Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
The last picture is of Chionodoxa luciliae, aka Glory of the Snow. I love this little bulb. I planted it in 2002 on a built up hill on the southern side of Mr. Fix-it's garage. The area is seriously neglected and grows nothing but weeds, mainly moss, wild strawberries and who knows what else. Each spring this bulb rewards me with tons of small wildflower like blooms. The foliage actually emerges in the fall, just like with the established muscari. I divided these bulbs this year and planted a new river along the lower edge of the hill. Whenever I divide bulbs or anything really, my rule is to move the plants only within that area. I don't know why but it works for me to add to the fullness of the gardens. I look forward to a nice 'river' growing here next year.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
In The Garden: Yucca Tulips and Southern Traditions
here are some more!
Nina initially sent me the yucca tulip information. The first picture is of her yucca tulips. She is not sure if anyone has ever stopped by to look and see if the flowers are real like some folks did at my house (http://tinaramsey.blogspot.com/2008/03/more-reasons-to-love-yucca-tulips-and.html#links), but I bet people who do pass by love the look.
Skeeter, who we all here at In the Garden are hoping is comfortably recovering from her tonsilectomy, sent me the second picture of her yucca tulips. These yuccas are across the road from her home. She said she would've added more 'tulips' had she had more egg cartons. I should've sent her some of mine because I have been collecting them for years. As my mother said, they make great craft items-just look at the yucca tulips!
People really get a kick out of these. Most don't realize these flowers are fake, then when they do, that is when they laugh. I asked my son's friend's mother why she was laughing when she realized my yucca tulips were fake. She said because she thought they were real and felt silly once she realized they were fake, but got a great kick out of it. Nothing better than hearing folks laugh.
I appreciate everyone voting. I have decided to definitely keep the labels. It is a good record tracker and easier to find posts by subject matter. I will try to keep the categories broad, yet specific. Is that an oxymoron or close? Thanks for voting. I like reader participation so you can expect to see more surveys.
in the garden....sleeping.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I recently served on a jury trial. Wow! What a learning experience! I waited my whole life to be called and was quite excited last year when I was finally sent the qualification form. Then I had to wait another six months to finally be summoned. The odds of ACTUALLY sitting on a jury are only about 10-20%; I was in the odds.
It sounds kind of like it is a bummer, but no, I found the experience to be a rewarding learning experience. Lessons I learned:
1) Our justice system is fair to both parties.
2) Judges are very powerful and revered people.
3) Jurors are teams.
5) The process is painless.
6) It is my civic duty to serve.
7) Many people do not want to serve or unable to serve due to a wide variety of reasons.
8) Lawyers work hard.
If you are in one of the jury pools, report with pride and be prepared to do your duty. You will truly be rewarded and learn a great deal about our society.
I selected this silhouette of a tall and strong oak to represent our legal system. It has the framework in the form of the many branches, the backbone in the form of the tree trunk, and the basis for our system rooted firmly in the soil.
in the garden....
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
We all know I really like daffodils. Or, as I like to call them, DDs, short for d&*^%$ daffodils. I mean this in a good way-really! I have talked about them before and the fact I feel I must divide them each and every year and what kind of effort it takes, but I haven't REALLY talked about them.
Now is the time because guess what I do EVERY single day in the garden? Yup, divide DDs. I have literally planted thousands of bulbs, including not just daffodils but all types of bulbs. Because I want thousands more in order to cover what may end up being every single square inch of my one acre property, I divide my DDs each year in order to spread them around. I do not include dividing daffodils in the number of bulbs I have planted. No, that would be a bit too easy.
You see, planting bulbs means simply digging a hole to the proper depth, sprinkling a bit of bulb booster or bone meal in it, and dropping in the bulb and covering it with soil. That is one thing.
Dividing, on the other hand involves a bit more work. You now have to dig the clump, all the while hoping you don't cut off some of the bulbs and their foliage, use muscles and fingernails to pull apart the tightly wrapped clumps into individual bulbs, find a spot for the now 20 bulbs versus only one clump, THEN complete the process for planting bulbs. The digging and planting is not really a problem for me, finding new spots for the new bulbs is the real problem.
