Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Here is my attempt to decorate for for the holidays this year...

I want to take this post to wish everyone in blog land the very best this holiday season, from myself,Scott, Butch and Bonnie....Happy Holidays!!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Extra plant space

No I am not posting this so you can see a messy closet. I copied this ideal from a blog I saw a year or more ago. Not sure whose blog it was but I thought it was a great ideal so I put up these shelves this fall and put some of my house plants on them.

Part of my problem with our house is that I don't have very good windows to put plants in front of. The front of the house faces east and only have two windows. One of them looks out on the porch so not enough light comes in for plants and the other is in the master closet. This one gets great light and is why I put the shelves up to take advantage of this.

The whole project cost about $50 and took about and hour to assemble. There is a metal bar on each side of the window that a bracket snaps into to. Then an 8 inch board sets on top of it. The window is 36 inches wide and the boards are 48. I was going to cut the extra off but decided that I could store extra pairs of shoes on the extra(you can never have enough room for shoes). Also the one orchid I have can't take the full sun from this window so it set to the side out of the sun. I will need to paint the boards but since no one see it but us I thought it could wait until next year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Puppy update

Here Butch is protecting one of this toys from Bonnie by laying on it.
Bonnie was able to get a hold of it and they started playing tough of war.
Butch is trying to show Bonnie who is boss!
For the most part Butch has warmed up to Bonnie. They chase each other around the house and Butch will bark at here when she hides under a chair and he can't get to her. It is fun to watch and take pictures of.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Frost on the pumkin and other things

I almost have as big of Passion about taking pictures as I do about gardening. I believe they go hand in hand. Because if you have a beautiful garden and you want to share it you need to know the basics about taking pictures. You want the pictures to turn out as nice or nicer than the garden.
One thing I have always thought after we bought our first digital camera was how awesome the pictures were. Sometimes I even thought that the pictures looked better than the garden did. Case in point was last year we would take pictures of the garden down to show my mother, so she would have an ideal what I had been doing. My two brothers would also get to look at them. My oldest brother commented one time they the garden was really pretty and he wanted to come see it. I guess this is my own insecurity but I thought "does the garden really look that good?". Then I became paranoid and was afraid that the garden would be a let down when he saw it. My reasoning for this, however flawed it maybe was that when you take pictures now days with the macro and super macro you can get such detail that you really don't see in person. I mean it is there if you look for it.
Anyway to make a long story short. My brother and wife came up this summer to see the garden. They made the normal comments I have gotten from people which was nice to hear and I new they liked what they saw. What really make me think I had done a good job was a couple of weeks later. He called and we talked first about if I was going to be coming back home this weekend to cut Mom's grass and before we hung up he said that he said that he really wanted to tell me that he was impressed with the garden and that it was very beautiful. This comment, coming a few weeks after there visit had a great impact. First was that he was still thinking about my garden after a few weeks and second the fact that he shared that with me. Men in my family usually don't share feelings like this. Now if I had a new truck I could see him saying something like that!
So anyway here are some pictures I took this morning of the frost. Hope you enjoy and have a great week!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

From all of us to all of you, Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What is new with us?

Well this is what has been keeping us busy. Yes a new puppy!! A chocolate lab that we named Bonnie. But don't let the pretty face fool you she is hell on paws!! Still trying to get her house broken. That isn't an easy job as some of you might know.
Will keep you all updated with new pictures from time to time. Enjoy and have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Garden Bugs

I have taken pictures of all the little animals in the garden this last summer and thought I would share them with everyone. Not sure what they all are and how beneficial they are for the garden but they are interesting. I am sure I didn't get a tenth of the different insects in the garden. These were the easiest to find and take a picture of.
I sure miss the warm weather and working in the garden. I'm sure spring will be here in no time.

Volunters part 2

This is the second set of volunteer plants I wanted to show. I know it is slow in coming but they are worth looking at, even if I don't know what they are all called.

The first one is Feverfew. It was a pass along plant from the garden club. It likes to reseed itself anywhere it can but is easly controlled by pulling the plants up. It has been used in the past as an herbal medicine for reducing fever. However the flowers on my plant do not match the flowers on the website that I googled that said it had been used as a herbal medicine. Maybe mine is strickly ornamental. I will stick with asprin or other over the counter medication.

