Category: Gardening


A Lovely Work Area

A found table, a few work tools neatly stowed away. that may be one part of heaven.

 

 

Garden table

To say that this year’s garden is better than last year’s would be too easy.

Last year we were in the middle of a drought combined with mind-numbing heat. My favorite weather guy started a count of how many days in a row we had above 90 degrees.

If not being able to tolerate that kind of weather makes me a wimp, so be it.

But this year’s garden is different not just because of the milder summer. I have taken a more active role regarding the volunteer plants that are pretty but in the wrong spots.

Side view of the front garden

Side view of the front garden

In the front garden I planned better for the fall in which I have always wanted to have Flowering Cabbage.  The husband picked up several plants for me and I worked it around a mum that was given to me. They are lying low in the front while the mid-section of the garden is filled with white Shasta daisies and purple cone flowers.

I love this section but plantings never seem to survive here. I have mixed in quite a few perennials as well as thrown in hundreds of seeds. Nothing comes back the following year. Early spring seedings fail. Once the season is over I might have to work over the space and have my husband or son overturn part of the space with compost.

Frenchie the dog

Frenchie the dog

 

My other solution is to fill the site with statuary. This guy used to belong to  a man by the name of Frenchie. But he died and the dog went to our neighbors who sold him when they moved away. Sadly, the last set of owners managed to break off his nose and right paw. My son and his friend retrieved Frenchie from the dump for me and placed him in his new spot. At some point I must repair him.

Hollyhocks and Sunflowers

Hollyhocks and Sunflowers

Now if you look on the west side of the house, you will see Hollyhocks  and Sunflowers co-habitating easily. Black-eyed Susans fill the lower spaces.

Four O'Clocks

Four O’Clocks

But walk a few more steps at the right time of day and you will be greeted by a mass of Four O’Clocks. They prefer to bloom in the shade and get it on that side of the house during morning hours. My grandmother had these on the west side of her house but a tree gave shade in the afternoon so they burst out every day at the end of the day.

Gourd Vine

Gourd Vine

On the other side of the house is a new planting – bird house gourds. The problem is my vines are growing great but there is no fruit. I have flowers but they are not moving into fruit as one would expect. Bees have recently moved into a pillar on the front porch. I am hoping this will begin the fertilization process.

New Growth

New Growth

Finally, I have made progress on the new rose bush. There are budding branches turning into growing green stuff. It is exciting to watch as this plant was delivered to me and needed planting almost immediately. I over-watered at first but then corrected myself, putting the new bush on the same schedule as the old one.

My neighbor states an old proverb about transplanting roses. The first year it survives, the second year it is live, the third year it thrives.

How is your garden growing this summer?

 

Related posts:

Working in the Spring Garden

 Working the Hosta Bed

Working in the Spring Garden

This has been a tough week as I start the 13th week without having a job. I can’t believe I have been out of work this long.

Luckily the spring rains have come to make the grass green and help my flowers grow. Sunday I took the time to transplant the Evening Primrose from the front of the garden to the back. Because it grows four feet high, I feel this is a much better placement.

However, that was not the first thing I did the spring. The first thing was planting some seeds. I love Sweet Peas but for what ever reasons, they have been growing where there are not any support systems beyond other plants. So these coated seeds have been placed at one end of the porch where they can start on some lattice work. If they grow higher than the porch, I will string some twine for them to follow as well.

Seed packets

Seed packets

The other side of the porch was treated to the bird house gourd seeds. That side has been taken over by Morning Glories which I intend to lessen – a lot. The seeds were interesting as they were almost the shape of a butternut squash about an inch long. I see a future 4H project if they are done in time.

Last year I tried to plant Scarlet Runner Bean which was destroyed by said Morning Glories.

So here are some of the plants that are coming up now.

Spring 2013 - Chives

Chives returning for the 15th year

 

Spring 2013 - Clematis

Clematis starting to vine out. Note to self – do something about that stick.

 

Look, it is the red sprouts of peonies.

Look, it is the red sprouts of peonies.

 

Look, even the tulips are getting in the act.

Look, even the tulips are getting in the act.

 

Because I think the coldest of the cold weather is done, I might even remove the compost this weekend that has safe guarded all of my plants. Why, I was brave enough to trim up the rose-bush today.

Here is what I do know. Anytime that I feel like going out and playing in the garden, I have gloves, clippers, and a little rake at the ready by the back door.

Tools

Tools

 

How are you getting ready for the spring garden?

