Garden Photo of the Day

Scenes From Carolyn’s Garden

Looking back on warmer times

Carolyn Hirning, in central Ohio, sent in these photos to remind us all of warmer, more flowery times in the garden.

Flowers of a tulip treeThis photo shows where the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera, Zones 4–9) got its name! The big flowers are incredibly beautiful but rarely seen. This native tree is common over most of eastern North America, but because it grows 60 to 90 feet tall, and typically produces flowers on the upper branches, getting a chance to see these flowers up close is a rare treat.

A bumblebee on a monarda flowerA bumblebee comes in to sip some nectar from a bee balm (Monarda didyma, Zones 4–9).

Purple coneflowers around a birdbathPurple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–8) blooming around a birdbath. Coneflowers in bloom are favorites of many pollinators, and once the blooms have faded, the seeds are a favorite snack of birds. They are plants that work for everyone—human and otherwise—in the garden.

Red clover blooming in a lawnJust because a plant sometimes gets labeled a “weed” doesn’t mean the flowers aren’t beautiful! This red clover (Trifolium pratense, Zones 3–8) has pretty flowers, and it fixes nitrogen from the air, helping to add fertility to the soil and the lawn grass around it to thrive.

Black-eyed susans in flowerBlack-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta, Zones 3–7) has to have some of the cheeriest flowers in the world. This species tends to be short-lived, often performing more like an annual than a perennial, and it blooms like one too.

A large yellow sunflowerA huge sunflower (Helianthus annuus, annual) in bloom. As usual, I spy at least two pollinators visiting the flower! Sunflowers are favorites of a wide range of beneficial insects, and of course they turn into enormous bird feeders once the seeds develop.

Two large gourds resting on a deckThe fruit of birdhouse gourds (Lagernaria siceraria, annual) are useful for making into all sorts of crafts and tools, or just enjoying as they are.

Monarch butterfly caterpillarsMonarch butterfly caterpillars chowing down on some milkweed (Asclepias).

stand of trees in autumnThis stand of trees in autumn seems like forever ago while we’re busy impatiently waiting for spring!

 

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Comments

  1. User avater
    user-7007816 01/20/2021

    I particularly liked your photos of the tulip tree. I have one but need a tall ladder to see the blooms, but it's worth it. I also like how you staying in touch with nature.

    1. Carolyn3134 01/20/2021

      Thanks for your comments! I LOVE Tulip Trees!! They grow sooo fast. The flowers in the photo are actually from our neighbor's FULLY grown tree which has a huge branch that hangs over the fence into our yard. Otherwise, I would never have been able to get to the flowers, LOL! ... Happy Gardening!!

  2. alicefleurkens 01/20/2021

    When we were in Virginia we saw a flowering tulip tree. They are beautiful. Alice

    1. Carolyn3134 01/20/2021

      Thanks for your comments! I LOVE Tulip Trees!! They grow sooo fast. The flowers in the photo are actually from our neighbor's FULLY grown tree which has a huge branch that hangs over the fence into our yard. Otherwise, I would never have been able to get to the flowers, LOL! ... Happy Gardening!!

  3. user-7020748 01/20/2021

    That tulip tree flower was amazing, thanks for sharing.

    1. Carolyn3134 01/20/2021

      Thanks for your comments! I LOVE Tulip Trees!! They grow sooo fast. The flowers in the photo are actually from our neighbor's FULLY grown tree which has a huge branch that hangs over the fence into our yard. Otherwise, I would never have been able to get to the flowers, LOL! ... Happy Gardening!!

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 01/20/2021

    Love that autumn pic.

    1. Carolyn3134 01/20/2021

      Thanks for your comment! The autumn pic is of the woods across the road where I grew up. My parents have both passed now and my brother and I are in the process of selling the land. If you know of anyone who wants 23 acres of woods in central Ohio, let me know!

  5. User avater
    SimpleSue 01/20/2021

    I saved some of your photos- I really enjoyed this post.
    I like the way you put pebbles in your bird bath so they can tell how deep it is and have something to hold onto, I do that too.
    Love those Purple coneflowers...I gotta get some of those.
    Those gourds are amazing, they look like huge clay sculptures.
    I am still learning about caterpillars/butterflies and was wondering what month that photo of them eating the Milkweed was taken?
    And...sigh...I planted a young Tulip Tree at my old house, it's huge now and I miss that tree...it did get the hard to see flowers way up high as you said.

    1. Carolyn3134 01/20/2021

      Thanks for your comments! The monarch butterfly caterpillar photo was taken in late August. It was eating the leaves of what is commonly called Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa). I had about 3 plants and there were about a dozen caterpillars on them. It was so cool! I think that was even the first year for those plants. ... The gourds in the photo are about 10 years old. I keep putting them in different places around the garden, LOL! ... I LOVE Tulip Trees!! They grow sooo fast. The flowers in the photo are actually from our neighbor's FULLY grown tree which has a huge branch that hangs over the fence into our yard. Otherwise, I would never have been able to get to the flowers, LOL! ... Happy Gardening!!

  6. user-5117752 01/20/2021

    Lovely photos. I, too, love to keep the wild clover growing for its flowers and nourishment of the earth, even if they do get a bit out of hand at times. Did someone somewhere say there are just 62 days until spring?

    1. Carolyn3134 01/21/2021

      I just checked and there are 58 days until spring! Yahoo!! And let's hear it for all the people who leave the plants for the pollinators!!

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