Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Weekend's Hard Work

Another weekend has come and gone and once again Jamie and I have spent a large portion of it working in the yard. We plopped a few more plants into their new homes and began putting out the new mulch. When the storm came thru it blew away every single bit of it right down to the bare soil. I can’t even begin to tell you what a difference it made in the appearance to replace it. It really defines the bed. Well, we were so pleased with the way it looked we decided to go ahead and replace the pine straw we had spread in the new patio bed. We knew when we put it down it wasn’t thick enough and since we like the way the pine bark looked we decided to carry it over to the new bed. We moved 1500 pounds of mulch four times, store to carts, carts to truck, truck to bedside and bedside to bed. Let me do some quick math for you, that’s six THOUSAND pounds of mulch, moved by hand, by me and Jamie. Do you think we were tired at the end of the day? The end results were worth it and we had a sense of a job well done.

Some of you may remember that one of our projects last year was to put in a new bed that ran along the back side of the house and down the entire length of the left side of the yard. We’ve been hard at work replacing damaged plants and shrubs and it’s really starting to come together and fill in some. I took these pictures this past weekend.

Side Bed2

Side Bed1

Side Bed3

This picture is a glimpse into what we would like the entire garden to become. We want the complete back yard to be one big garden with nothing but a little path to lead you on your way. If we are able to continue at our present rate, we might just get that goal accomplished.

The Goal

We have a long term plan drawn out and have a pretty good idea how everything will look when it’s completed. Rather than flying by the seat of our pants like we’ve been know to do in the past, we now have a template of sorts to draw things out on as we dream them up. Once we decide it’s a definite “do”, I add it to the layout. I’m really proud of myself for putting this together. I combined tools from Garden123 and Microsoft Word to make it.

Plans for Future_Print

This is Iris Ensata Variegata we found it at Petals From the Past about an hour north of us. The good thing about working in the garden right now is there are several things blooming and you get to enjoy them will you are puttering around.

Iris Ensata Variegata

Iris Ensata

Shasta Daisies have been a favorite of mine since I was a kid and I don’t know why I’ve waited until now to get some. Right now they are just tiny little clumps with a single bloom per plant. By next summer we should have a nice little clump of these or at least I hope so. We have two different cultivars. This one is ‘Crazy Daisy’.

‘Crazy Daisy’

Crazy Daisy

This is the very first daylily I purchased. I got it several years ago and it has bloomed faithfully for me every year. It has large beautiful blooms with several blossoms per spike. It’s such a shame they can’t be weeklilies instead of daylilies.

‘Fairytale Pink’

Fairytale Pink

About the same time I got the ‘Fairytale Pink’ I also got the one pictured below. This was the extent of the daylily collection until this year. Jamie and I have been running around like mad men collection daylilies since the beginning of spring. Now that we are up to 49 different cultivars we are going to have to start becoming a little more selective with our purchases… that is, until the new bed goes in. :-)

‘Little Missy’

Little Missy

Now that I’ve introduce you to the two that started it all, let’s take a look and some of the ones we got this year that are blooming now. I’m sure we will be adding to the collection on June 7th. I got wind of a Daylily Festival in a town named Headland about 120 miles south of here. If Jamie wants to and gas money permits we will be on our way.

‘Tiny Pumpkin’

Tiny Pumpkin

I can already tell this one is going to become a favorite of mine really fast.

‘Sweet Southern Sun’

Sweet Southern Sun

This is another one of the Daylilies I bought from the nursery way out in the country. I thought at one point I had identified it, but this bloom looks totally different from the first one it produced. I may have to wait until it blooms again and give it a second try. I guess there is always the possibility more than one type could have been planted in the same pot.




‘King Lamoni’

King Lamoni

This daylily was purchased as ‘Custard Candy’ it’s obviously a mislabeled plant, but now, I have no idea what it is.


Friday, May 23, 2008

What a whirlwind weekend!

Our weekend at Carol’s house was wonderful as always. I enjoy the time we get to spend at her home. It’s so peaceful there. Of course most of the time we spent was burning up the roads to nursery after nursery after nursery. We visited eight different nurseries in five cities just on Saturday. We were some tired puppies when the end of the night rolled around. We also checked out the local flea market for good plant buys too. We picked up two new crinums with unknown names and a blue orchid vine for six bucks. I thought that was a pretty good deal. The best deal was the new statuary pieces that we got. These things were TOTALLY not figured into the budget, but when you come up on a good deal you have to take advantage of it. I had seen the items we purchased at other places where we live and this guy was selling them for exactly 1/5 the price of the other stores. So we took full advantage of the savings even though we knew it was going to put us in a little bit of a crunch.

