Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
Seems like the grass grows whether it rains or shines. Began the day Friday mowing the front yard, it was so hot I began on the back and had to quit. Got some plants potted up for my DIL and healed in some lilies and iris from friends until they can be shared.
To tell the truth all that pruning and felling young saplings on Thursday kind of wore on my body, so didn't have a lot of energy today. The humidity has built up too. Hoping for rain soon.
Got up and finished the back yard this morning (saturday) then had to do some housekeeping chores. And they are chores to me. I can dig all day but cleaning is not my favorite thing. Frankly I would rather iron, at least I am in one place and can watch an old movie on TV to take the sting out of that chore. Got both bathrooms cleaned, kitchen floor mopped and washed all the rugs in the bath and kitchen. Ran the vacuum and quit. BORING! At least it is done for a while.
Had a great dinner with my boys to night. DIL had made Chicken Bog ( this is a dish made of cooked rice and to that you add cooked chicken and some like sausage in it) She also had fresh squash cooked with onion and fresh tomatos and cukes. I picked up some BBQ, mac n cheese and baked a cake this morning. We all had a good meal.
Time for some ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ's. More to come Later
Started another big clean out this morning, the last bad area of a fence line . I found wild grape vine that I thought I had contained is now growing leaps and bounds. And that wonderful Kudzu the birds have brought us up from the creek area not far from me. If you can get it early enough (like an hour after you find it) it is not hard to pull out. But I swear that stuff just grows a few inches and wants to start flowering and making berries/seeds. Such a nuisance.
And yes, Keywee, it does make some great designs along the highways and byways. Just don't want that type design going over the trees, the shed, the yard and especially the house. I have seen it completely cover a large dilapidated house.
Had to take out some saplings about 15 to 20 feet tall today. I purchased a pruner package this spring from a vendor at our Farmers Market spring flower festival. Great event by the way. There was a pair of hand pruners and a large pair that can prune almost a two inch sapling. Wish I had invested those bucks on these hand tools years ago. Have been using bush weed killer on the sapling stump after I cut them to the ground. That usually works to keep them from coming back later.
Have cut back an old azelea, some out of hand forsythia, lots of virginia creeper and who knows what else. There has been no poison ivy so far. At least that I have seen. That would be a tale for another day though, wouldn't it? Still plenty to do, but had to quit early due to a doc appt with my hubby.
Really hot late this afternoon, am hoping to begin again in the morning with the cleaning out process. Have some plants to pot up for family/friends. Some I have started and other have been shared. It wouldn't hurt my feelings any if it rained and canceled out all those plans however. It is getting dry again. Seems it is either feast or famine and never in the areas of the US that it would be beneficial.
All for now, More to come Later
Finally finished the dogwood tree garden. I never saw so much "stuff" growing in and around everything. Wish the plants I want would do so well. It really looks good and I will post some pictures soon. Want to put a hardscape path through there. Can't decide whether I want the small stepping stones or to use something bigger. At any rate it will be good in the end.
My granddaughter (13) came over with a girl friend yesterday and I took pictures of them in different places around the yard. They were excited. Thirteen is a hard age. Do you remember those days, or are you living through them with you own 13 year old? They are always bored unless they are with or talking to some other bored teen. Parents are getting less smart as the weeks go by and no one understands the life they lead. But they are delightful at the same time, laughing when you least expect it, doing some nice thing you aren't used to them doing, actually picking up their rooms! Always a surprise.
Her brother on the other hand, at 9, is just all boy. If he is moving, preferably on the skateboard, he is happy. His other granddaddy lives in a rural area and he loves to be out there. Takes his bike, goes fishing with the Granddad and totally enjoys life. This is the age I remember the most and it was one of lots of friends, roads near by to explore, honey bees and fireflies to catch, paper dolls and baby dolls to play with with a best friend. It was a good time.
A Master Gardener friend came by today and brought bearded iris (yellow, lavendar and black purple) I will share them with my DIL and some MG friends. I have iris but they did not bloom well this year. Some because of the late freeze and some because they need to be moved. I have listened to them and have a new place for them to reside in the coming weeks. Hoping the tags I put out naming the colors and still readible. If not I will have some surpirses to look forward to.
