Archives for category: Flowers

My Queen of the Night should have bloomed last night. It didn’t. The impossibly intricate, huge white blooms, are protected by long, pale salmon tubes, with sharp points. When the bloom looks like this, it will either bloom that night, or the following night. It blooms after dark, for one night only.

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Queen of the Night One Day Before Bloom 3/4 Angle

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Queen of the Night One Day Before Bloom with Shadow

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Queen of the Night One Day Before Bloom Side View

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Queen of the Night One Day Before Bloom Front View

It blooms for one night (see photos of my neighbor Zdena’s blooms in my Queen of the Night post) and is spent and limp by morning. These Queen of the Night blooms do not like to be handled, evidently, as in my zeal to get some light on the subject, I moved the pot a few times. The pot resides in the shade under my wisteria.

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Queen of the Night the Day of Bloom in Sunlight

By this stage, a heavy bloom is being lifted up by the stem. Monday night it had not bloomed. Yesterday, it had started to open. I moved it yet again, into the sun in an effort to see inside. The stem was probably stressed too much. When I returned from class last night, I found it hanging limp, never having opened. I’ll know better next time to leave it alone, and enjoy it’s stunning beauty from where it is. Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

I just rounded up what was ready to harvest. That big zucchini had been hiding, or it would have been eaten before now.

And, I had a volunteer sunflower, my last one this year, appear in my strawberry patch. It’s a little one, but very friendly! Sunflowers make you smile!

If you are new to Late Bloomer, or you missed it, please watch my latest episode, “Zucchini Madness.”  Thanks! My tomato saga is coming soon! Thanks for stopping by! Advice welcome! – Kaye

I looked out the window about 10:30 AM. It was a cloudy morning, so the Black-Hooded Parakeets, or Nanday Conure Parrots were late getting over here. If you are following my blog, especially the post “Meet My Kids,” you know I’ve got, uh, had some nice sunflowers. There were four balanced on the sturdy Lemon Queen, one on watch up over my head somewhere and another on the rust-colored sunflower.

The parrot on watch screamed at them, and they turned to look at me.

It was at this point, I turned on the video.

They made a hasty exit. They weren’t gone a minute, and a pair of goldfinches flew in where they were waiting in the wings.

These two solved the mystery of why the leaves were skeletonized.

So I shot a little video of them.

The male took off and the female flew to the top of my little jacaranda tree to look for him.

Now, for the damage. This one broke over from their weight before they damaged the blooms. They are inside in a vase.

Remember Goldy from yesterday? Didn’t even have a chance to fully open.

The Mexican Sunflowers were spared, probably because they are short.

There’s always something going on in the garden. Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

Goldy Honey Bear, Helianthus annus, Botanical Interests Seeds

I just returned from a few days in New England, and these are some of the things I found in my garden upon arrival. My first bloom of my Mexican Sunflowers. The packet says 6-8′ tall, however mine all look like they’ll be lucky to reach two feet. Wow, do they pack some color!

Lots of Red Cherry Tomatoes ripening.

Four black (supposed to be purple) small peppers, two of which are rather shriveled.

More tomatoes. Two neighbors dropping by got some before this shot. I also had to toss a dozen with blossom end rot.

And three cucumbers. I’ll only know if these are bitter when I bite into them tonight, but for now, I’ll pretend they are as sweet as they look. 🙂

Lots of other stuff going on in my small garden. Just the usual tending took four hours. Loved every minute. Thanks for visiting! – Kaye

My neighbor, Zdena, grows many Queen of the Night cacti, and one was blooming tonight. She texted me and I ran over. It’s a challenge photographing this amazingly intricate flower with it’s deep, coiled center. The flower is probably eight inches across.

Here’s another shot with different lighting. The scent is just as lovely and powerful as the blossom.

Nature in it’s infinite wisdom created a spectacular flower which blooms only at night! Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

Because sunflowers make you smile! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

My third crop of sunflowers is now ready to pop. Here’s the very first arrival.

Upon a closer look at the center, thousands of sharp seed enclosures look like talons!

A bee wasted no time finding this first bloom. It got a little annoyed my camera was two inches away, and took off after the first shot.

This seed came from a packet of Botanical Interests, Flash Blend, so it could have been a variety of colors. This color is sensational, and welcome after all the lemon yellow of Yellow Queen, (though I have another one coming). I just took the last one down. It was seven feet tall and had about 20 blooms. The local wild parrots had made a mess of it.

I also think it might not have gotten enough water (the soil in my parkway is like brick!), as there are still thousands of seeds in the blooms.

If you haven’t yet seen my sunflower episode of Late Bloomer, please check it out! Thanks for watching! See ya’ next time! – Kaye

I took the advice of Lisa and Kathleen in Wild Farm – Episode 15 and brought some umbels into my garden. These are Achillea millefolium, or Yarrow, “Island Pink” and “Moonshine.”

Umbels are umbrella-shaped with a cluster of flowers, that are rather flat on top, and beneficial insects are especially drawn to them. This is Cinderella Butterfly Weed.

You want beneficial insects in your organic garden to eat pests, like aphids. You also want to attract bees and butterflies. This is Butterfly Bush, and has the most amazing cluster of little flowers, and I adore this intense color.

This is Tropical Milkweed Asclepias curassavica, which is easy to find in nurseries in CA. Milkweed is the only plant a Monarch caterpillar will eat and the adult butterfly will lay eggs on, and is the subject of the next episode of Late Bloomer! I couldn’t resist picking up three plants with this intense color.

This is also Yarrow, with a little insect snooping around. It was the size of an ant. Do you see it? According to Wikipedia, “In antiquity, yarrow was known as herbal militaris, for its use in staunching the flow of blood from wounds. Other common names for this species include gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man’s pepper, devil’s nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier’s woundwort, thousand-leaf, and thousand-seal.” How imaginative we used to be!

We’ll see if my plan works. Yesterday, a Swallowtail Butterfly (it’s so rare to see them) swooped in and around my yard twice, but, didn’t stop to drink from the flowers. Thanks for checkin’ in! See ya next time! – Kaye

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