Saturday, June 30, 2007

Peach beauty for GREEN THUMB SUNDAY

I hope the daylily show will not be too brief. This peach colored daylily is one of my favorites. I have an lovely strong red colored one, but it looks garish in the picture I took. Hard to believe it is the first of July already!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Volunteers in the garden

Last year and this, we have enjoyed a few 'bonus' plants in our vegetable garden. Last year we had (too many) butternut squash, yellow pear tomatoes, cantaloupe, and the everpresent sunflowers. This year the sunflowers are back, but I have pulled almost all the tomato and squash plants and thrown them in the compost pile as I've been weeding.
The sunflowers are a favorite bonus - this one is over 6 feet tall, and stands sentinel in the middle of the garden. A few years ago my husband saw a small sunflower plant in the garden, and kindly asked me if he could weed it out. 'No,' I said, 'it's a sunflower! Let it grow!' DH shook his head and said, 'I don't think it is, I think it is a weed.' Months later, and when the stem had grown into a two-inch diameter trunk, I saw that he was right! It was some kind of weed (with sunflower leaves! I swear!) with thorns, absolutely nasty, and not a flower in sight. I couldn't pull it out myself, so had to ask for his help and admit that he was right.

This picture shows some of the volunteers that came up in last year's compost pile's spot: tomatillos, tomatoes, and dill, I think. It is a big crowded mess, but I will see what I get out of it.
Do you have any volunteer plants this year?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Browsing around the web

I was looking at other blogs, and Veggie Mama mentioned mine, so I thought I'd make a short list of some of my favorite gardening blogs (which seems to be growing all the time):
Veggie Mama at

Sweet Home and Garden Chicago at

Our Little Acre at

Ilona's Garden Journal at

In a Garden at

The Compulsive Gardener at

Mrs Green Thumb Jean at

check them out if you haven't already found them on your own -

Thursday, June 21, 2007

mystery plant, revisited

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of a plant that looked like a rose plant, but had some kind of funky fluff instead of rose blooms on it. Yesterday, as I was deadheading in the yard, I noticed this bloom on my otherwise 'normal' two-tone red/orange rose. It is about 8 feet away from the mystery plant. You can see the under part of the flower, the sepal area, is the same as the 'fluff' of the mystery plant.
I am speculating that my mystery plant is the rootstock of this red/orange rose, which has traveled a few feet and popped up in a new spot. Any other speculations?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Free plants!

Well, these are not actually for me, my Edgy daughter (pretend that links to her, ok?)and spouse bought some Aegopodium (Bishop's Weed) to fill in a garden bed. Then the 4 year old and friend had a mud party and pulled up a lot of it. They replanted it, and some of it is coming back (this is one tough plant!). I sent them some from my yard yesterday, but today I was walking home, and saw my neighbor weeding hers out. So I asked for it, and here it is, the deal of the day. You can't beat free plants, I always say.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Two more silver faves for Green Thumb Sunday

The names, the names! I can't remember the names of these plants! They are both great for dry, sunny spots, the one on the left is ??? ack, I can't remember! The one on the right is a sage, I think it is called pussy toes ?

Friday, June 15, 2007

California Poppies

We have had orange CA poppies that wander around our yard for years. They are fun, pretty, and require no care.

Then this spring, I saw a package of 'Creamsicle' CA poppies at good old Wal-mart. I started the seeds in little peat pots, and planted them out a few weeks ago (in the pots, they don't transplant well). I like white flowers, too, and the first one bloomed today. I am hoping these will 'weed around' the yard like the orange (and yellow) ones do ! A small success in my garden.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

grey beauty

I have developed a fondness for grey foliage. This is Powis Castle Artemesia with some lavendar, a nice combination, I think.

This picture shows an artemesia that volunteers around my garden, I can count on it to use for filler for vases in the house. It looks good with almost everything (not yellow!) - I love it with pink roses. I believe it is Silver King artemesia, but I could be wrong.

This is some lamb's ear, a friend gave me a start. I had some Silver Brocade Artemesia at one point, but it has died off, so maybe I'll get some more. Not a fan of the Silver mound variety, it tends to get a hole in the center as the season progresses.
Anyone else out there love the greys? I have a few others I'll post later!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Green Thumb Sunday - name this plant!

Well, I thought this was a volunteer wild rose, until it 'bloomed'. Any guesses? You can see the leaves and structure make it look like a rose???????

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

the thrill of compost

My DH got a lawn business to drop off this load of grass clippings Saturday. It is already looking like a big ol' mess, but I have been hauling wheelbarrow loads full back to the compost pile. Last year's compost pile has finally been 'sifted' and moved, and now with this mountain of grass clippings, I can mix it in with the bags and bags of leaves I acquired last fall to make a perfect mixture of compostable fun!

I really do enjoy moving my compost, layering it, watering it, using it. I have been known to chortle and rub my hands as I look at my lovely pile of stuff. Why does this make me so happy? Most people look at grass clippings and leaves as something to send off to the dump - I see 'black gold' ! The fact that the materials are free and the end result is so valuable appeals to my thrifty side. It just takes some time, water, and tending and voila! Free compost, great for planting new plants, prepping a garden bed, enriching an existing perennial bed.. good for just about anything, really! Ok, maybe an exaggeration, but not much of one.

My compost pile is not in the ideal spot, it is under some tall Austrian pines at the back of our yard. I don't keep it watered as I could, and it is a slow, cool pile, but one thing about compost, it eventually happens whether you do everything perfectly or not. You can see in this picture the stuff on the right is last year's pile, turned from the left side, and the growing pile of grass clippings and leaves on the left.
Now if my back will just hold out while I get all this stuff layered in.........

Monday, June 04, 2007

rose versus evergreen

We have lived in this home for almost 6 years. Out my back window (over my kitchen sink) is a lovely view of this beautiful bicolor red/orange rose.

Over time, the tree has crowded the rose to the point that something has got to go. We've decided to get rid of the tree, which is too bad, it is a wonderful tree, but has gotten out of proportion to the bed it is in. Maybe then the rose won't have to say 'scuse me' all summer long.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Another Iris for Green Thumb Sunday

Well, this one is another unidentified iris, a nice coral pink with tangerine beard. Did I tell you I have some free irises coming soon, with new colors?????? Iris fun never ends, you see...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sally Holmes rose

Well, the irises are almost done, I am very sad about this, but it is great to have the roses starting to bloom. I planted this climber in a spot by a small curved stairway and fence, but it hasn't started climbing on the fence yet. It is a pretty little thing, though.