Thursday, October 12, 2017

My friend porcupine

My friend porcupine and I are going on the road today!

Look out world, here we come!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Musical Chairs: Part 1

The time has come for some reorganization in the garden.  Daylilies can be divided into two different types, diploids and tetrapoilds. When we first started planting our daylilies in our new garden, we just placed plants where we had space, paying attention a little to their scape height, but not really anything else.  Consequently, we have dips and tets all mixed up.  Then we decided to try and bring some order to the collection.  So at that point we started trying to group tets and dips together.  It sort of worked, except that we already had a total mishmash from our previous plantings.

'Victorian Ribbons' (a dipliod)

As we have gotten more interested in daylilies and into hybridizing, we have realized the having an overall organization to everything helps save time and headaches.  Right now, I can't know what a flower is I unless I look it up.  Not all of our original tags have the information on them.  It didn't seem important when we first started the collection.  Also without grouping the two types of flowers together, I'm constantly zigzagging all over the yard.  I don't have lots of time to leisurely work with the plants each morning.  I'm out early, as soon as it's light enough to see, and before my toddler is awake.  She loves to "help", but isn't very helpful.  We do work together some mornings, but it's faster and easier to keep everything straight without her.

'Webster's pink Wonder' (a terapolid)

So we've decided that some reorganization is in order.  We have three areas in the garden that hold the majority of our collection and one that has less than twenty plants.  Now all of the tets we're interested in hybridizing will be located in the tropical garden around the pool.  The majority of these plants have tall scapes and large flowers, they will look great swaying above the other plants in June each year.  The dips will all get moved to the barrier garden.  The bed is due for a re-design anyway, so the timing couldn't be better.  The new miniature daylily collection has a place near the triceratops.

The miniature daylilies 

All the showy, ruffled, sturdy flowered daylilies have been moved to the butterfly garden.

You can't really see them, but the ruffled dayliles are all tucked in there.

Finally, anything that is leftover, will be put out in the front yard in a display bed we have near the driveway.

'Sweet Seneca Butterflies' (a diploid)
It would have been easier if we had made more detailed tags and planted our daylilies with more of a purpose when we started.  Had we done this we could have saved us a lot of work this coming summer and fall.  We also could just leave it alone and muddle along with what we have already done, but that's the beauty of gardening.  You can move things around, rip out plants that down't work, and add ones that do.  As your gardening interests change, your garden is able to change with it and you never really outgrow a garden.  Have you ever realized you've "outgrown" a garden?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wildlife Wednesday: October 2017

Thanks for stopping by to see my Wildlife Wednesday post for this month!  We went on our first family camping trip this past weekend.  My husband and I have been camping a number of times together and many times separately, but this was a first for our daughter and both of our dogs.  We picked Lake Whitney State Park for its location mostly.  It's about 90 min from our home.  As you can see, it's a really pretty lake and had a nice campground. 

With two dogs and a toddler, we didn't see much wildlife, but we did see a bit of wildlife.  The main one being butterflies.  There were tons flying around...mostly sulfur butterflies, but a few monarchs and painted ladies.  The sulfurs weren't interested in getting their photos taken.  I did get a great shot of a painted lady warming herself on the camper's canvas one morning.

There were also quite a few birds.  My toddler seemed to enjoy them the most, especially the black buzzards.  They floated around up high all weekend.  There is a lot of fishing at this lake and I'm assuming they were interested in the leftovers after the fish had been cleaned.  We also got to see a blue heron up close.  It was just scanning the water waiting.  Eventually it took off and moved to a different point.

We saw a few different spiders over the weekend and a lot of daddy long-legs.  One tried to make a web between the camper and a nearby shrub.  Since we needed to be able to walk through that space, we nicely encouraged it to stick the shrub only.  (After snapping a picture.)

We even saw a few deer while we were driving around checking out all the campsites.  I assume everyone does that.  You need to figure out where the best sites are and make notes so you can plan accordingly for future trips.  It's also a great time to see what kinds of camping equipment everyone has and make sure you don't need anything new.

The coolest part (at least to me) were all the fossils in the rocks along the shoreline.  I'm including them since they used to be alive and therefore wildlife.

Thanks for stopping by.  If you want to see more Wildlife Wednesday posts visit My Gardener Says to see a bunch more!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Bill Waldrop of Kennesaw Mountain Daylilies

They Daylily Club I'm a member of  has a hybridizer visit the club each fall.  In September I had the opportunity to listen to Bill Waldrop talk about his daylilies and hybridizing. His garden is called Kennesaw Mountain Daylily Garden and is located in Marrietta, Georgia.

