Friday, January 30, 2009

Meet Clara

Is This Clara?

No, this is one of Clara's daughters.
My mom owns this violet.
Clara is the name of a violet owned by one of my mom's friends.
The violet is named after her friend's mother,
who first owned the violet.
Clara is over 30 years old!

Isn't she beautiful?

Meet Clara's granddaughter.
She's presently in the Nursery,
in my living room.

Won't it be fun to have Clara III here in my home?

As an aside:
I spent an extended weekend at with my parents
in north central Iowa a week or so ago.
This is a photo of what I saw alongside the interstate
as I drove north.

I stopped, on the way, to visit my Aunt MEA.
This is a photo of her front step.
She is thankful for nice friends and neighbors
that move the snow for her!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hurrah for Huechera and the Other Fella'

The genus Heuchera includes at least 50 species of herbaceous perennial plants in the family Saxofragaceae, all native to North America. Common names include alumroot and coral bells. There are many, many varieties that vary in leaf shape, color, and blossom. You should look them up. I don't have many varieties... but I'm always on the "lookout!" ;-)

(I have ordered two Heuchera plants for Spring 2009. 'Sashay' and 'Purple Petticoats.' Hope they do well!)

'Lime Rickey'
- deceased.
This may not return, as
I may have given it too much attention last year!
If it truly has expired, I may look for another... just because.

'Amber Waves' looked great early last Spring,
but I'm not sure it liked its location...
if it survives the Winter, I will probably move it.
This 'Amber Waves' is in a backyard location.
Obviously this was taken very early last Spring (note the Spring Beauties).
'Green Spice' in April
'Green Spice' in May

'Palace Purple'
(I have planted several of these)

And the Other Fine Fella'
(This is a cross between Heuchera and Tiarella - the foamy bells.)

This is 'Quicksilver'
This is 'Strike it Rich, Gold'
It resides in the SE woodland walk...
and it really likes it there.
There are a couple of people "out there," that seem to enjoy seeing what I've planted in my shady backyard. In that I've gleaned inspiration from so many sources (many of whom are garden bloggers!), I'm happy to tell you that these are pretty easy to grow. Most of the, though, don't care for a day of direct sunlight!

Happy list-making! :-)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Deserted Island? Ohmygoodness!

My thoughts?

"How in the World did I Get Here?"
(Photo taken from Wikipedia)
Being stranded on a deserted island would be a nightmare!
I must explain...
I don't swim in water where I can't touch the bottom,
(unless I'm wearing a bouyant life jacket!)
I don't like the idea of sharks at all,
And Deserted...
as in,
All by Myself?

If I'm to be stuck,
these three plants must be Very Soul-nourishing
(and physically nourishing, as well?)!

Plant number one... strictly soul-nourishing!
It begins "on little pasque feet." ;-)
(Pardon me, Carl Sandburg.)The Pasque Flower
'Pulsatilla vulgaris'
is one of the earliest flowering plants in my yard,
and it thrills my soul in so many ways!
Another plant that I could never do without
would be the daylily.
The Variety, the Bloom times, the Sizes and Shapes
are wonderful! Plus, when they're not blooming,
you've got a nice little green clump that
gives visual interest and texture to the surrounding plants.
But, if I were stranded...
Really Stranded...
I could eat them.
I could eat the stalks,
I could eat the leaves
and I could eat the petals.

You can read about it
in an article I discovered here.

The third plant I would probably like to take with me would be our
Viburnum burkwoodii 'Mohawk'
If you would like to see it's beauty throughout the seasons
check this link for a previous post.
If I'm truly deserted, perhaps I might draw company
through the visiting birds!

If I might be able to smuggle one more plant
onto this deserted
island, would be ...


The wide leaves might give me shade and shelter.
And somehow or other, I'd find a way to make
rhubarb pie!
I might also use one of these leaves
for catching rainwater!

I just had to join this meme by Shirl at Shirl's Gardenwatch. I've seen some great posts and would urge you to create one, too! Click on the name of her blog in the previous sentence to get the details and explore other blogger posts. :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Taste for Tiarella? (A little more Heronswood Mist)

Do you have a taste for Tiarella?

These are my Tiarella plants. I discovered them in "Taylor's 50 Best Perennials for Shade" during my winter research/reading just after we moved here in October 2002.

'Black Snowflake'

Yes, this little gem is right at the base of an oak tree.

