Wednesday, April 30, 2014

They Can Stand Alone.......

The phrase they can stand alone, meaning one blossom is all that's needed to make a statement..............

Gaura (whirling butterfly) 

You might be thinking, not another garden related post!  Where are the other patches of your Crazy Quilt Life?  It's just that we are having one of the best Springs here that I can remember, especially for gardening. My life has been mostly outdoors and have taken tons of pictures.  This post is heavy with pictures (as usual) and can almost qualify for "Wordless Wednesday".  I will soon be living the inside air-conditioning life with other subjects to share.

Rose - Pearl 'D Ore 

Holly Hock 
I have just this one plant and it is in a pot. It is taller than I am but it has been opening a few buds at a time for weeks.

Tropical Blue Pea Vine
This is the first time that this plant survived through the winter with green foliage. It usually has to make a new start from its roots.


Peace Lily




Blue Salvia
This one is basically just a bud, not opened fully.

Florida Dogwood/Mock Orange
"I look upon the pleasure which we take in a garden as one of the most innocent delights in human life."
Joseph Addison
And I say, Amen.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Garden Structure/Shapes.........

.......Do you ever take time just to really see and concentrate on the individual design shapes in a garden.  It is one of my favorite things to notice, probably as much or more than color.......

A lot of neat shapes to look at in this picture. Notice the two little buds on this Gloriosa Lily. Seeing those is a thrill to me because I know what comes next and will be showing that to you in another post soon. I have kept this plant alive but have not seen many blossoms. Our sun is too much for it.

Do you see how the lily has the Little John Azalea by the neck! The lily needs something to wrap its tendrils around and it is not particular. It pays for other plants not to get too close! I think we had better move along.....

Another big thrill for me was when I saw the first leaf of this Caladium emerging from it's winter home down in the earth. I had forgotten that I had planted one here. The spider plant and This particular Caladium makes a great combination. The shield shaped leaves add a good contrast.

I have a very large clump of Peace Lily sending up lots of their unusually shaped blooms.

If you are selective you can get away with quite a few man-made garden structures. There is a "knack" to choice and placement that makes all the difference in looking like it belongs or looking like a garage sale about to happen.

Interesting chair parts, tree and statue.

Looking through the "hair" of the Maidenhair fern gives Little Justin a different look.

The design and coloration of this Chameleon makes him stand out from the average one in my garden.

This looks like a hose guide but because it is up on a long rod it looks good situated within a Florida Anise bush.

Filtered sun shinning on the chair and the combination of the cushion pattern, ironwork and the fern caught my eye. That's a chicken shaped pitcher underneath.

A pruned rose cane with an air plant attached to it was worthy of a photograph, I thought. I have enough pictures that I could go on and on with this but it is probably time to bring this one to a close. There is very little color in the post except the neutrals of green, brown and white. I value them just as much as any of the other colors that stands out in gardens.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fresh Cuts......

.......The fresh cuts for today are mostly herbs - one of my favorite plant groups. Not only are they so good to use in food dishes, they can make pretty bouquets too......

Using a small crockery jar for the container, I cut the herbs fairly short. With a smaller arrangement the plate needed to be smaller than the one on the first "fresh cut" post. Somehow a little blue bird found it's way into the mix. It is a little unusual with a turned down tail.

The little jar is part of a set of four and came with cork stoppers. I couldn't find the other three or the stopper for this one. I know they are in the horde of dishes, etc. in storage.

Not only do these plants make pretty arrangements most have wonderful fragrances. You are seeing some of the last dill for this season.. It is a cool weather herb here. Also in the bouquet are two chive blossoms, a sprig of rosemary, parsley and arugula flowers.

He looks more baby blue in person.

What makes an herb an herb? " If you can cook with it; soothe a burn or scratch with it; make a tea from it; soak in the tub with it; perfume your sheets with it; kill a bug with it.............

.........make a  potpourri, sachet, wreath, or something else good-smelling with it; weave, dye or spin something with it; scour pots or wash with it; worm your pet with it; formulate oils and lotions with it; or make a big mess involving a glue-gun, wheat stalks and raffia with it then it might be an herb."

Monday, April 21, 2014

Little Rock Garden......