Bill is a great speaker and I thoroughly enjoyed his talk.  I love it when hybridizers show the pod and pollen paretns with their offspring.  Its so fun to see how genetics play out.  Bill did a little of this, but he also had some great stories about his granddaughter and how his flowers got their names.  Daylilies tend to have great names, and Bill's were no exception.

There was also a plant auction after his talk.  We didn't plan on buying much, but did come out with three plants.  'African Dawn' was a planned purchase.  Its a fun looking dark colors unusual form daylily.  Totally in our wheelhouse.  The other two, 'Blazing Cannons' and 'Lily's Christmas Slippers', were more of an impulse buy.  They are both brightly colored and will look great in the garden.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hanging Around

 Periodically we head a large flea market east of us called Canton First Monday Trade Days.  It's great!  They have everything under the sun.  Last spring we bough a gigantic hanging basket for the garden.  The basket it'self is about 30 inches across and is open metal work, so we lined it with some old burlap. It's inaugural planting was a rather traditional begonia, asparagus fern, sweet potato vine mix.  Very attractive, and very easy since it was all leftover plant material.

This year we went a little more wild and included some plants that would add a little more interest.  You can see we still have the begonias and sweet potato vine, but rest of the plants aren't what we normally would use in a hanging basket.

One of the new additions was a sliver aloe we picked up on clearance at one point for our local big box store.  It needed a new home.

We also added a mystery plant we picked up at our Daylily Clubs seed and plant exchange last November.  Nobody choose it and it was going to be tossed out, so I grabbed a little bit.  We didn't know what it was and some of us weren't that impressed with the new acquisition.

We latter figured out it was a Callisia fragrans.  It is still looking great even at the end of summer and has a lot of proliferations.

The final addition was a variegated pink bromeliad.  It played off the pink begonias perfectly.

This hanging basket always looks a little rough by the end of the summer.  It eventually needs too much water and we aren't very good about fertilizing it.  It needs new soil and new burlap next year, both are two years old.  We're also not planning on adding any sweet potato vine.  The Callisia fragrans ended up trailing a lot so I'm thinking of using it that way and adding something other than leftover begonias as a pop of color.

We don't have a lot of garden art or ornaments.  Those things take time to build up in a garden and give it a personalized look that I love.  This basket definitely if a first step in that direction (along with the bathtub and Triceratops).

Monday, September 25, 2017

Whats Looking Good Right Now

If you were to ask me right now what is looking the best in our garden I would tell you it's our Brugmansias.  We have double white variety that is cleverly called 'Double White'.  Someone clearly sat up for nights on end coming up with that name.

It's blooming up a storm right now and looking pretty fabulous.  You can get a better view of the double flowers below.

Some of the blooms don't really look doubled until you look up into the trumpets, but many look like they have an extra layer of ruffles around the edge (the second set of petals peaking out).

Our 'Yellow' Brugmansia is also looking pretty good.  It took a big hit this year during the mite infestation that also caused the demise of our tomato plant this summer.  It's bounced back pretty well, but the section of the tropical garden is definitely thinner than the rest of the border.

We bought this beauty from Barton Springs Nursery during a visit to Austin, TX.  They have some great nurseries down there.  It's a great place to visit.

Even the unknown Brugmansia has a few blooms right now.  Look at that nice stripe of color and the pleats.

We don't exactly know what it is.  It isn't 'Charles Grimaldii' or 'Cherub', they maybe lost at this point, or they maybe the one that didn't bloom this summer.  The thing is, we didn't really have any others. 

What's looking goo in your garden right now?

Friday, September 22, 2017

There Going to be a Daylily Sale

Guess who volunteered (or maybe was volunteered, it's a little blurry) to manage the Daylily Sale for our local daylily club?  That would be our household...actually I'm just the support person, the "Real Plant Geek" is actually in charge.

The club will have over 150 varieties available for sale tomorrow morning at the Fort Worth Botanical Garden.  Stop by if your in the neighborhood!

Photo Friday: Worms, They're Whats for Dinner

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Progress is Slow

Back in July I took you on a tour of the back garden.  We moved into our current house in the late spring of 2015 and have only lived here for three summers and the first wasn't spent gardening.  It was spent taking down some over growing weed trees and shrubs, installing a fence and getting a shed.  Not very glamorous, but necessary.  We really started building our garden right after our daughter was born in the winter of 2016.  So we still have a lot of places were there are plans, but not really anything to show except for our ideas and excitement.

