Monday, May 28, 2012

Flag Day......

Happy Memorial Day!  

The Iris were usually blooming around Memorial Day, and my folks always called them "Flags"
 In fact I sent a picture of my Bearded Iris to my sister and her first 
response back was "Flags"!
My kids gave me some iris for Mother's Day many years ago and this white one is one of them!
These deep purple ones have a rich smell to them too! I moved a few of these from an old garden spot and lined them up on the edge of the driveway turnaround area and they've been multiplying in size rather nicely! 
We had a large storm come through yesterday and it really rained a lot! It made a few of the iris fall over but since we needed the rain badly- so there are no complaints!
Over near the deck things are growing like crazy and this beautiful 
"Orange Harvest" Bearded Iris is making it's spring debut!
These are supposed to able to bloom twice a year, but so far I haven't seen that happen.  They've bulked up in size quite a bit this year so we will see what happens!
Such a pretty color isn't it!
My garden fairy is surrounded by 
some Siberian Iris but they haven't bloomed yet. 

I hope you all have/had a wonderful Memorial Day!
Hang your flags proudly!

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Watching and Waiting....

Watching and waiting to see each and 
every tree, shrub and plant bloom. 
Cranesbill (Hardy Geranium)
Last year these were blooming around June 14th
Although this is just the beginning we are a bit
ahead of schedule! I'm watching constantly
and amazed at what I'm seeing so early on.

Waiting for the Peonies to bloom...
they are full of flower heads!  Ten days ago
I put grow cages around them....The plant was
just barely through the top of the cages- They've
 grown twice as tall since then!

Waiting for the Delphiniums- they just got going too!

Another Cranesbill called "Lizabeth"
which is how my name is spelled, so I
had to have these! I should have tried harder
for a better picture! It was hot and I was
rushing! It's coming up nicely but I have a
feeling it's going to be a few years before
they get to be a nice size.  Maybe they will
double up this year?  I can always hope!
I'll watch and wait!

This Japanese Maple is doing well.  They make such
a nice contrasting color to the woods and our home.

This little corner is in front of the the
bedrooms and the living room addition we
added in 1996.  I've got a mix of things here 
including this "Coral Bark" Japanese Maple 
which is  S L O W to grow! Spireas in the
forefront, a tall grass and some Ninebarks to 
the right.
  We put lava down in the mid 1990's which
I now regret. It's a stinker to try to open up 
a spot to dig...and it's weird to walk on!
 My office is the smaller window with the
shade pulled...that's where I tap tap tap way on 
the keyboard!
 See, this is my view from there.  My island out front
has Stella d'Oro lilies that should start blooming
before too long. 

See the coral colored bark!  
Boy it was hot today and yesterday!
We hit 91 both days....lots of sun!

My Ninebark has a fungus-mildew.  I didn't notice
it until recently, but it's rather unsightly!  I have never
seen this plant get this before, so I was surprised.  I
have a feeling it's because of the warm up we had in
March, then the numerous frosts, causing moisture to 
stay on the leaves.  It has lots of aeration so I don't know
why else it would get it.  I am reading on it and there 
are a variety of suggestions.

Waiting to see these Dutch Iris bloom.  They
are real close! Again last year around June 14th
they were blooming! 
(Please ignore the grass that I haven't wed out!)

They follow the edge of a turnaround on the driveway.

This is my PeeGee Hydrangea that I am praying
will perform better this year.  Of course the year
I bought it- it was dripping with gorgeous flowers,
but last year I had only 3...I am hoping it's getting
comfortable where it is and will perform nicely!
As you can see my Hostas are going to town
growing like crazy!

I bought this little statue last year and didn't
really have much of a spot for her.  I remembered
I have this gazing ball stand so I brought it over
to give her a spot to sit.  I turned it  upside down-
 but the bottom has a worn look.  I think it's going to
work, so I'll scrub it up!

We've been staining the deck and we got
the other side of the railing done just in time
because these ferns aren't waiting for anything!
They've shot up in two weeks to this height!

I've been waiting for this project for a long time
I came up with the idea in the fall of 2010. We
bought the wood, the little top pieces and even
stained the wood but didn't get it installed.
Last year we were a bit busy with a couple of showers
and a wedding for our son in Pennsylvania, so it 
fell by the wayside. 

 I'll show more on it soon.  I was taking a break
and watching Dan working on it and used my 
iPhone to take this shot...his poor head got
burnt from the intense sun so he grabbed a hat!
Makes him look like a farmer!  I've got a new hose
for the reel too! This one's a tired puppy!

Speaking of Dan, my handyman, husband,
always on his feet, and likes to paint guy!
We came up with a plan to salvage these
fiberglass planters that were really starting
to look shabby.  This is the first layer we chose
an enamel in almond to start with.

I think these are about 6 years old. This
was last year. The paint was coming of quite
badly.  I hated to spend money on more so
we chose to save them and I'm glad we did!

We used a spray "stone finish" paint from Lowe's
I love how the design shows up so much better 
now!  I hope to get at least 2 more years out of them!

