Monday, January 27, 2014

Rose of the Week...Rock N Roll

I'm a scheduling these posts ahead of time.  It is winter so no roses are currently blooming.  I have to use past pictures.  That being said, the rose of the week is Rock & Roll.  I, initially, thought it would be similar to the Memphis Music but the colors are very different.  It is a striped rose.  It is very pretty but as you can see in the picture, I have to watch out for blackspot.

I bought this rose as a bare root from Edmund's I believe.    I think it looks similar to the Scentimental Rose.  
Rock & Roll is a grandiflora rose.   It's bloom size is 4"-6".  It reads disease resistant but perhaps for me, it needs more attention.   It grows 4 to 5 feet.

They do make great cut flowers.  You can see it at the bottom of the arrangement.  For more information on Rock N Roll rose, click HERE

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rose of the Week....Moonstone

I am going to start to doing the rose of the week again..but I won't make promises.  Given that it's the dead of winter, I will have to use past pictures.  The picture below is from roses that I did not grow.  I ordered two bareroot roses last spring and gave one to a lady named Tracy.  I got the other one.  Her's have done fabulous and the picture below proves it.  Mine did so so....I need to take care for them more.
Perhaps one day I will.  Moonstone is a hybrid tea rose.  They grow four to six feet high and two to three feet wide.  They are repeat bloomers.  They have a slight fragrance but I have a very poor sense of smell.  They have blooms that average close to 5 inches.  I first saw the rose at Bellingrath Gardens and it supposedly does well down here.  It is not a pure white.  As you can see it has a touch of pink on the edges but an elegant rose all the way around.  For more information, click HERE.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

2014 Year of the Peacock

I know I have mentioned it many times...but this year will be the Year of the Peacock.  Last year was the Year of the Rose garden (initially, it was the Year of the Backyard)..and the year before was the Year of the Creek.  I am going to make an effort on maintenance this year before spring fever makes me so ambitious that I don't complete the projects or neglect things I really shouldn't be.  I am going to start a page with journal notes on the side of the blog or at least a pictorial.
This is more or less what I am going for.  It will probably not look as manicured but it will be close.

This is the first draft of the topiary.  It needs a tail and perhaps look thinner.

This is the area where it will go.  It has it's own spigot but I am certain the project will be twice as hard as I think...but maybe not...will see.

Cleaned up the area.  It's hard to work on the tail until the frame is on the ground.  I have many concepts I need to figure out which is why it will have it's own page.
This is the frame that I found online

This is the rebar to build it.  It will be six feet tall approximately.  We have a bender and I want it concreted to the ground.  I hope I do a good job but there are a lot more details along the way.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January Bloom Day

It's January Bloom Day.  If you don't know what that is, it's where garden blogger's around the world post what is blooming on a the 15th of each month and post them on May Dreams Gardens.  If you live in the US I suspect that my garden is similar to many.  With record lows, and an acute lapse of laziness...may garden is asleep.  Ignore the date below, since I have changed the battery.  Most of my personal flowers were in the greenhouse.  If you think that is cheating, I wouldn't blame you.  

Angel Winged Begonia

 This blue girl rose I had left for dead a long time ago but I put her in a pot and eventually moved her to the greenhouse.  After a year, she is finally blooming and what a bloom she has.

More begonias save from the brink of extinction (at least in my gardens)

This bloom has been here forever.  Baldo Villegas rose.

The bougainvilleas always seem to fare better in the greenhouse than outside.  I don't think I water them enough.

The greenhouse is messy but I am sure the plants appreciate the shelter from the very cold spell we have had  lately.

In an attempt to see what flowers were growing in the ground, I went next to the museum where I volunteered (and was recently put on the board).

The museum has tons of camellias and azaleas so I felt certain I would see some.  I did, but not as many as I expected.

Back on the home front, my holly's are showing red berries.

Rose garden has not gone completely dormant but it is asleep.

The only thing that seems to have a flower on it is the weeds.

But I do have tons of camellias planted and they are budding to welcome in the spring.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Journal Notes..Begin at the Beginning..Winter Clean-Up

Well, spring fever is slowly (very slowly) creeping in.  This winter has been intensely cold.  I felt like I had not seen the sun for days.  But as the temps rose and the sun peaked out, I began to have a change of heart to my aversion of gardening and the subsequent guilt.  Yesterday, I spent seven hours on the front field.  I was really annoyed with myself for not maintaining the property better and how neglected the seem to appear in my view.  So I opted to get started but what an overwhelming task I felt.  So I decided to "begin at the beginning."

The property is 15 acres but the gardens sprawl across about six of those.  The driveway is almost a quarter mile long.  So I opted to begin at the beginning of the drive.
I know the above is a bit dark and gloomy but that is the spigot where the peacock topiary is going.  The sulphur cosmos that regrew from last year is on the side.  I pulled them up and put them in a wheelbarrow.  What was weird is that the inside of these annuals seemed alive.
I am not sure why I do this.  My logic is put the seeds in another location that I want flowers and do not intend to mow.  I put them near the cemetery fence to aid in screening the cemetery from view during growing season.  You can barely see the cemetery at all except in winter.  Once the majority are yanked, I will have my husband run the tractor over it.
After I finished pulling it..still pretty weedy.  Not sure I will let this grow back again..but probably.

Limbs under the oaks I cleaned up.

The oaks in the front field last year were growing to the ground.  Cleared out the bottoms but they are trying to grow back

Ignore the dates on the photos, below.  Unless you follow my blog heavily you may not know this.  Before I started gardening, the place had been used as an "illegal" dump site.  There was debris and trash everywhere.  It took months to remove all the debris...I mean, car axles, boat trailers, abandoned mobile homes.....  Years later I still run into trash.  When I was cleaning around the tree, this old metal pipe surfaced.  Amazing that even today, I can't dig a hole or even rake without running into trash.

Hanging solar lanterns I bought from lowes two years ago...believe it or not, they still light but as you can see they need to be replaced.  The lowe's one did stand the test of time fairly well.

The solar lights that I bought along the drive have given out mostly.  I need to find replacement tops for these vs buying new ones.

I am glad I am slow about clearing native plants.  While working on the front field I came across this.  Not sure what it is but it is a brilliant red and stands out.  Any idea?
Close up

Next I cleaned up the wildflowers in front of the arches.  I decided to plant the lilies there.  Is the spot optimal?  No idea.  Did I prep the beds right....pretty sure I did not.  It did take me a while ( a few hours) to prep what I did and get them in the ground.  Sometimes, it's not that I don't know's just if I waited to do it would never get done at all..(at least, that is my current rationalization)

The philodendron stays in pots outside all year.  This freeze we had finally hit them.  You can see the roots in the pots are so large..I am starting to wonder if there is even soil in the pot anymore.

I left the Mexican petunias in tact but pulled up all the other spent annuals.  At least I hope they were annuals.

At Agnes' lilies had begun sprouting in the greenhouse.  Too exhausted to mulch, I opted to leave them uncovered at the moment.  It is going to rain today, but there will be a freeze on Wednesday.

I wasn't sure how deeply to bury the bulbs.  I, usually, have the habit of burying bulbs too deeply but these I think are too shallow.

I will put mulch but since it is on a downslope, it tends to was away.

The pulled annuals I will do like the cosmos and put in place I would like flowers and don't mow.

Pile of sulphur cosmos.  They appeared alive which was surprising.

Cleaner now.

Peacock will go hear.  This is where the back of the tail will be seen sprawling.

Front driveway

I hate these wheat looking weeds with a passion.  They, truly, offend me.

After finishing the front field the creek clean-up will begin.