Sunday, August 3, 2008

Some Time Off

Hi everyone! I wanted to let you know that I've decided to stop blogging for a while. Even though I only post once a week, it's become a chore and I'm not looking forward to it like before. My heart just isn't in it right now.
But I will visit you all and post comments so it's not like I'm dropping off the face of the earth! Hopefully, this Fall I will be able to get back into the blogging routine. I will leave you with a picture of my first two red tomatoes. They are nearly ripe and in a few days Steve and I will be able to try them!


The question of the meaning of life in general is meaningless
because life has a meaning to anyone who has interest in it.

Sidney Hook - "Living Philosophies"


Bye for now,

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Deja Vu, All Over Again ......

This week's post, as the title suggests, is quite similar to the previous one. I felt it was pretty good so I thought I'd stick with a winning format.
Mid-July is the "bloomingest" time of the year and with all of the good (sometimes not so good!) rain and moderate temps we've had, the gardens are especially lovely this season. The Main Garden is rather carnival-like with all sorts of colors and textures vying for attention. I love it that way!
Here you can get the feeling of celebration and fun of a carnival in our yard.

No fun here !
I'm getting disgusted with those Kinsman window box planters! They are starting to look shabby and watering them isn't working the way I was led to believe. The directions said that the roots of the side planted plants would quickly fill in and the soil would not fall out. Well, truthfully the soil doesn't fall out - the water does! I feel the holes are too large and there is no way that you could get around the watering problem. Next year I'm going to cover the side holes with extra coco fibre and just plant from the top. The planters are a nice depth but I think the capacity and capability of these planters was way overstated. Or, possibly I've done something wrong - I just don't know. But I do know that in another week or so these planters are going to look hideous!
The rest of the flower photos look great and I've got nothing to complain about.
What's a carnival without balloons??? Balloon Flowers, that is...
Gooseneck Loosestrife is such a graceful flower.
An Unwin Dahlia that I started from seed. This is in one of the petunia barrels.
These Dianthus (I also grew these from seed.) are under the Willow Tree Garden and are super hardy!
Isn't this just the most beautiful Hollyhock?! It's called "Queenie Purple" and is also in one of the petunia barrels. The plant is miniature, about 2 - 3 feet, but the flowers are extra-large.
Tomato Tree Update !
Well, the tomato tree is hangin' in there - all legs in tact. The foliage is hanging farther down and the tomatoes are getting bigger and bigger! I just can't wait to taste the first one. They are no where near turning red, but I can dream ...
Lily Pics
This lavender Trumpet Lily looks great paired with the Cone Flowers.
I must have been really taken with yellow Trumpet Lilies a few years ago, because I planted all kinds of them. I don't remember doing that, but it's a nice surprise.
All the Trumpets smell terrific!
These orangy-apricot Trumpets are my favorite. The camera picked up the color very well which is not always the case.

An un-named Asiatic and an LA Hybrid Lily. The LA Hybrid are a special and very hardy version of the Easter Lily - there are various colors, too. It looks as if it were made of wax. Very neat!
There are tons of these blooming in the Willow Tree Garden as we speak! I have their name. It's "Connecticut Yankee".
I promise that these Daylily pictures are NOT repeats from last week.
Look really hard at the center of this beauty and you'll see the back end of an earwig snuggled up for his daily sleep. Daylilies are a convenient place for them to hide from the sunlight.
"Prairie Blue Eyes". Isn't that a wonderful name....

"Hall's Pink" Sort of a bland name ...but a sweet, blooming- mad flower!
This flower is fairly small...
..but this is smaller (it's called "Pardon Me!") and ...
and this is even smaller! "Siloam Lady Bug" is her name.
These are also bloomin' fools - to bad I don't know their name.

These two different yellow daylilies are huge - at least 6" across.
This is also a big red flower, but on a tiny plant. I think there is actually something wrong with it - it may be a mutant or something because that doesn't seem normal.
These next two are from the Siloam daylily farms. They breed some wonderfully beautiful daylilies.
Begonias in the three-tiered planter near the entrance. They remind me of old-time delicate ladies!
Visitors, Again!
The turkeys have made our backyard one of their open-air restaurants down our street. They visit at least twice a day. Now there are two Moms with their babies. One Mom has 3 small ones and the other has 8 larger ones (about the size of a small chicken).

First they all run to the birdfeeders and eat what's been dropped by their smaller cousins.
Then it's time for Mom #1 and the 3 young ones to relax on the swing. We are completely surprised that the very little ones can fly that high.
Mom #2 and the bigger babies keep chowing down!
Then Mom #1 and Mom #2 eat mulberries while the kids watch from the park bench and the frame of the gazebo. (We've been waiting to put the fabric top on the gazebo until the mulberries have all dropped. Steve was concerned about berry stains. I surely hope the turkeys don't decide to perch on the gazebo after we put the top up! Ugh!!)
See, I told you this would be a "deja vu" moment! I promise you my next blog will be quite different. I can say that because next Saturday I'm leaving for a week's vacation in Crivitz with my sister and her family. So I'll have all kinds of non-flower type pictures to post. I won't be posting next week but I will see you all on the 27th. (I may even try a little gambling for the 1st time! Wish me luck!!)
I am sorry I have not learned to play at
cards. It is very useful in life: it generates
kindness and consolidates society.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 84)
Bye for now,

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Seems Like Forever ! !

