Monday, January 28, 2013

A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That

This time of year there are some gardening days and some days to stay in and enjoy a warm fire.   Since we moved here in the summer of 2010 I have been buying plants from the Abbeville Extension Office. Here is  2012 The order is due in November and usually is delivered in mid-December.  This year the weather has been so warm that the plants didn't go dormant on the usual schedule.  The delivery date was pushed back to mid-January.    This year I ordered two crabapples, one Malus 'Red Silver' and one M. 'Golden Hornet'.  Both are semi-weeping.  The Red Silver has bronzy purple leaves and wine red flowers and purple red fruit while the Golden Hornet has white flowers with yellow fruit and green leaves.
Apparently I also ordered two Spirea x vanhouttei.  I forgot I had added those to the order form...think I did it on our way over to turn in the order form.   I couldn't remember where I had planned on planting the spirea.  Oh well, we gardeners love a challenge don't we?






The flowering crabapples were to be planted up by the street along the front of the woods.   In early November I was emptying out one of my worm bins and used some of the castings in the predetermined spots for my future crabs.   To remind myself where I had worked the soil and added the worm castings, I got a big stick and stuck it in the ground when the amending was done.   Yes, in the photo below is my stick.  The neighbors wondered if I was "planting" sticks....oh that crazy Janet.

The holes were pretty easy to dig in January after my earlier preparation.   The spirea found a spot along the driveway and in front of the woods.  Not bad for a quick planting day!!  My newly planted tree is just above the 'h' in my web link on the picture.   With hope and a little water (and no deer) I will be sharing some nice flower photos in the spring. 


And a little fun-- when finally taking down my Christmas wreath  I found there were about five anole hiding in the browning greenery.  They were just about as startled as I was!

Some were really tiny and their colors ranged from brown to green.


When I shooed away all the anoles, I was able to take down the wreath and remove the dead branches, save the decoration and put it away for another year.  


These little guys live in and around the stones on the front of our house.  You can tell it is a warm day if the anoles emerge.

These are the yellow paperwhites, Narcissus 'Grand Soleil d'Or'.  I planted 50 of them in the septic field across the street from the house.  The plan was to disperse them mid-way through the half acre.  Bad idea.  These are sweet little blooms, blooming in December/ January.  Since this is the septic field we bushhog the field in the late fall, after the first frost.  Well, the first frost is also when these little blooms are about 12 to 18 inches tall.  That is not a good time to cut the field.  Luckily they were not damaged from the cutting...but I didn't want to worry each year, so I dug them up and moved them last week.

I planted them along the edge of the driveway, so you could see and enjoy them.   See how tiny they are?


The Edgeworthia chrysantha is still going strong, and will for another month and a half at least.


Also growing in the backyard is a lot of moss.  Moss is really an interesting plant and very pretty.

Next time you see some moss growing, give it a closer look.

Also continuing to bloom is the Hamamelis vernalis, Ozark Witch hazel.  What a great plant!!

A new addition to my garden is a Candytuft, Iberis sempervirens 'Purity'.  I had other Candytufts, but just two and wanted to get a third.  The one I bought was blooming already!!  I wonder if it will continue to bloom all through the season? 



Now for your bird fix-- first a couple Goldfinches..one with more of its summer coloring than the other.



The first time I saw this next bird, I thought it was a mutant Robin.  It is about the same size, same colors, but very different.  Turned out to be an Eastern Towhee.  We rarely see them unless we are outside as they are ground feeders.  This one was scratching around in the leaves in the next lot until I walked along the side of the house.  This male Towhee flew up to a branch to keep an eye on me.
Don't forget the Great Backyard Bird Count on February 15- 18th weekend.    You keeping an eye on your birds?

©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

50 comments:

  1. Wow, it is amazing that we only live about 2 1/2 hours from each other but you have so much going on in your garden and I have nothing! Is the anole the same critter I called a chameleon as a kid growing up in Miami? I always had one on my shoulder, also green snakes that were my friends.

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    1. Lynn, You are higher in the mountains, so I think that accounts for a lot of it. I am not sure if your chameleon is the same as the anole, though the anole do change color depending what they are standing on.

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  2. Awesome post, Janet! I just wish my witch hazel would bloom. There are now some buds on them...maybe some blooms will come this season. If not, I know what I have to look forward to! Love that little Towhee! What a cute little bird! I love your Anoles. we have them here, too. Just usually only see one at a time...not 4 or 5!! Good idea to move your mini daffs over to your driveway so you can enjoy them and see them up close!

