Sunday, November 3, 2013

beautiful fall day, perfect for digging in the dirt

Planted some new plants today!

Gaillardia aristata 'Arizona Sun' 
Dianthus 'Tiny Rubies'
Baby Lace Hydrangea
Virginia Sweetspire 'Henry's Garnet'

Managed to clear out some plants I'm not in love with, mostly Creeping Jenny, which has been great as a weed suppressant while I could not garden as much as I like, but its time for her to hit the road. Picked up some amazing end of season deals on Dianthus (unknown species, so aggravating, how hard is it to do a real plant tag and not "dianthus spp.") and some Blue Salvia farinacea for 30 cents per quart sized pot! I picked up 9 salvias and 3 dianthus.  And even better, I got 5 Blanket flowers and one Soldiago 'Fireworks' for free from the trash! I was surprised they allowed me to take them home, but they did, and I plopped them in the ground by my Natchez Crepe Myrtle, which has this gorgeous yellow and orange foliage to match the bloom colors, I think it could be really beautiful next fall! 

Beautiful fall colors. These windows I got off Craigslist a while back and have been meaning to hang up somewhere. 

Gladiolus 'Halloweenie' from Plant Delights. It really DOES bloom reliably at Halloween for us. Someday I want to move it to the front yard. The picture doesn't do the glorious gaudy colors justice. It looks like a Halloween window cling, just super vivid orange and yellow tones. 

Just posting a picture of the new violas and snapdragons I picked up, so that later I can appreciate how much they have grown. Oh! I forgot that I picked up those snapdragons at 30 cents a quart and 20 cents for a six pack. Hooray for plant discounts!! In the back you can see the zinnias still blooming away, couldn't bring myself to pull them, the bees are appreciative they are still there. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Time for my bimonthly post!

Who am I kidding? I would be lucky to pull off a schedule of bimonthly posting.  Isn't it funny that bimonthly can mean both twice a month AND once every two months? Seems like a pretty inaccurate word, considering its sole duty is indicating time. Anyways, this is basically just a flimsy attempt to distract from the fact that I never update this blog.  

Here's a beautiful combo I saw at the NC State Fair.  I love the salvia with the cool blues of this cactus.  I would love to have something like this in my front yard, but I don't think I have the drainage for it. 

Here's my current favorite bed, although its looking quite sad, as we got our first frost, and almost everything is wiped out now.  Everything in this bed is very easy to care for, except for the elephant ears, which like to be watered regularly.  Of course, this summer, I could completely ignore them almost 90% of the time.  We had the wettest summer ever.  I can't believe how lucky we were, although it did wipe out a lot of tomatoes and strawberries.  Our farmers would probably not think we had a lucky summer, but I'll be grateful for it anyways.

Here's my 'Panache' Canna, which was a passalong from garden friends.  This is its FIRST year in my garden, and it is already monstrous! I think I planted this in November last year, and its already towering over my fence, which made the neighbors happy because they got to enjoy those luscious flowers.  This is supposed to spread rapidly, so I suppose I'll have plenty to share, a good thing in my books!

Do you think this Pineapple sage was happy I took it out of the pot this year? I had been growing this for several years in a large shallow pot, and was always amazed when it came back each year.  I'm still confused by that, I know its supposed to only be hardy to zone 8, but each year the plant got bigger, and in the same area of the pot, which made me doubt it was reseeding.  Anyways, I planted it in the ground this year and it just EXPLODED in size.  It was about half the size of that basil plant next to it when it went in the ground.  I really hope it comes back again, because I really loved seeing it.  Best of all, a new sage sprouted in the old pot, I think from some root pieces left behind?  Hope I get a second hardy pineapple from it!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Plant Delights

Time to share some pictures of a garden worth showcasing!  If you aren't familiar with it, Tony Avent's Plant Delights is an amazing nursery that is located near Raleigh, famed for its extensive catalog of unusual plants.  Now, as I've heard my gardening hero, Felder Rushing, say before, "he's proud of his plants," so I always have to hold on tight to my pocketbook when I visit.  But quality comes with a price, and he has a lot worth paying well for.  In addition to his huge plant collection, Tony's established some incredibly beautiful display gardens.  I took many photos, but I wanted to focus my post on this sunken pond garden, which was my absolute favorite.  I love the collection of elephant ears and hibiscus and iris.

