Sunday, May 31, 2009

Where do YOU sit?

I treasure Saturday mornings when I don't have to do anything specific, or be anywhere. Unless it is really cold-I always have my coffee outside. Yesterday morning was one of those wonderful times. Hubby left early to go play golf, and I headed out the patio door. As I sat there looking around my yard, I thought of Nola and her new outdoor room; and I thought of Balisha and her front porch; and I thought of Brenda and her new patio that is being built. I wondered if they were enjoying their coffee outside on this beautiful morning. One thought led to another..and it got me to thinking...where does everyone sit and enjoy their garden?
I sometimes sit in this old red chair. Hubby sits in this chair quite a bit. It's so old and rusty-I know if chairs could talk, it would have lots of good stories to tell.
I don't sit here very often-sometimes if we have company, but this chair is just cute and seems to be happy on the flagstone patio.
Sometimes I sit here on the wicker furniture. It is old and the paint is peeling--which makes me love it even more! There is a ceiling fan that gives a little air circulation when it's hot, but most of the time I sit here when it's raining. This area is covered and it's heavenly to sit with a cup of tea and watch it rain.
This is where you find me most of the the swing. I usually end my day here, listening to the pond and relaxing. On the weekends, I might sit here in the morning and watch the sun come up over the house. At night I sit here and watch the stars come out. This is without a doubt my favorite place to be.
But this Saturday morning I sit here, on the patio, pond side. I have my coffee and I am making a list of what gardening chores I have for the day. This is a great place to can see the beds along the walkway and the wildflower garden; you can see the bird feeders; you can watch the fish play; and on nice evenings we have dinner here.
I have been an outdoor person my entire life. I often come home at noon and eat lunch outside. I walk out back early every morning to enjoy the freshness of a new day. I end every evening outside thanking God for all this beauty He has created. We are all so very blessed!
So..where do YOU sit??
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."
John Muir

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Shade Garden

A few months ago I mentioned the flower bed that is on the left side of the backyard. It's in shade, and I was looking for a plan. The clay soil was hard to work with-I just didn't know what to do. This is what it looked like in February.
This is what it looks like today. I added sand to try and amend some of that clay (thanks for the suggestion Tina!) and I really do think that helped quite a bit. I didn't have problems digging holes like before. I planted 3 coral bells earlier in the spring. Right now they are doing great--I just worry about what will happen when it gets hot.

The hostas came back and are beautiful! I moved some from the sunny side of this bed last year. I love hostas-they are so perfect for shade. I also planted 2 artemisia. I know they are more sun plants, but I am hoping the filtered sun that comes through might be enough. There is a small turk's cap that you can barely see behind the rock. I had it last year and was so happy to see it come back. It grows more and more everyday.
As an experiment, I put a few begonias around the plants. They are doing fantastic, so I am thinking of buying more to fill in the holes. As you can see, there are some container plants in the background. I already had these and liked them up against the fence, so left them there. I also planted a small boxwood that I am hoping will grow and give this bed some height.
I still have quite a bit to do in this bed, but I am pretty pleased with the way it is coming along so far. I would like to try and find more shade perennials-maybe this weekend. Of course, you know how it is--we are never really "done" are we? Gardening is never over, it's usually just beginning no matter how far we have come--and I absolutely love that!!
"A gardener's work is never at an end; it begins with the year, and continues to the next."
John Evelyn

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - It's a Forget-Me-Not!!!

Thanks everyone- Mother couldn't have been more excited to find out what this was!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Welcome to Mother's Garden

It has been a busy weekend in the garden for me. I took the day off last Friday to spend working in my Mother's garden. My Mother is amazing..she is 79 years "young" and works in her yard just about everyday. But I really like to go over and help her with things in the spring and fall. Friday was the day to clean out beds and plant new flowers.
We started in the front. I cleaned out the area around her bird bath leaving the purple heart where it was, and trimming the dusty miller back.
This is a close up of what she picked out to put in front of the birdbath.
For Mother's Day I got her these hanging baskets that look really good hanging in front of this window.
This is a mixed planter we found at one of the garden centers we went to on Friday morning.
This scaveola
"Fan Flower" is one of Mother's very favorite plants. We get her one every spring, but I think the one we found this year is the prettiest she has ever had!
We always get several pentas for her front flower bed. This year she got some for the backyard too. is Mother's backyard. This long flower bed in front of the lawn has housed many plants. At one time it was the most beautiful rose garden. Now it is home to perennials. I did not do anything here-Mother takes care of this bed all by herself. I think this is her favorite, although she loves all her areas.
And now..
Mother asks for your help. Several years ago, a bird left her a gift. We have no idea what it is, but it is a very special plant as it reappears every spring. It is the most beautiful "cornflower" blue. This year she thought it was not going to come back..but not only did it come back in the original container.. also started growing in her perennial bed right beside the California poppies! Mother would love to know what this is. I thought it was a wild phlox, but she doesn't think so. So, what is this? I bet someone out there knows!

Mother has taught me so much about gardening through out the years. It is really nice to be able to help her now..and sometimes add a tip or two of my own!

