Friday, November 23, 2007

The Last Blooms of the Year

The cold weather has finally made it here. We dipped down past freezing last night. I went out this morning all bundled up to plant the last Canna tubers I received in the mail and some Hyacinth Bulbs. I also planted a Sprekelia, Peacock Orchid and a Caribbean Lily. I can’t wait for the show next year. The posts on the garden blog will be slowing down for the next few weeks as the garden goes to sleep. We have several projects planned for the winter and I’ll be posting pictures as we progress with them. I also be popping in from time to time just to let you know how we are doing and I’ll post a picture or two to remind you of the past summer and the spring to come. Below are no doubt the last blooms for this year.




'Red Lion'


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pods, Nuts and Berries

Fall is the time of year when all of our plants go to seed. They produce fruits of all types, berries, pods and nuts of all natures. I took a few pictures of some in the yard. I thought it would be interesting to give you a few legends and myths about the plants pictured below. Enjoy…

The Cherokee Indians believed a miniature people lived amidst dogwoods that were a divine race sent to teach the people to live in harmony with the forests. The dogwood people were extremely kind, took care of the old and infirm and protected babies. When the Cherokee came to speak English, they began to call the Dogwood People "brownies."

Dog Wood Berries

Dogwood Berry

English Dogwood Seed

The Canna is often called the "Indian Shot Plant" because, legend has it, lead shot was difficult to come by for early Native Americans and canna seeds were used for bird shot in shotguns.

'Indian Shot' Seed Pods

Indian Shot Seed Pod

The Acorn has also been associated with couples and love divination. Dropping two Acorns into the same bowl of water will provide the inquirers with news. Should the Acorns float together then the couple will marry, the reverse being true if the Acorns drift apart. An ancient Pagan belief that is thought to be connected with the Druids tells that to carry an Acorn at all times will ensure that you are prevented from growing old. This was said to be most successful for women.



Nandina is considered the 'friendship plant'. Legend says that a Nandina beside the front door serves to listen to the worries of the head of the household.



In Greek Mythology, Liriope was the mother of Narcissus who having come to a pool to quench his thirst, saw his reflection in its smooth surface, and fell in love with it. And since he could not obtain the object of his love, he died of sorrow by the same pool.



In Greek legend, the rose was created by Chloris, the Greek goddess of flowers. Chloris found a lifeless nymph one day in a clearing in the woods. To honor the nymph, she transformed her lifeless body into a flower. Chloris asked the help of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who gave her beauty. Dionysus, the god of wine, added nectar to give her a sweet scent, and the three Graces gave her charm, brightness and joy. Then Zephyr, the West Wind, blew away the clouds so that Apollo, the sun god, could shine and made this flower bloom. And so the Rose was born and was immediately crowned the Queen of Flowers.

Rose Hip

Rose Hip

Monday, November 12, 2007

The New Bed Is Finally Mulched

Well, the new bed is finally mulched and I am worn completely out. I walked outside this morning with the intention of only planting some white Siberian Iris and some white Dwarf Iris. I walked over to the table to spread out my rhizomes and I just happened to look up and see one of my neighbors that I’ve never spoken to in the 12 years I’ve lived here getting ready to gather up his leaves with the lawn mower. I’d been looking at his back yard thinking all those maple leaves in it would be just what I needed to finish mulching that new bed Jamie and I have been working on. Never having spoken to him before, I was a little nervous to go up to him and ask about the leaves. Finally my desire to get those leaves out weighed my fear of talking to him, it’s only been in the last couple of weeks that he’s ever even acknowledged my presence when we were both in our backyards at the same time. I walked up to the fence and asked him for the leaves and he said that I was more than welcome to them. Turns out he’s a pretty nice fellow. He even loaded the bags up in his truck and drove them around the block to my house, five 55 gallon bags full of stick and trash free ‘Silver Maple’ leaves. I had to take my leaf vacuum and mulch them up some more, but I didn’t mind. It was just enough leaves to finish that bed and it looks wonderful now! While waiting for the leaves I also planted some pretty ‘Cast Iron Plants’ that Sonny and Lewis were nice enough to share with us and I trimmed up the ‘Don Juan’ rose. After all that I raked the back yard, so I could fully enjoy the new bed free from yard debris. Since I’ve just recently posted pictures of the new bed I’ll show you the ones I took today at a later date. Meanwhile, here’s the ‘Desire’ amaryllis I found blooming in one of the other beds we made this past summer. It's slightly lighter than the 'Red Lion' I purchased from the same place.