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    1. Jan, thanks! Your witch hazel should be blooming here soon. I am very happy with the mini daffs being along the driveway now.

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  3. Oh, your anoles are so cute! The only thing that hides in my wreath is wasps, hunkering down for the winter in a dry spot. Those tiny little Narcissus are adorable. I love moss. I'm always buying things online and then when they come I think, like you, now what was I thinking when I ordered that?

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    1. Alison, they are cute aren't they? I wouldn't like wasps in the wreath.

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  4. It's hard to believe it is February already! The little narcissus is too cute! I'm surprised you don't see more towhees. They live in the shrubbery here and seem to be everywhere. I suspect they'll like those new crabapples. Finding those anoles would be a shock to me too!

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    1. Tina, I know!! I see Towhees in the woods -- going through the leaves in the next lot. We are up on the second level, so it is not often I see them up in a tree.

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  5. Dear Janet,
    so you are already busy gardening (while I can only put on/ put off the plastic foil of the roses on the balcony :-)
    The malus is such a lovely plant - so satisfying with lovely blossoms, beautiful leaves and very bright fruits! I have a very tiny tree on the balcony - still with yellow (and, to be honest: a lot of brown) little apples on it.

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    1. Britta, In SC we can be gardening almost year round, which is wonderful!! I am happy you have a Malus on your balcony! How wonderful.

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  6. What a great time to plant! I want to get a few trees in this winter so I'd better get a move on because spring is just around the corner. I haven't seen any anoles for a while now. Looks like your found a nice little spot for the holidays. I am going to start some indoor seed sowing soon...trying to get a start on growing milkweed for the migrating monarchs this spring.

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    1. Karin, It is a great time to plant and with the rain we have had lately, a super time!

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  7. What a delightful way to start my day, Janet, thanks! I am envious of that yellow crab apple. Please let me know when you have fruit on it, hope it is quickly. Yellow berries are so, well, different! HA The anoles are so sweet, as are the birds. Love the towhees, we only see them in winter, never at the feeders but foraging on the ground. What interesting moss you have, too. Just an all around wonderful post. Thank you.
    Frances

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    1. Frances, I am so glad, thanks. I hope my little yellow crab does well, really looking forward to it.

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  8. I'm really impressed by your new camera. The moss photo is astounding. Cute story about the anoles. I see them once in a while here in Greenville.

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    1. Marian, it is a nice camera... super macro and super zoom.

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  9. Those are the sweetest dafs...and how cute are those anoles. Love your witch hazel and I look forward to your crabapples blooming. gail

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    1. Gail, it is amazing how tiny these daffs are, so glad I moved them. I also look forward to the crabs blooming.

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  10. What a lot of happy and beautiful activity you have going on! So much late, or early bloom - depending on your point of view. Love thos daffs.

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    1. Commonweeder, it is a lot of activity. Have had something blooming all year. It is wonderful.

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  11. Janet, your garden never sleeps! I'm in awe of all the blooms and activity. We've also seen quite a few anoles. Poor things, the kids immediately need to catch them, but they're realized shortly after (my rule.) My edgeworthia is disappointing, and I hope I haven't killed it. Yours are just fabulous--I can't imagine how wonderful your garden must smell! I've never heard of yellow paperwhites--they're darling! Daffs are my favorite early flower, and I plant tons so I can always have a vase full in the kitchen. Thank you for the reminder about the bird count. I thought it was over Christmas vacation, and Mikey was very excited to try out his new binoculars--but it was a different count. I'm putting it on my calendar so I don't forget. Beautiful photos, as always!

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    1. Julie, no never does! I hope you haven't killed your Edgeworthia too, not too much water. I love having blooms in a vase -- adds to the joy of gardening.

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  12. I've got a few blooms on my daffodils - your little yellow babies are so cute!
    Wonderful moss photo! I do notice moss, but I find it difficult to get a good photo.
    Love your birds. The goldfinches are here; soon they will be going on north.
    I got a Silver Maple to plant - can't decide where to put it. It is in a pot and about a foot high. We got it free from the County Extension Service. I know it should be planted now - must make up my mind soon.
    Have a great week!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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    1. Lea, I hope you have figured out where to plant your Maple, it will be wonderful color in the fall.
      My moss pictures were taken by putting the camera on the ground... auto-focus.