"I'm still devoted to the garden..although an old man, I am but a young gardener."
Thomas Jefferson

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Garden Tour

After such a dreary rainy Saturday, Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day. It was sunny and nice and cool--perfect for an afternoon in the garden. After church Mother and I set out on the White Rock East Garden Tour . The tour included Casa Linda Estates, Forest Hills, and Little Forest Hills. These areas go from very big to very small. There was something for everyone to enjoy. And, judging by the crowds-it was a big hit!
The first house we went to had a backyard shaded by huge trees. It was so serene.
The homeowner had a real talent when it came to whimsy in the garden as you can see.
The Potting Shed from the outside..
..and looking in.
She displayed her old dishes in really unique ways!
This was one of the cutest houses on the tour. Hubby and I have driven by this house many times because I am so in love with it, so you imagine my delight to find it on the tour this year.
You could find something to see in all the corners. Just precious!!
The largest home we went to had the most beautiful hydrangeas.
And a really colorful fenced in flower/
vegetable garden.
Beautiful flowers!
She had several clematis vines..
..and an outdoor kitchen that was to die for!

One of the neatest yards on the tour was this one. The entire back yard had raised beds with all kind of veggies. I think they could feed the entire neighborhood with all the things they were growing! And everything looked so healthy!
Great composting going on here. They also have chickens, but the chicks would not cooperate for me to take their picture!
An unusual garden had a really neat dry creek bed,
and a great place to just sit and chill!
I'm not even sure how to describe the last home we went to see. It was a small house on a wooded lot. As we walked up the driveway to a carport, we notice a sign that said "Welcome to Camp." Hum... I wondered what this yard was going to bring us. This is a picture of the front porch. It looked like a porch from an old lodge.
As we walked on we can to this water garden. Amazing!!!!
We turned the corner which took us to the back yard...and saw 2 little cabins that stood away from the main house. How would you like to sit on this porch at night listening to the water from the pond right in front? This is called The Lake House. There is also a Sleeping Porch and an outdoor shower. Unbelievable. The cabins were decorated like a camp house with lots of fishing gear. The nice lady who is the homeowner was there and even let us walk into the main house, which although small is amazing as well. It was decorated in western memorabilia. There were blankets, cowboy boots, hats and even a saddle in the corner. I realize this is not every one's cup of tea, but this gal from Texas who loves camping and fishing was in heaven. I meant to take more pictures, but I was so overwhelmed I just forgot! WOW!!
Of course, what garden tour would be complete without a plant sale. There were not a lot of plants left when we got there, but I did find a Mexican Marigold and Aloe plant to take home with me.
The Garden Club sponsors this garden tour every year and they do a fantastic job! I appreciate all the hard work that went into making this such a success.
Aren't gardeners just the most wonderful people in the world!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Rainy Saturday

Here are two reasons it does not need to rain all day and keep me inside!

I was planning on flower shopping and planting today, but instead...I baked!

Chocolate chip cookies...
...and Blackberry Cobbler.

No new flowers...
but YUM!!

Hope you had a good Saturday!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tiny Blooms

Isn't it funny how we all are so impressed with big, showy blooms. But if we look around, there are so many plants that have tiny little blooms that we might not ever notice. The flowers on this Blackfoot Daisy are small, but together this makes a pretty good show. Would you notice only one little flower though?
Same thing with this purslane. The flowers are small. You might not pay much attention to just one, but put them all together and WOW!

It's kind of a shame the tiny little blooms don't get much attention--but they should. They may not be spectacular large flowers..but instead they are delicate and sweet.
Look at the pretty pink flowers coming from the coral bells.
I have no idea what this is--I think a bird left me a treat. It almost looks like a tiny sweet pea. It gave me such a surprise to walk by this bed of all green and see this cute little purple flower. (maybe a weed, but I tend to like some weeds!) :)
And of course the flowers from wandering jew and purple heart are so tiny, but really pretty. I tried and tried, but my camera just could not capture the purple of these flowers.

I can't remember what type of plant this is-and I should because I buy one every year to put by the pond, but look at the tiny white flowers. They make this ordinary green ivy look so pretty.
I buy underwater grass for the pond-the fish like to hide in it and I like the look it gives. What I didn't know until last year, is that if it gets enough sun, it blooms! Look how cute these little white flowers are. Look closely, do you see the big water spider?
When several of these flowers are blooming at the same time, it really adds a nice touch to the pond.
The ground cover between the stepping stones in back never fails to delight me with their tiny, tiny blue flowers. They bloomed all summer last year.
And, my favorite
"tiny bloom"--the tiny, tiny white flowers from this sedum. I bought this plant last year at a neighbor-
hood plant sale. I have no idea what it is (Cindee, a little help please), but it remains one of my favorite plants.
When my youngest son was a little boy in pre-school, he learned a song called "Good Things Come in Little Packages..." I think we can say that about some of our plants that don't offer a huge, showy flower, but instead give us a quiet, peaceful little bloom. Good things do come in little packages!
What is your favorite "tiny bloom?"