See Morning Walkabout 1 for the introduction to this series.
A Flower Garden with Food Potential!
Typically, the second stop on my walkabout is the Tractor Tire Garden. The anchor for this feature is an old tractor tire bolted to the base of the birdhouse pole. Located on the edge of the property, the flower bed is defined by a semicircle of field stones.
Because of the height and vertical orientation of the birdhouse, tall plants seemed most appropriate, and I also knew I wanted Canna lilies somewhere in the yard—this was the place. These are Canna (Canna sp.) lilies
The Canna flowers remind me of fireworks. The buds continue upward as the lower ones explode in color.
Incidentally, the Canna are not true lilies, but belong to an entirely different order of plants more closely related to ginger and banana plants. It has been cultivated and developed in to many cultivars (varieties). It is also very rich in starches and is an agricultural plant. It is grown for its edible rootstock, and reportedly was a staple food crop in Peru and Ecuador. Now maybe I know shat to do with the extra plants!
I also have a special fondness for Clematis and added it behind the tire and pole hoping the vining flower would grow up and around the pole. This is a mixed success story. The Clematis (Clematis sp.) grew nicely, but never showed any interest in climbing. I ended up with a healthy, low-growing, flowering plant, out of sight behind the pole and Canna. Still, they make good photos.
Incidentally, the birdhouse is also active. It was supposed to be a bluebird house—the entrance and box were designed specifically for bluebirds. Within a few days after putting the nest box up, a pair of red-headed woodpeckers arrived and promptly enlarged the hole, but after inspecting the interior, moved on. A family of sparrows has moved in and taken over. Bluebirds are still using the house seen in the distance in the second photo.
This is another bed that needs to be reworked to achieve a better arrangement and a greater number of flower types. The Canna have multiplied and will have to be spilt and some moved to a new space.