Sunday, November 15, 2015

Late Fall, 2015. Welcome to My "Getting Less Shady" Space!

Hello!  This has been a wonderfully colorful Fall in the midwest!  Particularly, SE Iowa.
I wouldn't have expected it to be so...  our Spring began with very cool (cold) wet weather.  Spring actually extended through most of June (!).

We did have a few hot days during July and August, but not per usual.  We continued to experience cooler weather with rain at all the right times!  (I hardly watered pots more than 2 or 3 times; flower beds twice.)
Below:  The shady backyard on August 23, 2015
Traditionally, August is a very hot, dry month here.  Our grassy lawns go dormant and brown.  However, not this year.  As you can see, that even as late as the day-before-yesterday, our lawns are still nice and green!

(Below:  Front, sunnier yard (Nov. 13, 2015), especially since deciduous leaves are falling!)

I am so excited!  I just recently took ownership of a new, self-propelled lawn mower with a small rear bagger.  Friday afternoon, I mowed for what I believe to be the last time... mulching and bagging the leaves as well.  Doesn't the front yard look nice??  :-)

Enjoy a few "Fallish" photos below!

Look at my lovely (baby) Oakleaf Hydrangea!! 

'Husker Red' Penstemon in the foreground, below

Gaillardia (started from seed... which reverted to a lovely variety)

The last leaves of a burning bush

Below: (a baby) 'Mohawk' Viburnum burkwoodii
I cannot tell you how much I enjoy this plant below!  The flowers are
VERY fragrant in the Spring.  There are berries for the birds... and the color is lovely in the fall.

Nearly all the oak leaves have dropped... the rest will remain until Spring.
Yes, there have been TONS of leaves back here.
But that wonderful little mower cleaned the remaining leaves on Saturday (Nov. 14), beautifully!
(I don't work as hard on reseeding grass back here.  The ground isn't perfect and it's shady.)

Wishing you an enjoyable rest-of-the Fall 2015!!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Way Down South in the Land of Cotton!

 Good times there won't be forgotten!!

We spent a week in New Orleans recently... traveling with a tour.  Lots of fun!  And here...  cotton!  (These plants were spotted during our visit to Destrehan (historic) Plantation.)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

What is this?

Supposedly it's 'Sunset Hibiscus' but I wonder...  ;-)

 Hibiscus?  Mallow?  Cotton plant???   lol

(The following three plants are cotton plants)

Actually, here's a post by The Curious Gardener

Happy Mystery Plants to you, too!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Great Spangled Frittilary the Second

Caught this fellow in the backyard yesterday!  Resting on 'City Lights.'

'City Lights' in a shady backyard!

Great Spangled Fritillary

Beautiful Butterfly!

Enjoy your day!  May it be "Spangled!"

Friday, August 14, 2015

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Audacious 'Othello' Ligularia!

The Bold and the Beautiful!  :-)

Four years ago, I planted new little Ligularia 'Othello' seedlings I started during the wintertime.  Four years ago also began a severe two-year drought.

 Ligularia enjoy, and thrive, in moist, humus-rich soil.  During those two drought-ridden summers, I watered was watering those little plants Very Often!  (They droop terribly when they are dry!)

The efforts paid off.  These past two years have been lovely, rainy with cool and temperate temperatures. 

  These little "papoose" flower bud bundles are wonderfully unique!


These plants are in the shady south/front of the house, while the others are in the backyard.

Happy Gardening!!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Do I have the Best Neighbors in the world? (Even better than yours?) A "Shout Out!" Round

To get "Limbered up," you could listen to at least part of the song on this Youtube...

 Let's see if the tune fits the following!  ;-)

There was a tree...    Out by the drive...    The prettiest "little" tree...    That ever could be...

 A Tree by the drive, and the green grass grew all around, all around... and the green grass grew all around.

 And on that tree...    There was a branch...   The prettiest "little" branch...    That you ever did see...

A Branch on the tree, and the tree by the drive, and the green grass grew all around, all around... and the green grass grew all around.

Now that big branch...    Fell on the ground...    Fell right on the ground...    Now, how could that be...

