Thursday, December 15, 2016

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - December 2016

This Garden Bloggers Bloom Day finds me trussed up like a Christmas goose in front of the fireplace. I sit here with great anticipation. No, not about Santa's arrival but about the blooms and buds that the indoor garden is giving me this time of year. 
Not that there is much going on outside in my zone 6 garden that is frozen over but inside. A few of the plants that I brought inside this fall are giving me some buds and blooms. 
The limey begonia is starting to put up some buds that will soon turn into the sweet little polka dotted blooms I like so much.
You can see here that one is about to open as other buds  are peeking up through the leaves.
My most famous performer in December is this Orchid that begins blooming almost as soon as I bring it inside. It is so thankful to be inside it sends up some blooms to thank me for bringing it in. These blooms normally last through winter and I am indeed thankful for them. 
Yes, I know this isn't exactly a bloom is it?? It is a small lemon on my little Lemon tree. I just had to throw it in for a little excitement. It is another thing I am looking forward to with great anticipation.

When you get a little down time and need some quiet lovely blooms to soothe your busy nerves of the season, pop over to Carol's blog for more blooms of the month.

Monday, December 12, 2016

In a Vase on Monday - Outside

The vase I have to show you this morning is outside. Right before the weather turned wet I stuffed some holiday cheer into this urn out front. I took white pine snips from the side lot. The holly berries came from a friends huge holly tree and the red twigs came from my garden. Just a little fun for the holidays.
The leftovers went into an empty planter out on the patio. 
I kept a few holly sprigs to put in the window box outside my office window. I love to see the Mockingbirds discover the berries later when it really gets cold. The Mockingbird often has to fight off the Cardinals for these winter treats. 
Do join us today and show us what you might have in a vase on Monday. Pop over to Cathy's at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and others are finding this time of year to place in a vase.

Monday, December 5, 2016

In a Vase on Monday

On this cold gloomy Monday it is surprising to have something from the garden in a vase. If Cathy who brings us this Meme thinks her vase is a bit of a cheat because she cut her vase full a few days before I clearly out cheated her. ;)
Right before first frost I took some cuttings from a huge coleus that I want to try to have some starts for next spring. I put them into a vase to hopefully grow some roots I can pot up sometime after the holidays. 
While I was decorating for Christmas I thought it looked a bit dull so I put in a sparkly spike of Christmas cheer. 
Happy in a Vase on Monday to you all. Do pop over to Cathy's blog and join in or just admire all the vases set up for our pleasure.

Monday, November 28, 2016

In a Vase on Monday

This Monday morning I have here a collection of small vases that I purchased at auction. I am afraid I have been bitten by Cathy's meme of putting something into a vase on Monday. It is great fun to see what everyone puts into their vase.
Of course winter can be challenging in this part of the country. Everything outside has been frost bitten so I am featuring one of my air plants in the tallest of this group of black vases. The black vase does show off the air plant. 
I hope everyone can find a bit of something to show off in their vase today and you share it. Let Cathy and others know about your vases here.
Happy Monday everyone.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Vase on Monday

Cathy over at Rambling In the Garden has a meme each Monday regarding filling a vase with something from your garden. I sometimes try to fill a vase but I always follow along because the participants are so enthusiastic about their vases. 
Thinking about this brought me to the realization that There probably won't be much flower-wise to put into a vase from now until spring.
All of this brings me to my contribution to this meme this week.
Not only is this not a vase but there are no flowers in it. I can't help myself. I had this big bunch of Northern Sea Oats seed stems that I cut down so my entire garden doesn't turn to sea oats. I just love the way they rustle and the way they look so I stuffed them into a torso sculpture that I have. I am sure the artist that made this sculpture didn't intend her to be a vase but isn't that kind of like what happens to we women?? We don't always end up doing in life what we originally think we will be doing. It all works out.
Happy Vase on Monday to you all.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Miscellany Monday

