Sunday, July 12, 2020

Mosaic Monday #88: Glory in the Garden

You knew it was only a matter of time (oops, that was last week's post!) guaranteed that I would wax lyrical about my garden again.  Can you believe it has been 8 weeks since my last garden post?  Muchos cambios, mis amigos, so let's take a look!

Overall, I have been pleased with the outcome of my seed planting (7 out of 13 have come up, and 3 of those were sown in the spring).  54%, barely better than "average", may not seem a palatable result, but, given all of the seeds were hand-collected from last year's garden and that this was my first attempt, I am satisfied.  It has already taught me a thing or two about how thickly (or not) to sow the seeds.  As you can see in some of the pictures below, I could have been a little more judicious.

I sowed Rocky Mountain Bee Plant in multiple locations, and although it came up gangbusters in every one, since then only about half of them are thriving.  Last September, I wrote about these plants, which showed up in our "prairie" on their own.  I collected a bunch of seeds, but left the rest, assuming they would sow themselves.  I have not seen a single one in the prairie.  Go figure!  (In the mosaic above, there must be 20 individual plants in that cluster.)  I am thrilled with the number of columbines that have sprouted, especially since this is a seed sown in the spring.  Given this response, I will focus on seeding columbines rather than trying to transplant little ones.  If you are paying attention (!), you may be asking why there are only six pictures in the mosaic, when I said 7 have sprouted.  Good for you!  

Rocky Mountain Penstemon has also sprouted in half of the locations where it was sowed.  I so admire this hearty plant, and its deep-throated purple flowers, that I am over the moon with this result.  You may also be wondering about the little blue markers you see in the mosaic.  Inquiring minds must be answered!  Three weeks ago, I used these skewer sticks and blue painter’s tape to create little flags denoting sites with emerging plants.  This meant I didn't have to continually reference my seeding plan, and more importantly, prevented me from accidentally "weeding" something I would like to preserve!  (Sometimes, I am not sure, and the flag merits a question mark!!!  I am now pretty confident this is a Rocky Mountain Penstemon - time to update the flag.)

Rocky Mountain Penstemon when it's "all growed up" 

When we first installed our landscaping in 2018, I built a relationship with the Center for Native Plants in Whitefish.  Hailey Moore, the Nursery Manager, has been immensely helpful in a variety of ways – from identifying native and invasive grasses to connecting me with other resources.  In the two years that we have had these sand cherries, I saw significant die-off in the spring.  The first year, I thought it might be “normal”, but I decided not to make any assumptions.  Hailey let me know that Montana State University (Schutter Lab) offers up to five free lab tests per year for Montana residents.  So, per the lab’s instructions, I sent off a healthy sample and a “diseased” sample of the sand cherry.   I also emailed pictures to the lab. 
In less than a week, I had the results from Dr. Eva Grimme: "I suspect that the shrubs are affected by environmental factors like a late frost this spring.  I also found very minor browning/discoloration in the vascular system, which could indicate a fungal canker.  I recommend you check if the branches are still green underneath the bark - this means that they are still alive and may recover.  Prune out the dead branches.  Make sure to sterilize your tools between cuts.  Focus on supporting shrub vigor by providing adequate water and nutrients during the growing season."  As you can see, the pruning was dramatic, but hopefully it will improve the vigor of the shrubs (I have four of them) in the future.  I will also make a note to protect them from frost next spring!
Lower right: after pruning  Other two: "NORMAL"!
If I was self-indulgent, I might be inclined to tell you about EVERY ONE of my plants, but this post would be as long as War and Peace!  A few of them deserve to be called out (and I will, below, but for now, I will let these mosaics speak for the plants.) 

And now for the plants that deserve a special mention.  First up is aspen fleabane.  It has spawned at least 7 volunteers, one as much as 20 feet from the original plant.
Given my upbringing in the Midwest, the maples are near and dear to me – I already am in love with their shape and can imagine the day when they tower over the house and cast plentiful shade!
The shape of this Catmint is wonderfully symmetrical – a perfect choice on the part of our landscapers for a position next to the flagstone path that leads to the front door.

