Archive for June, 2010

Pond blooms

Water lily and lizard tail

The pond comes into its own come midsummer. The water lily covers the pond in pads and pink blossoms, although the latter are only out at midday. Lizard tail (Saururus cernuus) is taking over one corner of the pond, and is now showing lots of white pipe-cleaner-like flowers.

Pickerel weed & lizard tail

The pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) is not as widespread as it was last year due to my overaggressive cleaning of the pond bottom earlier in the year. I think I’ll have to live with a few leaves on the bottom of the pond until it’s warm enough for me to clean them up by hand rather than by long-handled skimmer net.  Both the pickerel weed and the lizard tail are rooted in the pebbles on the bottom of the pond, which means fewer planters to tip over, but a somewhat less pristine pond bottom.

Hungry goldfish

The goldfish have done a very good job cleaning up algae and bug larvae from the pond, which means they’re always ready for a snack when anyone gets near the pond.   The day I took these pictures, two dragonflies (probably male Eastern Pondhawks Erythemis simplicicollis) were darting around the pond, but never alighting near enough to pose for a portrait.

Some non-blooms

Lichen on fence gate

There’s a couple of pictures I took last week that didn’t fit in with bloom day (but that I still like). One is a sample of the lichen growing all over our unpainted fences. It almost makes me want to not replace the fence, but then I regain my resolve when seeing bits of fencing falling over and into the neighbor’s yard!

Dragonfly visitor

This dragonfly looked to be laying eggs in one of the logs on the edge of the pond. It would alternate this behavior with zipping around the pond without alighting anywhere.

From what I can find online, this appears to be a swamp darner (Epiaeschna heros).   It’s identified by having blue eyes, green stripes, and being huge.   It’s known mainly as a southeastern dragonfly, but Cook County is within its range.

Bloom Day – June 2010

Oakleaf hydrangea

The garden is far ahead of where it was at both a year ago and two years ago.  It’s also in a bit of a bloom gap: the hydrangeas are just starting to decorate the very enthusiastic foliage in the back yard.

In bloom:

  • Oakleaf hydrangea (above – Hydrangea quercifolia)
  • Hydrangea “Annabelle”
  • Grape woodbine in bloom

  • Grape woodbine (a.k.a. Virginia creeper, but with tendrils – Parthenocissus vitacea)
  • Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)
  • Marsh phlox close-up

  • Marsh phlox (Phlox glaberrima)
  • Awl-fruited sedge

  • Awl-fruited sedge (Carex stipata)
  • Lavender “Blue Cushion”
  • Sedum kamkatschicum
  • American linden
  • Snapdragons
  • Day lilies
  • Water lilies
  • Oregano
  • Chives
  • Thyme

In fruit:

  • Volunteer black raspberry (or mutant Caroline?)
  • Raspberry “Caroline”
  • Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis)
  • Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)

The robins ate all of the serviceberries a week or two ago, before I even noticed them turning red!

Coming soon: more hydrangeas, Joe Pye weed and Culver’s root, and blooms in the pond.