‘Desire’ Amaryllis

Red Lion

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Our Moonflowers

It's a cool Sunday morning today, currently 50 degrees outside. I had some plants that I'd been holding inside until the weather warmed up a few degrees. We had a little cold snap and the temperature dropped down to the low thirties. I put the 'Giant Red Crinum' in the ground, along with a 'Black Magic' and 'Imperial' taro that I also received in trade. The 'Black Magic' is a tiny thing so I'm hoping it makes it okay. Right now it seems so fragile and vulnerable. Today, Jamey and I will most likely be planting white Siberian and dwarf Iris. I think we'll also plant the Daffodils today if we have time. We have bulbs for 'Ice King', 'Ice Follies', 'Professor Einstein', 'Tahiti', 'Pink Pride', 'Dutch Master', 'Intrigue', 'Texas' and 'Yellow Cheerfulness'. Meanwhile, you guys can enjoy the 'Moonflower'.

Buds Just Starting to Open

As It Starts to Open

Full Bloom


New Bud


Seed Pods

Seed Pod

Macro Moon

Macro Moon

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Scent of Lavender

Well today brought me a wonderful surprise. I had a rather tiring day at work today filled with aggravation and irritation. I was so glad to walk out of there for the long weekend. My sister, brother-in-law and their two girls are spending the weekend with me and Jamie so that gave me a little something to look forward to on the drive home. The icing on the cake was seeing a package waiting for me at the front door. My Maudie Malcom Cannas and white Siberian Iris made it from Oklahoma today. She also sent Hyacinth Bean seeds, 'Raspberry Wine' Monarda and something else that I haven't identified yet, so it was indeed a wonderful trade. Below I've placed some picture from the garden for you. It's Lavender, but I'm uncertain of what type. If you happen to recognize it please leave me a comment so I can give it a proper name.

Lavender Spike

Lavender Foliage

Un-opened Lavender

Lavender Bloom Macro

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Ixora

Jamie and I went on vacation to see friends of ours in Sarasota, Florida. While we were down there we found these shrubs. I read they are members of the Gardenia family. I'm concerned how they will react to our winters here. Hopefully they will do just fine. If they seem to make it with no problems then we will be getting two more colors of them next summer when we pass thru Sarasota again on our way to the Keys.

This was my very first picture with the new camera Jamie bought me. I use a Sony DSC-F717. I just love Macro shots!

Pink Ixora

This is the Maui Red again only the blooms have not begun to fade.

'Maui Red' Fresh Blooms

Red Ixora

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Progress on the New Bed

Well as promised, here is an update on the new bed. My next door neighbor finally got his yard vacuumed so I got a few more leaves to add as mulch. I would say at this point we are just about three quarters of the way done with the mulch.

Section I of the Tropical Bed

By next Summer I'm hoping the air conditioning unit will be at least part of the way concealed with some type of plants. I've considered putting a trellis of some sort up to disguise it too. It goes with out saying the hose will be made less visible as well.

Section II of the Tropical Bed

New Mulch

If you look closely you'll see we've added some Chrysanthemums to this section of the bed. There are also other plants that have been recently added, I'll post them in a separate blog later this week. I'll show them to you in their puny little state and we'll watch them grow in to something wonderful next Summer.

Newly Mulched Woodland Bed

Just Another View

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Blooms Are Almost Gone

I've been off from work the past two days and I've felt a little less than myself. I can't stand being couped up in the house, so I thought a walk outside might make me feel a little better. I can almost hear all our little babies yawning as they prepare for their Winters sleep. I searched high and low to see what I could come up with as far as blooms go... not a lot to see at this point. It was kind of chilly outside today, this little petunia looks like it would prefer to stay curled up as if protecting itself from the wind.

Pink Petunia

This little aster is making one last attempt to push out a bloom or two.

Blue Aster

What do we have here? This amaryllis has decided to give a November show. The Red Lion and Minerva are getting ready to bloom also. When they open up, I'll take a picture and post it on the blog.

'Apple Blossom' Amaryllis

Last but not least, the last of the Wave Petunia blooms.

