Donna’s Garden in August

by Donna Lewis

Here is what my garden looks like here in the hot month of August. Many wonderful things wait until it’s really hot to come out and look pretty.

Star jasmine vine

This year the weather has been a little crazy.  Something I think will be the norm going forward. We just need to be flexible in our expectations and go with the flow… and share our experiences.

Click on any of the photos to see an expanded view.

More Flowers from Donna

by Donna Lewis

Here is the next set of wildflowers and other things I saw on July 28, 2021. I will break the blog posts up to include a few each time. Look for more tomorrow!

There are so many amazing plants outside right now.

1. Cowpen Daisy.  This bad boy gets going and likes to spread everywhere. It does not need rain nor help in any way.
2. Coral Honeysuckle. This is the hummers’ favorite plant at our place. So easy to grow, and I have lots of babies to share.
 3. Zinnia. An old-time favorite that every species of butterfly likes, really worth having in your garden.
4. Fire Wheel, native plant that grows in the pastures.
5. Xemia. Sweet little yellow flower, looks great in the garden.
6. Sedum. The flowers attract lots of butterflies.

I bet all of you have these flowers either in the pasture or in your garden. If not, then plant some for the pollinators, and you will enjoy the beauty of butterflies, hummers, and many more beautiful little creatures. 

The Fennel Forest

by Donna Lewis

I know you all were wondering earlier this year what I was going to do to this small garden in my front pasture area.  The freeze took every single plant to the ground. Laid  to waste.   

I was not able to weed it, or really do any work in it like I always have for many years. Injuries, a few too many years…it all adds up. I have been 29 several times I think.

So, let’s talk about what the garden is right now.  It looks messy to us humans. But,  I didn’t plant it for us.  I planted it for the wildlife. This garden had lots of native plants in it and a perch I made for birds to rest on.

I planted zinnias, fennel, yarrow, sunflowers, sage, coneflowers, salvia, cowpen daisies, and a host of native things that just blew in. Freebies! And very important, I made a perch for the birds to sit on.

Many gardeners forget to put something for the birds to perch on and get off the ground where they feel safe. I cut a cattle panel in two, then took some hognose clips and made it to where it would open up.  The birds love it.

All those “native plants” I had put in for years came back after the horrible weather. Even the heat and too much water has not deterred them. But all the mess has lots of bugs in it.  Food for hungry birds. So, I may have just given you a reason to get out of all that work, trimming, weeding and other back breaking work.

Remember who we are gardening for…

Donna, the happy bird girl

June in Donna’s Garden

by Donna Lewis

It’s heating up.

Gorgeous purple coneflowers

So here are the June photos of my pollinator garden.

Turk’s cap is enthusiastic!

After days of rain, the sun and the humidity have returned in force.

We have gone from too much rain to too much heat.  Now I have to actually think about watering my plants.   I have to do that while I stay in constant motion so the mosquitoes don’t eat me for lunch.

The first tall plants were beat down by the wind and rains we had.  Mostly purple Larkspur.  They were really pretty and the Swallowtails liked them alot.

There are so many different flowers that I cannot name them here.

Just know  I make sure that every plant or vine has some value to nature.

Zinnias, Indian blanket, black-eyed Susans, etc.

The tall sunflowers really fit the bill because they have both nectar and bugs. The nectar for the pollinators and the bugs for the birds. The cardinals and the wrens go crazy over them. Zinnias are just popping up and just about all the butterflies like them.

Sunflower and bee

Fennel is back and the Black Swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs there.

Sunflowers and friends, not fennel

It’s a wonderful place to be if you are a pollinator or a bird. It’s pretty nice for me too.

Donna’s Garden, May Update

by Donna Lewis

Here is the May 20th update on my pollinator garden. Every year the garden is different depending on what comes back.

Wildflowers can’t be put down!

This year was really scary because of the freeze . I was not sure what might be completely dead.

We can thank the rain for some of this lushness.

But, and I love this part…90% of my garden was planted with native plants! They are sturdy!! I did have a few larger bushes that have not shown up and probably won’t.

All this beauty makes you forget last winter, almost.

But the garden is still a beauty. Everything is about five weeks behind its normal time to bloom. The vines are just now popping up, and some plants that like more sun and hot weather have not started to bloom just yet.

These natives are happy.

This is why planting things that are native to your area keeps the budget low. They come back!

The white flowers really pop in the shade!

Happy gardening!