The white and yellow butterfly plants I rooted will go in that same area as will one of my Cutleaf Rudbeckia and a Hibiscus or two. Also have a Rudbeckia Goldstrum to put there. There is an old wooden porch swing that is about 20 years old (can't believe it is still together) that I have moved from under the aforementioned dogwood tree that is turning into a sitting bench. Don't thing the swing knows of this transformation but it will soon. Going to use a four by four post that is leaning around the shed not doing anything. It is about time it had a purpose. Will have my son cut it into four pieces then I can screw the swing onto the posts. Should stand up and hold at least me while I sit and survery the beauty of my gardening efforts.
It is time for some R & R before bed. Don't know about you but this gardening thing can keep me from getting to sleep at night. Between the sore, tired body and the visions of gardening ideas going around in my head. So some boring TV ought to do the trick. TV is getting worse all the time. I do like KyleXY, Jerico (glad the people brought it back for a better ending) and LOVE Dancing with the stars.
Have a good evening. More to Come Later
Another beautiful day for gardening. Can't believe how the weather has been co-operating the last several days with more promised to come. Of course that means almost no rain, so up goes the water bill. Most of my garden has been in place for a few years and doesn't need a lot of watering, just when it gets really dry in the area.
Have gotten up all the debri from having small trees, honeysuckle vine cut out and overgrown bushes taken down in the area of my shed. Will post a picture of the clean ground this evening after the sun goes low in the sky. Did take a chance and transplanted a Texas Star hibiscus to that area. Hope it will be OK. It was not getting enough light/nutrients where it was hiding under the huge Angel Trumpet.
Filled two trash bags full of branches, grass and vines and the old city dumpster is full as well. The city will pick it all up tomorrow. That is such a great service. To think I might just get all that organic matter back as mulch in a few months. We knew that the mulch was often steaming when we picked it up but did not think about it and put the fresh, hot mulch down in the garden early one spring. I went out the next day and my plants were burned. Did not lose many of them, but we know now to let that hot stuff cool down before using it in the garden.
I thought I had purchased a perennial variegated hibiscus and discovered today that it is a tropical and will have to come indoors for the winter. Went to plant it in the ground and in looking closely recognized that woody stem of a tropical. Nuts! I really wanted that thing to be perennial, Oh well, it will be beautiful in the new pot I will now have to buy.
Going to work on the butterfly cage this evening after it cools some. Should not be hard or take long but will need the hubby to hold parts of the screens while I drill. Look for pictures on the photo page soon.
Got to go for now. More to come Later.
Well now, I was curious enough to look this one up. It is one of those desert lizards. (see critter photos) My ex MIL had one of them, but it was stuffed, in her home. I was always a bit curious as to why she had it, but figured it was a souvenier of some sort. Good Luck raising the little boogers, RKayne.
Is it ever hot in SC today. Even my sister in WV says they are boiling as well. Did get the yard mowed between yesterday and this morning. We have had a hard time getting our lawn up to snuff in the last few years and are now enjoying at least the look of a lawn. In SC anything green that does not 'take over' is part of the lawn. Our gardens are not manicured by any means so I would not expect our lawn to be picture perfect either.
While visiting with the brother in law in Summerville, SC, we took in the MIddleton Place Gardens. This is land that was developed in the 1700 to 1800. The main home was burned by the Union army just as the war was ending. There is a family tomb on the site as well as a wonderful collection of buildings that house the domestic animals. This is land on the Ashley River and includes a working Rice Field. During this time of year the rice fields are flooded but they do harvest rice in the late fall. There is a wonderful house museum with some original pieces and some on loan that date back to the original era. Many Azeleas and Camellias plus a reflection pool with swans. It was a nice place, one that I will want to visit again. Around the Christmas holidays they have the trees, shurbs and buildings lighted during the evening. An old fashioned extended carriage gives tours all year and in the spring the gardens would be filled with the blooming azeleas and dogwood trees. I must say though, that it was so hot the top of my head melted. At least I guess that is what was running down into my eyes :-0
Also, on the property is a greenhouse where they propagate plants that grow at Middleton Place. Of course I came home with plants. A varigated red hibiscus, a catswhiskers and a ruellia mexican petunia that looks to be the low growing one. I have a low growing pink ruellia and think this will be a nice compliment as a border. My plan is to divide the pink one, intersperse it with the new white all along the front of my iris/lily bed.
