Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Photo taken this month.

Photo taken in June.
(woodland walk - click on photo below to see all three projects)

I'm needing to create just a few more projects!

Mostly for me.

But a couple for Christmas gifts.

This was created by inverting a large plastic squirrel baffel and laying the hypertufa mix over the top.

I just brought a 10x14" and a 6x8" box home from the grocery store. I'll use these as forms in creating a rectangular hypertufa container.

I have several children's plastic balls (8" diameter). I'll cut out a 3" hole in the top of each and fill them with the mix. I plan to cut a larger hole in one, fill it 3/4 full, add a small plastic pot and fill the ball (around the pot) with the mix. Later the pot will be pulled out, leaving a nice 3-4" deep hole in the center of the ball... for soil and a small plant.

Now, if you haven't yet heard of hypertufa, or if you had and you'd like a refresher - click the link below for some nice instructions.

There are many other sites out there. There are also recipe variations. You might find more ideas, yourself!

Monday, September 27, 2010


“Self-sown flowers provide a lot of serendipity, which is one of the reasons people garden. When they come up, it's a delight.”

Love these little self-sown impatiens!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010



Two weeks ago, aster 'Alert' looked like this.
(Buddelia 'Adonis Blue' (a short cultivar), "Mattie" Phlox nearby)

I've never much enjoyed mums. Everyone has them (not a good reason),
they seem to be the yellows, browns, rusts of Fall (already prevalent)...

but check out Asters! :-)

Here's a website that has much information (there are many such sites).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

If These Are Bees... They're Taking a Hit at Chez Shady!

I've been enamored by the number of butterflies seen everywhere, lately. In fact, as I stood looking out my kitchen window yesterday, I saw what I thought were a dozen or so Monarchs fluttering and landing in the Sunny Corner Bed.

So, out came the trusty camera. On went my scuffy garden shoes. And out the door I went.

Look what I found! A Monarch and a Red Spotted Purple (right?). Believe it or not, I didn't even notice the floating cadavers in the hummingbird feeder, so intent was I in capturing the butterflies on camera! (If you can stand the sight of the "floaters," click for a nice large image of each photo!)

Trying to catch them in action.

And attempting to get yet a better photo!

It wasn't until I had finished that I noticed the poor floaters. The butterflies had had enough of my hanging around and left. So I took the feeder down and went back to the house. I considered myself fortunate to have extra hummingbird food on hand in the refrigerator.

Back in the kitchen, as I was washing and refilling the hummingbird feeder, what should I notice . . . but a humongous spider hanging outside the window!

And he was struggling a bit with another one of those ... bees?

Great looking specimen, don't you think?

A "blue bird day!"

It seems these "bees" are having quite a time here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - Sept. 15, 2010

How Did We?

How did we meet September midst?
When all the while we wandered
through the days that led to this...
It does quite make one ponder.

I look to what seems Nature's best
in beauty, yet so tender . . .
All things grow, mature and rest
while I can only wonder.

--by yours truly

Please click on each photo for a very nice close-up!

Stonecrop, Sedum 'Neon Lights'

closeup - another set of plants

Stonecrop, Sedum 'Diamond Edge'

Sunny Corner Bed

left corner: Butterfly Bush 'Adonis Blue', Phlox "Mattie"(not a cultivar name);
center: Eupatorium, Joe Pye Weed 'Little Joe', Russian sage, Aster 'Alert', late-planted glads;
and way back there: Stonecrop, sedum 'Matrona'

This is probably one of the latest posts on this beautiful day. Please visit Carol at May Dreams Garden to see who is participating in this, her meme.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Green Thumb Sunday, September 12, 2010

Color combos? Bright green hosta, two-toned ajuga, and this cute sedum (for which I have no name).

A few tricyrtis (toad lilies)

'Tricirtis hirta'

The plant grows tall here.

'Gilt Edge'


'Taipei Silk' with unnamed hosta

Anemone japonica 'September Charms'

This is 'Lightning Strikes' which I nearly lost last year... getting ready to bloom.

'Red October' Hosta - the last to bloom here.

Little scene with houseplants and hosta

"from seed" ligularia from Jim Groble
(a two-liter bottle fits into this cone for watering when necessary)
Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fantastic Friday!

We began yesterday by purchasing a load of dirt. (!)

Part of the day was spent across the road in a little flower bed at a neighbor-friend's house.

FLASHBACK: This is what happened May 31, 2010
I began with a few little Joe Pye Weed seedlings begun over the Winter.

Because I was preparing for the June Garden Tour, I only dug small beds in a short row.

Here we see the planted Joe Pye Weed and Blackberry lily seedlings begun during the Winter.
I managed to get a little strip dug in which we also planted a small miniature rose,
a few iris, Tennessee Coneflower seedlings, Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' and a few other items.

Yesterday (August 9) was the big gardening day!! I joined the strips made earlier and
enlarged the beds. Do you know you can shallowly dig small areas of grass, roll them up, dig out a deeper hole, replace the grass (upside down) in the hole, and cover with the dirt (add a bit of additional soil)?
The grass will die, disintegrate, and enrich the soil.

Here we go...

All dug and waiting for new plants!
(Notice the little Joe Pye Weed in the foreground - it didn't grow tall this year, but it bloomed!)

New Plants! Ta-dah!

Plant list:
Joe Pye Weed
Butterfly Milkweed
Miniature rose
Blackberry Lily'Stella d'Oro' Daylily
Miscanthus sinensis, 'Gold Bar'
Gaillardia Daisy 'Firefox'
Tennessee Coneflower
Purple Coneflower
Chelone - Turtlehead
Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'

Mulching in Progress!