The branch on the ground, It fell from the tree, the tree by the drive, and the green grass grew all around, all around... and the green grass grew all around.

Here came a neighbor...   Who spotted that branch...  the branch on the ground...   and he called for some help...

A neighbor saw the branch, the branch on the ground, it fell from the tree, the tree by the drive, and the green grass grew all around, all around... and the green grass grew all around.

The neighbor came to help...    with another chainsaw...   they got to work...    on the branch on the ground...

The neighbor came to help, a neighbor saw the branch, the branch on the ground, it fell from the tree, the tree by the drive, and the green grass grew all around, all around... and the green grass grew all around.

They cut the branch...  That pretty "little" branch...   that fell on the ground...   and now it's all gone...

They cut up the branch, the neighbor came to help, a neighbor saw the branch, it fell from the tree, the tree by the drive, and the green grass grew all around, all around... and the green grass grew all around.

They stacked all the pieces...  They cleaned up the mess...  from that prettiest "little" branch...    that fell on the ground...

They stacked all the pieces, from the sawed-up branch, the neighbor came to help, a neighbor saw the branch, it fell from the tree, the tree by the drive, and the green grass grew all around, all around... and the green grass grew all around

When we got home...   There was that tree...    The prettiest "little" tree...    That you ever did see...

We would not have known,,,    had the pictures not been shown...    We love our neighbors so...
And the green grass grows all around, all around,.. and the green grass grows all around!

See?  We DO have the nicest, the best neighbor(friends) ever!!


 What's to become of the tree?    We shall watch and see...

Have a great day!!
And hang on to a song.  :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

ABC Wednesday - Zing!!


Ligularia 'The Rocket'



Ligularia 'Bottle Rocket'


Positive Heart Palpitations!  :-)

Want to see posts by other participants in the ABC Wednesday meme?  Click on the logo below!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

ABC Wednesday - Y is for my Yen (for daylilies)

Before I begin, I would encourage you to stop by the ABC Wednesday site to see what other participants posted this past week. Click the logo.

I admit it.  I have a YEN for daylilies.  I may not have the ideal settings for them all, but they perform, nonetheless.  The varieties below receive the longest, most intense sunlight here.  At least 6 to 8 hours per day.  And that is considered a day's worth of sunlight.

Daylilies are aptly named, as each flower lasts only as long as the sunshine on the day it blooms.  But don't let that information discourage you from enjoying these plants.  As you might notice, the older the plant, the more flower scapes it sends up with multiple buds!

I enjoy the practice of "deadheading" in the early mornings... whenever possible.  I gather together the supplies (a clipper, gloves, and a large bucket) and break or cut the spent blossoms.  I also cut the flower stems back, nearly to the ground, when they no longer hold buds.  My reasoning is this, even though I know most hybrids do not make seeds, however I can save the plant energy by sparing it's making seeds or feeding a green stem, I do it.  Hopefully this practice energizes the plant.

It also doesn't hurt that it makes the plants look tidier.  :-)

Also, while I'm out in the gardens, pulling a weed here and there, is also enjoyable.  Listening to the birds' songs, and visiting with the gardens is terribly enjoyable.  I even like to call the by name, if I can!!  (These are "true confessions!"  Don't worry.  I'm fine!)  lol

The information I'm including about many of the daylilies comes from a site entitled

So.  Let me introduce you to some of my "friends!"

'Ruby Spider' greets you, next to the driveway.

 'Pumpkin Festival' is a daylily I began from a big box store's bagged, bare-root offering
2 years ago.

 'Rosy Returns' is next.
With 4", fragrant, rose-pink blend with a deep rose eyezone and yellow throat.  The first hardy rose pink everblooming daylily.  Blooms consistantly from June to frost in Michigan; each 

Behind 'Rosy Returns' is a "Stella look-alike," except this this fellow is a little taller,
and blooms a little later (Stella finished blooming a couple of weeks  or more ago.)

The "apricot" blossoms below are unnamed. They are quite small, for the size of the plant. They are a plant I shared with my parents Many years ago!  (Probably a good 15+ or so.)

