Saturday, May 29, 2010

Just a Few Flowers

Hello everyone! We are in need of some serious rain here in Prattville. The grass is brown and crunch and the plants look haggard. We have a very effective drip system that waters the beds, but nothing can replace God’s water. Plants always look so much more vibrant after a good rain. Someone once told me rainwater is rich in nitrogen, is that true?

Anyway, I’ve been short for time here lately so I’m a little behind on my blog reading. I usually take my lunch at my desk at work and do my reading then, but the head of the IT department has told everyone no more internet usage. Sooooooo, that’s an hour of the day I don’t get to catch up on my blog reading. Which really sucks. I guess I just have to do what I can on the weekends because there is simply very little time during the week.

Here are a few pictures from the garden. I hope everyone has/had a great Memorial Day.

'Tequila Sunrise'

Tequila Sunrise

Variegated Iris

Variegated Iris


Shasta Daisy

'Double River Wye'

Double River Wye



'Daring Deception'

Daring Deception



'Raspberry Pixie'

Rasberry Pixie

'Chorus Line'

Chorus Line



Monday, May 17, 2010

Around the Garden 05/17/10

Jamie and I were out working in the garden a little this weekend. I was trying to catch up on a little cleaning and Jamie was busy planting some annuals. He got some beautiful African Marigolds, a few of his Petunias and three ‘Firewitch’ Dianthus planted. I had gone over to inspect the Louisiana iris because we are getting ready to do some serious thinning out and I found this beautiful guy.


Look at those beautiful pearl colored eyes and the pretty blue spot above his jaws. Those gold wings shimmer just like little jewels.



In another area of the garden two of the clematis have managed to escape the wrath of the weedeater. This one is called ‘Galore’. The blooms were much bigger last year. I’ve been afraid to throw out any fertilizer this season for fear Maxx will eat it. He eats everything. He has a special fondness for garden spiders and pieces of bath towels right now.


We have a couple of late blooming azaleas in our garden. This first one is ‘Gumpo White’. It’s a very compact plant and we purchased them for that very reason.

Gumpo White

Here it is again coupled with some yellow ‘Anblo’ Yarrow blooms that have fallen over on the top.

Anblo and Gumpo

Another late bloomer is ‘Cascade Pink’ it stays very low to the ground and can spread to about six feet in perfect conditions.

PInk Cascade1

This plant is 3 feet wide and only about 11 inches tall. It’s almost like a ground cover.

Pink Cascade3

‘Pink Cascade’

Pink Cascade2

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Garden Orbs

About two years ago I was looking thru photos of television stars garden. At the entrance to the paths of her garden I noticed she had meticulously place concrete orbs. I liked the way they seem to indicate a path. Almost saying you should walk thru here. The ones she had were slightly larger, but then again she had a much larger garden.


We have these concrete balls sporadically placed throughout the garden. At corners of beds…


The base of trellises…


Marking the entrance to other paths…


I’ve had so many questions about them I thought I would do a post. I didn’t make these, we purchased them. When I first starting looking for some concrete balls for the garden I was astounded by how expensive they were, most especially the terracotta ones. Well, one day I was over at our favorite garden statue place when I notice a heap of broken concrete pieces. I asked Mr. Johnson what it was and he replied just a bunch of old junk. One of the things that Mr. Johnson makes is concrete post caps. If he forgets to put the wire in them the ball snaps off or cracks at the neck and they can’t be used for anything. Of course my thrift eye spotted the balls in the pile and I asked him how much he would charge for them. He told me I could have them for free. Well, this man works very hard for his money and we insisted that we should pay him at least a little something for them, so he agreed to take 2 dollars a post cap. We took them home, I took a hammer and busted the square piece off the bottom and voila, we had our garden orbs.


I just push the little neck stub in the dirt and there we have our very inexpensive garden balls. Now you know our secret, they are just broke post caps. :-)


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Around the Garden 05/11/10

Well, the garden is waking up nicely so I thought we would take a little look around. It occurred to me this year that so far, Jamie and I have done a pretty good job of keeping blooms in the garden. First the Irises bloom and as they fade the roses start and as they are beginning to fade the daylilies are starting to bloom. We didn’t plan it that way but it turns out really nicely. The picture below is probably the last iris that will be blooming this spring.

‘Fall Fiesta’

Fall Fiesta

The shrubs and flowers are growing in nicely around the statuary. I believe we can tastefully place two or maybe three more statues in the garden. I’m looking for my ever elusive dragon. I’ve found many versions of him, but not the exact one I want. Maybe another goddess or two, like Jamie says, we don’t want it to look ‘like a concrete truck threw up in the back yard.’ He’s so funny…

Parthenon Horse Head

From the first time we saw Phillip’s weeping buddleia I’ve wanted one. Being the generous gardener that he is, he made sure we had one for our garden. This is the first bloom it has produced. I can’t wait until it’s as large as the one in his garden. We are going to enjoy this plant for many years to come. Phillip and Michael have been such wonderful friends to us since we met them.