You might have noticed the 4" deep trench around the edges of the bed. It took nearly two bags of mulch to fill the trenches. We're adding a light coat of mulch to cover the beds today.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Seed Grow Project - 'Spitfire' Nasturtiums!

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

(Click the logo above to see who's posted so far this month) (Click "Renee's Garden" to visit her site)

It's time for the September Update!'
These first three photos were taken yesterday (Sept. 8, 2010).

These are the nasturtiums in the Sunny Corner Bed.
They seem to be looking a bit better.
Speaking of looking a bit better,
so do these. A bit better... ;-)

Here's a very little fellow...
(Randy... is this a Pearl Crescent?)
...on the ground next to the nasturtiums.

Here's a shot of a nasturtium with my Japanese Blood Grass.
(photo taken today)

Has this been a fun project in which to participate? Yes, of course. I may not be the best nasturtium fan . . . at least not here . . . but I must admit that the flowers are gorgeous! :-)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Have You Seen a Glory Lily?

First, I have to tell you a little story!

This past Spring, a very sweet friend gave me some tiny little "tubers" about 3/4" - 1 1/2" long and smaller in diameter than a pencil. She'd received hers from her sister the year before. She called them "Climbing Lilies." Neither of us really knew what they were.

I potted mine with a small (too small) trellis. I also have them growing in a spot that receives some sunlight and dappled shade. They now look like this. I don't think they'll be blooming, but ... perhaps next year... when I place them in a slightly sunnier spot with a taller trellis. :-)

Glory Lilies (Gloriosa supurba) are originally from tropical Africa and Asia. They are the national flower of Zimbabwe.

The plants have leaves with curling tendrils which aid in their climbing. Being a vigorous climber, they're perfect for a trellis or small arbor. I've read they climb from 8 to 12 feet.

The flowers are spidery, with six red petals with yellow borders.

The photo below (as well as much of the information on this post) was taken from an informational web-page written by Mississippi State University's Office of Agricultural Communications.

The tubers can be started early in late Winter, indoors, for transplanting later... or later in the ground once the weather has warmed. The location should receive plenty of sunlight, preferably with morning sun and afternoon shade.

Tubers planted in containers should be planted in light, airy soil. Whether in the landscape or in a pot, tubers should be buried two inches deep and laid flat on their side. Feed monthly with light applications of slow-released, balanced fertilizer.

If you live in the warmer climates, gradually reduce watering and add a layer of mulch to protect the ground, as soggy Winter soil may prove fatal to these tubers.

For people, like myself, who live in colder climates, dig the tubers in late Fall, after the vine dies back. You can carefully divide the tubers, being sure to include a growing point on each division.

There are other varieties such as Rothschildiana, which is scarlet; Citrina, which is yellow; and Simplex, which is orange and yellow.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Garden Bloggers' Muse Day - September 2010

This is one of my favorite "Muse" topics. I'm sorry I'm a couple of days late.

The Ways of Living Things

There is wonder past all wonder
in the ways of living things,
in a worm's intrepid wriggling,
in the song a blackbird sings,

In the grandeur of an eagle
and the fury of a shark,
in the calmness of a tortoise
on a meadow in the dark,

In the splendor of a sea gull
as it plummets from the sky,
in the incandescent shimmer
of a noisy dragonfly,

In a heron, still and silent
underneath a crescent moon,
in a butterfly emerging
from its silver-spun cocoon.

In a fish's joyful splashing,
in a snake that makes no sound,
in the smallest salamander
there is wonder to be found.

by Jack Prelutsky

Living Things - a Miracle in Motion!
:-) Happy Muse Day!

Please join Carolyn Gail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago. Garden Blogger's Muse Day (about my favorite thing in which to participate) is her brainchild!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In Honor of Grandparents

Calling all Parents, Grandparents and Children (and the child-in-you)!

National Grandparent's Day is September 12, 2010.

In celebration of the more than 50 million grandparents in the United States, this day is being recognized and celebrated through a week of episodes (Sept. 7 - 10) featuring:

Sid the Science Kid.Sid the Science Kid is an Emmy-nominated curriculum-based series from the Jim Henson Company.

During the week of September 7 through 10, the episodes feature Sid's fun, interesting Grandma who helps him answer such questions as "Why are things blurry when I look through Grandma's glasses?" and "Why are things quieter when I cover my ears?"

If you have children, or grandchildren... tune in! If you don't, borrow your neighbor/friend and their child or children for a few days and enjoy the shows!

Now, to determine when these special episodes will be televised, visit or click on the picture above. Wait for the little ladybug to finish her crawl.

At the bottom of the website, click on the button entitled 'TV Schedule.' A page will load where you first indicate your state and then your local channel name. From there you'll be given the schedule of Sid's episodes.

(After you determine when these special programs will be airing in your area, return to this web address to play a few games on 'Sid's playground!')

In addition to the programing:

I have some additional, special news. I have been given the opportunity to offer YOU, my readers, an opportunity to win a pair of cute little "Sid notebooks." Your children and/or grandchildren will enjoy using them.

You can do either of two things: 1) post about this event on your blog (advertising these special programs) and let me know by leaving a comment, or 2) describe, in your comment at the end of this post, a favorite activity you enjoy with your grandchild or grandchildren (or children).

As soon as I draw the name (yours?) of the winner, I'll ask for your address so the prize can be mailed directly to you! Good luck!! :-)

Again: Won't you please help me spread the word. This is such a nice way to recognize Grandparents and celebrate Grandparent's Day! :-)

Thank you.
Shady G