Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy January!

Happy New Year everyone and I hope your holidays were great.  Ours was difficult since my brother in-law passed on the 23rd- another victim of cancer.  It was expected but especially difficult with Christmas so near.  
 I brought this arrangement back from the funeral.  I had yellow flowers poked in it but they're gone now.  I'll see how the plants do.  My plan was to use this outdoors in the summertime.  I'll think of Jim each time I look at it.

Before we were leaving to be with the family I snapped a quick shot of the amaryllis because I wasn't sure if it would still be blooming when we got back.  It became so tall I had to stake it.
 
When we got back home it was still blooming and was much larger since the 2nd stem of flowers had opened up.  Our furnace had quit and the house was rather cold which may have slowed down the plant a bit.  Thankfully Dan was able to fix it but it took hours for the house to warm up.

Such a delight to see in the midst of winter.  
 
 It was supposed to be Royal Velvet (red) but after looking it up on the internet I've decided this one is called Orange Sovereign.  Not my first choice for the holidays but still pretty.   A bonus 3rd stem came up and it's about ready to bloom!  Overall by the time it's done blooming I will have had a month of flowers from this one bulb. 

Did you grow anything to bloom like paperwhites or such?  I've decided not to grow paperwhites any longer because I really do not like their smell.  They are cute and easy to grow so I understand the attraction.

Winter finally found us after a very long easy going start.  I knew it was too good to be true that we had no snow and even the temps were very moderate.  We're about 43" behind our usual total at this point.  Believe me- I'm not complaining!  Next week the arctic air is moving in and it will feel like January.



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Sunday, December 6, 2015

December Greetings!

Greetings everyone!  Sorry its been a while since I posted.  I hope you are all having a nice December and getting into the holiday spirit!
I wanted to start out by mentioning an article that was recently written and posted on CountryLiving.com that included a couple of pictures from a feature post I did about a friend's place in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  This is the original link to the article I featured "here"  The writer for this article Ellen Sturm Niz had contacted me to get permission to use a couple of the pictures from my post so I accepted!
This is the link to the feature- 16 Small Space Christmas Decorating Ideas


We were downstate visiting family for our Thanksgiving Day celebration.  On Saturday I had to go visit my favorite garden center and I snapped a few cell phone pictures while I was there.  
These are an orange/red color.

A sea of Poinsettias, Christmas Cactus and Cyclamen

They had a 50% off sale going on which I was surprised about.  They aren't usually so generous this early in the season.


This grouping were all special order and on hold for customers.  Even though I might not like these colors for myself they are interesting.   I think they add a colorant when they water the plant and it draws it up into the leaves and changes the colors.  

Always new varieties each year.  

I like these combos with red, pink and white

Red is my all time favorite poinsettia color so that's the color I picked up for myself.  

My mother loves blue so we bought her this color enhanced version complete with sparkles!

Later that day while at a local shopping center and I loved this display of flowering kale.  The little pansies had been hit by the frost and weren't too perky looking but the kale stole the show anyway!  I looked it up and this one is called Purple Prince Flowering Kale.

My Christmas Cactus already bloomed.  I have an amaryllis potted that hadn't started growing just yet 
in this picture but it's doing well now and looking like it will be blooming for Christmas yay!


I left the pot kind of raw from the outdoor growing season including algae thinking it would look interesting but I think I'll add a layer of Spanish Moss to the top to dress it up.  These will be a very deep red when they bloom.

We've had one measurable snowfall in November (overnight about 8" ugh) but it melted in a few days (thank goodness!).

Generally we've been enjoying some very nice weather.  The morning skies can be so pretty.  

Stay safe and say a prayer for all of these victims and their families that have been affected by these senseless mass shootings both here in the U.S. and abroad.  You might want to watch this video I found on CNN about things to do or not do if you find yourself in one of these horrible situations.

Wishing you all joy and happiness through this holiday season.  

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Autumn and the End of the Growing Season


Well, once again it's that season. Autumn has crept in and the days and nights have chilled off.
My annual plants are still alive but the perennials are on their way down for the season.

The wax begonias took over the planter.  The white alyssum and the other fiber optic grasses have been overwhelmed by them.  I do like how it turned out and have decided that wax begonias are high on my list now for plants to grow.  They're not fussy and do well in various locations.  

Every year I put out some pumpkins and gourds.

I clustered my planters together and made a little vignette.  I've discarded some of the annuals like the very large fuchsia's that were in the tall black urns.  We went to out Farmer's Market and I picked up all the pumpkins and gourds during 3 different visits.  The leaves from the ash tree are already falling down so I swept a few up to add to the vignette.  Dan is way at the back of the picture blowing leaves.  I had to stop him from blowing these away!

My primrose decided to bloom again.  I'm not all that familiar with growing them but I take it they like cooler weather.

This may be the last rose of the season.  We haven't had a frost yet but it won't be long.
(Queen Elizabeth, Grandiflora)

I'll leave this early morning picture from a few days ago as my last.

I hope everybody is doing well and are enjoying the beginning of autumn.  
Thank you to those who have visited me this summer and left comments.  I have been negligent on visiting everyone and do apologize.  Perhaps next spring and summer I'll find more time!