Good Monday morning to you all.
While the moon has been the big talk of the morning I on the other hand am sitting here awaiting the sun to burn off the frost and thinking about all the chores I want to do today when it warms. Think 'leaves' here.
Frost the past few nights have taken it's toll in the garden as can be expected. We were lucky to have such a long frostless autumn. The cone that did so well with the big coleus in it has succumbed.
As you can see the frost has put the coleus and other tender annuals down for the season. Even most of the perennials have given up. 
All of which lead to more chores in the garden. I have already had to put a cage around these potted minature hostas. The darned squirrels keep digging them up. I hope they survive. While they are small they are mighty. The two smaller ones would be much larger if the squirrels would stay out of the pot. This isn't the only pot they dig in either. They have pulled out orchids and other plants from their pots.
 The migrating robins have been in the garden gobbling up all the fruits that are available. They have just about finished off the Beauty Berries.  
When the only berries left are the ones on the tippy tips of the the shrub they do all sorts of acrobatics to eat them. The picture below shows one climbing on the adjacent trellis to get at the ends. It is fun to watch them. 
 It is now more seasonable temperatures even if we haven't had our usual rains. Even the birds of the fields have been coming in to the water feature. The robins, much to their chagrin, have had to share the water feature with the starlings.
Starlings are so pretty in their winter plummage. They are very skittish so it is difficult to take pictures of them. Sorry about the quality of pictures. All of the robin and starling pictures are taken through one or two panes of glass.
One last bird photo. As we were out birding last week we saw a juvenile Surf Scoter in a pond. Surf Scoters are sea ducks. I live in the middles of the country 100's of miles from the ocean or the Great Lakes. It was such an unusual sighting I thought I would share it with you. If you click on the photo it will get larger so you can see the unusual shape of the bill.
I hope all is going well in your neck of the woods. Have you seen anything unusual in your area lately? Are you about to drown in leaves? 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Rabbit's Foot Fern - Davillia Fyeensis Fern

My Rabbit's Foot Fern was huge. I brought it in about 2 weeks ago with all the other house plants. I knew it was heavy because the thing is so big but I didn't realize that I couldn't safely lift it in and out of the tub when wet. So I decided while it is still warm (84F) I would break it apart and make a smaller piece to bring inside. 
I really hated to break up this gorgeous plant. It has been in this short wide pot for years. The pot itself is perfect for the plant as the roots don't go deep. The sweet 'rabbit's feet' that cling to the pot as it grows and matures didn't want to let go. I had to have my DB help me worry it out of the pot. It is times like this that I wish I had a green house to over winter my favorite plants . 
I took a big chunk back into the house and made four small pots full to give to others. My neighbor accepted a pot. She sent her Granddaughter over to pick it up. She is 7 years old, she said she thought it looked like a "spider in a pot". ha... It must have been her Halloween hangover talking. I still had a big hunk I had to put into the compost pile.  
Have you had to downsize any of your plants before bringing them in for the winter?

Monday, October 31, 2016

In a Vase on Monday

 We had a couple of people in for lunch this weekend and I made up a vase of flowers. I remembered Cathy's meme of a In a Vase on Monday so I thought I would share it with you. It is that time of year when here I don't have a whole lot of blooms to gather.
I do have a black vase to use. I think that is appropriate for Halloween times. I used to collect what we call here Black Carnival Glass. It looks black but if you hold it to the light you see purple. That always has fascinated me. Some of the black glass I have is truly pure black. I enjoy it all. Black goes with everything.
The flowers in the vase are a white mum which I don't know the name of,, Wendy's Wish'  Salvia and the Persicaria ' Red Dragon'. I love the Persicaria because it has those red stems to go along with the delicate little white blooms. They work in a vase like Baby's Breath. Light airy but has much more pizzazz with those red stems.
If you have a vase of flowers to share or just want some inspiration head over to Cathy's blog and have a look around. 
Have a great week.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Freakish Fall