These two below shots were not found in the sunken garden, but I just loved the look of the crinum lillies against the coneflowers. Maybe its because I have a two year old girl, but I loved that pink overload!

And this beauty, has made me really, really, really want a cast iron plant like this in my yard.  Now, do I have enough shade to pull it off, that's the real question.  I just adore this look though.  Gotta at least try it.  This particular variety is called 'Snow Cap' and boy do I want to get one.  I wasn't that impressed when I saw it originally on their website, but in person, its just gorgeous. 

The best part of the trip was finding the plant I saw in display gardens ages ago and finally buying it.  This gorgeous Iris, Joie de Vivre is sitting in a pot of water right now, and I'm going to plant it along my back fence.  It stays pretty soggy there even during the summer, and I'm hoping that it lives up to its claims of 5 foot wide clumps in 3 years in rich, moist soil.  We'll see!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


If you, like me, use Google Reader to keep up with your blogs, you've probably already navigated to Feedly, or Bloglovin, or something else.  I just wanted to mention there's another option that a friend pointed me to, called Old Reader, which is a clone of Google Reader and handles similarly. I was particularly happy that I could use it to customize my blog roll, and not be forced to use alphabetical order, which is what Feedly does.

Well, enough with the tech talk, here's some plants that are blooming for me right now.

I love this straight out of the iphone shot, and on top of that, I am in LOVE with this plant.   This is the canna I received as a passalong back in November, Panache, and its gorgeous.  I love it so much.  Its by my other canna that's on the other side of the urn, which is a Phasion which is giving me some gorgeous orange blooms now, but I don't have a picture of them yet. I'm debating growing a Pacific Beauty behind the urn, but maybe that will be too much?  

Here's a death row rescue, I bought this hydrangea at Lowes for a dollar on the sale table.  I can't remember the type of hydrangea it is though, any guesses? I really should be better at writing down my plant info, since that's the whole point of the blog.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

shovel day

Can you believe this weather we're having? Well, I don't know how it is where you are, dear reader, but here in NC, it has been just incredibly nice.  Not oppressively hot.  I went out and gardened at noon today.  NOON! And not only did I not want to die, I didn't even think anything of it until I realized what time it was. I think the high was 81, we had a nice breeze, and I foolishly transplanted a couple shrubs that I've had in pots.  I don't know what I was thinking, but hopefully they will do ok.  I moved a Pee Gee Hydrangea to an area that is somewhat shaded, I hope it will get enough sun to get blooms.  May have made the wrong call there... And I moved a little Alberta Spruce, one of the first plants I ever bought, into the ground. right off the deck.   I think it will be a great place for it.  Oh and moved an Amaryllis that I had completely forgotten about all winter, and I'm reasonably sure I didn't even water it.  It started to bloom in my unheated garage, so I brought it up in February, and then moved it outside when the weather warms up.  I sure hope it likes where I put it, because I'd hate to kill anything tough enough to survive being neglected all winter. 
Here's what's blooming for me right now:

 First blooms ever! I thought I had written this down somewhere in the blog, but I can't find it. I thought this was a PDN purchase, but I can't find anything resembling it on their website.  Oh well.  Its a white calla lily! Tell all your friends!

Cherry Verbena, one of my favorites.  I need to buy more of this every year.

 This is another first time bloomer.  I don't love the color.  This was a discount bag o' bulbs from end of season clearance at Lowes.  I will give this plant credit for surviving 2-3 years now with me forgetfully digging it up when planting annuals.  Way to keep on fighting, pumpkin colored calla.

I thiiiiiink this is Nelly Moser Clematis.  It could be a Barbara Jackman.  I have two clematis planted by the deck.  Its one of those.  Lots of blooms on it this year!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer slack

Ok, technically its not summer.  But I have been slack about uploading these pictures of my garden.  Here are some from 2 weeks ago, we have had a great spring, and the garden has been looking beautiful!

 Sombreuil rose, so lovely and divine smelling
Superstition Iris with some Salvia and Cherry Verbena
 How excited am I at all the foxgloves this year!? And, all of these seedlings came from a 2$ box store clearance plant.  Not bad!

 Graham Thomas looking sunny. As a Texan, I am obligated to grow yellow roses.

Madame Alfred Carriere in the background.  I have two trained up on my AMAZING arbor that my stepfather built for me as a birthday present.  I absolutely adore it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bulbs and new plants!

