Friday, September 25, 2015

Garden Art: The Earth Goddess

As you stroll along the shaded path towards the Cascades Garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, a glimpse of what's ahead stops you in your tracks!  You inhale in disbelief. did they do that?!

The shape, the colors, the immense size!  WOW!  Walking faster than my little legs can manage, I reach the display...still with mouth agape.  (Be patient for the big reveal!)

This living artwork has become the signature exhibit at the ABG, since it's installation in 2013.  The sculpture weighs nearly 29 tons and contains more than 18,000 individual plant!

 What started out as a pencil rendering transformed into a massive steel framework.  The steel structure is covered in fabric and stuffed with soil-less planting medium.
Thousands upon thousands of plant 'plugs' are fitted into holes punched in the fabric.  And plant materials are swapped out for seasonal interest.
During my visit mid-June, you can see the plant materials included potato vines, coleus, duranta, lantana, and creeping Baby Tears.  These plants are trimmed by hand once a week to maintain shape and size. It is a sight to behold!
She is actually showcased across a pond fountain so all photos are from a distance.  I would've loved to been able to walk around the frame and see her up close.  At 20ft., the scale comparison would've been cool.
I have seen unusual topiaries but this is UNIQUE and INSPIRING!  As you can see, I spent quite a bit of time here...trying to capture her from every angle.
So of you ever find yourself in Fulton Co., Georgia, with a free afternoon...go visit The Earth Goddess at The Atlanta Botanical Garden....tell them I sent you!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Catching Up....Part 2, 3 and 4!

Just a few minutes free so let's get down to business!

 Some of my daylilies in bloom these past few months...
cultivar name under each photo...enjoy!
Red Ribbons
(Lenington-G., 1964)
Dancing in the Sunlight (Herr-D., 2006)
Lilting Belle (Wilson, 1983)
Black Arrowhead (Roberts-N., 2002)
Jane Trimmer (Trimmer, 2002)
Mary's Gold (McDonell-H., 1984)

Baby Dragon (Gossard, 2011)
Brown Witch (Reed, 1999)
Creature of the Night (Reed, 1999)
Springfield Clan (Trimmer-J., 2001)

 Gotta run!  Have a beautiful day!!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Catching Up....

July is THE MONTH when my daylilies are at their best, otherwise known as 'peak bloom'.  Every morning I eagerly bounce out of bed, quickly brew my first cuppa, and rush out the back door.
Wineberry Candy (Stamile, 1990)
So with mug in one hand, bucket in other, and camera 'round my neck, I begin the fun chore of 'mush-mummy'-ing!  If you grow daylilies, you know what I'm talking about!
Siloam June Bug (Henry-P, 1978)

Of course, if you also hybridize, then deadheading is done with extra care, if at all.  I tend to wait for the last week of blooms to cross pollinate as I like to keep the scapes looking clean. 
Kanai Sensei (Huben, 2006)

If you're new to daylilies, do a little homework when nursery hopping.  Most tags will NOT tell you if the daylily you're ogling will bloom Early, Mid, or do a quick search (thank goodness for smart phones)!  The place to go is:   Just plug in the cultivar name, hit 'search' and the database will do the rest.  I pay attention to bloom period, it's height, as well as bud count, if listed.
Mardi Gras Parade (Kroll, 1992)
Keep all that information in mind when incorporating them into your garden. It would not do to plant a 12" plant behind a 4ft. clump, would it?  Daylilies are very forgiving though and can be transplanted anytime during the growing season.
Dominic (Williams-J, 1984)
When it comes to companion plants (be it perennials or annuals), try to highlight  your special daylily with complimentary colors.  But if you garden like I do..."ooh, there's a blank spot, start digging" all works out in the
Pure and Simple (Salter, 1993)

These are just a few of my 'Early' blooming cultivars so please visit again to see more daylilies!
Let It Rip (Joiner-J, 1997)

Have a great SUNday!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Mystery Vine...

About a month ago, I noticed a vine starting to grow among my daylily bed.  Thinking it was probably a cucumber or squash vine, I decided to let it be.  But where had it come from?  I certainly had NOT planted it.
In a week's time, it really took off!  I paid it no further mind and off we went on a 10 day vacation.  Upon return, it had grown out of bounds and was choking out my plants!
Hubba-Hubba was not happy it was invading his lawn, as well!
I HAD to chop it back and quick!   But, hey, those weren't cukes hiding under the foliage!
My mystery vine was actually a cantaloupe!  How cool is that?!
I trimmed off the long ends (sacrificed about 10 fruits) and kept about half dozen. Let's see if they'll actually develop full size and tastes as good as they look!
I'll let you know!
Btw...any friends out there grow these melons? Should I encase the fruit with a wrapper to prevent rot?  Any advice would be appreciated!  

Gotta love surprises from Mother Nature! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Did You SPRING forward...?

It seemed unlikely that we would ever get here but, YEAH, the day has finally arrived!
I'm talking about daylight saving time....WOO-HOO!!
I've been spending most  my free time (as have you, I'm sure)
going through seed and garden catalogs, marking which new plants
to try as well as remembering to re-order those tried-and-true favorites.
The time has also arrived for indoor garden tours!  My annual trek to
the Philadelphia Flower Show did not disappoint.  
Disney and Pixar films inspired this year's show theme:
"Celebrate the Movies"
I will share some of those themed displays in another post.
      This entry will highlight the colorful and drop-dead gorgeous bulbs display.
I could not tear myself away from the tulip you will see!
My way of planting alliums in groups of  5, 7 or 9 is good
but a stand of 20 is even better!  
The pink tulips in the foreground were my favorite among the dozens of varieties.
Label marked "Just Kissed"...I'm already searching catalogs to order next fall.
A different angle but the same grouping of Just Kissed...
This is why I love it so!
Just look at the stunning pattern...each flower, each petal...unique!
The en-masse planting effect was mesmerizing!
And the display just went on and on....
A fun candid shot of an adorable visitor going in for a sniff-sniff...
These mini daffodils, were overpowering in their fragrance.
Such a sweet combination they make with the dainty coral bells (heucheras).
This dark purple (almost black) grouping was stunning!
I think I like the single-petaled variety more than the double.
 My garden, at the moment, is still buried under 2ft drifts,
so enjoying a flower show certainly helps feed my soul a bit
and tie me over for a few more weeks.
Maybe it'll rejuvenate and motivate the gardener in you, too!
I hope you enjoyed the tour!