Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Vultures are starting to Circle the Garden!!!

Yesterday Morning before heading out for a bit I noticed a bunch of Vultures circling around the Garden areas. Does this mean my garden has died and the stench is bringing in the local riff-raft?  Are they here to pick up the pieces of my broken down flowers?.  Is this a sign to pack it in for the season? Oh Woe is me. I've never had the Vultures tell me before that my gardens really stink!!!  But apparently it's in the air! But the more I think about it the Gardens have had a rough go of it this Summer. For me this has been a bad last couple of months.
I've watered when there wasn't any, I've amended, I've mulched, I've composted, I've weeded and I've poured my blood (roses pricking) sweat (laboring all those new ideas) tears (when I couldn't get it right).

 And yeah, speaking of mulch I've got these little mushroom fungus looking things in my mulch that I'm not really crazy about. I got my mulch from a different source this year, I'm not really crazy about the outcome of how it looks. I guess  I'll have to loosen the grip I guess.
But you know each time I walk outside in the Garden I still get a sense of worth. I know my Garden won't let me down. And I know each year it's teaches me something about what I need to do to make it better next season!!! I'm blessed to have a garden. Alot of people aren't able to have one much less get out and enjoy their bounty. Sure, I complain, and -itch, but all in all I'm so glad to be a Gardener. I love that the Garden   teaches me to be quiet, and slow down, and enjoy the beautiful colors and shapes and surprises that I get each year. My favorite garden months are January thru December.
And all is not lost I still have my annuals to keep me going thru the frost. I'm waiting for the sedums to bloom and the grasses are almost ready to show their plumage. So I'll sign off for right now with this thought!!!

Life is Good, Gardening is GREAT now it's time to take that Break!

Have a great day. Joyce

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pileated Woodpecker Sighting, Garden stuff and No Internet for 3 Days!!

Wow, it's been awhile since I've been back online!! No stinking Internet for 3 lovely days-not. I've missed all the Garden Gossip. But I've seen alot of stuff here around the gardens. And sometimes it's nice not to sit inside clicking away at the keys.  You've seen my neighbors dead,dead, dead tree that all the big birds love. Today while outside expecting the last of the pretty flowers. This big bird threw overhead and headed straight for the Big Tree. Not until I got inside and looked at my Photos did I notice that it was a "Pileated Woodpecker". They are few and far between here. But they do come. He was huge and that red head is so funny looking. It's not a great picture. But they don't stay around long and my camera wasn't doing what I wanted it too!! It's me not the camera. But I just thought you'll would love to see him. I love surprises like this in my garden...

So I missed the Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th and some other stuff. The other day while coming out of the garage I noticed this BIG moth sitting in the Azaleas next to a piece of bark. Don't know who he is but he was sure awesome looking. Had to run and fetch my camera for him. I will research later  He kinda reminds me of a Jet Plane.

So like I said I missed posting bloom day but right now there's not much blooming in the garden. Just the old stand-bys--Coneflowers, Tall Phlox, Black eyed Susan and Brown eyed, Red Shift Coreopsis, Butterfly Bush (White and Purple) and the Beautiful  "Royal Standard Hosta" with there big white blooms. I love white and this is a great performer for your Big Everyday Hosta. Shiny leaves and lots of white flowers. Great Performer if you like green and white flowers.

The other thing that;s happening is -I bought some "Foxglove Plants about 2 months ago and the foliage has gotten pretty big, well one is giving me a flower!! It's Cream. Will it die and not come back, this is my first. I know they are Bi-ennials. If someone could let me know!!!!
The sky has been beautiful this week also. Here are the morning pics. from Friday. We have been having some really bad storms here but when I see these clouds it makes me so happy and they kinda remind me of fall.  I love these kinds of clouds. Do you see the Buffalo in the right hand corner :) Well, it's looks kinda like one. I love seeing shapes in the sky. The sky was super blue and the morning was a cool crisp morning. I had other stuff happening but lost track of it. So for now I'm signing off and wishing you'll a beautiful safe garden day. Peace Out. Joyce

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back in the Summer of "69"-My life Mentor

I can remember that summer like it was yesterday. I had just graduated from Elementary School. Back then we went all 6 grades in the same place.  So today's post is about  my "MENTOR". My father, the farmer, the gardener, and "Jack of all Trades". He lit the passion of 'Gardening' in my Soul. And as a small child I didn't take interest in his gardening because back then to me it was only to put food on the table.  Not  until I got older and got a Life of my own did I understand why he did what he did....

