Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Bloomers ...of the rosey kind

Here are some blooms to enjoy from this mornings stroll.

Mrs B. R. Cant

Opening buds of Mrs B. R. Cant

Mrs Cant again through the fence

Lamarque getting ready to burst with blooms

Dutchess de Brabant

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Purple Plant Invasion!

While taking a stroll around the garden this morning I noticed that one color dominates my garden more than any other color. Purple.

I didn't plan this to happen but it has. I have a purple clematis (sorry I lost the tag on this one and don't remember what it is).

I have lots and lots of Nepta! This is 'Walkers Low' variety. Some may call this blue but to me definitely a purple shade.

 And there is Verbena Borariensis also known as "Verbena on a Stick". This is a favorite of mine. I plan to do a post on this soon.

Purple again in the form of Mealy Cup Sage which for some is grown as an annual but here in my zone 8 is grown as a perennial.

Chives anyone? I have lots of these too!

I can't forget about the purples of the Larkspur in spring.

This is a young yarrow called 'Fiesta'. I have a better picture somewhere. This plant as anyone who grows yarrow could tells you spreads quickly! I have a dense population of this and just moved some around the garden last year. Very easy to pull out so not a problem. This variety has both purple and white on the same flowers.

Of course I have purple irises as well. Tired yet of all the purple? There's more!

Foxgloves from last year. These are pinkie purple but still lands in the purple category to me.

Ok this one you could call purple or blue or a shade of both. Still again goes into the purple category in my book.

Here we have 'Homestead' Purple Verbena

Last but not least, purple cone flowers and in the back 'Endless Summer' hydrangea which is my garden I get purple and blue. Why I have three purple plants in the same picture!

Other purples I don't have pictures of but have in my garden are asters, Russian Sage, Agastache Foeniculum (grown from seed and may not come up but still I planted more purple unknowingly), Thai Basil and now as if I did not already have enough purple what color azaleas did I purchase a few weeks ago?! 

Purple isn't even my favorite color...or is it? Maybe it just so happens that many plants come in shades of purple? I know there are other colors in many of the variety of plants I have but for some reason I seem to go for the purple. Whatever the reason is I have a LOT of purple. The second main color in my garden is white but that's a whole other post! lol Really I have 3 main colors in my garden purple, pink, and white. I like pastels and cool colors in my garden.  

So let me ask you do you have a dominate color in your garden and did you plan it that way on purpose or did it just happen like me?
  *oh ya...I also purchased a couple days ago 3 butterfly blue (which looks purple to me not blue) scabiosa...go figure!*

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Well it isn't the big spring flush yet, but I"ve got roses blooming!

Alister Stella Gray
I was out yesterday and noticed several roses had at least one bloom open. I got so excited, finally my roses have started to bloom! Of all the flowers in the garden it is my roses that I look forward to the most every spring. So I snapped a few pictures of those that have at least one bloom.

The top is Alister Stella Gray, next to Lamarque she is my favorite. This rose grows fast! Her scent is AMAZING! Very strong wonderful sweet scent that fills the garden. So far she is probably the healthiest of all my roses too hardly any black spot to speak of. I don't get other diseases with my roses just the black spot. I also love her color and I can't wait till the whole thing is covered in blooms!

Dutchess de Brabant
This rose had quite a few blooms on her. I'll get full bush shots later. She is always always covered in blooms throughout the year. Also a very healthy rose, and boy has she grown!

Belinda's Dream
Not fully opened but still very pretty. This rose has beautiful shaped blooms that I love to cut and bring in the house. Looking forward to a vase filled with her flowers once again.

Mrs. B R Cant

Mrs B R Cant was a rose I got on clearance and for the first 3 years she hardly did anything and was always covered in black spot. I was tempted so many times to shovel prune her but her blooms were just too pretty so every year I gave her another chance. Then BAM the 4th year she through out some big thick canes and cleaned herself up of the dreaded black spot and has been wonderful ever since! Some say this rose has a strong scent but I can't smell anything. So sad but hey her blooms are gorgeous!
Marie Pavie

A tiny little bloom from Marie Pavie. I thought I gave Mrs Cant too many chances but not like I have for Marie. This rose used to be in front of Sombreuil and after her beautiful spring flush it was all down hill from there the rest of the year. Black spot magnet! The scent is strong but I have to hold her blooms up to my nose which I do not have to do with Alister Stella Gray or The Charlestonian. I have kept this rose for 5 years now this spring. Last summer I dug her up and moved her to my large rose bed to see if that would make her happy but I didn't care of she lived or died. She actually seemed to improve so we will see this year how she does and this will be her last chance...shape up or ship out!

Bruce Plum blossoms
Not a rose but pretty just the same. Love the blossoms from fruit trees don't you? So delicate looking so dainty. This is one of the fruit trees I planted last spring.

Happy gardening! ~Meghan

Friday, March 16, 2012

The new neighbors.... of the feathery kind that is!

I have two birdhouses in my yard, a bluebird house, and a wren house. Every year I wait anxiously to see who moves into the wren house, because though it is made for wrens it attracts a number of small birds. Last year I had chickadees and I loved sitting on my patio watching the parents bring their babies food. Chickadees are one of my favorite birds. Such cheerful little birds I think!