The scarlet Gilia is a fascinating flower.  When first installed, the three plants appeared as you see in the mosaic below - tall and spindly with flowers scattered along its arch.  The next year, we had many volunteers, but they never rose much above an inch tall.  And this year?  Shazam – blooms all over the place.  It turns out that this two-year cycle is normal for the plant. 

As faithful readers know, we planted wild grass/wildflower seed mix our first fall in the house.  I have been very pleased with the results – many types of grass, flax, poppies, black-eyed susans, coneflower.  And a few lupines.  One of them actually bloomed this year, which is not too bad for only its second year!
Now that my garden is really coming along, “big picture” pictures are more appealing.

Nature continues introducing her own plants to my garden as you can see in the collage below.  I have shown you arnica in the past; this month I have been able to collect seeds and hope that will be another successful experiment next year.
The circular bed around the Douglas Fir in front of the house has been growing so vigorously that my metal moose was getting lost in it.  So, I shifted it and the other decorative lawn art about 5 feet to the left.  Voila!
Doesn't it look like he is chomping on the yarrow?
After an initial slow start, the flower pots on the deck, as well as the flower baskets on the jackleg fence, are thriving.
Of course, my battle with critters is ongoing, from ground squirrels to rabbits to deer.  It was intense for a week or two, including the morning I chased a bunny around the entire house while still in my pajamas!  And then suddenly, no bunny.  Dramatically reduced numbers of ground squirrels.  Maybe the badger family is having an impact!  
The picture at left is the one and only apple blossom we had this spring - no fruit this year.  And don't ask me about the aphid infestation on our golden currants!  

But then I wake up this morning and see this.  Every gardener has her trials, but they all fade into the background when a new bloom erupts in all its glory.  
(I may be slow in commenting due to an overnight camping trip.)

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.

Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time). 
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog. 
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back. 
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by. 
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully. 
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.  

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


  1. ...gardening and wire fencing are a fact of life for your now!

  2. You have some very lovely photos!! So glad you were able to camp! It sounds exciting. Today here we're having thunder storms!

  3. Gardening is during Covid-19 a special good thing, staying at home. We do some new plants in front of the house. And we are happy about. Like you, I see the wonderful work you have done around your home. There are any blooms I know well and some unknown.

    Stay healthy and well.

    Happy MosaicMonday

  4. Everything sure is pretty and we just totally love your beautiful home!

  5. My goodness I do love your home and the flowers/garden look native, like they grew there all on their own. Great job.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

    1. Dawn - thanks as always for linking to Mosaic Monday and being such an avid supporter. I enjoyed the pictures of your kitties this week - I have tried to comment on your post several times, but the comments section keeps "spinning" and never loads. Hopefully you see this and know that I tried to visit.

  6. You have been busy I can tell. I once wanted my own garden but was never able to buy a place of my own so my "garden" is my balcony. I usually have a few Columbines as they are favorites of mine. You have so much to share. I love the little moose in your garden. :)
    Take care.

  7. Your garden is coming along so well. I wish your badger family would visit my garden and take care of the pesky bunnies. We're thinking up a more permanent solution, but for now I have mesh over anything tempting. A rabbit-proof garden is in the works. Enjoy your camping trip.

  8. Lots of lovely blooms and such a nice variety. Nice that you know the names of everything. So far we have not seen rabbits in our yard but we do have chipmunks and deer. The deer do have their favorites. I hope you have a wonderful camping trip!

  9. Your native gardening is really a slice of Paradise Angie.... every bloom has special meaning to you ..,and every bloom in itself and as you’ve arranged your beds is perfect. (The mosaic arrangements are quite perfect as well!)

  10. I enjoyed your garden tour, Angie! I love wildflowers and perennials so I also try to fill my gardens with both, sometimes with mixed results depending on weather and critters. I love each and every one that blooms!

