Despite lacking these two significant shows of color, there's still plenty to see in the garden, though mostly on a smaller scale. Some of these flowers require closer examination to appreciate, which doesn't bother me in the least given my predilection for scrutinizing minute details.
|My newly purchased and planted Clethra barbinervis from Windcliff has opened its fragrant blooms. I haven't lifted the protective cage to smell it, though.|
|Though with the first of the heathers starting to bloom, the bees will soon have more than enough to eat.|
|This is one of the many variants I selected from mutated trimmings that rooted. It seems to be about a week and a half earlier to bloom than any of my others.|
|The brilliant flowers are a spark of contrasting color on the back deck.|
|The Liatris spicata has started to bloom. I also have a white cultivar that is just a little behind the purple form.|
|Aster x frikartii 'Monch' is just starting to open its first flowers. I love the dark lavender-blue color and the fuzzy deer-resistant leaves. Easy color from now until frost!|
|After featuring Molinia caerulea 'Variegata' as a favorite, I wanted to try to get a better picture of the purple anthers that lend this fantastic grass the name purple moor grass.|
|There's some variation in the coloring of the flowers and the bracts. This plant has the darkest, most colorful bracts.|
|Good old Yucca filamentosa in full bloom. I love it in it's new location. Hopefully it doesn't overtake the entire bed before the cistus, manzanitas, and other plants get a chance to fill in.|
|Mimulus cardinalis continues to pump out blazing orange embers, much to the delight of the hummingbirds.|
|Elsewhere its spreading tendencies and tough constitution make it a welcome addition. The details on the lip differ from plant to plant, This one is more speckled that most.|
|One of my epimediums decided to put on an encore performance. These flowers are on a shorter stalk than the spring flowers, probably because it's drier this time of year.|
|Planted this spring from a 4-inch pot, this Bletilla ochracea has put on a surprisingly good display.|
|The flowers start off darker yellow before fading to palest cream. They don't last long, but they keep coming.|
|Daphne x transatlantica 'Blafra' (Eternal Fragrance) is starting its second round of blooms just as the last of the first wave are fading.|
Bloom Day also saw a special guest, a great horned owl. I know, it's not a flower, but I have to share.
Upon hearing a cacophony in the backyard yesterday morning, I went to investigate what was disturbing the jays, robins, and other birds. I was surprised to see a large owl perched on a dead limb at the edge of the trees. I had to look several times to confirm that it was, indeed, a great horned owl, not thinking that such a reclusive bird would show itself so easily. I had forgotten that my father sighted one last year. Eventually all the smaller birds tired of pestering the sleepy owl, all except the crowned sparrow, that is. It continued a strident warning chirp hours after the other birds left.
|I was surprised at the exposed location it chose. The branch it's resting on here is in an open area on the south side of a Douglas fir, quite visible from that side and only slightly less so from my viewpoint to the west.|
As the overcast cleared, around noon, the owl relocated. At first I thought it had left entirely, but I happened to spot it on my way back from adjusting irrigation in the vegetable garden. It had moved only about one hundred feet deeper into the trees.
|As the afternoon wore on, it stayed until sometime after this photo was taken around 3:30. Once again it had chosen a location where the sun eventually shone on it. I think it retreated again to a more shaded roost.|