I have this very bad habit of planting plants on top of plants, or very close to plants, or where I think no plants are (at least not at the time). This can be stressful to both me and the plants. For instance, right now I cannot see the hostas. I KNOW there are hostas there somewhere but not sure where. I cannot always tell where they should be when they are dormant. Digging DDs into their clump is not a welcomed intrusion by the hosta. I then get a bit edgy when I realize what I have done to the hosta. What a pain finding homes for all the plants-not just DDs.
What is a gardener to do? Stop dividing and moving around plants and let the DDs grow at their will? Keep bare spots? Accept the losses and pay for them later? What would you do?
Maybe I should quit planting for awhile and see what is growing. The problem then reveals itself fully. EVERYTHING is growing, just not at the same time and everything does not bloom at the same time. I wish my garden could be covered with daffodils entirely when they bloom, next will come the tulips, then dianthus, then salvias, then coreopsis, then peonies....finally camellias-you get the idea? How could all those plants possibly occupy the same spaces? Back to the DDs and dividing.
in the garden....dividing.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The first picture shows our moved split rail fence. It was initially along the north side of our property, out front. Mr. Fix-it removed it, and I reinstalled it along the state highway which fronts our property on the eastern side. Installing fences in a straight and logical manner is not an easy feat, as I found out. This fence will soon be covered by the Eleangnus pungens, aka silverberry. Gardeners have a tendency to move things around quite a bit, though this fence was in its original place for about six years. Six years can be a long time in a the gardening world.
I will prepare a post on our newly installed fence here in Woodlawn. Though we love our neighbors on this side of the yard, privacy is something we lacked and desired, hence the new privacy fence. Additionally, all 265 feet of this northern border of our property is lined with a very long and wide mixed border, the privacy fence is the perfect foil for the plants. More on it another time.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Gail, over at Clay and Limestone (http://clayandlimestone.blogspot.com/) tagged me. Remember I told you all there are literally hundreds of garden blogs? We all talk and read and learn and participate in fun things. This is one of those. So bear with me....and look out as you may be tagged by me if you too have a blog!
Gail was tagged by Shady Gardener over at Does Everything Grow Better... at http://yardisgreen.blogspot.com/
The rules are simple. Once you have been tagged, you must list 10 weird things, random facts, or habits about yourself and tag five other bloggers. Not only must you list the bloggers and their blogs but you must tell why you tagged them and they then have to follow the rules. They cannot tag you back. Once you are done with your post you must comment back on the initial poster's blog that you have posted to let them know you took care of the tag.
Weird Things About Me In No Particular Order:
1. I used to be a lobsterman.
2. I talk to animals.
3. I think, eat, and breathe gardening.
4. Thinking and dreaming of gardening helped to sustain me through two deployments to war zones (my mother's care packages did the rest).
5. I am on my third marriage and truly believe in the saying, "The third time's the charm."
6. I secretly want to be a private detective.
7. I don't make my bed in the morning and am truly amazed that people do-even when no company is expected!
8. I hate it when people drive in the left lane on the interstate.
9. I love the song "It's Finally Friday!" and if I hear it when I am driving, I tend to speed.
10. I don't have any rhythm and cannot dance or sing.
The five people I am tagging are: Sandy over at the Pet People Blog (http://www.theleafchronicle.com/news/blogs/petpeople/index.html) because she is such a good writer and pet lover, that she surely has some weird things she wants to share with us.
I am also tagging Stacy at the Veteran's Voice Blog (http://www.theleafchronicle.com/news/blogs/veteransvoice/index.html). She posts about veterans and maybe it would be fun for her to try something a little different for her to share some of herself.
I am tagging Melissa at the "Hot or Not" Blog (http://www.theleafchronicle.com/news/blogs/hotornot/index.html) because I have commented on her blog before, and I liked her one time response to my comment about a certain famous star.
I am tagging Bill Cary at his "In the Garden" blog (http://gardening.lohudblogs.com/) because the name of his blog is the same as mine.
