Hoverfly on a Shasta daisy

12 07 2017

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Hoverfly on Shasta

Hoverfly (also known as a flower fly or syrphid fly) on a Shasta daisy

Here’s a random fact I just came across: there is a flower fly found only in the cloud forests of Costa Rica that is named for Bill Gates (Bill Gates’ flower fly). Another one is named after Gates’ associate Paul Allen (Paul Allen’s flower fly). The flies were named such in recognition of their “great contributions to the science of Dipterology” (From the order Diptera, which includes insects that use just two wings to fly)

So now you know, too. You’re welcome. 😁

But wait! There’s more! Curiosity took me to a site that answered my burning question—how long do hoverflies live? A lot shorter life than I imagined! Here’s the answer:

Their live span is similar to other flies. They can live anywhere between 15 to 30 days and it all depends on the climate and temperature they are in.





Blooming in my garden: Bashful shasta

18 06 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh Lolli-Lolli-Lolli

18 06 2012

Blooming in my garden: Globe thistle (Echinops ritro). My friend and neighbor, Michael P. (a.k.a. “Grasshopper,” since he’s my newest photography protégé), loves to come over to my garden in evening after he gets off of work. It’s usually way past the time that I would shoot, but he manages to get some decent shots despite the low light levels. This afternoon, Michael and I invited him to join us for a field trip over to Green Spring Gardens, followed by dinner. By the time we got back to our neighborhood, it was close to 8:00 and he began shooting in my front yard. I joined him, although it went against my nature to continue shooting in that low of light. I was surprised that I could get some decent shots (of course, I’ve got the D300 pumped up to 1000+ ISO to get them) of my Globe thistle and Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum). Earlier in the week, Michael R. had tied up the thistle because they were drooping and in doing so, he created this little lollipop skyline. I love the whimsical Dr. Seuss-ian look of it! More to come…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: A lighter shade of pale

10 02 2012

Originally posted Feb. 11, 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

brightwhitecollage





Re-post: Lighter shade of pale

26 02 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

brightwhitecollage

 





Yep, you guessed it. Green Spring Gardens again.

11 02 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blooming in my garden today: Passion Flower

13 07 2010

I’ve been tending to this same Passion Flower plant since 2006—so this makes the fifth year I’ve been able to over-winter it in my studio office! As I was photographing this flower, I heard a creaking, croaking sound. Could there be a new frog taking up residence in our teeny, tiny pond again? I couldn’t find him, but I certainly could hear him! I’m crossing my fingers in hopes that I can get a shot of this new garden inhabitant.

Also blooming in the garden today: 22 bright pink and green downward facing lilies (they’re stunning en masse!), three huge white Casa Blanca Lilies, large clusters of Purple Coneflowers, two groups of Shasta Daisies, and one beautiful deep purple and white Dahlia. I’ll get some photographs of those this afternoon.

Passionate about Passion Flowers? Check out the links below to see more images shot in my garden over the past few years.

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/08/26/its-about-time/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/backyard-blooms/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/06/21/meanwhile-in-the-garden/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/lady-margaret/

For more information on passion flowers:

Passiflora Online is a comprehensive website with growing tips, FAQs, plant ID, hybrid and species images, pollinators, and much more.

Plants in Motion has videos of a passion flower in bloom and also short clips of bees visiting the flowers.

Tradewinds Fruit has a great database of passion flower blossoms. Click on the “related species” section on the left of the site to see a wide variety of passion flower plants.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blooming in my garden today…

24 06 2010

Shasta daisies everywhere! © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Shasta daisies blooming in my garden

12 06 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





In bloom at Green Spring Gardens…

2 07 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

GS 722009






It’s a jungle out there

28 05 2009

Shot of our front yard garden taken this afternoon…

Just past bloom: White & purple Bearded Iris and Purple Sensation Allium 

Debuting now: Beard’s Tongue, Catmint, Veronica Speedwell, Creeping Thyme, Sweet William, Penstemon, Rose Campion (blush pink-white and bright pink varieties), Hellebores, Sedum, Yellow Yarrow, Nasturtium, White Dianthus, Pink Phlox, Hosta flowers, Ageratum, Evening Primrose ‘Lemon Drop’, Strawflower, Geraniums 

