Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fall clean up ~

(I just wanted to share this photo of a beautiful storm rolling in last week on my way home from work ~ nature surely is majestic at times! )
This time of year is always so bitter sweet.  The sweet is the beauty of the changing colors of the leaves and the cooler temps and the bitter is the blooming season coming to an end.  I don't really mind the extra yard work,  as far as the cutting back and dividing,  but there are the leaves, leaves, and more leaves.  I live in the woods and there is an endless supply of leaves.  I blow them, rake them, shred them and then I do it all over again, and again, and again.  I'd love to shred them up and spread them on my gardens, but then more leaves fall and I blow them off ~ along with the shredded ones.  So, I guess that will be an early spring project.  Today I pulled up all my annuals that the frost killed and cut back all the dead perennials.  There are still quite a few flowers blooming ~ so I left them alone for another week or so!  There was quite a bit of new growth earlier in the fall and I'm hoping that's a good sign for the spring.  I also planted 120 tulip bulbs today in various gardens.  I tried spraying the bulbs with Liquid Fence to deter any varmints from snacking on them.  I'll let you know if it works ~ especially if  I see some chubby chipmunks and squirrels running around and lots of empty holes.  Next weekend will be the dumping of the planters and flower pots ~ too many were still blooming to dump this weekend.  It's also time to clean up all the garden tools and lube the hinges of the sheers and clippers.  Get out there and enjoy what's left of this gardening season!

:)  Jeni

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall 2010

September Charm Anemone ( my favorite fall flower!)


September Charm Anemone ~ again :)

Golden Rod (with a Summer Azure)

Iron weed

Peaches sneaking a sip of water from the birdbath!



Autumn Joy Sedum
(this bee isn't very friendly ~ caught him trying to sting my butterflies)
It was a long, hot, and dry summer.  I spent alot of the summer evenings, watering my gardens just to keep my plants alive.  Some things had a shorter bloom season than they normally have ~ my Black-eyed Susans, Shasta daisies, and even my Purple coneflower wilted quickly.  My fall flowers have all started shining though.  Right now, I have September Charm Anemone, Golden Rod, Asters and Mums are blooming like crazy.  Even my Shasta daisies made a come-back!  I spent alot of the summer trying out my new camera also.  I bought a Nikon D3000 in August and haven't put it down since!  I'm still learning how to use it but like anything else, it just takes practice! I started a second blog called "Wings in my garden".  Check it out at: .  I have taken a special interest in Monarchs ~ to the point that I started a Monarch habitat in two of my gardens.  I mentioned in a previous post that I planted 20 milkweed plants and I planted 4 Butterfly weed plants back in the summer.  Those butterfly weed plants are what really got me hooked on the Monarchs.  I found 7 Monarch caterpillars chowing down on my plants, although only 4 of them grew big enough to turn into butterflies.  I think the other 3 became lunch for a mole that was making a home out of an old stump near the plants.  Any caterpillars I find in the future will be reared indoors, just to protect them from preditors.  I also want to plant more host plants for some of the other butterflies in my garden. I guess I better start looking up what they are because there is only a small window of time left to get things in the ground before the frost comes.  Enjoy all the beauty that autumn brings~

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Butterfly gardens plans !

This is the inspiration for my butterfly garden plans!  I just ordered 20 starter milkweed plants for only
 $1 each!  Now ~ where to plant them all?  Need a sunny location, sandy soil (that may be a challenge with my clay/rocky soil) .  I also want to find some more Iron weed, butterfly weed and thistle.  Anything to attract more monarchs. 

Monday, September 6, 2010


Found this guy sippin' nectar from my impatiens. It is a White-lined Sphinx hummingbird moth. It's wings flutter as quickly as a humming bird. I was lucky enough to capture a shot that showed how beautiful it's wings are!

A female ruby-throated hummingbird taking a rest! I have had 6 regulars lately putting on their airshows for me. I sure am going to miss them when they fly south for the winter.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rain, rain ~ where are you????

Things are really gettng dry and crunchy around here.  I have been watering twice a day just to keep my plants alive.  It's so dry that even my butterfly bushes are wilting and the weeds don't even want to grow.  It's so disappointing after having such a beautiful spring with my gardens and now things that normally last til the end of summer have already had it.  The grass ~ where there still is grass ~ is brown and crunches under my feet.  The temperatures have been in the high 90's w/ high humidity for several weeks now with no rain in sight.  Still... I enjoy spending time in my gardens, cutting back the dead plants, clipping the spent blooms, watering, watering, and watering.  I've been paying closer attention to the insects this year.  So many people in my area have seen insects that normally aren't around here.  I think it has something to do with all that snow we had this past winter.  I've been trying to identify an insect I saw today but haven't had any luck.  If anyone know... please fill me in.  It was so interested in me.  Just to put it's size in perspective ~ it is sitting on the hook of a plant hanger.  I don't know if it's a good bug or bad bug for my plants.  I'm hoping it's a good bug because it was kind of interesting to watch. 
Some other interesting insects that I've found hanging around.  The yellow jacket didn't have any wing :(  not that I like them but I felt kind of bad for it as it just crawled around instead of flying.  Lot's of fireflies and granddaddy longleggers out this year also.  The moth was kind of interesting too.  It's not a great picture of it but it was different.  I think it is a featherwing moth.  A patient I had recently told me she saw an IO moth in her garden.  If you've never heard of one, google it, it's amazing.  I'm going to keep my eyes open and hope that I see one also. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

This teenie tiny bee is on a flower the size of a dime. It's blue-eyed grass.This garden was combined from two gardens, three years ago. I started many of these plants from bare roots. This year it exploded! I just love spending time taking care of it!