Weeping Buddleja

The lawn is filling up fast with Dichondra, now that I know what it is I can hopefully get it under control. The grass paths still look nice in the garden and it’s finally filled in around the stepping stones. This was all bare soil 2 years ago.


This is Anthony Waterer's second year in our garden. The blooms are such a beautiful color. This plant was mid-summer sun fried plant we got for a dollar. Amazing what a little TLC can do.

Anthony Waterer

I love the way this back area turned out. Every time I walk thru here I remember the horrible blisters Jamie got on his hands digging up all this grass. He did the little center bed and the bed to the left all in two days. That’s over 350 square feet of thick tough grass he dug up people, all by himself.


Well, the sun is starting to set and it’s getting too dark for picture taking. I’ll leave you with this last shot. One day the privet will grow and the neighbor’s houses will be veiled by pretty variegated foliage.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Garden Wall Project Update

Those of you that have been reading the blog for a while will remember a project Jamie and I did in September of 2008. It was an arbor and garden wall. Well, it’s filling in nicely with Confederate Jasmine and I thought I would show you a couple of pictures of how it’s looking now. Incidentally, how we made this wall was the first article I had published in a magazine. It was like a wish coming true for me, photography and writing, two of my favorite things and I got paid for it!


This wall is much larger than it looks in the photo; the width of the arbor is over four feet.


After the trellises were built on each side we added window openings for extra interest. We thought they would nicely frame parts of the garden when you look thru them. You can tell by this photo it does the job well. The great part is you get a different view thru the windows when you stand in different areas. They seem to frame several things in the garden.


We'll take a look again in another year, it should be nice and full at that point. :-) By that point maybe there will be more work done on the little courtyard that is going to be put in front of the wall.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Our Little Rose Collection

In Our Eden Jamie and I have started a small collection of roses. We were inspired to try again by Phillip’s wonderful rose garden. Years ago I had 16 or 17 hybrid tea roses. While they were beautiful to look at and I did very well with them, they were just way too much work. If you didn’t spray them at least once a week the black spot would take over and soon you would be left with nothing but blooming stems. Here are a few roses blooming in our garden. I’ve tried my best to provide you with dates of introduction, to my knowledge they are correct but I could be mistaken.

‘Dr. Van Fleet’ 1910

Dr. Van Fleet

‘Caldwell Pink’

Caldwell Pink

I’m not certain of the name of this rose. It’s a hardy old shrub rose that my neighbor gave me. The blooms are simple and they don’t last for long, but when it blooms… you can smell the scent all over the garden!


This is ‘New Dawn’ -1930; she’s just about bloomed out for the year. I still wanted to get a picture of her for the list. From what I understand ‘Dr. Van Fleet’ is her father.

New Dawn

‘Peggy Martin’ did not disappoint us this year! We just planted this rose in our garden last summer and look at it. The best part is it’s thorn less. I can really appreciate a rose with no thorns. This rose survive 2 weeks under salt water after hurricane Katrina in the garden of Ms. Peggy Martin, hence the name.

Peggy Martin

Jamie and I know very few or really, no gardeners in our area. On one of the streets coming into our neighborhood is a house with a beautiful garden in the front and back. I’m not the type of person to just walk right up and knock on a stranger’s door so I’ve been waiting for two years to catch the owner outside. Well, I finally did. His name is Ray; he’s a master gardener and a super nice guy. He showed me around his garden and I got a chance to see his wonderful Japanese Maple collection. I invited Ray to see our garden and later that evening he popped in on us. It was really neat to show our garden like that. Other than Phillip and Michael, we haven’t had the chance to show off our hard work to other gardeners in person. I mean, you can show it to your non-gardening friends, but only another gardener can fully understand the hard work and love that you’ve put into it. The next morning Ray popped in on us again, this time with a beautiful gift. This ‘The Fairy’ -1932 rose! The crazy thing is I was just reading about it the day before. How cool is that?



I’m particularly pleased with this new purchase! 'Petit Pink Scotch', I love it! We got it this weekend at one of our favorite nurseries. This rose was discovered in an 18th century plantation garden in North Carolina in 1949. It was believed to have been brought there by Scottish or English immigrants.

Petit Pink Scotch1

This is what I love about it! Look at it's itty bitty blooms! Dontcha just love them? ‘Petit Pink Scotch’ it can make a 4 to 6 foot mound of beautiful tiny blooms. The only drawback (if it even is one) is it’s the thorniest think you’ve ever seen. I think I can deal with the thorns in exchange for the blooms.

Petit Pink Scotch2

‘Petit Pink Scotch’ 1949

Petit Pink Scotch3

‘Red Cascade’ 1976

Red Cascade

‘Veilchenblau’ 1909 and ‘Zephirine Droughin’ 1868


The KnockOut hedge really filled in well. ‘Radtko’ 2005


‘Crepuscule’ 1904


‘Dortmund’ 1955


‘Reve d’Or’ 1869

Reve d'Or

I'm glad you took this little garden tour with me! :-)