Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Growing Holiday Plants

I trust you all had a great Christmas and are ready to bring in the New Year!

I always find it rewarding to have a few live plants around especially during the winter months.
I love the color red and use it a lot with my Christmas decorating but I chose a white poinsettia to break up the color scheme a bit.
 I've got it sitting on this old water-pump plant-stand my husband's father made for his mom many years ago.  Dan stripped it down last summer and I had him paint it a creamy white.

I planted three amaryllis bulbs the first of November.  By December 9 this is where they were at.  Of course in my ridiculous imagination I dreamt all of the flowers would grow at an even pace and I'd have a fantastic display!  Instead I will have a progressive display that will no doubt last a month.

We had to leave for a few days for Christmas and it was nearly open.

When we arrived back home I was greeted by this!  I think they are the prettiest Amaryllis I have ever grown.  These are called "Barbados"

 Next year I'm thinking of growing them in tall glass cylinders to the plant will be better supported.  I think I'll mix a little soil with stones for the roots to grow in.  I am told they don't like to stay wet for long periods so it will be a delicate balance.  

I was inspired by these amaryllis growing in glass cylinders that I saw at Terrain while we visited in Pennsylvania.

These bulbs were encapsulated with a vinyl like covering and didn't need to be watered.  I didn't get a close up picture of the bulb though.  I think this is smart- especially for people working in offices or who have poor luck growing things.  Just watch it grow!


My "Thanksgiving Cactus" which I always refer to as my Christmas Cactus is also blooming but it looks like the bloom time will be stretched out from one side then the other.  It's a good thing since it extends the time I can enjoy it.
 We had such a wonderful long autumn and were gliding along so happily but then winter weather came in with a bang!  It warmed up for a week after I took this picture and some of it melted down but now we're in the deep freeze again!  Tis' the season!
Wishing you a very Happy New Year full of great moments!
Stay warm!!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Dressed With Leaves

Everything is dressed In leaves!

My lilac topiary is turning color and dressed with maple leaves!

The ground is dressed in beautiful golden leaves and the Japanese Maple is turning a gorgeous shade 
of red.

I always forget just how pretty this gets!

The hydrangeas are sprinkled with leaves and

Some are still putting out new flowers!

Soft pink hydrangeas lay softly against the fading hostas and leaves.

The violas are blooming again and becoming buried in the leaves.

My hosta hill is a fading memory and now filled with leaves.
I let my plants die back and rake it off in the spring.

We still haven't had a killing frost but the impatiens are pretty much done.  A few buds are still trying open.

The fountain was full of leaves so it got a good cleaning and now it's covered up for the season.

Leaves, leaves, leaves...

Even the Alberta Spruce are dressed with leaves! 

We put this maple in about 5 years ago.  It was an inexpensive whip but now it's doing nicely.  If we loose that big ash tree it will take up the visual space to replace it.

This is a mum that came back from last year.  Nice rusty color.

We planted this maple about 6 or 7 years ago and it's coming along nicely.  All part of my plans to load up this side yard area to block the view of the fire department that got built across the road a while back. 

This Limelight hydrangea produces the largest blooms!  Those are around 12-14" in size. 

We're having a warm and very long autumnal season.  Loving it!
I hope your autumn has been enjoyable too!

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Fall has arrived- planting iris and tulips!

  Hello everybody!
I've been remiss with my garden blog lately!

I got behind because late in September we became grandparents for the first time!
A mad 12 hour dash over to Pennsylvania ensued when we got the word and of course we are thrilled with our new Grandson Joseph!

 Our son's hand behind held by his new son's tiny fingers.

Mother and father with baby at the hospital
A professional photographer came by and took some wonderful pictures.  Certainly more exciting than the ones we got when the kids were born!

I think I floated on a cloud for two weeks after coming back.  I wish we were closer but now that they've moved back from Oregon they'll be about 2000 miles closer to us and we can visit more easily!

