Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Just About Ready!


I’m so very excited about the jump start I have on spring this year. I don’t ever remember having the garden cleaned up and ready to go so soon. There are still a few minor things that need to be done, but nothing of any major significance. It is such a relief to have all the hard stuff out of the way so I have nothing to do but enjoy planting next year.


It never ceases to amaze me how empty the garden looks in the winter time. The vast majority of the plants I have die back to the ground in the winter. Last year, being by myself and just having back surgery I had help cleaning everything up. He came back about midsummer for a visit and even he couldn’t believe how different everything looked.


I took the ‘Sweet Autumn’ clematis down from this arbor this year. It was just becoming way too much vine for it. I have two very healthy vines that I’ll be removing and passing along to a friend. I was thinking about maybe planting black eyed susan vines on it. They come in so many different colors now a day. It’s not written in stone but that’s the idea I’m kicking around at the moment.


The Crepe Myrtles are starting to get some good size on them too. I’m going to be highlighting them with spotlights. I went yesterday and starting pricing the items I need to put the lights in the garden. I thought I would go ahead and buy the transformer and put down the wires this winter and I can always add lights all along. It’s going to be an expensive project so I thought I would reduce my eating out and purchase a couple of lights a pay period until I get everything like I want it.


Meanwhile, the camellia my grandmother rooted before she died has more blooms than I’ve ever seen on it before. I’m really starting to appreciate camellias in the garden. The pretty flowers in the winter time and the evergreen leaves have been a real treat for me this year. I need more evergreen shrubs in the garden and Camellias might be the way to go. My only concern is they grow so slow, it’ll take years for them to get any size on them. Just a thought…


Hope this finds you all well and happy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Holidays!


I hope this post finds everyone well, happy and enjoying the season. I got a jump start on spring this year and already have a large portion of the garden cleaned up and ready for the new growing season. The parts I haven’t cleaned were still blooming at the time. I started way behind this year because of the back surgery I had in February. I’m hoping next year is going to be a much better year for me and the garden. It’s really been neglected the past two years, but if the good Lord is willing I plan on whipping it back into shape next year. I’m looking forward to filling some empty spots where shrubs have died and adding a lot of annuals. Meanwhile, Mother Nature has already sent me a spring bloom in the middle of winter to keep me encouraged. Check out ‘CHRISTabel’ blooming in the picture above. Kind of appropriate don’t you think? Since CHRISTmas will be here in a week. This little beauty has been around since 1934 and the world is a prettier place because of it. I have several irises from the 1930's and I would love to expand my collection. Happy Holidays, Ya’ll!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Blogiversary To Me...

Today is the 4 year blogiversary of ‘Our Eden’ and really, the garden is also four years old this month. My gosh… how my world has changed over these four years. I guess we never really know what life has in store for us, do we?


No doubt the people that read this blog regularly, have noticed my absence the past few months and it’s been a sporadic thing over the past two years. While I don’t care to go into detail about what was happening I’ve been using my absence the last couple of months to attempt to heal physically and emotionally. I’m still not quite there yet, but things seem to get a tiny bit better with every month that passes.


Don’t give up on me and the blog just yet. :-) I’m hoping that next spring will be a much better time for me and that the joy I once got from toiling in the soil will return to me full force. I have some new ideas for the garden, but for now I need to use this time to heal. Maybe between now and then I might even get in another post or two. :0) I just wanted all of you to know how much I appreciate the support you've give the blog over the past four years even in my times of absence. Thank you!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Rain! Precious, precious rain...

It has rained pretty much all week long and I couldn’t be happier! The garden was hanging on by a thread. I’ve lost so many plants the past two growing season it’s not even funny. Things in the garden were looking so ratty and haggard. But look at it now, so lush and green. And besides, I’m about ready to start re-doing some things anyway.


Even the grass is starting to fill back in some. All the St. Augustine was lost to the heat last year. Honestly, it’s really pretty but I don’t care what kind of grass I have as long as it’s green.




Hope this short post finds you well and happy. Happy gardening and many blessings sent your way!



Friday, July 1, 2011

Have a Good 4th!

I suppose this pre 4th of July post should have really been done in red, white and blue, but I just didn’t think ahead. Oh well, I hope you have a festive holiday anyway. I'm looking forward to three days off, a little trip away from home and some time for quiet contemplation. I did all the end of the week chores earlier this week so I am free to roam around this weekend. I’m hoping to get some really good pictures to post on my new photography blog while I’m away. For the shots I want to capture I really need a specific filter that I don’t have, but I’m going to see how well I can do without it. Wish me luck. Hey, nothing ventured nothing gained, right? Why don’t we take a look at what’s blooming in the garden?

