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Preview: Chitweed

Chitweed



A weed is no more than a flower in disguise. James Russell Lowell



Updated: 2014-10-05T02:10:29.248-04:00

 



Early Mum Color

2007-09-11T07:06:13.864-04:00

In order to encourage Fall to arrive, I'm spreading the news far and wide about Autumn color. There is lots to look forward to for fall color...I promise.
Today's color is from early mums.


(image) Hannah


(image)

Helen


(image)

Michelle

(image) Temptress

(image)

Urano Orange



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Phyllis (don't think you can fit another bud on this gal)


(image)

Echo




Oh Henry!

2007-09-06T19:44:03.876-04:00

(image) This one is going in a corner bed that is begging for more fall action.

'Henry Eilers' Rudbeckia

It gets about 4ft tall, and 2 ft wide.
It loves the sun.
It doesn't mind a bit of neglect (I can provide that).
It also does pretty well as a cut flower.

I have pulled some of the fading summer annuals in anticipation of planting fall pansies, and some hardy plumbago.

This little (big) guy caught my eye and will be good towards the middle of the bed where I need some more height and definitely more fall interest.



I Want Fall

2007-08-29T20:45:42.277-04:00

Fall Fall Fall Fall Fall Fall Fall Fall Fall!Fall Magic Million Bells 'Salmon'If I say it often enough maybe it will come sooner?No? I'm still gonna think Fall.I really can't do otherwise...it is poking its little head out at me at the Stand all day long:I'm ordering and stocking and displaying fall plants of every kind. I'm receiving and displaying Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving merchandise in the gift area. We are starting to see more reddish peppers in the green pepper bushels in the produce area.Concord Grapes are in! Sneak Peek Mukdenia 'Crimson Curls'Also I'm getting in a lot of 'Sneak Peaks'. 'What is that?' you say? They are new varieties and new colors of sample plants nurseries start to see if they want to grow them for next year. A few of my growers plant extra to sell, and therefore get reactions from retailers and consumers on how those selections might go over for next year.Above is one of these 'Sneak Peeks', it is Mukdenia 'Crimson Curls'. It is a shade perennial ground cover. It likes to be kept moist. Its color starts out green and then goes into a bronze red on the edges as summer progresses. It gets a white flower in spring, and grows to a height of 12-16 inches. Mums. Mums. Mums Mums.Chrysanthemums, another none mistakable sign of Fall. I know a lot of people gripe about not liking mums. I don't get it. It seems if its a plant readily available, easy to grow, and fairly expensive it gets labeled as commercial and over done and therefore undesirable. Hey, mums are gorgeous, easy to care for, inexpensive, and come in a boatload of colors...whats not to love? Ahhh...I so want Fall to get here.[...]



Fall is a Comin'

2007-08-28T07:57:43.118-04:00

...and I am so ready!It's been all over the place temperature-wise here in Delaware for the last few weeks. Early last week we were in the 60'sF for highs, and later in the week we were 98F for a high. What the heck is that all about? It's been dry most of the Summer. Then (not that I mind) 3 days of rain in a row. It's foggy most mornings, with heavy dew dripping off the trees. The dew makes the over night work of the spiders glisten like jewels.School has started for most of the my kids...high school and college for my kids in my home, and the same for my kids who work at the greenhouse.The displays start to change greatly at the market as new merchandise comes in... Mums and Sedum start to line the walkways. This is what I see when I walk out the front of the greenhouse. Planted behind the pots of sedum and chrysanthemums are 'Blackie' Sweet Potato Vine, 'Confetti' Coleus, and Dwarf Heavenly Bamboo which are part of the summer beds at the Market. The Sweet Potato Vine and Coleus go well with the fall colors, but won't last long once the cold weather starts. Fall Pansies will be in this bed in a few weeks. I love this combination for Fall. Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' (a good ol' reliable fall plant), Liriope 'Big Blue', and 'Caramel' Heuchera. Brunnera 'Looking Glass'This is a gorgeous shade perennial...it really pops in a garden next to ferns. It's certainly a bright spot in a darker corner of the garden. Here are some tiny sized Ornamental Purple Kale. They are in 4" pots. They aren't dwarf varieties...just tiny starter plants. As the weather gets colder, the purple color becomes more intense. We also sell pink and white varieties, the color intensifies in these as the cool weather comes as well.In this picture you can see some of the mixed bushel planters we sell. They are packed with cold tolerant annuals, and showy fall perennials and grasses. Also in the picture you can make out some Ornamental peppers. We sell tons of these for fall, this particular variety is 'Explosive Ember'.Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. The new plants arrive almost daily. The colors just beg to be touched...deep yellows and oranges, plush purples, and oooh russet and browns. Its a nice perk up after a long hot stinky summer...even if it still is a long hot stinky summer. Come on FALL![...]



