Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tickled Pink!

I'm so happy I'm tickled  pink!

 My Pinky Winky Hydrangea has actually turned pink for the first time!

I guess it is either just right conditions this year or more likely it just needed to get established.  I was lazy this year and didn't even fertilize. 

 This was it when I first planted it in 2010 

Little things like this make me so happy!

These Limelights are so huge this year.  They're so soft and fluffy!

 Last of the Blackeyed Susans -

These are ready for drying.  They'll be brown before I know it.

All the rain has greened up the drying grass and the Rose Of Sharon is blooming better than ever.  Last year I gave it a good trim to re-shape it. 

This has been a rewarding summer!  

 This is a video I took in July of the bumblebees collecting pollen from the 
Annabelle Hydrangeas
 For some reason the quality isn't as good as it should be but I don't know how to fix it.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Rain Pumps up the Beauty

I took a walk around on Sunday after the rains had stopped for a bit.

My original fairy garden location sits quietly.  I am planning a different strategy next year and plan to put a little bit of fairy activity back out here.  Grass barely grows out back.  The trees compete for the moisture with their roots and the shade isn't favorable for grass- not even what they call "shade grass".  

I turned and saw how the  evening sun was highlighting the ferns so I snapped a shot.  

My big planter with the wire orb has reached it's peak.  

The planters out by the fountain were supposed to have yellow, red and white flowers.  The yellow violas disappeared and the New Guinea impatiens have been fussy.  New plans for next year once again.

Things look messy after a rain yet the plants always look healthy and crisp in color.  When you live by big trees there is always something coming down to the ground.  We put in some flower pots that we added a screen to go make the sound of the water a little softer.  The birds land on them and the screens fall in.  We need a better design but it really works.

This looks like a little park doesn't it.  I didn't plan it that way but that's how it looks.  I like to sit out here and relax for a bit.  There is always a big difference in the temperature here than back at the house. 

These impatiens have done okay but not my favorite choice.  Perhaps I will consider a different approach for next year.  I have a lot of hostas and ground cover that can fill in where the annuals have been going.  They're not as prone to drying out and needing that extra water as often either.  We shall see.

These fox tail ferns haven't done as well as in previous years  They just kicked out a bunch of new growth.  I used a different potting soil this year with composted cow manure- I think a bunch of these plants struggled with it.  I'm always amazed when I pull them out.  The whole thing is nothing but a big root ball and tough.  I wish I had a way to keep things going in the house.  I simply have no good area for plants.  

Looking back towards the house.  The hostas that are overlapping the walkway further down are under consideration to move.  I like the gently overlapping affect of plants along the walkway but they've become too large.  

The old ash tree stump is steadily growing more fungus.  

I looked it up and I believe it's called Turkey Tail Mushroom.  I guess the conditions were especially good for it this year!

The old wagon has turned out great this year.  The wagon handle has nearly disappeared into the impatiens.  

Well I guess that's it for today's tour....

Oh wait one more- I am in love with these pretty hydrangeas.  They have such a vibrant pink color and a star like white center.  City line Paris- bigleaf hydrangea.  Hybrid dwarf from Germany- doesn't need pruning.

Okay once again that's it for today's tour...
As always think you for following and commenting!

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Late Summer Gardens

 Boy time is flying past too quickly.

 I just love these Cone Flowers (Echinacea) These are called Secret Affiar from the Secret Series.  There are similar versions by other suppliers but I happen to think this one is  the best I've seen.  They have an added bonus of a light scent too!  The yellow flowers are a Heliopsis called Tuscan Sun.  The white flowers are another variety of Cone Flowers.  

This is from 2014 when I planted these.
The lilacs have gotten a lot bigger and I've lost all the lilies you can see on the right.

This is it in 2016
The Cones on the right are weak mainly because of the big blue spruce nearby that creates too much shade for them.  The Russian Sage struggles too looking for more sun.  There is a Helenium plant (Sneezeweed) on the left that's just about done blooming.  I was ready to dig all this out and forget it because it looked pretty crappy early on this summer.  We gave it more attention with the sprinkler and it kicked right in gear and got going.  

 I refer to this as my "forgotten garden" because it is hidden by the big blue spruce.  

 There is a small plant growing by the spruce that I'm convinced I planted many years ago and has come back from extinction.   If you recognize the leaf and know what it is let me know!

