April 27, 2011

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday today, to my mom, who is 87 years old. She helped nurture the budding desire in me, as a child, to have my hands in the soil by giving me my first seed packet to plant. It was a packet of Sweet Peas.  She was especially fond of wildflowers. The photo is of her in the bluebonnets. She has been suffering from Alzheimer's now for the past 9 years. Happy Birthday Mom! I wish you could sit in the garden.

April 24, 2011

Purple Fountain Grass

Don't forget that you can double click on the photos to make them larger. I planted  "Fireworks Purple Fountain Grass" (Pennisetum setaceum rubrum) in the yellow pots. This is a variegated variety, which I have never tried before. Also planted "Purple Fountain Grass" (Pennisetum setaceum atropurpurea) in the bronze pots behind the green chairs. I love these ornamental grasses in the summer time. Purple get large and billowy if you have a breeze.  The blooms on the Fireworks are fuchsia and grow to 24-30 inches tall with a spread of 24 inches. The regular Purple has purple seed heads and grows 2 to 3 feet tall. I'm putting plants behind the chairs because the front patio feels so stark and I like the feel of being surrounded by plants.  I also planted two of the Purple Fountain grass on each side of the single Double Red Knockout rose that I have in back. I'll post a photo later when they are established.

In this photo are Purple Fountain grass and in the flower
bed Crimson Pygmy Barberry and Purple

April 19, 2011

More Iris

Watered the front yard most of the day, cleaned out the front flower
 bed (it had a few weeds growing) and planted yellow nasturtiums
 that will come up in front of the yellow snapdragons.
 Also put alyssum seedings in this bed. Still trying to get
 a bed ready in the back to have a wide variety
 of sunflowers. These won't be the giant ones.
 Since I'm on a limited budget
 for the rest of the
 year, I'm using annual seeds and some perennial
 seeds as fillers until I can get more shrubs and trees.

  Gypsy Romance iris. I love this one because it has a blue
 beard. Up close it is beautiful.

Another shot of Gypsy Romance iris

This is Elainealope iris. I bought it because I have a sister named
 Elaine and she is an iris lover and avid gardener.

Another shot

Superstition iris

Cherry tomatoes

More of Rustic Royalty iris

Superstition iris

April 18, 2011

Superstition Iris

Superstition iris

Superstition bud. I like how this looks almost
 black in the bud stage.

Rustic Royalty iris growing behind
 the Superstition iris

 This iris bed will eventually be no more. I still have to put in
 the "bones " (shrubs and trees) around the fence in the back. This
 will probably be done in the fall when the shrubs
 are on sale. Then
 I will move all the iris to be color-coordinated with shrubs,
 flowers and roses. I don't like iris just standing in a big bunch.
 At the bottom of clothes line poles are the Graham Thomas
 English roses. They will eventually climb up.

Another recommended book - it's actually a book for grade level 5th-8th 
but it is very inspiring and worth a look. You might be able to
 check one out at your local library. 
 "Seedfolks" by Paul Fleischman

April 15, 2011


We had a rain/hail storm last night. The garden is intact, sun is out, temperature is cool and the air crisp!
We are now having sustained 40 mph winds and wind gusts over 50 mph. I was surprised I was able to get any photos today because of the wind. I bought the Moonlit Water iris in late summer last year - this is the first time it has bloomed. In my experience with Snapdragons in Texas, I buy them in the fall and plant them with them blooming and then they come up again in spring and bloom again - but usually don't make it through the summer heat. At least this way, I get two seasons out them.


Moonlit Water iris

Another shot of Moonlit iris

Rustic Royalty iris

Silverado iris 

April 12, 2011

Garden Book Called Mrs Whaley and Her Charleston Garden

I am going to re-read one of my favorite garden books, so I thought I might share the title here. "Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden" by Emily Whaley. It is a non-fiction book about self and garden re-newal. I still watered some today, even though we had a rain. The soil here is somewhat sandy. Eventually I hope the compost piles I've started will help amend it. I am still digging up the yard to make flower beds. I don't have a tiller, so it's slow-going, but I love having my hands in the soil. I planted a few caladium bulbs in the shade garden.

