Saturday, July 26, 2014

Johnnies in July...

I discovered something this week that I just have to share with you!  But first - when I went out this morning to photograph my find, I saw a black swallowtail butterfly!  He - or she - sure was hard to get a picture of, but I did manage to get this one of the butterfly on one of my Morning Glory blossoms.

Now, back to my wonderful discovery!

A Johnnie has reseeded itself in one of my pots and is blooming!  In July!

The pot that the charming little Johnnie is in holds a Bat-Faced Cuphea.

I love Bat-Faced Cupheas!

As you have probably noticed from photographs on my blog, I'm not really into red flowers.  But I started growing Bat-Faced Cupheas several years ago because the hummingbirds like them.

Now I seek them out because they are so unusual and I like them!  (Can you see the bat face?)

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Don't you just love Google?  I did a little research and found out what my amazing fungus is.  It is an Earthstar.  What a romantic name!  And very appropriate, I think!  If you want to see more pictures of Earthstars, you can follow this link: Earthstar.

Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Catching up...

Well, it's been a few weeks since I've posted so I'm kinda playing catch-up.  This first photo is from a week ago.  Last Sunday, I spent several hours cleaning up and transplanting in my hummingbird garden.  The next morning when I came out to look at my work, I found this fungus growing - blooming? - underneath a clump of Salvia "Black and Blue."  It only lasted that day and was gone by the time I came home from work in the evening.  I have no idea what it is but it is amazing!  (You can click on the picture for a larger view.)

My Balloon Flowers have finished blooming, but when they were blooming, they sure were beautiful.

You can see why they are called "Balloon Flowers" - their buds look like little balloons!

Oh, so lovely!

Along my path to my back door, I have planted Mealy Cup Sage and "Coral Nymph" Salvia.  Both these Salvias are treated as annuals here, but sometimes the Mealy Cup Sage (the blue one) will over-winter.  The "Coral Nymph" Salvia is very good about reseeding.

The yellow flower is Threadleaf Coreopsis.  I love the color combinations!

Even though I have several Hydrangeas, I only have one blooming this year.  I think it got too cold this past winter for the other ones, so although they survived, they aren't going to bloom this summer.

This Hydrangea is called Mini-Penny.  It is a smaller bush and very charming!

Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, June 21, 2014


In a comment to my previous post, I was asked a few questions.  So, here are some answers:

Thank-you for your blog post! Your planter combos are gorgeous! Just a thought about your expensive pre-designed combo: when you consider the number of days its beauty will give you joy, its "cost per day" may not be so very expensive after all! What is the plant growing at the base of that pot? 

The plant growing at the base of my pot is chocolate mint.  I've had it for quite a few years and I love it!  It doesn't really taste that chocolate-y, but I enjoy picking a leaf or two to eat as I walk by.

And what kind of mulch do you use? 

My mulch is sold as "soil conditioner." It is small pieces of pine bark and when worked into the soil, it helps break up the clay a little.  I like using it as a mulch because the chunks are smaller than regular mulch and I think they look less "mulch-y."  It also breaks down a little faster and adds a healthy layer to the soil.

Your herb pot is gorgeous too! Do your herbs overwinter in that pot, or do you buy them new each spring (or start them from seeds)? 

I buy the herbs new each spring.  I plant Johnnies in the pot for winter and new herbs in the spring look much fresher than ones I have tried to overwinter.  It may not be as frugal, but it sure is pretty!

 Also, what is the diameter of your herb pot and how tall do the herbs in the back usually grow to?  (I'm trying to figure out how to do something similar with what I already have.) 

 The pot is about 20" in diameter and the basil is about 20" tall.

Is your tobacco plant poisonous to the touch, as in did you have to wear gloves to plant it? 

No, the tobacco plant is not poisonous to the touch; I didn't have to wear gloves.

Is the wall next to your herb pot fairly recent? I would love to see what you have in that bed.... 

The wall is a couple of years old.  It has a Buddleia planted in it.  And at the base of the Buddleia is Dianthus.  When the Buddleia blooms, I'll post pictures of it.

Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Back door steps pots...

I received a very broad hint that I needed to do another blog post.  So today I am going to share with you the pots that are the bottom of the steps that lead to my back door.  The first one in on top of the retaining wall I built several years ago.

For this summer, it holds Lobelia (the blue one), Verbena (the red one) and Petunia (the yellow one).

I bought these flowers as a pre-made combo in a hanging basket.  I paid a pretty penny for them because 1)  they were a pre-designed combo 2) they were "locally grown"  3) they were in a hanging pot and 4) they were at an up-scale grocery market.

But I decided it was worth it because they were so pretty and were exactly what I wanted.

Just to the left of the above pot,  but sitting down on the path, is this little container.  The plant is an alpine geranium named "Charm."   It's new this year.  I've grown an alpine geranium in this pot for several years, but it finally died out.  I liked it so much that I wanted to replace it with the same thing.

Isn't it charming?

My yellow pot is against the house, right at the very bottom of the steps.  It's a hard place to get anything to grow well in the summer. However, last year I discovered that ageratum grows very well there.  And I like ageratum a lot, even though it is unassuming.

Finally, my big pot at the bottom of the steps.  It sits in the bed that goes along the pathway. A couple of years ago, I started growing herbs in this pot.  They do very well, not minding at all the hot afternoon sun.

This year, I have three different basils,  thyme, tri-color sage, and Cuban oregano.   And Nicotiana.   Nicotiana is a tobacco and all of the plant is poisonous.  Is it diabolical to put a poisonous plant in the middle of edible herbs?

Anyhow,  I like the effect.  The purple hues in the tri-color sage pick up on the reds and pinks of the Nicotiana.

And how 'bout that Cuban oregano!  It's thick and fuzzy and variegated.  Yes, it is usable, like other oregano, but apparently, it is much stronger. 

A variegated Lirope grows below that pot.   One of my sisters gave it to me several years ago.

Cemetery Sedum has planted itself in front of the Lirope.  I think they look very cool together.

And the whole combination looks very lovely.

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dear Mom...

These daffodils are for you.

They grow in a field near my house.  Every year they spread and are more beautiful.

I always think of you when I see them because you love daffodils.

We both know that our relationship over the years has not been what either of us would have chosen.

We both have regrets.  Deep regrets.

But we also have the future.

So, here's to the future ...

... and a closer relationship than we have had in the past.

I love you.

Happy Mother's Day!

Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

So much beauty...

The pot at the bottom of the back door steps has been so lovely the past few weeks.  Enjoy!

Have a beautiful day!