Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Second Day of the Week.......


In the afternoon we had large clouds like this hanging around in the west. I had to work hard to get a photo of them in the clear.


They reminded me of hot air balloons as the moved slowly across the sky. The southern part of Iowa was getting spotty showers but we had only one two minute shower.

Normally begonias are sold in six inch pots and you plant them in the pot or ground and watch them grow. This sale item was must buy item for me ask it was so big.  Many plants crowded into this square pot.  It gets light sun in the afternoon but for most of the day is sits in the shade at the front door.

The shiny leaves make it look like a tropical plant with clusters of flowers. I am hoping that I can winter over the whole thing in the basement window.  I had begonias in my youth and kept them alive year round in the house.

The staircase from the above deck really is a perfect place to set up a flower garden.  The invasive vine will have to be cut back in the fall.  Maybe sooner it will have to be trimmed if it starts to crowd out the coneflowers. The spigot and water hose is close so they do get a good watering each day.  The whole area gets a little less sun as the deck shades the spot.
The camera captures the bright red ones but the yellow one seems to be not in focus.  The colors of these flowers are bright while others are pastel.
I am resting today from the job of taking out a dysfunctional dishwasher at the old house.  I had to use different muscles for that so I will have low keyed work today at home.  I still don’t have to mow any yard with the dry spell but I could pick off a few stray weeds. Temperatures are good for a couple of more days and then the heat returns.

Thanks for stopping in at my post today.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday Morning Mustering......


It could be a view in Colorado with that tree line looking like that. Actually I am on my back deck and the moon is red in color.  You can see the red in the glow.  Full moons are great to see and this one has moved from evening to evening.  It was in line with Mars Saturday night and last night it was west of Mars.  This morning it is directly in the west as a day moon.




We had sprinkles coming down once in the afternoon.  We had great cloud formations all day with the southern Iowa rain clouds in view.


We had a great evening with heavy dew this morning.  The dew really helped green up some of that dormant grass.  My maintenance of the yard involves pulling those stray weeds coming up from the dead grass.

The flocks of birds are gone now since I took down the loose mixed bird seed feeder.  There were just too many birds landing on the deck and staying in the back yard trees. Most of them were young ones that needed to get out and find their own meals in the wild world. The goldfinch come in at small numbers to feed for longer periods of time. There are less birds so they don’t get rushed off like they use to and will feed for a long time.

I share this photo to exemplify how small these birds are in size. I can now identify two different hummingbirds.  This one I call Greenie with all the green feathers.

I had wars between the two for a while but they now seem to just take turns coming to the feeders.  I have seen a few down in the zinnia patch.

I have one FB friend that says they are migrating.  I really don’t that much about them but I use to have them stay around for a long time at the old house. I do know they live further north in larger numbers as we had them at our Minnesota cabin every summer.

I do need to pick some more tomatoes. They are starting to ripen now more quickly as we are in summer and it is time.  They tell us how long a tomato plant takes to have ripened fruit but I don’t keep track of that. The cherry tomatoes were the first to ripen and I do have many more to pick in the future.

I am headed to the farm today to get some more things done.  I have a few things that I can do immediately and will work on them.  The weather is cool and I don’t have to mow the yard anymore.  A neighbor woman who has a rider has been doing the yard area and I am glad to pay her for it. I appreciate you stopping by today.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Many Pictures....


While scrambling through the archives to find a photo to post, I found this one. When our house was built 15 years ago, the builder decided to paint black material on the side of the foundation, I am assuming to waterproof it.  The didn’t bother to match the dirt to the area along the side of the house. Its other good function is to give me a good background for my dandelion.

The red color and my camera seem to be in conflict.  With just the perfect lighting, the camera does a great job.  Other wise the temperature of red doesn’t work well with the automatic focus.




A good photo of the knock out roses is rare but I did get one. The roses were all trimmed back recently and the rose has bounced back. The house shades the rose partially so I can get a focus on the flowers better.

I randomly planted spike plants among the petunia patch. At first it seemed to work as a design feature.  Now with the drought going on I can see it helps to fill in space where there are not blooms.  When it cools down in the fall, maybe the petunias will spring back.

While planting marigolds around the raised bed this spring I had extra zinnia like flowers and not place to plant them.  So I put them in the middle of the tomato plants.  It really was a good idea as they get watered everyday.  It is a bad idea too as I see orange among the tomatoes and they are flowers and not tomatoes. This is the second year that I have planted marigold around the edge of the tomato plants. I really like how it all looks in the backyard and the tomatoes don’t look weedy with the crowded row of flowers.







