Sunday, October 31, 2010


First, a frost update: nope. There was no frost Friday night. But there will be another chance at it come Thursday night. And I think this one is much more likely, so my plants will stay in their cozy spot for now. So, what's missing you ask? Well... my poor front porch steps look like they are missing a tooth! The board warped so much that it pulled itself off of the right half of the steps, so I finished the job and took it all the way off so no one would trip. But don't worry. I have already selected and sized up a suitable, already-greyed board to replace it. Which I plan to do tomorrow.

And if you came to my blog hoping to see something at least somewhat pretty, I won't disappoint you. These little flowers just fascinate me and I hope you will enjoy this one.

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, October 29, 2010

More fall colors...

I got to go into the garden today... if only to put plants into the greenhouse. Oh, and take pictures of the gorgeous fall leaves. The sun shining through the Laurel Oak (Quercus laurifolia) was making the leaves sparkle. The photo really doesn't do it justice.

There is a frost advisory for early tomorrow morning, so I moved my tender plants that I wanted to save into the greenhouse. (Did I ever mention that I love my greenhouse?) It looked downright tropical in there!

And in contrast, outside look very much Autumn. The air was cooler today, so it felt more like Fall. There are more leaves on the ground and the colors in the trees are more intense. The leaves of the Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica) are stunning.

The Goldenrain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) evidently gets golden leaves in the Fall. Although, it's leaves are not why it is called Goldenrain Tree.

This Goldenrain Tree is young yet, but maybe next year I will start to see some blossoms on it. Kirstin's chickens ventured over to see what I was doing. You can see them behind the little tree.

I didn't realize that the leaves of my variegated Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) would change colors. This is the first year that I have had it.

The trees along my long driveway are very pretty right now. Would you like to come take a walk with me?

The flowers on the Black-eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata) are the perfect color for Fall. I wonder if it will get too cold for them tonight. If so, there is always the Spring to start anew.

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

New River Gorge Bridge...

Well, today was a pretty day after all the rain. The trees have more fall color and the sky was gorgeous, with off-and-on clouds. Unfortunately, I didn't have any time to go out into the garden. But tomorrow...

So, today, you get left-over pictures from my trip home from Maryland. On our drive back to North Carolina, we spent some time in New River Gorge, driving on a little, bitty, winding road down underneath the amazing bridge.

I took so many pictures of this bridge. I find it fascinating. And beautiful. And each new turn of the road gave a different angle.

New River itself is majestic.

There is a small creek that I think must run into the New River. We hiked up it a little.

Kirstin and Julie enjoyed it.

And one more of the bridge. In its garden.

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Well, we received quite a downpour this afternoon and evening. In fact, right now we are under a Tornado Warning. Because my soil is deep, rich, thick, red clay that doesn't let the water soak in quickly and because my front garden slopes somewhat down toward the house, all this rain created quite a river for a little while earlier today. Several years ago, I put in a drainage system to allow the water from situations like this to be diverted around the house instead of going under it.

Above you can see the water lapping up against the front porch steps. And below is the "river" from the steps through down under the rose arbor.

The water flows through the front garden and down across the path to the back door.

The "river" continues its course on into the hummingbird garden.

Look at the water coming over and through the stone wall!

The downpour created a lovely water fall! Julie said it was insanely awesome.

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Salvia coccinea...

You may have guessed by now that most of what I grow are perennials. I like perennials. You plant them and if they are happy, you have a friend for a long time. Annuals are a different story. They are fickle. Plant them, they bloom gloriously for a few months and then they decide they don't want to hang around your garden any more. Maybe that's why Tony Avent says, "Friends don't let friends buy annuals."

As a reader of my blog, I am sure that you are aware that I don't live completely by that adage. There are a few, just a few, annuals that I do grow. And one of those is Salvia coccinea.

But the thing about Salvia coccinea is that it truly is my friend: it keeps coming back every year. And in multiples. I don't consider it weedy, though.

I first discovered Salvia coccinea as 'Texas Hummingbird Sage' in a Seeds of Change catalog. At the time, I was planning a hummingbird garden for just outside the back door of my house in California. I grew 'Texas Hummingbird Sage' from seed and was very pleased.

