Monday, December 31, 2007

Year's End

I think it fitting to look back at the year as the New Year is approaching. It will give us reason to keep looking forward to this year that is upon us.

Early in spring Ialways look forward to the Epimedium, Hellebores and of course the cheery crocus that come out early.

The dainty bloodroot that someone gave me was up and at 'em early this spring. I wonder if it survived this droughty summer??? We will soon see.

My Dearly Beloved helped me do several months work getting ready for a semi-annual (?) garden party that a friend and I have for friends and family. This year we had our guests make up pots of red, white and blue for their party favor.(OOPS that is Melissa on the right. I am in the red. Sorry about that) We knew the pots would be brimming bright around July. The garden was all neat and tidy all summer thanks to My Dearly Beloveds efforts. He drove me to finishing the work I usually take several months to do in about 6 weeks. I can't say I graciously accepted his prodding at the time but all spring and summer I marveled at how I could relax and enjoy the garden more with all the heavy work done so quickly for the Party. Perhaps a lesson learned here. :)

Things looked mighty tidy for quite some time. I told DB not to sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me. He is such a good person to put up with and actually support all I do in the garden.

On into summer there were some nice things blooming. Like this day lily below. Another lesson I learned this year after starting this blog is that I need to keep better records of what I have planted so I can answer questions. Even questions I pose to myself from time to time.

Mid to late summer the garden is cooking with all kinds of flowering plants. Just remember it won't be long until we are out there snapping away at our blossoms.

This summer was the drought year. I am hoping, as I know some of you are too, that this coming summer isn't so blasted hot and dry. Poor Luna was gasping for much of this summer as were the plants. As gardeners we are always hopeful for the best year yet to come.

This daylily signals the end of the year as far as blooming plants. When it hits its second session of bloom I know the gardening year is near its end.

Very few butterflies grace our garden by this time.

Then before you know it, a late fall or you could say an early winter snow hit us.
Causing all flowering and growing to come to a halt. Of course the garden supervisor was happy to be out making sure the critters were kept in check.

Despite the snow, frost and rabbits eating new plantings.

I feel that things are looking up here at Greenbow. My wish for you this coming year is that you get plenty of rain and sunshine to make your garden grow and that you and yours have the best health to ensure that you are able to endure and enjoy every minute of your garden.

Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Indoor Garden

This morning as I was watering my indoor plants I was thinking about all you bloggers that were talking about the enormous amounts of indoor plants that you care for during the winter. I decided that I admire your dedication to keeping such large collections of plants alive and well. I have a measley 24 planters. I guess I have a few more species because several of my pots have more than one plant in them. I have never counted my collection before but I know my collection has fluctuated in amounts and species over the years. This ponytail palm is a funny looking thing. It had been loped off before I bought it and was at such a low mark down price I couldn't resist it a couple of years ago. It has recovered well but it has three "tails" as opposed to the one central one it should have. Oh well. I like it anyway.

These two palms are great for my home. They take low light and neglect in stride. You can actually see that the one on the right has a new frond coming up. Seeing the new frond is like an anouncement of longer days begining.

The Surprise Paperwhites that I potted-up are doing just fine. The one in the glass forcing vase is growing the fastest so far. You can see its roots venturing down into the water in the vase.
Now I am not very happy with the ones in the soil. They are behaving like a group of drunken sailors. I put them into the soil and it looks as if the roots are growing just fine but the roots are pushing the bulbs over. I set them upright daily and by the next day they are flopped down. Any suggestions for overcoming this phenom??

Here I am having trouble with these drunken bulbs and Carol wants us to consider bonsai. As much as I admire bonsai I doubt if a bonsai plant could withstand my haphazard approach to gardening, especially in containers. Perhaps my goals for this coming year should be to keep alive what is now hanging on for dear life.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Window Boxes

On this cold rainy day I got out a book that I checked-out at the library to do some of that winter dreamin'. I guess you might say I am obsessing over my window box since not too long ago I wrote about it. I am glad I didn't purchase this book. It is interesting but there isn't one mention as to what to do with your window box during winter. This is what I have done to mine this winter. I used some varigated privet and some grasses since I can't reach the pine limbs very easily now. Last winter I had a few more greens to add. This year the pine trees have been limbed up so high I can't reach the greens. Plus I lost another pine and the blue spruce was taken down this summer. So my greens are limited. I didn't use the glass balls this winter either. ha.. I am sure the wrens appreciate that.
The book shows many boxes for full sun. Which is great if you have full sun. In my case this window box is in such dense shade that even impatients don't bloom here. Coleus gets very leggy and the leaves don't form properly. So I have found that tropical plants, things that you use inside during winter are better for this box. I was surprised to find that caladiums did so well in our box this year. I was out watering more than usual because of the drought we had this summer. I think this helped a lot. I have used various hostas in this box too. They seem to do ok here.
I was just wondering if anyone else has any ideas for window boxes in deep shade? I am trying to think of something interesting to do with this window box next summer. It is situated right in the middle of my patio. It is mounted on a kitchen window so I am looking at it often. Maybe this is why I am slightly obsessed with it.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Garden changes

