Odds & Ends.....& of course Four O'clocks & Oliver

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Since I am here, I thought I would throw in some Odds & Ends! Below is a picture of my baby Oliver. He is mama's boy. We had to take him to the vet last week. His first signs of old age are starting to manifest themselves, although him & I both started getting gray/white hair around the same time two years ago! LOL! (Actually, I think mine started way before that but my hair color in a box kept it hidden from even me!)

He is so sweet and gentle, tender hearted & sensitive.

See how much the Coleus bed out front has grown! It looks great!

(I know that window ac unit is terrible but it's to cool the garage for our pets, haven't found a good way to screen it yet. My husband doesn't seem real concerned with it but it bothers me.)

I had to throw in our latest Four O'Clocks surprise! They are an awesome peach color that I am not really able to catch with my digital camera. The picture does it no justice at all. Bruce has dubbed these "Daddy's Peaches". He calls me Peaches and he says these are a gift from my Daddy in heaven. I thought that was sweet. Gotta run!

Crepe Myrtles Everywhere!

Everywhere you go there are gorgeous thriving Crepe Myrtles of every color that is available. They are such a welcome part of summer here! Their fantastic, billowy blooms are enough to make anyone want to smile!

This is a closeup of Carolina Beauty

We have been having a lot of rain and thunderstorms which have kept us out of the garden somewhat the past week or two. We also had some sad events take place in the past two weeks~but I am back to my garden blog, ready to seek the beauty in the world again instead to try to divert the sorrow. The most we've done in the garden the past two weeks is water (the couple days it didn't rain), fertilize, weed & Superthrive. We did go out to the wholesale nursery last week to get some Crepe Myrtles. We already had 5 of them but I wanted to see all of them while they are blooming so I could pick my most favorite ones and one for a prominent place in the front yard. This was really hard to do because they are all so beautiful! Alot of the colors are very close but just different enough that they have their own appeal and of course different growth habits. We came home with a 15 gallon Carolina Beauty which is for that prominent spot in the front yard. We also got a 3 Gallon Cinnamon Ruffle, 3 Gallon Burgundy Cotton, 3 Gallon Dynamite and a 1 Gallon Zuni. The Zuni we purchased as a gift for a friend. (I hope she doesn't see this before I give it to her! LOL!)The Burgundy Cotton was really my first choice for the front yard. I love this one so much. The problem is, it doesn't get tall enough for what we wanted out front. The Dynamite we already planted in memory of Eddie. Eddie was the 26 yr old (kind of x) boyfriend of my niece. He was killed in a car crash on June 12th. We bought and planted this Dynamite Crepe Myrtle in our front perennial bed in memory of Eddie on June 19th, which was the day of his funeral. It will forever be dubbed our "Eddie Tree", in memory of a life cut way too short. Sadly a friend of ours had a fullterm stillborn baby last week. We will be planting something in her memory in our Babies Memorial Garden. We haven't decided what we will plant for her yet. I want to give it more thought. We did get the 15 gal Carolina Beauty planted out front. The other's will have to wait a couple more days.

This is Bruce planting the Carolina Beauty

It will grow 20'

This is the Burgundy Cotton which will grow to about 12-15'

Closeup of the Burgundy Cotton

Dynamite Crepe Myrtle will grow to 20-25'
"Eddie's Tree"
This is a closeup of "Eddie's Tree"
This is Eddie's tree where it is planted.

This is Cinnamon Ruffle~will grow 6-10'

Closeup of Cinnamon Ruffle

This is the little Zuni~will grow 9-12'

We already have a Near East & a Sioux Crepe Myrtle (both light pinks) in the Babies Garden. They are blooming right now. The Sioux just started today! Out front in our side yard we have a Natchez that is blooming and two Tuscarora's that are not blooming yet. I love Crepe Myrtles. I wish we had room to have one of every variety and color! Later in the week I will get some pictures of our existing Crepe Myrtles that are blooming. Have fun playing in the dirt!

