Sunday, November 25, 2012

I have enjoyed my first American Thanksgiving.....two Thanksgivings in two months is a very good thing! We prepared our meal and put the turkey in the oven then took the dogs to our favorite place to hike... The Felt Mansion.  You can take several different trails down to the shores of Lake Michigan and then walk up the beach and back through an old Oak forest. We take the trails less traveled so that we can make it a much longer and enjoyable hike for both the dogs and ourselves. It was a beautiful day of 60 degrees! I will have to blog about the hike another time as Im not able to put any new photos up at the moment....(Brianna..... your mother needs your help again!)
We got back from our hike in time to further baste the turkey to brown it off and then cook the veggies.  We have a lot to be thankful for this year and it certainly has been a year of many many changes in our lives. One of the biggest felt changes is that my daughters are all so far away from me and just how badly I miss them. Of course I feel that even more so on days like this..Im use to them being home and usually bringing someone who other wise would of been on their own.  This year it was just the bear and I.  My heart goes out to all the people who were affected by hurricane Sandy and pray that they were brought in from the cold by someone more fortunate or able to break bread with old friends or new.
So this is it for now my new friends from the blogging world.... I have several posts I need to get up and several new projects Im looking forward to sharing with all of you.
For now Im going to go and get on the elliptical.... since the girls didn't come for dinner there was a lot more for the bear and I to eat and cooking for only two is something I have not mastered......

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Herk 2

He's now very much part of our family.

Let me introduce you to "Herk".  While my husband was living here in Holland Michigan and I was living back in Alberta Canada....I would get to fly in for weekend visits. One of those visits Bear treated me to a trip to Chicago for their Flower and Garden show in March.  We bought a bulb that looked like a "leek on steroids". The kind dutch man told me to only plant the bulb about 2.5 to 3 inches in the soil and leave the rest out... I had no idea what I would get for a flower but I was very intrigued as this is a Crinium lily...a member of the Amarylliacea family...

Herk was potted and his growth monitored by my husband...(Fiance at that time) Every week or so he would take a picture with his BB and send it too me to assure me that my plant was alive although "Fred" my fish wasn't!  I was very disappointed with his growth rate....Everytime I visited I would find him "freshly watered... then when I arrived down here and started watering and fertilizing him myself even I was shocked at how much water he went through.  But, if you think of a leak and how juicy they are....Then multiply that to the size of a good 8 inch diameter at the base by 18 inch in add on all these 5 foot long leaves!  Thats a lot of moisture requirement. I started noticing Herk growing at an incredible rate and putting on twice the leaves... Then with in a month of my arrival I noticed a "stick" coming out between the layers wrapping the bulb.. It grew a good  four inches daily. Unfortunately I do not know where those first pictures went.

So here we are at the first real identifiable sign he is from the Amarylliacea family.... I looked at the size of him... all that green lushness and thought "are you kidding me! Just one bloom"

I noticed that not only was he sending out the long shoot above, he was also growing bulblets from his base... would they be called bulblets?

Then the bud started to open

The first indication that something amazing was going to happen

I looked and wondered about all these obvious individual spikes. Remember I had not seen a picture of the flower at this point.

Then it became obvious that I wasn't going to get just one flower...But, multiples of them!
My inner gardening goddess was clapping and smiling....

Just look how many continue to grow and stretch...

Still like a kid watching a christmas tree...waiting for the wrapping to come off and find out what the present actually is....

Hello beautiful.... and oh what a wonderful heady smell... such a bonus!

I looked and counted the individual buds yet to open

Then there were two

I think the most that opened at the same time was 14.

as more blooms opened the smell grew stronger but, wasn't over powering at all.

It was a wondrous sight... filled my heart with joy as I watched each day one bloom die but others open... there were 36 blooms off Herks coming out party...It was a much welcome bit of colour and fragrance in the middle of......

March 2012
Thankfully the living room wall is all glass on the south side and the plants just love it...
by the middle of March the living room started to look more like a greenhouse.  Im hoping that
Bear will decided to build me a little greenhouse to replace the big one I left back in Alberta.
Maybe if I put some pots and grow lights etc all over in his Man cave!
I did go on to take the new babies off of Herk...just literally cut them off and stuck them in good potting soil. They are growing well but, it will be many years before their bulb is as big as Herks.

