Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Things of Tuesday.......


This is the reason that I plant zinnias.  You can’t beat the colors that the flower puts out. I saw larger sizes of these at a plant nursery yesterday but never knew they were available.

The plants are dropping in prices and I could not keep from putting this in the back of my truck. I haven’t decided to put it in a pot or in the ground. If I go ahead and put it in a pot then I can bring it in this fall. For now it stays in the shade of my deck until I decide.










Two young goldfinch are enjoying the new feeder. The male has a nice light pattern on it from the feeder. The female has her real pattern off browns and whites on her chest.

Most all of the new birds hatched this spring are all grown up.  Especially the house finches are full grown.  I am going to stop feeding them for now as they need to move on to new territories and not come in flocks to my deck. I am sure in the real world out there that there is plenty of seed for them to eat.







My tiger lily put out two stems this spring and there are multiple buds ready to bloom. It grows among the asparagus fronds. I keep thinning out the asparagus foliage as I want to see the flowers.

We have sort of moved into a drought now that we had the 10 inch rain a couple of weeks ago. I am not set up to water my front yard but my neighbors seem to be doing it while I am not watching. My yard has a lot of clay and gravel below the surface of it. The contractors drove off with the black dirt and spread the good Iowa clay on it. While planting some more hardy geraniums in my row yesterday I could hardly get a spade down. I got into sand, clay and little rocks all along the sidewalk. When it gets hot the grass doesn’t grow well in that kind of combination.




I am off to the old place today to load up twigs and branches from invading mulberry trees.  I am not going to have such hot weather  in the morning so I will get that done early.  Middle 80s still is hot when you are out in the sun.

It is Tuesday and I hope you have a great day.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Another Summer Day....


The black-eyed Susans are doing well in the hot sun.  We are cooler today but the sun does still beat down on things.

A rose that I purchased last summer is on its second blooming cycle. It is competing with two different coneflowers and the rose may have to be moved to a better location.  I get situations like this when I hurriedly plop things into the ground when they are young plants.

I went to The Home Depot today to look for a trellis.  They did not have it.  I did find some plants that I just had to have even though I don’t need any more.  I found a William Baffin rose.  I had the one at the old place and couldn’t get a start from it.  I had bought that one in Grand Marais, Minnesota.  I did not expect to find that variety here in central Iowa.


I succeeded in moving the red bee balm to the new place.  I moved roots with two stems and one of the stems bloomed for me. It should be a strong set of stems next spring after it has wintered over.


This light purple one was already growing on the new place.  I will have red and purple growing side by side. They seem to be a tough plant as it grows in clay soil on the southern hot side of the house.



I had to play doctor with one of my sunflowers this morning. The stem had bent and mildly broke in the wind.  I put a steel stake next to it and wrapped the wound with plastic and string to help heal it.  The ties to the post helped a lot to keep it back up right.  After having it so long,  I really don’t want to loose it over an accidental bend. Time will tell if I saved it but the leaves haven’t started to wilt.


They just leave the nest and they don’t know what they are suppose to do.  I saw a robin trying to feed a couple of these guys down on the ground near the flower garden.  The last robin in the nest left on Sunday afternoon.  I assume the instincts kick in eventually and they don’t depend on their parents anymore.  I just talked with my one neighbor to the south and he says he takes down robins nests.  I guess I thought I was suppose to let them grow and become.

I purchased moss rose today along with a sedum.  The sedum  looks like it is the variety that doesn’t spread and fall down. I needed a couple more pink hard geraniums to fill in on my curve along the sidewalk.

I also bought a begonia today.  My grandmother on my dad’s side really like growing things in her bay window.  My dad’s sister, Aunt Eva, was the only one of ten kids that continued the flower and cactus garden thing. My Aunt Eva lived in the sticks down in southern Iowa and next to her entrance door of the house she had dozens of begonias growing like weeds.  I bought a good sized one as the prices have dropped and I may just winter that over in the basement window. They have great foliage and the flowers seem tropical.  Photos will be posted, of course, in a few days.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope everyone is doing good and feeling well.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

It is Summer.....