I also tagged "An Artist..loosed in the garden" at the "Lost in the Landscape" blog (http://www.soenyun.com/Blog/), because it is a new blog and because the name intriqued me.
The picture above is of the beautiful ocean in the great state of Maine. See all those luxury sailboats? Not many from Maine own these, these are mostly owned by out of staters visiting Maine in the summertime.
in the garden....hoping I won't be tagged again...Gail?!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The Beachaven Garden Club had the pleasure of the company of two very passionate and fun people, Pat and Frank Arendt. Pat and Frank love purple martins. I don't think it would bother them a bit if I said they LIVE for purple martins. Purple martins make them happy, and that is what living is all about.
Frank and Pat explained all about the purple martins; how Frank grows the gourds (lots of Miracle Gro), then prepares the gourds to receive his 100 plus purple martins in March, right about now. The purple martins stay until July, then leave on their annual migration to
These two very gregarious and sharing people invited all of us to come visit them and the purple martins at their beautiful home on
Daffodils. Lots and lots of daffodils. Frank loves them because they are 'a harbinger of spring'. He has literally dug thousands from a nearby homestead (with permission) and replanted them onto parts of many acres. They are just lovely. All are planted in random clumps throughout the very large property and around the house, woods, and near the purple martin gourds.
The gourds themselves were works of art. It was clear a great deal of love and care has gone into creating the perfect home for the purple martins. I did not take pictures of the birds themselves, but they were present. Were they ever! They are beautiful and magnificent birds which reward people with their company. I tell you, as much as I love all birds, I totally fell in love with these purple martins.
I have always liked them and would love them in my yard. But purple martins in my yard will never happen. Even though there is a nearby pond (purple martins like the water nearby), I have WAY too many trees. Martins need a flyway and lots of space clear of trees. If you are trying to attract martins and are not having luck-this could be your problem.
I asked Frank to describe their song. He could not. Immediately after garden club I checked for a clip of the martins song on the Internet. Here is the link:
It is a well worth listening to this unique song. Enjoy. And thanks Pat and Frank for a lovely program and visit! We will all be back in June when it is pande-martinum at the Arendt's home.
in the garden....
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
This post is about a person who has spent two of my lifetimes loving nature. Not only has he loved nature, but he has written and shared his love of nature with countless fans. His name is Joe D. Allen.
On my initial meeting with the editors of the Leaf Chronicle, Mr. Stevens spoke of Joe Allen. He said he used to write nature articles for the paper, but that his health had deteriorated and he was no longer able to write. What a sad loss for us all. It made me think of other writers who wrote articles for the paper and who no longer write. Jim Monday currently writes an interesting weekly article, as does Rusty Evans. I will miss them both when one day they stop writing. But I won't forget the writers. Just like I haven't forgotten Joe Allen.
I do not know Joe Allen, but I religiously read his articles each week. He taught me much about nature. My friend Ursula, personally knows Joe. She has never forgotten his kindness when he came to her home and shared his knowledge of nature with her. Joe now resides in Grace Nursing Home at
Ursula and I visited with Joe Allen yesterday. He was happy to see us and enjoyed our visit very much. Ursula is a kind friend who shows her care in all she does. She brought him some food; which he loved very much. I told Joe I also write about nature, though my focus is more on gardening than the wildlife, and that I would like to honor him on here and in the Leaf Chronicle as a wonderful writer, fellow nature lover, and a super person who shared so much with so many others. He agreed.
Knowing how much Joe loved birds I asked him which was his favorite. Can you readers of his weekly column and book remember which bird he loved most? Hint: It is the first bird he ever wrote about and the subject of the initial essay Stan Gower, then editor of the Leaf Chronicle in 1956, published. It is the Cardinal!
Joe was an integral figure in the establishment of the local chapter of the National Audubon Society, the Warioto Audubon Society. This chapter is still active today as I often read of it in the newspaper.