 My father always had a smile on his face. He was a fun person to be with and could talk about anything. I think he could have been one of of the great debaters :) Don't get me wrong he had his moments, but there were more good then bad for me.  He was always there for me. Homemade Ice Cream in the Summer (Peach), Cookouts, Snowmen in the Winter, he shopped for our clothes and did the grocery shopping as well,  and he fixed everything. My Mom loved roses but had a Black Thumb so he grew them for her so she could see them when  she came outside. I lost my Dad on August 12, 2003. And my world was crushed cause I thought I wouldn't have anybody like him  in my life ever again....but that wouldn't be true. Everyday I walk my gardens and play in the dirt and open my eyes, I'm with my Father. I think all the time  "What would my Father do".  And darn-it where are you now to show me how to grow these Vegetables in this horrible weather. I know he would say your not doing that right, or don't baby that stuff so much. Leave it alone, let it grow with a gentle voice. And trust in yourself......
And my Dad loved his grandchildren! In the spring and summer he would have them out there in his gardens weeding, and picking up little stuff. Here is a photo of my happy team: almost a happy team...and later on in life when he was done the team came to help him.
And here is  Joe. Very serious about everything but still fun. . Just like his father. But when it came to Pop-Pop that was his world too. My son has a Tattoo that honors his grandfather on his arm. It's beautiful! This was how he dealt with his loss.

So today is a 'Great Day" and I just wanted to share and Honor  my "Garden Mentor with you. And yes, I'm still learning about  life and garden stuff everyday without my Mentor, but now I know what the word means.: WISE ADVISOR and that was my "DAD". I love you Dad and thank you for all you gave me. Espesically the Passion to Grow and Garden.  Love Joyce

Monday, August 9, 2010

Great Bird Book and Hummingbirds today.

I would like to recommend a great book if you enjoy watching and feeding and housing your birds in your back yard. It's the "National Audubon Society North American Birdfeeder Handbook".  A great little reference book for a quick pick-me up to see what bird is at your feeder!
I keep this book in my kitchen on the counter along with my binoculars for a quick pick up. The feeders and woods  are in the back of the house and that's where I bird watch most of the time. I do keep a small pair of binoculars on the end table in the front just in case somethings going down:)

Here are a few pages out of the book. Contents, Illustrated bird pages  and I gave you a page on how to make a scrap feeder for your birds if you aren't able to get a book.(Click on Photo to view larger so you can get directions). I use to work for the Library system and I had the privilege of seeing EVERY book first. I'm  not sure if that was good or bad because at times alot of my paycheck when back into buying books. Especially GARDEN books!!!! Oh the beautiful books they would order upstairs was awesome. I love hardcover books and table top books and I love the history of gardens, and folklore, and garden stories by other gardeners. Anyway, The reason I'm  recommending this one is today the 'Hummers' were outside this morning fighting over who's feeders they were. Good thing the Cameras not to far away.
Aren't they awesome. I could sit and watch these guys all day. Squeaking, fighting and drinking. (Oh, what a minute sounds like I'm at pub.No offense I like a pub!) And if you don't fill the feeders quick enough they come looking for you. They will look right into the house saying "HELLO" it's dinner time. Here are a couple more pics. I can't refuse. There not great but who said I was a professional photographer :)
I think this is a young one.....
Well as usual I've said enough to keep you and me a week. But I do love to share. Thanks Again for visiting my blog. And I'll be visiting yours  real soon. Thanks Again Joyce

