Friday, August 22, 2008

A little of this; A little of that!

I'll be gone, again, for a few days.
I'm leaving to visit my parents in north central Iowa (Clear Lake) from Monday through Thursday.
I won't begin tutoring again until September 2, so this is a good time to leave!

Hate to leave my garden, but I've been working pretty hard lately.

Here's "what's happening" around here, right now.

On Tuesday morning, a couple of my neighbor friends came over to make birdbaths... yes, I'm at it again! :-) Anyway, a total of five birdbaths and six stepping stones were created. This morning (Friday) was the unveiling!

This little fellow's "companion" was given away before a photo was taken. He's pretty cute... a nice smaller size.

This is a little "before" and "after."

Two of my neighbor friends created their first birdbaths.
The one on the left is "traditional," while the second one had no plastic wrap between the leaf and the sand, so the concrete that went outside the leaf had sand stuck to it. Actually, it really turned out neat! ;-)

I know IVG has found something he likes a lot better than impatiens, but how can you beat the colorful display out front??? I planted a few impatien plants, but most of these came up from seed (they reseeded, I didn't plant them!). They're getting a lot more sunlight, now that we're missing the front tree, but they're still doing well. There's Sweet Flag variegated iris to the extreme left, a sedum that I don't know, Corydalis flexuosa "Blackberry Wine" that is a new planting this year, and Stonecrop Sedum "Diamond Edge."

"Diamond Edge"
This is Tricyrtis, Toad Lily, "Blue Wonder."
Again, one of the new plantings that is blooming before the established plants.
But that's A-OK in my book! ;-)

Again, we have Monarch caterpillars taking over the Ascelpias tuberosa, "Butterfly Milkweed."
Those little orange fellows on the stems are aphids. Click to see what happened last year. (See if this link takes you to both posts.)

This is the smallest of the three. This makes me smile!

You might remember Stonecrop Sedum "Purple Emperor" from an earlier post as well. He made quite an impression on several people... here's the post where you'll catch a couple of glimpses of him. He's in full bloom right now. He makes quite the commanding statement. :-)

This is the crowned prince of the stonecrop sedum collection, I think. He's called "Pink Chablis," with variegated foliage... some even begins growing pure white. Anyway, these two flowerheads are from the same plant. Scroll down to photo three.

Of course, I really, really like Stonecrop Sedum "Matrona," also. She's the matriarch in this bed. She gets pretty tall with an strong presence. She doesn't show off quite as much as Purple Emperor (you can see him back there), but I have a feeling she runs the show! ;-)

Stonecrop Sedum "Autumn Joy" is also back there... right next to "Purple Emperor." She's not blooming quite yet. She takes her time...

These are non-hardy tuberoses that my mom gave me last Fall. They're in a good-sized pot. They are multiplying, so I hope to share a few next Spring. They're also very fragrant. :-)

Here's my platycondon "Balloon Flower" (double white) in its new home. She now resides in a raised bed. I know she'll be much happier here. :-) She still lists to the left (hopefully this will be remedied next year). You might remember when she used to call to me... check this post, about halfway down.

My new hosta, "Alligator Shoes" has taken the balloon flower's place next to the compost pile.

Last, but not least, Check It Out!! I believe we'll have our first ripe tomato tomorrow!
(We haven't had produce since we moved here!!! Except for wimpy rhubarb, parsley and chives.) I picked (probably our only) a green pepper yesterday! Fresh Salsa!!! :-)

This is definitely not shady,
but I am! ;-)


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Shady,
Things are looking great over your way, and I just recently picked my first 4 tomatoes, soon to become BLT fodder, if not devoured as is. Our peppers (as I've complained at my place) are still pathetic, though we've gotten one Cherry Bomb and Bulgarian Carrot pepper so far.

Now, for the other stuff ... I have to get Purple Emperor, and you've pretty much sold me on Matrona as well. Those are great sedums, and I hate to admit, the ubiquity of Autumn Joy is what's kept us from planting it here. Though the ones we put in for our neighbor across the street have done quite well, and we enjoy them from afar.

I've got a Tricyrtis up at my place now too... think you have the same one, 'Gilt Edge.' Our others are revving up for their September show as I type....

We're holding off on the birdbath casting until we have enough big Castor leaves to work with, but Fernymoss is antsy to do one, lol.

Tomorrow (promise), we're going to get 3-4 pots of Monarda dug for you to pick up on your way back home on Thursday. So get ready for some more planting next weekend! I also found a small Rue plant you can have if you want it. I should have some Eryringium (Sea Holly) seeds for you then too....

