After a couple days of rain, the lawn is verdant and the 'Sugar Tyme' crab apples are glistening like jewels...
|Each crabapple is adorned with a raindrop...
|Here is the form of a Viburnum dentatum (straight species), growing in full sun and awful solid clay 'soil' (1st year in the garden)
|Here's a close-up of the foliage, which I'd say still looks pretty darn fresh for early October!
|Here's V. dentatum 'Pearl Bleu' - as you can see, much of the foliage has folded in half and quite a few leaves have burnt edges.
|By contrast, the foliage on the 'Chicago Lustre' cultivar of V. dentatum looks fresh, lush, healthy and deep green.
|'Pearl Bleu' on the left, 'Chicago Lustre' on the right. Both shrubs were planted at the same time. Both actually died back to the roots (after I stored them in the garage over the winter and shamefully neglected them), but 'Chicago Lustre' has clearly roared back more vigorously than 'Pearl Bleu'...
|I'm fairly sure that this is a Viburnum dentatum seedling. It seems to have taken the transplantation well. You'll notice that the foliage is lighter-green and has more of a matte finish, but otherwise seems just as clean and healthy as the 'Chicago Lustre' foliage.
|Lantana camara in spring 2015, first year in the garden
|Not only are the flowers pretty to people, but clearly they are the cat's meow to butterflies.
|These soldiers (OK, soldier beetles) like to make love, not war. Often, you'll see one (female?) beetle crawling around while another (male?) beetle hangs on its back (presumably) trying to mate.
|The last couple of years, the soldier beetles did their loving on the 'Lemon Queen' sunflower, but when that plant suddenly and unexpectedly crashed this past spring (and was subsequently shovel-pruned), they moved on to other plants this year - primarily agastache (like this Agastache foeniculum), but also Sedum 'Autumn Joy'. When they are not getting it on, I believe soldier beetles generally serve as important beneficial insects in the garden.