Flying Things In the Garden!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I was out in the garden this morning by 7:00. I wanted to beat the heat. Unfortunately, that meant I had to deal with an insane amount of mosquitoes. It rained most of yesterday (thank God because we really needed the rains we've had this week), so everything was wet and the mosquitoes were everywhere. I spent a total of 3 hrs out there and that was my limit. The pests were awful and it was really humid. I have quite a few plants that I need to get planted in the baby garden but I am still having trouble trying to decide exactly where I want them and how I want it all laid out. I planted 8 Pink Sparkler Cleome, 3 Pink Jacobinia, 3 First Love Dianthus, 1 Karley Rose Pennisetum (Fountain Grass), and 1 August Beauty Gardenia. Bruce helped me dig up 5 of the Marcia Faye Daylilies that I want to move out of the baby garden (wrong color and there are 15 of them). I spent alot of time moving pots around, moving the statuary around. You can see in the photo below, this is my chair where I sit and stare (contemplating) at this garden. Then I'll get up and move something and then go back and sit and stare again. I cannot even tell you how many hours I have spent doing this since the beginning of this venture. I want so badly to dig it all up and start again. I know I wrote about all of that in a previous post so I won't go on and on about it now. So, I still have 3 Lullaby Daylilies, 1 Pink Muhly Grass, 1 White Buddlea and 2 Conversation Azaleas to plant. Hopefully I'll get them done this evening. I have book work to do the rest of today. There were many things flying in and around the garden this morning, mosquitoes, dragonflies, bees, butterflies, birds and hang gliders. No, wait, what??? Yes, you read it right! While I was out in the garden, I heard this very loud noise overhead and couldn't figure out what it was. A UFO perhaps or maybe a very rare giant bird! I looked up to see one of them motorized hang glider type thingys going right over top the garden. A minute later a second one went by. I can honestly say, I have never experienced that before. When living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, one day my husband and I were out in the yard when a hot air balloon went over our yard so close to the ground that it was hitting the trees. Nothing much surprises me anymore! Here I took a photo. Is it really a hang glider or is it a UFO, a rare large bird or really it even could have been a very large mosquito (they get bigger every day!)???I have to tell you about our feline garden buddy Timmy. We found him as a tiny kitten out in the garden one cold night the day after Thanksgiving in 2005. Bruce heard him crying and investigated. We found this very tiney, forlorn kitty and brought him inside. He had an injured leg and hopped around on 3 legs. We were afraid if we took him to the Humane Society he would end up being put to sleep. We already had 3 cats and never planned on having that many. We are just so soft hearted when it comes to animals. All 4 of our cats we rescued and 1 of our dogs. So we decided to keep him and nurse him back to health. Our decision at the time was that he would not really be "our cat". He would stay outside and we would feed him and if he left, that would be that. BUT, he stayed around and we let him sleep on our back porch at night. Then we'd let him come in and sleep in the house when it was cold. The end of it is that he is a very spoiled indoor/outdoor cat and we love him immensely! We had him fixed and he is always current on all his vaccinations. We had named him Tiny Tim after little Tiny Tim in the Scrooge story that had the crutches. Anyway, Timmy loves when we are outside in the garden. He hangs around and even digs holes for us. (Hmmm). This morning when I was out there he was being so darn cute and of course I just happened to have the camera there with me. So the following are some shots of him, just being Timmy. Here he won't look at me, acts like he wants nothing to do with me, yet follows me everywhere I go. Silly kid!He decided to climb up on one of the tiny wrought iron chairs that we have in the Baby Garden. Only problem was he couldn't quite get turned around and get comfortable.Okay, so after awhile he figured, maybe this wasn't such a good idea. It's not that comfortable and I don't quite fit!

He settled instead for a tree stump that fit his feline spread much more comfortably! Ha!Oh but laying here amongst the 'Marcia Faye' Daylilies is even nicer. He is quite a character! In a post earlier this week I told you about my pots or container gardens that I did. Well, here are some photos of the one that I like the best, I think. The other two are identical to each other and so far I haven't gotten any good pictures of either of them. They are in more sun and in the evening it's been raining so it's been hard to get a decent photo of them. I am not really satisfied with those two and may make some changes with them. The pot above includes 2 Variegated Dianella (Flax Lily), 2 different Coleous, Black Alocasia (Elephant Ear), a rather large Variegated Rose Scented Geranium and some Maidenhair Fern to trail over the side.What do you think? Here are just a few pics of some of the plants that I planted in the Baby Garden this morning. This is the 'First Love' Dianthus (all shades of pink & white)~perfect for this garden!
This particular variety of Dianthus is a Perennial here in Florida.
Karley Rose Pennisetum (Fountain Grass)

