Pretty Petunia…

This is a common plant for window boxes and planters at outdoor dining venues in Chicago. Always beloved Petunia; sometimes over-planted but always selected to brighten the scene.

Planted here, contrasting with red Begonias this Petunia’s trumpet shape is captivates many an insect. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

The more traditional view of Petunias show their colors that seem to radiate from their inner core.. A common, traditional favorite. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Happy 4th of July…

Ah, the all American, Eurasian immigrant, beloved by children and many adults. The White Clover (Trifolium repens) is considered an agressive weed by landscapers and homeowners. Children love to make clover chains necklaces as a summer pasttime. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

One MUST lie down in the grass to relish the sweet beauty of the White Clover. I love this Americanized immigrant! Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg


Comfort in tradition…

This Hydrangae bloom, seemingly escaping it’s fenced confines caught my attention each time I’d walk past. Couldn’t resist creating a couple images. Hydrangae are traditional garden perennials in the Midwest. In this ever changing time it’s always comforting to see it’s pervasive presence. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Beginning to bloom; so I’ll be able to enjoy it at least 3 weeks. Usually the drying blooms are equally enjoyable. This small Bee seems happy too; but that’s totally my assumption. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg.

Prolific flowering per bunch with a prolific number of clusters per shrub. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Beloved…

One of my favorite garden flowers is the Peony. Traditional perennial choice because of it’s striking early summer beauty and aroma. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Mom, an avid gardener, discouraged me from adding Peony to my new garden (years ago) because their delicate blooms can easily be blown by storms and winds. I found they are excellent cut flowers when cut as soon as the bud shows it’s colors. Sometimes the delicate, short lived, is worth it’s brief visit. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Dreamy weeper…

The South Florida Plant Guide calls this plant a “dream of a tree”. In other words it is another favorite flowering tree.

The red flowers’ design and the dangling leaves gives incentives for it’s name; Weeping Bottlebrush Tree (Calistemon viminalis).

Marco image of the Bottlebrush Tree’s flower. CLICK on image to see a diagram of the flower’s design. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

When naturalized it becomes invasive…

Is this what some mean when they become worried about letting immigrants into our country? They do tend to forget how this country was founded. And that perhaps they became the invasive subjects when they naturalized and literally choked out the native American Indians. Or perhaps, because they know this, they fear it may happen again and they’ll become the minority. Ok, enough politics tonight…

Anyway, the Oyster Plant (Tradescantia spathacea), is a popular Florida garden plant which has become naturalized and “gone wild”.

This bit of color in the shady part of the garden was at the Bonnet House in Ft. Lauderdale.

Close-up image of the Oyster Plant bringing color to the shady part of this garden. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Overall image of Oyster Plant in it’s setting in the interior courtyard at the Bonnet House. CLICK the image above for more information on the Oyster Plant. Coyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

More context…

Side view of Jerusalem Artichoke. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Side view of Jerusalem Artichoke. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

I first became aware of Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) when I toured a perennial farm outside of Racine Wisconsin. They recommended it as dependable, colorful addition to any perennial Midwest garden. The native plants in this image adjoin the migratory bird preserve in Lincoln Park, along Lake Michigan. Their presence, just a few blocks from our new condo, makes me feel more at home in this bustling urban neighborhood.

These images show more context of Jerusalem Artichoke to their environment and stages of bloom than the previous single image with the spider and dangling petal. Jerusalem Artichokes are one of a multitude of late-summer, early fall, sunflowers.

For those that like to eat what they grow, check out the following site: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/vegetables/growing-jerusalem-artichokes-zmaz10onzraw.

Close up of the back of the Jerusalem Artichoke

Lake Michigan wild blooms. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg

Changing to seed head. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

 

Change of subject…

At first my eye was drawn to the opening Purple Coneflower. Newly emerged petals are pale green, which gradually, over several days, turn to pinky-purple when they have grown to their full length. Purple Coneflower are a favorite subject. More images of this returning favorite will follow soon.

Bringing the flower into focus showed me this new bloom had already collected some debris. Upon closer inspection, it became clear the stringy litter was actually the legs of a Daddy Long Legs {Pholcus phalangioides} spider. As a child they were part of summer’s entertainment; watching them climb brick walls was fun and for some reason they were a favorite critter to hold. I am friendly only from a distance with other spiders. Somehow, these Daddys seemed harmless to me. Perhaps my experiences with them as a child served to buffer fears of introducing “Rosey”, the Rosy Haired Tarantula, as a classroom pet.

Perennial favorite Purple Coneflower beginning to bloom. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Perennial favorite Purple Coneflower beginning to bloom. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Closeup of new Purple Coneflower bloom  accompanied by Daddy Long Leg spider. Copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Closeup of new Purple Coneflower bloom accompanied by Daddy Long Leg spider. Copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

A Cosmos universe…

Cosmos copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Cosmos copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Cosmos are always a favorite annual of mine. Their delicate yet lofty presence comes to life as they dance in the garden courtesy of any gentle breeze. I’m unsure what the accompanying golden background plant is because I was overwhelmed by the sea of Cosmos at Chicago Botanic Garden. Natives of Mexico, some Cosmos were brought back to Spain by visiting Spaniards, then found their way to England and finally back to North America’s U.S. They have worked their way into a universe of hearts.