 

 

Working the Hosta Bed

Hosta plants are valued because they live in the shade.

Happily.

But if you only have one variety, they can be boring. This is my hosta garden before I started playing with it. It had one type of hosta and nothing else.

I hated it.

So one year I tried planting snapdragons at the edges and the scalloped spaces between plants in an effort to add color. I also added a second hosta variety.  That was okay but not enough. Last year, I took leftover impatiens and planted them against the cement block wall of the house. I liked the look and wanted to explore the idea further.

The hosta garden now

So this year I went farther with the idea of planting shade friendly flowering plants. Can you see the openings? Instead of a wall of hosta, I now have pockets filled with coleus in a pink and green.

Coleus, snapdragon and impatiens mixed with hostas

In the back there are various colors of impatiens, snapdragons and dianthus. These are my three go-to plants that do well in shade on a consistent basis.

What I like is how the garden looks from different angles. I like how the colors mix and play. Now this picture does show a need for some weeding and that will happen – soon.

I would like to place some taller plants in the back for next year. During the K3 Kultivators’ garden walk this year I saw hosta gardens with red Gerbera daisies mixed in. And I can’t wait to try that out.

But I have to admit, I am happy with the results of this garden bed re-do.

Have you re-worked a garden bed?

 

 

 

Clearing Out for Spring

Are you getting itchy?

 

All of this nice weather makes me want to get out to the garden, clear off the mulch and dead plants from last fall, and get ready for spring.

 

So that is what I did Sunday. People were coming to take raspberry canes from a different flower bed so I worked up front until they arrived.

So many plants are making their way.

 

The tulips are quite high.

 

The hollyhocks are making an appearance.

 

The sedum is in a tightly knitted group, making me wonder if I should not do a little separating.

And there are a few things to look forward to seeing.

Hello, foxglove. Never had one of these before.

 

 

And then there is this plant. I am still not sure what it is although my guess would be grape hyacinth. Hopefully the picture is here although it was not on my preview.

I am trying to leave some of the mulch just in case another nasty ole freeze comes out way. But let me tell you, that is really hard to do. Instead, I plan to plant scarlet runner and black-eyed susan vine on one section, and hyacinth bean goes to another place. While I am at it, perhaps I will throw down some poppy seeds.

How are you getting at spring gardening chores?

  Related Posts:

         Bird and Flowers in the Garden

         Surprises in the Garden

         Getting the Impatiens Planted

Image by Wallyir

We have had a strange winter this year. There has been one bad snow storm, a few days of cold temperatures, a little wind, and that’s it.

There have been fog and grey days that can make a person feel incredibly sad. I have to make sure I have something to do that gives me satisfaction with a sign of completion. Otherwise, I grow very sad without the sunlight.

 

 

Another thing I do is keep indoor plants going. I cannot do this at home as the boys have a way of destroying plants and other things in the house. But I have a  Philodendron in the office living quite nicely. Just this week I noticed beautiful glossy leaves and loved their bright appearance.

My goal with this plant is to water it on a regular basis and dust it every so often so that the plant’s pores do not get blocked.

 

 

 

 

My Front Garden

One has to wonder what this warm weather is doing to our plants. I know the bulbs will be ok because they miscalculate and still have wonderful flowers. My garden looks pretty dreary right now.

The green you see is our christmas tree that is place there for the birds who come to our feeders everyday. I request this so the birds have someplace to go when  they come in for a snack.

 

Some plants weather the cold better than others. Pansies, which some of us plant in the fall come back nicely. This year the warmer weather have kept my pansies from going totally dormant. I had flowers on some of my plants. But look at the picture, this plant is starting from scratch. If the weather keeps up being so nice, I will have new flowers soon.

 

The surprise in my garden this week were the mums. In the past I have had a hard time getting hardy mums to come back. The one particular plant is near my front stairs and benefits from air warming without the sun signing on it right away. I have been told that helps the plant by not getting sunlight on it right away.

While this plant is hardier than most, I do worry what might happen if we get a snowstorm or another big freeze. However, the groundhog did see his shadow and that means six more weeks of winter. 

Good thing I still have my gloves in tact.

Birds and Flowers in the Garden

Wordless Wednesday

 

Enjoy these pictures of birds and flowers.

Moonflower

 

Sedum

 
 

Obedience Plant

 
 

Purple vine that is new to me, do not know the name but it is lovely.

 
 

Sunflowers

 

Birds in the sunflowers. Many times we have Goldfinches who are too shy for the camera.