Confetti

2007-08-20T20:59:28.329-04:00

(image) The Rain came

(image) and left me


(image)

with Crape Myrtle Confetti.




What's for Dinner?

2007-08-18T13:01:25.836-04:00

Cranberry Beans!(*I apologize in advance...blogger just refuses to allow me to make this a pretty post*)Interesting, huh?We got them in at the market today. My Uncle knew if he pointed them out to me, I'd have to buy some.If its different, I'll give it a go. If it's weird, I'll try it. If it doesn't have liver in it, I'll eat it.They were different, weird, and they didn't have liver in them...so bought me a bag o' beans on my way out of work...and took them on home.There is a bit of range in the speckley-ness of the pods. The pods go from pink and greenish specklesto increasing pink speckles on white, to almost pure red.The Cranberry Beans came from a farm in New Jersey, just over the state line.We got in several bushels this morning to sell. They are so beautiful, they were practically selling themselves (it couldn't have hurt if my Uncle talked to them either, right?). So pretty, it almost seemed a shame to shell them.But of course I did...The beans inside the pods are speckled, too. Light pink to hot pink dots were on each bean. (They look like they would be nice jelly bean colors...)I couldn't resist, I had to eat some raw. They weren't bad, like a raw Lima Bean. Between my son and I, we ate a handful before they got to the pot.I don't know if you can make it out, but the inside of the bean's pod is completely white, no speckles at all.Here they are, beginning to heat on the stove.Water, salt, pepper, and a bit of butter.The directions for cooking the beans said it was to take 15 to 25 minutes on the stove top. With plenty of experience cooking fresh beans...that seemed a bit short for the time...so I started then early....I am glad I started the beans early. They were on for 45 minutes before we ate them, but maybe could have used another few minutes.Viola! A steamy pot of Cranberry Beans.They taste kinda Lima Bean...ish.The beans lost the pink polka dots soon after I started them cooking. In the middle of cooking they looked mostly green. As they got to the end of cooking they turned a purple-beige color (would that be taupe colored beans?).They were very good. A different, weird, liver-less kind of good. I'd recommend you try them if you come across some at a market (and especially if a guy who looks like he could be my Uncle, says you should try them).[...]



I Love the Rain

2007-08-09T22:39:54.386-04:00

Raindrops on Roses...My toes-es on raindrops... Raindrops any ol' place......are my Favorite things. (along with this song, maybe imagine it playing in the background?)Doo-dloo-doo-doo-dooDoo-dloo-doo-doo-doo-doo Doo-dloo-doo-doo-doo-doo Doo-dloo-doo-doo-doo-doo...I'm singing in the rainJust singing in the rainWhat a glorious feelin'I'm happy againI'm laughing at cloudsSo dark up aboveThe sun's in my heartAnd I'm ready for loveLet the stormy clouds chaseEveryone from the placeCome on with the rainI've a smile on my faceI walk down the laneWith a happy refrainJust singin',Singin' in the rain(Gene Kelly, Singing in the Rain)[...]



The Tree of One Hundred Days

2007-08-09T22:40:36.354-04:00

Crape Myrtles are wonderful in the garden for summer.
My 'Dynamite' Crape Myrtle started blooming about a week ago. It will continue to bloom for a total of 100 days. It prefers full sun, which it gets. Since it was established 3 years ago, it has required little care. Crape Myrtle can take dry conditions and this year, that is pretty much what this little gal has had.