Well the bulbs are coming up and gorgeous. So glad that I went ahead and planted them and they were so cheap!! That pot of red tulips was only 2 dollars and while it might not be a flashy tulip, I just love looking at it on my deck.

Here is the project I was most excited to finish.  Its a galvanized tub I picked up at Southern States.  I drilled drainage holes in it and added heavy duty casters on it so I can roll it around easily.  I've been using it to block off the exit of the deck when I want to keep the kidlets up top.  I filled it with different herbs, and they are filling in fast.  Here's the planter the day I finished it (mostly, I did add a few more herbs in there after this picture)

Here's it afterwards.  I bought a squash plant and sank it in the soil to keep it happy while I get project #2, my raised bed, complete, but it took off so fast in the tub that I decided just to leave it in there.

I've still got a bunch of plants to get in the ground since I made a weekend trip to Big Bloomers, but that will have to wait for another post.  I'm about halfway done with them, fingers crossed for more great weather this weekend.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Seasonal disorder

I can't be the only gardener who has this problem; come wintertime, I become gardening obsessed, contemplating huge lists of plants to buy in the spring, beds to rearrange or create, the whole nine yards.  I think this is a result of not being able to do anything, but the real problem is I have two "main" hobbies right now.  Gardening and crazy quilting, which are both essentially great seasonal hobbies.  When the weather is nice, I can garden, and when I can't go outside, I can work on my never-ending project backlog.  The problem is, I get amped up about gardening when I can't do it, and then miss the 2-3 week window of "spring" where temperatures are pleasant enough that you can stand to be outside without wanting to find a pool to hunker down in with an iced drink, or in lieu of that, a nice walk in freezer to make your home.

Spring blows by here in a flash, and I always seem to miss it.  I'm going to try and be better about it this year though.  I already planted a ton of bulbs, I got inspired thanks to Helen Yoest saying something about still being able to put pots together, and when I went to Home Depot, everything was 50% off.  You know what that means, twice as many bulbs!
Yes, I'm putting up a picture of bulb packages.  Eat your heart out, Southern Living!
So, other than that, I'm going to try and catalog some of my ideas here, wish lists, etc.  I want to plant some blueberry bushes, and the reading I've done says go with Rabbiteyes and at least two other types for cross polination: Brightwell, Climax, Delite, Tiflblue were all recommended. Will I have room in my yard for 3 blueberry bushes? Probably not.  Maybe I could put them in the front yard if I pulled the boxwoods.

I'm also kind of obsessing over the idea of doing my vegetable gardens in some raised wood beds that I build, harnessing the manic wintertime energy into some hardscaping.  I've got some plans for squash, peppers, cucumbers, some zinnias, maybe even a melon.  I'm still trying to figure out where to squeeze these in to my yard, but right now I'm thinking directly off the deck.  

Speaking of the deck, I've got this idea to get a long galvanized metal feed trough and make all my herbs in one big pot this year.  I think it will neaten up my deck which is really getting overgrown with pots, and make watering them a little easier.  

Lastly, I got the new Plant Delights catalog in the mail, and I think I'll go through it with post its and mark all the plants I'm thinking about getting, and then try and figure out where I can put them.  I need a lot of new ones, I lost almost all the Agastaches I planted a few years ago.  I think the drainage just isn't good enough for them, plus they were super marked down plants from death row at Lowes, so they didn't get the greatest start in life.  

What about everyone else -- any fun plans? Anyone else find they use up all their fire and good ideas while its too cold to plant? 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dinosaur Trail!

Earlier in December, we went to visit the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, which has a recently revamped dinosaur walking trail.  I was really impressed by how they managed to keep the woods feeling at least somewhat tropical in the dead of the winter.  Unfortunately there weren't any plant labels to identify what they used, and no gardening staff nearby to ask.  That being said, I'm pretty sure this is the Fatsia Japonica I mentioned in a previous post, in front of a backdrop of a magonlia (duh.)

Here is some more plants, not sure on the ferns, and there is a very pretty yellow blooming plant in the background.  My brain keeps saying mahonia, but I'm not sure if that's right, and I certainly don't know the cultivar.

Either way, isn't it neat how they made the appearance of tropical growth? I'm looking forward to coming back in warmer weather and seeing the total package, but I came away with some more ideas for my tropical bed.

Here's what's blooming for me right now, this is my Prunus Mume "Josephine" and I really love the blossoms on it.  Although I wish I had a pink one as well.  I just need a bigger yard.