'Bubbly' also has very small flowers.  They are a double and a bit more"peach" in color.

 'Stella Supreme' is one of my favorites.  It's a light yellow and blooms and reblooms!
'My Melinda' is a pretty girl.

'Happy Returns' is a little more yellow/golden than 'Stella Supreme,' but it also is a bloomer and rebloomer!!  :-)
3 inch ruffled, canary yellow blossoms.  Repeat bloomer. 

YES.  I cannot help it.  If they maintain a growth pattern at all, and they bloom, I am happy.  The next daylilies are located on the front of the house, but in the shady spot.

This truly is an "unnamed."  It was developed by a Mr. Hobbs, a hybridizer,
but he did not deem it worthy to name.

 Meet 'Ed Brown.'  He likes to show off a bit! (And I encourage him!) ;-)

'Yellow Mammoth'

Siloam 'Double Classic' is also a sweet, sweet gal!
A multiple award winner with fragrant, double pink flowers.  They are true works of art!
Extended bloom time. 

YET, in other parts of the front yard, such as under the Sunburst Honey Locust tree,

'Peach Halo'

 and in the Sunny Corner Bed, reside a few other daylilies.
 (This was a already a resident when we moved to this house 12 years ago.  I don't know it's name, but I really do like it!)

It is probably 'Stella d'Oro.'  It is not now blooming, of course. It will probably be blooming later.
Prolific ruffled golden flowers have a green throat.  One of the earliest to bloom and re-blooms until frost.

 A friend (named Joan) gave it to me!  It's a large flower on a tall scape.
It is really 'Frans Hals' but I've nicknamed it "Joan."  :-)
A striking flower with alternating yellow and yellow-striped red petals.

 Another "Hobbs unnamed."

H Fulva 'Kwanzo' is a (beautiful) hybrid variety of the common "ditch lily."
It's a little aggressive, so he has to be watched!  :-)

'Pardon Me' is a shorter daylily that blooms and blooms!
3.5" red petals with a yellow throat.  A very popular, fast growing, prolific Daylily.

'Hyperion' is located on the north side of our driveway.  A little shady, but does well.
Clumps of grassy foliage, with upright stems of trumpet flowers. This classic selection has large, fragrant lemon-yellow flowers. Repeat blooming. Midseason. Plants do not usually require dividing for several years, but are easily split apart in fall or early spring. Spent flower stems can be trimmed back after flowers are finished. Remove old foliage in late fall. An older selection, but still an outstanding garden performer. Award winning. (this information from

I YEARN for the blossoms to open, and they do.  :-)  Even in the backyard, where the most sunny spots have morning sun for a few hours.

Siloam 'Peony Display'

'Strawberry Candy'
Flowers are a creamy strawberry color with striking strawberry-rose eye zones and yellow throats.  Heavily ribboned petals.

'Lime Frost' (Reading the info below, it is funny because mine is blooming now! 
Perhaps it will rebloom?)
6", fragrant, diamond dusted, white blossoms with a soft green infusion throughout the tepals and a pale yellow-green halo.  Slightly ruffled tepals; sepals are recurved.  Valued for its very late bloom time at the end of summer when many other perennials are finished for the season.

'Summer Wine'

(Same no-name as Sunny Corner Bed)

 'Custard Candy'

'Purple d'Oro'  (pardon the lens cover and strap!)

'Madonna' always reminds me of the mother of one of my former second graders.

 'Total Look' was a gift from former blogger, "Iowa Boy" of Iowa City.

'Final Touch' is a daylily I began from one of those early-Spring big box store bags.  I have this daylily in two places.

This was supposed to be a pale pink daylily.  It was bare-root when I got it (again, from a big box store).  However, it turned out to be a pale peach.  Lovely, yes.  But not what I was seeking at that time.  It remains unnamed.

All the daylilies have bloomed or are blooming!  Yea!!  and Yippee!!

 Perhaps I have left you wondering what I do with that bucket of stems, spent blossoms, etc.  Anything without viable seeds goes into my compost pile.  In that way, "recycling" happens!

Have a Super Beautiful, Enjoyable Day!