Monday, July 30, 2012

Pondside Gardens

Pondside Gardens is a great nursery located in Kiel, WI that specializes in hostas.  They also have a huge pond across the street that is stocked with some very large koi.  Even if you are not in the market to buy hostas, they are worth a visit just to tour their gardens.  Here are pictures from my recent visit.

Address: 14028 Louis Corners Rd, Kiel WI 53042

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rotary Botanical Gardens

Tonight I visited the Rotary Gardens in Janesville, WI.  Beautiful gardens!  All I had on me was my cell phone since I was in town for work.  Thanks go out to my Twitter friend, Bruce, who reminded me to visit there while in town. Sorry about the picture quality.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Morning Glories: Weeds or Great Garden Vines?

I love Morning Glories.  I will search out and buy as many colors of Morning Glories as I can find.  They usually start to bloom in late summer, and add color when many other flowers have long since stopped blooming.  I throw them in my containers to add late summer/early fall color.

Morning Glory 'Grandpa Ott' blooming already this week. This one reseeded itself from last year.

Some of the morning glories will reseed themselves, such as the Grandpa Ott pictured above.  They don't reseed like crazy, instead it's usually just one or two plants in my zone 5 garden.

My aunt and uncle were just here visiting from Washington state, and when she saw my morning glory vines growing from my pots she called them weeds (in a very nice way).  I have been to Washington many times, and have seen the wild morning glory growing everywhere choking out other plants.

So what's your opinion?  Are Morning Glories weeds or great garden vines?  I found a great link that on this topic:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Yellow Jacket vs. Caterpillar

I know it's been almost a week since I posted, but I spend most of my time watering and trying to keep cool.  Well, today I was out watering when I noticed that wasps were swarming my Baptisia plant.  It has long ago stopped blooming and now has only seed pods on it.  So I couldn't figure out why they would be interested in a plant with no flowers.  When I took a closer look I realized the plant was infested with some kind of tent caterpillar (or some kind of caterpillar that makes webs).  So I grabbed my camera and watched, as I still wasn't 100% sure why the wasps were so interested.  As I watched patiently and hoped not to get stung (I'm allergic to wasp stings) I realized the the wasps were trying to eat the caterpillars.  I watched one sting a caterpillar, and then once it stopped moving all of the wasps came in and started to feast on the dead or paralyzed caterpillar.  It was cool and gross all at the same time.  I tried to get pictures of it, but they are not the best since I was desperately trying not to get stung.  But here was another strange thing I observed (see bottom pic) the wasps were also digging in to the seed pods on my Baptisia, like the were putting holes in them for some reason.  Any thoughts on this?  For those extra curious people like me, I went out and captured a short video.  The wasp flies off with the caterpillar, only to snack on him while sitting on one of my hostas.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Daylily 'Swallowtail Kite'

New blooming to my garden this week is the daylily 'Swallowtail Kite'.  I love daylily that have watermark (a zone above the daylily throat that is lighter than the petal's color).  This was has a lavender almost blue colored watermark and a yellow throat.  It's very tall, so if you decide to add this one to your garden pair it with other perennials such as coneflower, phlox, etc.