I had some chickadees checking out the box earlier this year but I guess they found some better property somewhere else. Gee if they only held out cause soon that rose to the right, 'Sombreuil', will be blooming and boy will they be sorry!

I didn't see any Carolina Wrens checking it out though. I would love to have them as neighbors one year! I adore those cute plump little song birds. My friend had a one find it's way through a hole in the screen of their mudroom and laid eggs in her husbands shoe. Needless to say he wasn't wearing those for awhile. She took lots of pictures and they were just so cute!

As you can see Mr and Mrs Nuthatch moved in and I am so glad they did. This sweet little bird is not afraid of me and allows me to stand right in front of him (that is when I don't have my camera, it must frighten him). Mom is seen in the pictures right above coming out of the box. Dear old dad keeps constant watch too making sure she has everything she needs and making sure no unwanted guests come too close. 

They have everything they need, fresh water nearby and a constant supply of black sunflower seeds to which he just loves. I have a wicker set on my patio and what they do is take a seed and wedge it in the chair and crack it open. So funny to watch!

The bluebird house keeps busy every year. Probably the same pair as I heard they do that but who knows. All I know is they give me pleasure every year. Mr Bluebird was not cooperating with me to get his picture the stinker. But Mr Cardinal said, "You may take my picture, I don't mind", to which I replied, "Sure, thanks!"

Oh, I got my 3 azaleas planted, bought a blue Agapanthus and planted it (woohoo I can't wait for this to bloom!), gave away a big clump of black-eyed Susan's to a friend, dug up and transplanted a bunch of plants around the garden, direct sowed some seed (hope it isn't too late), planted some annuals, and fertilized most of the garden. There is still a LOT to be done and the weather has really gotten warm. I always feel a rush to get everything done in spring before the temperatures get too high. The annual Flowertown (Azalea) Festival is the last weekend of this month! It is a huge arts and crafts festival down Main St in Summerville and Azalea Park and I look forward to it ever year. Some years everything is blooming and it is just beautiful. I am hoping this year will be like that. I hope to get some good pictures to share! ~ Happy gardening!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Buried Treasure...Blooms....and eggs?

I was out in the yard the other day tackling an area that I have avoided. Reason being I just didn't know what to do with it. There were weeds 10ft high (well almost) as well as a small grouping of trees that were left after the builders cleared my lot but they are not healthy and really I should just cut them down and dig up the roots. However, that is just way too much work for me to deal with and I am a bit of a lazy gardener, so I have just ignored it and ignored it. Yesterday I just couldn't ignore it anymore! It was driving me nuts and I had to tackle it. It was such an eye sore and sitting right behind my beautiful rose bed too. So I grabbed my shovel, lighter, hose and rake and went to town! All the rain we recently received had softened up the ground nicely. I burned all the dried weeds and leaves from last year and overturned most of the soil pulling out any fresh weeds by hand. I dug out some kind of wild shrub that was ugly....that was rough on my back but I did it. While digging I discovered some buried treasure!

OK, so it isn't the kind of treasure one hopes to find but it was kind of fun seeing what my shovel would happen upon next. I found a weight, a measuring tape, and a few light fixtures but no gold, silver or precious jewels. Maybe next time?

Here is the ugly area...

Told you it wasn't pretty! The pine tree shares the property line with my neighbors behind me. When we put our fence up to the left of it we stopped there because the neighbors wanted to take the tree down...themselves! That's another story...

They ended up leaving the tree and finished the fence last year. There is a run off area the runs the length of our backyard that leads to a ditch with a bunch of rocks you can just make out in the photo. Weeds LOVE this area and I HATE it.

So here is my plan for this area... I want it to be an area that needs little to no attention and a bit of a natural look. I decided to leave the trees for now, though one may come down. I chose those purple azaleas you see in the picture above. There are only three but this variety grow huge fast! They will easily take over that entire area in a few years. I decided on a Confederate Jasmine to climb the pine tree to both conceal  it, as well as for its scent. It grows by leaps and bound here and climbs on it's own. When it bloom, OH MY the smell...just heavenly!
I wish I had taken a picture before I did the work because it was even uglier. I love before and after photos don't you? I will just have to settle with the ones I have. When I get it all planted and mulched I will taken an after picture. The real difference of course will be in a few years when it has filled in.

In the meantime...

I love to have fresh flowers in the house and so I picked these up the other day on my grocery shopping trip.!

Pretty aren't they?

Oh yes, the eggs! Keeping chickens is not for everyone. Most people want the fresh eggs but would rather buy them from someone else and not bother with taking care of a flock of hens.  Not me! I enjoy watching my chickens out the window everyday or watching them after I have let them out in the yard as they run around scratching for juicy bugs and grubs. But there is just something to walking out your backyard to collect your own eggs, especially when you have a couple Easter Eggers delighting you with pretty colorful eggs!

That's all for today! Happy gardening, chicken keeping or whatever it is you enjoy doing!