Monday, May 30, 2011

Just a few new photos~

These are buds on a poppy ~ I think they just need eyes on them and they could be muppet characters.

 Rosemoore Clematis
 Trollius globe flower ~ just getting ready to open!

My tomato plants are going crazy!  I already have 4 small tomatos starting!

Trailing petunia


Flower box on my deck

This tiger swallowtail is enjoying the nectar from the flowers in the flowerbox!


Gaura ~ wandflower

Hope you are all enjoying working in your gardens!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Spring gardens

Just a  few photos of my gardens in the spring!

I planted the garden in my neighbor's yard that borders our yard.  It used to be filled with poison ivy, sticker bushes, and leaves.  He didn't have any plans for it and told me to do whatever I wanted with it!.
Since this area is what we see, when we look out our living room window, I wanted something pretty to look at!  There isn't much blooming right now but there will be soon!  Earlier there were tulips and alliums blooming.  This bed contains grasses, 2 white butterfly bushes, Russian sage, Coral bells, Black eyed Susan's, Shasta daisies, Lolly pop lilies, snow in summer, coreopsis, bachelor's button and cosmos.  I layed two dry river beds in the areas that the rain washes through.  Our ground has a surplus of rocks ~ I love to recycle!

This area is the my favorite place to hang out!  I have two water features, potted plants, solar lights, and some garden decor to enhance this secluded space.  It is especially cozy when the Crape Myrtles are full and in bloom!  My boyfriends business is doing stamped and colored concrete ~ this was the first one he ever did ~ I love it!  This garden stays pretty damp because it's at the base of a slope.  In the spring, I have candelabra primrose, daffodils, and tulips blooming.  I also have hostas, phlox, liatris, candy tuft, grasses, hydrangea, turtlehead, lady's mantle, impatiens, clematis, Solomon's seal, violets, avens cooky geraniums, coreopsis, hollyhocks, lily of the valley, sedums, etc... planted here.

Just a view of the slope down to the house.

A close up photo of one of my fountains.  I also have hummingbird feeders and bird baths in this area, so that I can enjoy them while relaxing here!  The open area in the deck was originally going to have some type of design worked into it, but my boyfriend never got around to finishing it I decided it would be the perfect place to put the decorative feeder my best friend gave me, and a hummingbird feeder.  It also is a great place to hang a hanging basket of flowers!

This clematis is really doing well this year!

This was my first flowerbed that I started, other than the ones against the house.  It's a mix match of drought tolerant plants.  It is on quite a slope and the soil is pretty rooty under the mulch.  I contains creeping Jenny (ha ha), several different kinds of columbine, lilies, sedum, shasta daisy, astilbe, ferns, candy tuft, hardy cyclamen, loosestrife, yarrow, yellow archangel, spotted dead nettle, bloody cranesbill, hydrangea, balloon flower, bleeding heart, coral bells, dianthis, lavender, Solomon's seal, hostas, etc...

This area is for the birds ~ literally!  I have most of my wild bird feeders here and the birds (squirrels and chipmunks too) love it.  I have quite a variety of birds that visit:  blue jays, cardinals, tufted titmouse, house wrens, golden finches, purple finches, house finches, 3 types of woodpeckers, etc... that visit regularly.  I feed them black-oil sunflower seeds and nyjer seeds only.  (sorry if I have misspelled any of this names - I'm too tired to look them up right now :)  The plants in this area were recycled from a friend's neighbor.  I have tiger lilies, hostas, and recently planted ajuga ground cover - which I hope really spreads fast to hide all the sunflower seed shells!

Have stumps?  Decorate them!

This area is at the corner of our yard.  It contains mostly hostas and different varieties of day lilies, pansies, liatris, asters, bachelors, buttons, shasta daisies, etc...

This is the other side of the deck and our second stamped concrete area. I have a little corner bed with more shasta daisies, lilies, bachelors buttons, hollyhock, clematis, lavender, sea thrift, alliums, Nora Barlow columbine, butterfly weed, mums, and a special English boxwood that my friend/patient gave me!
The raised beds are for herbs to attract butterflies ~ and I might use them for cooking ~ might!!! 

This is my largest garden with too many plants to name!  I placed rocks around it recently because the heavy rains that we've been having, keep washing out my mulch.  There is always something in bloom in this garden and is home to one of my bluebird boxes.  I have meal worms, raisin soaked in water, and oranges out for the bluebirds.  I also have shallow bird/butterfly baths scattered around in this garden, as well has many nectarine plants.  This is my monarch waystation~  common milkweed is planted just outside the flowerbed and many butterfly weed plants are planted inside the garden.

