Friday, July 25, 2008

Blooming July 25, 2008

Another week has come and gone. Before we know it, fall will be here and the growing season will be over. Despite the heat and total lack of shade the garden is still managing to give us a few blooms. We are at a point that we are able to look around at everything and see what we need to do differently next year. Just when I think I’ve made up my mind what direction we should head, I change it again. I know I want to create some privacy, which is definitely a priority this fall. We will watch the eventual outcome as it unfolds, on with the blooms.

The daylilies have really slowed down on the blooming, but we can’t really complain because they have worked their little hearts out for us this summer putting on a show. The one below is one of the latest additions to our collection.

‘Sea Gold’

Sea Gold

Last year while traipsing around deep in the woods I came up on a grove of what I believed to be Amaryllis from an old home place. They turned out to be Swamp Lilies, but I still think they are really pretty. They remind me of Peruvian Daffodils. Not a bad score for something that grows wild in the woods.

‘Swamp Lily’

Swamp Lilies

Both of the new Agapanthuses are blooming right now. Well, just between you and I this one is really kind of deformed. It has a flat, curled up stem, but at least we get a preview of the color. I love this dark color and I had wanted one for some time.



About a month ago Jamie and I got these Encore Azaleas marked 75% off the regular price because they were half dead and very crispy. Isn’t it amazing what a little TLC will do? They are rewarding us with blooms just four weeks later. They are also covered in new growth.



Earlier this summer Jamie and I bought this Jasmine Tree. I flip flopped back and forth over it because it was a little more than I’m willing to pay for a single plant, with the exception of Japanese maples. Boy, am I glad we got it! It has bloomed, and bloomed, and bloomed, and bloomed and it has such a wonderful scent that you can smell all over the back yard, just from this single plant.

Orange Jasmine Murraya paniculata

Jasmine Tree

Here’s a close up of the blooms. I wonder how such strong scent can come from such a tiny flower.

Jamine Tree Bloom

One of the true work horses we have in the garden now as far as blooms go is the cannas. We have over thirty different types. They’re good, inexpensive filler plants with beautiful blooms. Unfortunately a lot of the ones we planted just don’t seem to fit where they are so they will be coming out of the ground and passed along to someone else.

‘Yellow King Humbert’

Yellow King Humbert

‘Red King Humbert’

Red King Humbert

The Buddleias are doing nice, but I would have liked to see a little more growth out of them this summer. Pictured below are ‘Adonis Blue’, ‘White Profusion’ and ‘Nanho Blue'.


This year we planted six Crepe Myrtles in the yard, ‘Rosado’, ‘Natchez’ and ‘Tuscarora’. I wish they were all full grown now! This is a picture of the blooms from one of the three Tuscaroras.



This last daylily was purchased as an ‘Orange Flurry’, but that isn’t what it is. I really don’t like to have unidentified plants and there must be hundreds of yellow daylilies. I guess since this one is such a pretty color it can stay.

Orange Flurry

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our Project

Well, Jamie and I needed to put up some more bird feeders since all of ours were sucked up and toated off. We got to looking at those wrought iron shepherds hooks and I told Jamie 40 or 50 dollars was just too much for one of those dang things. I said we could build one our selves out of a pole much cheaper. So we did...


1 4x4 post = $6.00
Okay! We're doing great!

3 Ornate hooks @ $15.00 each = $45.00
1 Fancy solar powered post cap = $22.00
2 Over priced bird feeders that match ornate hooks = $50.00
1 Hanging basket to match ornate hooks and over priced birdfeeders = $15.00
1 Bag of potting soil and a coconut liner to go in hanging basket that matches ornate hooks that go well with over priced birdfeeders = $7.00
4 Pots of petunias free from sympathetic neighbor.
1 Bag of bird seed = $7.00
Grand total = $152.00

We should have gotten the expensive shepherd hook and the plastic bird feeders... Jamie says, "Oh but this looks so much better!" I think to my self, "Do the birds really care?"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pictures From Our Garden

Well it has been five months today since the tornado hit our home and I thought I would do another before and after to show you the progress we have made. It’s amazing to think we have done all this in such a short time. I didn’t realize just how much we had accomplished. Jamie and I have put every spare penny (and some that weren't spare) that we have back into our yard and with the help of a lot of very generous people this is what we have accomplished. The pictures below are reminders of what we started with the first of March this year "post bulldozer" and after some re-leveling to the yard



Here are some current shots of the garden and all we have planted since then. Phillip from Dirt Therapy encouraged me to post these pictures. The lion below is one of two that will flank the entrance to the garden when we get it built. I really need to sit down and draw out the plans to it, but you all know how it is. You can’t do everything at once no matter how hard you try; time and money just won’t let you.


This is a small bed in the front right corner as you face the backyard. Eventually it will be incorporated into a bed that runs the perimeter of the garden. That bed is half way completed and you will see pictures of it later in this post. The tree in the bed is a ‘Glowing Embers’ Japanese maple.


