Friday, July 15, 2011

July Bloom Day

A ladybug's work is never done. Sigh. Welcome to my first ever official Bloom Day post at Beespeaker Saijiki and thanks to May Dreams Gardens for hosting. It's overcast and drizzling today in Vancouver and we are thankful for the rain. Here's what's been happening in our garden in the past three days.

Aphids and ladybugs love the hops and I love ladybugs, so I am happy that things are kept in balance here and the vines seem to thrive in spite of all the action.

Hello little one!

Meanwhile, over on the west side of the house, the golden hops is just about to bloom and the bumble bees love it. It is climbing over the climbing hydrangea and normally they bloom in succession, but because of the late spring, everything got compressed into a shorter season.

The Bombus love this climbing hydrangea and since we have a nest living in our shed, we need to keep them fed.

This is a little blushing alyssum I grew from seed.

Here's some borage for the bees, a companion plant for the strawberries I had on my pancakes this morning.

We have had an excellent crop of sugar peas and now I'm ready to start freezing them because I must admit I'm getting a bit tired of them. We eat the pods in salads when they're young--more bang for your buck that way, but my son likes to pick out the peas so I let some fatten on the vine.

This is salad burnet and you can see the nasturtiums in the background. I notice the bees get frustrated by the long nectar spurs on those flowers, so they tend to pass them over in favor of the other flowers that are blooming right now. If they were desperate they'd rob the nectar by biting a hole in the back of each nectar spur. Of course hummingbirds love nasturtiums.

I hope the bees are finding the zukes. I guess I should pollinate by hand just in case.

This is one of those plants I call a "supermarket salvia". I lost the tag long ago and I'm not a big fan of this sprawling perennial, but the bees do love it. I see the wool carder bees competing for its nectar like roller derby thugs, bumping each other out of the blossoms.

This is cerinthe, another bee plant. The bumble bees make a heck of a racket when they pollinate those blossoms.

So now this is a series of plants I grew from a group of "black" flower seeds I bought from Florabunda Seeds. I'm going to save these violas in the freezer for some natural dye experiments inspired by India Flint.

This is the centaurea that came in the seed packet bundle.

I put one of the blooms in my little oasis for thirsty bees.

And here's the magnificent "black" poppy which may produce some pigment for dye as well.

I also planted some black hollyhocks, but they won't bloom until next summer.

My neighbor planted honeysuckle which chooses to bloom on my side of the fence. Of course on the other side of the garden my honeysuckle blooms on the other neighbor's fence and so on and so on....

I inherited some beautiful roses with this garden and this is my favorite because the colors morph and change as they develop. It also has a lovely fragrance, which is the best reason to grow roses IMO. I also have some lavender, geraniums, a few California poppies, some campanula and a couple different kinds of malva, which you can see in the post below.

Happy Gardening!


  1. The black poppy is quite something and I didn't know Borage made such sweet flowers! A lovely display!
    Happy GBBD :)

  2. And a happy GBBD to you too! You can eat those borage flowers--they look lovely on a potato salad, on cupcakes and floating in cool drinks.

  3. Oh! any Idea of the roses name? any guesses?
    Love it!
    And the black poppy? stunning!

  4. That black poppy is just wonderful - and the cerinthe --- mmmm. Must get some!

    (Found you through GBBD...)

  5. Welcome beangenie and Karen! Cerinthe is easy to grow and it does self seed. It's great for the bees and I believe it's a dry weather plant, so it's easy on the water supply. I don't know the name of the yellow/pink rose. I think of it as the sunrise rose. I believe my neighbor has the same rose, so I'll see if she knows what it's called.