This side of the garden is one of those spots.  You can see we had gotten started around the pecan tree making a home for the Japanese Maple first and then the Triceratops we purchased this summer.

The area in front of the shed is eventually going to be a pallet garden to hold daylily seedlings and anything else that needs a little extra protection from the dogs. Back in July, we had gotten all the pallets we needed and purchased the fence.  We had even dug two fence hole (by the way not the best idea to dig hole in the yard and then do nothing with them for a month or two), but nothing beyond that had happened.

Finally with the cooler temperatures a few weeks ago and a little extra time during someone's nap, we've managed to move forward.  The fence is up on all but one side, but the gate isn't in.  The pallets aren't ready for planting yet either, but we're getting there. 

 We did create the flower bed along the fence for our mini-daylilies and move the claw foot bathtub over there.  Formally it lived on the patio and was used a drink cooler on occasion.  It's also been a carnivorous garden and a tropical planter.  Not a single daylily has actually been planted, but we've sorted out who is going where, so when we have the time it won't take us long.  The really short plants will go in the tub and the taller will go into the ground around it.  Hopefully later this week.

We also moved some former indoor decor outside.  Our old house was a four square style farmhouse that had lots of walls and therfore lots of space for wall art.  We had a collection of signs on the stairway wall.  This house is smaller and much more open, with significantly less wall space.  We've gotten creative with the signs and all of them had homes.  Then we switched a few things up and the S & H Green Stamps sign became homeless.  So after a brief stint in the garage, it is once again on display brightening up the side of our shed.  Normally we would worry about ruining the sign, but this one is already in pretty rusty shape. 

 Finally Triceratops has a permanent home in the garden.  While we knew basically where our new dinosaur friend was going to go, we hadn't firmed up the positioning.  We decided that this Triceratops would like to look out over the rest of the garden and the pool.  It also gave us a great view from our patio. Nice how that worked out.  We have planted a few perennials around it's feet and have plans to add some elephant ears and ferns next year.  Down the road, this dinosaur will look right at home in it's garden.

 So thats where we're at right now.  Not as far along as we had hoped, but at least we aren't moving backwards.  What gardening projects have you managed to complete lately?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Foliage Follow Up: September 2017

Welcome to my Foliage Follow-up for September.  Foliage Follow-Up is hosted by Pam Penick of Digging.  Click here to join in the fun!

I'm pretty sure the neighbors think we're building a jungle in the backyard.  That clearly is the only explanation for these pictures.  Our Tropical Garden around the pool is built on foliage.  It's mainly Elephant Ears (alocasia and colecacia), Bananas, and Cannas.  We have a palm, a hardy tapioca, a papaya and a few other plants to add variety.

You can barely see my "Garden Helper".  Don't worry about her, she has her trusty water cup, so she'll be fine as she traipses through the backyard jungle.


We have bananas of all shapes and sizes.

Some are towering over the fence.  The neighbors must wonder what is going on behind it.

One is even fruiting, unfortunately, it's fruit is too seedy to be edible.  I'll have to keep an eye on it though so I can cut one open when they are ready and see what "too seedy" looks like. I don't really think of bananas as having inedible seeds, so I'm pretty curious to check that out.

Here are a few of the different Elephant Ears we currently have.  It's amazing how much variety there is in these plants.

Here are few of our wild card plants.  They add delightful variety and texture to the garden.  You can learn more about our Papaya here and here.  I can say it has that our Papaya has been fabulous and hopefully it will become a regular in a new section of the garden we're currently working on.

We also bought a Hardy Tapioca this year.  As you can see it's taller than our privacy fence.  It is supposed to die back to the ground this winter and should regrow next spring.  It's been another surprise.  We love how tall it's gotten in it's first year.  Plus with all of the broad leaves we have, it's nice to have something with a different feel.

We also have a Talipariti tiliaceum 'Albo-variegatus' or an Variegated Sea Hibiscus.  We moved it from our old house and have been wintering it over in the greenhouse each winter.  It's gotten too big this year, so we won't be able to move it in.  It's a zone 10a-11 plant.  We're definitely not even close to that, so this will be our last year for this Variegated Sea Hibiscus.  We enjoy it, so maybe a new one is in our future, or maybe we'll find something new to take it's place.

It's new foliage comes out a reddish bronze.  So pretty!

Thanks for visiting our Tropical Garden and my Foliage Follow Up.