This is my purple butterfly bush.  There is evening primrose and Clara daisies planted around it.  A few larkspur seeds made there way into it too (the tall plants on the left).  The bush has a lot of growing to do before it will bloom.  I had cut it back pretty far in the fall but it's bouncing back well!

Corner of the front porch flowerbed.  This contains lots of hostas, yarrow, delphinium, coreopsis, hyssop, shasta daisies, dianthis, hydrangea, gaura, violets, anemone, phlox, jolly bee geranium, a sparse lilac bush on the corner and a Josie lilac at one end, alliums, butterfly weed, turtlehead, etc...  in the background to the right, is my raised veggie garden and tomato plants.

 This is the front of the house which seems to get the least attention from me.  The area to the left in the photo, I have started collecting different varieties of columbine.  There are azaleas, a japonica shrub, hostas, bee balm, gladiolas, impatiens, an Alberta spruce, and two - tricolored hibiscus shrubs in this area.

This is one of the flowerbeds at the end of our driveway.  It's too far away to water, so I have to plant drought tolerant plants here.  It contains astilbes, yarrow, Shasta daisies, hostas, catmint, Virginia bluebells, anemone, iris', etc...

If you wonder why I use many of the plants over and over and over.... such as the shasta daisies, hostas, yarrow, astilbe, etc... I started with just a few of the original plants and keep dividing them each year!  I must have a hundred or more shasta daisy plants, all from 2 original plants 8 years ago!

Hope you enjoyed the tour of my gardens ~

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spring bloomers continued!

Iris Cristata

Anemone Poppy

Candleabra primrose

Lantana ~ my favorite annual!  Blooms all summer and fall too!


White allium ~ just getting ready to explode!


Nora Barlow Columbine

No time to chat, just wanted to share a few photos!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring time ~

I finally had some time to spend in my gardens this weekend!  The weather co-operated yesterday but not so much today.  I was able to get quite a bit of the mulching done before the rain started and should be able to finish it up tomorrow.  I'm not sure how many more years this old body is going to be able to keep up with the mulching.  I ache from head to toe ~ My son helped a little yesterday but he was trying to finish up some school work. 

I also decided to plant an herb garden this year ~ more to attract butterflies than for the actual herbs to use for cooking ~ but who knows.  I picked up a couple raised bed frames at Walmart for $30 a piece and some garden soil.  Herb that I planted were:  Fennel, Dill, Cilantro, Parsley, Thyme, Lemon balm, hyssop, and Rosemary.  Some of which are host plants for certain butterflies. 
Instead of using fancy, expensive plant labels ~ I use disposable white plastic knives and a sharpie marker.  They can be reused from year to year ~ if you continue to plant the same things that is.  I planted everything from seed so we'll see how it goes.  I'll post new photos as the season progresses.
I also planted my veggie garden this weekend.  I had to till it with a shovel because it probably would've been to muddy for a tiller.  I also used my "Awesome auger" to break up some of the larger pieces of dirt and mix in the compost.  Usually I put the compost in much earlier but didn't get around to it this year.
I planted tomatoes (which I surrounded with these water filled tubes ~ the sun heats the water and keeps the plant warm until the chance of frost is gone), cucumbers, beans, lettuce, and peppers.  I also decided to try asparagus this year.  I hope it does well.  I heard it takes about three years to get established.
The raised garden is only about 11' x 4' and the rest is roughly 4' x 4'.  I always plant wild flowers along the back of the garden for when all the veggies are done.  Tulips were planted there in the fall of last year.  I sprinkles seeds from zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, and cleomes along the back this year.  I had planted a mixed bag of 120 tulips throughout my yard last fall, and was surprised with all the beautiful types and colors of tulips that came up! 
 This Parrot tulip was especially nice!  I might have to order more of  these for next year!

Here are a few photos from my gardens this year so far!

I love the flower pots and saucer bird baths ~ glue together with epoxy.
They were $4 a piece at Walmart ~ can't beat that for a bird bath! The little house I purchased unfinished at a craft store and painted.  I sprayed it with a polyurethane sealer to protect it from the weather.

Garden phlox

Gerber daisy ~ these remind my of my best friend ~ it's her favorite flower!

Siberian Iris  ~ not sure why this photo didn't upload well.  (they look squished)
My sister gave me these 3 years ago from her garden ~ this is the first year that they bloomed!!!
Bleeding heart

Stumps can be beautiful too!

Candelabra primrose just beginning to bloom. 
 The bloom stem will shoot up about 6-12" before the flowers open.

Avens Cookie ~ perennial geranium

Couldn't resist adding a photo of my bluebird!  I have nests in both of my bluebird houses this year!

Hope you enjoyed the photos!  I have to get to bed to rest up for more mulching tomorrow!

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