Friday, October 31, 2008

Garden Blogger's Muse Day - November

Carolyn Gail over at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago started Garden Blogger's Muse Day. If you have a poem and would like to contribute go to her blog and leave a message on her post. We would all like to pop in and read what your muse is the first day of the month. Mine follows...
THOUGHTS

Jacqueline Bouvier


I love the Autumn,
And yet I cannot say
All the thoughts and things
That make one feel this way.

I love walking on the angry shore,
To watch the angry sea;
Where summer people were before,
But now there's only me.
I love wood fires at night
THat have a ruddy glow.
I stare at the flames
And think of long ago.

I love the feeling down inside me
That says to run away
To come and be a gypsy
And think of long ago.

The tangy taste of apples,
The snowy mist at morn,
The wanderlust inside you
When you hear the huntsman's horn.

Nostalgia--that's the Autumn,
Dreaming through September
Just a million lovely things
I always will remember.

-1943

Happy Halloween

What is halloween without a witch or two roaming about?? Then of course Beetle Juices brother joined in the fun.
The scariest couple of the day.
Of course not everyone was scary.
I hope you all had a scary night.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Questions

This time of year there always comes to mind a couple of questions. One being how did purple go from indicating royalty to a witches favorite color? Maybe this Violet toothed polyspore was used in some witches brew.? Or why are spiders, which aren't even around this time of year because they are hibernating or worse dead, cause to signify fear, spookiness? After all this demure little lady all tucked up under the leaf...
and the artist of this beautiful creation just wants a fresh meal for herself and her babies. Now who could blame her for that?
Now these little jumpy spiders can give a little nip but they only do so if they are protecting themselves from careless humans that bump or thump them while gardening.
A person surely couldn't hold a grudge against a hard working Wolf Spider that does its best to rid your tool shed of unwanted denziens.Spiders are such beautiful creatures and most misunderstood. They come in such a wide range of sizes, shapes and...
colors. I wish you could see the neon colors of this Venusta Orchard spider up close. It is a beautiful spider.
I do hope you all have a fun, spooky Halloween week. Just remember to give the spiders their due respect for all the helpful things they do in your garden.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Out of the Garden

We had a mighty interesting day of birding today. The weather was nearly as perfect as you could ask for any time of year. We had a several first of the fall season birds today including this Lapland Longspur. It was in a most unusual place too. It was found on the break in a large lake where we bird. Quite the handsome bird with the rufous in the wing even though it is in its winter plummage.

They are normally in fields.We usually don't even start looking for these little birds until mid winter. They can be found in the fields along with horned lark and sometimes if we are lucky snow buntings. I think this one is a male since it has all that dark streaking on its breast.
Sometimes they stick around until early spring when they are molting into their breeding plummage. Either way I was happy to see them.
On the other end of the spectrum we had what I think of as late summer early fall birds, a Great Egret. It probably won't be around here after this weekend because it is to get down into the 30's tonight. I imagine it will be heading for warmer climes.
If you want to see the Lapland Longspur a little better you can click on the pictures to enlarge them. I want to thank my Dearly Beloved for taking so many nice pictures today and letting me use them on my blog. I hope you were all able to get out and enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Whipcord Arborvitae

No I haven't been beating my shrubs. While shopping this weekend I ran across this most interesting Arborvitae. It is Thuja plicata 'Whipcord'. I have never seen such a shrub before. I fell in love with it and my Dearly Beloved thought I should have it. It has these long tendrils that almost look scaled. I just love the way it feels. Almost like braided leather. It is supposed to be glossy green during summer and have a broze cast in winter. I can't wati to see how it changes during the seasons. I can't hardly keep my hands off of it. I did long enough to get it planted though.
It sort of looks like it is a relative of the Munsters 'Thing'. It is so appropriate for this time of year don't you think? I have never grown anything like it. Has anyone else? The tag says it will tolerate some shade and it grows to zone 6. It should do well. I sure hope it takes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Decision Monday

Today was such a beautiful day. We started our day with a walk at the park. The sun and the moon shared the sky for some time. There were just a few wispy clouds to muss the clear blue sky.
I got busy outside. This pot with 'Red Star' Cordyline, Torenia 'Magenta Moon' and Heuchera villosa 'Carmel' ended up being one of my favorite pots this summer. I have never grown a Cordyline before. It sure makes a striking specimen in a big pot. I pulled the Heuchera out of the pot and planted it at the edge of the patio near some Purple Palace Heucheras that have been long established in this spot. I hope this Carmel will make them look quite perky next summer. If the Carmel makes it through the winter I will plant a couple of others with it. I just don't have great luck with the fancy new Heucheras or I would do so now.
I had a small offering to the bulb gods to plant. I remembered that people posted about white narcissus last spring. I just loved them. When I saw a selection of three different types. I didn't have enough $$ to get them all so there was another decision I had to make. I chose a White double flowering type named Calgary. I also bought Rosy Cloud which looks to be a peachy rose color that is double flowering and Broadway Star that is white and orange. It is what they call a Butterfly Narcissus. The pictures make them look so good and as I often do I chose some because of their names. I can't wait to see them next spring. I also got some crocus named Lady Killer and some Winter Aconites. Anyway I got these into the ground today too. I just feel like I got so much accomplished.