This hibiscus- Rose of Sharon is blooming a little bit earlier than previous years.  I looked back at a couple of older posts and it showed it blooming as late as September 12th.  It will look a little fuller in the coming week.

 I cut this Limelight Hydrangea back quite severely last year because it had become quite wide and interfered with getting by it when Dan mows the lawn.  I wasn't sure how it would react but as you can see it did great.  The center seems to have grown tall and left a middle area with few blooms.  

It was very sunny and I used the spruce tree to get away from the glare but it made for a darker shot of the hydrangeas.  This one gets a fair amount of sun as compared to the ones out back.

I'm going to cut a bunch of these blocking the path and send my daughter home with them when she visits this weekend.  

In November of 2011 I purchased this little Christmas Cactus.

It's done a lot of growing and I decided it needs to be transplanted it into a larger pot.  I ordered the pot on-line and it's quite a bit larger.  I am going to re-pot it right away so it can get comfortable before it comes back in the house.  I've kept it outdoors all summer in the shade and it's healthy as can be.  The planter is a bit large but the plant should be able to survive in it for many years to come.

These are the last of the hostas that are flowering.  The hummingbirds enjoy them so I let them grow.  I took this in the evening.

 Everything is kind of shaggy now.  The plants are at their fullest.  The Annabelle hydrangeas have turned green and are just about perfect to cut and dry.  The boots found a new spot to hang out. 

You'll find me sitting here in the evenings relaxing and watching the sprinkler watering the plants.  It's been a wonderful summer here.  We've had a fair amount of hot days and warm nights but no complaints!  

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Comparing Planters from Spring 'til Now

First I have to start with this.  While sitting on the deck and enjoying the evening for a bit  I turned my head and saw this shadow of my flowers being portrayed by the evening sun.  I buzzed down there quickly.

 You have to react fast when your chasing a picture that the sun is involved with.  It moves off so quickly.

This was last may when I first planted these annuals.  
Supertunia Limoncello, Black and Blue Salvia, Wojo's Jem Vinca Vine and White Alyssum
I used this metal topiary form to help the Salvia stay more upward and it has helped a lot.  Initially I helped push the branches of the salvia back in place to help.   I plant it mainly for the hummimgbirds and the bees love it too.

This one is better formed.  

 These are  a very soft lemony colored petunia.

Married with the blue salvia I think it's very pretty.

I planted these Black Cherry Supertunias in these small pots.  After a trip we made and a very hot weekend I had lost two plants in another set of planters so I transerred these over to those pots and they've been doing well.

 These pots were a more appropriate size anyway.

 This was potted with a petunia called Crazytunia Mandeville.  Notice the pointy edges of the flower and their resemblence of the mandevilla flower.  I also planted a yellow geranium and more Wojo's Jem vinca vine.  The little statue sits on top of the planting medium on a tray.

The yellow geraniums just hide among it all (disappointed with them).  The petunias have grown well and so has the vinca vine.

This is an up close picture of the yellow geraniums.  I won't bother with them again. These are probably impressive in a mass bed planting.

 This Firecracker Fuschsia was dressed out with white alyssum around the border.

 The hummimgbird appreciates this fuchsia, and the white alyssum never disappoints!

 Last may when I first planted these white impatiens.

Now they've filled in nicely!

 When I first planted this I visualized the polka dot plant would spread throughout and mingle in between the begonias.  

 The spread out but went more upright than I expected but they didn't mingle in with the begonias like I had hoped.  Overall I like the polka dotted green and white plant with the begonias.

 The vision here was for the morning glories to attached to the railings and spread out. 

Well they definitely attached themselves to the railing and spread out.  I have to catch the vines daily and work them back  in otherwise they'll take over all of the other plants.

 Sunny Lemon Star Black-eyed Susan vine

I'm real happy with how well this grew.  In the past I tried it many years ago but I didn't put it in an area with enough sun. 

This is the most sunlight that occurs back here and it's only for a brief time in the morning.  The hanging basket has a white New Guinea Impatiens in it but you'd never know. I think it's too shady for it.  I planted a basic Vinca Vine that has done great in it.  The two big cement planters out here didn't amount to much.    

The trail camera was on and caught the bandits that have recently been digging and making a mess in my fairy garden!  
I chased them out twice yesterday from the other part of the garden nearby.  Apparently sedum is tasty!  I watched them lifting the pieces laying about after their destruction and eating them like it was a carrot in a rabbits mouth!   Grrrr.....  

Oh in harmony with nature isn't always easy is it!

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