Friday, June 1, 2012

My Garden Notebook - June 2012


Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly

stats


Gardening Zone: 7a
May High Temperature: 93 degrees F
May Low Temperature: 51 degrees F


Precipitation: 3.48 inches

wildlife


The bluebirds fledged and are now being taught how to feed by the parents. Just this morning I saw these same fledglings eating on their own from the feeders. Mom and dad must be so glad for the break.


Here are two of them begging from Dad. It was hard to get a clear photograph as they were moving around quite a lot.


Two Fledglings Begging from Male Bluebird



For several mornings in a row, I heard this loud call that sounded like a bird. When I would investigate, there was no sign of a bird. The sound was coming from the deck. I finally found a Cope's Gray Tree Frog under a planter of pelargoniums. For such a little fellow, he makes a very loud sound.


Cope's Gray Tree Frog


This is a four foot black rat snake that I rescued from my neighbor's shed. He was curled up in the riding lawnmower and has a few slightly damaged scales. I relocated it to my yard, hoping to have a natural vole control method. These are really harmless and are great friends of gardeners, controlling voles, mice, and rats. In addition, they will often prey on other snakes including venomous snakes.


Black Rat Snake


The goslings are growing.


Canada Goose and Goslings


Canada Goose and Gosling


A heron hunts in a nearby lake.


Great Blue Heron


I found this snail in the vegetable garden and relocated it to the deep woods.


Snail


This lizard stirs every time I enter the cottage garden, but I was able to get a photo of it.


Eastern Fence Lizard



I heard the call of the Red-bellied Woodpecker and looked up.


Red-bellied Woodpecker


Male Northern Cardinal


This hummingbird perches on this tiny branch about 30 feet high but within eyeshot of one of the hummingbird feeders. He comes down for a feeding and returns to his perch high in the sky for most of the day to ward off any other hummingbirds that may attempt to feed from that feeder.


Ruby-throated Hummingbird


The Stella D'oro lilies are blooming, and as I was photographing them I found this little garden helper.


Praying Mantis on Lily


And I was photographing daisies when I came across this mating pair.


Mating Hoverflies


what's blooming


With this gorgeous weather, there is so much blooming. 


Clematis 'jackmanii' and 'Dawn'


Common Orange Daylily


Knockout Roses


Yarrow, Achillea millefolium 'Moonshine'


Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nikko Blue'


The oakleaf hydrangea has gotten so large and fills in the space very nicely.


Hydrangea aborescens 'Alice'


Pink Evening Primrose, Oenothera speciosa


The perennial garden is filling out.


Perennial Garden


The rabbits have been enjoying my young shoots of coneflower a little too much.




I purchased this amaranth variety a couple of months ago, and I am very happy with their drooping flower spikes.


Amaranthus 'Dreadlocks'


These redbud pods look very similar to snowpeas.


Seed Pods of Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'


Echinacea purpurea 'Kim's Knee High'


The herb garden is filling in.



In the herb garden:


basil, Thai basil, lemon grass, sage, parsley, chamomile, tarragon, oregano, dill, cilantro, thyme, savory, lavender, rosemary, apple mint, chocolate mint (mints are in pots)



Herb Garden


Because of our abnormally warm winter and spring, I had lettuce and other greens throughout the seasons. These took up two beds out of six in the vegetable garden. So, I am later than usual planting squash and beans, but it was nice to have the greens for so long.


In the garden:


raspberries, strawberries, peaches, Swiss chard, spinach, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, snowpeas, squash, zucchini


I planted my snowpeas at the beginning of March, and I have been harvesting about a cup a day for about a month and a half.


Snowpea 'Avalanche'


In the last week or two, I have begun to harvest tomatoes.


Cherry Tomatoes 'Husky Cherry Red'


Soon, there will be peppers.


Bell Pepper 'California Wonder'


I have been picking enough raspberries for breakfast every morning.


Raspberry


completed chores


planted squash and zucchini
pruned branches of trees on edge of woods
trimmed Carolina jessamine vines
staked and caged tomato plants
moved Juniper skyrockets to another location
planted impatiens in front flower bed
set out plant supports for tall perennials
cleared some beds of excess English ivy
sowed bean and okra seeds
sowed cypress vine and moonflower seeds
spread Milky Spore powder for Japanese beetle control


chores for June


sow remaining bean seeds
edge planting beds with empire edging
plant remaining calibrachoa in planters
add more echinacea to perennial bed
clean out bird nests


inspirations


Having the bird feeders this year has allowed me to observe the birds more closely than usual. I watch the parents that nested in a nest box in the yard bring their young fledglings to the seed and feed them. It is a joy to watch.