Newsflash!!! A catalog from Park Seed came in the mail today and my husband actually asked to look through it. He picked out a deep purple Columbine. It is called 'Winky'. (page 33 if you get their fall 2007 catalog) May just have to order that one for him. He is not a garden guy at all, so this was a biggie for him. A friend grew some columbine over the winter and gave me three. One did not make it and the other was a cream/redish blossom, the other has not bloomed yet. I have a white/red one already. I think two of them get too much sun so may have to move them in the fall.
The picutres of Cora's gardens were so wonderful. Gardening in the northern states is quite different. It is hard for me to grow Astillbe and she has some kinda green thumb with those plants. I have an area in our yard that is a tree/azelea/camillia fence line. I am in the process of cleaning that area out and want to have hosta and ferns there under the plantings. In a few years it should be looking good.
For those of you that have already read how crazy I am over butterflies you will want to know that I found the screens to build my butterfly cage to put over the fennel. (see my photos) There are already cats on the fennel and I have seen more teeny weeny eggs. Will get with my gardening buddy, Larry to see how to put it together.
Time to take a break from the computer, gets to my shoulder muscles pretty good. More to come Lat
Today was a great day in the garden. Did finish weeding the small flower bed next to the house. Then it was just too hot to do more. Sat around and watched the birds, took some pictures which are posted on my blog page. Look it up.
Also did some video of the squirrels that eat the suet cake that attracts those beautiful woodpeckers. Those squirrels are such good gymnists. Also got a little video of the large red-headed woodpecker getting his fair share of the suet cake.
Thought I was seeing the same woodpecker until the big red-head showed up and then I realized there was also a red-bellied woodpecker coming to the same suet cake. What a great thing. Couldn't get a picture, but there was a nuthatch snacking a bit on the suet as well.
I then went to my neighbors yard and took some pictures of her new flower gardens. She moved the fence back and now has her dogs in another area of the yard. This has given her a great expanse in which to plant and grow. She is having a ball. Admitted to me that, indeed, this gardening buisness is addicting. I could have told her that but it is better she finds out for herself isn't it?
When we moved into this house there was a gate between my neighbor and myself. We have always kept a lock on it as I was doing inhome daycare and then the grandchildren began to come. Now there is no daycare (I am retired :-D) and the grands are grown. When she moved her fence back, that meant her dogs were not in the main part of the yard. To our surprise, we could take off the lock and go back and forth at will. You should have seen us the first few times we did so though, it was if we were sneeking around in a strangers yard. Too funny, not we are having a great time visiting and sharing our gardens with one another and our friends as well.
Hope all of you will enjoy the evening time, spend a little of it just coasting on the patio, porch or hammock. See you in the garden. More to come later. Linda B from SC
Friday the Thirteenth turned out to be like every other friday. Except today I actually got to enjoy the yard as opposed to 'working the land' so to speak. Did a little weeding, filled another hanging basket with plants shared by other gardeners, found one lonely blueberry on my little Sunshine BB plant. I planted three of them this year, putting one in a planter in order to put something over it to keep the birds and squirrels from taking the last berry.
Planted a new iris named Custard Spice. Meant to look to see if it was a reblooming iris. I have five of those and it is a plesant surprise to see them blooming at the end of the summer.
Sprayed the grass on the bank in front of the house again with roundup. That Johnson grass or 'highway grass' as it is called in SC is hard to kill. The plantings put at the top in the yard look pretty good so far. Had a thought to put up some type fence there later in the year. We went to the local yard waste recycling site and picked up a load of free mulch. Was disappointed in it though. They didn't give us the really good stuff this time, but it will be fine at the road on the bank.
Found a couple in town that are very successful at raising butterflies. Will post some pictures of his 'Cat Condo' and the window screen apparatus he can put over the fennel in the garden. He says he only uses that one when there are like 50 to 60 'cats'. That being too many to take off the fennel and place in his 'cat condo'. I have fennel and there have always been swallowtail catterpillers on it. So I will be on a quest to find nice tall screens to make my own 'cat house', catterpillers that is.