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  13. I love the Anoles. Each time I remove something from the front porch decoration wise, I must give it a few nice taps to make sure I am not going to bring in a frog or anole. They love to hide out in the decorations. I talk to them and I swear at times, I think they understand me! LOL, So your stick in the ground is not so crazy afterall. I talk to lizards and frogs! Your tiny Daffy are the sweetest and I too would have moved them from the blades of distruction! Plus, closer so you can enjoy them. Towhee are usually seen around here in the winter. I reckon when the leaves are less we see more. We normally have a male and female each year then in spring a family but I have yet to spot the parents this year. The finches showed up the same day I put out the thistle sock. Not sure if they showed up the same day or if they were hanging around waiting for the sock as hulled seed has been out as normal. They do like the thistle though... Today, windows are open and I am about to hit the soil...

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    1. Skeeter, I enjoy the anoles a lot. Yes, a quick tap helps alert the little guys that you are moving their hiding place.

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  14. Our birdies have been grateful to us for keeping suet out and thawing the birdbath regularly during the recent deep freeze. Wonder if they will stick around for the count? I'm surprised that you can plant out those little whips of trees without caging them to keep the deer away.

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    1. Ricki, I applaud you for thawing the birdbath...the birds appreciate it. Hope you have a lot for the count!

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  15. Enjoy the crab apples, they are perhaps my favorite small flowering tree. And that Eastern Towhee is beautiful, I've never seen one of those before.

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    1. Jason, thanks, hope the crabs do well, they are up in the front with a lot of sun and limited water.

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  16. There is a lot going on in your garden. I just ordered a witch hazel and a edgeworthia for my garden. Seeing yours bloom almost makes me look forward to next winter!

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    1. HolleyGarden, yes, a lot is blooming now, I love it. Hope you enjoy the edgeworthia as much as I do.

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  17. I'm really impressed with how organized you are, preparing the planting holes for your trees months ahead of time. My tree planting each spring is a mad scramble to figure out where to put them.

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    1. Marguerite, Organized??? hahahaha I was emptying out the worm bin -- finding spots to amend the soil, it was a win win placement.

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  18. I adore mosses and love how they stand up in the sunlight....or it appears they do....adorable daffs too!!

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    1. Donna @GEV, yes, the bright green of the new growth on the moss is wonderful.

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  19. Love that Towhee. What a beautiful bird! Hope I get to see one someday.

    My wife would just about have jumped out of her shoes if she'd seen those anoles! LOL! :)

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    1. Aaron, Yes, the towhees are fun to have around. I have one that 'follows' me when I walk the dogs...alerting others as we go.

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  20. So many magical plants in your garden, the daffs sound as if they will be much happier in their new home.

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    1. Janet, Magical? Maybe, wonderfully fragrant..YES! The daffs are thriving in their new location.

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  21. How nice to have flowers blooming already! We're at least a month away from the earliest crocus here. The mini daffs are so adorable, good thing you saved them from the bushhog.

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    1. VW, We had such a mild winter, I think there are a lot of early blooms this year.

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  22. Great post! I especially love your wreath visitors. Or were they temporary residents?

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    1. Carolyn, thanks so much. The anoles are here year round-- when the temps warm up a bit they emerge from where ever they have been hibernating.

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  23. You really have an active garden at this time of year. The birds are pretty as are all the blooms. My favorite photos are the anoles. They are really cute lizards. I cannot participate in the GBBC this year, but I will keep my eyes peeled for some odd visitors.

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    1. Donna @GWGT, Yes, anoles are the cutest little visitors. I know you will keep your eyes peeled because you have already found some interesting birds.

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  24. Glad you found a place for the spireas -- I hate when I over-order, especially big, shrubby things. I have such limited space and it's such a challenge to fit everything in. Beautiful anole pictures!

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    1. Eliza, yes, I just had forgotten I ordered them as well. We have an acre on this side of the street...so there is plenty of move.

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  25. I just love your photos. I wish I could take such wonderful pictures and do more justice the beauty of the garden. My pictures on www.marlborobulb.blogspot.com just do not compare, though the blooms are every bit as magnificent! My N. Grand Soleil d'Or are STILL in bloom after 6 weeks despite the ups and downs of the weather, as well as N. Rinjveld's Early Sensation; even N. Ice Follies are now blooming and the Witch Hazel is just awesome. I have tried 3 times with the ethereal Daphne Odora Aureomarginata and still can't manage to keep one. Not sure what I do to that poor plant and I love it so.

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    1. Patricia, thanks so much. I like your pictures, just a different focus. My N. Grand Soleil d'Or are still blooming too....and are doing well after the move. I planted my daphne high in the soil with some rocks and sand under it for drainage....and not much water.

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