Friday, September 26, 2014

Sparkling Chrysanthemums, Dahlias, Zinnia, Pansies and a Busy Bee

Raindrops on chrysanthemums: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Happy floral Friday! I took these photos yesterday after a heavy rain. I love how the flowers sparkle and glisten in the sun when covered in raindrops. The yellow chrysanthemum above is starting to turn bronze on the edges and makes it feel more like autumn here in my Maryland garden.
Raindrops and bee on curly dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
But the buzzing bees make it feel like summer is still hanging in there. I love the curly petals at the center of this bicolor dahlia.
Yellow zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
The bright yellow zinnias are a ray of sunshine, no matter what the sky is doing.
Raindrops on funky dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
These funky petaled pink, yellow and white dahlias make me smile every time I see them. I love how the pinks go from pale to hot pink with other shades in between and all on one flower. This year I'm going to try digging up tubers again. Last year I didn't succeed so any tips from you would be greatly appreciated! Particularly on how to dig them up without piercing the tubers (which I found out the hard way aren't necessarily directly below the stalks), how long to let them air dry before storing them away for the winter and how to store them away. 
Rain soaked pansy bed: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
My husband planted the wheelbarrow full of pansies and bought some more to fill out the triangular area they're now enjoying (previously occupied by a load of marigolds and a few pink zinnias). They were beaten down by the heavy rain and are showing the stress of being transplanted but should perk up in a few days if the weather cooperates. As I mentioned last week, when God smiles on our garden the pansies can bloom right through winter, into spring and sometimes even early summer.

You can see (from left to right) some of our coreopsis, zinnias, roses, perilla and lantana in the closer background and our and neighbors' trees and big shrubs in the far background.

Thank you for visiting! Every week brings new joy in my Maryland flower garden. I aim to post every Friday from spring through first frost so be sure to visit again soon for more flower photos. May God bless you!

Related posts:
Wheelbarrow pansies:
Freeloaders and flowers:
Autumn Maryland flowers:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Funny Orangutan is Ready for Halloween

Cute and funny orangutan: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Last week I promised you orangutan photos and here they are. I hope you enjoy them! 
Orangutans with sheets: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
At first it seemed like all the orangutans were sleeping under their sheets (how cute is that?!) but when I looked closer one was awake and looking right at me.
Halloween orangutan: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
The orangutan that was awake quickly came up to the window to say hello. I thought he looked like an orangutan in a ghost costume. While this cute and funny orangutan looked ready for Halloween he really just wanted to say hello.
Orangutan cuteness: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
He waved me closer to the window and we both held our palms to the glass, which was really an amazing moment to treasure. I communed with him for a while but eventually had to leave.
Ghostly orangutan: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
He walked all the way to the edge of his habitat to say goodbye. I hope his friends woke up quickly so he could have some orangutan fun. I wonder how long he held onto his sheet? In all of our visits to the Zational Zoo we hadn't been in the Great Ape House so early before and the orangutans in sheets were a new experience.

I hope you enjoyed this week's wild Wednesday post! Would you rather see cute lion cubs or funny goats next week? Please let me know!

May God bless the orangutans, their keepers and may He bless you too!

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Cute cheetah cubs:
Funny lemurs and more:

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Wheelbarrow Full of Pansies for Floral Friday

Pansies in wheelbarrow: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
As summer transitions to fall my glorious marigolds have been flagging. So my sweet husband bought me this wheelbarrow full of brightly colored pansies to replace them. It might still be too hot for pansies but he scored a good deal on them so it's worth the risk of early planting. God willing, if they survive the hotter fall days they should make it through the winter and bloom until late spring/early summer next year.
Neat yellow and red pansy: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
One of the blessings of Maryland flower gardening is a longer growing season than what I grew up with in New England. It still seems miraculous to me that anything will bloom through the winter snow.  Miraculous and wonderful.
Red, yellow and white pansy: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Each pansy is pretty in its own right but I love the little bit of white at the edges of this red and yellow pansy's petals.
Violet and white pansy: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
 And the greenish yellow center of this white and violet pansy is like an exclamation point.
Burgundy and yellow pansies: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
I'm not sure when we'll get around to planting these wheelbarrow pansies but they look nice where they are and seem to be doing fine (he bought them last weekend) so there's no hurry. Although they'll certainly be happier in the ground.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless and prosper you!

What garden tasks do you procrastinate on? What are your favorite fall and winter flowers? Do you have any pansy growing tips to share? I'd love to hear from you!

