'Rose of Sharon'

'Rose of Sharon'
The often unruly 'Rose of Sharon' can benefit from pruning

September Peacock Orchids

September Peacock Orchids
Need division

Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Blog Nominated for Blogger Award, Thanks!

I was surprised yesterday to find my blog nominated for The Versatile Blogger award. I was nominated by fellow garden writer Glory Lennon, whose fascinating blog, Glory’s Garden, is a daily must-read for me.

To participate I am told to post seven things about me that may not be commonly known and to provide a list of my favorite blogs for nomination. Awesome!

Seven things about me:
1. I am a student in Horticulture
2. I returned to school to learn and more accurately write about this subject
3. I am a Certified NC Pesticide Applicator, who believes there is usually an organic option
4. I am a dog-lover, particularly of my beagles
5. I am a proud and doting Grandmother
6. I sometimes feel technology has passed me by
7. My faith in God gets me through each day

Blogs I follow that are most helpful, inspiring and noteworthy include:

In the Garden with Sow-n-Sow
Work From Home
Self Reliance Exchange
Writing Tips Blog
Poverty and Homelessness Issues and Resources

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back to the Garden

Finally, a few days under 90 degrees, so of course, most of that time has been spent outside. Hopefully the heat wave is broken here, at least for awhile.

Weeding and planning the design for the fall garden, which is always a ">work in progress. Marigolds are going a long way in that design, as they are easy, fragrant and will probably last until frost.

I have a Creamy Vanilla marigold that we started from seed last spring at school that is still going strong. It was my first experience with this variety, but I would recommend it after seeing this years’ growth. Great fragrance from that one also.

I have been pleased with the Alterthanera we propagated from cuttings and will include that in future designs that need prostrate growth and purple hues.

Further research on the Crinums I planted leads me to not expect blooms this year, but I may be happily surprised sometime in fall. We did have a bloom on one planted last year; (above) I think it may be called a March lily and one of the smaller varieties.

They are growing well and sending up babies, so I am pleased with their progress.

Brugmansia has not bloomed yet, but it is growing profusely and we look for the trumpet-like blooms in a few weeks.

School is less than a month away and I look forward to getting back into the routine. I take the last class for my Greenhouse Certification this fall. And I will be working in the greenhouse on campus through work-study, so I will be happily occupied and have more greenhouse stories to post here. Look for those posts on Saturday mornings.

What’s blooming in your garden this week?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Volunteers in the Garden

Generally I am happy to have specimens volunteer in my gardens. Particularly if they are recognizable and I know their habits.
However, this most recent specimen is so happy there it has taken over a large area of my beds and is twining around my dahlia and crowding out my lavender.
I am allowing it to remain as I think it is the delicious honeydew melon, but I am off to rescue my lavender now!
How do you feel about volunteers in the garden? Love them or do you remove them immediately?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Easy Elegance in the Garden
Many gardeners avoid exotic and elegant blooms in the flowerbed for fear of time-consuming care of the specimen. Not true of the elegant, easy to grow Peacock Orchid.
Read More

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Surprise Lilies not a Surprise This Year!

This year I finally had the chance to watch the amazingly rapid emergence of one of my favorite flowers, the Surprise Lily. It is so named for its seeming overnight emergence and the bountiful blooms it displays on single sturdy stalks!
Also referred to as Resurrection Lily, Magic Lily and Naked Lady, it is really not a lily at all. The botanical name is Lycoris squamigera and it is a member of the Amaryllis family.
View the emergence of this spectacular landscape specimen and consider it for your garden or woodland edge plantings!
What’s blooming in your flowerbeds now?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Pollinators and Me!

Early am in the July Garden

Much has happened since my last post here, Zone 7B is in the midst of a continuing heat wave which began in June. We had a few days of lower heat and less humidity preceding the Independence Day holiday, however, local meteorologists report the hottest June on record for us.

Those few days gave me the chance to finish planting the last few specimens for this years’ flowerbeds and get them mulched in. Many new blooms appeared toward the end of the month with new ones following in July.

Watering and deadheading is now reserved for the hours just after daybreak. These are peaceful hours to be in the garden; just me and the pollinators.

The mulch does double duty by keeping the moisture in and the weed growth down. Those drought tolerant annuals have the opportunity to show off during the heat wave.

Storms and Downed Trees

Some of the storms we experienced in the first part of June brought some much appreciated rain, unfortunately many trees were lost in our area. One of those was our Bradford Pear which provided a cooling canopy for our beagles’ play area.

Once again the beagles are house dogs (they became well-adjusted during the heavy snow and ice storms last winter). They miss their outdoor time, now limited to leashed walks and occasional excursions to the dog park.

On the bright side, this provides an opportunity to landscape the area again to provide shade for coming years. I am leaning toward fast growing shrubs for the short term and the addition of a Purple Plum in the fall.

The Bradford Pear (once heavily planted in this area for ornamental value) has become notorious for its’ inability to withstand windy conditions. If anyone is thinking of adding this type of ornamental, let me encourage you to look into the many hybrid varieties which are stronger and more stable.

And this July 2010, what’s growing in your garden?