The first flowers always catch my eye when I’m out in the garden. I love Flame Lilies and each year the stand continues to get larger, I’m enjoying the extra blooms this year. They’ve done really well.


The PeeGee in the back garden is loaded with blooms too. The ones planted on the side of the house haven’t done as well because I didn’t realize the watering system wasn’t working. They didn’t get enough water to produce blooms this year.


‘Ellen Bosanquet’ was given to me by a very good friend and she is really putting on a show despite the drought. The two photos below were taken just minutes apart. Isn’t it amazing how the shift in the afternoon light happens so quickly?



‘Stargazer’ smells absolutely delicious right now… I was walking around the garden yesterday and I could hardly wait to stick my nose in it and take a sniff. I really wish these guys would take off and spread like crazy, but alas they’ve always been well behaved.


These little tattered coneflowers are quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I love the simplicity of the flower design. That’s also why I love Black-eyed Susans. This little stand came up from seed two years ago and this year I see many more seedlings sprouting. I’m going to leave them alone and let them spread. Within the next three years I should have a patch about 8 feet long and they are going to be spectacular in bloom.


I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday spent with the ones you love most. Watch out for those short fused firecrackers!

"Nothing can dim the light which shines from within."
— Maya Angelou

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Visitor in the Garden


Hello everybody! I came home this past Tuesday to find a surprise waiting for me in the garden. I usually make a loop around the garden if it’s not terribly hot to see what going on in it. I noticed a small movement out of the corner of my eye and as I turned to see what it was I was VERY surprised to find this guy.


He’s about half grown and didn’t seem to mind me taking pictures of him at all. I was able to get within about five feet of him, but I didn’t dare to get any closer. I live in the middle of a large, heavily populated subdivision in the business district of my town. I also have a chain link fence all the way around the garden so I have no idea how this little rabbit found his way to my garden. I don’t know how long he plans to stay but I put out a bowl of water for him and scattered a few baby carrots. From all appearances though, he must be gone already.


In other news we finally got some much needed rain and the grass is beginning to turn a nice green shade again. Unfortunately, I had another little episode with my back late Tuesday night and now I’m hesitant to get out there and cut the grass. I spent two days in bed and it seems to be well on its way to healing. It put a damper on my weekend plans, but I’m hoping to be back in the pink and pushing the lawn mower by the middle of the week. I had started a new exercise program twice a day and I’m afraid it may have been too much too soon. BTW I had just gone to my back surgeon that day and he released me because I was absolutely pain free. Ain’t that a kick in the pants? This not the same area where I had the surgery, it’s the disk below it. In the future I will know not to push myself so hard. Lesson learned… Hope you all have a good day, I see an afternoon nap in mine. I’m exhausted from dreaming all night long, but since it was about loved ones I’m not going to complain too much. I’m always amazed at how real dreams can feel, sometimes I wonder if we don’t actually meet spiritually in some other place rather than dream..

Monday, June 20, 2011

How Bout This Heat?


The heat has been absolutely horrible lately here in central Alabama. I’ve been doing what I can to stay out of it. The lawn is burnt to a crisp and the garden isn’t fairing much better. I have a drip system installed, but it’s just no match for the 100° temps we’ve been having. With the water bill already in excess of a hundred dollars due to practically no rain I refuse to pour more water into the flower beds. If what I have isn’t strong enough to survive the summers here I will replace it with something stronger when it dies. Some of the Daylilies are hanging on by a meager thread. Dead foliage is mounding up around the base of the plants and some have just mere sprigs of living foliage. I started cleaning up the dead leaves around the base until it occurred to me it could be helping retain the moisture in the soil. So I decided to leave it for now, even though it doesn’t look very pretty. I should probably add more mulch to the garden, but right now I can’t seem to keep the squirrels from scratching it out of the beds. To the casual observer the garden looks fantastic, but I see all the things that need attention. Meanwhile, the ‘Kwanso’ daylilies are plugging right on along.


This is our second summer of no rain and excessive heat in June. I lost a lot of plants last year. In an effort to stay cool and still be outdoors I’ve been traveling around and taking pictures in areas exposed to less sun. While it’s been so hot in the garden I’ve been turning my attention to my other blogs. If you haven’t visited, check them out. The links are in the upper left hand corner of the garden blog. The picture below was taken last week on my little excursion to the bamboo forest here in Prattville. The little frog is such a stereo type chilling on the lily pad. I hope this post finds you well and finding moments of refuge from the heat and the drought.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blooming in the Garden 06/05/11

Hello everyone, I hope you are doing well. Sorry I’m a little late with the post, but it seems like I’ve been running around like mad the past few months. I decided to stay home this weekend so I walked around the garden to snap a few pictures for you to enjoy. We were due a big rain last night according to the weather man, but it was a no show. The temperature here reached over 100° this week and its only June! The daylilies are stressed beyond belief and the foliage looks terrible, but they are still producing some really pretty blooms.

