Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's all about the Hydrangeas!

 Well summer is winding down, and I hate to
admit that! 
I strolled around the yard and snapped
a few pictures.  
This time of year around here it's all about
the hydrangeas! 
 These Limelights on the left were planted a year ago in the spring and the Endless Summer hydrangeas were planted at least 5 years ago.    I cut a bunch of these and gave them to my mother and daughter this past weekend. 
 The flowering has slowed down on the Endless Summer's and some of the flowers are turning color.
I'm real happy with this new one too called Vienna (Out of the Cityline series)
It's cheerful pink flowers are great and it's low growth habit makes it perfect on the corner like I have it planted.
I also planted a new one last year called Pinky Winky and it's coming along very nicely!  As each flower matures they will continue to grow larger and the pink that's at the bottom of the panicle will deepen with color.  I'm just tickled that it's doing so well and it keeps it's shape nicely too!
 Out front on my little island my 6 year old
Limelight hydrangea has developed really
well.  I can't get enough of how pretty they
are.  These a very reliable, and you can
trim them back or leave them alone, either
way they do great! None of mine get what
you would call all day sun, but these do get a
fair amount- probably 3 to 4 hours minimum.
The stand of woods by us is on the south side
so we are protected from the hottest part
of the sun.

My Russian Sage and Black Eyed Susans are about the last perennials blooming...however I am pleased that my delphinium is making a second showing! I think in a few days the flowers will be opening up!
This Rudbeckia-Hortensia or Golden Glow has been in my possession since I was in my late teens.  A neighbor gave me a clump and I've moved it to every place I've lived.  It can get as tall as 6 ft.  It always seems to get this powdery mildew about the same time it flowers.  It's always disappointing to see the mildew but for the most part the plant seems to handle it.
 I'll leave you with a few random shots of some annuals that are still hanging in there!



 Baby Tears...such a sweet plant...I'm definitely going to bring it in and keep it going through the winter!
My flying pig statue has all but disappeared behind these cosmos...I thought it would be cute with them circled around it, but they got much larger than I anticipated!  A few of these are 5 ft. tall now!
And finally my arbor- these morning glories and Sweet Autumn Clematis (neither of which has bloomed yet) have surrounded my little fairy and garden sign...

I'm still enjoying what's left of summer and I hope you are too!

I'm so sorry to see all the peril the East coast has been in after
Hurricane Irene left her mark last weekend.
I hate to admit how darn nice it's been here, but I guess that's how it goes.

I'm linking up with
Fishtail Cottage-Floral Thursdays
Rose Vignettes- Fresh-Cut Fridays

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stinky Supertunias

For a couple of weeks we couldn't figure out what this foul smell was that we could only detect when we were on our deck...my husband pointed to my plants on the deck, but I couldn't believe it...It reeked like something died or urine...yuck!!
While visiting my mother's home and where I had also planted the same Supertunia plant we noticed one evening- a very foul smell.... hmmm...Now the wheels are spinning...so when we came back home I removed these pots from the deck and the smell went away.  
I set them on the driveway down below the deck area- and today after the heavy rains we just had that bad smell was back- and right where they were on the driveway.  
So....as much as it pained me to do this, but I yanked out the entire plant from these pots.  Fortunately there were two other plants that I had put in there with them that were still growing but had been hidden by the supertunias...They don't look too bad and I imagine
in the next two weeks they will be showing off nicely!
I wanted to add that these smelled the worst when the whole plant got wet like after a rain or if my sprinkler got them wet.  So imagine coming out after a nice rain to smell the fresh air but instead you got that bad odor instead!  Not good!
 Supertunias called Pretty Much Picasso
 They grew like crazy- in fact they were even larger than this before I pulled the plants out and discarded them today.... 

Growing down in there is Calibroachoa (MiniFamous) 
also called (SuperBells or Million Bells) they look like tiny roses
and Sanvitalia (Sunbini)...little tiny yellow flowers.

Sorry Proven Winners, this one was not a winner in
my book...
 These were not good companions with the supertunias because they became overwhelmed by the them.  I hope to see these get going some more and get that last little burst out of summer!

I know fall is near, but I'm not ready!  I see mums showing up at the garden centers, but I'm not ready to give in!!  

