Monday, May 15, 2017

Mid May Bloom Day

Greenbow this May is about as you would imagine it would be bloom-wise. There are a some surprises in that a few flowers have bloomed a little early. The irises are about finished blooming and alliums are at that star struck stage. 
The Honeysuckles in the garden are continuing their rounds of blooms. They are a great plant to have in the garden during migration. Our first hummingbird made a bee line to them. 
A nice little surprise was a female Common Yellowthroat Warbler. She and her hubby, who I didn't get a picture of, stayed around for a few days before they passed along to their nesting area. 
Others who stopped at the nearby feeding station was this male Rose Breasted Grosbeak
and his partner. 
It seemed that the entire family stopped by on their way North. Jr was here as long as they stayed. How do I know this is a young bird? It still has some of the brown streaking on it's flanks and the black on it's head is not fully transformed. How do I know this is a family unit?  I don't know but that  doesn't stop me from telling myself this fairy tail.
Since it is Mother's Day as I type this I thought I would show you a couple of the Moms in the garden. First we have Mrs Robin on her nest that is nestled in the grape vines. There are a lot of grapes beginning to form.
Then over here in this ceramic nest box we have Mrs House Wren. She is not as trusting as Mrs Robin.
She soon jumped out of her nest to try to lure me away. I didn't dally here even though there is a bench right below the nest box.
Let's go over and have a seat on the patio and if you choose to stay with me I will show you some of the other denizens of the garden. Yes, I am still enjoying my color update on the patio. All the plants around the patio are filling in nice. If you make the photo larger you can see the Gull Wings iris, the orange begonia on top of the chimnea , the honeysuckle in the right background are all blooming. Even the succulent in the middle of the table has a bloom. 
We make blackberry and grape jelly and share with the birds and other friends. 
  We will have plenty of blackberries this year thanks in part to this fly that is a bee mimic.
The Grey Catbirds are back. They love jelly.  I haven't found their nest yet, I am not really looking for it but when Annie went to one area of the garden the Mr dive bombed her. So I  have a feeling if I looked in the area I would find it. 
It is funny that when the Catbird attacked Annie she didn't even know it was a bird that attacked. She thought it was her furry nemesis the grey squirrel that gave her a nip on her back. She looked all around for them and totally ignored the bird in the shrub scolding her. The squirrels and Annie have a love hate relationship. Annie loves to chase them and they hate her for it.
I know that the Red-bellied Woodpeckers have a nest near here too. Both the male and female stop by the seed platform to imbibe of some easy treats. This is a female. She is so agile using her stiff tail as a prop. 
So far the garter snake is keeping up with the snails and slugs. I haven't had much damage to my hostas yet thanks to this fellow.
So instead of leaving you with that vision, for those who abhor snakes I will leave you with another lovely honeysuckle, Scentsations, with my red climbing rose in the background, which is two weeks early blooming.
 I hope everyone enjoyed Mother's day and you were able to hang out in the sun and sniff flowers.
If you didn't give or get any flowers to celebrate or you just want more to look at you can pop over to Carol's at May Dreams Garden. to get your fix of blooms.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Viburnum Standard

In the right background of this picture you can see this enormous Doublefile Viburnum that I bought 16 years ago as P.T. Pink Beauty Viburnum. There is nothing pink about this shrub. Don't let that tricolor Beech tree in the fore ground fool you. The viburnum has these elegant limbs spread in layers with beautiful white doublefile blooms on it every spring. A gorgeous plant no doubt. 
As it has aged it is putting out new plants all around the mother plant. As I walked by a couple of years ago I noticed that the stems of one of these plants was straight up peeking above one of the mother stems. 
I says to myself, 'this would make a really nice standard plant with that straight stem'. So I dug it up and put it into a nice big pot. I trimmed back the stems and waited.
The next year it had started filling in fairly well.  No blooms of course but it was filling in.
Through out last summer and this past winter it was blown over several times. Poor thing. I tried putting rocks on top of the soil to give it more heft. I finally took mercy on it and transferred it into a heavier pot. So far with all these spring days with ferocious big blows it has stayed upright.
I believe that in thanks for this upgrade it bloomed beautifully through Easter this year. 
I feel like it is quite the success. I hope it lives long in its new pot. I intend to treat it like a bonsai in that I will trim the roots to keep it in this pot. It is now beginning to set fruit on these little short stems. I hope to see the birds that come to eat those berries this fall.  
The Mother plant is tucked back almost into a corner of the garden where I can't view it closely so this will  give me the opportunity for close surveillance. 
When I look at this with a critical eye I realize that this shrub isn't the best for trying to make into a ball since it's natural form is to have tiered limbs. But the blooms and the naturally straight trunk sold me. 
I have another standard I made with a honeysuckle. I think I have shown you that one before. I can't help myself. I think it is such fun to have these beauties. Maybe I will end up with a lollipop walk. 
How about you? Do you have any standards in your garden?  Do you make your own or purchase them, such as those beautiful rose standards. I don't grow roses very well so I doubt I will try one of those but I will be looking at all the shrubs in the garden to see if there might be another candidate for a standard.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - April 2017