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's a Hen's & Chicks kinda Morning

Another beautiful morning. So I needed to do something. Yesterday I weeded a couple of beds that were lost in space...Sooooo.
Took a stroll out to the garage to take recycles this morning  and forgot all about this little Wrought Iron Heart Plant Stand sitting on the side. I have had this forever, again from a Flea Market or something. I use to have violets in the four holes but didn't work out inside. I have this area coming out from the basement that gets Morning Shade and half of the bed gets Afternoon Sun. So in this bed is "Ferns, Hosta, Jap. Iris, Bleeding Hearts, Sedums in front and even Gooseneck loosestrife (invasive). So I wanted to Kick it up a Notch. Here is the BEFORE photo  in MORNING.
I also had some little wrought iron fencing that wasn't working somewhere else so I moved it here around that gosh ugly concrete pad that never got used for purposes we won't mention. It's a honey-do kinda project. Not anymore. Anyway I have Hens & Chicks from my Dad's House that needed to split up. So I made up some clay pots of these dressed them with gravel and blue glass shards from a broken Garden Globe that you know who broke with flying debris from tractor. I couldn't throw it away. I knew it would be handy some day.
Here is the Little Stand with the potted 'Sempervivum-Hardy mix' I will put them in the greenhouse to overwinter. I have shared these plants with everybody I know my father would have loved that.
So anyway, I pondered, I moved fence, I gathered, I planted, And now I'm happy with this little area. You can't see the concrete pad too much and that's what I wanted. I didn't want to take away from the 'Standard Hosta' and that HUGE 3ft sedum. This is the picture at 12:00 o'clock today with the Sun moving in. Finished Project.
Thanks for stopping by today I hope you enjoyed seeing my little project as much as I had fun making it. Have a Marvelous Garden Day and I'll be visiting your blog too. Joyce

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This little Piggy had a Garden...

And the Gardener ignored the little piggy. She had gotten so busy and procrastinated with  taken care of everybody else's needs. And so the little piggy ran and hid under her big Hosta. The Gardener thought her little piggy got throw away and was very sad that she hadn't paid him any attention. She thought she hadn't  seen him around in the garden. And that's because she was off doing other garden areas.

And then one morning in August the temperatures dropped and there  wasn't any humidity to speak of. Mean-time the gardener was disgusted with her messy gardens! And was envious of those who had such nice clean gardens! Over time she had  carefully planned this garden, it was her first in the new place. She worked her gardens always by herself with the little piggy near by. But  it got to be too much for the Little  Piggy, and he too was disgusted and didn't want any part of the garden any longer.

So she thought and thought and she shut off her Computer and went outside. She wasn't worried about the inside chores they would come later.  So off she went with her 'Blue Garden Crocs'  and tools in hand and of course her camera. Before she knew it she had weeded those awful messy gardens and low and behold there was her friend waiting for her underneath the big Fat Hosta with a big fat grin!!

The moral of this story is: " That no matter how messy your gardens are your friends will be there waiting  for you!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cosmos solphureus-Orange one

A Beautiful Rich Orange Color this little guy has. It kinda reminds me of a daisy. It's about 16-22" tall, and shorter and bushier  then the Thread-leaf Cosmos. The foliage is not the usual, but it reminds me of a fern-like leaf. Caution: Some states have this on their invasive list so check before you plant this one.

I received this seed from a "Swap" last season. Last year was my first "Seed Swap". But then the club closed and no more seed swap. Luckily I have enough seeds for a couple of years.  I went a little crazy!!! Anyway I rec'd this one not knowing what it was going to look like. I'm very pleased. I just love Cosmos and this is going to be another favorite for me each year in my garden. I just have to remember to collect the seeds and not let them fall. I want it in another location next year. More out front of the garden instead of in  the middle. I thought it was going to be taller but that's ok I love it.....

And here is a  quote I found that I thought was nice...