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Garden Nook

I did a little tweaking in my garden nook by the water fountain.
 I recently acquired these large heavy planters that I think go much better with the fountain than anything I've found or tried yet.  They came pre-planted so they were ready to go! 
I also added a very small gazing globe that I had to the fountain basin...I like watching it float around when I sit out there...funny how something simple like that can be interesting!

A shot with the sun shining in...it always looks so pretty in the morning hours as the sun walks across the back and casts it rays on the garden!

I also brought back my second garden bench which I had moved to another spot.
 
This is the 3rd year for this new area we added to our patio.  I'm real pleased with the hostas and how well they've filled in and help outline the area so nicely. I made this up on the spot as I went along, there was no formal plan.  That seems to be how I do a lot of things!  Spontaneous!
 These are my attempts to catch this bumble bee enjoying the nectar from the flowers the hostas are producing.  I leave them up until they are ugly and then snip them off.  I've also been enjoying seeing the hummingbirds buzzing in and around these flowers too.  A lot of people cut them off and don't like them, but I feel this is a more friendly garden for the birds and bees! 
 The impatiens filled out a lot more on this side than the other. Even though they are shade lovers, apparently a little bit of sun does them good!  This area receives some late in the day sun for a brief period.

I really love this variety of Impatiens this year...they are called Mosaic Lilac...I like the different tones  and the color.  
These are  some Super Elfin/Blush Impatiens I put in a couple of planters with a spike in the top...they flank the opening of the courtyard area by the fountain
I save the descriptive tags that come with my annuals every year.  I refer back to them the next spring in case I want to go find that exact variety again.  There is some Hypoestes/white (Polka Dot Plant) in there too but the  impatiens took over and you can hardly see them.  I think they need more sun too so I won't mix them together again!

So that's my tweaking and conversatioin about my garden today!
How's your garden doing?

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Monday, August 1, 2011

DIY Runs in the Family!

 Today I am featuring my cousin Trish and her husband Trent's landscape improvement project!

 They bought their charming home around 8 years ago
in sunny California and have been improving the inside and more recently the outside.  It's a corner lot that they've given a great deal of personality to!

As with any large project it's always easier if you work together and I think they've done this very successfully!
Our grandfather would have loved these pictures of Trent and Trish doing this hardscaping and would have wanted to help! 
He was one of the original DIY types! 

As we all know each step is a labor of love and it can become rather obsessive! 
  Trish described herself as someone who never liked gardening, but I think we can say she's gotten the gardening bug now!
 Many shrubs and perennials were planted....They've created quite a visual experience as well as a place to relax! The dark mulch enhances the plants and looks very attractive.  With no more lawn that needs to be cut so it's a pretty carefree yard now only requiring some maintenance on their plants and shrubs.
I love the new walk up area they created to their house. The only access before was the driveway with a sidewalk leading to the front door. 
 Now you can meander and walk the crushed stone pathways while enjoying beautiful flowering plants!
Everything is growing beautifully and filling in so well.  I can imagine coming home after a days work and looking forward to seeing this everyday!
 This dry creek adds visual interest to a narrow side by the sidewalk.
 I love this side gate and how the pathway leads you to it.  This created a connection to the backyard that was only accessible before by going through the house or garage.

Speaking of the gate- let's see what's on the other side of this gate!
Their goal was to make this more carefree like the front yard.
And here are the transformation pictures!
 I can imagine evening dinners sitting under their pergola..
I really love how they planted these Italian Cypress and added
more visual interest with the stones!
Considering how small the lot is I'm impressed with their creative use of space!
 They've made this an attractive place to live 
and I'm sure they are enjoying it especially 
since they don't have to come home and 
mow the lawn! 
This is now more "green" as they went
drought tolerant. Their city offers a rebate
to the property owners for doing this in
order to promote less water usage. They
installed a drip irrigation system which
is very cost effective and they definitely
saw a reduction in their water bill!
The biggest maintenance they have now
is deadheading and scouting for weeds!
I think they made this into a sweet 
cottage like setting!
I was so impressed when she shared her pictures with me that I told her I was going to blog about it!  I hope you enjoyed it to and look forward to your comments!

Happy August!!
Liz!

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