Tag Archive: spider wort

Oh, there are questions and ponderings. When the answer lady looks at the search terms used to find their way to this humble blog, she is never quite sure if people really do not know these things or in serious need of a book.

Well, at least there is the internet and Google to assist those who have a question and need an answer.

Q. Who is older – Johnny Depp, Nicholas Cage or Barack Obama?

A. The Answer Lady knows this one without even looking up dates.

Why is that you ask?

Nicholas Cage is only six days younger than Answer Lady. Plus, her adorable 14-year-old is a huge Johnny Depp fan and tells Answer Lady all of the time that they were born on the same year. That would make both men 47.

President Barack Obama, Image from visitingdc.com.

Now, our president was born in 1961. In fact, he will have his 5oth birthday on August 4th.  So the answer to the question is that Barack Obama is older than Nicholas Cage and Johnny Depp.

Q. Why has my spider wort gotten leggy?

A. Spider wort loves spring weather. This grassy plant gets nice and high. Fuchsia or purple flowers bloom and it is quite lovely. However, once the heat of summer settles in the plant is not so happy, especially if it is in full sun most of the day.

Spiderwort in full sun, not pretty.

I have spider wort in full sun and in part shade. The plant in part shade is a little weepy but there for the most part. The plant in full sun is wilting, drying away and the patch of ground is looking bad. This fall, I am transplanting the rest of my spider wort to the part shade sections.

Q. Which is tastier – Elephant Ears or Funnel Cakes?

A. The answer to this question is that the Answer Lady does not have a clear concise answer. Both food items contain flour, sugar and grease. Both are sugared – granulated sugar on the elephant ear and powdered sugar on the funnel cake. You can get toppings on the elephant ears that make them even more tasty.

That does not answer the question and the Answer Lady must ask that dear readers begin to pipe in about their preference. As it is County Fair season, we are planning on an expedition to decide which is better. It is a tough job but someone has to do it. Does anyone want to join me and share in the load?

Image by Grafixar


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.



The Look of Spring…

Spring is here.

How do I know?

The Forsythia bush is in bloom.

Forsythia Bush


I love that shot of yellow that lets you know the warmer weather is on its way.

I'm Ready for My Close-up.

Some people trim up their Forsythia bush to make it look nice and neat. One of my neighbors made it look like a tree. While I normally hate shaped bushes, this one is pretty nice. It fits with the formal Georgian style home.

The shaped version of Forsythia

There are some other signs that spring is really here. One of my neighbors planted their yellow daffodils against their red brick home and edged the bed with more bricks.

Parsonage daffodils

In my garden I managed to put last years pansies right in the middle of the tulips. Considering they like shade, this might not be that big of a problem.

Yellow Pansies about to bloom

Last but not least are pictures of my peonies emerging. This first picture is of one patch I was able to clear away last years stems before the big storm Sunday night. These guys are standing tall, nestled between star of Bethlehem on the left and tiger lilies on the right. The peonies will keep the rose bush’s feet cooler in the summer.

The red stems are the peony sprouts

I didn’t have time Sunday to clear off the stems from this other bush. See how my laziness has affected the look of the stems. That has been corrected and we are one good rain storm from have great stems.

Old stems in need of removal

Hollyhock to the left and Spider Wort to the right. I like to save some of these removal chores for the spring because it forces me out of the house after a long winter to get it done. Plus, I like leaving the stems for possible mulch and seepage of nutrients to the ground. Tomorrow, I will put in the tomato cages in the center of the peony plants to give them structure and the ability to stand when big rains make them fall with the weight of the flower heads.

How is spring looking in your area?

