Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year - 2012

On this last day of 2011 the temperatures were still moderate so we took Luna to the big park for a long walk. Along the trail we were surprised to see that a huge tree had fallen, all that is except this side that looked to be a nice big picture frame. I couldn't resist going over to have a picture made. This wan't the only surprise of the day.
When we returned home I went outside to pick up sticks and to see what all was going on in the garden. Here I found some Hellebore buds and,
daffodils peeking out of the ground. 
There are oodles of mushrooms in the mulch. 
The biggest surprise was a dandelion in full bloom. These and all the other plants that are acting like it is spring will get the surprise of their year when this wind brings in the cold weather that is to hit us New Years Day. 
I want to thank everyone for commenting and sticking with me through my drought of blogging.
I hope that 2012 brings you all the best surprises to your garden along with good health and a wealth of blooming happiness.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Time For A New Garden Journal

It is "that" time of year again. The build up to the New Year. One of the things I like to do during this week between Christmas and the New Year is to get my garden journals ready for action. I like to make sure the 10 year journal is up to date. It has very little space for each day but it is fun to keep daily temps or short accounts of what is going on.
Then I get my brand spankin new sketchbook/garden journal ready to place into it's leather cover.  I can't tell you how disappointed I was when I discovered that Cranson had changed the size of their journals. It says it is the same size but it isn't. I can't even force it into the cover. This will be the first time in 16 years that I won't have this cover with me in the garden. I can't tell you how disappointing it is.
I know I just have to buck up and get over it. I took another sketchbook in hand and personalized it. It is the type with a cover that is canvas so you can personalize easily. The paper in the book is about the same quality. For the most part I write in it but I can draw on this paper if I am so inclined.  It just doesn't feel right holding it though.  It will show dirt easily and I won't be able to wipe it off but it will surely have lots of character by the end of the coming season.
I will get used to it as I do all changes in my garden.  It is just that my garden journals are important to me. This cover has been a work horse for me and a constant companion in the garden. When it gets too hot for Luna to be with me she heads indoors. When my DB sees a big project formulating he usually gets busy else where. Not a problem because I can write down all my ideas and bring him up to date later.  Do you have a constant companion in your garden in the form of a book/journal?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Naming Greenbow

Now I know I have written about this in the past. I just can't find it in old blog posts so I will explain again for those inquiring minds. This time I will label it so I can find it if I need it again.

 My previous house/garden was named Green Isle for reasons I won't go into right now.  Anyway, my DB didn't know what kind of a gardener he had married. I needed to make a mark on this property. It was mostly unused. Just a typical suburban plot.

Shortly after my DB and I married I moved to this property where he had been living I started creating a garden I would be comfortable in.  It wasn't long and I felt the need to name this garden where I now called home. Green being in the name of my previous garden seemed to need to be in the name. My maiden name also had the word green in it. So you see the green seems to follow me.

My DB mentioned that Weedy Wallow would be a descriptive name for it. Ha... that wasn't going to fly in my mind. Our garden is situated in the bow of a road. My last name now has bow in it. Are you following me now??
Now after several years of gardening, 17 years to be exact, the garden has gone through several modifications, there is a lot of green in it. So Greenbow has been created here on this weedy wallow. 
These pictures are of the same area and taken from the same vantage point about 15 years apart. I hope you enjoyed my story and those inquiring minds are satisfied.

Story behind the name

Monica over at Garden Faire was talking about how people choose their on line name. She has asked people to share their story. You can do so by going here to link into the conversation.

Mine is fairly short and simple. My blog name is Greenbow and so when I would comment I would sign off by saying Lisa at Greenbow because there are so many other Lisas out there. This way you know which blog I belong to and have a sense of who I am.  How did you get your online name?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Foliage Follow Up - November 2011