That packet of 'Emerald Empress' Hens and Chicks jumped into my hand when I was buying some bone meal for the bulbs. Of course I got them into the ground too. It is odd but I have never been able to get hens and chicks to grow here. This will be the last time I try it. I have the perfect placement, on a berm that never gets watered. It is supposed to rain Thursday so they should get set for the winter. I have four big pots of annuals still blooming up a storm so I am leaving them to the elements. I hate to throw them out before their time. All of the keepers are now ensconsed in their winter quarters.

I cut up one big coleus that was blooming up a storm and made a big bouquet to bring inside. From now until next spring when you all come over to visit you will not be able to use the patio doors. You will just have to come in through the back door. As they say, back door friends are the best.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tough Decisions

We had one of the most beautiful fall weekends. The sun was shining and the temps were in the mid sixties. The only problem is that the night time temps are beginning to be in the thirties which means it is time to take stock of the outside planters.

I already brought inside the ferns shown below. They are so large and take up so much room. When I brought them inside last week I thought I could just leave everything else outside. I thought I could just turn my back on them and let nature take its course.
I just couldn't do it. As you can see I brought all the pots that need to be decided on up to the patio to wash them, water them outside one more time and try to decided who gets to come in and who is going to have to face the frost. Just thinking about those pretty colorful faces watching for me to come around with hose in hand to give them a drink. They don't ask for much.Like this bromelaid. It kept falling out of the pot it was in last winter so this past spring I just tossed it onto the ground. There was originally two of them and look what happened over the summer. There are now three. Can I just leave it here to freeze to death?? The other thought being since my house is so dark I always lose some plants to lack of light. Do I toss them onto the compost for a quick way out or do I take them inside to struggle for several months. Oh my, decisions decisions. This is the worst decision of the gardening year. Sigh~~

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - October 2008

This October's GBBD blooms are not the same as last years. Why did I even mention last years GBBD? Well, it is because it was the very first post I made for Greenbow Gardens. This years GBBD post is my first anniversary as a blogger.

I can remember wondering why I started blogging at this time of year. After all there wasn't much blooming in the garden at this time and it wasn't going to get much better as time went on. However I found that winter is a good time to contemplate the garden. Plus there are so many wonderful gardeners and bloggers out there sharing their knowlege and garden thoughts all through the year. You all have kept me going through out the year with garden and blogging inspiration. Thank you all very much for your works and I want to thank all of the commenters whether you blog or not. It is such fun to interact with you all.

As Carol at May Dreams Garden has mentioned several times about how posting your blooms on the 15th of each month gives you a record of what is going on in your garden each year. This is why she has encouraged everyone to share their blooms on the same day each month. I hope that if you haven't done this you might try it. You will be so pleased that you do. Be sure to leave a comment on her GBBD post so others can visit to see what you have blooming.

I specially want to thank you Carol for encouraging me to join the blogging community. I was lurking for several months, leaving comments, soaking up all the wonderful information and comradery on her blog and several others. However she is the one that encouraged me to jump into the Garden Bloggers fray. It has been such fun.

I am so happy to finally be able to look back a year to see what my garden was doing. It certainly is different this year. We are having such a drought this fall. Actually this entire summer has been dry which was such a contrast from the spring.

This lone daylily, 'Song Sparrow' is the only daylily blooming at this time.

My most prolific bloomers at this time are the annuals around the garden. This Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' has been one of the most dramatic of the annuals I planted this year. I planted it in semi-shade part of the garden and it took off. I have had to cut it back to keep it off of surrounding baby bushes as it has become a bush itself. I have had it in pots before with great luck but it has never grown to this size. Obviously I will plant some more of this next year. I have a 'Black and Blue' Salvia that does very well in this area too. I must have more of this next year too.


I know you have seen this guy before. I really need more of this Crossandra next year as it is in a place that t gets little to no supplemental water and it has done well. I just love this color in the garden because it is so bright and not many oranges are seen in the garden.
This succulent is blooming for the second time this summer. It surely is confused.
These white Japanese Anomeones 'Honorine Jobert' are a new addition to my garden this year. They have been blooming since last GBBD. I would certainly recommend them for the garden. Soon I hope to find a pink one that performs as well.