I dug up my iris to split them up and ended up with more than I could replant so I put a listing on Craigslist for free and got a quick response.   A kind man stopped by the next day and took them.  Made me feel good rather than dumping them to waste away out back. 

 I took a snapshot before I started breaking the fairy garden down for the season.

  I pretty well gutted it.  The bricks were in the ground under the cement cottages.   I cut the Annabelle Hydrangea real short like I do every year which you can see below.

I've started a new bed in this area with the orange iris planted on the right side.   I have some tulips I'm going to put in too on the left side.  

I put the little fence pieces up to remind my hubby because when he starts clearing leaves I don't want him to walk through here.

 This is a new pink iris that I have planted over in the "pink" garden.  Can't want to see it next spring!

 I've removed the petunias from the frog planter and the Vinca Vine is still going strong.  I've emptied the deck of it's flowers and planters too.  

We're having pretty nice weather and still haven't had a frost.  It did get down to 36ยบ last night but we're heading into another warm up and comfortable evening temps in the 50's.   This is  the best summer I remember in years and I loved it.  

The trees out back are just beginning to show signs of changing.  The ash tree is letting go and leaves and floating all over the place from it. 

We've been working to save this ash tree from destruction by the emerald ash tree borer.  I've mentioned it before on the blog but for those who don't know about it we've been having an arborist do injections on it with a product that works it's way up the tree and kills off the borer.  It works because one year we saw hundreds of them on the ground after one of the injections.  We just don't know if they damaged the tree enough to kill it.  Only time will tell.

My yearly fall "deckorating".  

Thanks for visiting me this year and I hope you've enjoyed this past summer as much as I did!


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Friday, September 9, 2016

Breaking Up With My Daylilies

Over the past weekend I dug up my Daylilies along the half wall by the patio.
This is before I started.  I have three areas with two types of daylilies planted in between some shrubs.

I separated the two types of lilies so I could keep track of which was which.  My soil has become very rich after many years of putting down shredded hardwood and cedar bark.  We have a fair amount of sand in our soil so this has helped build a rich organic soil.

After digging I shook off most of the soil and I cut all the tops off which also helps with handling them.  The main reason to cut the tops off tough is to allow the plant to put it's energy into the root system while getting re-established and not so much into the plant.

My plants were easy to spit- I just used my hands and pulled sections apart.

I made a hole large enough to set the roots into and spread them out a bit.  These were'nt huge so it was easy to work with them.  You only have to bury them enough to have the soil cover the roots and just barely cover the crown area.

I deliberately planted them close to the wall because all the flowers were always stretching towards the wall the capture more sunlight so this way they'll get more sun and I wanted to transplant these two hostas more towards the center so they'd have more room to grow.  

My soil is very easy to dig and I just dug around the plant and gently lifted the clump and moved them to their new spot.  I have more hostas I want to move into the other two areas.  

I put the extra lilies in bags separating the two varieties and gave them to my neighbor.  

I only kept this one variety which is the Sunday Gloves as seen from an older picture here.  

I have another variety of solid light green hostas that are fairly small I'm planning to move over in front of these two that I just moved.  It heated back up so I wanted to wait until we cooled back down before I move them.  I't's been raining on and off all week with more coming on Saturday.

The gardens are winding down.  These phlox have been blooming a long time.  

I enjoy seeing the flowers on the plant and rarely cut my own to bring indoors.  The blackeyed Susan's are always so cheerful and reliable.

A gangly looking hibiscus has finally bloomed.  We plan to remove all the red lava we put down in the 90's but it's a bear of a job so we are still procrastinating on it.  I will amend the soil once we've done it and I'm hoping the hibiscus will be happier then.

I always love seeing these blooming- they look so tropical!

I hope your end of summer days are going along nicely!  For us it's a very pleasant time of year.  Temps are mostly in the 70's and at nighttime it cools into the 50's- great sleeping weather!

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