I planted them this morning with a trailing red Supertunia, bright green sweet potato vine, and a burgundy 
colored spike.  
I can't wait to see the red fill out along
with the should contrast beautifully with
the new color on the planters!

Out back by the fountain I've just planted
these big cement planters.  They should look
sensational as they progress!  

Up at the "ranch" house I planted my window boxes
with these gorgeous Velvet Red begonias, lobelia
and vinca vine.  I love the color of this vinca vine it's called Wojo's Gem.

And just to the right is my new hanging basket that
I bought already planted.  I loved the yellow color
it had and the flowers they put in it!

Out my back door looking at my flowers...
the deck is still in progress...see the darker's called "Italian Leather" by
Valspar from Lowe's.  We had a few things
hold us off from getting the floor boards done
including heavy pollen that has just begun. I'm 
anxious to get my furniture back on here!

I've got these potted (bought six colors of these "million bells" Calibrachoa-They will mound and fill out nicely!  up and they are waiting for their "soon to be painted wire plant stands" to set on!   
Yep another "Dan" project!  He does a much better job than I would so who am I to say "no honey I can do it"!   
I just realized I bought all these pots and my flying pig statue in Pennsylvania last year while we visited our son.  I didn't even realize I clustered them in the same 
area until now!
 Of course I had to find a local garden center!  The good thing is when I see these things it takes me back to some fond memories!  That's a good thing!

Well, that's a wrap as they say!!  
Thanks for coming by!
What are you watching and waiting for?

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my blog friends!

We are actively working on projects like staining our deck right now but I took a few minutes to catch some photos of my tulips which are almost done and a few other plants around the yard.
 Brunnera- Jack Frost 
Love the periwinkle color of the flowers!
Viola- Etain
They have a delicate smell!
My Japanese Maple- Bloodgood
It was a little whip when I got it about 11 years ago.
When Pigs Fly, Anything is Possible!
He's a ham and had to get into the pictures too!  LOL
  These are about done. A couple of years ago the voles
got in to my lilies and tulips and ate a bunch of them.
I love this pink tulip and hope I can find some more.
I have to dig out the tag and look up their name!
Back out front is my other bed of tulips that are still blooming.  
I planted a lot of varieties.  
They've been blooming like crazy!
I love the colors on these yellow tulips!
These parrot tulips have been blooming for 
a long time!
We were going to go to Holland, Michigan for the tulip festival but because of the early spring even they got beat up with their tulips being done too soon!
I'll catch them another year....I'm enjoying 
my own tulip festival!
These are my bouquet to you! 
I hope your day will be enjoyable! I know one thing
I'm not doing is working on Mother' Day! 
Time to put my feet up!
Happy Mother's Day!

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Favorite Fertilizer, Hydrangeas, Watering and Drying

Yesterday I was out fertilizing my hydrangeas and roses and I got to thinking about how steadfast I am about this product line.  I'm including pictures and links to make it easy to identify the products. 
(I am not compensated in any way, just sharing my favorite products)
Many years ago I became more interested in using more organic forms of fertilizing and I tried "Flower-Tone" by Espoma
I had always seen it at my local garden center but up until then I always used products like RapidGro liquid or MiracleGro fertilizer so I decided to give it a whirl. 

Their products are natural and organic and it breaks down in a slow gradual way that provides a safe, long lasting food reservoir for the plant throughout the growing season.

Last year I started the season with a dose of their Plant-Tone and gave everything a dose of it.  My hydrangeas get a dose of 
which is good for azaleas, rhododendrons, holly's and hydrangeas.  
My roses were treated to their Rose-Tone product also.
I have also used "Soil Acidifier" from their 
I have a very alkaline soil so decided to try the soil acidifier to see if I'd get more blue coloring.  I had a range of pink, lavender and blue last year on my Endless Summer hydrangeas. Notice the rich heavy leaves on the plant too.  The plants are really healthy.

The Limelight hydrangea is my other favorite and I was real pleased with it's growth last summer.
I adore this hydrangea! 

This was a newer one I put in the year before called CityLine- Venice.  It's a short compact  pink hydrangea.  
I have more but I better stop before you fall asleep!!  

Picking the right location makes a difference and keeping them watered does too.  They definitely react to the heat and wilt easily.
I water early in the day so the plants can dry off and be ready for the days heat.  I use this
A lot of garden centers carry them, but my favorite is this handle with the easy grip and lever actived handle.
I bought one version with a shut off valve rather than the lever type and didn't care for it.  These provide a very full but gentle rain that can't be beat.   I like this 16" version but there is also a 30" version if you prefer a longer reaching one.

At the end of the season I snip off stems of the hydrangeas- once they are what I call "past perfect" and starting to get that paper look.  
I set them in water for a few days, and then let them dry out. If you pick them too early the flower will shrivel and won't be good for drying.
 Freshly cut early in the season
End of season cut
Lastly I use this pelleted fertilizer that I add to my annuals and a fertilizer enhanced plant mix for my potted plants to ensure they are getting a good amount of fertilizer  

Annuals are hungry little guys!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope I provided some useful information for you!

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