Maybe we'll have surprise lilies by then, but don't hold your breath.

Shady Gardener said...

IVG, I planted three pepper plants. Only ONE pepper grew! ha. If you want both sedums, I'll start them for you! They root very easily, just by picking a "branch." I also have two tiny Matrona plants (about 2" tall) that are growing.

Your rue was a lot different from mine. Yes, I'd like to have your seedling. And if you have Sea Holly seeds to spare, I'd take those, too. I feel like I've won a spree at a nursery! ;-)

Want to see more bird bath photos? Check out my newest posting at "The Grandkids" (my trip to Michigan).

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Shady,
Whenever you get to those sedums, I'd love to have both, though we'll have to scope out the right places for them, but we have such spaces.

I almost dug up that little Rue today, but will get to it before you come by this week. We didn't get to the Monarda yet, but will have 3-4 pots for you when you get here! Today was big weeding and Zebrina Mallow severe thinning around here! (See my posts for details.)

Fernymoss says that according to legend and lore, having a Rue plant near the entrance of your house is a warning to "bad types" wanting to gain entrance. I didn't know that, but that's just another one of his herbal lore stories.

I was looking at the Sea Holly plants today and I can give you a bunch of seed that is bound to produce at least a few plants. It's such a great plant but I've learned you have to remind it of its space over time, but I'm a softie where it's concerned. (As you know from previous posts.)

BTW, Fernymoss found a Monarch caterpillar in the Woodland Garden today, though I haven't got the photo up yet, but they're here too!

Anonymous said...

Shady ~ Enjoyed your nice long post and attendant photos! What a great birdbath project. Your sedums are handsome, as is the Tricyrtis.

I clicked on your link to last summer's article, where I read about the aphids and lingered long enough to read about the squirrels and the hickory nuts.

And those are fine looking tomatoes... Deb

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Deb! I can't take much credit for the shape things are in... we had so much rain around here until August, that I had no worries whatsoever!

Second tomato will be picked today. "See you" Thursday. :-)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

You are on your way to becoming (if you aren't already) a Sedum collector. You have such a great selection of them. I've never seen 'Diamond Edge' or 'Pink Chablis.' The both look wonderful. Most of my Sedums are now in bloom too. Is Tricyrtis 'Blue Wonder' actually blue, or is it called that because it's a wonder if you see any blue in it? ;^)

Gail said...


You have been very busy! The birdbaths and stepping stones are wonderful; I love garden crafts, especially when made with concrete like materials!

There is a great deal going on in the garden...the sedums are beautiful. Frances of Faire Gardens gave me Matrona when she visited! I have Autumn Joy but find it less than wonderful.

Have a god trip and be safe out there!


Rosemary said...

love your pictures and I will be looking for some of the stonecrop you highlighted.

Shady Gardener said...

MMD, According to all the information I've ready anywhere (!), Blue Wonder is supposed to be blue. Think I'll be doing a follow-up on that plant before long. But I want to see what the others do, just to make sure I didn't switch tags inadvertently! I do have a pretty good collection of sedum plants, both the "tall" and the groundcovers. There are Very Many out there, though! :-)

Gail, Hi there! I saw that you'd received Matrona. (congrats!) ;-)
Actually, quite a number of years ago "Autumn Joy" had beautiful pink blossoms. Both my mom and I have that variety. Later on, A.J. came to have brownish (ugly, in my opinion) blossoms. It's odd.

I'd encourage you as well to check out my trip to Michigan on my "The Grandkids" blog. We made a super birdbath with a squash leaf. I so wish the original color of the leaf could have been imprinted in the concrete! (I can't bring myself to paint the concrete, knowing that at some time in the future it would probably be in terrible shape).

Rosemary, I'm glad I provided some inspiration. I am inspired every time I visited other garden blogs!! :-)

Eve said...

If you neightbor has a prettier garden than yours, it must be something. I like your birdbaths. I really want to get into that but I think I will wait and do it in the so called Winter we have.

That is a lovely toamto. I have replanted and am waiting for my second crop to get some green tomatoes. We ate the ripe ones from the first crop and I never got my green fried tomatoes..

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Eve, Thanks for the compliment. Actually, nearly all my neighbors have great gardens... and each is completely different from the other. :-)

You Can make birdbaths in the winter. We cannot. ha.

Do you have a good recipe for fried green tomatoes?

Kylee said...

Okay, I've just GOT to get me some tuberoses!!