Black Eyes and Bees

I am ashamed to say that I stroll by this plant often and never give it a glance.

Yesterday, I got closer than usual and a swarm flew up.

What was that?

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I took a closer look as the swarm settled back down.

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Each bee or wasp chose a black eye and began busily combing over it.

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Some bees had legs that were covered in deep yellow pollen.

The batch of Rudbeckia hirta/ Black-eyed Susan flowers was as busy as a city airport.

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It is one of only a few flowers blooming in full as August approaches.

I shall be more observant from now on as I buzz by.

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FLOW in the KNOW

The Last Lilies

Most of the Asiatics have long finished their show.

The daylilies are slowing down.

Crimson Shadows daylily

The Stargazers are turning brown.

But it is not over yet!

The blackberry lilies are going strong.

I started out with a spotted orange type.

Then added a spotted magenta

and a yellow non-spotted candy lily.

These are all Belamcandas.

Other names are blackberry lilies, or leopard flowers.

The name leopard refers to the spots on the petals.

The name blackberry refers to the seed pods which open to expose clusters of black seeds that resemble blackberries.

One of the fascinating things about these is they cross pollinate to produce hybrids.

My two favorites this years are this water-marked form

and this red-orange mix.

I love surprises!  I never know what will show up until the flowers open.

I appreciate any flower that keeps going in this heat.

While the FLOWER wilts, the blackberry lilies bloom.

FLOW

Epimediums near the Entrance

I have three Epimediums growing near the entrance to my home.

They are low plants with small flowers,

so I placed them where they will be better noticed.

Their tiny clusters of blooms may still be overlooked once the leaves emerge.

Their other names are barren wort or bishop’s hat,

but my favorite name for them is fairy wings.IMG_7772The wiry stems are so slender, that it appears as though the blooms are fluttering in thin air.These small plants add a lovely burst of color under shrubs.

Epimediums prefer shade and rich soil, but will tolerate dry conditions.They are magical.   Plant them where they can be appreciated,IMG_7801Even in the rain.

 

FLOWER

 

An Easy Aster

Peachie’s Pick Stokes Aster/ Stokesia laevis is really showing off right now.

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This wonderful plant has ragged purple blooms.

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that are popular with bees and butterflies.

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I have divided it over the years.

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It seems to thrive in any sunny location.

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FLOWER