Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Garden is Slowly Coming Alive

My two azeala bushes are blooming:

 Here is a closeup of one flower:
 They are so lovely, but in my garden the bush does not get very large.  I envy all of you gardeners who post gorgeous pics of  your HUGE  azeala bushes while I am left to enjoy my puny little specimens!

I cut back my butterfly bush last weekend.  I know a lot of people in my zone (5) wonder what to do with butterfly bushes.  I cut mine down in May.  They grow fast and will reach the top of my deck railing by August.

It has been a while since I have shown you my Colwater Creek purchases (I am too embarrassed to show you everything I buy :) )

A few weeks ago I purchased this top:

Don't you just love the crocheted detail?   I wore this last weekend  and I really liked how it looked paired with  jeans and a denim jacket. It washed nicely, too. I used the delicate cycle and hung it to dry. 

I also bought a pair of Naturalizer wedge sandals that I have not worn yet.
I think they will be great with my white summer jackets. I hope they are comfortable.
I am hoping for a nice day today. It's already 53 degrees and its only 5:30 a.m. Hoping to see mid 70's today.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Work-Filled Memorial Day

I was at my paid job at 6:15 AM today.  I spent about three hours working and left at about 9:30 a.m.  Then the physical work began!

I did a lot of weed digging today -- mostly digging up grass with seeds heads in the perennial gardens  and lychnis coronaria that self sowed  in the grass in my side yard.  

My Dear Husband worked his butt off, too.  When I came home from work, he already had 3/4 of the deck floor stained.  Later he washed my car and  (grudgingly) trimmed some limbs from the pine tree next to my driveway.   I think he hauled off about three wheelbarrow loads.
He is a real worker...I like that...even if he does sometimes complain about it! :)

After all the work was done, I took a few photos of what is blooming on Memorial Day 2013.  I have two cherry trees in the back rockwall garden that are looking their best right now:

This is the tallest one (it gets the most sun).
Same tree looking towards my Arbor Gardens (DH
 has done a great job on the grass this spring):

Tulips under the cherry tree:
 Tulips in the front yard yew hedge border looking toward the deck DH just finished staining:
See the urn on your left?

I planted it a week ago and we have had heavy frost almost every night since then!  Dear Sweet Husband has been going out every night and putting a black plastic garbage bag over the urns (there are 2 of them) to protect these warm-weather loving coleus:

The nearly black one is called 'Dark Star'.  I don't know the name of the red/green sawtooth-border coleus.  I bought it at a grocery store and there was no label.  I LUV them both! 

They should be perfect with the big striped leaves of the Tropicannas I planted behind them. This year I am not planting any other flowers with the Trops--just gorgeous foliage--if you look closely, you can see the 'fireworks' fountain grass with its pinkish/purple striped blades. 

Most of you know that I also plant 4 containers this size at work.  I like to plant them very similar to these.  At home I plant my Tropicannas that I save from year to  year.  At work I want the planting to look good from day 1, so I try to purchase Trops, so I don't have to wait 2 months for a flower.  Some years I can't find them in my small town, so I use my own and wait for the flowers.  This year I was lucky and found some to use in my work containers.  I have been holding them in my garage for the past two weeks because it has been too cold to do the work containers.  I held one up to my urns see how the Tropicanna leaves will look with my foliage:

Oh, Yea--luvin' it! 

Unfortunately my Tropicannas look like this right now:
It will be weeks before I get the huge striped leaves.....patience is a virtue....and it saves me about $17 a  plant....which is what I paid for the ones I bought for the work planters.

Please spend a moment today to remember those who gave the utmost for our freedom.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tea Pot Flower Bouquets

I have been getting a lot of use from this old English tea pot with a cosy that my mom gave me last year.  The pot is full of hairline cracks, so cannot be used for tea. 

I removed the top (the cosy) and put a glass jar inside to fill with water so I can use it for fresh flower bouquets.  During the past month, I have had three different bouquets in it.

About a week ago, DH came home with these supermarket flowers.  When the purple flowers died out, the Gerbera daisies still looked OK, so I saved them.
I went out to  my own garden and cut down some yellow tulips to add to the pink Gerberas.
 I arranged the bouquet on my aqua potting bench, then brought it inside to enjoy.
It's a very simple bouquet that goes nicely in my living room.

It has been cold and raining here for the past three days so I have not been able to do anything outside.  On Sunday I did plant three containers.  I went out to the garden and dug up my only  heuchera  Villosa 'Tiramisu'

It has not done well in the garden. I decided to try it in a container.  I am much better with container plantings than I am planting in the ground.  I can also see and enjoy it more often in a container.

I am hoping all of this rain will kick my garden into a major growth spurt.  Maybe by the weekend I will be able to get outside again.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

More Spring, spring...Glorious Spring!

Birdbath with last year's Limelight hydrangea heads:

This piece of driftwood is right in front of the Limelight hydrangea:

 Old stump behind forget-me-nots:

Frances William hosta shoots:
Have I mentioned  how much I LOVE spring flowers?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Few Spring Flowers

I do love spring flowers!  Here are two different areas with red  tulips & aqua birdhouses:


Yellow tulips and driftwood:

Grape hyacinths:

Grape hyacinths with Primrose & aqua milkcan:

 Who does not LOVE spring flowers?  I think they are my favorites!

Friday, May 17, 2013

I Finally Started Working on my Spring Garden

I took a vacation day today just so I  could begin my spring garden chores.  #1  on my list was to completely remove everything from the tiny garden under my living room window.  Last fall I took this pic and placed it in my "to do" file:

There is actually a lot more in this area than you see in this fall photo. It is FULL of Star of
Bethlehem, a lovely white spring flower, but VERY invasive. Years ago my neighbor gave me a sack full of bulbs.  Had I known that they were such invasive thugs, I would never have planted them!   They have taken over every area  I planted them in.  Today, with the help of my recently-retired husband,  I finally removed them from this area. 

Isn't this beautiful? :)

So clean! Underneath the new top soil I planted Tropicannas and yellow calla lilies--not exactly what I had noted on the first photo.  Unfortunately I did not have enough peach cannas to plant this space.  The yellow callas will bloom first and the Tropicannas will have gorgeous foliage with orange blooms in mid-August.   I am excited to see what this new planting will produce!

Just a few feet away from this area I have some yellow tulips in bloom:

It felt so good to be outside working -- even though it was only 60 degrees today.  For me that is the perfect temperature for hard physical outside work.  I dug up a lot of plants today.  My old muscles are complaining just a tad right now. :)

I will show you some other garden areas tomorrow.  I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Beautiful Sunrise Over the Bay

DH and I celebrated his recent retirement with two days in Michigan's
 upper peninsula.  I got up at 6:15 AM--just in time to capture this beautiful sunrise over the bay from my hotel room window:

What a breathtaking way to start the day!
We have had lovely weather for the past five days.  Unfortunately I have been working, so I have not been able to get out and spend much time in the garden.  I don't see where I will have any extra time for the next couple of weeks. DH does not seem to take much interest in the gardens, so I don't know what will happen with them this  year. I expect I will have to get rid of many of them. Only time will tell.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Our First Beautiful Spring Day

and it was on a Saturday! 

I have thoroughly enjoyed this day.  I spent a few hours outside raking and cutting down a few of the perennial borders.  I don't have much in bloom other than a few daffodils.

I painted the front of this birdhouse green (it was orange).  Then I cut some daffodils to make this  bouquet in an old tea pot.
I will get more enjoyment from the daffs as an inside bouquet.
I am going out now to sit on the glider on the deck and enjoy the sunshine that I have not seen since last October!
Hope you all have a great weekend!
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