Purple Petunia

Monday, November 5, 2007

My Rock Collection

Some time ago I started a small rock collection of sorts. When friends would go on vacation they would always ask, "What do you want me to get you?" Well anyone that has been on vacation can tell you how expensive it gets when you start buying souvenirs for your friends. I started telling people to bring me back a nice rock. First they look at you like you're crazy then they realize you are one less person they have to spend their money on so they say okay. So far I have rocks from Seattle, Turkey, the Hollywood sign, the Golden Gate Bridge, Puerto Rico and Sarasota. I don't know why I've developed such a interest in them, but I really like them. I decided to carry on my affection for rocks in the garden. To begin with Jamie was certain I had lost my mind. A couple of months, a couple of tons and a few hundred miles later he changed his mind. Here are some of the rocks I use as points of interest in the garden.

Gray Slate from Corridor X

This is a rock my friend Meredith brought me back from her parents house in Seattle, Washington.

Seattle Blue Granite

I found this one on a trip to see my In-Laws in Cordova, I was having a fit to get it but it was just to big for us to get at the time. Jamie and I had already put at least 800 pounds in the trunk of his Taurus. I at least had enough sense to know this one would be better left behind. We eventualy were able to load it up and bring it home. It was back breaking to move this thing. I'm certain it weighs over two hundred pounds. I used it as a driveway marker after my friend Carol made the suggestion.

Brown Slate

My friend Jimmy got these from a creek bed at a construction site. I just love the color of them.

Red Creek Rock

This one was also a gift from Jimmy. It may have to be moved to a new home next year. It all depends on how large the Banana Plant gets.

Red Rock and Yarrow

This one is one of my favorites. It always seems to catch my eye when I walk thru the back gate. I took this shot from a little further away so you get a better idea how it sits in the landscape. I really love this rock. I'm not really certain why this particular one grabs my intrest so much, I love them all.

My Favorite of the Red Creek Rocks

I really like the way irises look growing in the rock so you'll see where I have planted them in several similar ways.

Blue Limestone

More slate from Jamie's hometown, once again with Irises planted around them. Jamie loves the fact that he has part of his home at our home.

Slate and Iris

I think this is and odd combination of shapes. It makes a pretty group to me. It's all so different.

Odd Shaped Stones

This is a much larger rock than it appears. It's found a resting place under the Crepe Myrtle in the front yard. I wasn't certain if I liked this one where it is, but it eventually grew on me. Now it looks as if it belongs there to me.

Blue Slate and Crepe Myrtle

Well, that's it for the rock collection. I know some of you are saying, uuumm, they're rocks... okay... and that's alright :-) Others of you are saying Wow! That's so cool. It takes a special person to love a rock. After all were set into place Jamie was inspired to write a beautiful poem about them I want to share it with you.

O' Aged Rock

O' Aged rock!
Carved by sand and time,
Scarred by weather and colored by lime,
How strong you stand,
Moved only by the hand of man.

Inward, outward, onward and so,
With each new day your beauty grows.
Changed, charged and filled by light,
Mysterious colors so glowing bright.

O' aged rock!
Made by time, made by sand.
Wondrously created, never outdated,
You stand the testament of ages,
Not bending, but breaking as life turns its pages.

Lend me your secrets, lend me your tears,
Your life, firm it stands.
Teach me your ways so that I can,
Can too, stand strong in the face of man.

~ James Preston Lawson

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Activity Around the Bird Bath

Well the air is really cooling down here and it's obvious that fall is making its way into our garden. Every thing is starting to look a little weathered and all the leaves are starting to fall. There was a lot of activity around the birdbath this morning so I though I would catch a couple of shots of it from the bathroom window. I have a good view from there. I expect this guys is thirsty from munching on Jamie's Tulip bulbs. I didn't see him doing it, but he had a guilty look on his face earlier. Speaking of bulbs Jamie and I have 355 of them to plant sometime soon. I bought them yesterday, Daffodils, Tulips, Dutch Iris, Hyacinth and Calla Lily.

Thirsty Squirrel

Here is a wren, I think he is trying to decide if it's too cool to get his feet wet this morning.


Here's another squirrel no doubt busy hiding an acorn he's found from the giant oak next door. With all those acorns laying around they have no excuse for munching on our bulbs and ginger plants.

Hiding a Treasure

My mother always told me whenever you see cardinals it's a sure sign that cooler weather is on the way. So I expect the temperatures will be staying down from this point on. I guess we'll see.


This one has just been busy digging around our Walking Irises. I would be willing to bet he's the same one that's been mulching on our ginger plants. Ginger is suppose to be good for an upset tummy. Maybe he's been eating it to stop a belly ache from eating our other bulbs.

The Destroyer