Also got to bird watch a little while, put out some more feeders and a big suet cake. The squirrels will find that one soon enough. However, a red headed woodpecker came several times to the suet cake. But of course after I came inside to get the camera he did not return. I will catch him in action soon though. Did get a pix of an 'enole', which is the cameleon lizard we are all familiar with. He was in the Hibiscus looking for a snack, but to tell the truth his belly looked as if he had already eaten a 4 course dinner.
Time to take a break. More to Come Later.
Was just looking over the forum and found some 2 year old questions about Clematis. I love this plant and it took me a number of years to get them going. After maybe 4/5 years two of them have not done well. I cut one completely down this week. It was growing near my shed that is undergoing a re-do. I dug it up, the roots looked good and I got two plants out of it. They are in pots and we will see what happens from here. The other vines, a purple and a double white are growing together and they don't look good either. Much brown/dead growth after a feeble bloom time. I have noticed that there are two new shoots coming up at the base. So I am going to cut these two back as well. Time will tell if they make it or not. Singing to them every day. Of course, that may kill them completely.
Well I have learned two things about blogging. Number one above all else, be sure you are logged in before trying to post. Second, don't try to write a blog while downloading photos. When the photos finish logging they pop right up and there goes your blogging.
So that said, I will try to begin again. Third time is a charm they say. Yes I am logged in and no I am not downloading pictures. Finished that task earlier today.
We had some wonderful rain last evening and I could see the flowers smiling up at me from my perch on the ramp deck. We got around an inch in my yard. The weather channel can't keep up with me as they said only maybe a quarter of an inch fell. So much for where they read the water gauge, at our airport I think.
I was supposed to work in the flower beds in the am but remembered tomorrow is a day to visit my friend Ann. She has found a new garden shop and even better has a swimming pool in her back yard. Great house, great pool, great friends and a new garden shop. What more can you ask?
Just came home from visiting my Son and his family. They now live just up the street from me and it is realy nice to be able to see them often. He baked some of his now famous Banana Bread. He takes it to work and shares it with his employees. And that is just why I went for this visit, to eat some BB at his house and then bring some home to my man Don. When I arrived he was mowing their small lot. He had accepted an older gas mower from us earlier in the year and it just died. He now has a rechargeable lawnmower. Great little machine, good warrenty and much cleaner that the gas/oil machine. He is happy. Frankly, when my selfpropelled gas mower goes, I will consider a rechargeable mower. At least my next gas mower will not be a string puller, this ole gal is getting' too old to pull on that little buddy. It will have a key or a button.
We were looking at pictures on his computer of the kids, Kelz and Bri, and my how they have grown. Even found pictures of He and wife on their wedding day and honeymoon. What babes they were. When I said that he says, what do you mean? we were married. One day he will look at those pictures and say just what I said. What babes we were.
Do any of you have greenhouses? I have a friend, Barb, that has a pretty big one and began this year to grow annuals from plugs to sell. She has had good response from the smaller garden shops in town. So you can make money to pay for that greenhouse if you really want to. Barb and I are part of the Master Gardener Assn. and our Extention Agent helped her get set up and gave her tips on how to keep the greenhouse going. Look for pictures in the Photo Albums.
Also met this past week a couple that really shares their gardening skills. All over the United States and Canada. They are very interesting to visit. They belong to the Birds and Blooms website and share seeds, plants and love of growing things through that medium. They have had people from all over the US and Canada visit them. A few have even come in the big campers, set up in their driveway and stay a few days. Some only come to visit for the day. If just sounded so exciting. Look for pictures in the Photo Albums of their greenhouse/property.
Although I have had regular coffee this evening I am ready to get some rest. So goodnight and have a good day tomorrow. More To Come Later.
Well another day in the hot and humid SC weather. Mowed the front yard first thing about 8am. Too miserable to do it later. And besides I was waiting for Amy's brother my son Brent to come help with a few things.
It was nice having him here for an hour or so. He managed to put up my 'good' birdfeeder. Yes there are good and bad feeders. This particular one is my large 'squirrel proof' feeder. It is about 20 or so years old. Has been knocked down from one perch by a Hurricane some years ago and fought off huge Blackbirds and Grackles as well. At one point I had to quit putting seed out to discourage the Grackles. They make such a mess and won't let any other bird come to the feeder. So now it has a new coat of paint a new piece of wood to screw it into the pole and is ready for the business of feeding the feathered masses.