What is in your garden notebook?


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I wrote Sadie's Story, a post about an American robin that nested in my side yard for Beautiful Wildlife Garden. It is a story of hope and loss. Carole Sevilla Brown's blog publishes posts from nature loving bloggers and writers on all sorts of subjects regarding gardening with wildlife.


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I will be linking this post to the following blogs:


Helen of The Patient Gardener hosts End of Month View. This monthly meme is where garden bloggers share their garden views for the end of the month.

Also, Town Mouse Country Mouse hosts First Views. This monthly meme offers an opportunity for garden bloggers to share their garden first views for the month.


The Gardening Blog hosts Garden Bloggers Harvest Day on the 5th of every month. See what others are harvesting all over the world.

© copyright 2012 Michelle A. Potter

67 comments:

  1. Wow, what a beautiful post. You have so many creatures to photograph (and you photography them so expertly), and I love that you rescued the King snake. I am not fond of snakes, but allow the garter snakes in my garden. They are good for slug patrol. I guess rodents too, but I never saw a mouse or rat. I love the open views in your garden images. The garden is so pretty and I especially like how you did the stonework and herb garden. Great work.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. As a young child, I was not fond of snakes until I actually held one. They were nothing like I thought. Now, I have a great respect for them.

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  2. What a diversity of wildlife ... envious of the bluebirds and cardinals but not the snake! I'm really looking forward to harvesting crops from the garden but everything is weeks (or rather months) behind yours. Your garden looks lovely.

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    1. Bluebirds and cardinals are my favorites outside of hummingbirds. I can't get enough of them.

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  3. You have great things happening in your garden. Your lizards look very different from the ones here, and your birds seem very exotic to me. Birds in Italy don't seem to know about feeders because hardly anyone feeds the birds but it does add a lot to a garden to have lots of wildlife too. Christina

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    1. It is so interesting that the birds in Italy do not recognize feeders. I suppose it all about what they become accustomed to.

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  4. My lord, your garden is magnificent!! Its inhabited by such interesting creatures. Lizards, birds, and bugs too. You must be doing something right! Stay green and gardening!

    -Oscar Valencia

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    1. Thanks, Oscar. It is a joy to have all of this around me.

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  5. I loved this little tree frog, it looks very
    frightened probably why it makes such a loud sound! And the goslings are puffy and fluffy and run for their mother. Nice pictures!

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    1. Thank you, Nadezda. I think he was a bit frightened, but he seems to be talking to another frog in the storm pond nearby. He responds in kind.

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  6. I love all these pictures! Everything looks amazing and inspire so much peace and tranquility!

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    1. Thank you, Petro. It is a nice and peaceful place.

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  7. Michelle such a lovely post and so much happening, 93 degrees that sounds hot! and it's only May, I'd like some warmth though, your herb garden looks nice can hardly believe it must be a year since you posted building it, lovely to have so much to eat from the garden, lots of lovely flora and fauna as well, I hope you new garden helper does a good job on vole patrol,

    Michelle after my last rabbit attack when I was pruning a shrub with sharp spikes I had the idea it might deter the rabbits so I let the prunings die off as I didn't want them to grow and then placed them around the plants the rabbits had been eating and it has worked so far, another thing I tried I have read and heard rabbits do not like plants with fragrance when I cut off the old stems from last year's perennial fennel and lovage I stredded the stems and as they still have fragrance I scattered them around plants the rabbits have been known to eat, they eventually loose the smell and breakdown, I don't know if that worked but the rabbits have left things alone since, I'm also trying planting something with a good aroma next to plants that rabbits have been known to eat, good luck, Frances

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to share some of your ideas for protecting my plants from the rabbits, Frances. I will try some of these methods. I trim the roses and could place some of those branches around the echinacea. The herb idea sounds good, too.

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  8. Oh, your bunnies look as mean as our Squirrels. I found beheaded sunflowers in the garden yesterday. I wish these critters would let the flowers bloom before they eat them. Your peppers and tomatoes are both ahead of mine, but I've been running behind all spring. The raspberries look scrumptious too. I just harvested the last of our snap peas to make way for other summer vegetables, but I love them in the spring, they're so sweet! Maybe not quite as sweet as your bluebirds though!