The first thing is a Venus of Canova statue. I’ll be the first to admit that she isn’t the most detailed statue, but we have to be realistic. She wasn’t carved she was poured into a concrete mold. Besides, once she gets a little patina on her from tree sap and lawnmower dust she’ll have a very nice weathered look to her. I think at that point, when you look at her she’ll give the feeling that she has adorned another garden for decades before she found her way to ours. To begin with, Jamie and I couldn’t decide if our garden could carry a statue like this but once we put her into place she looked as if she had always been there. She stands about five feet tall on her pedestal. I thought she was an excellent investment for thirty dollars.

Lady Statue

I guess our garden has a hodgepodge of themes to it. It’s a little bit formal, a little bit Japanese and a before we are done, will probably have a little bit of a cottage feel to it. I wish I could make myself stick to a theme, but we just see so much that we like and most the time it’s polar opposite of the direction we were heading the week before. The house is the same thing, an eclectic mix of things, but to me it all seems to fit together some how. Frank, an artist friend of mine that probably has no idea just how much I’ve admired him since we first met almost eighteen years ago, once told me you don’t have to stick to a theme. As long as you get things that YOU like. There are certain characteristics that we as individuals are attracted to, so when we find things we really like, those items all have some uniqueness that captures our attention and that defines our “taste”. In the big picture, everything will come together because it is a blend of the characteristics they all have in common that originally attracted us to them as singular items to begin with. The end result is a theme, and that theme is all about you. I know I did a poor job of explaining that, but long story short, I’ve found that Frank was exactly right. Our garden may seem a little chaotic and a mixture of style, but in the long run I’ll bet it becomes a master piece. After all we are ‘Creating Our Eden’. All that being said, this next picture is one of the two new Japanese lanterns we got this weekend. I didn’t take a picture of the smaller one because I wanted to have it sitting in it’s new surroundings and not just on the back patio where it is now.

Tall Japnese Lantern

The chrysanthemums are putting on their spring show right now. I don’t really care for the color yellow except when it is the color of a flower. Then… it is my absolute favorite.

Yellow Chrysanthemum

Jamie and I have built a very impressive Daylily collection since the beginning of spring and there seems to be no sign that our new addiction is slowing. We currently have forty-eight different cultivars. This past week I noticed that the foliage has been looking a little ugly on some of them. I was certain it had to be more that just aged leaves. So, day before yesterday I diligently searched for the symptoms and the name of some disease that could be the problem. I didn’t have to search long before I found it. It’s a fungal infection called Leaf Streak and from what I read it appears to be a nasty rascal and contagious. This weekend I intend to wage a full scale war on this invader! I understand it only responds to about three different fungicides, none of which I have been able to locate online. Keep your fingers crossed that I find one of them tomorrow. We added four more to our collection that we got on our visit to Carol’s house. Three of them I was able to catch in bloom, but the ‘Apricot Sparkle’ will come most likely in next week’s post.

‘Lady Georgia’

Lady Georgia

We purchased three unnamed daylilies at this little nursery way out in the country. I really like to have the name of every plant we buy and I almost didn’t get them for that very reason. I asked the lady running the place if she could tell me what the name of them were and she said, “Yes, those are daylilies.” Then she continued on with her phone conversation. I’ve identified two of them but this one I still don’t know.

DN Unknown2

‘Little Mystic Moon’

Little Mystic Moon

Jamey spotted this little jewel. I didn’t know there was such a thing. I have completely fallen in love with this color. Just look at it, I think it is an absolutely incredible shade of purple.

‘Purple De Oro’

Purple De Oro

Jamie took this picture while we were visiting Carol. Her garden was filled with hundreds of butterflies. You could feel magic everywhere. What are these crazy little bees with no stripes?


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Some May Blooms For You

The Last of the house repairs have been completed and all is starting to return to normal around our home. We still need to repaint the shutters; doors and trim work and also pressure wash the bricks to remove some of the tar left from flying shingles. I don’t really consider that repairs, it’s more like maintenance. Everything needed a new coat of paint anyway; I had just commented to someone that the shutters were starting to look a little faded. What a relief to be done with all that.