(image) I think I will give 'Dynamite' a good trim this coming spring to fatten up its shape. I want more branching happening, and that will do the trick. This 'Dynamite' variety is a fantastic dark red. It will be approximately 20-25 feet when it reaches maturity. I want to add maybe 2 more red Crape Myrtle to my yard...I just haven't decided if I want the same red (this is beautiful), or try others. This Dynamite is by far the reddest of the reds, the other 'reds' tend more towards pink or coral. I will more than likely go with more 'Dynamite'.

(image) Wow, I love this tree. I love that the hummingbirds have been visiting it each day...it must be all the red it produces (maybe I should watch out for charging bulls as well?). I love that as other plants are suffering a bit, or slowing in the summer heat, the Crape is just getting started with its show.
I especially love that I get to see all this color, and more to come for 100 days.



Just One-Night Stand?

2007-08-05T22:35:29.595-04:00

(image)
Here is the 'morning after' picture of the Moonflower. The blooms only last one evening, and then its all over.

This is the bloom from the smaller of my two vines. Behind this bloom you can see another bloom that will probably open tomorrow night.

Something you can see in this picture (even though it's 'done did' its thing), is the long tube on which the flower blooms.

With such a long wait for the first bloom, it seems once it gets going the Moonflower just keeps on going. There are buds starting to crop up all over my two plants.






(image)
Here is a bloom for tomorrow from the bigger of my 2 vines. I might even have two blooms on this plant...see the bloom just behind?

I wish my camera took better up close pictures (or maybe just that I was a better photographer).

The flower buds themselves are very interesting with their ice cream cone kind of twist. A lot of flower and fragrance is gonna come out of this bloom tomorrow night. Maybe the bloom has to get a bit of a spring action going to make a 6inch power flower pop open...

Of the flowers I planted for the white garden this year, this might end up being one of my favorites...

Though it's a sort of one night stand with the flowers themselves, I might have a long term romance with the Moonflower Vine.



Finally, A Bloom!

2007-08-04T22:16:56.645-04:00

At LAST!
A Moonflower Vine Flower,
actually two!

(image) It's been a long time coming. Here is a picture of the first bloom. It was just opening when I came home from work tody at 7pm. This picture was taken at 9pm, and it was almost all the way open. What a nice fragrance, I was surprised at that.
The flowers are quite large. At first I had my husband hold the bloom for me, but the big bear paws he calls hands gave no sense of how big the flowers are. My hands are a normal size for a human being...so I used my hand in the picture instead.

(image)

Since Mother Nature has poured on the hot weather, the Moonflower Vine has gone crazy. It seems to grow 6 inches every day. I'm forever directing and twining vines around the poles and posts. The Moonflower likes to twine around itself especially. I'm also forever un-twining the Moonflower from other plants it seemingy wants to strangle.


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These are the start of more Moonflower blooms. I corralled these vines today, and got them going on the posts in the right direction, and not all over the Carpet Rose in front of the fence.


(image)
This is the smaller of my two vines. It is not in as sunny a location, though only a few feet from the first, and has not gotten near as large. It is not 1/3 the size, yet it's first bloom opened today as well. Can you see tomorrow's bloom just above the white? I can't wait.



Please, Sir. May I have some more?

2007-08-03T20:22:25.036-04:00

(image) This is 'White Swan' Echinacea. This gal is new to the garden. She is part of some of the new plantings this year that have been all white.

These beauties have been blooming all Summer. I've cut them and brought them in for bouquets several times.

The bugs haven't bothered this plant. I gave it a bit of Plant-tone when I first planted it, other than that, no fertilizer. Although its a new addition to the garden, and the weather has been relatively dry, it is still thriving.

I'd say this will be a perennial I will plant more of next year. If it is like any of the other Echinacea, I might not need to buy them, there may be babies a plenty in the spring. Bring 'em on! More. More. MORE!

