Thursday, December 30, 2010

What Happens Next?

Well, this is a question we all ask this time of year.  The answer is we are going to THINK!  We are going to think about what worked, what didn't, what are we going to do differently next year.

I already know, there will be no dahlias in my garden, but there will be phlox and more phlox, gaura, clematis, daylilies, lilies, grasses, sedums, certain coneflowers, the roses will be back but they had a difficult summer.

The dahlias just never took off in the heat, had to redo this hayrack mid summer.

Clematis Fireworks and Bee's Jubilee, both type 2

Phlox Blue Paradise

Gaura, impatiens and coleus

Orienpet Lily Lavon and Tiger Lily Halloween

Chicago Rosy

Coneflower Magnus with Panicum Northwind grass in background

My favorite annuals were impatiens, coleus and some petunias, like Bubblegum.  Pretty Much Picasso was a dud and should not come back again unless in another form.  My Dura Cage was a failure, breaking and falling over when the tomatoes became large.  The metal color coated cages from Gardeners Supply held up as usual.

Supertunia Bubblegum

Pretty Much Picasso just never did fill out, pulled it out mid-summer and replaced with another Supertunia.

The Dura Cage is in the middle and just did not hold up as the Beefsteak tomato grew taller.

The ferns, hostas, astilbies, solomon's seal all did great in the heat this year.  My dianthus Firewitch did not.  The Gailldaria did great but it grew totally out of bounds on the south side of my house, I had to move it.

Astilbe Maggie Daley

Hosta Frances Williams

Japanese Painted Fern, Heucheras and impatiens

Gailldaria Arizona Sun

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Seed Starting

My husband decided to get rid of my shop lights that I hadn't used in many years.  I had two forty-eight inch lights that I hung on chains above a long bench in my old old home and my last home.  For many years I started seeds in my basement under these lights, veggies, geraniums, impatiens, petunias, salvia, etc.  I had great fun every year scanning the catalogs and choosing unusual seeds for plants I could not find at the nurseries.

I had a routine, watering each day before I went to work and raising the lights as the plants grew a little higher.  It is important to keep the lights low in the beginning, almost down to the soil, so that they stay short and fat, not tall and spindly. 

This is a nice one with plenty of planting space for me, but it is quite long and I am not sure it will fit in the space I have.

Well, guess what, I have developed a new passion for wanting to grow seeds again, but in a more high tech manner.  While teaching, I used a tiered plant growing system which worked very well with the trays and timer and the ability to move the trays up and down - no chains.

This would probably be the most practical for the space I have.

I think this will be my after Christmas present because they are quite expensive.  Stay tuned, Gardener's Supply has free shipping so this may be my choice.  I just don't know whether to order the one, two or three tier system!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Around The Christmas Garden

The paperwhites are lovely this year.  I did have to hold them in the garage for a few days to suspend full bloom.

Fresh white pine worked in amongst the faux garland, fresh flowers in florist tubes on both sides.

When the lower leaves begin to fall from the poinsettias work in some fresh evergreen cuttings to fill in.  A local florist gave me this tip to make the plants look better for a longer period of time.

Simple arrangement of white pine and mums, McCoy pottery

Depression glass flower holder

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Containers

Ceramic and cast iron by front door

Concrete planters in front

Concrete planters by garage

Hayracks on the shed

Brown Ceramic Planter in front

I can't see much of the containers now since they are covered with snow and ice, so I am glad I have these photos to remember what they look like!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Christmas Tree Tea

I was invited to a Tea Party at the home of the only other blogger I know personally. She gave me carte blanche to photograph everything in her home!  Mary Anne is an Interior Designer but she is also an awesome gardener when weather permits.

The first tree I saw was at the entrance but I had no idea how many more were to come!

A little niche in the hallway (which had been a former closet) displayed another little lighted tree with a wonderful large lantern type enclosure for a manger scene.  The candle is battery operated so it can stay lit safely.

At the end of the hallway in this dimly lit room, I spy another little tree.  It is in the powder room sparkling with the lights on the tree and candlelight.

Another little tree in the guest bedroom.  Don't you love this chair, so unexpected amongst the white linens!

On the kitchen counter tucked away in a corner.

A beautiful gold adorned tree in the family room

Do we ever think of using our cut and pressed crystal as candle holders?  I know mine is coming out of the cabinet where nobody sees it.

This is the most elegant tea party I have every attended and I don't even drink tea!

Vintage cake plates and a fruit display befitting of the season

Mary Anne loves flowers so she had a mirrored niche built behind her sink.

Above is an area for dishes and decor

Another surprise in the formal living room with a traditional needlework pillow

Flow Blue above the greenery adorned  mantle

More trees as I get ready to leave

Well. I have worked my way back to the front door and it has been a wonderful tea party or should I say tree party.  Mary Anne is a very talented designer and I hope to get back to her home in the spring and summer to photograph her garden.  You can visit Mary Anne at

Happy Holidays to all of our fellow bloggers!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Time To Cool Things Down

Only in the world of my Ziva Paperwhite Narcissus!  As you can see they have started to bloom and certainly won't be pretty on Christmas Day.

Ziva is very fragrant and floriforus

I will have to cool them off if I want them to last through the holidays.  My plan was to put them in my attached garage where there are windows that let in some light.  However, it has been down in the single digits!

Out of the three small pots only the middle one is a little behind the other two.

It is time to insert some branches to keep them upright.  I did find out that these are sprayed birch branches, thinner than the Red Twig Dogwood.  I did find these at Home Depot but I have also seen them at some of the garden centers.

The larger container (with the eleven bulbs) is a little slower so I will probably keep this one inside a while longer.

The branches can be trimmed down to a lower height.  The flower stems are pretty flexible and can be gently wrapped around the thin branches.

I do have a storage area in my basement that is above freezing, but if I put them in there I will have to leave the lights on!