Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fertilizer Friday -- Columbines, Hardy Geraniums, Lupines and Bees

I've been working in the garden this past week, pulling weeds, planting, and taking lots of pictures. The weather has been a little warmer, and a little less rainy. Mostly cloudy, with a little sun, and a shower every so often. We are edging ever so slowly into early summer (the solstice is only a week away!), but things are starting to flower so fast and furiously now, if I hesitate, I'm lost -- I can't keep up with posting about them. Maybe I should just post every day.

I have lots of different columbines blooming.
Lovely dark ones

Pale pastels

And everything in between:

The hardy Geraniums are flowering too, some heavily, some not so heavily.

Geranium 'Biokovo' and 'Biokovo Karmina'

Geranium 'Vision Light Pink' grown from seed last year

First hardy Geranium ever planted here, name unknown

Same Geranium planted with Armeria maritima

I have Lupines in several different shades also blooming.

The other day I watched a bee methodically making his way around the Lupine flowers.

Does anyone know if this is a bumblebee? I thought I remembered bumbles being fatter and slower. These guys zip all over, and have been dive-bombing my head if they think they are about to be disturbed in their pollen-gathering. They take off for home without the slightest care whether I am between them and their destination.

He moved on to a paler pink stand of Lupines.

My Oriental poppies are opening now, too, and not all at once. They are taking their time.

One blown poppy, hopefully this means there will be seeds in the future

What else is flowering?

Salvia 'East Friesland'

 Centranthus ruber, grown from seed last year

Dianthus 'Neon Star'


I have plenty more, mostly natives. So I'm going to save those for Wildflower Wednesday.

In the meantime, check out TootsieTime's Fertilizer Friday post for more wonderful flowers. I'm glad she posted early, because we are going to Vancouver tomorrow for a little weekend trip. I haven't been to Canada in about 30 years. We are scoping out the city for an Alaska cruise that we are taking in September to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. The ship leaves from Vancouver. We are thinking we won't let on that we are Bruins fans. Have you heard about the riots there after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley cup finals? Scary.


  1. Wow, what a great variety of Columbine!! Love them all. I am especially fond of that White Poppy....gorgeous.

  2. Those riots are just ridiculous, aren't they? What's the point anyway? I hope things are cleared up when you get there. Beautiful blooms. Looks like a bumblebee to me. Love that Lupine and the rosy colored Columbine.

  3. Alison,

    What a cool collection of plants. The poppies, the white ones awesome. I think that is a bumble bee.

  4. Your garden is breathtaking! I love all of it. The columbine, the geraniums, the lupines, and the poppies are so colorful. I believe that is a bumblebee. You photos are impressive. Do you keep your columbine seeds? If so I would be intrested in some. Enjoy your vacation! It sounds like a wonderful trip. Thank you for sharing. It was a great walk through your garden.

  5. So many beauties to flaunt. You do have some lovely Columbines and Hardy Geraniums. The white Poppy is a stunner and I so enjoyed all those bee and Lupin shots. Great stuff!

  6. You have more blooming than I do here on Whidbey. I have just started collecting columbines, and see by yours, there are some lovely colors to be had.

  7. I love the pink lupines, especially the light pink one. Mine are all purple this year. I've noticed a lot of different types of bees and I'm not sure which are bumble and what the others might be. I just know there aren't any honeybees.
    You have lots of pretty Columbines. I'm planning to save you seed from those dark purple ruffled ones I have.
    Vancouver is a great city with so much to do. Those riots were so dumb, I'm guessing they would have rioted if they won too.

  8. Your garden is looking marvellous. You have so many gorgeous flowers, it's not possible to choose which I envy the most! Your bee might be a carpenter bee?

    Your pictures are super, Alison!!!

    Enjoy your weekend away...stay away from those thugs, though! Your planned Alaskan cruise sounds heavenly! What a marvellous way to celebrate 30 years of marriage :) Can't wait to hear all about it and be treated to LOTS of photos once you return!

  9. Wow your garden is blooming beautifully, and the photos are great. How wonderful it is to have bright colored ones, esp the blues, they seem to be afraid of the hot and humid climate here. I saw lupins once in my life in Sweden and they seem to be so many colors, and they just grow as weeds. Incredible beauties.

  10. The lupines and the white poppy are my favorites here!

  11. Your pink lupines and white poppy are fabulous!

  12. Fantastic columbines...such a nice variety;-)I don't see Lupine's around here much...I think it gets too hot. Yours are beautiful. I love hardy geraniums too, and wish I could grow Poppies but I have yet to have any success with them in any area of my yard. Have a great trip;-) I'm sure you are excited about your trip in Sept!

  13. Oh my, what a beautiful collection of Columbines you have.The Lupines are just gorgeous and I wish I had better luck with them. Poppies too. Beautiful flaunts today for FF. Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. Love your collection of Columbines, especially the doubles. The unknown Geranium looks like the Bigroot geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum). Have a great time away and welcome to Canada. We are not all like the fools in Vancouver.

  15. Lovely tour. I love the lupines and also the white poppy. I haven't seen a white one before.

    Happy FF.

  16. Wow! Your garden is full of amazing blooms! You must love it out there amongst all of them!

  17. I never new there were so many types of columbine! And your hardy geraniums are precious. I am finding they make a great long-lasting cut flower!

  18. Your blooms are beautiful, I especially like the blue/purple columbines, and the white poppies are stunning. I suspect your little visitor is a honeybee, very cute.

  19. I love the Columbine's! For some reason I am not able to keep them growing here. Lupin's, Poppies and Geranium are blooming here too :)

  20. Lots of lovely flowers but that white oriental poppy is just the BEST! I've always loved orientals and that one is the cream that rises to the top.

    Interesting to hear you've been visited by the same energetic bumble bees up there that I've had in Portland: they are even bigger than our usual bumbles, faster and significantly more assertive, and they have orange flanks or haunches. This is the first year I've seen them in with the more traditional yellow striped bumble bees and the other honey and native bees too. Thank goodness they all seem to get along just fine!

  21. Now you have the most complete collection of columbines I have ever seen, most of them are new to me! How pretty. Your garden is really exploding with color, it's just gorgeous. The bumblebee does look different to me, too.

    Hope you had a fun weekend!

  22. Great collection of columbines--one of my favorite flowers. It's too hot here to grow lupines, but I love them and enjoyed seeing yours. Carolyn

  23. What beautiful photographs of beautiful flowers. I am glad I'll be Flinging in Seattle and able to admire your part of the world soon.


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