The Last Planting of the Year

Side view of the front garden for better viewing

Yesterday, I put in the fall mums that will finish off the garden for the year. I made the placement of the new plants to contrast off the existing plants. I am considering getting one more to put in the left corner to balance the view from the front.
This is the last planting of new plants I will do for the year. Soon, I will remove the tomato frames that have held up the peony plants. After that I will cut down those and other perennials that are no longer green.
As the gardening year closes out I am looking at the cosmos plants that grew but never bloomed, the zinnias that are about to bloom, tons of seeds that never produced. I plant to put seeds in this fall that will be next year’s flowers before I put on the final layers of compost and dead leaves.
Sometimes what I will do is leave plants to be winter interest. Plants such as clematis and the peonies. In the spring I clean up the dried out remains that have also protected the bulbs I have layered about. I do put compost on some perennials and the mums in the hope they will come back.
This is also the time of the year I plant bulbs. When I was digging for the mums, I hit some of my tulip bulbs. So I took those out and plan to plant to move them to my hosta bed.
I saw an article this past spring showing how to make that hosta bed better looking in the early spring with a mix of tulips and daffodils. That means I am heading to the garden center with the intention of getting bulbs to make the least loved garden space a little prettier.
Here is my list of plant in the garden this year. Now I can start thinking of what to plant for next year to compliment what is already there.
Bachelor Buttons/Cornflower
Black Eyed Susan
Blackberry Lilies


Four O’Clock
Grape Hyacinth
Morning Glory
Pink Flowering Dogwood Tree
Purple Cone Flower
Purple Obedient Plant
Red Salvia
Spider Wort
Star of Bethlehem
Trailing Geranium
White Cone Flower
White Obedient Plant

Time Moving On In The Garden

In the day-to-day, everything moves slowly till one day you notice the spiderwort is blooming and the peonies are slowly opening up.

So I took these pictures today to show how quickly it can all go.

Spider wort in bloom

I like spider wort for the fuchsia colored flowers and medium green leaves. They work well together and fill a big area in my front sun and perennial garden.

Trouble will start in a few weeks when we get really hot weather. The grass will die back and leave the area bare. I am always at a loss what to do to fill the area. This year I am going to try putting Cosmo seeds in the area and see how it works. Gardening, after all, is about experimentation.


This is my columbine in the shade garden. I bought it last year at the Farmer’s Market from a local greenhouse and was delighted to see how it came back this year for an encore presentation. It is currently surrounded by white Dianthus, allowing this darker rose to show up well.

How quickly can things change in the garden? This first picture is from two weeks ago when I was getting snap dragons and the first Impatiens in the ground. There was plenty of Star of Bethlehem but not much was in bloom.

Picture take two weeks ago

You can see the remains of late-blooming daffodils and a few pansies. The green is starting to mound but there is nothing splashy going on.

Since then I have taken the time to weed and place a few bedding plants in as well as straighten up those stones.

picture taken today

What a difference a few weeks and plenty of rain can make. We have had rain every other day for the last two weeks, making everything jump out and burst into color.

The Dianthus seems to be in every color. I do need to weed this garden and put in more Impatiens, which will happen this week. If you look towards the back wall you can see that columbine.

Lastly, I wanted to show a picture of what has been my favorite flower this spring. If you think this picture is nice, you should see the plant in person because it even more outstanding in the blue coloration.  The yellow and red varieties I have are just as wonderful.  All came from plantings I put in last fall, proving that pansies do come back, if you take care of them.

My Garden is really growing now. The peony bushes are standing tall and the spider wort grassy stalks are nice and thick.

I have volunteer plants coming up everyday. Some I know right off and others I am taking a guess at who they are. Now I have to decide who gets to stay and who does not!

The Obedience plant which will get a nice stalk of flowers late in the summer. It can also handle when times get dry.

Lets start with the Obedience plant. I like these in the back of the garden because they do get about three feet high. This one will get white flowers that the butterflies love. I have another grouping with darker green leaves that have a light purple flower. Mixed in all of that are the ones that have cross pollinated and have a light pink flower. It is a keeper until the plant roams to far forward.

Sunflower seedlings

Sunflowers can be a great flower. Kids love them and so do the birds.

But a weed is anything that you do not want in a specific patch and I do not want these in this spot.  When they first started coming up I was not sure what they were so I waited to see what the seedlings would be.

There had been a multiple sunflower hanging over that spot last year, so I think my guess is correct. Sometime this week, sadly, these seedlings are being given the boot.

Black Eyed Susan, heat tolerant and quite hardy.

The one corner of my garden always has these Black Eyed Susan’s. I enjoy the oval-shaped leaves that grow in  a cluster. The flowers will come in July all bright yellow with that nice black center.

Their height is only about 2 feet for the plant but the flowers soar another foot after that. I try to get Shasta Daisies in the garden so they can look good off of each other. I have not had any luck getting my Shasta daisies to come back despite mounding with compost in the fall. So in a few weeks I will be buying those and cone flowers to fill in my from periannual bed.

I have more pictures but it will have to wait another day.