The Best Place to Seek God is in a Garden.
You can dig for him there....
-George Bernard Shaw-

On that note I will leave while I'm ahead. Have a marvelous Garden Day and hope all your dreams are garden dreams. Peace Out-Joyce

Monday, August 2, 2010

It all Started w/a Blue Birdbath

This is my side Garden in the Year of 2007. This garden was one of the first I planted when we moved to this location. There were no plants to speak of. The owner had dug everything up after the Contract was signed. So I had a blank slate to work with. Our property is 3 acres. One of those Acres is woods. The top of the property is pretty flat with a few little hills and the back half drops down to the lower forty I like to call. That's where all the wildlife play and eat. Thank Goodness or I wouldn't have a garden!!! This little garden was planned while I was still working . Now I'm retired and have taken this little garden to the next level. Here are the steps to my side Garden that is now my "Sitting Garden".

The Blue Birdbath I made out of Terra Cotta Pots for this garden, then one winter I didn't put it away and it cracked. So when I retired my best friend gave me a beautiful Birdbath we had seen together on a trip to the nursery and at the time I didn't have the money. And then when I went back to buy it, it was gone-:(  But to my surprise it now sits in MY Garden. Here is the story of how it all began:
1. The Birdbath. June 2005, this birdbath has been in a few places in my garden until it found the right spot......
2. Plan and Rototiller and Amend the Area. Move all those stinking heavy boulders. August 2008

3. Here it is in 2008. Planted with a few perennials. Some since have passed.

4. A path to the birdbath. I planted dwarf mundo grass in the empty block sections. And planted Catmint around the base of the birdbath. I never thought until just now about CATmint and BIRDbath :) No injuries to this date :)

5. Bed with mulch the following Spring 09... I added that trellis. The trellis was from another part of the yard. But it needed to be over here.

And this is my Garden today August 2010. I have added a Garden Shed, Paths, A new Hosta side bed, Sitting Area, Compost area, Raised Veggie beds, and 2010 came a new Greenhouse for me to see if I can grow my own stuff. I am very happy with this area and still not done I have another 3ft added to the plant area that I will plant next year. This year I will  just amend that part of the garden soil for next years planting.I have more plans in my head.. Well I hope you have enjoyed seeing all my hard work. And I love this little Cottage/Sitting Area. It's not professional but it's mine to enjoy,  read a good book and a cool glass of Sweet Tea. Thanks for coming over and see you again soon. Joyce

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Who told the "OSPREY" I (had) Fish!!!

What a glorious Sunday here in my part of the world.  The temps are only 88 and maybe a little rain to come later. Today is my last day for House/Cat sitting. It will be strange to sleep in. And I have "Chiggers" from the woods.....man they itch.
Anyway, I awoke to a beautiful August 1st. My birth Month :) Yes I'm  a Virgin, I mean Virgo the Virgin :)
When I went out with the 4-leggers this morning I had to turn around and run back  in the house for my camera! You know I can't go outside without it, but it was too early to think about extra outside activity happening. I could hardly think straight it was so noisy. Our Neighbors have this huge dead tree and perched on top of it this morning was a HUGE OSPREY.  And flying around it was the resident Evil (Black Birds) so noisy. I've never the Osprey so far in before. We are about a mile or so from the beach/Water. They are mainly down by the water. Well, I think I figured out why he was here.........I have no fish in my pond! He must have dined while I was sleeping. So I guess I will make a fish run and now put a stupid net on my little  pond-ugh Here are the photos of the osprey and the crows.

And here is the one crow sitting on the branch behind the Osprey, it looks like he's sitting on his head he was that close. Those Crows are big too.

And while outside I was able to capture a shot of our little Deer Family. Aren't they cute...they don't run off until the dogs bark and these guys hadn't been spotted by the 4 leggers. So I will sign off for today and return to play another day. Enjoy my wildlife, I sure do. I'm so blessed. Have an awesome Garden Day. And thanks for stopping by!!!