Before we go out into the garden, take an eastern peek with me out my French doors. The early morning light is casting a magical spell over the north garden. A Crabapple tree and Tree Hydrangea are wearing the golden rays of sun like a brilliant mantle.
Then suddenly the sun is hidden in a blanket of clouds . . . note how cool it all becomes and how it changes the mood of the photograph.
The clouds are playing with the sun . . . tossing it about . . . one minute it is hidden the next it is out. Looking east from the doors I see what appears to be a Monarch butterfly on the Sedums. Something looks a bit odd about it though . . . let's go out and see!
Just one minute more from the inside, I want to share this young Ruby-throated Hummingbird with you. In my last post of Late Bloomers . . . I featured this Miss Canada Lilac throwing out a repeat bloom. Does this youngster not look overjoyed.
We are gazing out a east facing window now . . . I have not installed a screen so as to open and capture moments like this. Many hummers are passing through on their way south. I took these photos while finishing my last post.
Now outside walking through my funky Crabapple orchard towards the Tree Hydrangea. This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago . . . all the other photographs in this post . . . except the hummer . . . were taken yesterday, as the sun rose over Walnut hill. Light and shadows enjoy dancing in this little grove.
Before we walk over to the Sedum, to check out the butterfly . . . take a look at this great feeder. The light is bright and fills the foliage . . . painting it yellow green.
Then the clouds hurl the sun back beneath their downy fluff and all is cooler and darker green. The Pokeweed or Inkberry is a volunteer, as are many of the wild native plants about this jungle of a garden. Birds love the berries, which are poisonous to mammals. The seeds simply pass right through our feathered friends.
Now let's try to find the butterfly.
It is never hard to find a butterfly or bee when they are feeding on the Sedum . . . the world seems lost to them. As it turns out, this is not a Monarch at all, but a Viceroy mimicry. There are many differences but one that is easy to quickly identify is the black line going through the two hind wings.
Sedums and Hydrangeas are still making a show in the garden. Looking back towards the Crabapple orchard we see the Hydrangea paniculata (Pee Gee Hydrangea) then by turning around . . .
a large mass of Hydrangea macrophylla Snowball are piling up on top of themselves in front of a Viburnum.
A fresh white cloud (mophead) is just forming.
We walk past this Rugosa just as she is joining others in a repeat performance of bloom.
Then straight ahead and around the corner of a Viburnum a sweet Fairy rose spreads her shinny green leaves and tiny spray clusters like a lovely gown about the ground. Many Sedums are scattered throughout the gardens, for they are easy, stand up to Bishops Weed and maybe most importantly . . . they are great feeders for butterflies and bees. This little Viceroy seems to like the roses too.
Wild Asters create a natural tasty filler in this arrangement of pinks.
Sedum 'Autumn Joy' might be consider common to many but not to these butterflies. You can keep it from flopping over by giving it support or cutting it back early in the season.
Bumblebees seem to prefer flowers that offer doors that open and shut, such as this Impatiens Royalei.
Lobelia siphilitica blooming between Sedums is a native member of the Bellflower family.
Looking south from where we stand Nikko . . . another 'mophead' Hydrangea . . . is gracing the gardens with late repeat blooms. This image is cooled by the cloudy sky.
When the sun comes out again, it sure warms everything up. The blue is striking next to the wine colored hue of Lilac leaves.
Now we are walking over towards the veggie garden. I should say what was the veggie garden, for the rabbits simply refuse to let me have it! A delicate Hydrangea paniculata is unfurling fresh blooms too.
Walking out into the middle meadow garden and looking back there is another Hydrangea paniculata before a Japanese Tree Lilac wearing faded blooms. Yes! that is yet more Sedum growing near the Joe-pyee Weed.
Purples join the palette of blooms in the form of Asters now beginning their open house for wild honeybees and butterflies. Faint in color but not in stature, are the Smoke bush and Joe-pye Weed mirroring each other in less saturated pinks. Oh, and there is another cluster of Sedums. This 'meadow' was filled with Iris, Daylilies, Roses and other perennials earlier this spring and summer.
A splash of yellow skirts the meadow in panicles of Goldenrod and composites of Rudbeckia Herbstonne. In the background a Linden topiary stands next to the Smoke bush.
What a joy to find this bloom!
An orange brushstroke or is it an American Painted Lady . . .
How good of the rabbits to let me have a few shoots of Verbena bonariensis, or I could never have shared this dazzling creature with you today. It's the day after bloom day . . . I am so slow these days. Be sure to visit Carol's May Dreams Garden to see more blooms around the world.