I shared this photo on Facebook and my old college roommate had to have a raised bed. He is planting strawberries in his new bed. Our grass right now is not green. All grass is dormant except for those few who like to drag the sprinklers all over their yards.








I didn’t plant any large tomato varieties this year and I really wished that I had. I guess I thought I was cutting back on the plants but instead I have all these perfect round ones and loads of roma tomatoes. My volunteer yellow pear tomato will be fun to harvest.











It looks like summer for sure now that the grass has lost its green The zinnias have filled in the left side and the cottage style of planting really has worked well.  I really didn’t get too many weeds in the willy nilly planting.  I have space left in the front there to plant some more flowers.  I put in a Russian sage plant this week moving it from the front garden area. It isn’t a great time to move anything but I water often so it should live.





My plantings of cheap pink seed hardy geraniums is really doing well.  Barney’s continuing wetting in the same area kill out the grass so I covered with these and some mulch.  The grass will grow back into the mulch and I may just put back in as yard again.

Our day looks good for temperatures today.  Southern Iowa did get some rain last night which was good for the drought down there.  I had raindrop showers for five minutes yesterday morning with the sun shining.   It will rain again I am sure. Thanks for checking in today.




Saturday, July 28, 2018

Stuff on the Saturday Spot.......


The vine continues to put out these large blooms.  I tend to forget that it isn’t a flowering plant but it is the bloom to start the process of growing pumpkins or muskmelon.  I keep thinking they should stay open for a long time but usually they are faded after one day. One of my blogger friends had a husband that says it will be pumpkins.  I am good with that.  I keep watching the vine to see what starts to form on it.



The clay soil this is planted in was originally a vegetable garden.  I am guessing the former owner fertilized his vegetable garden as I have never seen the flag iris to ever be so tall. It is great to have it do so well after one year of growth. I do water most everyday as it has kept things growing well.  Our yards look totally dormant now and farmers south of us have a lot of crop damage because of a drought. Early rains were great but they just stopped coming.

I have three different locations for the morning glories to grow. I would think that I should see some blooms soon. I do have to keep watering the planter on the deck to keep this alive. I have a table nearby to help shade the plants but then the vines want to climb the table legs instead of the deck trellis.


My sedum in the clay tile is doing well.  I see from the photo that I have a little grass growing in there. I like the colors of the sedum.  I did see that they can put out blooms as I saw one at the nursery in bloom. I did see a name for it but it didn’t stay in my memory banks. "Blaze stonecrop" is what I found to be the name of it. I found it on the internet. I didn’t realize that the sedum vines and also is a standup plant.

It is not a bird, not a butterfly or a flower.  It is a blurry photo of a bookcase.  I am removing the broken down dishwasher at the old place and I am replacing with this shelving unit to hold up the counter.  I expect the new owners, which I don’t have yet,  will gut the kitchen but when they do they will have a good shelving unit to use for something.


Another random shot of something that is not my flowers, birds, and butterflies.  I see I have an empty hook on that wall and I need to hurry and hang something on it. I built my shelf in the garage rather in the basement workshop.  I can drive the truck out into the drive and have a large area and counter to work from with lots of natural light.  If it gets to hot, I just can’t be there but the past few days have been cooler.











It will be a quiet day at home on this Saturday.  I hope we get rain but it sometimes get over predicted and it just doesn’t happen.  I will water this morning anyway to be sure nothing droops.  Thanks for checking in today.  I do know people are checking in as my stats show me that I am being followed.  I though about shutting down my Photo a Day blog but I do see I have loyal viewers there too. Everyone have a great day.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Bloom Where You Are Planted...


It is tough getting old and not remembering certain things.  The hibiscus came up this spring sitting next to the water tank.  I can’t dig up any memory buying it nor planting it.  I sort of do remember putting it in the ground but not what kind of plant that it was.  We had a dinner plate hibiscus at the old place for a couple of years and it froze out one winter.  I suppose I saw it on a sale while not in bloom and I knew that I wanted it. I may have come from Home Depot. I had been sharing photos of it asking, “what is it”?  I did think it was going to bloom out as a hibiscus but not this large variety.

Well it was a challenge but I found my initial shot of it coming up in June.  Now that I see the bloom today and the leaves I can know that it is a hibiscus. I planted other things along the back of the house and this is the only thing that survived.


