Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Seed Grow Project - 'Spitfire' Nasturtiums

"I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the Grow project. Thanks, to Renee's Garden for the seeds."

This is my July Post.

You have perhaps noticed that my once-a-month post occurs at the End of the Month. Somehow it makes sense to me...

At any rate, perhaps Nasturtiums are not my "cup of tea?" They had great beginnings (check the sidebar for previous posts...), but perhaps it's the weather - tons of rain and very high, hot temperatures lately?

The big pot in front of the house is not doing as well as it once was.
This is what the plants in the foreground of the Sunny Corner Bed look like.

This has been a fun experiment, however. I'm grateful for the opportunity to participate.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Little Peek at My Parents' Gardens

Did you say you'd like to see a few photos of what my Dad and Mom do in their backyard?? Click on each photo to enlarge a bit. Dad's garden (veggies) is on the left. He also built the trellises for his climbing roses. (This year's weather has been a challenge for the roses. however.)

If I have a green thumb, it's been inherited! :-)

Nothing shady about this yard. Or the subject of this yard!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm Sorry, but Out They Went!

(Nearly all of them, at this point.)

Actually, Hemerocallis fulva 'Kwanso' is a beautiful (in my opinion) daylily.
It is tall, blooms mid-season, and is a prolific bloomer!
(photo taken July 15, 2008)

(Photo taken June 27, 2010)
In my reading, it was surmised that Kwanso probably came from the Chinese Hsuam Ts'ao which literally means "forget your worries." It is a medicinal plant and the flowers are edible - so reads another source.

I planted it in the Sunny Corner Bed a few years ago and it made itself quite at home.
(photo taken July 15, 2008)
It became so comfortable with its surroundings, however, that it decided to take over!

It propagates by sending underground runners in every direction. The young plants will often be found several feet away. While that might not be a problem in some settings, in my Sunny Corner Bed, space is limited.

photo below taken 7/21/07
Can you tell this is before I began the recycled sidewalk edgings?

photo below taken 7/04/08
(the recycled sidewalk edgings were begun in the Fall of 2007
and finished in the Spring of 2008)

photo below taken 7/16/09 -
taken from the side (there were tomato plants in front)
(photo taken June 19, 2010 - before they began to bloom)
Because I would like to have a greater variety of plants here (including a few more daylilies), I finally decided that drastic measures must be taken.

(photo taken July 10, 2010 - after most have been removed)

That's where my garden fork, shovel and wheelbarrow came into the picture. Two wheelbarrow loads of Kwanso and Dutch Iris were taken to the back ravine.

This beautiful Dutch Iris is Very Vigorous... the tubers grow long and longer and multiply like crazy. (Love them, though!)

(photos taken June 8, 2008)

There is a clump of each left in the garden. I plan to pound 8" segments of plastic retainers around each clump to confine (hopefully) them to their own areas. :-)

Nothing shady - just hopeful!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eh . . . What's Up Doc?



These photos were taken from my (slightly dirty) kitchen window.

Love this new hanger and feeder combination (suction cups)!!

Now, then . . .

The continuing saga of the Monarch Butterfly caterpillar,

and his older brother.

These are the common milkweed plants you can find nearly everywhere! I let quite a number of them grow in our yard this year... thanks to the birds. But it's paying off! Yea! :-)

Shady? Only in selected portions of a plant. ha!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Z Stands for Zowies!

And it stands for Zip,

As well as Zealous

(My effort in participating in this meme.
However, this final post is Way Late!)

And it stands for Zoom!

It is the Zoom that I will employ here.

Meet Kopper King hibiscus. I introduced him into our raised beds three Springs ago... which means that this is his third growing season. He stands in a partly shady area. But, Tah! Dah!
I'm happy to announce that the King has begun to Rule!

He's going to bloom, and I'm going Zany! ha.

He stands in partial shade, but
he's NOT shady! ;-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our Gabby Garden Gals' Garden Tour!

Five of us toured SE Iowa today!

First, we visited Tender top Nursery. They maintain lovely gardens both in the shade and in the sun, and three ponds that are very intriguing. They sell plants for any environment. This is where we began our purchases. My little Toyota Camry has a trunk that dares to compete with the storage of most SUVs. ha! :-)

In went our first purchases.
(To be quite honest, I didn't purchase these (not available) ...
but the are definitely on my wish list!)
Next we visited Lowe's - home/garden/lumber store. Of course we were interested in their plants, especially the bargains. We found a few!

Again, in went quite a number of purchases, but they fitted in perfectly with much room to spare.
(I DID purchase this!)

You can see that it's already "in place!" :-)

After lunch at Culver's (yum!), our next stop was Hilltop Gardens, owned by Gerald Hobbs. Mr. Hobbs is a member of Cedar Valley Iris and Day lily Society. He not only grows but develops new varieties of day lilies. A copy of his plant list is here.

Hmmmm. Those look interesting . . .

We're all smiles as we look for the perfect flowers!

Into the trunk went several of his day lilies ... check out the trunk!

Our next stop was Hillcrest Hostas & More, just west of Donnellson.

Yes - we found a few plants to bring home. Most of our purchases were miniature hostas.

There are two spaces left . . . just the right size for Becky's and my hostas. :-) The others had to balance their purchases on their laps, all the way home! ha.

A fun time was had by all. We missed the rest of you! Next time! :-)

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Am I proud of Mr. Shady?


After all, this is what he did for me this weekend:

He installed the first of our (hopefully) three rain barrels!!
We'll keep the piece of downspout handy, as that will be reinserted before Winter's freezing temperatures.

It rained just a bit today (.2") and the barrel is completely full!! (The overflow pipe lowers the water level in the barrel to 50 gallons.)
Just thought you might like to know!

In February, Dave (The Home Garden) had asked us to post our wishes for this year's growing season. Click to see his post and his request.

My post contained hard scape desires. If you want to see my "wish list" posted in February, click here.

#1 has been scratched off the list in favor of a few trellises instead of a fence behind the raised beds. You can catch a glimpse of the two trellises in place so far.

Left photo, Clematis 'Niobe' (planted 3 years ago)
Right photo, Clematis 'Nelly Moser' (planted this Spring)

A peek at the back of part of the raised beds.
Can you spot the trellises here?

#2 is nearly finished. I'm adding to the length of panel #5 to accommodate the larger space at the end of the raised beds.#3 is still in the dream and design stage. I'm really FINE with waiting another year on this one (water feature).

#4 is in the waiting stage (small pergola). Other outside work needs to be accomplished first.

#5 is finished. The garden boxes are in place and lined with black landscaping fabric. (See the final photo above.) It's been too wet so far this year to be able to obtain a load of dirt. The suppliers cannot get to it.

#6 is unnecessary (play house). A cute idea, but at this point in time, unnecessary. :-)

I'm a happy gardener!
Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fantastic Floriferous Friday!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Out at "Mr. Shady's Prairie"

(Nothing Shady on the Prairie!)
Click the photos for a larger image. Enjoy!