  11. Hello Angie,
    Your garden looks lovely, so many beautiful flowers. The columbine is one of my favorites. I can not imagine having a badger family in my yard, we have the bunnies, groundhogs and deer. Your camping trip sounds like fun. Thanks for hosting MM. Take care! Enjoy your day, have a great new week!

  12. A delightful range of plants, Angie. It is extremely satisfying to collect seeds and get them growing again the next year!

  13. Enjoy your hike, and thanks for hosting, Angie.

  14. Happy gardening. Have a nice Monday


  15. Dear Angie - Soon your spacious garden will be full of blooms in various different colors, textures, and sizes. It is a magic made from seeds. I like the Columbine and the blueness of the Blue Flax. Have a nice time on your camping trip.


  16. I love looking at all your flowers. I've never heard of Gilia, that's a new one to me. Thanks for hosting!

  17. You have a beautiful home and isn't it fun to see these flowers really take hold and thrive. You are so good at identifying the flowers there too. You have something blooming all summer long! Happy MM!

  18. So good to see the plants thriving around your home, that last photo of the poppy is stunning. We had a lot at our last house I must plant some seed here in the spring, no bunnies here to eat them!! You have so many critters who enjoy your plants, they must think you are a new restaurant!! Hope you had a great hike.

  19. Wow, Angie! Applause for you, and applause for your gorgeous flowers. So much pleasure and delight to behold each day. :-)

    This year I learned that not all seeds will grow where they're sown. At least in my yard. I suppose the wind or rain blew them to where they really want to grow. I see from one of your mosaics that I have yellow coreopsis. I really ought to follow your lead and put in little flags telling me what I've planted. I may also have penestemon in the yard. You've also reminded me that once upon a time I nurtured a potted Japanese maple tree. It would be fun to grow one again. :-) Cheers, Angie!

  20. Interesting post! Glad you have had some success with growing native plants.

  21. Gorgeous flowers in your garden. So beautiful. Sorry I missed the close off date for your linky again. We've had grandies here. Stay safe and have a good week.

  22. Such a pretty garden and great-looking house.

  23. What a bounty of blooms! Some people drain the environment of its goodness while others like you seed and nurture the soil and surroundings.

  24. Look at all those lovely flowers!! I have two of those dogwoods. You are doing a great job. And I loved the thought of you running after the What I do with the deer. I tell the deer, you can prune my bushes but the pots of flowers are off Gorgeous day down here. Just finished mowing. Gonna get hot! You take care and look out for bears! Kit

  25. How beautiful your garden, lovely.

  26. Wonderful post of so many floral shots ~ great photos ~ ^_^

    Be Safe, Be Well,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  27. Seems to me that you have made yourself a full time occupation as a gardener Angie. One again I am full of admiration four knowledge and skills. I'm afraid that here it's " stick it in and hope for the best". Lazy gardening. That's us. And, why didn't Man with a Home get a mention today?

  28. If anyone comes by and checks messages, I'm running late. here it is Friday and I'm just finishing up on commenting. Sorry folks, life happens.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  29. The "bunnies" (not what Miriam calls them) in our neighbourhood seem to be multiplying like, well, bunnies. Oh for a good neighbourhood Red-tailed Hawk during the day and a Great Horned Owl at night. A fox and a coyote would be welcomed too!

  30. i think a seed garden could be the most rewarding of all gardens. starting with such a tiny seed and being rewarded with a beautiful plant or flower, what could be better. you have such great knowledge of the flowers!!

    stay safe and have a wonderful weekend!!

  31. Your flowers are gorgeous, Angie. You've accumulated lots of knowledge about the native plants and they are doing good. I like the idea that the University offers you five free lab tests a year, what a great idea.

  32. I love your garden and surrounding ground. Kudos to you for trying to do so much native type plants. That'll pay off big time in reduced costs and better results in the future. I love that you are collecting seeds and learning as you are going.
    My Dad was a Forest Ranger but his degree was in range management. He knew all the plants in the woods and meadows in the West.

  33. So nice to see all of your photographs.
    Your home looks great, love your garden too.

    Stay well, take care.

    All the best Jan


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