The state bird of Iowa is the goldfinch.  They are like a super streak as they fly through the air.  They have a smooth flight that is more like a soar, I think it is  like a sleek space ship. You really don’t see the wings moving once they are in flight.


The cow bird does keep coming to the feeder.  It can barely hang on to the feeder ledge but it does. It seems to be a bird that lives in a meadow but it does come in for free seed.

One of these robins left the nest this morning.  The last one is just sitting there now as if he is waiting for his growth to get to be at the just right point. I really don’t know where they go but I do think I heard one in the tree yesterday, chirping, having the hope that a parent will show up with a worm or bug.

This is another photo of this large day lily. I wanted to show the comparison between the average size of flowers to this one.

This is a striking flower also but it is just a different variety.  It is smaller as you can see it takes two blooms to be equal to the one big bloom.









Heat, humidity with clouds  billowing in the sky on Saturday. The 103 degree F. heat index continues to dry out our yards.

I didn’t water things yesterday as we were forecasting rain on the news channel.  That didn’t happen.  Sunday, today, was suppose to be stormy but that is not happening.   I will water things this evening.




I hope to keep these coming as we are in the middle of July. I found two of the roma tomatoes being eaten by ants.  I guess I will start picking them green so the ants don’t take them first.



The day is humid and water is built up on the windows.  It will dry off from the windows but it will go into the air.  I thank you for stopping by today.


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Fun in the Sun.......


I shared this photo on FB so that some of my friends could see our tomato plants.  I guess my brother could get a chance to see it where he lives in Arizona. He grows his tomatoes in a hydro system.

It isn’t a very exciting blogging item but this shot does show how the plants are doing. My neighbors have a blight on their plants but I seem to not be getting it at this time.  Our tenth of an inch of rain the past 10 hours will have to suffice for their watering today. The light rain did help the grass look lest weathered.


The cottage garden is looking better as the plants seem to be filling in nicely.  I brought down a white phlox to plant in there but I won’t introduce it until the weather cools down some. The iris should put out a lot of blooms next spring.  I sprinkle an anti-grub chemical on the iris as there is a moth that lays eggs at the base of them. The worm that grows likes to burrow into the rhizome of the iris.

The day lily at the corner of the garage is a real winner.  I like that the foliage stays all summer and next spring it will be right back up again ready to bloom.

It is one of my larger red ones that puts on quite a show. I need to introduce this or one like it in the front planter in the yard. It would make a great show in that planting. I guess I could dig another from the old place to fulfill that plan.

I had a sedum in the back yard and the rabbits loved it.  So I moved it to the front planter.  I am expecting it to get tall and show some pink bloom in another month. I like how you can plant something like this and just walk away from it.

The former owners have this lavender plant on the edge of the peony bed. I really think it would look better somewhere else. I am betting that I cut it back last summer thinking it was a weed. Maybe I can put it into the cottage garden but I would have to mark it so I wouldn’t pull it next spring. The previous owners have other kinds of flowers like this that stick up tall among the low planted beds.  I don’t understand why they were arranged like that but it does make the flower garden look weedy.

I succeeded in getting a shot of this and it is in focus. The laitris was moved over there from the triangle garden and it didn’t seem to bother it at all.  It does crowd into the lily but that will be more crowded than that by next spring.


I put out my hummingbird feeder a few days ago and I did see my first bird feeding there last evening.  It was sprinkling and the hummingbird was not bothered.  They have been seen down at the zinnia patch so I am hoping more will come. My son sent me a photo and showed of his feeders.  He has the same finch feeder as mine but it is in a different set of colors. The older son in Chicago has a great setup to feed birds in suburbia.




This is the time of the year when I have more photos to share than I have space to put them.  I guess I have seen friends share dozens of photos at one time so maybe I can do that with my flower pictures. It is a quiet subdued Saturday and we are all staying home. I have some things that I could do outside but I think the heat will beat me out there.  That humidity is unbelievable and the hot sunshine heats one up immediately.  Have a good weekend everybody.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday’s Finds.....


The morning clouds look suspicious as rain is in the forecast. The temperatures are less hot but it will steam up again by noon.

It is almost focused but the color seems to be a hard one for my camera to read.