I am delighted to be able to tell you that the Hardy Cyclamen foliage has popped out just in time for Foliage Follow Up this month. Since this is the first year of the HC growth I didn't know what to expect. The foliage followed the first hard freeze of the season. It magically appeared just when I was thinking that there wouldn't be much to show you.
The Hardy Cyclamen foliage is very similar to the foliage of the wildflower Appendaged Waterleaf. The Waterleaf makes a great ground cover and these leaves will last well into the winter.
The rest are the usual suspects. The Arum is up and about looking to make itself useful in the garden until an extended period of frozen ground. 
The hard working Viburnums, like this Leather Leaf Viburnum, are shining this fall. This plant hasn't had so many yellow leaves before. I think this droughty summer is taking its toll on the plant. I am hoping this is only a protest not a demise. 
The winds have been horrible this fall. Even the normally sturdy grass has succumb to the winds. But the greenery will survive well into deep winter when it will turn tan. It looks fairly nice all winter against the red cedars. 
When you start looking a little closer you can find that the Autumn Fern sitting there with Geranium Orkney Cherry and Perfectly Pink Phlox foliage. The red is a leaf from the Japanese Maple nearby. It is fun to see these bright red leaves making exclamation points all around the garden. 
No, it hasn't been snowing. As Luna followed me around the garden she picked up this leaf, came and stood by me as if to say don't forget the burning bush that has faded to a pink.
I will leave you with a look at the window box dressed out for the winter. I cut some greens and grass seed heads for a bit of visual interest. 
For more winter greens interest pop over to Pam's blog Digging to be inspired even for winter color.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - November 2011

The gloom of this GBBD sort of matches what is going on bloom-wise in my garden this November. I think the drought this year took it's toll on the fall flowers. Of course the hard freeze we had this week didn't help matters any either. There are a few hardy blooms trying to hang in there. Like the mums by the front steps. They are protected by porch roof overhang and cement steps around it.
Below is the last button bloom on the Tansy.
My very favorite clematis Ramona has the palest viseage of a bloom that is hanging on. She so longs to please this gardener. She does a marvelous job. 
The rest of the blooms are annuals. Alyssum in white and 
purple hangs on. I think the purple looks as good as it has all season. 
A surprise plant, to me is this bacopa. It has survived the summer and the freeze so far. I have it in pots and in the ground. These tiny flowers keep on blooming and the foliage looks nice too.  This one happens to be the light blue one.
Most years I have Japanese Anemones blooming now but it was a rough growing year here what with the drought. What do you have blooming in your garden today?  If you want to share your blooms with gardeners around the world you can go to Carol's blog to participate in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Good Report

I am happy to report that the little tree frog came out in the open last night. I knew that it was still with us the other day when I dusted and found frog poop on the table. I just couldn't find it during the light hours.
I was so excited to find it when I went to close the curtains for the night. He sat there awaiting a rolly polly bug to pass by. I didn't give him a chance at dinner this evening. I took its picture and then set it outside. I am so glad it was a mild evening. Today looks to be nice and warm too. It can find a good meal and then snuggle in for a long winter's nap.
Catch and release is a great way to begin a month of giving thanks.
If you haven't read the saga about our tree frog you can go here for the rest of the story.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nutty Weekend

This weekend is being sponsored by the most beautiful fall weather. The sun came out first thing this morning to melt the frost. The temps have warmed to a whopping 50F (10C) with sunshine this is marvelous.

My DB went out to check on the grill. It needs a screw to hold something in place and when I looked up he was standing at the back door with something in his hand. PEANUTS!
We were surprised by how many were at the roots of this plant. It didn't grow in full sun. 
Just look at em.  I am thinking about going all around the garden and digging up the nuts.
I will wait until the frost really knocks down the foliage in hopes that there will be enough for a snack. 
Do any of you know how to process the peanuts? Maybe I can find out on line. What did we ever do withouth the internet??
My DB has been inspired to do a little weeding while out. He has plenty of help too. Luna is very casual about the whole thing. She does keep an eye on everyone. Oly, the toy poodle, is always following his own agenda.
Vinny, the Rat Terrier/Jack Russel mix, is the ever ready dog. Always on alert to any creature that dare come into the garden. Woe be it to any squirrel that dare set foot into this garden while he is on patrol. 

