining though, we desperately needed it. It started coming down early Sunday evening and rained steadily for almost 40 hours. After that, it tapered off to showers and drizzle and a cloudy and cooler day today. Tropical Storm Lee brought around 8 inches of rain to our area. We had a few torrential downpours, but for the most part, it was just nice steady rain. We were so dry that it didn’t cause a lot of flooding here, the ground just soaked it up. We did have a power outage that lasted four hours yesterday due to a tree falling on the line, but that was it. My garden sure likes all the rain, and everything is so green and lush looking now that I’m not even going to complain about all the plants that flopped due to the storm.

The heavy rain didn’t stop a hundred boats and jet skis from zooming back and forth in front of the houseboat a million times, creating huge waves and so much motion I could barely stand even after we came home. Water skiers, tubers and joyriders, the lake is more than ten thousand acres and the houseboats are only allowed on a small part of that, why can’t you all go out to the open water to go in circles all day? :-) But I digress…anyway, even with the rain, it was still a nice holiday weekend, and a welcome change for our drought-stricken area.

rain on the lake

rainy day on the lake

rainy day at the lake

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