Do you know of Alan Jackson's song "Small Town Southern Man"? When I hear this song I always think of Joe. He learned about nature from observing wildlife on his family's farm here in
While Joe has always been a protector and lover of nature, his passion for writing is what has enabled the rest of us to truly appreciate nature and to gain an understanding of how everything in life is connected. He says, "From the beginning it was my aim to encourage others to understand, appreciate, enjoy, and conserve the wonderful work of nature around us." Joe, you have truly done this and touched my life, as well as countless others.
For all of you readers and friends out there, and I know there are many, a visit to Joe to talk about the nature we all love would truly lift his spirits. I hope everyone can find the time to visit loved ones (friends and family) members in nursing homes as it does so much to lift their spirits-and yours too! After all, we all may one day be in such a position where we can no longer write or do the things we love to do. It is a sad fact of life.
in the garden....Enjoying Nature About Us.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
One thing I must cop to, this garden has been reworked since this picture was taken. I am trying to prepare it for the Master Gardener Tour in June. Lots of work to do. Some bowling balls were repositioned though still in the same linear manner, and an arbor was added. Another identical arbor is also scheduled for this garden. Will post on it soon.
I promised in my introduction I would talk about a bowling ball garden. This is mine! I had been collecting bowling balls for many years with little or no luck accumulating a lot at one time. I have finally found a source (albeit broken or cracked) for a great deal of bowling balls as you can see! Bowling balls work well as garden edgers because they are heavy, stay in place, do not rot and define a border in a big way. These bowling balls serve a functional purpose in that they help slow down run off from my driveway. Behind the picket fence backing the bowling balls are: Clematis on the picket fence, Rose of Sharon shrubs, and a few crepe myrtles; these are all backed by Thuja occidentalis 'Pyramidalis' with a few 'Emerald Green' mixed in (also known as Arborvitae). Behind the arborvitae are four red barberrys, a few privet and an Easter Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana). During a good year (when we do not have a drought) this garden is filled with Impatiens balsamia, also known as jewelweed or touch me nots. Jewelweed is a native wildflower that helps to filter water and likes a moist habitat.
I have been told the sap in the joints or nodes of the jewelweed stems helps to alleviate poison ivy rash. This is very good to know if you are out in the woods and especially handy since jewelweed and poison ivy grow in the same habitat. Jewelweed normally forms a microclimate. No weeds will grow beneath it, and it rewards me with millions of orange flowers which the hummingbirds love. I truly hope it comes back wonderfully next year. Jewelweed sets seeds just like the shorter garden variety impatiens in that it forms a pod full of seeds. When the pod is ripe and is touched it explodes and often gives the un-initiated quite a start; as one of my gardening friends found out last year (Judie).
The blue looking evergreen tree next to my husband's garage is a Cupressus arizonica 'Carolina Sapphire'. I love this tree as it requires very little care and grows fast and is fragrant. Oftentimes these cypresses are sold in pots around Christmastime as a Christmas tree. They are very drought tolerant and I can honestly say I DID NOT water this tree at all this year.
I cannot let you go without telling you about my arborvitae. I did water these arborvitae about four times this summer. These evergreens started life in my garden in 2003 at about 3 feet tall and are now 8-10 feet tall. They have been in my garden four years. Sometimes arborvitae have problems with bagworms (never had them in this particular garden) and sometimes people don't like that the stems can come apart later later in life but they are wonderful screens, grow fast and are worth their weight in gold as a wildlife habitat. I have found when it is dark and very cold that these arborvitae will be filled with birds. It is amazing to walk by them at night and feel the flutter of small birds flying around because they were disturbed from their warm roosting position (the disturbance part was not intentional I can assure you). These trees like sun to part shade, and normal moisture. I am challenged in the sun part but have found part sun works just fine for these arborvitae.
Anyhow, one last note about my bowling ball garden. I have two hopes when people visit my garden and they are that people feel comfortable and that they smile. Bowling balls in the garden are whimsical and not typical but I can assure you, most people smile when they see them.
Let me know what you have in your garden that makes people smile. There is always something, even if it is a funny plant or view.
Have a good St. Patrick's Day-Make sure to wear GREEN!
