Saturday, May 24, 2014

Morning Pics and Annuals Planted

Happy Weekend Everyone! 
I decided to pop outside in the early morning a shoot a few pictures.  I thought this tulip looked rather artistic in it's closed form.  As soon as it warms up a bit more it will open.

The daffodils have been blooming and I've started fussing more with my fairy garden.

I decided to use some brick pavers leftover from something we did a long time ago as a foundation for the cement cottage.   I'm just beginning to fuss with it and haven't finished but I'm pleased that I chose this spot because I can see it more readily and even from my kitchen window!

I only have a few tulips this year.  Between the rabbits that got them last year and some vole activity I had in the years before I guess they've dwindled.  

I just love the Jack Frost Brunnera.  It's reliable and the little flowers are the sweetest. So far only the one is booming but I expect that will change soon.  The Hosta are all on their way up and the Coral Bells are coming alive.

The flower always makes me think of Forget-Me-Nots.  

I picked up some new planters from our Sam's Club. They look like expensive iron planters but their not!   I've got some Fuchsia and Alyssum planted in them.  I chose this Gartenmeister Fuchsia for it's height and of course the hummingbirds love it.

This is the other one I got.  It's low and wide so I planted it with a very traditional combination.  I hope I like it as it grows.  I put a lot of Dusty Miller around the edge and I know they can get kind of big so I may have to trim them if they overwhelm the Geraniums.

I saw a hummingbird race to it but I don't know if there is anything they can get from a Geranium.

Last fall I picked these sphere planters up out in Pennsylvania.  I've got a moss basket for it and some flowers which I hope to plant today.

These are the flowers for the spheres.  More Fuchsia and some Bacopa to fill and spill.

The morning sun highlights things so nicely.  As you can see the Sweet Woodruff is well spread around the side of my host hill.  The trees are still leafing out but not full yet.

These are the impatiens I chose for this year.  The tag calls them "violet".  I think their hot pink coloring will show off nicely.

The Creeping Jenny or Moneywort fills in everywhere.  I may snag some and put some in with those sphere planters.  I think if I drop some cuttings in water for a few days they'll root (I hope)  There are some Painted Japanese Ferns in here too but you can hardly see them.

My original fairy garden weathered the winter pretty well.  I haven't done anything with it yet.  I've got to get after some maple seedlings that have started to grow in there.  Our yard is riddled with tons of them this year.

These don't look like much yet but in a few weeks they should start to fill out.  I've got some Caladiums,  Begonia, Euphorbia Diamond Frost and violas in them.  These sit out near the water fountain.

My moss basket liners are tired.  I'll retire them after this season.  I planted geraniums here and a couple of Sweet Potato Vine.

This is new for me.  I did a bedding planting in the area where the boxwoods were removed.  I've got some deep purple/blue supertunias, white geraniums and African daisies planted.  Can't wait to see this fill out.

Back at the house I re-used a planter from last year and potted it up with Lobelia, Pink Bacopa, Ivy, Pansies, and Impatiens.  It should be colorful and showy in a few more weeks.  The hummingbird already found the Fuchsia!

A hot pink Geranium surrounded by these adorable striped Superbells- should be cute as it gets going!

I planted Bubble Gum Supertunias in the garage planters.  Can't wait to see them fill out!
All my annuals get a generous dose of Osmocote when I plant.  Annuals love to be fed and I find 
the pelleted fertilizer is a reliable way to feed.  I also use some new Garden Soil each year that comes with a bit of fertilizer it it too. 

Not too exciting yet, but again once these fill out they'll be colorful. 

Lastly I chose these soft orange Begonias to be in my window planter by the kitchen.  There is some Browallia that will come up behind and Sweet Potato Vine that will drape across the front. 

We've been having some great weather and the night time temps haven't fell below 45 lately so I took my chances and planted the annuals.  We often get a surprise late frost in June so I may have to run out and cover things up but I've done it many times before.

I'm still fighting the lasting affects of that darn cold I caught.  I'm beginning to think it's also dragging on because of some allergy related issues.  I checked our area forecast for pollen and it's pretty high right now.  I've gotten more done than I expected, but it's been so much harder this year.  I even put my back out for a few days last weekend so I've really felt constrained.
Ok enough whining!