Hot & Stormy

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yesterday we got the plants from the wholesale nursery that I was waiting for so today we put together my pots that I had been planning. I took some pictures of them but it is much too sunny out and they don't look good. So, I'll have to go out late and take more pictures. I think the pots/container gardens turned out real good. When I post the pictures, I'll list the plants that are in them and the other plants that I got. Last night Bruce & I went to HD because there was a statue there that I like for the baby garden but I wanted him to see it before I bought it. He liked it too. The price was only $ 24 which I thought was great especially since it was true concrete and not the resin that starts falling apart after a couple years in the sun. Mom, as promised, here is a picture of that statue. It's not in the baby garden yet, it's just sitting out on the front sidewalk. I'll post more pictures of it once it gets to it's place in the baby garden. I haven't decided where that will be yet. Today Bruce & I had the day off together. We worked out in the yard for awhile but it was soooo hot. We lasted less than 2 hours and came back in. Now it's storming and raining, so him and the dogs are napping and I am on here as usual. I am really glad for the rain and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees with the storm. It was close to 100 degrees when we were out earlier today. Hopefully I will still be able to take pictures of the pots later. If not, I'll get to it within the next couple of days. We are off together tomorrow again and I think we just might go to Tallahassee Nurseries. Not sure yet but I would love it! Bruce will be working on Father's Day this coming Sunday so we will celebrate it tomorrow doing whatever it is he wants to do whether that be nursery hopping, antiquing or just plain nothing! I have to mention that my sister Stacy and brother Scott are both getting into gardening too this year at their homes. I love looking at all the photos they've been posting on their myspaces of their gardens. I have to get them talked into keeping a garden blog too! Happy Gardening everyone and as Rebecca Koles says. "Get those hands dirty!" Here, I threw in a picture of Bruce, the best Gardening buddy a person could ask for!

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Yesterday I went Garden Center hopping. Okay, so I only had time to go to the big box stores because I didn't leave the house until after 5:00 and all the independents are closed by then. Below is a picture of what I came home with this time. Most of the plants are going in some pots that I am putting together. They are Draceana, some different Coleus and Joseph's Coat (Alternanthera) Burgundy Thread. I have some other plants that are going in the pots as well. I'll show them on here when I put them together. I am still waiting to get a few other plants from our wholesale supplier. I also got 3 daylilies; Lullaby Baby, Minnie Pearl & Little Business and a Texas Sage. I am so addicted to plants. I think it's getting out of hand; plants and books....those are my downfalls.This morning I went for an early morning walk around the gardens with my camera. I love listening to the birds first thing in the morning. There was a pair of cardinals singing to each other and chasing each other back and forth amongst the trees. I actually got a picture of one by zooming in up into the tree with my little digital camera. See that speck of red in the tree???....trust me, that's a male Cardinal. (The males are brighter red for those that wonder how I could tell it was a he!) Below are some of the other photos I took of things that were blooming. I took 195 pictures and I had to narrow it down to just a couple to put on this blog. Don't you just hate that part. I want to share them all! This is the first Crepe Myrtle that we have blooming so far this year.
It's a 'Natchez'. We have 5 other varieties that are getting bud on them but not yet blooming.
This is a garden bench that we bought recently. Got a good deal on it at Ross'. That is a White Althea bush blooming beind it. This is in the "White Garden". We haven't decided yet if this is where the bench will stay.
Here are some of the roses that were blooming this morning: Sexy Rexy is starting to bloom again Tamora Rose has one bloom so far this year!
Madam Lombard Roses The Dark Lady Roses Climbing Eden Rose Climbing Eden Rose growing on our Gazebo
Below are some 'Milk & Wine' Crinum Lilies that are blooming right now. I love these! They are so beautiful!
Okay, so you know I had to sneak in some Four O'Clocks right!
It just wouldn't be me if I didn't. Haha!
I'll be working out in the gardens today so maybe I'll have something interesting to tell you about later! Until then, Happy Gardening!

One Rainy Afternoon........

Sunday, June 1, 2008

We had rain, thunder & a little lightening for a little over 2 hours this afternoon. We were sitting on the back porch as I said in my earlier post, through the whole storm. Our little 5 yr old Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Dudley, is afraid of storms. He did pretty good today considering. He mostly kept looking at me with that distress in his sweet little brown eyes. LOL! Poor kid. We loved on him, don't worry. He is babied constantly. Oliver, our 8 year old Boxer, could care less. He's like his mama (me), he can sleep through anything. The cats and our almost 7 yr old Australian Shepherd, Chloe were out in the garage (we have a pet room out there for all of them. The garage is their humble abode.) Chloe is deaf and mostly blind, missing an eye and can barely see out of the one she has. She feels the rumbles of the storm and is very sensitive to the vibration. The video below shows Dudley and also some of the rain and wind in some of the gardens out behind us. The large garden that is outlined in Liriope is Olivia & Quinn's Memorial Garden that I am up in arms about. Can't see much through the screen and with the rain and wind. Dudley sure is cute though. It is almost 10 pm and we are back out here on the porch, Bruce reading a garden architecture book and I am feeding my computer addiction. I think I can hear all the flowers and plants faintly sighing with relief and grateful for that long, tall drink that God just gave them.