This is an island bed on the right side of the yard that will also be included in the large bed I was discussing. If you look in the very back corner you’ll see a fairly large ‘Crimson Queen’ Japanese maple that survived the storm. I was so thankful it did, we lost all the other trees except it. We liked the way this looked before the storm so we replanted it the same way. We did get Eastern Redbuds this time by mistake instead of the Texas Redbuds that were there previously.


This is part of the bed that I was saying would run the entire perimeter of the yard. I love our little Venus statue. See the mermaid sitting on the rock in the birdbath? She was a great clearance find.


Here is more of the same bed moving into what we like to call the tropical section.



Here’s another lion posing in the far back left corner. It may sound crazy but I want to fill the garden with them. There are three more I would like to have. I want two holding the shields with their paws and I want one lying down and looking to the side. This one got a little beat up in the storm and will eventually need to be replaced with a similar one in the same pose.


Here is our arbor which was a gift from one the pharmacist Jamie works with. We started a new bed this week and have transplanted grass in all the bare spots. I hope it takes off and fills in well. I despise all those bare spots. The grass has really grown in pretty fast though so I shouldn’t complain. We have about five different types, but by George at least it’s grass. Some one asked me not so long ago why I was so eager for it to grow back when I was just going to turn around and dig it up.


This is one of my beautiful rocks. We have a pretty good collection of them. If we are driving some where and I see one on the side of the road in the middle of no where it’s going home with me. Before we got my truck we would haul so many rocks home in the trunk Jamie’s car the tires would almost scrub.



There was such a huge mess in the middle of the back yard, I decided the best way to get rid of it was to cover it up with a flower bed, so we did and it was a big one. To make matters worse, as we were cleaning out the tree roots from the Poplar, Pear and the Maple we realizes the stumps were still there and had only been ground down to a certain point. So what did we do? We dug them up and drug them out. We are talking about forty year old trees here people. I’m not even going to tell you how hard that was to do. Anyway, here is the end result of our efforts. It will need some tweaking over the years, but for now it gives us color.





Monday, July 14, 2008

For Bloom Day

I didn't have alot of time to prepare for this, but I wanted to post something for bloom day. Enjoy the flowers and I promise to do better on my next 'Bloom Day' post. :-)

'Summer Sky'

Summer Sky







'Maudie Maclom'

Maudie Malcom

'Futurity Yellow'

Futurity Yellow

'Double Tiger'

Double Tiger

'Royal Purple'

Royal Purple Mexsage

'Confederate Jasmine'




'Black and Blue Salvia'

Black and Blue Salvia

'Mystic Spires'

Mystic Spires

'Red Stripe'

Red Stripe

Monday, July 7, 2008

The East Side Bed

This past weekend Jamie and I stumbled on a gold mine of savings at a couple of the nurseries we visited. I would have to say it was perfect timing all the way around. When we went out looking it wasn’t our intention to be buying plants, we were just browsing for the fall or next spring. It’s just been too hot to set anything out and I feel like it just puts too much stress on the plants. We visited seven different nurseries Saturday. We started our running around at eight AM and made it back home at sundown with 30 pots of plants in the truck and two wonderful concrete lions. Below is a list of our haul this trip and we didn’t even spend a hundred dollars.

2 – “Elaine” Agapanthus
3 – “Hinag” Summer Gold Agapanthus (Variegated foliage w/dark blue bloom!)
1 – “Yellow Lollipop” Daylily
1 – “Orange Flurry” Daylily
1 – “Sea Gold” Daylily
3 – Tree-Formed “Pee Gee” Hydrangea (these were regular $40.00 each we paid $3.00)
1 – “Crimson Queen” Japanese Maple ($12.00 same exact same tree was $109.00 at one of our favorite nurseries. Carol snagged this one for us)
3 – “Flore-Pleno” Double Tiger Lily
1 – “Sun Ray” Asiatic Hybrid Lily
1 – “Acapulco” Oriental Lily
1 – “Lovely Girl” Oriental Lily
1 – “Coral Queen” Oriental Lily
1 – “Lucifer” Crocosmia
1 – “George Davidson” Crocosmia
1 – “Peacock Orchid” Gladiolus
1 – Unknown Giant Yellow Daisy (gasp!)
1 – Brazilian Bog Sage
2 – “Floristan White” Liatris
1 – Sweet Flag (Variegated)
1 – “Tangerine Beauty” Cross Vine
1 – Scarlet Butterfly Milkweed
1 – “Rosado” Pink Crepe Myrtle

We had just purchased four Encore Azaleas for the east side of the house at 75% off and planted them about two weeks earlier. It wasn’t our intention to create the bed on the end of the house until sometime next year. All those plants had to go some where so we decided to start to work on it. Below is the process captured in photos.

These are photos of the east end of the house at about 8:00AM Sunday morning.



These were taken a couple of hours later after removing all the grass and doing some planting.




Here is our new bed seven hours later, completed with the irrigation system also installed. Jamie and I work very well together. We are just about an un-beatable duo.