So, of course, when I moved here, I wanted to have this favorite for the hummers here, too. And as you can see, I do! I also have grown S. coccinea 'Coral Nymph,' which is a coral-ish pink, both from seed and from nursery six-packs. And a couple of years ago, I bought white S. coccinea, but I can't remember what it was called.

Anyhow, they all reseed very nicely for me. And I think they are mixing a little for I see slight variations in the shades of reds and pinks.

If it weren't for the hummingbirds, I wouldn't have started considering red flowers for my garden. But the hummers love these flowers. And so do the honey bees and bumble bees. I guess that means Salvia coccinea is here to stay.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The story of my birdbath...

One thing I always wanted for my garden was a birdbath. Three and half years ago, I found concrete birdbaths that were within my price range and I was so excited! So, I bought three of them. I had a specific plan for one of them and ideas for the other two. I was driving home with them, very happily, when - BAM!!! Another car turned into my van. I actually knocked myself out for a few seconds because of the airbag hitting my arm which in turn hit my face. I was o.k., but my beloved van was totaled. And one of the birdbath pedestals was cracked, but not broken because of the reinforcing rods in it.

{Salvia 'Indigo Spires'}

Well, the van was mended, because I loved it so much that I couldn't bear to junk it. So I still have my van. The "broken" birdbath is in Julie's garden, with ivy twining around it. The second birdbath I hope to make into a fountain some day. But the one I planned for all along sits in the front garden, the one you see as you drive up to my house. I love this birdbath.

Today it was raining and the grey skies made the glass pebbles in the saucer and my Salvia 'Indigo Spires' even more beautiful to me. So beautiful, in fact, that I was ready to share the story of my birdbath.

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A visit...

This afternoon I went to visit a house - actually people at a house - that was almost a hundred years old. Well, the original part of the house was a hundred years old. And the addition that was added 10 years ago was finished to match the older part of the house with heart-pine floors and beautiful wood molding on the doors and windows. There was a wooden stair case and porches and even a 2nd story porch. And a wonderful sun room. The kitchen didn't have traditional cabinets, but rather cabinets built to look like furniture, with no cabinets hung on the walls. I loved the feel of that kitchen. Much of the furniture in the house was antique, but it was not cluttered, but just homey. It was such a warm and cozy, lovely home. I very much enjoyed my tour of the house. The people have a couple of black and white paint horses, and three adorable collie dogs with their narrow faces and long fur. There were some chickens and some cats and sheep that were guarded and herded by their mule. And there was an herb garden with a short wooden fence around it and a larger vegetable garden that was absolutely gorgeous. I wish I had brought my camera so I could have shared some of this beauty with you. The lady has a studio to paint in that was built from a tobacco barn that had been standing elsewhere in the property. I liked its high pitched roof. I liked all of it. It was such a charming little building. The property is 20 acres with trees completely surrounding the animals' land and the house and gardens and out-buildings. It was such a very nice place to spend the afternoon.

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Today in the Garden...

In a way, not a lot is happening in my garden right now. Yes, things are still blooming, but it seems as though they are slowing down, that the plants know that they don't have much longer. The Black-eyed Susan vine seems to be doing as well now as it has all season. It is growing up the rose on the arbor.

And spreading across the ground. There is a white flowered bloom in this picture, if you look. I am planning to put these vines here again next year.

I have a few more Violas waiting to be planted from the flat I bought.

One of my 'Rozanne' Geraniums is still blooming. It is such a beautiful flower.

I like the sun shining through the leaves of my variegated Hydrangea.

'Ballerina' Rose has the most gorgeous clusters of flowers it has had all year!

You know, the Violas seem so unassuming, but their details are absolutely amazing.

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Autumn Leaves...

{a poem by Eve Merriam with photos by Julie}




Autumn leaves tumble down,
Autumn leaves crumble down,
Autumn leaves bumble down,
Flaking and shaking,
Tumbledown leaves.

Rustle by
Hustle by
Crackle and crunch
In a snappety bunch.

Run and catch
Run and catch
Butterfly leaves
Sailboat leaves
Windstorm leaves.
Can you catch them?

Pile them up
In a stompy pile and




Have a beautiful day!