Friday, August 28, 2009

Fertilizer Friday

I've been remiss lately with the Fertilizer Friday postings. But, got my act together this week so here I am, joining in the fun with host Tootsie and the rest of the gang.

I showed blooms of the Chaste Tree two posts ago, but here it is in scale. I actually thought of cutting it down a few years ago when a rough winter caused a very delayed glad I didn't! So thrilled these phlox are still doing great. What do most gardens have in common this late in the season? Black-Eyed Susies, of course. In my case, it's actually too much of a good thing (even though I know they are your favorite, Randy ;) Geraniums looked somewhat stressed a few weeks ago but regular feedings of Miracle Gro has done wonders. Still enjoying some late-blooming this 'Maroon Branch'And cheerful yellow...okay, just totally blanked on the name....! 'Apple Crisp'Mums planted last fall are starting to show color This candy lily (Pardancanda) was labeled with the purple bloom so I was surprised when the buds opened also in orange/yellow. But I like the 'Sangria' bloom most.

This crepe myrtle was labeled a dwarf variety! It's especially beautiful at night when the blooms practically glow. Below are Autumn Joy sedum...which have never looked so robust! The vegetable garden has not been up to par this year. Very minimal produce but I confess it lacked my attention, too. What looks good now are these peppers. And cherry tomatoes. Pretty as any blooms, don't you think? I planted three different varieties in one grouping and was ecstatic when I came across this view of all three in one frame. Sweet Million (red), Sun Gold, and Chocolate! Taste wise, Sweet Million gets my vote! Anyone growing these fun varieties?

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Catching Up....

Black-Eyed Susans are still looking decent in my garden but, come mid-August, everything else is waning. I'm eager to trim most perennials way back and start making room for fall mums. The week of rain we had before vacation and the week after of catching up on household and kids' 'stuff ' have put me way behind schedule.

Some of these photos are from my July file...just to give you more viewing variety.

The texture on this Lilium 'Black Beauty' is quite the green starburst center.
I love this reseeding verbena for it's height and airiness look. Check out Catherine's much more beautiful photo of this annual here
Well deserving name for this beauty....'Aztec Princess' daylily.

I planted these blackberry lilies in early spring before the rose of sharon leaved out so they're actually being supported by the shrub...did I plan this? Absolutely...hehehe! One lone cicada spotted on this white dahlia. He's huge but cool looking, no?
'Honey Perfume' floribunda. Apricot-yellow buds mature to a soft cream. Planted bare root late this spring so she's blooming later than usual. Scent wise, she definitely lives up to her name! Bright Sunset's last few, but beautiful, blooms. Nikko Blue hydrangea did not perform well this year. Though the shrub is ginormous, I have but 3 heads of blossoms. Maybe time for dividing....? 'Autumn Minaret', a very late blooming daylily. At 6 1/2ft tall, this H. altissima hybrid comes from the father of daylily himself, A.B. Stout. Not very showy but, I love the cinnamon dusting. Supposed to bloom through September....we'll see. It's just 6:45am, a time when it's usually bright out, but, this morning, the garden out my window is still in dark shadows, thanks to Big Bad Hurricane Bill. Finally, a whole free day I can devote to the much heartfelt excitement of...what else...gardening! And I won't even mind getting a little wet. Watch out weeds! Here I come!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The New Me!

Hi! Since I'm kickin' off a new 'blog year', I thought I'd change my look a bit. Anyone notice??? The black background really makes the photos pop...but is it too much? Some of my local friends like the green better. Let me know what you think....

I've also added some music to the blog. Be warned! It's not your average soft, soothing tunes that you associate with nature and gardens. Definitely Not! ZUMBA is the work-out craze using moves from tango, salsa, samba, belly-dancing, reggae, etc. Infused with latin, indian, hip-hop (and even country!) music and you'll have the best cardio work-out of your life! If interested, email me and I'll send you a video. It's music that gets me moving and grooving when I'm working in the garden. You gotta bend and pull with attitude, right?! So, if you want to bop along, turn up the volume!

Ready for what's blooming?