 

See the hummingbird? Sometimes we get two or three fighting for territory.

 

What is in your garden right now?

Surprises in the Garden

Every year, I can count on not knowing what is going to appear next.

Last year I was surprised by the super-tall sunflower and strawberries in the flocks. The year before that, I had a volunteer tomato plant in with the flowers.

There is always something surprising.

This year has been a whole host of surprises.

First was the pink Impatiens plant in the flat of red flowers the husband picked up for me.

 

Pink in a sea of red.

When I planted these guys, I noticed the first one. The second one was a surprise because not all of the plants had bloomed. The third one was placed in the middle of the red ones on purpose.

The next surprise was a plant I had never seen before, certainly did not plant and did not recognize until I did a search only to find it at an Illinois wildflower site.

Evening Primrose

I thought this was a Joe Pie Salad plant. Wrong!!! But it is lovely just the same and blooms in the evening. That was a nice surprise.

The other day I was looking at a new lily I planted. Could have sworn I order an orange-colored flower. But this is what came up.

It is not a Surprise Lily but what is it?

 

I was expecting a different flower than this. Problem is I don’t know what I have. Oriental Lily, yes. Variety, not sure.

While I was pondering this, I looked up and noticed another surprise.

Cream Hollyhock

 

A pure cream-colored Hollyhock. My other cream-colored flowers has veins of color running through them but not this one. I think I know at least one flower I am showing at the County Fair.

Right before I put the camera away I had been trying to get a picture of butterfly. Neither one of us was very patient for that. However, that is when this bright patch of blue grabbed my attention.

Bachelor Button Blue

 

This plant is hidden in the Obedience Plant and another Hollyhock. But here is it, so deeply brilliant. Makes me wonder what I might see next week.

What surprises are in your garden?

Summertime Flowers

Cream colored Hollyhocks

There are days that I believe I will never get this computing thing down. Guess that is why I am a gardener and not a computer expert. So today I present the latest beauties to appear in the garden. Mine is a three season garden that has blooms going from early spring through late fall. Which means a surprise every now and again.
Hollyhocks

 This year the holly hocks have spread farther out although they contain the same color range of last year in the marron family. Once again I have a beautiful cream colored flower as well. My neighbor has a beautiful pure pink in a lighter hue that may lead me to steal seeds.

Snapdragons and Petunias

 My porch steps have their usual pots filled with snap dragon volunteers and petunias from the store. The only successful herb from seed planting I had was the cilantro with the small white flowers. I told my husband not to move them as I had wanted some potted herbs up front. That way the chives that are sharing a pot with geraniums will not be all that lonely.

Clematis

Here is the current showstopper – The Jackmani Clematis. I made sure the string was set in so the vine would go even higher this year. This is the big bloom and later in the season I will get a smaller gang of flowers.

 

Purple Cone Flower

This cone flower glows, it has been so wonderful. But that is not even the best part of the garden. Now for the surprise.

 

Evening PrimroseThe closeup.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This evening primrose was a volunteer and a complete surprise once it started blooming. I thought this might be a Joe Pie Weed when it first arrived, which I wanted in order to attract butterflies. This blooms in the evening once the sun goes down and I am enjoying it.
 
What surpirse volunteers have come to your garden?

Garden Dreams Come to Life

June is the month of roses.

My roses are going crazy right now, one of the benefits of a very rainy spring.

Roses from the driveway.

My $5 rose-bush from Wal-Mart continues to be a great bloomer. I believe the secrets is that I have never trimmed the branches below the graft point. I give it a 20-minute drink two times a week.

View of Roses from the front walk.

 

The other thing I do is deadhead spent blooms. That way the plant focuses on making more blooms and not seed production. I am not the only one with a great rose display. This picture is on my way to work.

Roses on a Fence

I saw this bush earlier in the spring wrapped around the fence. It looked cool and I wondered how the plant would look once it bloomed. And so it has…

This next plant is a rare specimen in my garden.

Purple Spider Wort

I have a ton of Spider Wort that is Fuchsia in color, as you can see in the background. This one is purple, given to me by Dawna, but I only have a few of them.  I am hoping that next year more will spread.

Last but not least is the latest tree to bloom in a gentle sweet smell. The sycamore has giant flowers and a seed pod.  Oh, and it looks spectacular.

Sycamore Tree

And now for a little love song from Cass Elliot on the Smothers Brothers Show.

 

 

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