The mums are still blooming. The yellow mums are beginning to get that brown look though.

The tall garden phlox has a few blooms, the hydrangeas by the Casa de Pantella has a few blooms and the wild asters are still giving some blooms. Other than that all is turning brown and crinkly. The Toad Lilies are blooming up a storm despite it being so dry. So I guess I can be satisfied with what is blooming. Did I just say satisfied?? Naw I don't think so. Come on fall rains...please.
Oh yes, I almost forgot to show you my only grass. It is a beauty for sure. It was a pass along plant so I can't tell you what it is but it sure looks good during fall.
I hope you all enjoy GBBD. I must go now so I can get around to seeing all who post on Carol's blog. See you soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dusty Full Moon Tonight

As I looked out the back door today I realized how dry and bedraggled my poor garden looks. I realize it is autumn but it is usually our wet time here. I am not usually out there watering up a storm to keep things looking healthy. The Virginia Creeper going up the maple tree is turning red and flinging its leaves off as it tries to deal with the drought conditions. This evening when I went outside with Luna for the last time I was slapped in the face with dust. The air is permeated with dust. Even though the photo below is blurry the moon as it was rising did appear to have a ring of dust around it. I couldn't get enough light to capture the silouettes as I saw them so...
I got the scope and tripod out to try to capture the clouds that are floating around near the moon.
As it is I just can't get a satisfying photo. I can't hardly stand to stay inside tonight. The moon keeps drawing me out. This Harvest or Water Lily Moon, what ever you want to call it is beautiful. I hope you all can see it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Out of the Garden

We had an interesting day of birding today. We found a couple of Forester's Terns. Now we often have these birds during migration but the little bird you see below is the youngest one I have ever seen. How do I know this you ask?? Well, on its head, nape and back it has lots of brownish feathers. These are the left over feathers it had when very young. It was in the company of an adult. In this picture you can see the adult on the left at the foot of the Ring-billed gull. You have probably seen the gulls in your local Mart parking lot scavengering for food.
We kept creeping in to try to get closer shots. Whoops...a little too close. They are lifting off...
Goodbye little Forester's Tern. I hope you make it to your wintering grounds down south. Say hello to Meems for me if you go to Florida.
The technically best bird of the day was a Red-necked Grebe. Now these birds don't show up in our area every year. When they do show up they are usually decked out in their winter plummage. This bird was still in its breeding plummage.
It was a hungry bird because we were able to get quite close to it for some pictures. You can see here that it caught a fish.
Yummm...give it a little swish then...
down the hatch. It floated away from us after it had several more fishes for lunch. We didn't see it again after we went to have lunch.
All of these pictures were taken by my Dearly Beloved. You can click on them to enlarge to see the birds a little better. I hope you all are able to be outside and enjoy this beautiful weather.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Rose Alert

A friend of mine called to say that her Dad's rose garden is having a party of its own. Beautiful blooming roses are unfurling and wafting the air with their perfume and I had better get over there to see them. As luck would have it my Sister was coming to town and she happens to love roses so I waited for her to arrive so we could tour Gary's Rose Garden together.

When you are looking at a rose smothered trellis like this you know you are in for some delightful treats. Now I apologize at the beginning because I don't remember the names of all of these gorgeous flowers. I hope you think of them as eye candy and delight in the color and form just as we did.This little orangy rose is the first rose that I saw when we pulled into the drive. It is a minature. This one below I remember the name of it because my Sister grabbed it and wanted to remember. It is Hot Cocoa. This picture doesn't do it justice but suffice it to say that even a non-chocoholic would crave this one.


I took the picture of this one from this angle in case you could see the perfume wafting from the center.
The rose below was so striking because this deep red velvety rose sat surrounded by dark red foilage. Yummy
Yellow is my personal favorite color of rose. I think it is because you don't see as many of them. He has two yellow roses in his garden. Wish I could remember the names of all of these lovelies. Each rose has its own tag so I have no excuse except that I was overwhelmed by all this beauty and fragrance.

Then he has this magical rose. The bud is this red and pale greenyellow.



Then when it begins to open it has a dark yellow with red edges.

Finally it becomes this huge pink rose with a pale yellow center.

Now if that isn't magic I don't know what would be.

I would have to be posting many more roses to even come close to showing you his collection. Not only does Gary grow these beauties he is a wealth of knowledge about roses. I want to take this opportunity to "Thank you Gary" for the tour and all the information you imparted to us. I know my Sister's christmas wish list was just expanded by seeing 'Iceberg' and 'Hot Cocoa'.