June 20, 2012

Meadow Flowers Shine in Late Evening

The last rays of the sun shine on the willow at the end of lower path.
There is order to the path edging plants, but there are"wild" flower
pairings mixed in the rest of the deer resistant meadow garden.
1. Around 8:00 pm on a June evening in the deer resistant meadow garden.
When the summer sun heats up and the temperatures rise, the best time to walk through the garden is late evening.  The light is soft and the true colors are easier to capture with the camera.

1. The purple spikes of meadow blazing star (liatris ligulistylis) are backlit by gold/yellow black-eyed susans (rudbeckia hirta). White shasta daisies (leucanthemum x superbum 'Alaska') truly shine in the low light of the fading sun. Wisps of feather grass (stipa) provide a backdrop for the tufted blooms of deep raspberry bee balm (monarda 'Raspberry Wine').

2. Different views provide different combinations in the mix of meadow flowers in the deer resistant gadren. Shasta daisies and susans sandwich the bee balm. Susans are sometimes nibbled by the deer when food is scarce or a mother doe stays close to her fawns and forages in the garden instead of the wild fields and woodlands. The rudbeckia hirta grow so fast that the rabbit damage is minimal compared to what they do to the rudbeckia fulgida!

3. Grey-headed coneflower's (ratibida pinnata) delicate drooping rays begin on stems so thin and straight. This native flower grows quite tall and I place hoops in the spring and allow the plant to grow up through the support to prevent leaning. The deer will unfortunately munch this plant, so I try to "bury" it among plants that they don't like.

2. Daisies, bee balm and susans.

3. The forming blooms of grey-headed coneflower (ratibida pinnata).
4. Coneflowers (echinacea) are allowed to self-sow in my garden. Since all are grown from seeds, the cross-pollination makes it difficult for me to provide the names of each bloom. I started with 'Ruby Star', 'Prairie Splendor' and 'Pow Wow Wild Berry' as well as the native echinacea pallida. While the deer have been relatively kind about not eating the coneflower, the rabbits will go after the plants when young and within reach. Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is just beginning to bloom and is reliably deer and rabbit resistant.

5. Hummingbird mint (agastache 'Salmon & Pink') is just beginning to bloom while the raspberry blooms of yarrow (achillea 'Pomegranate') fades. These two are reliably deer and rabbit resistant, but many agastache cultivars can be short-lived. This particular variety is the oldest and hardiest in my garden, having been divided and transplanted so that I have several clumps in the meadow garden.

6. Another native, Mexican hat (ratibida columinfera) continues to thrill me with the unusual blooms. The deer still haven't bothered this favorite, so I'm encouraged. The blooms form so slowly, but they are fascinating all the while.

With the unseasonably cool and rainy June, the meadow garden has peaked weeks earlier than usual. Everything is blooming at once, but how long will it last? A mass planting in bloom...could it be a mess of plantings later?

4. Coneflowers in bright pink with grey foliage and light purple spires of Russian sage.
5. Agastache, fading yarrow blooms and bright coneflowers.
6. Mexican hat (ratibida columinfera) works well with susans.
The top of the deer resistant meadow garden...a mass planting or a mess?

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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