Friday, September 23, 2016

Mexican Bush Sage, Purple Coneflower, Impatiens, Giant Zinnia, and Tithonia Flowers

Mexican bush sage: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy autumn, floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" The Mexican bush sage has started to bloom and I'm always thrilled to not only see the flowers but feel their super soft texture. They're almost as soft as pussy willows. I overwintered this plant in the house as it's not perennial in our planting zone.
Pretty white impatiens: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The white impatiens I planted in early spring is still putting out lovely flowers in a semi-shady area.
Purple coneflower with red zinnias: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
This volunteer purple coneflower sprung up in the middle of my giant zinnia area but I let it stay. I'll probably move it later this fall or early next spring, but for now I'm enjoying the contrast.
Butterfly, red zinnia, pink zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I only planted red giant zinnia seeds but also got pink and purple from the package. The bees and butterflies like them all so I do too.
Mexican sunflower aka tithonia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Our biggest annuals this year are the tithonia (also called Mexican sunflower). They are huge and covered in pretty flowers.

That's all for this week's tour. Thank you for visiting! May God bless you!

Related posts:
Butterflies on tithonia:
Monarchs on chrysanthemum:
Brookside Gardens butterflies:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Skipper Butterfly on Orange Zinnia

Skipper on orange zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy wild Wednesday! We must have more than 50 of these skipper butterflies in our garden. They seem to particularly enjoy the zinnias, marigolds, butterfly bushes and tithonia, although I see them on other flowers too. I hope my photo brightened your day! May God bless you!

Related posts:
Dahlia with skipper:
Pretty insects on flowers:
More insects on flowers:

Friday, September 16, 2016

Bright Summer Flowers: Dahlia, Tithonia, Rose, Marigold and Salvia

Bright pink dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" The dahlias are still putting out nice sized flowers and this pink one is a favorite.
Bright orange tithonia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I think some of our tithonia plants (also called Mexican sunflowers) are over six feet tall. The butterflies and bees love them and I occasionally even see a hummingbird visit them. They are especially precious to me because I started them from seed.
Pretty knockout rose: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 These creamy knockout roses smell like a mixture of honey and lemon.
Blue salvia and yellow marigolds: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I love the contrast between the giant yellow marigolds and the blue salvia. You can also see some red zinnias in the background.
Pretty butterfly on bicolor marigold: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Because this pretty butterfly was kind enough to open its wings for a photo I thought it deserved to be included in today's post.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you!

Related posts:
Butterflies on tithonia:
Dahlias and marigolds:
Funky flowers:

Friday, September 9, 2016

Pretty Water Lily with Unique Foliage

Water lily with unique foliage: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy floral Friday! Hope you enjoy this water lily with interesting variegated foliage photo. I wish you a joy-filled weekend. May God bless you and yours!

Related posts:
More water lilies:
Aquatic garden flowers:
Wild swans:

Friday, September 2, 2016

Washington Youth Garden Fun and Unique Features

Washington Youth Garden sign: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy floral Friday! It's been four years since I featured the Washington Youth Garden on my blog so I thought today would be a great day to share some of its unique and fun features. I love the big hand-painted sign that greets visitors to the garden (and there are some flowers in it - can you find them?). One of the rules in the garden is that you must stay on the paths so please forgive some crooked/odd angle photos. I did the best I could while obeying the rules.
Sensory garden within main garden: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Once you enter the chain link fence area you're greeted by this whimsical sign for the Sensory Garden. I love that they have many mini gardens within the main area. The sensory garden has lots of neat flowers and herbs to experience.
Giant bird Youth Garden mascot: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
This fun giant bird statue is one of my favorite features of the Washington Youth Garden. They move it around from time to time but today it was near the center of the main garden.
Container gardening station: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
They have some lovely signs explaining gardening basics and events throughout the growing season. The Washington Youth Garden is located within the National Arboretum so I imagine you could contact the Arboretum for dates and times of the events. I did see a flyer once at the visitor's center but rarely see any advertisements for this wonderful garden.
Beekeeping area: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Fun garden bed made from a real bed: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I'm not sure why this program wouldn't let me put text between the two photos above but it wouldn't so I'll just explain both here. The top features the Beekeeping area within the Washington Youth Garden. I didn't enter the area because I didn't want to disturb the bees. I imagine that's an area best explored with a staff member. The staff members I saw were busy watering and weeding so I'll save that adventure for another day.

I love their unique garden bed in a real bed frame and I think it's fun that they painted the frame purple so it stands out more. They have herbs and flowers planted in the bed and it spills over on either side like a generous comforter.
Pretty fuchsia flowers: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
These pretty fuchsia colored flowers are the same kind in the top left corner of the garden bed photo.

Thank you for visiting! I hope you enjoyed my mini photo tour of the Washington Youth Garden! May God bless their staff, the young gardeners and YOU!

Related posts:
2012 Washington Youth Garden:

Bright summer flowers:
Mary's amazing garden:

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Butterflies on Mexican Sunflowers at Brookside Gardens

Butterfly on tithonia: Copyright © Ben Wheeler, 2016, used with permission
Happy wild Wednesday! Since I haven't been able to get a nice picture of my own Mexican sunflowers (also called tithonia) yet this year I took some at the Brookside Gardens "Wings of Fancy" butterfly exhibit. Their tithonia had many beautiful butterflies flitting from flower to flower and even some resting on the foliage.
Pretty butterfly wings open: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The first image is by my talented husband, who was kind enough to let me share it with you here. I thought his picture was the best but wanted you to see the flowers from different angles so am sharing some of mine too.
Butterfly feeding on tithonia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 If you click to see the larger image you should be able to clearly see the butterfly's eyes. Pretty neat.
Butterfly on Mexican sunflower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I think this might be a Monarch butterfly but it seems darker than the ones I see in my yard so maybe it's a different, but similar, kind of butterfly.
Butterfly on "thrive" hat: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The kind mom of the adorable little girl wearing this "thrive" hat let me take this photo of the butterfly on top. She was very excited to have a butterfly land on her head and stay there a while. Thank you to them both for sharing!

I had one land on my hand, which was amazing! It even stayed a while. But it was on the same hand I was holding my camera with so I didn't get a photo. It's always touching to have a butterfly choose to land on you so I felt blessed by that. Of course, just seeing so many butterflies floating around is a huge blessing. I've enjoyed every trip to the butterfly exhibit, whether one landed on me or not.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless my husband, the family that shared their butterfly hat experience, and YOU!

Related posts:
Monarchs on tithonia flowers:
Monarchs on chrysanthemums:
Brookside Gardens monarchs:

Friday, August 26, 2016

Butterflies on Bright Summer Flowers

Pretty bugs on yellow & white lantana: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" Many flowers are blooming and it seems like we have more butterflies than we've had in the past couple years, so that is an added blessing.
Swallowtail butterfly on buddelia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The butterflies love many of our flowers but the butterfly bushes (aka buddelia) often have several butterflies per plant, especially in the morning.
Bicolor dahlia and bright bug: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The dahlias get their share of butterflies too.
Giant red zinnia with cute bug: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
And the giant red zinnias definitely attract butterflies. 
Giant red zinnia with swallowtail: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
There often are butterflies, bees and even golden finches on the giant zinnias. The tithonia have started blooming too but the flowers are up so high I have yet to get a sharable photo. Hopefully next week. The tithonia are special in that they also attract hummingbirds.

Thank you for visiting! That's all for this week's mini garden tour. May God bless you!

Related posts:
Cute critters on flowers:
Monarch butterflies:
Bees on butterfly bushes: