Saturday, August 27, 2016

Monarch Love amazing

The last two days have been full of Monarch Love.  It started Friday, as we were working at the park in the herb garden.  Swamp Milkweed had invaded the garden, we decided to leave it. Good decision.

Look at the results...Monarch caterpillars munching away.  So exciting.

So very Cool, then today I spotted a Monarch on the Zinnias . I spent about about an hour trying to get pictures... I think she was playing with me!!  

Enjoy Monarchs are a gift we all need to cherish   

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Beautyberry ....a fall surprise

 Last weekend I was visiting my daughter in Athens Georgia. We decided to take my adorable grand baby Tallulah for a walk along our favorite path. We love to walk in the Serenity Gardens connected with the hospital.  Much to my delight all alone the pathway were rows of my favorite fall blooming berries.

They are on the Beautyberry Bush (Callicarpa americana).  Beautyberry is a deciduous shrub. It is a fast growing shrub that can get up to 4 to 8 feet tall and wide. This is a native shrub so it needs to be planted in a natural woodland situation.

I love them planted as an informal hedge along the edge of a property. That is the way the Serenity Gardens in Athens used them  The bloom is not the show, it is the cluster of bright lavender- pink, lilac looking clusters that arrive this time of year.

The seeds and berries are an important food source for the Northern Bobwhite, while the white tailed deer enjoy munching on the foliage.  Since the group using the berries as a food source is not large, the berries then to hang on late into the fall contrasting nicely with the foliage that turns an awesome yellow.

I hope you will give these beauties a try, they add so much interest and color.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Answer is Balsam ....... or Touch Me Not ....or Rose Balsam, take your pick or pop!!

Balsam (Balsminaceae impatiens) is a wonderful flowering annual, that fills my garden with delicate little blooms, just when it needs a lift. I am not sure when I originally planted the seeds, I am betting they were in some kind of wildflower seed packet to attract butterflies.  That was many years ago, and since then I have these happy little flowers pop up everywhere mid to late summer.

Balsam requires 60 to 70 warm days from sowing to produce flowers, so if starting from seed start early and be patient. I am way beyond that scenario, I have continuously blooming plants all season long since the plants after blooming produce seed pods that pop open at the slightest touch. In fact that is the common name, Touch Me Not.  My grand babies love to play with pods, thus resulting n more spreading of the flower.

Another name given this flower is  Rose Balsam, since the flowers resemble mini-roses or camellias. The colors range from white to pink to rose to deep red. The blossoms are tucked under the whorls of leaves.

I have not had any problem growing these cuties any where. But supposedly they like well drained, nicely composed soil in partial shade.  These guys spread easily but pull out just as easily.

I hope you will try this old fashion annual that my mother loved. Just a word to the wise, once you have them they will start popping up all over.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Question for my Gardening Friends ....

Need some ideas...  I love learning from other Gardeners, I would love to hear some thoughts on this one.

I have a reader who is moving from New York to Alabama.  She has many different varieties of
 Day Lilies and needs to move them.  She is driving out in a small car with a dog and needed room for lilies.

Any thought on how to best get them from New York to Alabama?  They have a pod that they could put them in .... or could ship UPS.

Let me know your thoughts.

I suggested digging them up in clumps and trimming them up. Then putting them in trash bags with a bit of moisture.  Then group into boxes.  Then let them be the last item loaded when the pod leaves.  They do have family on the Alabama unload.

If they ship by UPS it would involve more work. But very possible. Dirt off, trimmed up divided into shippable size and wrapped in moisture wicked paper.  Again they do have folks to help on the receiving end.

Any better ideas?  (These are images from my garden)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What is it Wednesday?

What is it Wednesday? was accurately pegged. I love this plant. Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)  Although to be perfectly honest, I do not know the exact variety. There are some newer varieties that are very interesting as well. 

This tree grows 15 to 20 feet tall in optimal locations. In Kentucky, my three die down every winter but promptly pop right back in the spring. 
They bloom for me from early summer to early fall. They have beautiful upright spikes of pink, lilac and white flowers. They have pleasantly scented flowers as well as foliage. 
Since they attract all sorts of pollinators it is a must in any garden. 

However, they do best in full sun and very well drained soil. As you can tell from the pictures my Chaste Tree is in a bad spot. The apple tree behind it has grown leaps and bounds so I am going to move the one pictured in the fall.  The overhead limbs block the sun and cause my Chaste tree to grow outward reaching for the perfect site verses growing up. 

I am thinking about placing all three in a stand alone grouping by themselves in the full sun.  I think they will create quite a spectacular show. I know the bees and butterflies will be so happy. 

Be sure to trim off the beautiful blooms as they fade away to keep the blooms coming strong. 

I hope you will try this one and send me pics!!  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Bloom of the Day
Love my Zinnias....and so do others visiting my gardens

Friday, August 5, 2016

Cypress Vine Everywhere!!

Here is the Answer to “Think about it Thursday”

The vine in the picture is Ipomoea quamoclit  (cypress vine, cypress vine morning glory, carnival creeper, star glory, carnival vine or hummingbird vine) take your pick. This vine is a member of the morning-glory family.  They share many of the same characteristics with the more familiar morning-glory, although the appearance is totally different. 

The one I have has thin, fern like leaves. I love it because it gives the plant an airy, whimsical look. It looks great growing up a pole or trellis but will grow up anything it can find.  As you can see I often us it as a ground cover and let it sprawl around on the ground.  There are other varieties that have different leaf patterns. All interesting and all pretty aggressive growers. 

The blooms may be pink to white to red. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and various other pollinators love to sip on it. 

I would classified this plant as a self-seeding annual. I have had it for about 15 years and never had to reseed. It always pops back up but not until the soil and air have warmed up, even as late as June.  I do spent a lot of time pulling and controlling but with its delicate roots it silvery easy to control.  I love to give it away, put it in new places, and play around with it in pots. Always plenty to share. 

So if you want any…give me a shout!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

    I Missed "What is it Wednesday" so for this week lets do "Think about it Thursday"   

Tell me what you know and think about this plant? 

I love this delicate little vine.....but I am not the only one,  you will see the Hummingbirds all over it!

What do you think it is?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

                                                      Bloom of the Day

                                                 Cone Flowers and Hydrangea

Even though the Cone Flowers are nearing the end, it is still a favorite of the bees. That is until the finches pick out all the thistle seed.  I love watching the birds hanging on the seed head eating great "food"



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