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,


Gina said...

Alyssa - I missed you! Welcome back!

beautiful photos as usual. I'll be sending you positive thoughts as you fight through your personal struggles.

Alyssa said...

Gina - Thanks so much Gina. I'm sure the positive vibes you're sending will makes these times a little easier. And yes, I'm glad to be back!

beckie said...

Alyssa, this post was worth waiting for! I love the 'bug suits', but am glad we don't have to wear them here. All of your containers are looking so wonderful. You really do have the touch(or I should say green touch!). I don't blame you for keeping your tomatoes. Who would want to start over now? I have never seen hen and chicks bloom-neat. Aren't Asiatic lilies wonderful. Such beautiful colors and they last such a long time. Day lilies are great too and you have some outstanding ones. The lemon is a favorite. Steve is quite the gardener! Could I borrow him for a few days? :) His new area looks so peaceful. How great to be able to see wild turkeys. Here we can see them in the more wooded areas, but never in our little town. They ae making quite a come back around here.

I know it's hard to cope with everything when your child is in such need. But hang in there. There will be better days ahead for both of you. Just know you both are in my thoughts and prayers.

DeeMom said...

Glad you are back. Thoughts, prayers and concerns go forth during this time of stress for you all.

Your pictures are totally awesome

As for the Mulberry stains, best on the garden furniture instead of your clothing

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Your beautiful garden certainly looks like a place to lower your stress level. I didn't realize you were involved with the family problems around your daughter's concerns. I hope things continue to improve.

I love the wild turkeys. They were reestablished successfully in southern Ontario many years ago and have extended their range not far from here. I have a friend just 5 miles away who insists he has one near his place. I only ever saw them wild in North Carolina, but maybe in my back forty soon.

Alyssa said...

Beckie - I really appreciate your kind words and will keep them in mind. Things are slowly coming together.
I agree that Asiatic lilies are great - I love all kinds of liles. They are what I look forward to the most every summer. The past few years daylilies are also favorites that I anticipate.
And there are so many of each of them !! I'm sure Steve would be glad to give you a hand around your house. As you might guess, he just can't get enought of working outdoors. Turkeys are so very interesting to watch and we had another, bigger family visit today! I'll have more pictures soon.

Dee - Thank you so much. Your good wishes are very touching and much appreciated. I think I prefer mullberry stains on my fingers when I picking them from the tree. I plan on maybe making a pie or crumble with a "few".

Tossing - I'm glad you enjoyed my pictures and things are looking up when it comes to my daughter!
I sure hope that the wild turkeys will start living in your area. I don't see why not. The weather here isn't too much different and there should be all sorts of food available for them. Keep watching the woods for them!

joared said...

Your flowers and garden are lovely.

Pam said...

I'm so glad things are smoothing out... I had a daughter that put me through some trials, too, but we kept at it and she is doing very well now.

Can I move into your garden?

alicesg said...

Very lovely flowers and garden. Wow your garden is so beautiful. Your hard work pays off. You have a green thumb. Very nice.

Alyssa said...

Joared - I really appreciate the compliments.

Pam - I'm hoping my situation will have the same happy ending as yours did. Of course, you're more than welcome to pitch a tent anywhere you like!! Great to hear from you.

Alice - Thank you. We do spend most of our free time in the gardens or thinking and talking about them!

Joared said...

I had to come back and take another look at your tomato tree. I've never seen that sort of setup before and really like it. Have had tomatoes in patio pots, but not for a couple of years. Maybe in the future I should have a tree.

Alyssa said...

Joared - It's a really good idea but since they are having a problem with the legs, I don't know when it will be back on the market. But they do have growing bags that can be hung up. Ofcouse they'd have to be hung from a very sturdy place. I'm sure they'll get the bugs worked and you'll be able to purchase a tree setup like I have.

Garden Lily said...

Wow, I like the tomato tree, it sure filled in since the earlier photos. I love your daylily photos, you sure have a wonderful variety of them. I hope all is well with you and your family, and you will come back to post again.