Monday, March 28, 2011

A difference in a few hours

What a difference just a few hours makes in the garden. The snow had melted and the Narcissus doesn't look too bad for what they have been through.
With the sun coming back out it makes me want to get out in the garden to do some little jobs that are on my todo list. I can't quite drag myself outside yet. Today I received a new book _Garden Up_ by Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet.  This book is chock full of ideas for either a small or large garden. I have found so much inspiration here. Not to mention that I have a head start on some projects since I won the Succulent Living Picture. I don't know why I was surprised to see it highlighted in the book. You will have to forgive me for being a little slow on the uptake. Rebecca is a friend of Pam's. I can see why Pam was happy to promote her friend's book. It is a must have if you have any desire to Garden UP. The how to instructions for some unique plantings and the after photos are just marvelous.  Did I mention the beautiful photos??

Pam and Rebecca are in the round table group that gives advice about different garden related subjects. It is so much fun having some of these great ideas in a book you can peruse over and over again.
No, no one asked me to promote the book. As a matter of fact I waited until I had it and had a chance to peruse it to say one way or the other. I can say that it is a keeper. Now you will have to excuse me while I go look at the walls around my garden in a new creative way.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Snow

We woke to 2.5 inches of snow on the ground this morning. Not exactly an unusual sight for March but it does make one hope it is the last snow of the year.  My Dearly Beloved and I got out to take some pictures of the snow covered garden.
For some reason it just didn't seem right this time.
We had already got the Casa put up for the summer season. This is the first time it  had been snowed on. I am glad the roof didn't fall. It looks a little wonky on one side. We will have to straighten that. 
The snow won't last long. The sun is to come out and it will get to 40F today. 

I just hope that all the blooms that were exposed will not be ruined. 
Some of them look pretty sad. 
Some of them look like they might be protected from the cold of last night. 
The birds weren't deterred from the feeders. They just dove right in.
Anyway I hope you all have had a nice weekend.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Succulent Gardens

When I got home from work today there was a package on the front porch. I asked my DB what he had ordered and he said nothing. So he retrieved the box from the porch and when he said that it was from Succulent Gardens I was thrilled and surprized that the Succulent Picture Kit that I won on Pam's blog Digging came so quick.

I ripped the box open to find everything that I needed to put the Living Picture together. There was a bag of succulent pups, a sack of soil and the picture frame of course. The frame is made of recycled redwood with a 1/2"grid of hardware cloth for the succulent roots to grow through and entwine. This way they will stay in if you decide to use it as a vertical hanging.
 There was more than enough soil. When I looked at that sack of little starts I wondered if there would be enough. It was just perfect. I was so pleased that I didn't have to go out and get soil and extra starts to fill in. As you can see in the picture below, not only were there enough but an intersting variety of succulents to make this picture look lively even in it's infancy. I can't wait until the little starts begin to puff up. As this beauty grows I will show you how they fill in and puff up.

When I went to the Succulent Gardens web site I discovered that they have several sizes of these living picture kits. They have other kits, such as a wreath too. This was so easy it could become addicting.
I want to thank Pam for offering this give away.  I want to thank Succulent Gardens for sponsoring this give away. If you like succulents you should go to their site and see some of the wonderful succulents they offer. I know that if their speed of response, quantities and quality match this give away you certainly be as delighted as I am.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - March 2011

While the sun was out Saturday I took a few pictures of the flowers blooming in my garden for today. Carol encourages us all to post what flowers are blooming on the 15th of each month. I have few to report today. What is blooming I am so pleased to see.  Like this Lady in Red Hellebore.
This freckled one I have forgotten the name of but I think those freckles are so cheery.
This one is sort of plain but it has such a sweet delicate quality belying the toughness of the plant. After all its leaves are green all winter. Just needing a little trim of the dead leaves to be able to fully enjoy their bashful blossoms.
We have some of the Prince at the top of this photo with buds set. It wants a little warmer weather before it opens all these buds. Not so with the crocus. All it needed was a little sun to encourage them to open. Look at the bottom of this picture. Why it's....
My first pollinator of the year. Yipee. I just know it won't be long now until the garden is buzzing.
Is there anything blooming and/or buzzing in your garden yet?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chicago Flower and Garden Show

I was blessed to be invited to go to the Chicago Flower and Garden Show this past weekend with Beckie and Rose. Below is a picture of the small group of Garden Bloggers Mini Meet. It was great fun to see everyone again. From the left Diane, Rose, Monica, Me, Beckie and Linda.  We lunched, talked, toured the displays, talked and generally enjoyed one anothers company.
While the show was almost as entertaining as the company we kept I must say I was a little disappointed in what the displays had to show us. I guess being from such a small town without the large pool of suppliers to draw from I thought I was going to see something spectacular, or a larger scale, and more of it while there. What was here was fabulous.
The theme this year was "Sport of Gardening".  The gigantic croquet set was fun to see since we like to play croquet in our garden.
The balls for this croquet set were made of gigantic white Orchids. I have no idea what kind they were but they were the largest I have ever laid eyes on.
My favorite display in the show was Silent Poetry: The Confluence of Stone and Plants by Rich's Foxwillow Pines Nursery. I walked around and around this display. The varieties of plant materials ran from the tropical fillers to the Conifers that this nursery is noted for. There were also stone Shona sculptures from Zimbabwe interspersed artfully through out the setting. I could have done a whole post about these beautiful carvings.
It seemed that sprinkled throughout were scrumptious succulents. They were used in window boxes, pots, and in the landscapes.
Of course any of you that read my blog know of my desire to have chickens in our improperly zoned garden. Sigh~~ Here they showed a sweet little hen house/enclosure that was a kit. It could be tucked into amost any sized suburban or even urban garden. It was stocked with two chickens who seemed to ignore the masses oogling them and their domain.
The table scapes that were made gave me plenty of ideas for Easter dinner table settings.
Rose was quite taken with the tulip display as we all were. Of course her named tulip was one of the prettiest.  I on the other hand was quite taken by these...
No they aren't cow paddies.  These are the corms of the Hardy Cyclaman. I have been wanting some of these for my shady garden. I don't know why I couldn't ever get some but they were being sold by a vendor in the market place. So I came home with them and a lot of fond memories of the day. There was a whole lot more I could go on about, such as the Raptors that were on display.
The childrens area with BIG bugs you could hold and observe.
The most unusual hats.
 Something for everyone.