Baby Garden Dilemma

Wow! Is it really June already? Yesterday and today were the first really insanely hot days here in Florida this year so far. (Where we live anyway.) The Garden is starting to show stress from the heat and drought. We have been hand watering in addition to our regular irrigation just about every day and things are still dry. We are also having trouble with some moles or voles. It's very disappointing. There are tunnels all over our yard. It's like the NYC Subway. They eat off the roots of plants while searching for earthworms in their tunnels. This of course starts to damage the plant and it is starting to show especially in some of my rose bushes in our Baby Memorial Garden. I went out this morning to do some planting in the Baby Garden. All I managed to plant were 3 Pink Gauras. I just couldn't figure out where I wanted to place things. The whole garden is starting to look so hodge podge to me. I haven't thought it out well enough. As my husband says, I am an impulse plant buyer. I buy it because I like it and then I try to stick it in somewhere. But I think that's an okay way to garden. Hey, plants can always be moved, right? It's all about trial & error. The Baby Garden theme is pink for Olivia & White for Quinn. At first I had trouble finding alot of true pink plants. Now I seem to be coming up with an abundance of them. So far, these are the plants that we have in the Baby Garden:

2 Pink Serissa, Belinda Rose, Abraham Darby Rose, Our Lady of Guadaloupe Rose, Moonstone Rose, Sexy Rexy Rose, The Fairy Rose, a miniature garden rose, a Conversation Azalea, Mansize Camellia, Kitty Camellia, Pink Perfection Camellia, a Sioux Crepe Myrtle, Near East Crepe Myrtle, a Cameo Quince, a Blush Quince, a Pink Althea, Flowering Almond Bush, Hoshima Flowering Cherry Bush, Loropetalum, 2 Sago Palms, a Callaway Crabapple Tree, White Muhly Grass, White Nemesia, Nicotiana Flowering Tobacco, Appleblossom Pennestemon, White Four O'Clocks, Pink Four O'clocks, Miniature Mallows, Pink Hollyhocks, Liriope, Narcissus, Indian Hawthorne, Pink Celosiana, Evergreen Giant Liriope and Vygie Sedums. There are also 15 Marcia Faye Daylilies planted there that I am going to dig back up and move to another garden. They were not as pink as I was led to believe. They are very pretty but alot of orange, peach, yellow coloring to them. This morning I planted some Dauphin Gaura. I still have a Siskyou Pink Gaura to plant, August Beauty Gardenia, Pink Muhly Grass, Pink Cleome, some Zinnias and a few more roses. It sounds like alot but everything is basically small so the garden still doesn't look like much yet. I have a wish list of alot more plants that I still want to add to it. We also have a bird bath, two little statues and 2 little baby wrought iron chairs. I am just having such a time planning this layout. I think it's just soooooo important to me because it's my daughter and sons memorial garden, that I am not able to make it perfect enough.
As I write this, Bruce & I are sitting out on the back screened in porch watching it rain and listening to the thunder. Haven't seen any lightening yet and I guess that's a good thing since I am sitting out here with my laptop plugged in on the porch. Probably not the brightest thing I've ever done. We really need the rain but I don't think it's going to amount to much. It's coming in waves. The thunder is getting louder RIGHT now! Funny though, there are still birds chirping.
I joined Blotanist which is a collection of worldwide garden blogs. I am really enjoying it. I get so excited as I look at other gardeners blogs and read their stories. I have to say though that I realize that my blog really pales in comparison to most of the ones that I see. The photography on some of them is absolutely gorgeous so I find myself daydreaming about getting a really good camera so I can improve my garden photography which is something I love to do almost as much as the gardening itself. Also the blogs are so interesting. I find that most have a really good sense of humor, are very talented, and much excellent writers. I have a long ways to go here but I will improve over time. I am starting to really enjoy this blogging thing!
I didn't get to take photographs this morning because my husband had the camera at a job today but I will take some picture this week and show the perils that I am having with the baby garden. Does anyone else have a memorial garden like this that they've created? I would love to look at some pictures, layouts and ideas.
Well, my blog wouldn't be complete without some pictures and I just happen to have some that I took the past couple of nights.

Here is a picture of the Pink Cleome

This is a Manarda but I am not sure which one.

Pink Hollyhock

Mutant Four O'Clocks

Here are some Four O'clocks in the backyard. One is 5' tall.