Sunday, May 17, 2015

How Do You Know?

You plant and you plant. Some are shrubs, some are trees, some are perennials, and some are bulbs.... one would think shrubs and trees are visible in the garden. HA! In my garden  I have a lot of baby plants. When I say baby, I really do mean teeny tiny.  See the palm leaf? The stem to the left of it? A small beautyberry 'shrub'. Callicarpa dichotoma 'Issai' was transplanted to an area where the weeds, grasses and rushes, are taller than this little guy. He needs to be marked, and remembered.

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Another area in my garden, lots of oak and hickory leaves cover the garden. I am not going to rake out the leaves...they are just there. But the question arises, where are the plants? 

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I use various forms of marking where plants are located in the garden. Above you see a bamboo stake with a plant tag, pretty straight forward. It is marking where a deciduous azalea is planted.

 Sometimes I don't have a plant tag so I use whatever is handy. For this struggling Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress'  I used a stick. I have a lot of sticks that have fallen into the garden. Seemed like a good choice.


Last year I ordered some plant labels because I have a lot of bulbs planted all over the garden. I forget how many I ordered -- maybe 100, maybe 500- I don't know. Whatever the number, it wasn't enough. In the photo below is an Autumn Crocus...hence the AC.  It helped this spring when I was looking for new growth emerging. I have stepped on a few of them though, breaking off the top. I found more than one wayward plant label snapped off. Oops. 


Sticks also make a good defense against critters who like to dig up newly planted Hellebores. Sadly I didn't realize I needed to put up a small barricade, so I lost two out of the three newbies.  


I was lucky enough to receive some ferns from a friend from Virginia when he and his wife visited. His ferns came with plant tags-- since they are deciduous ferns, having the location marked is helpful. 


New trees and shrubs needed a new way to mark their locations in the woods. I ordered some bare root Cornus florida, Dogwoods, and Hamamelis vernalis, Witchhazel from Missouri Department of Conservation. I think it was 10 seedlings for $8.00 - a bargain in my mind. These seedlings are not small, averaging about 3 feet tall.  

See the purple ribbons? Yes, my latest tool for marking my newest plantings. 

After soaking the bare rooted seedlings, I tied a purple ribbon on each one.  After planting them around the woods,  I looked back, checking to see if  I could 20 seedlings in the woods.  See the ribbon below? It does stand out in the landscape enough to find each of them to water them and check for new growth.




My missing Chionodoxa alba finally appeared. I really need to mark its location.


Again, up by the street I used a wayward stick...marking some Gladiolus. Seems pretty straight forward early on, but now that other plant material has grown and filled in, it was a good idea to mark the spot.


Back in the backyard new ferns were marked with sticks as they were planted. I ordered some New York ferns, Thelypteris noveboracensis. After planting I found the notes from a talk my friend gave on ferns....his take was New York ferns were on the aggressive side. Oh man. Well, looking for the sticks wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Ordered five ferns, dormant, bare-rooted. Planted about seven (the bare-rooted ferns were easy to divide). So now I had about to find seven sticks marking bare-root ferns. I found some and planted them in planters. 


So far I haven't seen any of them come up. Since then I have done more reading on Thelypteris noveboracensis, apparently the further south, the less vigorous they are. Hoping some of them come up.


As you can see, this post was started a while ago...daffodils were still blooming. The garden has filled in but still no New York ferns to be found. Feels like they should be up by now. How do you mark your bulbs or shrubs or bare-rooted saplings or ... or? I think I will find another way to mark new plantings as the sticks seem to disappear over time.


©Copyright 2015 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Winter Walk-Off 2015

As winter winds down to a close, I am finally back to writing a post here. It is time for Les' Winter Walk-Off 2015. I have participated in this annual event every year he has hosted it. You can find my older posts here- 2014, 2013, 2012, & 2011.
The 'challenge' is to take a walk and photograph your sightings....nothing to be photographed from your garden. Not too tough to do. Over the years my walks have gotten shorter as my friends have gotten older and less interested in a long walk. They like eating grass on either side of the road. Maybe they are part cow? Newton, on the left, is now 13 + years old, and Skyler on the right, is 11 years old. Chasing bunnies and deer gets them running, otherwise they like to mosey.

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Our neighborhood is still a quiet place and our walks are generally uninterrupted by cars.  Just past our property is a stream that runs under the road and into the lake. The frogs are always singing up a storm. Love how the sunshine is dappled through the woods - you can see into the forest a good bit before the undergrowth fills in.  Looks like I need to clean my lens. 


