Spring and Summer Flowers – Container Gardening

Summer Annuals

It is already time for re-potting and planting those summer plants!! This is my favorite time of year. Vegetable gardening is very close behind. It is a yearly event, searching out those plants that will perform best in our climate, and bring benefits to God’s creatures, birds, hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, even tree frogs!!

Yellow and Pink Snapdragons

I am always researching and I pick plants that are the most benefit to nature. I have many more established plants already in our butterfly and hummingbird gardens, these plants are all going into containers for the decks.

Petunia Wave Flowers

I picked up several wave petunias, they are a hummingbird attractor and do well in our summer heat. This year has been much more of a blessing and joy as we have had so much needed rain, our drought is almost ended. The temps have been moderate, with a few cold dips. We are expecting another cold snap this coming week, and that means covering plants already planted and bringing in the many plants still in flats.

Orange and yellow snapdragons

These are some orange snapdragons I picked up at our OSU Horticulture Center, during a plant sale. They have very healthy and reasonably priced plants, many grown by students. In the background are annual red salvia, a fav of hummingbirds.

Petunias

Hummingbirds here love our petunias, so I always include those in hanging baskets. Red colors will always be the draw for hummers but I enjoy other colors as well!!

Purple Wave Petunias

This is an unusual purple wave petunia purchased from the plant sale at OSU. Pink Dianthus is in the background.

Red Velvet Snapdragons

Bright red velvet blooms of the snapdragon are always a treat, and many of my snapdragons overwintered on our deck with no coverings, they are tough!!

Annuals in Flats

The first day I set out plants, I had delicate yellow butterflies sitting on the flowers, so the butterflies are already fluttering about. I try to purchase host as well as nectar plants for various butterflies of our area to give them a complete experience. I have a lot of work ahead of me getting these plants all in their pots and I will try to post pictures later in the season as the plants are established.

April Around our Farm ~ Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs

Oklahoma Crab Apple Tree Blooms

We have had continuous blooms around the yard with the many blooming trees and shrubs. This year is a blessing with so much extra rain, the plants are soaking it up.

Pink Flowering Almond Bush Blooms

The pink flowering almond bush is always so pretty with delicate flowers and the little transplants are blooming as well!! They have been transplanted for a couple of years now, but barely survived due to extreme temperatures and drought, even with supplemental watering.

Oklahoma Flowering Crab Apple Tree

Our Oklahoma crab apple tree is very showy this year, so beautiful, just covered with blooms, and the hundreds of tiny bees that buzz around gathering nectar.

Oklahoma Flowering Crabapple Tree

We have lost several small but nice trees over the past few years, a cherry tree, a prairie fire crab apple and the peach tree is not in good shape. I have several young transplants from the peach tree that I had started that seem to be doing well.

Cattle grazing on our grass

We have the cows back grazing on our land, they are so peaceful. I love the little calves, they will jump and play just like little kids. They do such a good job keeping the grass down, they give us free fertilizer which is excellent for the tomatoes, and vermiculture. They also eat the poison ivy off the trees which is a huge problem around here.

Male Goldfinch eating on the feeder

The goldfinches have been hanging around all winter and the males are turning a bright yellow for their spring and summer color. The females will stay an olive green all year. Gold finches love sunflowers, and I always plant extras for them.

Woodpecker on Suet

The small woodpeckers loves eating my homemade suet. We have hung some extra suet feeders out on the pergola, near their nesting areas.

Cardinals on birdfeeder

We have many pairs of cardinals this year, the females are harder to spot, they are so much darker in color than the pretty bright males. Their favorite nesting spot here is in the thorny bitter orange tree very close to our house. I can watch them feed their babies from our window. The thorns does not bother the birds and it helps protect them from predators.

Early Spring Flowers

Finally, the beautiful flowers of spring are blooming. It seemed like such a long, cold winter and then suddenly, a few warm days and all are in bloom.

Red Flowering Quince

This is a few of the hundreds of daffodils that faithfully come up and bloom year after year. I started with a couple of small bulbs in the early 1990’s, and today there are many more than I can count. Every few years when there are less blooms, they need to be dug and divided. This is a good time to share some with friends and start new areas. I planted most of mine within flower beds, these bloom early in spring and when they die back, other plants come up to hide the yellowing foliage. You should wait a few weeks to cut or mow over them, wait until the foliage is brown. They use the nutrients from their green foliage which is stored in their bulbs for next years flowers. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe forsythia bushes are beginning their blooms. They are always a bright, cheery reminder of spring.  ForsythiaOur flowering quince bushes have been very hearty and bloom beautifully with almost no extra care. The branches are thorny, so plant in areas as a deterrent. In the city, I would plant them under windows to keep burglars and peeping toms away. Flowering QuinceThe flowers are gorgeous. We have bushes in that bloom in peach, red, pink, and white. They produce a small apple like fruit that is about 3″ long. Great for birds, wildlife, and you may pick the berries to make jellies. Our red flowering quince in bloom.Flowering Quince BloomsThe wild sand plum trees growing along our nature paths. The sand plum blooms are very pretty, and the fruit is great for wildlife like birds, making jellies, jams and even salsa!! We have eaten them right off the bush.Native Sand Plum Trees The sand plum is a small native tree here in Oklahoma, are very tough and require no extra care. Sand Plum Blooms

December Snow Fall

We finally received our first decent snowfall, that fell on Thursday, just under an inch. It came down powdery and light, it was pretty and soft.

Our pooches loved running and playing in the snow. To the left is earth boxes we leave outside all year long. They grew some great tomatoes last summer.

On Christmas Day we received about half an inch of sleet with very light snow

The temperatures dipped to single digits and that made it more difficult keeping outside water unfrozen.

Our pooches in the front love running in the snow and watching for my husband to come home.  

We leave the pond pumps running all year, it keeps the water moving for the fish. There are always interesting ice “sculptures” that develop in extra cold weather.

We use bamboo poles we save from our bamboo to put over the ponds to keep the netting out of the water. It has worked well for years to keep all the leaves out of the ponds in fall and winter. We remove them in spring.

Autumn Trees

I love the change of season with the beautiful fall weather and the pretty colors of leaves. The animals enjoy it too, a welcome relief from the summer heat.

Walking down our drive, the trees are gorgeous. The leaves change colors so quickly.

Our pergola has a nice background with the autumn colors of native oak trees.

The trees are full of color.

Our backyard view changes with the seasons. The falling leaves give a lovely effect.

The woodpeckers are showing back up at the feeders to eat. Time to hang out the suet!!

Hummingbird Pictures

I was very fortunate today to be able to photograph one of the hummingbirds who regularly visits our place.

I have many plants for them, but this drought and extreme heat has been hard on the plants and made gardening rough this year.

The pictures are a bit blurry, they were taken in a hurry through a glass patio door.

I have been trying all summer to get a good pic of one!!  Maybe tomorrow. . . .