Monday, May 23, 2011

Some pictures from around the yard

What a difference a little time makes.

'Happy Returns' Daylily

This is my driveway bed. The roses are not blooming as I have had a thripe infestation and deaheaded all the roses and buds. Upfront is 'Lamarque' with some daylilies that I forgot the name of. The rose to the left of that is 'Dutcher' with Mealy Cup Sage in front.
Taken several weeks back, we have Climbing Pinkie in the corner and Blush Noisette up front.
Close up of Cl. Pinkies flowers, I love how they change color!
Foxgloves I grew from seed. I just love them!
Foxgloves with Belinda's Dream behind it and behind that is The Charlestonian

'The Charlestonian'

This rose is a favorite of mine, wonderful strong fragrance, vigerous climber, excellent disease resistance.
Mealy Cup Sage, also known as Blue Salvia.

Mealy Cup Sage is a wonderful plant and makes an excellent border plant. It is grown as an annual in some parts of the country but here in my zone 8 garden in over winters just fine and returns year after year. It blooms all summer and is attractive to bees. It likes sun to part shade. A very easy to grow plant!
Close up
Nepta 'Walkers Low', I use this everywhere in the garden, love it!
Clematis 'Franziska Maria' this and the other clematis are new for me, this is there second year. This is pruning type 2. Big blue-purple beautiful flowers around 4-6" across. Blooms June-September and grows 5-7'. I have it growing up 'Sombrueil'.
Hollyhocks, sadly this year they are not doing good at all. The rust this year has been really bad! Not sure why. I plan to rip these out and start all over with new plants. Sad because the Hollyhocks are my favorite old fashion cottage garden plant.
That's it for now!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back from my Smoky Mountain Vacation

It feels like forever since I last posted. I am still exhausted after our 5 day trip to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN but I enjoyed every minute of it! This was a large family vacation which included my parents, my sister and her 4 kids. We mainly went there to take the kids to Dollywood which we did a day and a half of but we also took a trip to Cades Cove. I just love the Blueridge Mountains, I love everything about it! Thankfully I don't live but a few hours away to enjoy it! So here are a few pictures from our trip and if you have never paid a visit to the beautiful Smoky Mountains I highly recommend a trip I promise you won't be sorry!

Uh, please excuse my fingers. You can see why they call it both the Blueridge and Smoky Mountains. Our first night there we stopped and had dinner at  The Old Mill Restaurant, which I must thank Connie for over at Hartwood Roses for posting this restaurant on her blog. We all really enjoyed it and the food!....oh my the food! Yum!...hint...wear something with an elastic me!

My son and nephew gives this place a thumbs up!

My son Tyler to the left and nephew Joshua on the right
The following are pictures from Cades Cove. Let me just say how beautiful and peaceful this place is! This place is pretty much left untouched. Wildlife everywhere! We saw 2 adult black bears and then right in front of us before we left was a mama black bear and her 3 tiny little bear cubs crossing the road (cars drive through almost at a crawl so not really any worries of them getting hit). They were the cutest sweetest little things you ever did see! I have a video that I think I will post but please turn the sound down so you don't hear me in my high pitched voiced going awwwwwww, look how cute ooohhhh, they are so cute, oooohhhh, how tiny....ok you get the point, it's very embarrassing but so you can see the bears I will be brave and post it....don't forget, sound down. We also saw LOADS of deer which I am sure many of you fellow gardeners see more of than you would like and don't have many nice things to say about them. For that I understand, if I had to battle with them in my garden I am sure I would feel the same way but I don't so I really enjoy getting up close to them. My husband on the other hand wished he had his shotgun! A hunters dream.

One of a million deer we saw that day

Ok so I posted a picture of me but this is extremely rare.
This was a little hike in the woods along a trail in Cades Cove. My father is the goofy one up front followed by some of the rest of my gang. No worry of startling bears with this gang! They could have heard us coming for miles!
This is the John Oliver Cabin built in 1822-23 by the coves first european settlers.
This Tom Turkey was calling out to us because we were all calling out to him.
Though not wildlife they are beautiful. I can never resist taking pictures of horses. These were horses from the riding stables at Cades Cove. The owners of this stable are decendants of the people who settled there. Next time we come I am going there to do Cades Cove on horseback. They were all right up along the fence so of course we all went over to pet them.

My daughter making friends.
One of the bears we saw taking a stroll in a field.
Ok since this is a blog about gardening I had to throw in a picture of a flower somewhere! This was on a tree but that's all I can tell you. The tree was covered in them and I thought it was a very interesting flower. No smell and the flower was pretty big. So if you know what this is please by all means leave a comment telling us!

This was the mama black bear I was talking about. Notice the idiot standing outside his car. This is a mama black bear with 3 cubs...hello! She stood there for a minute or two watching everyone before her cubs crossed. I'm sorry but you are crazy to be standing out of your car that close to a mother bear!