First up...a hardy hibiscus. Sorry, not sure of cultivar. I know this would drive Mr_Subjunctive crazy...yes?! ( Not quite dinner-plate size but pretty close. Rose of Sharon still blooming strong. I limbed up the trunk so she's more tree than shrub-form. The red veins are amazing! This guy was so pollen-drunk that he passed out! The lens were right on him and he didn't even budge! Had to really contrast the colors to bring out the specks of pollen...just wished it was a tad more clear. 'Pardon Me' daylily...offering her last blooms. Cool how the anthers are even red-tipped.
I'm embarrassed to show you this. This is supposed to be my pond site. Originally, there were three Alberta spruce along the edge of our patio. HH pulled out two of them way back in June, and, as you can see, these wild trumpet flowers have run amok! There's also wild hops all through it. They are as tall as the spruce! I need to go after them before the seed pods ripen. The blooms are very small and not that showy. But interesting and even pretty up close. Since vacation, I've pulled about 10 barrows of these....only 100 more to! Recognize this shrub, anyone? Often mistaken for a buddleia but it's actually a Chaste Tree (Vitex). One of my first anchor plants 10 years ago. It's at least 10 ft. tall and as much wide. Peppery scent and a bee magnet. This phlox bloomed late since deer really did a nice trimming job back in July... Lavender and Russian about bee heaven! The blooms on this iris is just so-so but the foliage...WOW!I better get back to those dang weeds...and let's hope for a little relief from the heat and humidity.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Time Really Does Fly!

It's official! I'm celebrating my 1 year Blogiversary!

My posts are usually short in words...but, today, I'm making an exception!

A year ago, I logged my first entry and sent it out to Blogosphere. Not knowing, or even caring, where it landed or who would even read it. But, today, I'm writing for you! Yes, YOU!

Where did the time go? (obviously, a lot of it spent sitting here at my desk!) There's still so much to learn about blogging Do's (visit your friends often) and Don'ts (not proof-reading before hitting the 'publish' buttton...oops...see!) In a million years, I never thought blogging would engulf (and entertain) my waking hours. Please say you can relate....thank you!

The main reason I started this blog was to journalize my love of gardening. What I grow, how I grow it, why I need to grow it...blah, blah, blah...BUT the blogging experience has brought me so much more than that!

The list of Things I Learned from Bloggers would be a long one! I benefit so much from your wisdom, humor and even the occasional!
Enlarge for diamond dusting on 'Pastel Classic'
I cheerish all the friends I've made, the far away places I've traveled, the BEAUTIFUL gardens I've visited. From the Pacific West Coast to the tip-top mountains of Maine and all the states in between. Weekly trips to Malaysia, India, and even my birthplace, Vietnam, is not unusual. All from the comforts of my armchair. It's amazing, isn't it?! It feels like you're just outside my garden's gate, ready for a quick visit and chit-chat. Iced tea, anyone?
You understand my appreciation (to put it mildly!) for do, you really do!

And it humbles me that anyone, much less ALL OF YOU, visit and enjoy what I have to share.
As gardeners, each of us strives to perfect our craft, and through the world of blogging, we've become, not only better gardeners, but also good friends! I appreciate you all for making this experience so worthwhile for me.
A busy day ahead as I'm delivering a basket of blooms to each and every one of you..enjoy! ; ) Phew...speech over...I'm out of breath!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Field Trip~VFF!

A day out of vacation week, I took a trip to Vermont to visit George and Gail Africa at their nursery, The Vermont Flower Farm. The 2hr-drive on back country roads was a beautiful one and I couldn't contain my excitement as I came down the hill and saw the beautiful patchwork of colors. It was a cool morning so perfect for browsing and ogling. What a hard working team, the progress they've made at this new location in such a short amount of time is truly impressive! Mixed borders provide a colorful welcome as you pull in.

Every morning, Gail presents a display of what's blooming. Isn't this a great idea! No guessing on what color or form your daylily will be. This is only one of two large tables!
A whole field of daylilies...pure heaven!

Notice how each row is well labeled.

Here's Gail working hard digging up clumps from my list. I kept her busy! With so many different types of perennials available, I still concentrated on my main addiction. A total of 9 new beauties lovingly called my name.
Like the pretty pink with dark eye zone up front, Mardi Gras Parade. I had to really lean down to hear her call as she's still very young and small (Siloam in her bloodline).

Some other favorites that VFF provide.
El Desperado Niles Crane-which I mail ordered last fall and has done beautifully this season.

Always Afternoon Pandora's Box and Bela Lugosi (in background)
Silly me~I had not, for one second, given any thought to how I was going to squeeze the plants in along with kids and luggage for the ride home...OOPS!! I would've been ok leaving a kid or some dirty clothes behind...just kidding!
So, if there's some of you who still haven't given daylilies a test run in your garden, this is your year! With end of season sales going on NOW, it's good incentive to give these awesome blossoms a try. Just be sure to pick an Early, Mid and Late variety to maximize bloom time. You won't be sorry! And if you become addicts, like some of us, (God help you!), I'll even be happy to take the blame...teehee!
Please take a second to visit George's wonderful blog under my Links...the last one.
Thanks again, VFF :) See you next time George!