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The wildflowers that pop up this time of year are so sweet. I enjoy the sea of purple along the roadside. I have shared pictures of this little beauty on Facebook and had to do a little more investigation to get the correct name. Common name is Bluets, botanical name, Houstonia pusilla.


Small four petaled little blooms, hardly a couple inches tall...but en masse--spectacular.

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As I was looking for the name, a site I use quite often is namethatplant.net. listed it as H. pusilla. For some reason I saw it listed somewhere else as Houstonia caerulea and thought I had misnamed it. Oops, not unusual, but hate to do that. I apparently misnamed it last year in my Winter Walk-Off post.
More research and  I found that these beauties, above, are in fact Houstonia pusilla, one of the distinguishing features is a red eye. Check! Then I noticed that there were some that didn't have a red eye....and they were white.

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See all those white little blooms and a pale blue one in the midst of them? White ones with a yellow eye are Houstonia caerulea and the pale blue are H. pusilla. The common name for the white ones is Quaker ladies, cute name.

Hard to photograph something so tiny...here is a side by side comparison.

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Larger plants are coming to life as spring is really just about here...TOMORROW!!! The maples in  the woods have that reddish glow as their blooms emerge. The grasses from last year are still that lovely blonde but at the base you see new growth starting to show. The winged elms, Ulmus alata, have already blooms and will be leafing out soon.  They are a scrubby tree and quite abundant in our area. Luckily the pines haven't released their pollen yet, thought the river of yellow will be coming soon.

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Another sign of spring on our walk is the blackberry brambles starting to leaf out. They are everywhere! We do get some blackberries but the birds and other wildlife get most of them. I pull out those brambles in my garden all the time and have thorn snags on my jeans to show for it.
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Please check out Les at A Tidewater Gardener to see other Winter Walk-Off posts from various blogs.

©Copyright 2015 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Yes, I know it is December.  Like I said in my last post I have had a few posts in mind for a while. Perhaps this time of year we can reflect on last summer's activities. I used to hate it in school when the teacher would assign a writing assignment on the topic of 'What I did on my summer vacation'. We used to move every summer or two, my dad was in the Army. 

Last summer I attended the Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland....a great trip that warrants multiple posts, none of which is this one.  I did enjoy seeing the mountains out the airplane window.  Mount St. Helens, Mt. Hood and ??? 


This post is a little closer to home. Do you explore your area as if you were a tourist? All too often we don't explore unless we have company. I am glad I was able to join a neighbor and her grandson on a short excursion up to Greenville. Our destination was Falls Park, in the center of downtown. Too often when going to Greenville I hadn't had time to walk around the Falls. The Reedy River runs right through the center of town. 


 Various restaurants, apartments and shops have a front row view of the river.  The river runs under Main Street and through Falls Park.

Breath taking views are at every turn. Picturesque walking bridges cross the river, restaurants on the left and the Peace Center, performing arts venue, to the right.


Additional water features dot the streetscape.


A large cantilevered bridge takes you away from Main Street to the Park. Liberty Bridge, built 10 years ago, it a one of  kind bridge.



It is as if you are in the treetops.



View back up to the bridge. 


Back around and under one of the bridges....


A wonderful outing. I plan on going back and taking more time to explore the trails. We dodged some heavy downpours, luckily it didn't spoil our day and I came home with some good pictures.

One item from Portland I wanted to share with you was one of my winnings from our banquet night. I won a Seed Sprouter from Botanical Interests. Last year I had hoped to win one when we were in San Francisco, but I didn't. This time I put many of my raffle tickets in for the drawing of the Seed Sprouter. I won! And I won again, and again....it was pretty funny. I passed on the second and third time my name came up. 

Once home I pulled out my seed packets and followed the directions for sprouts. 
Step 1- Soak the seeds in a diluted bleach solution to disinfect them. (can't be too safe) 


Directions and equipment all laid out


After disinfecting, you rinse the seeds.


Set up the Seed Sprouter, I had one kind of seeds on one tray and another type on the other tray.


The seeds are sprouting! They need to be rinsed every day to keep them moist.



In pretty short order we had sprouts.  A wonderful addition to a salad or sandwich. 


The sprouts are a little peppery... and tasty! 


After our first round of sprouts I put the Seed Sprouter away for the summer. In our area we are light on mosquitoes but heavy on fungal gnats coming in on the seasonal fruit. Rather than fight the gnats I figured I would bring it out again this winter.

So, short trips, long trips and prizes....a great summer.



©Copyright 2014 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.