This time we placed it low enough that ole granny here doesn't have to climb the ladder to fill it. Which I did before I came in out of the heat. Will watch today as the Cardinals, Blue Jays, Mockingbirds,Sparrows, finches (several types), woodpeckers and many others find out 'where's the seed'. Remember that commercial about 'where's the beef'? I still miss that old lady. She was a dilly.
Brent also moved the very heavy metal table with the disintergrating table top around to the other side of the shed. No easy feat but as most men have muscles in all the right places to shove, push and pull heavy weights he got it done in good speed. This is when I wish women could have the upper body strength to do the type lifting men can do. Without being a weight lifter that is. The drawer in this table had been stuck for months (again SC weather you know) and with one good bump while turning the table over the drawer is no longer stuck. There's one more project to do. Fix that drawer where it will be useful. In the process of all this bumping and pulling and pushing, the old and rotten compressed wood top just fell out and then you could see that the foundation boards for the table top were rotting. So now it really needs a new top. To say nothing of the peeling and cracking paint coming loose from the metal. You never get everything done do you?
Next job was putting up the old hose hanger that has been laying around for maybe 4 years after having to be moved when we added on to the back of the house. It will do for the time being, unless it too crumbles under the weight of the water hose. Got tired of seeing the hose lay in a heap on the ground.
When we added a ramp to enable my Don to get in and out of the house more safely, the light fixture at the back door became a medieval torture weapon for anyone taller that 5 feet. It was a very large fixture that looked as if it really needed to be on a livery stable. But hey, for 10 bucks on sale, at the time it seemed like a good thing. A deck lamp was put in its place and looks very nice and is not going to knock my 6' 2" grandson Scott out when he comes to visit.
In all we had a productive span of time together and Brent left to finish painting his kitchen cabinet doors. He has to work on home projects in spurts and you know what that does to a woman's world. Drives us all nuts. Maybe he will get things put back together by the end of the day??? Did that happen Karen?? She will let me know later when I go up the street to get some Peach Cobbler and maybe Banana Nut Bread, if Brent had time to bake it.
Yes, all three of my children are very good cooks. I always told the boys that they might not marry a cool girl that could cook and do their laundry. So they learned early on to run the washer/dryer and to cook something. I on the other hand do not like to cook. So maybe they really learned to do those things in self defense. Because they both married my other 'daughters' and both of them are really good 'cookers' as the grands would say when they were tots.
Now I have to prepare myself mentally to do some shopping. I am not a shopper unless I am in Lowes', Home Depot or at the Farmers Market where they have flowers, plants and veggies. A clothes hog I am not. And Wally World is not my first choice of somewhere to just wander around. UGH! Great place when you need it though. And if I cannot find my items at my favorite variety stores (Dollar General or KMart) I may be forced to do the WW thing.
That's it for today. More to come later. Linda B from SC
For the last few years my gardens have been high in the progress lane. At present there is light at the end of the garden tunnel.
The Iris/Lily bed, as it started out, is now infused with a myriad of plants. Then one corner became an Herb bed. That has been a fun thing. In the hot summer evening you can just walk to that area and begin longing for speghetti and lasanga and perhaps even a piece of great pizza. The aroma is captivating. Can you guess which Herbs are growing there?
Between the Magnolia tree in the front yard, the honeysuckle on the fence, the wisteria in the neighborhood this is a delicious community. Years ago before my mother passed away she described the aroma 'as if someone had spilled Downy fabric softener all over town'.
At present I am working with a small embankment at the front of our lot. I am now the one to run the lawnmower and I cannot mow up or down that slope. The bank now holds a couple of low growing shrubs, three Knock Out Roses and the Verbena is looking as if it is happy there in the hot afternoon sun. The grass has been killed out and mulch will take its place in the next week or so on the lower portion. Hopefully that will do it for that area. There are two places at the end that I am going to try some Lavender.
In visiting local passionate gardener, I discovered the Lemon Creme Lantana. It is a more compact plant than most Lantana, so now I must have some of that and it would also do well on that slope.
Never visit another gardeners garden if you think you are finished and ready to enjoy you own property. Won't work. You will come home with more ideas of ways to increase your joyful gardening bounty.
Enough for now. More to come later. This is my first time at a blog so bear with me as I muddle through. LB
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