Ok now here is the video I told you I would post. This was shot with my camera and so please excuse the poor quality. Remember now sound off! lol

So that my friends was my a glimps of my vacation minus the Dollywood pictures (which I only took like 2 of as we were a little busy riding rides, which let me just say that the Mystery Mine is so AWSOME oh and Thunderhead LOVE IT! ok that's all...oh wait the new Barnstormer...did that like 5 times! Ok that's all). I miss getting into my garden, still have those 3 plum trees to plant and other plants to transplant around the garden and oh ya 4 roses that are still waiting to be planted. I will post some pictures of some plants I took pictures of in the garden before I left last week. So much to do and so little time as I am heading off to the Dominican Republic in 2 1/2 weeks for 12 days to see my dearest of dear friends who are there as missionaries to the Haitian living there. Thankfully the weather has still been beautiful here so maybe I can still get some good gardening time in before the humid summer weather kicks in! Thanks for stopping by hopefully I get some down time between schooling my kids and getting caught up on laundry to visit your blogs.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Meet my "Girls"

I don't believe I have ever formally introduced my "girls" to you so here they are ...

This is ginger the last of my 3 original hens. She is also I am sorry to say the least handsome of the bunch. Her and Hannah (my favorite of the original 3 and also the one who died a few months ago) were like two peas in a pod. They did everything together, went everywhere together, even slept side by side. Ginger seems lost without her. She is the top of the pecking order and always has been but keeps to herself these days.
This is Henny Penny or at least I think it is but really I have no clue! I can tell all my hens apart but somewhere along the way I lost track of my 2 Rhode Island Reds. They look almost exactly alike and I don't know which is the true Henny Penny anymore. This isn't the most flattering picture of her either. It is hard to catch a good up close still picture of a chicken on the go with my camera! I threw down some carrots to try to get them a little less on the move but it didn't work very well.  Anyway Henny Penny as you might have already guessed is where the name came from for my blog. Rose cause well I LOVE roses and cottage mostly because it sounded nice all together but also because I love cottage gardens.
This is Lucy, at least we will call her that because again I have no clue which is which. Henny Penny and Lucy are very noisy hens that lay large brown eggs almost every day. They are also very beautiful hens with that gorgeous copper red color (well at least I think so anyway). 
Meet of my two Plymouth Barred Rocks. Emma is a very curious hen and likes to follow me around the yard whenever I let them out. She is also a very noisy hen, maybe the noisiest even. She can be a bit of a bully sometimes to my two sweet Easter Eggers and is #2 in the pecking order. I love her though and she enjoys being held and petted.
Though not a good shot of her this is my other Barred Rock, Ethel. It is hard to see in this picture but it is really easy to tell her apart from Emma. She has a deformed comb and wattle for some reason. Her comb is short and nothing like Emma's though it should be and her wattle (part that hangs down)which you can see in this picture is much shorter on one side then the other (in fact you can't even see the other side). Both Emma and Ethel are excellent egg layers and lay light brown eggs regularly.
This little girl is Prudence (named after Prudence Island in R.I) one of my Easter Eggers. They are called Easter Eggers because of the fact they lay pastel colored eggs. They are not pure bred but are actually a cross breed with the genes of either an Ameraucana or an Araucana which are pure bred. If you want a pure bred Ameraucana or Araucana you must get them from breeders because hatcheries do not carry them even though they sometimes list them as such (though you should also see them call the Easter Eggers along side because that is really what they are). They all have the cute little fluffy cheeks (muffs) and/or beards. The EE's look very close to the pure bred Ameraucanas but what sets them apart from the Araucanas is the tail end as they are rumpless. This gives them a very unique look. They all however lay the blue or green eggs and sometimes even a light pink. I just adore them! They are a bit flighty, but very sweet and mild tempered.  They are also much more quiet then the all of my other hens. They even squeak when another hen pecks at them. The bad thing is because of there small stature and timidness they are at the bottom of the pecking order and get picked on or shall I say pecked at.
Last but not least we have Patience (named after the other island in R.I). Again I love both my Easter Eggers! Both lay beautiful turquoise blue eggs. Which is such a treat when collecting eggs!
Here are some random pictures of them...
Henny Penny and Lucy or Lucy and Henny Penny
Oops you caught being where I'm not supposed to be!
Gathering around the ol' watering hole.
Checking out the nesting box...
Excuse me pardon me here...I want this box so move on out sister!
No wait I changed my mind I want whichever box you want so out you go Prudence! (this went on for some time back and forth, whichever box Prudence chose Emma would get up and move into her box kicking her out. This is what you get for being bottom of the pecking order!)
Look at that adorable fluffy chicken butt! I just adore chickens tushes don't you?!
Ahhh, an afternoon at the chicken spa with my friends!

There you have it, now you have met all my "girls" so in the future you will know whom I am talking about when I mention their names.