Can you see the 'Knock Out' Rose in the back? It's been blooming like that all summer as well.



Lets just say they are friendly...

2007-08-04T21:00:56.161-04:00

(image) I have a friendly bunch of spiders...yes?

When my hubby found these guys, it got me wondering about Daddy Long Legs. First off I have to tell you that these guys are not actually spiders. They are in the arachnid family, but are only related to spiders like scorpions and ticks are. (I had no idea!)

In investigating why Daddy Long legs aggregate in large numbers...the answer was...no one knows why for sure. None of the reasons listed were for mating, which was what I thought when I saw this outside my front door. (There are 5 pictured, 2 skeedaddled while I went to get the camera)

There are over 7,000 kinds of Daddy long legs around the world!

I don't usually shoo these guys away from the door, because they don't make messy webs. I did find out, that in fact they don't make webs at all. The Daddys will eat almost anything, but prefer animal matter. Some species prey on small insects, snails, and worms.

Daddy Long Legs 'legs' can twitch for up to an hour after becoming detached. There are pacemakers in the ends of their legs. The twitching is used as a get away tactic, keeping the predator busy, while the Daddy hopefully gets away. (I won't be doing any field testing of my own)

Lastly, I found out that they stink when you smell them up close. Really? (I think I'll just take the experts word on that as well)



Lil Chitweed in the Big City

2007-07-29T20:54:09.058-04:00

I'm back from my visit to the big beautiful city of Chicago, Illinois.I did not have an internet signal strong enough to allow me to post to the blog with any ease (I lugged my laptop along for just this purpose), but I did have my camera with me to share the sights of the city when I got home.I went to Chicago for work (poor me), to the Chicago Gift Show at the Merchandise Mart. I finished up the shopping for our Market's Fall and Christmas seasons, and started a bit on Spring '08. This show is always easy to navigate, the displays are wonderful, and the reps who work it are among the nicest people you'll meet anywhere (this goes for the people of Chicago as well...such nice people in general). I will say the show was not the busiest I've ever seen it. It was almost too easy to navigate...there weren't any buyers I had to wait in line behind at any showroom. Hmmm... Was it the weather that was, shall I say 'perfect' mid 70's that kept people from the showrooms? Were they busy reading their copies of Harry Potter? (I was so jealous of Hubby sitting in the hallways reading one of our 2 copies as I worked each showroom) Or were they out enjoying the gardens?Along with the Gift Show, I love going to the City of Chicago in the Summer for a multitude of reasons:The food is fantastic, I've never had a bad meal. (Greek town is always a must, and sushi, and deli, and Tai, and steak, and Italian, and Brazilian, and, and, and...). I gained 4 pounds in the 6 days we were gone...and I walked almost non-stop everyday (in the hotel 'til midnight reading Harry Potter doesn't count).My good friend Steve lives there (Holla! Steve G...)The Magnificent Mile is the place to shop (even if it's only of the window shopping variety).Navy Pier is a nighttime treat (although a hairdo whipped up by the the famous Windy City out on the Pier is a fright to behold).The gardens. (?) Yes, the beautiful gardens.This purple is a plant I didn't recognize...anyone know it? It's not a heuchera...it reminded me of a non-vining sweet potato plant...sort of)The gardens are everywhere. They are in front of hotels, restaurants, shops, museums, churches, and city buildings. There are private rooftop gardens we could only see from our hotel windows. Gardens are on top of buildings, along edges of buildings, and filling balconies where people live. These Hydrangea flowers must have been 10-12 inches across, and were the most beautiful shade of green. They were part of a flower bed we passed while walking to the 'Brazzaz' restaurant. Gardens line the streets, and are in the middle of streets. There are even gardens in places where people couldn't possibly enter, the gardens are there just because people can see them from other very public places. There are gardens all along the river. This was a shot I took from a across Wacker Avenue. The people on the tour boat are looking back a a couple getting married on a bridge over the river (I hope the happy couple's photographer had better luck better than me in getting their picture).Here is the surprise I had this year:'Allegory', by Theresa North, International Academy of Design and TechnologyI just love them! In the middle of beautiful gardens along Michigan Ave. were these torso dress mannequins.These gardens were along the Magnificent Mile a.k.a. Michigan Avenue., the shopping Mecca of the City. A close up of caladiums in another bed along Michigan Ave.It is a public art installation created by fashion design students from the The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, and the International Academy of Design and Technology, and well known designers located along the Magnificent Mile. Each torso dressers mannequin is 'planted' in a garden bed and is sponsored by an organization or business in The Mag[...]



