May 15, 2012 | 6:05 AM PST
I am not a complainer nor do I allow myself to be affected by too much in life. This past fall and winter has proved to be a challenge for me and my family. I am not interested in going on and on regarding the details but I will say that I really missed GG community. I did not find any time to enjoy any type of relaxing outlet for myself in the past 6 months. As things seem to be headed back uphill for me, I have finally found a happy medium and my first priority is to come here and start reading blogs and forums. I am so excited to see what has transpired over the past couple of months. I so missed everyone here and apologize for my absence. I see I have messages in my inbox and I will get to those as soon as I can. Did I say already that I really missed GG? :)
Typically, I see just one surprise over the course of the summer. This year I had a couple more than expected. Thought I would share!
Pretty Morning Glory that was planted last year popped up in August. They have never come back for me in the past many years.
Also, this purple clematis was planted approximately 5 years ago and made an appearance also in July.
These moss roses once occupied my whole mint garden 6 years ago before I planted the mint. They have never resurfaced until this year! They were gorgeous in multicolored blooms!
This petunia color is not something that I remember ever having in the past. It's growing out of the side of one of my vinca gardens.
My hanging basket of roman strawberries has graced me with a second batch of fruit!
Th is is my vegetative brugmansia. It started as a tiny plant this summer. I was not expecting it to bloom this summer. Right now it is full of pods! Not sure if it will bloom due to our weather changing to real fall weather in Wisconsin. It's still sitting on the porch though...maybe!
The coolest thing I found this summer is a plant that I grew last summer. It bombed out on me early in the summer. It made its appearance last week! How weird!!! This also is growing in my vinca garden along with some foxglove.
Spilanthes oleracea or Eyeball Plant. Fitting for October! lol
Last and my least favorite :( I planted two passion vines early in the summer. It has failed to produce any flowers this year. Bummer. Better luck next year.
I collect seeds every fall for next years garden and to pass along to family. I still have a good month left to collect and organize. Just curious if anyone out there collects and would be interested in swapping in the next month or two?
Yeaaaaaaa! Hockey Season is in full swing for us! My younger son made our states' Elite Hockey League this year. They take the best players in a handful of regions in WI and put them on a team and they play each other for a few months until the High School Season starts. It was a HUGE deal for us. He really is an excellent player ( not just saying that because I am Mom). He's been skating since he was about 4 and playing hockey along with it. He's always practiced every day, whether on ice or off ice. He's even got a net set up in the basement to practice :)
I took a few pics last weekend of their game. They play about 4 games a weekend, anywhere from way up north to down south in the state. It's definitely worth it! His team is fantastic...So far #1
He's number 14. Red and Blue Team.
Sorry about some of the quality. I am still getting used to the camera and action shots.
I have a couple of plants that I would like to keep a running report on for future purposes.
This is my Yellow Angel Trumpet Brugmansia. I started with two cutting this past May. I decided to go with yellow because they are supposed to be the more vigorous grower of the variety. I wasn't expecting a huge growth or blooming this year. The cutting I had was a bare root cutting that was around 6-8 inches. I plopped them each in there own 12" pot with some Miracle Grow potting soil.
This is it's progress so far.
I didn't have a picture of the cutting itself, so I used my expert drawing skills to illustrate. hahahaha
June is next
I NEVER expected it to grow to almost 6 Feet in one summer!!!! And BLOOM!!!!
Between August and September, I decided to take the bottom leaves off to make the plant into more of a tree form.
I thought the growth would end up being more like it was in June by the end of the Summer. EI YI YI
I am not sure where I have room to put two of these plants inside my house to winter them. I certainly need to repot them also. With 4 dogs in the house, I really am going to need to be creative.
Any one know if they can be stored in an attached garage or basement? There are no windows though.
If not, there is some great growth at the bottom for another plant that I can cut off and start over again in the house if it has to come to that. Meaning, I would have to cut the large growth off :(
I've already started collecting my Zinnia seeds. The finches have been feasting on them and if I want any for next year, I have to keep up! I couldn't decide whether to drop a sock next to the garden or not. I did it anyway. There are already a bunch that come to the garden anyway. Maybe this way they will want the sock instead? It's worth a try..haha.
I am very happy with my old fashioned Nicotania this year. Nicotiana Sylvestris. It looked interesting enough to grow last winter when I was looking for something new. They grow 4-6ft. These are about 4ft. I was out this morning when I noticed a few pods that had split open so I grabbed an envelope to collect some seeds. I cut off 5 pods and the seeds just poured out. I think I have at least a couple hundred from just those! I will have plenty to trade if anyone is interested! Wow!
Took a quick shot of my burgundy sunflower too. These are pretty also this year in the middle of my garden of Zinnia, Cosmos, Poppies, Moss Roses and Gazanias. I'll have these to trade also if the finches don't get to them!
This is my first year growing Nicotiana sylvestris . I started from seed this past spring. I've got 4 plants growing and 2 beginning to bloom! I wanted to grow these for their supposed wonderful scent. Wouldn't you know it...I woke up with a nasty cold yesterday and can't smell a thing!
They are growing in between my shasta daisies. I had to cut them down a few weeks ago. The daisies weren't growing very nice. They were sprawled out all over the place. I got tired of constantly staking them so I decided to cut them off and bring them in the house for a pretty table arrangement. They will bloom again at the end of summer as always.
I have so many flower / plants that I grow for the purpose of attracting butterflies. With as much time as I spend outside, you would think I would see more than the sulfurs I have been seeing. I was a little worried that they may be afraid of the birds that come and go from the yard. Then I started thinking, I don't even have that many birds this year either. My finch feeder and socks are virtually full day after day. I hear them and see them flying by, but I don't see feeding at the feeders. I certainly see the sparrows but still not as many as last year. It's disappointing not to enjoy them daily.
So, I was pleasantly surprised to catch these on camera the other day.
Pretty Swallowtail. There was a monarch around this swallowtail but it was too afraid of me and kept flying away.
Finch: "So you want a pretty picture of me?"
Finc h: "I posed pretty, now where's the ripe Zinnia seeds?"
I am enjoying the gorgeous different types of Zinnia I planted. Along with the Zinna, very tall Cosmos, poppies, gazania (not quite blooming yet due to the poppies falling and shading them), and burgundy sunflowers that are not blooming yet. I am going to try to fence up the poppies today so that the gazania can start blooming.
Before I planted the mint in this garden (see past blogs), the garden was filled to the hills with moss roses. This was a good 7 years ago. Low and behold they were waiting patiently to make a reappearance. I have gorgeous mixed moss roses in bloom sporadically thoughtout this garden. What a nice surprise :)
The garden is much bigger than the pictures appear. And I am standing below the garden on my hilly driveway. The morning sun is not very forgiving. It's going to be a very hot one today so I wanted to get out early.
My favorite colored zinnia in this bunch
Poppies and Moss Roses. You can't really see the Gazania. Just the leaves.
Waiting for the Sunflower to bloom :) There are about 6-8