Well, I'm finally able to pull myself from the problems of the "real" world and create a blog. First, I want to thank my friends who expressed concern and well-wishes during my absence. Kind thoughts always help during stressful times.
I won't go into detail, but will say that my daughter had some setbacks in her on -going struggle with addiction and anger. It has affected all of us who are close to her and she's been relying on me, particularly, for guidance and strength (as well as professionals). Needless to say, it can be somewhat draining and my thoughts have been pretty scattered.
But, things are smoothing out a bit and during the past week I was able to appreciate my garden and all the beauty around me. As I wrote before, we had plant shutdown this week and I had lots of time to do work! I know, it should have been a relaxing time, but I wanted to organize things indoors that I had been neglecting this Spring.
It wasn't too bad working inside because until the past few days, the mosquitoes have been awful. With all the rain there has been a record hatch and the dark woods around our house is an ideal hiding place for them.

Here's Ashley in a bugsuit taking a walk with the pugs and me (also in a bugsuit). If there was one for the dogs it would be called a "PugBugSuit"! Steve doused himself with spray but that stuff gets me sick so if I was outside working it was in a bugsuit! And you can't see very good with them on - it was like working in a fog! And taking pictures wearing one is really weird. Luckily, now they've calmed down and I'm able to take you all for a walk though the gardens.
A Gaillardia that I started from seed. I hope it is as perennial as they say.
Star-shaped flowers from the Hen and Chickens. I just thought they were so neat looking!
A variegated Lysmachia - I'm a little disappointed with it since it's staying about a foot tall. The tag said 36" so I planted it behind some taller flowers. I really have to search for these!
It's Lily Time!!!
First are the bulb lilies:
I don't know the names of any of these, so you can just enjoy the pretty pictures.

I picked a couple of smaller stems of these white Trumpet Lilies and brought them inside to enjoy. They release their scent at night and are giving me kind of a sick headache as I write!!
They smell good when you walk by and catch just a quick wiff...

(Blogger seems to have the flu tonight 'cause I'm having a very hard time with it!! Thank goodness it's free!)
Now the Day Lilies
This giant pale yellow is my favorite and the other one is called "Beppo" and is very tiny. See the insect inside it ?

I wish daylilies lasted longer than one day! I've got them scattered all over the yard and sometimes miss a particularly nice bloom.

Tomato Tree Update ! !

Hasn't this grown! I'm just amazed - and look at the tomatoes. I've counted 7 now.

I have an interesting story about this. I received a letter from Gardener's Supply saying there has been isolated incidences of the legs popping out and the whole thing falling over. So they asked if I'd take it apart and throw it away and I'd get a full refund. I was supposed to sign a paper saying I destroyed it - nothing very legal looking - and then I'd be refunded. Well, the plants are doing so well and no one is around it except me so I didn't send in for the refund. The design of the legs is sort of poor - they are pretty much held in place by the upper weight of the soil-filled bag. I can see how a child playing around it could present a problem.

Look at the petunias! Another interesting story with these. Remember I said they were tippy?? Well, one morning I opened the shade and the planter on the right was laying below on the lawn! I wasn't even surprised. Steve attached a wire around very thick ivy stems on either side and it holds the boxes up just great! Next year I'm going to put the most porous soilless mix in them I can find because they do dry out fast since there are so many plants in such a small space. The directions said that amount could be planted, but I find that there are so many roots already that I can't seem to get it completed saturated. The water runs right through in some areas. It is a real pain. But you can hardly tell that they fell...

I just had to get a close-up of the "Black and Blue" Salvia.

Another mass of petunias with the violas in the foreground.

Steve especially likes this planter because it's not completely obscured by flowers and foliage. I prefer the lush look!

Like with my barrels - pretty soon you won't be able to see them! That's Cleome that is growing so tall in the back barrels. (Looks sort of like dope, hey!?)
And most of the front entrance looks over flowing!
This is looking down at my Main Garden - all bulbs and perennials with shrubs and evergreens across the lawn. It's on the south side of the house so I have to stand on the counch to see it. I think the picture turned out well having been taken through the window.
Thea follows me everywhere and had to supervise my picture taking from the couch!
Isn't she a funny little dog?
Steve's Latest New Planting Area!
I can't keep up with that guy! He decided to make a pretty little garden at the very north end of the property next to the Day Lily Border. He got rid of the weeds and laid stepping stones and other neat rocks down. Then he bought 6 Echinacea (they are covered by the grass in this picture), 3 Salvia, a couple varieties of Rudbeckia, 3 Sedum "Autumn Joy", and a Helenium. He then planted them all and put down a nice hemlock mulch. It's very charming! I just love it and he's only just begun (as in the song!). He has plans for the rest of the area and explained them to me today. It will be so pretty. He then said we'd never see the garden unless we walked way up there. But, I reminded him we'd pass it every day on the way to work so we'd see it more than a lot of the rest of the yard.
Visitors !
Look who were enjoying the swing one early evening. There was another turkey standing to the left as well as one under a bird feeder. These two sat up there for over an hour and I thought it was so cool. But ...
they had just enjoyed a meal of the fallen mullberries and left us some presents!!
Now the wood is stained purple ! Oh well, it was worth it just to see them relaxing on the swing!
The trouble with the world is that the stupid
are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
Bertrand Russel 1872 - 1970
Bye for now,