Murphy's Law?

2007-07-17T20:19:43.651-04:00

Know how they say "The best laid plans can go awry"?
Or Murphy's Law about "Anything that can go wrong will"?
My garden is the picture in the dictionary that demonstrates both of these.
It's not always a bad thing...

(image) This is a zinnia that reseeded from last year. Last years were a reseed from the year before. The year befores zinnias were Profusion Apricot. This is not Profusion Apricot.
This is not what I expected. Still, I like it. Maybe the Profusion Apricot is an offspring of Profusion Cherry, as I think that is what this flower color looks like.
Don't count your zinnias before they hatch...um...bloom.


(image)

This beautiful snap dragon is white. Right?

Wait...you see a bright salmon flower, too?

Whew, I thought maybe it was just the sunstroke I might be suffering from in the 90F temps we had today. I planted white, which 11 of the plants are (part of the all white plantings this year), the 12th has managed to not be white. 'Tis OK, I like it.


(image)
This is a very tender annual, coleus. It hates the cold. Its the first to take a dive in the fall with a light frost. It is a reseed from last year, but who am I to tell it that it shouldn't have come back? I like it. I just wish I remembered what the name of it is? I can't at all remember the name at the moment...Florida SunSpot...maybe?
So...
It's 'Chitweeds Law' in my garden instead...
"What can go wrong will,
the best laid plans will certainly go awry,
but dude... it's all good".



Tropical Parking Lot

2007-07-14T22:28:22.793-04:00

This is what you would see if you came to the greenhouse where I work, this week. The parking lot out front is crazy with flowers. The tropical flowers we have out there can take the brutal sun and heat...so...thats where they are.
We sell a lot of tropical plants at the greenhouse. I just love the blooms and the color. While I enjoy them very much, I've finally learned not to buy them for my own home. My deck area which practically screams for plants like these (I think), can't sustain them, because there is no sun.
I have some tropical Jasmine I sneak into some beds out front, and into some planters, other than that I just can't have them.

(image) No purple bougainvillea. (sigh)


(image) No gorgeous Oleander. (arrgghhh)

(image)

Perennial Hibiscus.

Yeah, perennial. I might have to start a new garden for this one next year, out front. I've been eyeing them for a few years now. More varieties are available every year. There are lots of colors... from reds, to yellow, to pinks, and plums. There are solid color flowers, and flowers with accented 'eyes'. Some have big fat leaves, and some have lacy delicate leaves. Believe it or nor, this is not a tropical! Sure does look like it would be, yes?

I do not have enough sun near the deck. There may be enough sun near the area where we park our cars. Then, I could have my own tropical looking parking lot.




I Feel a Threat Coming On...or maybe a Prayer

2007-08-04T22:15:38.600-04:00

(image)
I am having a very hard time waiting for this plant to bloom. It is a Moon Flower Vine. It is part of my only white plantings this year.
While I've not grown this plant in my garden before, I have seen them in other people's gardens, and I sell tons at the market. It gets a huge white bloom about 6"-8" across. It is fragrant. I know it to be a great flower, and I want to experience its greatness.

So far I am not.

I didn't realize it would be this late in the season and it would still be bloomless. Lacking. Scant. Barren. Without. Devoid. Less than endowed. (you get the picture)
I feel a threat coming on...not yet tho...maybe give it another 2 weeks...before I yell at it. In the meantime I will be complimentary of its growth (it is growing everyday). I will continue to train its vines and tendrils along the fence (as I have been doing every other day). I will give it a shot of fertilizer (for a 2nd time). I will say a little prayer to St. Fiacre (the Patron Saint of gardeners) to help along in the quest for some moon flower action. (and my Mom would love the fact that I asked a Saint's help...I love you Mom!)