We’ve been steadily sticking things here and there in the garden and the beds are starting to fill up some. Either this Sunday afternoon or next weekend we are going to start getting the mulch replaced in the beds. I know we are running a little behind with that, but we had planted a bunch of seeds and I wanted to give them a chance to come up before we spread it all out. After a tremendous amount of floundering around, we decided to go with small pine bark. I like it because it’s a dark color, it’s cheap and hopefully it will improve the soil as it breaks down. Everything is going to look so much better once all that is done.

Friday night we are headed a hundred miles south of here to spend the weekend with our dear friend Carol. She’s a total garden junky just like the two of us and it should be a lot of fun. We will no doubt hit all the local nurseries. Yay! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and I hope you enjoy the flower pictures below.

This is one of the new spirea we got the past weekend at Petals From the Past. Isn’t it beautiful?

'Anthony Waterer'

Anthony Waterer

Jamie’s ‘Nikko Blue’ hydrangea is doing very well in its new spot. I think we did good when we decided to put it there.

'Nikko Blue'


Here is the other spirea we got this past weekend.

'Little Princess'

Little Princess

We also added another lantana to the mix. I noticed this week that none of the others are blooming right now and I don’t know why, they just stopped.



Plumbago 'Hardy Blue'

Hardy Blue

'Red Velvet'

Red Velvet

'Double Decker'

Double Decker

We decided to build our collection of roses back up. I recently tossed a bunch of hybrids two years ago because of black spot. Seeing Phillip’s posts on his roses have inspired us to give it another try, but this time we are using old fashion and antique roses. I hope we do well with them…



'Red Rum'

Red Rum

'Red Hot Poker'

Red Hot Poker

'Sound of Silence'

Sound of Silence

I’m guessing this is some variety of crinum that Carol gave us. Her home is a wonderful old farm house that is fast approaching or has recently passed 100 years old and I suspect these have been there about the same length of time.


'Warm Igloo'

Warm Igloo

'Aztec Gold'

Aztec Gold

'Regency Dandy'

Regency Dandy

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I Missed My Sunny Saturday

I woke up Saturday morning and followed my general routine. I fixed my special, blueberry cobbler coffee that I always treat myself to on Saturday and Sunday morning, sat down at the computer and checked my email and favorite sites for updates. It’s a very quite time of the day and I really enjoy the peace of the early morning. After finishing my coffee I walked outside to survey the task that needed to be accomplished for the day. I usually spend the entire weekend trying to make some improvement on the yard or garden. I’m totally preoccupied with the garden and I get really irritated if I don’t have my weekend in it. I know the hot days of summer will be coming before long and I won’t be able to stand the heat. I walk outside and this is the view I have…


I’m all about a good storm, I love all the wind and negative ions in the air it’s exhilarating. I just don’t like it on the days I’m planning on doing yard work. Just as I started my stroll around the beds to see if anything new was blooming the rain began to fall. The drops of water were as cold as ice and another minute or two later that’s just what was falling. We had a hail storm with stones about the size of Chinese marbles. Fortunately, it didn’t last long enough to do any damage to the plants and it wasn’t large enough to dent my new pickup that has less than two thousand miles on it. I really panicked when it started to come down, I just knew all the little plants we just set out were going to get ripped to pieces. Since there was nothing else to do that day I chose to spend the time in bed watching television which is something I haven’t done in years!

Sunday was a much better day, nice weather and sunshine the entire time. I got all my chores done and then some and while I was outside, Jamie was able to study for his big test. In between chopping out huge roots with an ax and burying concrete stepping stones I snapped a few pictures. The first one is a discovery that was made after a robin few out of the old Crepe Myrtle in the front yard and almost scared me to death. I don’t do well when things jump out of the bushes at me.

Robin Nest

Robin Nest

This little beauty is ‘Pandora’s Box’. It’s another one of the new daylilies we got this spring. I’ll bet you guys get tired of seeing daylilies before all these babies get thru blooming.

'Pandora's Box'

Pandora's Box

This next one is ‘Bessie Howell’s’ rhododendron. You can see the tattered leaves from the flying debris of the tornado. Frankly, I’m surprised it and the ‘Nova Zembla’ are still living. They are in full sun now, so we’ll see just how much of it they can take as the summer progresses.