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Pansies and crocuses:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

American Bison Sisters Zora and Wilma for Wild Wednesday

American bison sisters: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Happy wild Wednesday! I was blessed with the opportunity to see Wilma and Zora, two American bison sisters, on the second day they were on public exhibit at the National Zoo. I read somewhere that they are rare "pure" bison whose ancestors haven't been bred with cattle and are important to the survival of their species.
American bison grazing: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
These majestic creatures didn't seem fazed by the crowd of people watching them. They just enjoyed grazing on the fresh grass in their habitat.
American bison view: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Their habitat is on what I think of as the main trail of the zoo; straight down the road and to the right from the main entrance for pedestrians (after the restrooms but before the turn off to Asia trail). 
American bison sisters grazing: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
They were very calm and alternated hanging out with a bit of distance between them...
American bison sisters together: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
And being close enough to snuggle together. I hope you enjoyed my bison photos! Next week, God willing, I plan to post some photos of a funny orangutan who's ready for Halloween.

May God bless the bisons, their keepers and may He bless you too!

Related posts:
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Cute cheetah cubs:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sunny's Super Fair Crafts

Blue ribbon dried winter holiday wreath by Sunny Bolander: Photo copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
My friend Sunny, owner of Chesapeake Bay Creations by Sunny, kindly gave me permission to share some of her county fair ribbon winning craft entries with you. As you can see in the photo above, she earned a blue ribbon for her Christmas Corner dried winter holiday wreath.
Blue ribbon painted Santa pin by Sunny Bolander: Photo copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
She also earned a blue ribbon for this darling painted Santa pin.
Dried floral wreath with flowers grown by Sunny Bolander: Photo copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
This wreath with bright orange Chinese lanterns was hung improperly so I think judged incorrectly as it didn't receive a ribbon. But It's adorable and I love that she grew all the flowers herself.
Angel shell craft by Sunny Bolander: Photo copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Here is Sunny's cute angel shell craft. She had many other crafts, including an amazing hand knit and beaded shawl that I would also have loved to share but it was displayed behind a semi opaque thick plastic and didn't photograph well. Even though I knit, that shawl is far above my skill level and I thought it was divine.

If you're interested in patronizing her Chesapeake Bay Creations by Sunny business, she's old school, running it by phone and not on the web. You can call her at (410) 761-1824 to order custom scarves, hats, shawls, headbands and crab shell crafts. You can also find her at craft fairs throughout Maryland from October to mid-December. Just give her a call to find out where she'll be. She's very friendly.

Thank you to Sunny for sharing her crafts! May God bless Sunny and may He bless you too!

Related posts:
Blue ribbon flowers:
2013 blue ribbons:
2012 blue ribbons:

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and I wrote this post of my own volition. I was not asked or paid to write it. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Flowers, Freeloaders and Funkiness for Floral Friday

Insect on orange tithonia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" I thought "freeloaders" made better title material than "insects" and I love alliteration so hope you got a lift from the title. It's starting to look more autumnal than summery in our garden but we still have some flowers blooming.
Insect on hot pink rose: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
The strawberries and cream rose bush has been overrun by morning glories, obedient plants, evening primrose and now a grasshopper. But we keep pulling the overzealous plants away for this year. I think we'll move it to the main rose garden next spring to give it a better chance.
Funky bicolor dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
This lemon and cream (not the actual name, just what I call it) dahlia is now blessing our living room in a vase with a bunch of similar flowers.
Orange African daisy: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
 The African daisies that I managed to keep deadheaded are still blooming. 
Funky dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Our uniform looking dahlias seem to be taking a little break but the funky looking ones are going strong. I like their curly petals and varied colors.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you!

How is your garden doing now that September is here?  Do you have any late summer/early fall gardening tips to share? I'd love to hear them!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hummingbird Nest Photos by Anna Horner for Wild Wednesday

Hummingbird in nest: Copyright © Anna Horner, 2014, used with permission
Last week I featured Anna's amazing hummingbirds in flight photos and this week she has kindly consented to share her sweet hummingbird nest photos. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Hummingbird nest eggs: Copyright © Anna Horner, 2014, used with permission
 I've never seen into a hummingbird's nest before so this aerial shot of the two eggs was a treat.
Hummingbird hatchlings: Copyright © Anna Horner, 2014, used with permission
And, while not very cute yet, I was amazed to see the freshly hatched baby hummingbirds.

Heartfelt thanks to my dear cousin Anna for sharing her photos. May God bless her and may He bless you too!

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Osprey photos:
Yellow and red birds feeding video: