Friday, October 23, 2009

Climbing Shell Vine

Here are a few photos I just took of my Climbing Shell vine, as you can see it seems to be adapting very well to being indoors. It didn't get this many blooms when it was outside. I just can't get over it! The other plants in the first photo are an ornamental pepper plant (my mom picked up at Lowe's recently for $0.75 ~ I saw the same type of plant at Walmart last week for $5.00) and the other is shefflera plant ~ also known as an Umbrella plant. I was able to bring in my geraniums last weekend. I bagged about a dozen of them and have 6 of them still in their pots near a window in my dining room. We haven't had a full fledged frost yet so I still have quite a few flowers bloomng, but it won't be long. Has anyone else had success bringing in any special plants from their gardens? I brought in a fuscia plant last winter that did well. It got pretty scraggly looking during the winter but came back beautifully once I was able to move it back outside. Hopefully it will do well again this winter. I'd like to try to bring in some cuttings from my lantana. Has anyone tried to start lantana indoors? I've heard it's hard to grow from seed and that you need to do stem cuttings. Guess I'll give that a try before they freeze over. Lantana is my favorite annual. They are just so colorful and really attract the butterflies and hummingbirds.
Well, I guess this growing season is coming to an end. The trees are peeking around here ~ they are just so beautiful. I really enjoy the different seasons here in Maryland. It really was a great summer!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Brrrrrr ~

The autumn wind is howling and the leaves are begining to cover the ground. The temperatures are really dropping quickly and I'm afraid the frost will attack before I have a chance to pull up the plants I want to winterize indoors. If it will just wait until my day off on Friday... I want to try something different w/ my geraniums. I read that if you pull them up, shake off the soil, cut them back to about 6"and place them in a paper lunch bag ~ that you can keep them for next spring. You just need to keep them in a cool, dry place. They go dormant and in the spring will start to show signs of growth, just in time to replant! Geraniums aren't my favorite of annuals but they are very colorful and keep blooming all season long. I also purchased a shell plant that I want to try to salvage for next year. It's a vine that gets purple shell-like blooms. I'll have to cut it way back ~ it's climbing up the rainspout! I started it on a 4 foot trellis and placed it in the corner hoping it would do just that!!! I'll bring it inside and try shining a growing light on it for 6-8 hours a day and see what happens. My daughter will be moving out soon :( and my son will be moving into her much bigger and brighter room, so... I get to turn his old room into a growing/craft room. Besides gardening, I also enjoy scrapbooking , photography, drawing, and cake decorating. It'll be nice to have a place to organize everything!

I think I'd better go rescue this plant in case we do have frost tonight. My house is going to look like a jungle until I get the room ready ~ my boyfriend will love that!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Waiting for the birds? There's a reason I don't put birdseed in this feeder!
Dwarf bleeding heart ~ unlike the typical bleeding hearts, these continue to bloom throughout the summer and into the fall. They aren't as showy as the others but they are quite pretty!

This is my cat "Peaches"! She loves following me around my gardens and laying in them (or is it lying in them?) and squashing my plants!
The Cosmos are still blooming like crazy!

This was a sweet surprise! It's a Hardy Cyclamen ~ I planted 3 bulbs in the spring and until this week, there was no sign of them. Only 2 of the 3 came up but I'll take that!

I'll be digging this beauty up after the first frost to save for next year. If you missed the Dahlia tip, check out my previous blog post.

I'm dreading the end of this growing season as I am this time every year. I have been scheduling my patients (Dental hygiene) for their 6 month recare appointment in April 2010. I just keep thinking that I'll be starting all over with my gardens then. I'll keep busy w/ my seeds and the plants I'll be trying to keep alive through the winter, but it's not as enjoyable as wandering around my yard and enjoying all the beautiful flowers, birds, butterflies and other creatures that happen to stop by. Luckily, even though I live in the woods, the deer haven't bothered with any of my plants. I did have problems w/ rabbits in the past but I found a product called "Liquid fence" that works wonderfully! I highly recommend it ~ it's supposed to keep rabbits and deer away. I still have plenty to keep me busy before the snow falls: dividing my shasta daisies, cutting back the plants once frost sets in and digging up my dahlias. I also bring in most of my garden decor just to keep it nice for next year. I cleaned out all my bird feeders this past weekend. They had a lot of moldy birdseed in them because of all the rain. I think I'll only put in a little at a time from now on, so as to not waste the seed. I also cleaned out my hummingbird feeders and put them away :( until next March. I sure will miss the hummingirds. If you haven't looked at the pictures of my hummingbirds, click on the slide show link. I never did get a photo of my male, but there's always next year.

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mums and Asters

I'm sure many of you know about pinching back your mums and asters, but I didn't until a few years ago so for those of you who don't know...once your mums and asters start coming up in the spring, once a month you should pinch or trim back these plants to keep them from getting too leggy and flop over in the fall! You should continue pinching them back until the end of July. I cut them back about 3" or 4" each month and look how beautiful they turned out. These photos were taken around the middle of September. The asters are pretty much done their first bloom but it looks like a second set of buds are going to pop. The mums have continued to look gorgeous! The asters I have were started from one plant I bought about 5 years ago. They spread like crazy. I've dug up the seedlings and moved them into a few other beds, even the tiny ones bloomed! I'll probably have to split the mums once they are done this year. They got pretty big and I could use some in other areas for next year! That's the great thing about this time of year ~ spreading the beauty!

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