Not sure what this annual is called but it comes back every year somewhere in the garden. It grows blooms and then dies. I wish it would bloom all summer but I think the heat get to it.

This is my black eyed susan. Here again it reseeds itself where ever it want to. Here you see it growing next to one of my miniture roses. This is also one that will bloom and die back. It also has a problem with powder mildew. This year it killed back most of what had came up in a huge patch leaving this bear spot. I just set a pot there too make it look like that is how I planned it.
This is a vine that came up a month or so ago and I have been waiting to see what it is. It is a moonvine. Not sure how the seed go here but it is nice to see it gowing up the torch pole. I like the look of that. Maybe next year I will try and do that with several other torch poles.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Arbor before and after

Here is a before and after of my stick arbor. The first one was taken the first part of April.
This picture was taken this last weekend. Remarkable difference!

This is looking up on the inside of the arbor. Lot and lots of stems and leaves.

Here is what the flower looks like, if you hadn't seen it before. I have been rather disappointed with the number of blooms this year. In the past I have let it vine on the banister of the deck and the blooms would cover it at sundown. Now there are just a few here and there. I think there is just too much vine and leaves to see the blooms. Over all I am satisfied how the arbor looks and will need to decide what to grow on it next year.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Alpine Violet

This is Cyclamen Hederifolium. This last spring was the first time I have ran across a hardy Cyclamen. At the price of 9.95 I had to think twice before I bought it. I planted like it said and was rather surprised when it's leaves died a few weeks later. The tag said it might go dormant in the summer but this was only late spring! I thought well that was 10 bucks down the drain but the tuber was still solid so I thought there might be some hope. I was so surprised last week when I was mowing and saw these pretty pink flowers. I had to stop and get the camera to get pictures!!
If you enlarge the first picture you can see what the tuber looks like. I did a little research and found out that the leaves will come out this fall and then again in spring. One website says they self seed easily.

I am adding this note to give anyone who wants it more information. A fellow blogger did a post a few day before me and he has more information about this plant than I have listed here, Here is his link You will find out more form his post than mine.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Colors of Fall

I am being a little lazy this week. Couldn't think of anything to really write about or show everyone that was different. So here are the flowers in my garden that remind me that fall is here.
What would a garden be without mums for fall?
The first one I was told is a native mun. Not sure if that is true. Never heard of a mum native to the Midwest? It grew like gang busters this summer. I was such a small little plant when I planted it this spring.
I have to give the deer credit for something and this might be the only nice thing I have to say about deer. Hear goes, they did a good job eating back my muns this last spring. I didn't have to pinch them back at all!! With that said I will get back to deer bashing, I don't mean literally, in the coming blogs.

This is my Russian Sage. I just love the blue color and it has been blooming for a while now. For me it stands out more in the fall. I don't know if that is when it comes into bloom more or if it is just my imagination.

This red grass is I believe Japanese Blood Grass. Someone correct me if I am wrong. I bought it because of the color and uniqueness but when I was ready to plant it the tag said it could be aggressive, so I put it in this pot for the summer. I will have to say it did real well with the heat and with only getting limited water. So that aspect about it is good. Not sure what to do with it now. Has anyone grown this before? Let me know your thoughts.

This is the Hydrangea tree with it's fall color. The one thing I did wrong when I planted it was the location I picked and at the time I thought it could be a problem. What happens is in July and August after the blooms come out the sun get too hot and burns the blooms on the top. Over all in the picture it looks like a dark pink but if I showed you a close up of just one bloom it would be brown on the top and pink on the bottom. Next year I think I will try and put an umbrella over it for July and August. Any thoughts on that or how I can give it more shade without moving it. Ultimately I might just have to move it.

OK before you say this isn't a fall plant here me out. This is Vinca, one of the plants that I think is over looked at times. This plant has never failed me. It can take the hot and dry weather. Blooms continuously from the time it is planted until frost. I guess the one thing that I can think of that limits it is the number of colors that it comes in. I plant it every year and I don't have to worry about the heat getting to it.

To me the Vinca is the unsung hero in my garden.