Yes, it's time to get back out to the garden. This time, to my refurbished rock garden.........

This little area could also be called My Memory Garden. Each rock and brick and a couple of other things represent a person and/or place. Because I have done it in other posts, I won't go over those individually except for one thing.

The plants have grown enough since some of the pictures were made to fill in most of the soil.

I can't remember whether it was on Facebook or a blog post that I showed  the three large rocks. They are my "Joanne" rocks because my friend was here and went to Pebble Junction with me to help select, load, unload and place them in their very best positions.

I love the addition of those rocks. This picture shows how close the area is to the sidewalk and street and is just to the left of the driveway. 

Now, the following is close-ups of all the plants, etc.......

African Daisy and Ajuga have been growing and blooming great.

This yellow succulent is bringing brightness to the look.

I love Diamond Frost, Euphorbia with it's continuous , delicate blooms.

It was amusing to me that one of my male neighbors mentioned the changing of this area saying, "the chicken moved out of the pot, three big rocks appeared, and the Nome appeared in the tree trunk"

The plant in the pot in the middle will get put into the ground sometime this week. I am going to let it fight it out with the succulents for space. There is no room for anything more. Some replacing might be needed later on but no additions.

This doesn't come close to showing the bright color of the blooms. I find blue to be the most difficult color to capture in photographs.

This big pot with the snapdragon has done so well this spring. Will soon need to replace the snapdragon with something else that can tolerate our heat - one of the biggest problems in the summer front yard. This area only gets the morning sun or that plant would already be gone.

Love it! Love it! Love it!

You have had glimpses of the old tree trunk in other pictures. It has some interesting root structure at the base.  Just a perfect place for this Nome to take his rest time in his big leaf. He is only about six inches in size but his red pants make it hard to miss him.

How could anyone not love him? I have to admit that I have been hoping someone passing by doesn't love him enough to take him.  From inside the house, I saw a mom and dad allow a little boy to walk off with something he picked up from the front yard.  How could parents not teach the wrongness of that!!

Adding the rocks and just doing some good weeding, edging etc. has made a big difference to the total appearance of the area.  I am bound and determined to keep it looking it's best.

Thank you so much for visiting today! 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fun With Birds #2

I hope you saw Fun With Birds #1. Two posts before this one. Now I want to show a few more birds I have recently been watching and having fun with.

This was from an earlier post and I know some of you remember seeing the wrens building their nest in this can.

The building ended and mama was seen every day sitting in the nest. I didn't get a good picture of her eggs but was able to see two.

After the babies hatched I could see four, very crowded in the small nest.

A few weeks went by and I watched the parents bringing worms to feed their little ones. And finally, the babies were looking pretty much like the parents and two weeks ago I looked into an empty nest.  I was really hoping to be watching to see them leave but, missed that big event.

This guy and others like him (as many as twelve at a time) have been visiting my yard almost daily  for months.

They have been entertaining and have caused no trouble in the garden.

But, now I know why this little birdbath seemed to get empty so often!

Then one day I saw this one on my neighbor's housetop.

What a show he was putting on up there.

White Ibis are a regular sight in the neighborhood, too. They mostly travel in groups up and down the streets looking for food. 

Very commonplace but still a nice treat and fun to see.

These are often seen soaring so gracefully high in the sky but very seldom down low enough to get a picture. 

It was a real treat to look up in an extremely large and tall Cypress tree in my backdoor neighbor's yard and see three of them - Kites.  Easy to identify when you see their split tail.

They are beautiful and quite large. These are way up there and I was pleased to get some clear photo's with the camera zoomed as far as it would go.

Preening or bashful.

I see way more than I would rather see of hawks. This one is bigger than most. I usually see red shouldered hawks and they are a bit slimmer than some types. He has an interesting pose with one leg hanging down.

Now, those of you that saw my last post remember a picture of this? But, look close, there is something different now.

I went out the front door today and a wren flew across from this right in front of me. This couple is much faster with the building. The ones in the can took weeks. This nest looks almost finished, since yesterday.

A new family of Carolina wrens will be happening here! I will have to decide, do I leave the Easter eggs until the babies come and go, long after Easter? I will show an update later.