 
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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Pajama Shots

I sit sipping my coffee in the morning and stare out at the backyard. When the sun is up and briefly shining on the garden I think to myself you should get out there and take some pictures especially before we have a frost.  So I did…I went out in my P.J.'s!   Shhh… I don't think the neighbors saw me!! 
It is only 43 degrees this morning so I didn't stay out long.
I can feel autumn's push coming.

As a comparison
When I first planted them.  The red cordyline spikes have basically disappeared.  Note to self- don't bother planting them with impatiens!



If I had a longer growing season I'd trim these back but we'll have a frost before long and these will be done quickly so I won't bother.

As a comparison
Underneath the impatiens is the wire frame that has all but disappeared.


This wasn't so much about the sun highlighting it but the pretty blue salvia next to the limelight hydrangeas is pretty and I hadn't taken any pictures of them yet.

I'm sticking this in though it was taken last week after one of the rains we had.

As a comparison
The white alyssum disappeared.  The was begonias did great.  I have become very fond of them because they are easy to grow and reliable.

 The wandering jew has taken over!  It really grew a lot recently- I think it liked all the rain we got.

As a comparison



As a comparison
I first planted the wagon in mid June

The country girl in me….



      
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Monday, August 17, 2015

Late Summer but still in bloom!

Summer is going by way too fast. I suppose we all say that every year don't we!

I went for a walk around the yard…found this Walking Stick hanging around on a screen….

A little while back I found some plants growing out of a couple of my planters (thanks to some chipmunks that like to plant seeds everywhere) so I replanted them in the ground.  At the time the hydrangea wasn't so large so it seemed safe to plant here because there is a fair amount of sun in this area.  This one has decided to go vertical and latch onto the hydrangeas.  

This is the other one which I'm re-routing with stakes so it won't take over my fairy garden.  I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be a pumpkin plant but it only flowers but no pumpkin.  Either way I enjoy watching the vine grow.  

This tricolor sweet potato plant is super slow but doing well.  I imagined it to grow and perhaps even fill the top of the roof up but I suppose I should have provided a bridge of screening material for it to latch onto.  

Nearby is this this 2nd year lily still blooming.  It's a very stout plant.
Sunny Azores, Oriental Lily

 The limelight hydrangeas are blooming.  I really cut them short last fall so I'm grateful to see any kind of bloom.  They grew as big as before.  

 A disappointing year for the Endless Summer Hydrangeas.  These are the only two blooms.

This Cityline Paris Hydrangea has a nice shrubby shape but I only seem to get 2 or 3 blooms each year.  

Out front the Pinky Winky Hydrangea is blooming.  The blooms are better this year than before but I'm still not thrilled with this one.  It never has the fantastic pink/white combo like the pictures show.

This hibiscus comes up each year but flowers so late its rather disappointing.  We put lava down around the front of the house back in the 90's.  I'll never use it again mostly because it's a stinker to have to dig around.  You have to rake all the pieces away from where you want to dig which can be time consuming.  

 The Cone Flowers (echinacea) have been blooming away for a while now.  I like that these stay relatively short.

These deep pink coneflowers are flopped over laying on the Black Eyed Susan's.   I need to tidy up and dead head out here.  It was sweltering the day I took these with my phone camera.  70% humidity and it was around 92 degrees.  

 I just added these variegated Sedum plants and the orange Lilies to this new garden I started last year as seen "here".  The lilies are almost done blooming but I liked their coloring with the Sedum so I bought them anyway.  Next year it will be even better!

 In the center you see some twigs by a store tag--- that's all that's left of the Heliopsis (Tuscan Sun) after the bunny feasted on it earlier this summer.  I leave the store tags for a while until I am familiar with where each plant should come up.  The Russian Sage is floppy and laying all over the place- not too happy with it.  I'm guessing it needs more sun.  There is a broken over white Cone flower you may be able to notice.  I put two of those plants in too.  They were about done at the garden center but I know next year will be great.

 These cone flowers were put in last year.  I'm tickled at how well they came back.  Something has been eating the leaves but not enough to worry about.  These smell delightful.  You can actually smell the fragrance as you approach.  They are called "Secret Affair" and I highly recommend them!  Behind them you can see the other Heliopsis plant that the bunny didn't get.

Way to the left is the Helenium "Sneezeweed" plant. (Deep golden w/dark centers)  It's not too impressive.  We'll see if it can pull it's own weight and stay alive here.

Our grass is overdue for a cut.  Dan is my lawnmower but he had to work on our work vehicle so the lawn has to wait.  There are some mums coming back from last year too but I don't think they'll flower until September.  This garden has largely been neglected this year and looks a bit disheveled.

 I took these pictures after that big storm.  These are portion of the sticks and branches that were all over the yard.  
 Dan still has more weed killer (the vinegar mix) to spray- as you can see not all of it has been treated yet.  We've already gone through 4 gallons of vinegar mix.   It seems like a fairly environmentally friendly way to control weeds so I'm for it.

A quick fire to clean it all up.

This planter has gone wild but I love it. 


 The wagon has progressed.  There were some white wax begonias planted in there too but the impatiens have taken over.

The Wandering Jew has spread out very nicely. 

I guess that's a wrap!







 
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