Obviously an older post.... but I didn't want to be left out of the link up over at Tootsie Time...
and since Glenda is talking about unusual house plants I thought this was very fitting


Friday, November 9, 2012

Now I lay me down to sleep

The garden is cleaned up and the foliage has changed colours. The roses are still blooming though!

 The view of what will be the white flowering garden next year.

 The Sedum kamtschaticum has started to change colour on the rock walls.

 Heuchera 'Creme Brulea' is this beautiful all year round and really stands out now with the dark mulch

I should of zoomed in on this shot but I wanted to get as much of the grasses as I could. Shows you how tall they got in the end.

The yellow mums are still blooming and the Sedum here is also showing up red against the turquoise blue of the new pot.

I love how these grasses stand out so white with the blue of the spruce. They actually add a neat sound element in a gentle breeze.
 I like that at this time of year I can see all the "bones" of the garden. The things that are here through every season.  I certainly would not of put three Dwarf Alberta Spruce in a straight line diagonally across this garden... But, then it hit me this summer that perhaps in its own way it created repetition as well as direction by pulling your eyes across the pond. I've thought of trying to prune them into different textures such as spirals etc. But I'm not sure that would look right in this garden. So for now they have stayed just as they are.

 I'm still loving how this foliage looks so pretty and bright. This was one 4 inch pot.

 If you look up by the stairs there are three hydrangeas that flower a blue.....when they bloom!
Which is an issue. They froze last year and were cut back yet bloomed in late spring. This year they seemed okay and then a late frost killed off there emerging buds and they grew from the crown again. There foliage grew very well but they never bloomed again this year. I'm wondering if this is not the best positioning for them. The glass end of the house is the south end. Anyone with experience with growing Hydrangea's please advise. I had thought of moving some large Yucca's there if they would be better suited.

 You can see the river bed which creates a natural break in the beds for planning purposes..

I'm going to go ahead and cut the grasses in this area down as they can't be seen from the house anyways and it will help cut down on the spring time work. I had thought of putting in a pergola here and then have Wisteria growing up it. A project now left for spring if it is to happen.
 Love how many blooms this Hydrangea gets on it. A friend suggested that I cut some down and hang them upside down to dry so that I could have a bouquet all winter. I however have enough actually growing plants that I really couldn't think of where I would put them so never did.

 For someone who really didn't like ornamental grasses......I have to say I do love the ones that are growing in this garden. I have given away pickup loads of them. I have a lot more that are going to get moved, but the ones I've shown here are pretty safe.  I have an area out in the lawn that has trees spread out and creates more work mowing around each one. I've suggested that we create a bed around the trees so we don't have to mow around them. Perhaps some grasses along with some Viburnums would be a solution.

Here's what is left of that original 20 yards. Not nearly enough mulch. Hopefully I will be able to get some more in the spring.
My prayers go out to all the people who have lost so much. It certainly has made me stop and be thankful for the many blessings in my life.
Thanks for stopping by.


Monday, November 5, 2012

November 2

Mermaid post Sandy, has ventured from the side of the pond to find a sunnier position in the garden.
She found it annoying watching me cutting down the flowers and getting covered in the fine dust of the mulch as well as the noise's I was making and had the gall to call singing!
By the way, Mermaid was bought at Cape May this summer while I was there visiting family.

I managed to spread some mulch in the beds closest to the house. This picture helps me break the bed down into indiviual beds in my mind. I will use this when making reference in my planting plans.. The different rock levels create wonderful natural divisions.

As you can see a lot of blooms were sacrificed to allow for getting the mulching done and again as I keep saying to reduce my work load in the spring.

Here are the sea glass rocks that I bought in Cape May and made into tree jewelery. The idea was that they would gently help the boughs "weep" down ward....

close up showing how I just wrapped the rock with the copper wires

 Mermaid wasn't sure where she wanted to sit to capture the best rays..

This rock seemed to fit her needs very well. She is protected from the wind and rain nestled under this Holly.
My prayers go out to all the people who have lost so much during "Sandy"......