Category Archives: Photos

Passion Flower and the Bees

I’ve never grown a passion flower plant before but at the end of the season, a local gardening center had the passion flower “Incense” at a great price so I decided to give it a try.

Passion Flower Incense

Passion Flower Incense

The plant didn’t do much for the first month; it just sat there in the garden, working to get established.

But now it’s starting to grow and is becoming filled with flowers.

Yesterday I noticed something about the way a bee interacts with a passion flower. It’s clear that the bee wants to get to the nectar and the nectar appears to be found in the center of the flower. But in making its way to the center, something interesting happens.

The male reproductive organ of the flower – the stamen – has two parts: the filament and the anther. The filament is simply the stalk that supports the anther. The anther is what produces pollen.

Passion flowers have five anthers and each of them open facing down. That means that when the bee crawls into the center of the flower, its back gets coated with pollen from the anthers.

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The female part of the flower is the pistil and the end of the pistil, the stigma, is where the pollen needs to land in order for the flower to be fertilized. The way the passion flower is set up makes it hard for the pollen to get to the stigma; that is, unless a bee is present.

After digging around in the center of the flower, the bee is coated in pollen. When the bee takes flight or lands on another passion flower, there’s a good chance that it might bump into one of the three stigmas of the flower with its pollen covered body. And when it does, fertilization takes place.

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I’m liking the passion flower plant. The flowers are interesting and seeing the bees pollination them is even more interesting!

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Flowers for the 4th

The garden is starting to really bloom and here are some of my favorites.

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Magellan Zinnia

Cheyanne Sunset Echinacea

Cheyanne Sunset Echinacea

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Mandeville

Mandeville

Cleome

Cleome

Flowering Thyme

Flowering Thyme

Trumpet Lily

Trumpet Lily

Trumpet Lily

Trumpet Lily

Passion Flower

Passion Flower

Heliotrope

Heliotrope

Some Blooms for the Start of June

The cool, wet weather of April and early May has finally come to an end. It’s June 1st and the flower garden is starting to come to life. Here’s a sampling of what’s in bloom!

 

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Salvia

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Salvia Close Up

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Iris

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Red Knock Out Rose

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Pink Knock Out Rose

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Calibrachoa

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Lantana

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Chives

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San Francisco Begonia

 

Flowers from the Mid-July Garden

‘Tis the season for a lot of the flower garden to be in full bloom.

Some of the best blooms are on the daylilies. This year, with lots of moisture and not too hot temperatures, has led to one of the best daylily displays in a long time.

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Another plant that’s looking especially good this year is the rudbeckia or black eyed susan. This little patch of flowers has been self-seeding for over a decade and they’re back again this year.

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And here are some of the other flowers that caught my eye:

Marigold

Marigold

Hibiscus (Rose of Sharon)

Hibiscus (Rose of Sharon)

Dahlia (Grown from Seed)

Dahlia (Grown from Seed)

Agastache

Agastache

Cosmos

Cosmos

 

Photo Odds and Ends

I spent a little time yesterday taking a few pictures. Here are the stories behind them.

Achimene

Achimene

I’ve written a number of posts about achimenes. This year I had so many rhizomes that I tried planting some of them outside in a shady area. I have to say that I’m shocked at how healthy the plants look. They aren’t blooming yet but they’re the fullest, greenest and best-looking achimenes I’ve ever grown!

Outdoor Achimene

Outdoor Achimene

This year I had to cut down one of the asian pears because the rabbits had girdled it a few years ago and the tree finally died. I didn’t expect the other tree to have any fruit since asian pears aren’t supposed to be self-pollinating. Well, this picture shows that something pollinated it!IMG_9591

I’ve never had much of a problem with potato beetles. I know some gardens are decimated by them, but I had to hunt to find one to photograph. They’re kind of cool looking beetles. (Obviously my opinion will change if I get an infestation!)

Potato Beetle

Potato Beetle

Potato Beetle

Potato Beetle

The final pictures show some of the flowers in the garden.

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Hibiscus Close Up

Hibiscus Close Up

Vegetable Garden – Off and Running

After a lot of fits and starts, the vegetable garden finally seems to be hitting its stride. Thanks to the warm weather and a lot of rain, everything is growing well. There doesn’t appear to be any major insect damage or disease, so for the time being, all is well. This week, besides lettuce, I should be harvesting some peas and summer squash.

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Broccoli

Broccoli

Potatoes

Potatoes

Summer Squash

Summer Squash

Peas

Peas

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Peppers

Peppers

Collards, Kale and Lettuce

Collards, Kale and Lettuce

Blossoms for Memorial Day Weekend

Here are a few of the things blossoming in the garden right now:

German Bearded Iris

German Bearded Iris

German Bearded Iris

German Bearded Iris Bud

German Bearded Iris

Spiderwort.

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Ajuga

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Tomatoes. I’ve never had tomatoes blossom this early but planting them in a cold frame gave them a good head start this year.

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And while it’s not a bloom, I had to share this picture of the bane of my existence – the rabbit! (Note the chicken wire around the rose bush in the background; that’s all because of this critter!)

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