I was able to capture this insect last evening.  I had been seeing the monarch flittering around in the front flower garden but last night it was landing in my backyard cottage garden.  For some reason the monarch likes sitting on the sunflower leaves before it lands on to flowers.  The flower that it is on was a previous owners plant.  I really have not liked it as a foliage plant but I see now that it does attract butterflies.  I don’t know the name of it but there is a pink one just like it growing right next to it.  It reminds me of Joe Pye weed but it isn’t an exact match.

This is the middle of daylily season.  There are lots of buds left to bloom. I think that makes it a popular flower in the garden.  I like the leaves hanging around for the rest of the summer.

I keep posting photos of this large yellow lily as it is so striking as a flower.  I accidentally planted it at the bottom of my outdoor stairs and it is the perfect place for it to be placed.

It is to be a pleasant day again with mild temperatures. We are having June weather at the end of  July.  The grass has all gone dormant now and it doesn’t look great.  I have to go around and pulled weeds that sprout up during drought periods.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Things for the Day....


The red coneflowers are borderline of being the darker version of the coneflowers in the foreground. You can see the row of houses in my back yard.



The pinks struggle in the hot weather.  I am glad they are still alive and maybe they will look better in the fall.


I just keep shooting photos of these blooms because they are there. I seem to have brought three of these at the new place.  I had planted it at a couple of places at the old house. I dug it twice and then spread one digging into to pieces.


Always on duty, the angel from our old back patio looks good in this corner.  I still want to find a glass glob for the pedestal.


I have a darker version of this daylily and I didn’t get it moved to the new place.  I may have to randomly dig to hopefully correct the error. I do know where it was growing but was surprised to see I had not brought it.


The zinnias are doing well.  I am puzzled as to why there are not so many large blooms and mostly are the smaller ones. I now need to attack the Japanese beetles again this summer.  I bought the material to spray on them.  They are destroyed by the spray when it hits them but I have to treat them every single day. It is good there is no residue for the earth but then the glorified water and mild chemical has to be continually sprayed.

Various tasks I must do today.  It is cool today and rain may come on Saturday.  I am still watering everything. Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wednesday’s World.....


The Wednesday morning view looks promising. We are having cooler temps in the night and early morning.  It is a good think as the heat has been so bad for so long.


While I was out with Barney in the front yard I saw goldfinch searching for insects.  I thought that no one in the area should complain about me bringing in a large set of goldfinch families into this community. They seem to be more active in the yard and the house finches have disappeared since I took down the multi-seed feeder.  I had too many house finches and it was time for them to go out into the fields and find their own seed. At the old place I would only have one pair of goldfinches so this is a treat to see all the ones that have hatched out to many pairs of the birds.

While watering in the back yard this morning I had lots of birds watching for me to stir up insects

I disturbed my young bunny this morning while I was watering. He seemed to be hanging next to the shed trying to keep me from seeing him.

Some of my blogging friends are not familiar with a locust tree.  Here is a focused shot of mine in the front yard last afternoon.  The moon was not chosen to be in focus but the locust tree was sharpe and clear. The leaves on a locust can remind me of a fern leaf and yet it is a foliage of its own identity.

Both of my plantings of morning glories are doing well. The vine is not so much to admire but the blooms will be great glories. I have tried to keep them watered as they both are in warmer areas that they would prefer. I have some volunteer glories coming up at the very same spot as last year.  Their colors will be the deep violet blue. The others that I have planted can be possibly any color as I harvested from different locations at the new place and the old place.

My mom grew a lot of different foliages on the farm many years ago.  I don’t see them for sale very often.  I did see one  overgrown one that was at the Home Depot. It was beautiful but overgrown and lopsided. I guess I could find a shady place to plant some if I remembered to buy them. This one in the photo was one I picked up for a buck.  I placed it in the planter next to the morning glories in the shade of the deck floor above. I thought it would be fun to see how it turned out. I do remember that the blooms should be cut back for along time to keep it growing.


My neighbor lady at the old place lost her dog Penny, just last week. She was a terrier that I helped with a lot these last ten years.  The dog had developed health problems that just caused her to loose her life.  It was a sad week for the owner as they were so close to each other.  The neighbor then also lost her last sister on Sunday.  The loss of her dog was unexpected and she was convinced by a close friend to get another dog immediately.  I am not so sure of that advice but the new dog is a needy dog that loves to be held.  It is part terrier but has some special coloring that make it into a mixed breed with good looks.






I worked on a stepladder a lot yesterday so I am doing easier work today. I hope all are well out there and thanks for stopping by today.