Tuesday, February 24, 2009


As I look out my back deck today, it is very hard to imagine that all the brown, woody, tangled mess atop the arbor, will eventually green up, produce buds...and bloom the prettiest pink clematis you ever did see. This montana variety blooms for a good solid month and then sporadically throughout the summer. I don't prune it much as it's labeled under Group 1, but also because I can longer reach it! So for now, I wait patiently...and when the time is right, she'll come alive and be drop dead gorgeous. This is a view worth waiting for...

Another flower I'm anxiously awaiting is Dame's Rocket. I know...a weedy wildflower?! Two seasons ago, a corner of my garden was mysteriously filled with these phlox like purple blooms. It's from the mustard family and is considered invasive! I know you've seen it along highways. However, not knowing what it truly was until it bloomed, I LOVED the lavender shades (and white), and the added bonus was it's sweet fragrance! It blended so nicely with the peonies. But last spring, very few plants returned. What happened to those seeds I did not deadhead? Is it a biennial? I'm hoping new seedlings will return this year to grace my garden...it's a weed I won't mind keeping.

So Spring, come soon...I am SO ready!

Even my girls are anxious for hammock weather...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Before and Before...?

During a heavy snowfall a few weeks ago, the landscape was ever so pretty. Big, fluffy flakes that really clung to the trees. I captured this pretty scene off our deck around 10pm. Afterwards, something about this view really nagged at me. I was definitely getting a deja vu feeling. Why was it so familiar....?
And look! Here it is...practically the exact "view" taken back in August. Funny how our eyes seek the same things over and over. I find many pics of the same plant, same angle, but taken years apart..creature of habit..I guess. So I'm not crazy after all. Well...just don't ask my family!
I had more spring photos to scan and share but, ahem..."someone" is keeping me from the scanner...sweet Lacey! Never fails, when I run the printer, she's right there, and even paws at the paper to keep it from coming out..so cute and I bet that sunshine feels pretty good!
Guess I'll wait 'til her nap is over...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Big Sky, Montana...

Sorting through my albums, I wanted to share with you all a wonderful trip we took a few summers ago to Big Sky, Montana. The reason for the trip was to celebrate my in-laws' 50th Wedding Anniversary. The whole clan (8 adults, 6 kids) came together for a week of fun and adventure. Lone Mountain is a dude ranch! Dude, I'd never been on a horse before! It was quite an experience, let me tell you. By the 3rd day, my activities were mainly hiking and massages...(just the way I planned it!). The kids, however, were pros and by the end of the week, they even put on a rodeo! Best vacation ever! And talk about HEAVEN on earth!

Flying into Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was the first leg of our trip. We then took a tour through Yellowstone National Park before reaching Big Sky.

Here's the grand entrance to the ranch...we just knew we were in for something great!

Our cozy cabins...rustic looking but with great amenities, including a jacuzzi tub!
Here we are, overlooking the huge Yellowstone Lake. Have you ever seen bluer water? BTW, that's HH, me and our two Darling Daughters...
Of course, the prerequisite wildflower photos...
Indian paintbrushes...I fell in love with these way back in high school, when my Biology class would hike the valleys of southern California...subconsciously, I was a plant lover even then and have always remembered their unique name.

Traffic jam in the middle of nowhere! Isn't this hilarious? A herd of buffalo taking their sweet ol' time.

The kids were wild for these "rein-deers"! We saw quite a few..

This view of Grand Yellowstone Falls was amazing!

What a great experience for the kids, to see Nature at her best.

The real thing...

My attempted interpretation of the real thing...don't laugh now!

HH leading the morning hikes...me, I'm way in back..taking too many pictures...except running up front for this one..lol..

Riding off into the sunset. Hope you had a nice trip.

What wonderful memories these pictures bring. Here's hoping we'll be back to visit Big Sky one of these days...maybe OUR 50th.

Friday, February 13, 2009

1st '09 Flower Show!

Thursday found me at the Edison (NJ) Flower and Garden Show. It's only a fraction in size compared to the Philadelphia show, but, for a gardening nut, still fun to attend. There were about 5 display gardens and they consisted mostly your basic fare of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Even so, all those flowers in bloom (even the strong smell of mulch!) did wonders for the late winter blahs. I did, however, spent the bulk of 3 hours in the Marketplace shopping...teehee.

This was a beautiful display of camellias, Asiatic lilies and hellebores.
Hellebores up close.

arrangements that caught my eye.

A few water gardens...

Bamboo stalks painted red!

Loved this fountain...

The market tables..

I'm kicking myself for not getting this stephanotis vine...so fragrant.

Purchases included a money tree, 4 stalks of the hawaiian lei flower, plumeria, and some Mudd gardening gloves. Surprisingly, I didn't make too deep a dent in the pocketbook, but there are 3 more days left of the show. Hmm, maybe a trip back on Sunday for the 'everything must go' sale!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Held My Breath in Wonder...

After taking Darling Daughter #2 to school last Wednesday, I took a detour through the nearby reservoir and came across this amazing colony of birds...resting calmly on the frozen water. And, DARN, no camera! But next morning, I was back and prepared. The sky was even better! Just as I aimed to shoot, the birds took flight and this is what I captured!

Too beautiful for words...