Very-soon-to-bloom: Globe Thistle, Lavender (various), Coreopsis, Tickseed, Lilies (various) and Salvia

And later in the seasonButterfly bush (pink, yellow, purple varieties), Coneflower (various varieties)

Platycodon Balloon Flower (purple and white varieties), Shasta Daisies, Black-eyed Susan, Monarda Bee Balm, Lamb’s Ear, Morning Glory ‘Heavenly Blue’, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Maximilian sunflower

Ha! And this is just the list of plants in the front yard. Proof enough that I’m a gardener obsessed.

Got a question for my fellow gardeners…what is the weed (looks a lot like the tops of celery plants or almost cilantro-looking leaf) that is taking over my entire garden in spades? Why have I not noticed this prolific pest in previous years? Is it a new invasive? Do I need to photograph it for identification?
  
© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

InBloom5282009


 





Lighter shade of pale

11 02 2009

Colors left to profile—red, green, and variegated (a fellow blogger’s suggestion)—I’ve covered orange, pink, blue, yellow and purple. Am I leaving something out?

I suppose since it’s still winter, I could cover brown, but that’s not too inspiring, is it? Might not be, but boy do I have lots of that color in the garden right now.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

brightwhitecollage





I’ll give you a daisy a day, dear…

1 07 2008

Every time I see a daisy in bloom, the song “Daisy a Day” comes to me. I’ll sing it for friends but not many of them have heard it or remember it (but my sister Debbie does!). It’s so catchy and bittersweet—it stays in my head for days afterward. I first heard it when I was 13 and because I have a (completely useless) knack for remembering a vast number of song lyrics, I can sing it by heart to this day.

Jud Strunk, a popular folk singer, songwriter, and comedian, recorded this song in 1973. Although he recorded three humorous songs that also made it into the country music charts, this song was his most popular, and was one of the recordings chosen to accompany the Apollo astronauts on their missions to the moon. The song made the Top 15 in pop charts and the Top 40 on the country charts. Making his way to California, he appeared on Bewitched, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Hee Haw and the Merv Griffin Show.

Strunk made his family home in Farmington, Maine. He ran for the Maine State Senate in 1970 and lost by only one vote. Strunk was a private pilot and suffered a heart attack while taking off in his 1941 Fairchild M62-A in October 1981, eight years after he recorded “Daisy a Day.” He was just 45 years old and left behind a wife and three sons.

In honor of the late Jud Strunk, I’m introducing you to this lovely tune. Listen to Strunk sing his song on the Johnny Carson Show. And here’s a nice presentation with photos by Ned Nickerson on the blog, www.giveyouadaisyaday.blogspot.com. Learn more about his life and career on www.judstrunk.com.

I’ll give you a daisy a day, dear.
I’ll give you a daisy a day.
I’ll love you until the rivers run still
And the four winds we know blow away.


FYI: The waterdrops were Mother Nature-placed and not from my water hose! 🙂





Organized chaos vs. needs medication

24 05 2008

“Organized chaos,” was Michael’s response yesterday when I asked him to describe the front yard garden. I also asked him to guess what passersby might be thinking. I’m thinking they think I have too much time on my hands…or perhaps I have an illness that could be regulated with medication. I must say that when I’m in the kitchen, near the windows overlooking the two sides of the garden, and someone goes by—I try to catch their expressions and see how long their eyes linger over the garden. So many just pass by without even a glance to their right. How in the world can they do that? Those that take time to pause from their running, walking, jogging, baby-stroller-pushing, dog-walking jaunts get a silent stamp of approval from me. Aside from my own visual gratification, I create this “organized chaos” for them, too.