This is my favorite annual ~ lantana!I started this garden about 3 years ago also.  It's actually planted in my neighbors yard.  It used to look like a brush pile.  It was full of thistle, leaves, and poison ivy.  As my neighbor sprayed the poison I asked him what his plans were for it.  He said..."whatever you want to do with it"  !!!  We could see this area from our living room window so I wanted to make it look nice!  I can't wait til the rest of the flowers are in full bloom!
Common whitetail male dragonfly.  It was willing to stop for a photo~op!

I'm not quite sure what's up w/ this cosmo.  It was started from seeds that I collected last fall.  The original plant was about 4' tall and the blossom was about 4" in diameter.  This "offspring" is only about 4" high and the blossom is only about the size of a nickle ~  absolutely adorable!Common whitetail female dragonfly.

I just can't seem to get enough of my gardens!  I take a walk around the yard every day just to see what's new ~ and there's always something new!  I have plenty to keep me busy in them too ~ weeding, deadheading, photographing, etc...  always something to do!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Close up beauty!

I am so captivated by the beauty hidden within the center of a flower.  I have been taking close up photos of flowers for awhile and am amazed at the intricate architecture of each individual type of flower.  Enjoy mine and get out and investigate some of your own flowers!

Awesome hummingbird story!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mid~spring time moments~

Finally~ the weather is getting nicer and I am able to go wandering through my yard just to enjoy the beautiful mid~spring flowerings!  This photo is of a Nora Barlow Columbine.  It's not the typical type of columbine that have tail shooting out the back of the bloom, although if you look close enough ~ a few of them do.  I planted these last spring but the didn't bloom ~ they are making up for it this year.  I have 6 of them and they are all gorgeous.  What a great addition to my gardens!  We've had quite a bit of rain lately and the flowers are just loving it.  They seem to have doubled in size within a few days!  It's exciting to see all the buds on some of my plants ~ daisies, black-eyed Susan's, lilies, etc... in a week or so they are going to explode w/ blooms!    Most of my perennials seemed to have survived the intense winter.  I did lose two of my favorite broom shrubs :( 
I will have to search the local nurseries to try to find a new one.  I looked forward to it blooming every spring.  I replaced it with a Dwarf Alberta Spruce that my sister gave me.  It should look nice there in front of my dining room window ~ especially at Christmas time ~ well, maybe in a few years.  I'm glad the hard part of the gardening is finished (mulching, raking, tilling, etc...), now it's just maintenance!  They hummingbirds have maid their trip back home too!  
As for all my winterizing of plants...  my geraniums didn't make it but my dahlias are starting to peek through the ground.  I planted the tubers about 3 weeks ago, so far so good.   I planted my vegetable garden on Mother's day weekend.  I planted Swiss chard, 3 different types of lettuce, Brussels sprouts, green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes.  The Brussels sprouts are a first for me this year.  Anyone have any tips for their success? 
~ enough playing on the computer ~ time to go wandering through my yard and then relaxing on the patio watching the birds!!!  Hope you have a great week ahead!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Busy weekend ~ had a 21st birthday party for my daughter!  I spent 6 hours power washing my deck ~ exhausting but well worth the effort.  I had no idea how bad it was until I started but now it looks almost new!!!   I  power washed my front porch and sidewalks today ~ I love that thing! I also sprayed Seven for bugs on my hostas, sprayed a fungicide to hopefully prevent rust on my Hollyhocks, sprinkled Snail/Slug repellent, etc... My son, "step-daughter" and I went for a walk this evening and I came across a pink Columbine growing randomly along the road ~ of course I had to dig it up and transplant it in one of my flowerbeds!  I was sickened by all the trash along the road, so when I got home, I grabbed a trash bag and my "picker-uppers" and went back to clean up the trash.  I just don't understand why people feel the need to throw their trash out along a road instead of waiting until they get home.  My grandmother wrote a poem about polluters a long time ago, I wish I could remember it.  I do remember it said something about  "don't be a polutatic" and  "did you ever see a muskrat wear a beer can for a hat"! She was probably smiling at me from above, watching me clean up the beer cans along the road!   I ended my evening with a quite night on my patio with a glass of wine, listening to the water trickle on my little fountain, the birds chirping and the frogs singing ~ very peaceful! 

Start a smile chain: give one away today! Thanks for stopping in! Jeni