I was really glad to have been right there, right then, witnessing that beautiful moment.

Taken from the parking lot...those black specks are Canadian geese.

Joining the rank of all those beautiful treescapes bloggers have shared. Oooh, I didn't even notice that bird coming in for landing...
A flower and garden show coming this weekend to Edison, NJ. It's only natural I have to go...if just to smell the dirt and mulch. And, of course, for garden inspirations!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Indoor Blooms

Best in bloom today is the collection on this side table. The 3rd stem to bloom on this amaryllis. Kitty Lacey knocked the pot over when the first two stems were in bud last month...see how tough they are, and pretty too! The begonias were stem cuttings (rooted first in water) from November. Tiny leaves behind the amaryllis is something really cool called a shrimp plant. The salmon colored bracts lasts months! Hopefully, it'll bloom again for me this summer. And, of course, your grocery store variety of cyclamens and a miniature rose. I've heard these miniatures are hardy enough to be planted right in the garden and will return to bloom it's heart out...something to try! Well, that is if I can keep it going for the next few months. Loving gardening as much as I do, I tend to lose indoor plants more often than I care to admit...
Finally! All that mush and slush is gone from the garden....yippee!! The weekend brought decent temps (low 50's) and bright sunshine. Not quite T-shirt and sandals weather but, we'll take it, won't we? Maybe I'll be able to start indoor seeds a little earlier than the usual mid-March date. My annual must-haves include sweet-peas, morning glories, zinnias, but then also the "new" blooms that catch my fancy through garden tours (and blog sites!) will get a trial. There are many this year!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Coming Soon...!

Good morning friends. As I sat down to blog, this beautiful sunrise was lighting the sky. What to do but bundle up and rush outside for a snap...isn't she pretty? I'll hope that the neighbors did not witness a crazy woman (in bathrobe and boots) running through the backyard...LOL! With the deluge of Spring 09! catalogs enticing us, I pulled these from my albums to share...enjoy!

Front view of our home. I LOVE the kwanzan cherry tree in bloom! So much that a second one was planted last fall to the left of the photo. This 20 yr.+ one does need major pruning though! The white dogwood, in it's 5th season, lost a good center section in November when we had that nasty ice storm...I may remove it if new growth doesn't fill in. Behind the white dogwood is the wonderful trellis HH built for a climbing hydrangea.
Underneath the kwanzan ...all those forget-me-nots are volunteers! Hope they remember to come back and bring more friends.

A beautiful view from our dining room...my planting of mixed tulips.

Sunny daffodil border of a neighbor's yard...good eye if you see the swing!

These photos are actually from a display garden in PA, specializing in bulbs. I am stumped though as to what it was called?!? Taken a few years back during a field trip with my local garden club. Also, when I attempted a visit the following spring, they were closed for business!
Are you drooling yet?
What a view from their office! Notice the 10ft. surrounding fence...
Hope I whet your appetite just a little and gave you a taste of what Spring will bring...soon!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Is It Spring Yet?

Boo hoo!...six more weeks of winter!! Guess I'll just have to enjoy looking at these posts...hope you will too. Here it is, my last batch of daylily photos from last summer. And realizing now that I have mostly orange/peach, pinks and reds, I need to add more yellow and white to my collection. My garden is predominately yellow in early summer with sundrops, then black-eyed susans in late summer, so that's probably why I wasn't drawn to that color. A setback that can be easily fixed...with more daylilies...hehe.

Remember this beauty...Bridgeton Gem? All those plump luscious buds...gone the next morning! I literally sat down and cried!
When My Sweetheart Returns...I really zoomed in on this one so the bloom size is smaller than you'd think...maybe around 3 1/2"? But I also remember her having a million buds...okay, maybe only around 30...but that's pretty good!

Another snap of the lovely and dark Bela Lugosi.

My first (but definitely not last) double daylily is Siloam Double Classic. Fairly young plant that only produced 2 scapes so I'm looking forward to a lot more blooms this year.

A popular pink to collect is Strawberry Candy. I'm constantly spraying this one as it's located in a front garden...completely unprotected and vulnerable to them darn pesky deer...GRRR!

This beautiful red clump is Jingle All the Way. A good 5" flower with green throat and just look at the bud count! On my list also to move as it's on the short side (24") and doesn't get appreciated behind a barberry shrub (not pictured).

Wineberry Candy up close. Funny story with this one is I purchased a quart-sized pot labeled (with pretty photo) for $10 and a second unmarked pot for $3...because it looked really healthy... and to my heart's delight, the blooms were identical! Not a bad investment for such a beautiful face. This nursery had many "mystery" daylilies so it's definitely worth a trip back.

Two views of Glowing Delight...a pass along gift from wonderful friend, Renee. Love it!

So after all that searching, and making a complete mess in the basement, I did not find as many daylily photos as I'd hoped...where are they hiding??? BUT it did force me to organize the rest of the pictures. There are stacks for vacations, holidays, birthdays, and a huge pile of odds and ends not worth keeping...thank goodness now for digital preview and the delete button! Next project...put them into albums. Anyone else still use this old-fashioned form of photo display? I also couldn't believe the pictures date back 5 years...where did the time go?? Well, my guess is I was probably planting, weeding, or watering it away in the garden.