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    1. It is disappointing because I was so looking forward to having all those gorgeous echinacea blooms. I still have some blooms, so hopefully things will get better. I am thinking of moving out the snowpeas as well to make way for beans and okra.

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  9. Your herb garden is really lovely and the photograph of the echinacea is beautiful!

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  10. Fabulous post. The wildlife shots are great, and it's terrific to see those little Bluebirds out and about. You're a lot braver than I when it comes to snakes. I'm not picking up any snake ... ever! You've got beautiful blooms everywhere it seems. The perennial garden is full of great colour. The vegie and herb garden are really doing well. Another great harvest this month.

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    1. I am very careful to identify which snake I am dealing with. We only have one venomous snake in our area, and it is easily identified. I would not know what to do in your neck of the woods.

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  11. You are so lucky to have so much wildlife in your garden and to be able to photograph it. The garden is coming along nicely and lots of lovely veggies to harvest. It is obvious you work very hard in your garden - with lovely results.

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    1. Thank you, Elaine. It is a lot of work but worth it.

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  12. Your garden looks so beautiful and happy. Gorgeous photos! Did you have any storm damage? All is well here - we're just very well watered! Are the geese nesting in your yard? I have bluebirds, too, but they are so quick, they fly away or hop into their house before I can capture a photo.

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    1. So far this year we have not had any storm damage. I don't know how that will go throughout the season. The geese nest at a nearby lake which I visit from time to time.

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  13. I really enjoyed the tour through your garden. A very beautiful and inspiring place. I have a feeder right outside my office window, so when I'm working I can look out and see all sorts of bird things going on. I have learned a lot. We have a hard time keeping bluebirds in the houses we build for them. The sparrows chase them out. A friend said to put up another bluebird house nearby because sparrows don't like to live close together so we may get some bluebirds.

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    1. That must be such a treat to view the birds while you are working. I sometimes sit outside on the patio and watch them.

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  14. You have some amazing pictures there. It's great to have a little bit of everything, some wildlife, some plants, some food very inspiring. Thanks for the tour :)

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  15. Great post and awesome photographs! I so wish to have a snake visiting our yard, you are lucky :)

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    1. I honestly wish I saw more of them. The funny thing is my neighbors seem to encounter them more often, and they despise them....strange.

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  16. Great photos! I never get tired of seeing photos of birds, bugs, and other garden wildlife--I can never seem to capture them myself.

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    1. I get lucky sometimes. I am still trying to capture a dragonfly. They have been to quick for me...

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  17. Wonderful photographs! Thanks for sharing, and I love the little words here and there and in between. "clicks"

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  18. So much is happening! Your garden is multi-dimensional, and I appreciate that wildlife is an important part of it. I can tell that it brings you a lot of pleasure.

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    1. Yes, it does bring me a lot of joy and never boredom.

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  19. I can tell a lot of tender loving care went into your garden, photos, and this incredible post! Thanks so much for giving us a glimpse of your beautiful garden at one of its most beautiful phases. I love the pink Primroses growing down the center of the brick walkway. Gorgeous!

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    1. Those are one of my favorites as well. I debated removing them a few years ago, but I kinda' like it. :)

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  20. I love the photo of the cardinal. I hope you find time to do some relaxing in the spring and summer. The hammock looks inviting.

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    1. Me, too. It will be nice to get some rest.

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  21. Wow, you live in a wonder place. I love exploring your garden through the photos you share and extremely loving your thoughts especially of rescuing that rat snake. Its a wonderful thing you have done. Love to visit your blog.

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    1. Thank you, Rabia. I am glad you enjoyed your visit.

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  22. I love everything about your garden and I especially love how you have turned your post into a garden diary - listing everything from temperature to chores completed. Never mind that the photographs are amazing, the writing is entertaining, and the garden is magnificent!

    A couple of notes... the bunnies did that to our coneflowers two years ago. We lost the entire clump and had to replant. I wish they would stay on their side of the fence!

    As for the rat snake, you are a better person than me... I am so terrified of snakes... I keep telling my husband, I don't CARE whether they eat voles (which are a major problem for us) -- they certainly aren't eating enough of them! I actually have panic attacks just looking at pictures of snakes LOL.

    Anyway, I have enjoyed reading through your garden diary.... it's given me some incredible ideas!