So let's not waste time...
"Dear Saint Fiacre, Patron Saint of Gardener's (and Taxi's) it's me, Chitweed. Please help my little Moon Flower to get over its blooming issues. (You might take a gander at the variegated Hydrangea while your at it.) Thanx. "

Hey, I'm a good gardener...not-so-good a pray-er...but why not hone both skills?



Hydrangea Heaven

2007-07-10T15:42:45.891-04:00

The Hydrangeas are blooming beautifully. I am watering them deeply about every other day. They are rewarding me...
Here are a few of the plants in their full glory at the moment.


(image)
(image)
(image)
(image) The variegated Hydrangea has grudgingly given me 4 blooms.
2 aren't worth taking a picture of, another is just OK,
and this last bloom is actually quite loverly.



Recent Grand Openings

2007-07-11T09:43:50.182-04:00

The blooms have been popping in the garden while I've been playing with the recent pond addition.I have to try and capture the photos early in the day if I can, because the weather has been so brutally hot they are not their best when I get home from work.'Vanilla Fluff' Daylily. Big very fluffy blooms. Like a meringue out in the garden. The plant is quite large as well, I will divide it next year or it will be too big for its spot. 'Krakatoa Lava' is a hot orange. I love red daylilies, and 'Rooten Tooten Red' does not disappoint. 'Mauna Loa'. I thought it would be a bit brighter, but I still like it. ' Big Snowbird' This is a 'Nosferatu' Daylily. I love the name, but its not scary at all. It's darker than the photo looks. One of the petals kinda hooks up like a vampire's turned up cowl on a cape...maybe? I wonder where the name came from? The plant is large, with lots of buds coming. I like it, especially because of its name. I think I might move it over near the 'Night Coming' Daylily. I bet they would be great buddies color and name-wise. The fresh 'Nosferatu' flower is not scary.. what IS scary is what the bloom looks like the next morning...like its life's blood had been sucked out. ewww. Speaking of scary... While I've been playing with the pond, the Japanese Beetles have been hard at work in the garden. Time to get back to work on keeping the damage at a minimum. They are as busy as I am![...]



A Pond I can Live with?

2007-07-08T22:25:20.162-04:00

I can!It's Official. It is in the ground, level, filled, and (mostly) all done.'It' is the pond my husband and I started to build, each thinking the other was the one who wanted it. We are still laughing about it. How did we each think the other wanted a pond? It's just one of those things I guess.It was a lot of work, but has turned out surprisingly well, considering we've never done this sort of project before. Here is the 'dry run'. We placed the largest stones where and how we wanted them. The mound of dirt we started with was packed down, and then the levels were carved for each drop.The more space between each drop of the waterfall, the more sound. Figuring there would be plenty of sound when it dropped into the pond itself, the other 2 drops are about 2" and 3" each.When we had the stones like we wanted, I took this picture so we could remember it, and recreate the effect. It was a good thing I took the photo, because we looked at it several times! We added the liner the waterfall was to go down. The liner is a very heavy rubbery kind of thing, and it was 5'x15'. The flat stones for the falls were mortared in and made level. This is the second of the 3 drops being installed.Hubby put the 3 large flat stones in, mortared them, and made sure they were level. We let the cement dry overnight. The next day I played with the placement of the stones while Hubby was at work, so we would have a head start. I ended up liking it after a while, and then I took the plunge! I installed the rocks along the edges using the expanding pond foam that keeps the water from running under them. Hubby couldn't believe I did it all by myself. Me either! I didn't tell him until I was all done. I'm so glad he liked it. I'm even more glad I like it! (is that terrible?)I trimmed the excess liner. I left about 12" around the stones and hanging into the pond. We added a few plants for accent...a 'Pacific Blue' Juniper, a Pieris Japonica, a Red Rhododendron, and a Japanese Maple.So...Here is the great unveiling...>(music swells in the backgound...lots of horn action)>(don't you hate when people do this?)>>> TA-DA!!!(the effect is lost a bit with the hose still filling...but you get the idea)The waterfall end with the Juniper, Maple, and Pieris. Here is the other end. It is where the Red Rhodie, and oops, forgot to mention the new Hosta 'Fragrant Dream', were added. After running the waterfall for the first time we discovered one side leak. So we filled the pond, but let the fall dry out. I will add more of the pond foam tomorrow when I get home from work, and let it dry once more.To this end of the pond we still will be adding a stone shelf inside to put some water plants on. I have of course already got my eye on some at the market. (did you doubt that?)Yes...this is a pond I can live with...even if at one time I didn't want it. As Hubby and I sat outside this afternoon on the deck near it, we decided we do indeed like it. It is so relaxing, so calming, so cool, so attractive...yes, we like it.Maybe we didn't either one choose to have the pond, but the pond chose us?[...]