Mildred Mitchell

The balloon flowers are larger than they’ve ever been before and I can’t wait to see them next year. The patch should be about three times as wide.

Sentimental Blue

Strawberry Candy

So far this year I’ve only seen one humming bird around the salvia, but honestly I’ve been too busy to do much other than maintain the garden. I have a three day weekend so maybe I’ll have time to enjoy it a little today or tomorrow.

Double Decker

Lady Georgia

This photo doesn’t really do the Vitex justice. It’s such a brilliant blue right now and it’s really growing into a very large tree. I’ve just been limbing it up and allowing it to gain in height. This photo was taken in the afternoon so the light was horrible.


Chicago Mist and Frances Faye

The Asiatics are smelling wonderful too. This particular one is ‘Coral Queen’. Okay folks, this post is short and sweet. I’ve got to get up from here and get started on a few things that need to be done. Have a good week.

Coral Queen

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In the Garden 05/24/11

Chorus Line

I walked around and snapped a few pictures in the garden yesterday. The photos below would give the appearance everything is lush and green around the garden. The truth is, this very dry spring is taking a toll on it. Even with a drip system there are crispy plants everywhere. Only the diehard plants are thriving. The day lilies are looking very ragged and stressed and we haven’t even gotten into the season good yet. The plants just aren’t where they should be for this time of year. What happened to the April showers? I’m going to give the garden a little TLC this coming week and see if I can’t nurse it back around to a happier place. We just need some good, steady rain. Looks like this may be another summer of losing plants and crispy grass.

On another note, the photo blog is finally up and running. Blogger never responded to my support request so I just decided I would rebuild the blog, give it a peak sometime. The following photos were taken in the afternoon so they aren’t the best, but I hope you enjoy them anyway. God Bless~ Randy

Bee Balm

Little Mystic Moon



Darla's Mom's Coneflower

King Lamoni

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Around the Garden 05/17/11

Well the first Balloon flower of the season has opened and I was happy to see it. Last year seed was dropped all over the ground and by next summer there will be a nice big patch of them. I can’t wait to see them in bloom! This one is called ‘Sentimental Blue’. I’ve been shooting my photos with manual settings lately and so far I’ve been very pleased with the results. When I purchased the camera I used for these shots at the time I was under the assumption that I had purchased this VERY nice camera. And, it is indeed very nice, but the more I learn about photography the more I am beginning to realize how limited I am by the settings. Looks like a new camera will be in the picture sooner or later. While I’m having fun with the new information I’m learning, I really can justify buying a new camera just yet.

Sentimental Blue

‘Daring Deception’

Daring Deception

Photography can become a reallllllllly expensive hobby when you get to buying new lenses and cameras. If I win the lottery though, the first place I am headed it to a camera shop!


‘Stella Supreme’

Stella Supreme

The KnockOut roses have been really pretty this year. I admire something so resilient! I trim these babies any time of the year I feel like it. The rose hedge, while absolutely loaded with blooms this year, had gotten too tall. So after the burst of blooms were gone I pruned it down to about two and a half feet and its getting ready for its second flush of flowers now.



‘Tequila Sunrise’ Coreopsis

Tequila Sunrise

As I was walking around taking photos I realized the garden is going to need some re-designing done soon. So Many plants were lost last year as a result of negligence and the weather. The poor ‘Crimson Queen’ maple in the far corner appears to have died about half way down from the top. I hate that, it was such a gorgeous tree. It’s starting to come back now, I’m not going to cut the top out of it until I know for sure it has no life left in it.


The garden suffered a lot of stress last year and it’s not as perfect as it usually is, but it’s bouncing back and in the meanwhile I’m planning the changes to be made to it. At this point I’m not replacing the items that have died. I’m just going to let the things that are living continue to grow. I want to decrease the number of plants in the garden yet let the volume of the ones there increase. Instead of having lots of little plants I want large drifts in few amounts. A garden is always evolving… Hope you enjoy the photos


With a bit of luck the new blog will be restored soon. I’m really excited to get it up and running again! I’ve been going out of town a lot and I’m trying to get in the habit of always having my cameras with me when I leave. I need a place to share my other photos that aren’t garden related. Gosh, I have so much to learn. But, maybe we can learn some new things together as the posts get rolling out?
Blessings~ Randy

Milk and Wine