November 2, 2010

Funk Your Garden Photos

Needless to say I have not posted lately because the garden is looking haggard after a summer of excessive heat and prolonged periods of no rain.  Recently we went on vacation to Hawaii for ten days and returned to a withered, burned out, sun scorched garden.  It never occurred to me that it would not rain at least once while we were away and I forgot to tell our daughter to water the plants if it did not rain. I do not blame her in any way as she took wonderful care of the four dogs, three cats, and a fish tank while we were on vacation.  Apparently we had some of the hottest weather of the summer while we were away. Anyway, a lesson was learned that will be remember in the future.

This past weekend I planted 160 Tulip bulbs along with some pansies on both the deck and in the beds with the tulips. I plan to plant a 100 daffodil bulbs this coming weekend.  I've also been cleaning out some beds and doing some tidying up before the weather turns cold.

Recently I found a website that allow you to put an artistic twist to photos. It is a really fun website that is free but can be upgraded for a small  monthly fee.  The website is   Here a few photos from  gardens that I played with  and wanted to share.

                                                                               Water Lillies

                                                                      Garden Bench

                                                                             Tree Sculpture

                                                                    Wind Sculpture



                                                                        The  Bridge

                                                                       Cat in the Arbor

This is a fun program and allows you to use your imagination and put a different twist on your photos. I personally like the effect above which makes your photo look like a painting with an impressionist flair. 
Anyway, give it a try. 

September 25, 2010

Views from Paradise

We recently returned from a 10 day trip to Hawaii where we cruised to the four major Islands of Oahu, Hawaii's Big Island, Maui, and Kauai.  It was a wonderful trip and one that I would recommend to everyone. While we were there, I  took lots of photos of plants and trees. Most of them I do not know but appreciated them just the same. Thought I would post some pictures of some of the things we saw. Enjoy! 

August 8, 2010

Too Hot to Handle

The weather has been oppressive lately with temps close to 100 degrees for the past two weeks. We've had a few scattered showers during that time which has made it a little more tolerable. Other than my usual weekly lawn mowing and weed eater duties, not much to talk about. I've put off a few projects in the garden for now until it cools off a little.  In the plans are a new patio area in the front yard which will go under the Nellie Stevens holly I recently limbed up to a tree form. I have a bench and a fountain vase I want to incorporate in the plan. This is the vase fountain which will go on the new patio.

Recently I purchased a coleus at a local nursery I had never seen. They did not know the name and it was the last one in the shop. I think it is quite spectacular!

                                                One of my potted hostas in full bloom

A favorite ornamental grass with one of the garden benches and a whimsical yard bird.

I thought I would share a few pictures of my daughter's pet goats and chickens.

This is Thelma and Louise. dwarf pigmy goats who had escaped from the pen but waited patiently on the back porch.
                                          "It's hot out here, we want to come inside"

                                                 "Stewie" Mary Kathryn's favorite.

                                  This is Darius a Silver Sebright Bantam Rooster. (my favorite)

                                      Turkey (Dominecker) and Ferdinand( Polish Bantam)

                                                   " Crookabee"  Rhode Island Red


July 25, 2010

Lazy Days of Summer

Not much going on in the garden lately. The heat and humidity have been stifling this past week. Due to the heat, I've  put off several projects until more moderate conditions prevail.

A couple of weeks ago my brother can down and helped me put new shutters on the house. I finished clearing and cleaning up the areas beneath the hollies I recently limbed up and finally killed the poison oak that had established residence under them.

The tree form Pee Gee Hydrangea is coming into bloom as well as the "Limelight" hydrangea.

                       Oriental Lily  Lilium 'Casa Blanca

                               Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

The lovely eastern tiger swallowtail is one of the most common and widely distributed swallowtail butterflies, found throughout eastern USA and Canada. The male tiger swallowtail is always the familiar bright yellow with black striped markings. However, some females are dramatically camouflaged - they are dark brown to black, mimicking the poisonous pipevine swallowtail butterfly (which predators know to avoid because it tastes foul and can make them extremely ill).