The Unwanted Pond

2007-07-06T22:49:17.856-04:00

The Saga and the work continues...

(image) It is in the ground and level.

(image) A view from the opposite side. The edge and surround gets filled with pea gravel.


(image)

Trying out some possible edging blue stones.
(image)

The waterfall gets started with a pile of dirt at the back edge of the pond. There was not enough dirt excavated from the unwanted pond-hole to make the waterfall...so we brought in extra bags of top soil. It is a much bigger mound of dirt now. This is a LOT of work!



My Aching Back

2007-07-06T09:02:45.551-04:00

Truth be told..."My Husband's Aching Back" should be the name of this entry.It could also be called "The Ballad of the Pond No One Wanted". Maybe, "The Hole that Hubby Built"?Somehow we came upon the idea to have a pond in the back yard. The pond form was in the yard all winter (a cheap buy from the market as it had spent quite some time in the barn). Hubby brought it home in the back of the pickup. The space was chosen last year. Most other yard work this year has been done. The weather was bound to get disgustingly hot any second, so it must be time to break ground on the pond.All along I've thought the pond idea was his idea. He thought it was my idea.As we sat down and were discussing some stone choices for the waterfall feature we (OK, I) decided to add, I said "I don't know why you wanted this pond in the first place."His response? "Me? I thought you wanted it it?"Well, by this point the hole was dug, bags of pea gravel and sand in place, the preformed pond in place and leveled, a pallet of stone purchased, water pump, cement, pond foam, and let's just say the whole shebang. It was to the point of no return we agreed. We now are working on a pond we neither one apparently want. (it WAS his idea) This is the 'pre-hole' we didn't want. It was roughed out tracing the upside down pre-formed pond liner. It rained the night before, so the digging went better than first thought. This is the spot for the pond, just off the back edge of the deck. Just enough room to have a few plants and walk on each side of it once the form goes in. This is the preformed pond liner moved out of the way so the 'unwanted pond' could get dug. It wintered in the back yard upside down so it wouldn't fill with water. When we lifted it up from the 'winter spot' there was the ugliest patch of grass/weed/ick underneath you ever didn't want to see. I didn't take a picture of that...but believe me when I say...you just don't want to know. This is Hubby digging the hole for the pond we neither one wanted. (He did, I'm telling you!) This picture was taken at the beginning of the project, when he still had a back. That back is now under one of the huge pond stones that were moved several times in the making of the undesired pond. He is such a great guy. I supervised, he dug. I gave my 2 cents, he said "Whatever you want Babe." I said "How about moving it over there a couple of inches?" He said, "Don't you need to put a few more bags of mulch out front???"It's still a work in progress. Even a pond that isn't wanted needs to be done right, or its more work to take care of. I'll have more pictures to come...but right now... my back hurts, too.[...]



