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Posts tagged ‘cornflower’

Wildflowers on Order for 2011

Having looked through countless pages of wildflowers for our area, I’ve made my final decisions for next year!  I placed my order through Wildseedfarms.com of Fredericksburg, Texas.  I loved the annuals corn poppies and cornflowers so much that I’ve ordered them again this time around.

Corn Poppies (image copyright by RoundRockGarden)

Cornflowers (image copyright by RoundRockGarden)

In addition, I chose Purple Coneflower (echinacea), which can be used medicinally.  It reportedly grows up to five feet tall and blooms from April through September.  Bees and butterflies love these!  From what I’ve read, purple coneflower is a perennial.

Purple Coneflower (image copyright by Wildseedfarms.com)

Chicory is the next flower I chose.  It sports periwinkle-colored blooms that last only a single day, but flowers June through October, growing up to 4 feet tall.  Bees, butterflies, wasps and lacewings enjoy nectaring on chicory.  The leaves can be used as a nutritious addition to salads, while the roots can be dried in the oven, ground and used as a coffee substitute.  Chicory is a perennial.

Chicory flowers (image copyright by Wildseedfarms.com)

To add more red to the garden, I chose the almost fluorescent Scarlet Flax.  This variety is shorter than the rest, measuring up to only two feet or less, but blooms from late spring all the way through fall.   It is also an annual.

Scarlet Flax (image copyright by Wildseedfarms.com)

Finally, I’ve decided against the larger sunflowers this year and chose Maximilian Sunflowers.  These are wonderful sunflowers you see all over Central Texas.  Growing from 3-10 feet tall in thick mounds, they make a nice natural hedge absolutely covered in multiple blooms up to 5 inches across.  These are also perennials, and bloom from late summer through fall.

Maximilian Sunflowers (From NPS.Gov)

With the exception of the sunflowers, all of these wildflowers can be directly sown in fall.  I’ll be preparing the beds in the coming weeks and get them sown by the end of October so they can establish themselves and put on a great show in 2011.  Unlike last year, when I used a wildflower mix, I will be sowing these in groupings so as to ensure a good representation of each.

I can hardly wait to see how colorful the garden will be next year with all of these new additions, PLUS the milkweed and the native flowering plants I put in earlier this spring!  Who knows, I may also have coreopsis and primrose come up from last year’s sowing … and maybe even bluebonnets that failed to germinate!

Have you made your wildflower order yet?

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Macro Monday – Caught in the act

Syrphid flies getting it on

Both of them looking at me like, “Uh, do you MIND?!”

The cornflowers are going gangbusters in the wildflower bed.   After the flower petals dry and fall off, the flower base takes on this golden glow in the sunlight.  I tried to capture it on film, but it doesn’t quite convey how shiny it was.  This photo captures the blooming and death stages …

I can’t get enough of taking bee photos.  We just got a new Nikon D-90 camera, so I played around with the macro and speed settings, as well as the camera’s ability to take 4 shots per second – pretty helpful capturing those bees in motion.

And, not entirely unrelated to the bees – the first yellow crookneck squash is starting to form in the garden.  I say not entirely unrelated because this little squash wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the bees.  That little squash was once a yellow flower that must have been pollinated by one of my little buzzing friends in order for it to start developing:

For more Macro Monday photography, please visit Lisa’s Chaos.com:

Bloom Day March 15th

In celebration of Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, here’s a sampling of what’s blooming in A Round Rock Garden this week.   Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for starting up Bloom Day and for giving bloggers an opportunity to share their favorite blooms!

First of all, who can get enough of the poppies?  Each one is a different shade, a different size and shape.

Intermixed with the poppies, the cornflower – the first and most active of the wildflowers this Spring.

New to the garden is the Whirling Butterfly Guara.  We’ve transplanted two of these, and these are the first of the new blooms:

Salvia officinalis is blooming beautifully in the herb garden:

Honeybees have been enjoying lavender nectar from sunrise to sunset …

Another new addition to the garden, the Double Knockout rose.  These are the first two blooms:

Not quite in time for March’s Bloom Day, the parsley has bolted and is preparing the first of its flowers:

And another parsley flower forming …

All along the perimeter of the wildflower bed, we have watched these little guys forming, wondering what type of flower they are.

This morning, however, JUST IN TIME for bloom day, these little guys opened up into magnificent primrose:

Macro Monday

Just a few blooms from the garden today, in celebration of Macro Monday.  Got a camera with a macro feature?  Take your pictures and post them to your blog.  Then go to Lisaschaos.com and enter your blog address to be listed.

I don't need to say what this looks like. Poppy getting ready to blossom

Indigo Spires salvia

Pink cornflower

Another cornflower

Ant harvesting nectar from a closed cornflower

Salvia greggii bloom

And these were taken and posted on Saturday, but thought I’d add them:

Lavender bloom up close and personal

A spider crawling on a poppy

Inside the poppy

First wildflower blooms!

I could hardly contain my excitement yesterday when I came home to discover that the first wildflower had bloomed.  The winner is the cornflower:

The first of the wildflowers!

The next day, while working on the Native beds, Michelle wandered down the fence and yelled, “Joe!  Come look!”  Not only were more cornflowers opening, but the first poppy opened as well!  The poppy amazed us by how large it is, and how paper thin the petals are!   The wildflower bed has a lot of poppies, so I’m sure it will only be a few days until many more open up!

Another cornflower

and a pink one!

A cornflower opening ...

Here is another opening

A poppy standing tall, almost ready to bloom

the first poppy bloom

Inside the poppy

Here are a few more pictures of the wildflower bed as well:

The entire bed

Some of the tallest at the northeast corner of the yard

A spider crawling on a poppy

My daughter snapped this one - the spider is hiding at the top

Spider web among the wildflowers