Obviously we are dog-sitting this weekend. I am so pleased that they can be outside today. They will be ready for a nap this afternoon and will sleep good tonight with all this exercise.
I want to leave you with a picture of Ramona Clematis, one of the last blooms of the season. I hope your weekend is full of sunshine and lively companions. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bringing in House Plants etc

On October 3rd I brought in most of our house plants.  This included this huge fern that has taken over our dining room.  Yesterday I finally figured I had better give it a good watering and bring in the last few plants outside.  I needed to get a good drip pan under this fern.  It is in a long shallow terra cotta pot and it will be a long winter for it inside. I had it sitting on some heavy duty aluminum foil. I knew that wouldn't last because it is so heavy to move around.
My only choice for this job was a big stainless steel pan I had under the plants in the other room. So I gathered individual saucers for the other plants. Just imagine my surprise when I moved that big ole pan to the floor for the exchange I found a tree frog sitting in that pan. It appeared to be hunting sow bugs. I dashed back to my DB's room to ask him to come take photos for me.
Isn't he just adorable?
No, not my DB the little frog. Although my DB is adorable too.
We watched him eat at least 3 sow bugs. I didn't have sense enough to use the video setting on my camera to get  the action. He was so fast. I was just amazed.
Then you could tell he was full. He didn't bother with them at all. He started hopping around the pan a little. Maybe he was looking for his winter home? We had set the pan back up on the table so my DB didn't have to stand on his head to take pictures. We (I) was so excited I took the cards in to the computer to see if any pictures turned out good.
Unfortunately while we were away he hopped out of the pan. We couldn't find him. All we could find was this and ...
 
this. Possibly his room mates. They weren't saying if he was staying with them or not.

His winter home was on the floor at the moment he departed the table top.  I hope he found which plant he came in with and snuggled back down for a long winters nap. I played a tree frog call last night in hopes it might react. I guess it is just the wrong time of year. He wasn't to be fooled.
This episode made me glad that I don't put poison on my plants before I bring them inside. I just hose them off good and hope for the best. I think the best happened. Have you ever brought in more than your plants when you bring them inside?


Monday, October 17, 2011

Foliage Follow Up - Minature Shrubs

For the foliage follow-up this month I want to show you what I did with the small shrubs I found at K&W Greenery in Janesville, WI. Picea abies 'Dans Dwarf' is a bun of Norway Spruce. Leaves are very small and light green. It gets 6inch by 10inches in 10 years. Another is Cham pisifera 'Baby Blue Ice'.It has darker blue foliage that looks icy, especially when there is new growth. The third one is a mini Chamecyperis 'mop' of some sort that I don't have a tag for. Darn the luck.

With these I have created another small Fairy Garden in a basket planter that I had. Here is what I had in this basket this summer...
This little guy will hold court in this minature garden.
Not only did I put these minature shrubs into this basket I left the minature hostas that had been there all summer.  I added some dwarf mondo grass, chocolate chips ajuga and some Scotish moss to the mix. I think I will be very pleased with it when it all starts growing in.   
This also gave me a place to display a few of my favorite rocks. The large one in the middle was given to me many years ago by a friend that brought a piece of Plymouth Rock.
For those of you that have Foliage Fever this time of year please do a post and link to Pam at Digging who hosts this meme each month. Right now she is busy promoting local Nurseries. I am happy to say these plants were all purchased at local nurseries. I should say Local in that they weren't purchased at Big Box Stores. I tend to purchase plants as I travel around.  If you want a closer look at the small shrubs you can click to enlarge the photos. I hope you all are enjoying the lovely fall weather. Let us see your fall foliage.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Perfect Weather This GBBD

This day 4 years ago Greenbow blog was created. I was encouraged by Carol at May Dreams Gardens who is the Hostess for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. People like me all over the world post their blooms the 15th of each month and then link on Carol's blog. If you would like to share your blooms put up a post then head over to Carol's and put the url to the post on Mr Linky. Thanks so much for hosting Carol and for all your encouragement to all gardeners.

A lot has happened at Greenbow over the past 4 years. Yet when I look around it seems like a lot stays the same too.

Blooming this month is the periscarias: Lance Corporal with it's wirey stems with little dots of red blooms is so unusual. Everyone likes them when they see them blooming. They are difficult to capture in a picture.
 Red Dragon has these tiny white flowers that will last until a series of hard frosts take them out. They also do well in flower arrangements. They resemble baby's breath except they have red stems that lend another color to your arrangement.
The white Japanese Anemones are blooming up a storm. Unfortunately the Pink ones just didn't bloom well this year.
Two Toad Lilies are blooming. Togen and 
"Empress" does impress. 
Those sweet little hardy cyclamen are continuing to bloom.
A few annuals are also blooming...Hyacinth Bean Vine hits it's stride this time of year.
Begonias in the window box just outside my window.

Alyssum, Geraniums, Black and Blue Salvia.
All in all, despite the droughty fall we have a few blooms. What is blooming in your garden?