'Bessie Howell's'

Bessie Howell's

'Nova Zembla'

Nova Zembla

This is my one of my old fashioned roses that really isn’t my rose, but it is. It’s growing in my neighbor’s yard. She hates it and I love it. This past spring she cut all of it out of her yard except what was growing thru the fence and hanging on my side. She told me if I wanted to cut it all down to the ground, I could. she was tired of it. If I didn’t I could consider it my rose bush. So the root ball is in her yard and the bush is in ours.

Shared Rose

This is another one of the old shrub roses I got from my neighbor. It grows shoots from the roots really easy, so it’s a snap to divide. She has four other old roses that I will be getting some plants from soon. Phillip at Dirt Therapy has convinced me to give roses another try. This time I’m sticking with the old ones that are more disease resistant.

Old Fashion

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Few Blooms From the Garden

We did indeed get the drip system finished for the garden and I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to know I’m not going to have to drag the hose for three hours a day in the hot Alabama heat this summer. Yay! Everything is set up for automatic watering, the beds, the planters, hanging baskets and even the birdbath fills itself. We had enough materials left over that I’m going to run another drip system for the trees and bed in the front yard and for the shrubs down the side of the house. We can leave for vacation this year and only need someone to check the system to be sure it comes on and goes off properly. If you still have to drag around a water hose in the summer I highly recommend you make this a top priority on you list of things to do. You will absolute be convinced that the small amount of money and time it takes is well worth it and anyone can do it.

We are really satisfied with the way the garden is coming back together. Although it bugs me tremendously that the neighbor’s houses are still visible. When planting the fence line I didn’t take into consideration that everything we planted was deciduous, so even when it grows up over the years in the winter months it will still be visible. I’m sort of at a loss for what to do at this point. There isn’t any room to put any evergreens on that fence line now with out packing everything in there tighter than sardines. Some of those pencil trees would work, but those things are really expensive. I’m really looking for suggestions here, so put on your thinking caps and help me out. A privacy fence is really not an option I want to consider, so we can strike that idea.

Okay, on with some pictures. Here are the things that are blooming in the garden right now. I'm sorry about the © at the bottom. I recently found almost all my pictures reposted online. As soon as I make up my mind about the font, it'll be a little less obvious. It isn't that I mind them being used, but the least they could do is give me credit or mention Creating Our Eden. Anyway, we will start off with the little rose we just purchased a couple of weeks ago. It’s a miniature that is considered a ground cover, but everything I’ve read about it so far suggest making a small climber out of it. The tag says it blooms from spring until frost.

'Red Cascade'

Red Cascade

We still have daffodils blooming this late in the spring. The ‘Yellow Cheerfulness’ just started this week. The blooms are only about the size of quarter, or maybe even a little smaller.

'Yellow Cheerfulness'

Yellow Cheerfulness

We have put together a rather large daylily collection in the past couple of months. We currently have 40 different varieties. When this spring started we had three. Can you tell we went a little Daylily crazy? Anyway, get ready for lots of pictures of them to come.

'Sound of Silence'

Sound Of Silence

'Daring Deception'

Daring Deception

The Stellas are doing well this year.

'Stella De Oro'

Stella De Oro

Last winter Lowe’s had marked all their bulbs down to like twenty five cents a pack. I took full advantage of the savings. I think all together I bought over eight hundred bulbs. I’m glad I did, because had I not we would have almost nothing blooming this year. Unfortunately, some of the bulbs were packaged wrong, but I think I’ve managed to identify them. Here are some of the Dutch and Bearded Irises.



'Casa Blanca'

Casa Blanca

'Sapphire Beauty'

Sapphire Beauty



'Hello Darkness'

Hello Darkness

'Canned Heat'

Canned Heat

This is an actual photo. When I took it there was all kinds of junk in the background like hoses, stepping stones and peeling paint on the storage room. So I spent all this time in Photo Shop removing all the visible clutter and now it looks like a beautiful print or post card. Later, a friend said, "I would have just hung a back drop." Duh! Leave it to me to over look the obvious. Oh well, I had fun working on the picture. I was feeling really Zen while doing it.

'In Your Dreams'


Jamie liked these Angelonia, so we got a couple of them, we bought some once before for a planter and they bloomed all summer. I hope these do as well.

'Serena White'

Serena White

'Angelmist Orchid'

Angelmist Orchid