This April Gardeners Bloom Day is the most prolific April Bloom Day I can remember. I have looked back at several years of posting. many of which I didn't bother to post, and this does reinforce my thought. I can't find an April that has this many plants blooming, and here I was fretting that nothing would be in bloom when the folks come to visit on Easter.
I must say that most of the early blooming bulbs have worn out what with so little rain and all the hot weather. Yet there are a few hangers on, like these grape hyacinths that are light blue that fades to white and the yellow narcissus. The Camassia and Dicentra formosa are just coming on.
The Serviceberry tree has gone over but the Silverbell tree is blooming nicely.
It is so difficult to get a blooming tree photo. Yes, you are seeing pink on this silverbell. This variety is named 'Rosy Ridge' and it does have a touch of rose in the little bells as you can see up close. No matter how you look at it it looks pretty to me.
You can see here the big red dogwood is all abloom. Behind you can see some of the Redbuds.
The Leatherleaf Viburnum is abloom. I just love these little pink and white blooms with little rays of yellow around the edges.
Another Viburnum is blooming too. This is the standard that I made from the parent plant I am pleased how it has come along.
A few tulips and narcissus along with old fashioned purple irises are looking good. The Irises aren't quite all out yet. 
Virginia Blue Bells are abloom. 
The pink Lily of the Valley started blooming before the white ones this year.
Today I found my first Iris Crisata blooming. It seems like mine are always the last to come into bloom. I don't mind just as long as they do bloom.  
I could go on and on but I won't. I will just put a further listing at the bottom of this post for my reminder and your perusal.  For those of you that want to see more blooms pop over to Carols May Dreams Garden to see what is blooming where this month.

Blue Phlox
Golden Alexander
Spring Beauties
Ice plant
Creeping phlox
Anemone Blanda
Epimediums - yellow and red
Variegated Soloman' s Seal
Blue Hollies
Forest Pansy Redbud
White Lilac
Old fashioned Lilac
Variegated Kerria Shrub
Double Kerria Shrub
Azalea (Red)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tuesday Cogitation

So much has been going on in the garden I have hardly had time to stop and think. Today is the day. I am worn out. You see I have been encouraged by this warm spring weather we have been having.
I have had my first plant shopping trip. It was fun not only because of all the plants I have purchased but I was with some of my favorite people, my daughter, sister, niece and cousin. I wish I had a picture of this motley crew.  We easily filled the back end of a full sized truck with all our purchases.
Something I have wanted for a long time is one of these rocks that someone carved-out a niche for water, or I guess you could plant some alpines in it. It doesn't hold water for long I can tell you. I didn't think I would ever pay for a rock like this because, as I kept telling myself, I could drill out a scoop like this if I really wanted to. You know how that is. I never did it so I decided to just buy one. This one even had moss already growing on it.
I don't have too many succulents but this one really was amazing. It looks like a neon plastic hens & chicks. It really is this color and the tag says it will be like this during winter and go to a lime green during summer. Now won't this be interesting to see if it does. It is called 'Gold Nugget'.  Newly available  this year. I am looking forward to see how it grows and colors itself. 
I have had to dig out some sod to plant some plants. I bought a Peony 'Itoh Bartzella' on faith. You don't see it sitting behind the Heucherellas 'Solar Eclipse' because it wasn't up yet. I am hoping the rain we had last night will awaken it. I can always take it back if it doesn't awaken but it is a long drive to do so. This purchase sort of spurred my yellow thinking. You see the Peony is to have yellow blooms and these Heucherellas have a yellow tinge with red veins. 
I bought some yellow paint a gave the old white bird cage a good going over. I like this splash of yellow  on the patio with all the blue and greens.
Yes, I am about ready for summer to begin. So much is happening I haven't been able to get anything posted.
Some of columbine are blooming. This means I had to get out the hummingbird feeder because they could be coming in at any moment. 
I could go on and on but I won't right now. How is spring shaping up in your garden?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bonsai and Moss