Recently my friend Gina spent an entire afternoon helping us clean up the backyard and plant those last few bulbs and impromptu plant purchases from the Green Springs Garden plant sale last weekend. I cajoled her into taking leftover bulbs, excess plants, garden ornaments, an old table, empty pots, etc…anything to just get my backyard looking like paradise again. She and Michael kept shaking their heads every time I came up with a statement like, “oh…um… I forgot about the free sundrops someone abandoned in the parking lot. Where should we (shove) those?” Or, “if we just stake up that bunch of plants, I’m sure we can find several inches of valuable real estate in which to plant these lily bulbs I forgot about.” Or, “we’re almost done, guys, just six more things to plant. Okay…I forgot about those, okay, eight more things, and then we’re definitely done.” I confess. I’ve never met a plant I didn’t like. I take great comfort in knowing that I am far from alone with my disease. I’m in such good company with other plantaholics!

The front part is about half in bloom. Right now, the penstemon, beard’s tongue, sweet william, catmint, yellow yarrow, sweet william, coreopsis, thyme, veronica, rose campion, salvia, ice plants, and sedums are in various stages of bloom. My ‘Purple sensation’ alliums are past their prime, now in their architecturally-interesting “koosh ball” stage. The multitude of lilies are just starting to form buds. Tiny blue forget-me-nots, a gift from Peggy’s garden, are still flowering. The bearded iris (a gift from my friend Karen’s garden several years ago) are almost done with their show. The false sunflower plant surrounding the iris is about halfway to its height and will reach 8-9 feet before bursting with small yellow flowers against the blue summer sky. (Insert amusing sidebar here: I bought this plant a few years ago when my friend Debbi took me onto base at Fort Belvoir. The tag on the plant read, “sun-loving perennial, reaches 4 ft., profusion of yellow flowers throughout summer.” The plant proceeded to reach “Jack-in-the-beanstalk” proportions—9 feet the first year—forming a swaying canopy over the steps before it finally spewed forth beautiful miniature sunflowers! Several friends asked if we were growing corn that year.)

The liatris, a favorite of bees, are just a quarter of the way to their height. A bank of lovely lamb’s ears, started with cuttings from Karen’s garden, offsets the other plants with their silvery green hue. The Autumn joy sedums are puffing out, waiting until everything else steps out of the spotlight for it to shine in the fall. Michael’s olfactory favorite, the moonflower, is slowly making its way up a trellis on the front of the house.

Yesterday, I planted mina lobata (firecracker vine/Spanish flag) in a pot at the bottom of the steps (just so I could get more photographs like this beautiful one I shot last summer: https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2007/09/03/mina-lobata/. In front of the pot I planted three new coneflowers and another shasta daisy. We added another hellebore to the large bank (another offering from Karen) in the shade. On the front porch, there are two topiary frames planted with hyacinth vines. My beautiful (and very photogenic) stargazer lilies have returned, making their way upwards from a terracotta pot. Three baskets hang over the railing, filled with verbena, sweet potato vine, allysum, marigolds, portulaca, and marguerite daisies.

Farther up, in front of the morning glory trellises, everything is verdant. When that area begins to peak this summer, there will be a profusion of lavender, multi-colored lilies, silvery purple thistle, yellow black-eyed susans and sundrops, take-your-breath-away Heavenly Blue morning glories, red bee balm, deep pink butterfly bush blooms, grayish-greenish-blueish sea holly, blue-eyed grasses, shasta daisies, various other sedums, and white, purple and orange coneflowers….I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

I replied to Michael, “Organized chaos presumes I did not have a plan.” To which he countered, “There was a plan?” Of course there was a plan. My plan incorporates textures, scents, colors, varying heights, creepers, crawlers, climbers, and a botanical variation of Noah’s Ark—two of everything, please. How is that not a plan?

I’ll accept “organized chaos.” It’s preferable to “needs medication.”

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. www.cindydyer.com/GardenPhotos