The volunteer vine is blooming and I will know soon what it is.  It may be a pumping or a muskmelon.

I did have wide open blooms earlier in the day but by almost noon the flowers were going in decline.


The sunflowers are at different heights right now.  The tall one was planted earlier and about four of them are all this tall.


The top of it looks serious but really it has a lot more growth to get it up in the air for blooming.



I have a second round of  sunflowers coming to make it a full row of them.

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Our visitor last evening while eating supper was this young cardinal.  He was learning how to find seed and made so many gestures of curiosity as he walked on the deck. He is not fully grown as his shape seems unusual.

I haven’t seen the parents for over a mont but they did succeed in hatching some young ones. I miss my tray feeder as it did bring in the adult cardinals.

I worked outside for some time today but it did just get too hot and humid.  Staying inside was the only way to survive.  I did have to dive out to get a daughter-in-laws birthday card sent.  I stopped for fish sandwiches and shakes. The fast food experience is bad in large cities.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Heat......


The sky doesn’t reveal how hot that it is but for some reason when the sun is in open view, it is hot. I worked outside in the morning and the temps gained on me more than I recognized.  Sunburn on white skin appears later and walking back into the house makes it feel like walking into a meat locker.


I really like the effects created by a cold camera taken outside in 91 degree F. temperatures. I had to keep wiping off the lens as the temp difference and the high humidity causes problems. The lily is one of the varieties that has a very large bloom in comparison to the normal sized bloom. I knew that I had moved it to the new garden but really didn’t know where it got planted. It sits at the bottom of my outdoor stairs along the north side of the house.


The neighbor had an orange one of this variety but I couldn’t get it to grow when I was given a sample.

The milk can was placed there as a whim as I didn’t want to keep carrying it.  The jury is out as to if it is going to stay there. I am trying not to junk things up in the yard and yet is seems to look good there.  I have a neighbor who has no trees and no garden object in their yard so I look a little cluttered.





One of the Jack in the Pulpit plants put out a seed growth.  I remember these in the wild where a red seed head ends up laying on the ground. I never noticed this doing a seed pod last year but I may just not have seen it.  We were in drought mode last year so it may not have put one out.  This grows under the deck stairs and it resembles the timber conditions that they normally grow in.


The planter in the front yard is looking great with all the variety of plants in there.  I can’t take credit for most of these plants but I am told the former owner would grow a muskmelon among these planting.  I can’t imagine how that,worked. I am confused over the white blooms but I think there are white coneflowers and also white daisies are in this planting.



The new thistle feeder allows the birds to hang from the wire grid or to stand on the bottom tray.  This goldfinch is doing both as it feeds.

I am headed to the old place today and will do inside work today.  I haven’t been up there since Monday.  It is going to be hot by noon again today.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Summer.....


The heat is on and the watering of the flowers is a necessity.  I can see my yard starting to take a hit from all the hot sun.  I don’t like to think about how brown the yards look as the summer continues.

I learned recently that this old fashion hydrangea is called limelight.  I can see now how it gets the name as the white blooms change to this green. The plant successfully grows where I planted and looks strong.  I need to work on its shape with the clippers but I do think it will even out on his own.

It is time to move the chimes. I keep working in the area of the backyard garden of coneflowers and the chimes sound off as I hit my head on them.  It is a good sound but my head doesn’t feel so great when I hit it. These are the chimes that I moved to the new place as pieces of pipes only.  I reassembled it using a small clay pottery pot as the center sound maker.



My choices were limited at the Ace Hardware. The one that looked to work best was this feeder.  It is a product invented or sponsored by a husband and wife team. The Stokes use to have birdwatching shows on PBS and I believed they do have a winner here as a seed feeder.  Some of the plastic feeders were so badly designed and had maybe ten holes on the side with flimsy plastic flowers or leaves for the bird to perch on while feeding.




The tray on the bottom catches the loose seed and the bird can perch on it if they are brave.  The web of wire does seem to work great to hold the seed in and yet allows a bird to pull the seed through.


The new feeder doesn’t accommodate five birds at a time but it seems to be a good design.

Thanks for stopping by today.