Monday, January 31, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Muse Day - February 2011

Are you able to read more than one book at a time? Might you be able to peruse through this multi-themed post without getting confused?

Let's give it a try! You will be reading this February 2011 post.
The photos embedded herein are from February 2008. You might be interested in following the links to the two posts written for the photos at that time. Happy Muse Day! :-)

ebruary - the "in-between" month, where

These first few photos were taken Feb. 8, 2008.

verything here, in and under the ground hibernates,

reathing out and in, slowly, as the winter freeze

emains. . . everything resting . . .

ntil it is time.

These last few snowy photos were taken about a week later
in February, 2008.

ware of this,

esting Ourselves may be the balm necessary
as we prepare and

earn for the warmth, beauty and presence of Spring.

And these two photos were taken April 26, 2008.

I've had fun perusing the old photos!

This is the Garden Bloggers' Muse Day. Visit Carolyn Gail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago to view her post and those of others that are participating this month!

Just click on the logo at left.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

ABC Wednesday - B is for Brunnera

ABC Wednesday is a fun meme. You might enjoy participating, and/or you might enjoy visiting the posts by those who are participating! Either way, click on the logo to transport to the list of posts.

Brunnera macrophylla,
part of the family which includes Forget-me-not,
is an herbaceous perennial.
I have tried growing Forget-me-not several times with very limited success. Last Spring, finally, the plant had many beautiful, tiny blue blossoms. It's these blossoms that reveal the family link to

Heartleaf Brunnera.
Heartleaf Brunnera is also called Siberian Bugloss. It is a native of Siberia,
which explains its ease in growing in zone 3 areas. Meaning it grows
very handily here in my zone 5a garden.

Photo below taken 4/12/10:
top left - 'Jack Frost' Brunnera; center - Heartleaf Brunnera

photo taken 4/19/09

Heartleaf Brunnera thrives in moist soil and shade or partial sun.
Hence, you will find this plant and two cultivars in my very shady gardens!

photo taken 4/19/09

Healthy green leaves and very early blossoms make this plant a welcome sight in the early Spring garden! It grows about 12 to 18" high, and bushy, as it matures. Heartleaf seedlings began appearing throughout the garden after the first two years. The foliage is a nice addition to the shade garden, and it's wonderful to be able to share such a hardy, enjoyable plant.

photo taken 4/17/08


I've read that a tired-looking, Fall plant can be cut back to the ground, IF you reliably keep the plant watered as the new foliage appears.

'Jack Frost'
is a cultivar with silver leaves.




4/26/09 - close-up!


(Are you able to tell that we experienced a very warm, very early Spring this past year? Just see how lush and green things are at the end of April!)


'Looking Glass'
(newly planted, April 16, 2009 - it was also a Warm Spring!)
You can tell that 'Looking Glass' leaves are completely silver colored.

The two photo below was taken 5/4/09.


Hint #1: If you see something very green and "mature" very early in your garden, do not (repeat: Do NOT) succumb to suspecting "Weed!" and pulling it out! Take a good look at the plant... give it time... because you will be rewarded! :-)

Hint #2: If you deadhead the spent flowers and stalks, you will be rewarded with a second flowering.

I hope you enjoyed your peek into my shady backyard! Have a great day!
---Shady Gardener

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Aha! Mini-Greenhouses have gone to school!

Duct tape!

The class was attentive. The three "Words of the Day: Perennial, Stratification, and Cultivar." They each created a mini-greenhouse complete with potting soil, seeds and duct tape. A fun time was had by all!

Now all that must be done is to let the snowfall and cold Winter temps work their "magic." Perhaps we'll find seedlings by mid-April. The plan is to take them home on Mother's Day.

Good going, class!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A is for Angel - ABC Wednesday

I can't help myself... I'm going to participate in this meme again!
You also can participate - just click on the logo above to take you to the "sign up" post.
You have nearly five days, from today, to be an official participant.

Otherwise, just click the logo each week to see who has posted.

stands for Angel.

This is a Christmas Angel.

It is now MY Christmas Angel!

Christmas Angel was created by Val Webb.
Her website is entitled The Illustrated Garden.
If you haven't visited her, you should.

This is the post she created when she offered her Christmas Angel as a give-away.

Needless to say, I was the very fortunate winner!

Thank you, Val.

You are very generous...
and I am very happy!

A is for Angel
A is for Art
A is for Artist
A is for an Angel Artist.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Green Thumb - Monday?

I've misplaced the name of this begonia.
However, I must tell you it was blooming when I purchased it,
and it's still blooming 1 1/2 years later!

I put it in a shady spot outdoors this past summer, and it loved it.

Before we go to the next photograph -- do you see what I see?

Guess it loves me back!
And I'll forward the heart to you.

What in the world?

Euphorbia milii

is commonly called the Crown of Thorns (associated with the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ) is a woody member of the Euphorbia family, originally from Madagascar. The plant was introduced in France in 1821. It is a succulent climbing shrub that will grow to four to 6 feet tall. There are several plant varieties having different colored flowers. This variety is the one with which I am most familiar.

This is also an easy-care houseplant which likes bright light. Let the soil dry before watering. It will tolerate low to medium humidity and warm to high temperatures. (It's tolerating cool conditions this winter in my home!)

You saw the sharp spikes that do hurt upon contact (handle carefully)! A cut stem will produce a milky sap. This sap is somewhat poisonous (don't ingest) and can cause an irritating skin reaction.

But for the few warnings...

... this plant is easy to grow

and is a cheerful chap to have around!

Especially at this time of year!

Have a nice day!
Stay safe and warm.