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.

Monday, October 1, 2007

B-day party

The birthday party has come and gone. The hangover is also gone, thank goodness!! We had 40 guests over to share in the official turning a year older. I think it was a hit. The last guests left at 11:00 and I stayed up until 2 am cleaning up. Didn't get out of bed until 11 am only to do more cleaning. But all in all was worth it.
The previous 2 days before the party was spent clean of course and also preparing food.

Here is what we had.
Smoked Brisket
Curry Chicken on skewers
Grilled Spiced Shrimp
Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Hummus
Artichoke and Spinish dip
Chichen and Apple stuffed puff pastries
Raspberry and Apricot baked Brie

Usally for our parties we have a friend make desert for us. She does the whole wedding cakes, candies, you name it she can make it. She also enters contests and that is where she was last weekend in Omaha Nebraska at a cake contest. So I made the Pampered Chef Cool and Creamy Chocolate Fondue and had apples pears and strawberrys to dip in it. A couple of friends brought other sweets plus I picked up the indiviual cheese cakes from Sams. You get 63 inch square cheese cakes, plain, turtle and raspberry. Well worth it.

I will leave you with one last comment. Look under the table in the first picture. That is Butch and he knows where to hang out.