Today as I headed out to my hair appointment my hairdresser texted that she would be running late. What is a person to do when you get that message?  As a gardener on a cool spring morning you head for the nearest display of plants available. Yep, no self respecting nursery around here has much to offer this time of year but the local big box store has plenty of pansies and small shrubs etc. I must say I did succumb even though it was spitting rain. After all the weather watchers say we aren't going to have any frost for the next 10 days or so. 
While there I also picked up a magazine MINI GARDENS & TERRARIUMS.  I thought I could sit and read until called to the shearing chair. I just got started reading this magazine when I came upon a picture showing a small Japanese Maple in a box being trained as a bonsai. It had moss and rocks around it. 
Oh be still my heart. This reminded me of the small Japanese Maple that I nursed through last summer. When early winter came along I stowed the pot in the the window well that leads to our crawl space. I thought it might survive with a bit of protection. I couldn't hardly wait to get home and check on my little maple with it's mini hosta and moss.  As you can see the little darlings survived and thrived. This is the only tree in the garden with leaves. So I can say it is a bit warmer in there sort of like a greenhouse. 
With the picture in the magazine as an inspiration I wired the little tree into a cascade. It being so small it was easy to do. 
As you can see I added a small fern that I bought this winter that is supposed to stay small. It looks larger in the pot than I imagined I can always take it out if it gets too big.  
Have you ever tried bonsai?  I have always admired the small trees, plants, moss and rocks that all are part of the whole scene. I have no idea what kind of moss I have in there. The clump of moss that has the spore capsules is a dark green. It has been in the pot as long as the tree and hosta have been together there.  
The flat moss, which is larger and a lighter green, is a piece of moss that I collected not long ago. I hope it likes it's new home. Do any of you have an idea of what kind of mosses I have here?
  I would like to hear your thoughts about my little bonsai start. I don't know what I am doing even though I have read about the process. I decided to go for it. We will have to wait to see what happens now.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - March 2017

It is just that time of  year. I woke to a snowy surprise this morning. I knew it was going to get cold, like it 'felt like' 5 this morning, but I didn't realize we were to get a dash of snow. Enough to make things looks a little saggy.

As you can see the main bloomers are all snugged into the snow.
It didn't take long for the sun to melt the snow and warm up the atmosphere.
The hyacinths weren't too impressed. 
And these narcissus weren't too happy. 
The white crocus were just about coaxed into blooming. 
Right around the corner the spirea was all abloom as it ever is. It sits under the Magnolia tree where it doesn't get enough sunshine but it takes advantage of all it does get. The poor Magnolia didn't get to bloom this year. I won't show you the carnage. It is too depressing.
The windflowers and some of the Hellebores are also protected.
As we stroll by the patio doors you can see that inside there is a bloom or two. The Lime Begonia is still blooming although not as profusely. The tiny azaleas that were a gift to me are still abloom. One isn't too happy but it has color.  
Speaking of indoors...this bromeliad is blooming!  It's a new plant for me. I have only had it since this February. It looked awfully dry when I bought it. I gave it a good drink of rain water.
It repaid me with several of these beautiful white blooms. It's name is Absolute Zero but she is a perfect 10 to me.
What do  you have blooming today? Please do tell and join everyone over at May Dreams Garden  where Carol encourages everyone to share their blooms on the 15th of each month.