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    1. Thank you very much for your comments about my garden. I really appreciate it. Although I like snakes, I completely understand your fear of them. There are a few animals/insects for which I have the same reaction.

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  23. wow that is hot! and such a great visual delight seeing around the garden with your photographs. I think I would be lying on that hammock in the shade most of the time rather than doing any gardening.

    You've an wonderful array of wildlife visiting the garden and so much blooming though I would be wary of the snake aswell.

    I think that watching the fledglings and hearing them cheep all over the garden would be my favourite thing just now to watch.

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    1. Although I work a lot in the garden...always something to do, there are many moments where I stop and watch the birds or a butterfly or a squirrel. And when I sit and rest, I love to watch all of them. I feel it is my own little paradise.

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  24. Your all collection is too good...

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  25. I enjoyed seeing all the wildlife. It is a copy of what I find in my garden and I enjoy them all. Your fruit, veggies and herbs are looking so wonderful. I am hopping to have better luck with my summer crop than I did with my attempt at late, cool weather veggies. Superb photos!

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    1. Thanks, Karin. It will probably be difficult if we have a harsh winter this year because I had vegetables throughout this last mild winter.

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  26. I always enjoy reading your monthly notebook, Michelle, and seeing what's in bloom and how your garden chores compare to mine. But this month I am just entranced by all your wildlife photos--so beautiful! The photo of the bluebird fledglings is awesome.

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    1. Thank you, Rose. The wildlife is a special part of my garden these days.

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  27. I especially like your perennial garden and that nice view patio overlooking the woods. What a lovely place.

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    1. We just had a slope when we moved in, but I am so glad we made the hill functional. It is a nice place to sit at the end of the day.

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  28. Great photos. I think the bluebirds turned out pretty well.

    Someday I have to upgrade beyond just using my cell's camera. :-)

    Michael

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    1. Thank you, Michael. I guess I hoped for something with more clarity and definition, but their mouths are unmistakable.

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  29. What a nice tour of your garden. Your herb garden looks so trim and lovely. I like that it looks like you put this symmetric four-square design up next to a patio (or that's what it looks like) instead of lost in a sea of grass. Now I'm daydreaming about it.... Does your black rat snake have white stripes every few inches? I've only seen solid black ones here until a few days ago when we spotted one that looked a bit like this with white stripes. The blue jays helped me find it moving through overgrown groundcover. They were making a huge racket!

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  30. Great post! Makes me want to consider bird feeders again - I'm on the fence about it, I don't want squirrel feeders, but your photos tell a story on their own....

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  31. wonderful post, love all the photos!

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  32. I love the photo of the fledglings begging from the Bluebird ... priceless!
    You have a wonderful harvest of herbs & veggies. I'm very inspired by your herb garden as it not only functional, its very lovely to look at too. I can imagine it must smell heavenly too in that area. The evening primroses are beautiful too.
    PS: Thanks for joining us for Harvest Day!!

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  33. I am more and more astonished not only by your incredible photos but by your beautiful way of living. I love that you take care of all living things around you and don't disturb the peace of the little creatures. That way of life is very dear to my heart and is a sign of wisdom and spiritual enlightenment. These are not big words...I really mean them.
    All my love.

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  34. You have so many different creatures in your garden, and I love how you appreciate them all. I can't believe that we are in the same zone. We only dream of harvesting tomatoes.

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  35. Love your herb garden and the colour and bountiful flowers are so inspirational. The special critters that share your garden are just delightful. I always love visiting. Thanks for your post.

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  36. oh I am envious of how tidy your herb garden is. Those big square tiles look wonderful and not a weed poking through! It's amazing to me, you are only 2 zones away, but your garden is months ahead. I've only just planted tomatoes outside and here you are about to collect them. Great pairing of the two clematis.

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  37. Running down to the stonewall where the resident garter snake lives - wont he please eat a few voles? The voles are killing my hillside garden. If he will, please, then I will not be so cross when he scares the living *&^% out of me when I try to get the red lily bugs - apparently they arent to his taste!

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  38. WOW! That's quite a collection of photos.

    I love the little fledlings begging for food. And you have a ton of feeders! I need to get a few more myself... and keep them filled.

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'I see trees of green, red roses, too
I see 'em bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world'
--What a Wonderful World

Thank you for visiting The Sage Butterfly blog. I enjoy reading your charming reflections very much. Have a great day!

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