July – sorry

Lavender fields in Provence - someday!

Lavender fields in Provence – someday!

I’ve been out of town more than in the last several weeks and have one more week to go and then can settle in, look around, and see what has survived our run of heat. If I’d seen any fabulous gardens on my journeys, I would have written something but I didn’t, although I was reminded of something.

I lived in Ashland, OR, for two years, a place where the lavender grows big. I was just over at Lake Chelan, another clime where the lavender is large and oh my, the scent! I’m always giving lavender a squeeze here in Seattle and then inhale the aromatic oils off my fingers; it’s the only way I can really smell the lavender around here. At times, in places like Lake Chelan or Ashland, you can just walk by a planting of lavender and catch a whiff, not overpowering but spicy and delightful. I’d forgotten. It’s enough to make me think I should try the south of France during the heat of summer!

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PLANT UPDATE – June – Wisteria

Photo taken 6/17/2014

Photo taken 6/17/2014

So here’s wisteria after blooming and just beginning to show you the kind of growth a wisteria can put on. It appears that this is a well-pruned wisteria (= pruned well and fairly frequently) and so may not run amuck. We’ll see!

Original wisteria post can be found here.


June – PLANT UPDATE – Cotoneaster lacteus

Same plant as the berries. Photo taken June 17, 2014

Same plant as the berries.
Photo taken June 17, 2014

I’ve shown Cotoneaster lacteus decked out in its Christmas berries, here it is in flower. There are certainly plenty of them but a rather dingy lot at the moment. Although I confess that it says a great deal about my housekeeping and my son’s slovenliness, the color reminds me a bit of my son’s socks.


June – Pollinator Watch Update

Bumble bee, definitely. Likely Bombus mixtus, maybe a male since there are no pollen packets on the back leg

My neighbor has a purple-flowered hebe (or several since it takes up about 6-7′ x 3-4′ of space). Regretfully, I don’t know which cultivar of hebe this one is. Of the plants right around my yard, this is the big bee winner. I found 2 species of bumble bee, something called Anthidium which is not native but is apparently all over the country and honey bees, also not native. I found one supercool green sweat bee.


JUNE – California bees

Xylocopa californica carrying a big pollen load from Romneya

I’ve been down in California at a bee seminar in the Carmel Valley. 7:30 in the morning until 9 or so at night – bees, bees, bees. I caught, pinned, identified (or more often, mis-identified) bees by going through a key and tried to start to learn how to recognize some bees by their general looks and behavior. All together, a fabulous vacation. I’ll be back to covering local plants in the next day or two.