This fall we noticed that another of our pine trees had died. I am fairly certain that the pine bark beetle struck again. At one time we had a row of white pine trees running down the length of the NW side of our garden. There are only two of them left. It has been nice to have these trees. They have shaded our patio and a good portion of our back yard. As you can see from the picture this is beginning to open up with only two trees left. We probably should have taken down the other two as well but I just couldn't bring myself to say it to the tree removal man. I like the pine needles for mulching under the hydrangeas, lining the path that goes to my work area. It most likely won't be long until I won't have that option.

On the up side of this situation is that I will have more area to plant. I will have this big stump to deal with for some time. However pine is a soft wood, this stump will probably rot out fairly quick. The Ash tree that is in this area will probably fill out better to provide enough shade for our patio.

It is sort of exciting to think I might have enough light to try some plants that have not been able to grow in this dense shade. Hmmmmm..... Some fun winter dreamin' about to commence.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Surprises ??

Dawn who is in Austin has a beatiful Christmas surprise in her garden. I won't tell you what it is after all it wouldn't be a surpise to you then. I will show you what is going on in my garden this christmas. My Hydrangea, Nikko Blue, is setting some buds. This is good but it is unfortunate in that they will be frozen off before spring. This seems to happen year after year. My hydrangeas set buds and the get frozen off. I haven't had a good bloom from them in several years. I just don't know what to think about this. As you can see in this photo this bud is about frozen off and there is a tiny bud a little lower that is forming.
There are quite a few buds lower on the branches. I hope some of them survive the winter so I will have some blooms this summer. This past summer I was lucky to just have them survive with the severe late freeze we had. They only grew to about half the size they normally get during summer. I can hardly wait to see what happens in the garden this coming spring and summer. It is a feeling like the anticipation of christmas gifts. What will I get???
In the mean time I am like Kim looking for some greens and reds in the garden, some kind of life. I am not totally disappointed. The only white we had at our christmas was the heavy frost that was everywhere. The frost was pretty while it lasted. We had such a sunny day.
This ivy has petite leaves, a bit of the green with varigation of white and some pinkish red on the edges. I don't know what kind of ivy this is. I bought it several years ago as a filler for a pot. At the end of the season I plopped it into the ground because it was so pretty and I thought it might last a little longer out of the pot. Well, lo and behold it has taken. It grows at the base of the maple tree where ithas formed a clump and is making its way up the base of the tree. It appears ais happy as an ivy could be. One of my happy little surprises.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Santa's surprise

We must have been a good childrenl because when we got home from birding today my DB found a bag hanging on the back door knob. Santa's helper didn't leave a calling card so I am not sure who did this but I would like to thank them kindly.

In the bag was this box of Paperwhites, a pot to plant them in and some of what they called planting medium.

Now this planting medium was some weird stuff. It was a hard dry pellet. When I placed water on it it swelled up to nearly fill the planting pot. Almost like magic. I followed directions, yes I can read, and voile I have a pot of bulbs that actually look like they want to grow. Each bulb had a bit of a pale green shoot coming from it. I have always wanted to try this but have never taken the time or effort to do it. Now will be that time. I have had a bulb forcer vase for many years. It is now being used for what it was intended. I will keep you up to date with what happens with these bulbs.

Has anyone else done this before with one of these kits? I know some of you are forcing some bulbs but I don't know if you are using a kit???

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Busy Holiday Blessing

While everyone is busy as bees, shopping, partying, visiting family and friends, I want to say that here at Greenbow the kitties are all snuggled onto brancheswhile the birds

are doing their own dances

From the top of my tree to the bottom of my heart

I wish you all
and always


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gardening Themed Ornaments

Carol over at May Dreams Gardens has been posting some of her ornaments that have a garden theme. I must say I have a few ornaments that have that theme. I have them on a lighted garland in my room. My DB suggested that I put them there. He doens't think they are too christmasy but I just love them. I have an assortment of frogs on the garland. This being the current favorite. She just looks like she is ready for the holidays. I don't know how I got to collecting frogs but they are a good part of the garden.Of course you need a few work implements. I am always on the search of the best of gardening tools.
I have several bugs in the garden garland. Some of them beneficial...Some not so beneficial. They are all intersting to me.Here is the the only chicken I have in my garden garland. It is one more chicken that I don't have in my real garden.

New Blogger, Old Blogger

     All I can say it is difficult to deal with change. This new Blogger format is not as user friendly in my opinion. I guess I will get us...