Have a wonderful weekend and those of us here in the U.S. have a great
Memorial Day and always remember why we celebrate it.


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Friday, May 16, 2014


How have you done with impatiens over the past few years?

No doubt you've heard about that nasty little spore that caused the Impatiens Downy Mildew problem that's swept from the South to the West and then across the Northern states and finally all the way to the East coast. 

If you have had this mildew kill your impatiens plants in your garden you should probably continue to avoid them. Unfortunately the spores are known to linger in the soil for up to 5 to 10 years. Here is a link to an article about the Impatiens Downy Mildew. 

Some people said they were going to just grow them in hanging baskets hoping to avoid the ground contamination. That sounded smart to me as long as they came to you free of disease.  If you end up with sick plants they recommend digging them up, removing any of the plants leaves laying around, bag them up and dispose of them.  Don't put them on your compost pile.

Summer 2013
Last year I wanted to test an area with a few plants to see how it would go and put a few out back at my fairy garden and they did fine.  These were from a local grower.

I'm delighted that we have some local growers in the area who are providing the garden centers (except the big box stores) with their impatiens. That's the best case scenario because they leave the local greenhouse and come to us free of disease.  Unfortunately one of the reasons that the downy mildew spread so quickly was because plants that were infected were trucked to retail centers and spread amongst gardens all over the country rather quickly.  Know the source of where the plants come from before buying them

Summer 2013
I chose wax begonias last to put around the fountain area last year because I wasn't willing to take the chance of planting that whole area only to have it all die back. 
My only disappointment was that on the right side which is the heaviest with shade, the begonias didn't grow much.  The impatiens are better at flowering with less sun.

Summer 2012

As you can see in 2012 the impatiens did real well.  I really like how they fill out and they really are my favorite for shade gardening.

Summer 2011

I'm feeling gutsy this year and may go ahead and give the impatiens a try again, especially since I know my garden centers can get them from local growers.
Early summer 2010
I know the stronger colors show up better so I will keep that in mind when I look!


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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Just in time...

Wouldn't you know I caught a cold!  I made it through the whole winter and just in time for spring  when I should be outdoors I've been stuck inside with a box of tissues and coughing.  I spent most of Mother's Day inside lingering from the sofa to the chair but did go out for a bit and take a few pictures.

Last year I set this large stone at the corner of my pathway to the back patio and garden area. I've decided to bring some of my fairy garden accents over to this spot so I can see it more easily.  I'm at the beginning stages of planning and this piece of tree stump and cement house are my first steps.

July 2013
Now that I've reviewed this photo from last year I see I need to move the stump and stone house further back so all of the perennials I planted will be able to come back up.
You see that beautiful boxwood on the left?  Well they didn't weather the winter too well so I decided to remove all of them.  Even with winter protection I still ended up with severe browning and it just ruined their shape and attractiveness.

My big stone had also covered up these daffodils but as you see they managed to work their way up and find the light!  

The Jack Frost Brunnera is up (super reliable plant).  I did manage to pluck away the old dried stems from the hostas from last year after I took this picture.  It's so much fun this time of year to see the life emerging from the ground.  Each week it changes.

The Pachysandra, Japanese Spurge is flowering.  This evergreen plant is always a surprise when the snow melts- all green and ready to grow.  The bumble bees were enjoying it too so that's a good thing!
Bad thing is those darn oak leaves are tangled up inside of it nice and neat.  

I'm delighted that the orioles have already arrived and of course the darling finches are always a joy to see.  As you can see the orioles will gladly eat sunflower seeds!  

The Rose Breasted Grosbeaks are here too!

Photo bomber… LOL… 
Yes the turkeys are also visiting. They like to check for fallen seed and drink from my bird bath. 

I tiptoed outside a few minutes ago.  The daffodils are finally open. 
 It's beautiful and warm out there- my invitation to go outside and get some fresh air! 

I hope your week is going great!

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Beautiful Thought...

Isn't that such a true and beautiful thought!

Now if the weather would cooperate and it would warm up enough
I could actually plant something!

This is the prediction for our area from the Farmer's Almanac 
The word "cool" is used a little too much for my liking but then again I won't be complaining about being too hot!  
May 7, 2013
I think we're about a week off this year.  I'm still waiting to see the daffodils bloom.

How is it going in your area?

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