This will be a fall that will be in the memory for some time. Not only from the standpoint of it being the most warm but the driest. The garden seems to be just sitting there awaiting the whims of weathers to come in to play.
As summer was just as hot, actually hotter than my comfort zone, Weeds got out of hand. The Veggie Garden area reverted to the Forgotten Corner. We didn't get any mulch out in early spring because we traveled some.  
Lately we have taken back the Forgotten Corner and have spread mulch. It will be much easier to keep the weeds at bay, hopefully. We have never done fall mulching before. I will see what I think of this practice.
You can see that earlier in the month even things were still green. At least as green as can be expected this time of year. 
Right now all of the grass has gone dormant. What green you see here in this path are weeds. 
I have had to put up a fence to keep Annie and some of her friends from tearing out the back door of the house and tromping through this little garden by the back step. It is working out good. The ground is so hard that I couldn't hardly drive the upright posts into the ground with a sledge hammer. Ha... I might work on the aesthetics when I get a few more sticks long enough. 

I was inspired to make this type of fence by some of the fencing I saw while in Wisconsin at the meet up.

Squirrels are the major points of contention. They lure Annie and her friend Jack out the door and across the patio in chase.
Some of the more enjoyable and encouraged visitors are the Carolina Chickadees. They are so difficult to get a picture of as they are always in motion. 
The butterflies and 
bees are taking full advantage of all the flowers that dare to live during this dry spell. 
We have seen the last of our resident hummingbirds. I haven't seen one in the garden the past three days.  
This is definitely a sign of colder weather to come. Hopefully it will bring with it some much needed rain. How is your garden faring this fall?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Make Over #2 - The Holly Bed Corner

The Holly Bed Corner is another make over in the garden that was spread out over three months or so. Yes, I told you I was slow. We had this gigantic American Holly that was the Darth Vader of the garden. You say you don't remember seeing it?? That is because it was a male, meaning that it didn't bear any of the lovely red fruits for seasonal color and bird feasting. It just stood there like the giant light sucking, space hogging, House Sparrow Condo that it became.  While I love House Sparrows I don't like it when a couple of hundred of them congregate in my garden. They make more mess than they are of help...oops I digress.

I can tell that I didn't especially like this corner of the garden because I don't have a head on picture of this corner. Always photos around the edges of this brute such as below.
I just didn't like the way it loomed over the plantings.
Back in the deepest part of this corner was a Pussy Willow that got so tall reaching for the sky that I couldn't reach stems in the spring to bring in and force. 
So this summer was the time to take back this corner. I was going to call someone to take it out but my DB likes a challenge from time to time.
 So we limbed up this brute.
 With the six foot step ladder standing there you can tell how tall the holly was.
 Then like magic, three truck loads of limbs to the limb pile later, it was down.
It wasn't easy getting the stump out. At this point my DB was sorry he didn't hire this done.
 But being the bulldog that he can be he got it out.
Now it was up to me to clear out all the plants I didn't want, that didn't like the lack of light and basically start anew. There were some plants I wanted to save. They were rearranged, thinned out or moved to another site.
 So here it is in all it's glory. A Silverbell (Halesia carolina 'Rosy Ridge') tree was placed as the center piece. I can't wait to see it blooming next spring. An Oakleaf Hydrangea that a gardening friend of mine gave me. A new to the garden daylily, Winter Vision. I planted a little Alberta Spruce that had been in a pot several years here for some winter interest. We should have some color here year round.
As you can see the path goes all around this garden I will give you the full 5¢ tour.
 Above is how I see it when I come toward it from the house. Looking at it from the West I will call it.

 This is from the South side.
 East side.
And finally the North.
            Even the pitaful Pussy willow in the corner that got a severe cut back is looking quite happy with more light. I think everything in this corner is looking happier with more light except the poor hostas that were on the inside along the fence. Next year they will look better after getting used to more light. I can't wait until everything recovers and fills in.
Now that the Holly is gone. Another name hasn't been given to this bed/corner. I guess I will have to wait to see what sticks in my mind. Our apple tree has been gone for a couple of years and I still call that bed the Apple Tree bed. Does anything come to mind to you?