'Heronswood Mist'

I really love the foliage on this little plant!

I've just added another couple of photos, to show the Spring to Summer progression. :-)

This picture was taken April 17

This picture was taken April 27

This picture was taken June 29

This picture was taken July 23

'Iron Butterfly'

'Neon Lights'

I planted Neon Lights during the Spring 2008.

This photo was taken from Nature Hills Nursery site..

'Pink Skyrocket'

Pink Skyrocket is one I purchased Last Winter and planted this past Spring (2008) due to huge accolades by Kylee at Our Little Acre. I'm really looking forward to our Spring 2009! :-)

This photo was taken from Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc. site.

These may be found shady areas, but they're never a shady subject! ;-)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Carol at May Dreams Gardens
invites you to join Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day
I don't have a hoe in my hand... but perhaps you might find me with a shovel?

In the meantime,
here are a few photos
of what you might see outdoors today:

"I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;

And all the night 'tis my pillow white,

While I sleep in the arms of the blast."

The quoted poetry is a portion of The Cloud by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Perhaps we'll find no blossom outdoors today, but the little wren house reminds us that Spring is around the corner. And if I squint just right, I can almost see the bright green, newly unfolded leaves on the trees, the sprouted astilbe, hosta, ferns and others in the bed to the left. And when I attune my ears very carefully, turning my head ever so slightly, I can almost be sure I've heard the little wren in her house.

:-) Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! (Yes, go ahead and envision a little more snow here, too!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tall Tales or "Have You Got a Minute?"

Have you got a few minutes?
I have a long introduction before I get to the subject of my post! :-)
First, you need to check out this post by Kate at

Her photo is the seedhead of a Clematis tangutica vine.
Hers is a beautiful verse -
A poem by William Butler Yeats entitled, 'The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water'.

My comment? Probably absurd, but it's what I thought when I saw her photo! The following lines are my comment and her (generous, tolerant) reply. :-)

"Shady Gardener said, 'That is a gorgeous seedhead. Not to interrupt the wonderful flow of the poem and its appropriateness, does it also look a little like a subject of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss?

"Catch!" calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
"It's a Truffula Seed.
It's the last one of all!
You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax and all of his friends
may come back.' "

And Kate's reply?

"I love it, Shady! I'll forever think of Dr. Seuss and Truffala seeds - and await the arrival of Lorax and his friends!!"

Now, you must see why I made this post. Her photo has been in the back of my mind ever since I first saw it. As I am now wending my way through old photos and organizing many of them by subject, I ran across this photo! What do you think, Kate?? ;-)

(please click on each of these photos to be able to receive full detail!)
Actually the above photo shows the seed head of the Pasque flower, Pulsatilla vulbaris. It blooms in April - May. It's suited to zones 4 - 8, and it likes full sun to partial shade.

Isn't it beautiful?Only partly shady, here!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pulmonary Prognosis Re: Pulmonaria

"O, be some other name! What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;" ---Shakespeare

And this plant, one of my favorites, by any other name
would be as wonderfully sweet! :-)

So... be still my beating heart as I do a Pulmonaria drumroll! :-)
(These are the varieties I have so far.)

'Baby Blue'

'Bubble Gum'

'Diana Clare'

'E.B. Anderson'

'Gaelic Sunset'


'Milky Way'


'Trevi Fountain'

I absolutely love these plants. You can tell which ones were new ones planted during Spring 2008 because they have only fall photos. Watching these plants grow and bloom is one of many reasons to look forward to Spring's arrival. ('Gaelic Sunset' is not new; I just couldn't find the photo of its flowers!)

I'm trying to take personal photos of all my plants for my (hopefully soon-to-be) "Wonderful Plant Log Notebook." This notebook is supposed to be one of my (many) Winter projects! Currently, it's in bits and pieces and my imagination. :-)

Pulmonaria love shade and dappled shade. They don't enjoy very dry conditions! Lungwort, like Virginia Bluebells, bud and begin flowering in shades of pink and turn blue as they mature. My wish list contains 'Raspberry Splash.' Doesn't that sound enticing? ;-)

For much more information, and for what seems like it must be a complete list of cultivars and/or varieities, check this site! You can see that if I'm attempting to make a complete collection, I have a Long Way to go! (I doubt that I'll try, but YOU could!) ;-)

Well, this COULD qualify as a shady subject! ;-)