I Guess I Have a Lot

2007-06-29T21:38:01.443-04:00

When I think of something I have a lot of in my yard, my first thought is Hydrangea. Then I think Hosta. I should think Daylilies also... This is a better picture today, of the 'Chesapeake Crablegs' Daylily. It's a bright and sunny bloom. The flowers are soooo long and spidery. I have 3 spider-type Daylilies, this is the first to come into color. I've not seen the other 2 in actual flower, just in pictures...so I am impatiently waiting to see them. This is 'Beth Herr'. I've not seen her in actual bloom until this year. She opened for me today for the first time. Breathtaking. The dark ruffled edges are even more noticeable than the picture can convey. This side picture shows the 'Beth Herr' dark ruffles a bit better maybe? The creamy color with the dark purple eye...so very nice. We had a big thunder boomer storm last night, and rain on and off all day today. I love to see flower photographs with raindrops all over them...today I got to take some. 'Siloam Cooper's Chantilly' keeps making more and more blooms. It's been a real winner in my garden this season. The closed buds on it are so funny and fat, but I guess they have to be, because so many petals come out!This is 'Night Coming'. Lavender with an even deeper purple eye, and yellow center. Today was its first day opening and 5 blooms came all at once. Such an exhibitionist...but great way to end the Daylily show.[...]



First, Second, Third

2007-06-28T21:08:59.621-04:00

I enjoy my Daylilies immensely. I can't wait 'til each new variety opens for the first time every growing season. These are the beauties for today.

Well... not just opened today, because when I came home yesterday afternoon and wanted to take some pictures of the lilies I knew opened that morning...they were already fried because of the 94F temperatures we had during the day.
So these are the second day's Daylily pictures taken this morning before it got too hot.

(huh?)

(image) This is 'Back Draft'. Its a great hot orange with a nice red center. BIG fat flower! It looks like a hot Summer Day.


(image)

This is 'Little Grapette', a nice purple with yellow throat. The number of fans on this Daylily have probably quadrupled this year, over last. Gonna be lots of blooms.


(image)

'Chesapeake Crablegs', an orangie yellow spider. This particular bloom is not wonderful, hopefully the rest will be nicer, there are lots of buds. Maybe this one needs a third try for a nice picture...its color is worth a try.



John,Paul,George,and Ringo?

2007-06-28T07:43:01.370-04:00

If only it was those Beatles.
...but no, it is these Beetles!

(image) I knew they were coming...the Japanese Beetles invasion. It was predicted to be a bad year (meaning lots of them), because we didn't have a very harsh winter. They are here now having started their Summer Tour, and have chosen for a stage... my 4th of July roses.
No screaming throngs of teenagers to welcome them...just a screaming gardener.

(image) Today's were the first of the beetles I've seen this year. I was not happy. They knew I was coming back for them when I walked away.

I guess they got a ticket to ride...because when I got back to where I spotted them, they were gone.

(image) Listen,

Do you want to know a secret?

Do you promise not to tell?

(whoa oh, oh)

?

The 'spray' comes home with me tomorrow! I'm gonna shake it up baby, and these beetles are gonna twist and shout.




I'm So Blue

2007-06-26T19:11:26.116-04:00

In actuality... its my Hydrangeas that are blue. Be assured...we are all very happy.I am lucky enough to live in an area where the soil makes my hydrangeas blue naturally. I don't know the names of but one of the hydrangeas in this post. I photographed them for this post because they were the bluest in my garden. Since I don't know their official names, I want to name them myself. Of course they won't be the real name...just nick names. Bluesy nicknames.Nickname: Gertrude Rainey seems apropos, bigger than life.Nickname: Victoria Spivey Nickname: Howlin' Wolf aka Chester Arthur BrooksNickname: Muddy WatersNickname: Robert JohnsonThe myth is that he was so good, he must have made a pact with and gotten his guitar tuned by the devil himself. Its so heavy with flowers the branches are arching to the ground. Doesn't 'Endless Summer' seem too light hearted a name for this Hydrangea now? I need a bluesy nickname. How about? Willie Dixon "The Blues are the roots; everything else is the fruits"Great Blues websites to visithttp://www.history-of-rock.com/blues.htmhttp://thebluehighway.com/history.htmlhttp://www.nps.gov/history/delta/blues/http://www.pbs.org/theblues/[...]