Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - February 2017

I don't like to sound repetitious but February in my zone 6 garden doesn't offer much in the line of blooms in February.  Some years there is nothing blooming so I guess I shouldn't complain. We have had so many days of April weathers that I have our first Hellebore blooming. I couldn't help myself. I snatched up the first bloom and brought it inside so I could admire it through out the day.
The dogs broke off a small stem of Witch Hazel while rousting about the garden. So I also have it in a vase inside. 
I think one of the most exciting blooms of winter is the beautiful crocus dotting the garden with tiny dashes of sunshine. 
            
The little clump of snowdrops out front are all abloom. It is odd that the ones in the back garden are not blooming yet.  
Inside it is more of the same. The orchids have been relegated to a corner in the livingroom since we were having company this weekend and needed the space. They haven't pouted they just keep on blooming.
My final offering are the sweet little florist azaleas that my DB gifted me with this Valentines Day. They are so cheerful. I just wish they would live to bloom again. 
So what is blooming in and around your garden today?  You can pop over to May Dreams Garden where Carol and everyone is sharing their blooms for this February.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Winter Seminar - Indoor Plants

A fun winter's day was had by my daughter and I this past weekend. It was so nice to be sitting in a warmed greenhouse surrounded by plants and listening to a good speaker.

Robin, a long-time friend of mine, owns a nursery, Robin's Nest,  in the small town where I used to live. She sent out an announcement that she was having a seminar that could be attributed to Master Gardeners credits. 
Even though many years ago I did that MG thing I don't keep up with credits but I know Robin and I knew that it would be an entertaining and enlightening seminar, and so it was.
I totally didn't take enough photos. I must say that my gardeners heart was swelling with optimism for the coming growing season after we were here. 
We had a project to do, with choices of herbs, succulents or general indoor plants.
I chose house plants even though I don't really like a whole lot of indoor plants because of the lighting situation of my house or lack there of I should say.  I couldn't resist potting up the proffered pot. We had an entire rack of plant starts to choose from for the pot. All of these plants would tolerate my low lighting as the herbs and succulents wouldn't.  And I might add all of this with a delicious lunch was included in the registration fee.
Of course after all the arranged time we had plenty of time to browse through the greenhouses and gift shop. The business is family owned and run with a few talented and dedicated workers that have been with  the business so long they are family. 
They had a display of air plants in some made up holders of rock and wire. The photo below shows just a few that caught my eye and I pictured so I would remember what they did. Believe me these weren't the most interesting but like I said I didn't take nearly enough photos.
What this did do is set off a creative streak for me. I did manage to find a couple of air plants new to me. I brought them home and immediately made a few rock bases for them.
The above bulbous air plant has some red streaks on the base of the leaves so I gave it a rock with reddish splotches and a red wire to sit upon.
The little fuzzy air plant above is a Tectorum. It is such a different plant from my others with those fuzzy leaves. I was so pleased that this had a name tag. So many air plants are unnamed and it is difficult to find the names for them. 
The bulbous air plants are often turned upside down and shown as a jelly fish. Even this one above is sort of skinny it reminds me more of  a octopus. I had some beads that were shaped like a fish so I attached it to make an underwater scene. Come on, use your imagination. ;)
This above frilly little air plant is now residing in a hand on my desk. Last year the little darling bloomed for me. 
As you can see I change the resting place of my air plants from time to time so I don't glue them to any hardware. 
Besides I can't imagine that they like that. Just look at what you might get if you treat them nice. 
All of this just makes me yearn more for spring to arrive so I can get out and do some more gardening. How about you?  Are you growing any indoor plants or have any plans for a seminar to infuse some gardening life into your winter?




Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Small Steps Toward Spring

Since I don't normally have weather during the first part of February to even consider getting out and about in the garden it is a nice break in the weathers that allowed me to get out and actually accomplish a minor chore or two.
These liropes are winter burned and rather flattened yet you can hardly see the pot behind them. So I decided that I would raise these pots that sit in front of the screen house. 
The Lirope is cut back and the pots are raised. They have little Japanese Maple trees in them that I took up from underneath the JM here in our garden. 
Even though I have put them up several courses of bricks I might have to raise them even more this summer after the Lirope fills out. We will have to wait and see.
The water feature gave me fits this year it seems. I leave the leaves on the ground around it. I don't remember having such trouble with leaves getting in here in previous years. Maybe I am just more sensitive about the clean out since my foot is inconveniently restricted this winter. Anyway I moved some rocks around. Placing the largest rock (Thank you DB) on the side where the leaves seem to be able to blow over the smaller rocks. Plus the Spreading Japanese Yew was beginning to go over the larger rock. I would rather it didn't so I place a smaller rock into the space where the larger one had been. It seems that the little gargoyle approves of this move. 
After these small challenges I made a cup of tea and built a small fire in the chimnea and waited for some strong winds to blow in the even warmer air of today to test my rock blocking theory.  It feels good to get out and actually do something in the garden even if it is a small step toward spring.
Have you been able to do anything in the garden?



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

First of February

It is the first of February but not everything is coming up roses. As a matter of fact something is eating my favorite rose!  White Dawn, was a gift from my Dearly Beloved. I certainly don't want to lose it.
I moved the poor dear last summer during a hot dry spell. While it isn't the most glamorous place to be planted it gets so much more sun. 
She took to her new home with glee.  She settled in and then sent out several beautiful blooms.
 
This winter she has had several orange/red hips. 
I got out this afternoon and put some chicken wire around the base. I hope this deters the hungry critters. 

Too bad hungry critters don't eat hellebores. My luck they wouldn't eat the tough green leaves they would probably burrow into the plant and eat all the nice new shoots and buds. I have never noticed that they would do this but you never know. I didn't know they would eat a big rose stem armored with thorns either.

While out today I cut back the blackened hellebore leaves so we can see the blooms better. Mainly the hellebores that get the most sun have the big buds. Others are still developing.
Just seeing the hellebore buds and the Witch Hazel Diane about to burst into bloom awakens my enthusiasm for spring. I realize it is a little early but when January bowed out with a whopping 7.2 degrees above average temperature range and February first is warm too, I can only expect a warm spring ahead. All we need now is a spot of rain. How about you?  Are you thinking spring yet?