Black-Eyed Susan

This is a photo taken by my daughter Mary Kathryn of a spider web she found in her yard. A true work of art.

July 7, 2010

This Week in the Garden...

                                             Phlox paniculata 'David'
                         Lilium "Stargazer" 

               Yucca filamentosa ( Variegated Yucca )
                         Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'

         Miscanthus sinensis 'Cosmopolitan' (Cosmopolitan Maiden Grass)

                                                          Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

July 4, 2010


This past week has been difficult for me. It has been a week of changes. When we built our house 23 years ago I planted Nellie R. Stevens at both ends of the house. At that time, I had no idea they would ever get as large as they have become.  I also planted a  Yoshino Cherry tree on the narrow side of the yard, and it too has exceeded all my expectations. The Cherry tree had become so large it was causing an issue with the neighbors in that some branches extended into their yard. At one point, they trimmed some of the branches but the tree has become so large they would have to obtain professional help to trim any more of the branches. Also, feeder branches from the base had  migrated towards the foundation of the house which has caused some concern. After much deliberation, I finally decided to have the Cherry tree removed and the Hollies trimmed back to get them off the roof of the house. I called a professional tree removal service Friday afternoon at 1 p. m. and by 4 p.m. the Cherry tree was history, a large dead pine tree was cut down and removed from the back yard, some large branches of the huge oak tree at the end of the driveway which protruded over the roof were removed. The hollies which I had limbed up the previous weekend were trimmed back and off the roof of the house. Last of all, the virginia creeper that covered a large portion of the front had to come down so new shutters could be installed in the near future. I have to admit that I was pleased with the hollies after limbing them up to a tree form. I was sad to have to remove the virginia creeper. I thought it gave character to the house and soften the brick facade.  

After removing the Cherry Tree, limbing up the hollies and magnolia tree, and removing the vines.

The side garden can now be seen from the front yard.

Removing a large branch from the old oak tree.

Change is sometimes hard, but often necessary. Now the challenge will be to adapt and make changes that will enhance and make the garden even better. 

June 26, 2010

What's Blooming This Week

 Clerodendrum bungei is also known as the rose glory bower or Mexican hydrangea. ...

Clerodendrum bungei is also known as the rose glory bower or Mexican hydrangea. It is a small shrub which
is native to China, with interesting scented flowers that appear late in the season. Its foliage is also ornamental.
This plant is hardy to about 5°F (-15°C) but the stems will be damaged below 15°F (-9°C/-10°C).
This shrub has large opposite and roughly serrated leaves, that are 4 to 8 in (10-20 cm) long. When crushed
 or rubbed, leaves emit an unpleasant smell, which explains its other name C. foetidum.
Flowers are pink, scented, have a tubular shape and 4 petals. They are grouped in terminal panicles.
This shrub has inedible berries, which are small and dark blue.
Clerodendrum bungei requiert les expositions suivantes : mi-ombre,lumière,soleil
This plant prefers drained grounds that remain reasonably moist. It likes full sun but will
also grow in partial shade.
This shrub has few ennemies

        Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

        Blushing Bride Hydrangea
The name of this new Hydrangea macrophylla says it all. Pure white blooms with semi-double florets gradually mature to a sweet, pink blush.
Like Endless Summer The Original and Endless Summer Twist-n-Shout, Endless Summer Blushing Bride will add life and love to your garden and home virtually all season long. Reliably blooming on both old and new growth, you can experience the beauty of Blushing Bride again and again, all summer long.

                          Hemerocallis 'Anonymous Gift'

Joiner 94 Dip 24" MLa Evr Re 6" Silver Pink DOUBLE. I picked this beauty up this morning at the local Farmer's Market in Trussville. 

                        Hemerocallis "Unknown Cultivar"

                     The Knockout Roses are putting out a new flush of blooms.

The "Rattlesnake Pole Beans" are in and I picked my first "mess" of beans this week.