Full Tide iris 

Unknown that came with the property. It smells very good

Vegetable garden. Still have to plant carrots, basil, green beans, lettuce, okra

Pink Knockout again

Bed I'm working on, has English roses in it

Pathway I'm working on

April 11, 2011

Spin-off Iris

We finally got a good rain last night. I hope there will be more as it won't get us out of our drought. I saw a Road-Runner in the yard yesterday and got it on video but not on my photo camera. They eat snakes and scorpions among other things. I hope I don't see any those in my yard. We have also had has a visitor off and on since January, a BALD-headed red cardinal. He is the ugliest sight and travels alone - not in a female/male pair. I captured him on video too. I would like to try and get a photo of him. If anyone has seen one of these birds let me know. I'm adding a few more iris pictures and one of the David Austin english rose - Graham Thomas. Not much else is blooming right now. If you want to view the picture in a bigger size - just double click the photo to make it larger.

Spin-Off (Tall bearded pink bi-color Maryott 1987)
 gets to 32" tall

Another shot of Spin-off

I love this iris - it's name is unknown

Graham Thomas "David Austin English Rose"

April 08, 2011

Old German Heirloom Tomato and what is blooming today

Shade garden. This will look better once everything is established and blends together.
I planted more seeds today - nasturtiums (Dwarf Jewel, Cherry Rose Jewel)
 which the more you pick the more you get, zinnia (Cactus-Flowered Mix),
 sweet alyssum, purple salvia, red hot poker in full sun. Mixed colors
 Columbine and Lupine in the shade garden. We are getting an
 area ready where we will plant the okra. I also forgot to say I
 also have "Old German" Heirloom tomatoes - a Mennonite
 heirloom from Virginia that turns a golden yellow with
 reddish streaks and are great for slicing.

I moved the junipers again. I planted them in pots and the
 wind has
 been so strong it kept knocking them 
to the ground, so I tied them 
to a fence and a crepe myrtle tree. (the one I cut 
down - it is coming back)

Row of Double Red knockout roses with wild yellow iris. 

Another shot of juniper with wild yellow iris. 
These will be moved in the fall and replaced with the ones
 I brought from my old house.  A couple of them
 are in photos below.

Row of Double Pink Knockout roses.

Blue and white iris. 

Footloose iris

April 06, 2011

In The Garden Today - Heirloom Tomato Black Krim

Espadrille Verbena "Peach Schnapps"

Another shot of Espadrille Verbena "Peach Schnapps"

I had a lot to do in the garden today. I watered everything - turns out our "gentle rain" wasn't much at all and the ground is still really dry. We've had no measureable precipitation since our February snow and lots of 80 degree temperatures. Turns out my Pink Knockout that was sold to me as such, was a Red Knockout. So I had to buy another pink one and move the red one to a new spot. I wanted one long wall of pink roses, so I couldn't have a red one right in the middle of it. Below is a photo of the new one purchased yesterday. I potted up the cherry tomato plants that I grew from seed. I grew these in little "Jiffy-Strip" pots - the ones that go right into the ground after the seed has come up. I  planted the leeks,  started from seed, by the heriloom tomatoes, which includes "Arkansas Traveler, Boxcar Willie and Black Krim, a Russian variety. Black Krim is a beefsteak variety with a maroon red color when ripe and a  rich flavor and medium sized.  Boxcar Willie is really juicy with an old fashioned flavor and has a really good yield. Arkansas Traveler is tolerant of high heat and humidity and resisting cracking  Then planted Nastursium seeds on the border of the vegetable garden. Onions and garlic are growing nicely. I will harvest some of the spinach tonight and have it with our dinner.  I moved the "Baby Gem" Boxwood over by my shade garden in front of the newly planted "Nantucket Blue" Hydrangea. Also bought some Southern Wood Fern, Krossa Hosta, Francee Plaintain Hosta, and Frances Williams Plaintain Hosta to go in the shade garden as well. Also put some plain green liriope in the back of the shade garden. I planted some more strawberry plants yesterday - they are "Pretty in pink" an everbearing one. The other ones I have are a June bearing variety called Quinalt strawberry. I then potted up flowers for my daughter-in-law in her flower pots that I brought home from her house. One pot will go in the shade and one will go in full sun. Plants in sun pot are: Espadrill Verbena Peach Schnapps, (see photo above) Revolution Gerbera Daisy (Yellow) see photo below, White Caladiums, and Silvery Sunproof Liriope. The shade one has pink impatiens, "Miss Muffet" Caladiums, Spike Dracaena, Purple Oxalis and Burgandy Glow Ajuga. 


Encore Autumn Sangria Azalea

Autumn Sangria Azalea with Autumn Moonlight Azalea in the background

Garlic coming up

Pretty In Pink Everbearing Strawberry


Double Red Knockout Rose that was moved to new location

Burgandy Glow Ajuga. I just love this plant

Saliva - May Night
I brought this from my previous house
Revolution Gerbera Daisy. This is going in the flower 
pot for my daughter-in-law
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