This post has published with the comments. Sorry Skeeter! It may shock you to see it at first-but I think it is fine they are there. I hope you don't mind.
Skeeter was one of my very first commenters, and quite faithful. She kept me going happily for a long time and gave me lots of great advice. THANKS AGAIN!in the garden....
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I wish I could package the fragrance and send it to you all! This is a tree peony. I kind of think I always wanted one, but they are very expensive. Normally about $60 and up. My friend Denise brought a catalog to school the Tuesday before the Nashville Lawn and Garden Show. Geri and I went to the Lawn and Garden Show and jackpot! She spotted these tree peonies. They were selling for either $15 or $20 because the vendor did not know what color each plant would bloom. I took a chance and just said give me one. I got my favorite garden color! And just look at those pink leaves! Tree peonies are hard to find and what a find I have....now if I can just find a good spot in the garden....
Also blooming in the greenhouse are some strawberry begonias. I purchased these at the Lawn and Garden Show as well. What a joy to find new surprises. And ever so hard to photograph EVERYTHING that is blooming in the garden. Somehow I just keep forgetting. How do all the garden bloggers do it?
in the garden....
I will do this each month on the 15th. I warn my readers-it might be too many pictures! Enjoy.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Tree planting at Barkers Mill Elementary School tomorrow (I think between 1-4 pm but will verify). Bring shovels and bolt cutters (to cut tree cage) if you are able.
Perennial Plant Society Meeting Tuesday (18 March) evening at 7:00 pm at Cheekwood. The speaker will be a nurseryman from Alabama. He will have plants to sell.
Next Thursday (20 March) is Beachaven Garden Club's Monthly meeting at 7:00 pm. At the Women's Club. Email me at email@example.com for further information.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joshua Castle (the Northwest High School student recently hit by a car) and his family for a speedy recovery.
in the garden....
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I had an awful hard time deciding between the daffys and the hellebores. The daffys won out as Plant of the Month for two reasons. The first being that I had chosen hellebores for last month's Plant of the Month; the second being that there are so many daffys and they truly do show us in a big way that spring is here. The first picture shows some of my daffys with the hellebores. I just love the combination of the yellows and whites, then throw in the pinkish rose of the hellebore and you got a picture!
Finally, I have not posted the Jimster in quite a long time and in honor of our last Golden Hugg puppy leaving, here he is with Baby! This picture is the Jimster's final goodbye to Baby. Baby was truly the Jimster's puppy and he will miss her. We know she is going to a good home and wish all the pups and Golden Huggs lots of good fortune. We did enjoy the experience of having puppies-for a short while.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Pieris is related to azaleas and rhododendrons-not to be confused with the Piers of Celebrity Apprentice; he is quite the character and fun to watch! Like rhododendrons and azaleas, pieris likes moist acid soil, dappled shade and protection from the hot sun and drying winds. I planted this one under a mature Pitch Pine. It has done well over the past year and recently put out its flower tassels, though the flowers have not yet opened. The flower buds are those little white ball shapes attached to the tassel. When they open, they will look like lily of the valley flowers and will be fragrant.
Pieris will bloom for about two months, during which time it will start putting out new growth. New growth is really the reason to plant this shrub. A mature shrub looks more like a kaleidoscope of a mass of different shrubs because new growth is so colorful.
My friend Dianne has the most beautiful pieris in her front yard. I was enamoured when I saw it last spring. Her shrub is about 8 feet tall and wide, and is located in a prominent spot in front of her home near her driveway. It was stunning. The foliage is a shiny evergreen and the new growth displayed colors of reds, maroons, pinks, and all shades of greens all at once.
Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants says pieris is hardy from Zone 4b (with protection) to Zone 7. Perfect for our climate here in Tennessee. It can tolerate some sun, but make sure it is not the hot afternoon sun. This shrub grows slowly and will grow to 4-6' in 5-8 years. (Dirr 1975)
Pieris are very easy to find in stores at this time of year. If you want a hardier shrub to replace azaleas and rhododendrons, you might want to pick one up the next time you are out shopping.
in the garden....