Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hither, Thither and Yon....and an Update

Last weekend we went on a quick road trip up to West Point, New York to the United States Military Academy, for our niece's graduation.   Kind of felt like the Johnny Cash  song "I've Been Everywhere".   We drove from South Carolina through North Carolina into Virginia.   After an overnight in Northern Virginia, we went through Maryland, Delaware and into New Jersey for lunch and then on to New York.  Our kids and the fiancĂ© had joined the trip for this second leg of the trip which made the trip more fun. 

Graduation was great and loved visiting with family and good friends.  Managed a good capture of our niece on the Jumbotron!

I love the Hudson River valley.  Off in the distance is the Bear Mountain Bridge. 

One benefit of our trip was seeing trees I didn't have photos of!!  My brother in law started calling me 'The Tree Lady'.  I will be sharing some of these trees in a few more Tuesday's Trees postings soon.

These two were outside the front door of the place we stayed.  Just love big old trees.

On our way to dinner we went past this house with these REALLY mature azaleas.  I do NOT like meatball pruning of shrubs...but look at the size of these azaleas!

On our way home we took a different route.  The kids went their way (both the girls had to teach on Monday) so we said goodbye before leaving New York.
Charlie and I went through Pennsylvania instead of going through New Jersey.  A great side trip was to go to my college campus for a visit.  I haven't been there since the year I graduated.  Fun trip down memory lane!

This is my old dorm.

Below is the dining hall where I worked in the dish room for four years.  Oh the food fights.... :-)

This is Old Main, the flagship building of Shippensburg University.  It opened in 1871.

For a little garden fix on the way home we stopped in Harrisonburg, VA at the JMU Arboretum

 I know I mentioned this place last year, as the Master Gardeners from York County stopped here on our spring trip.  Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Last, an update on my mystery plant from the last posting.  Many thought it was Euonymus americanus, Hearts A Bustin'.  The flower did look very similar to E. americanus, but no.....there were a lot of other indicators to the contrary.  My friend Daricia, A Charlotte Garden, suggested it was either a Euphorbia corollate or E. pubentissima.  The leaves are alternately spaced along the stem until the flower stem, where the leaves are whorled.  Additionally the stems are split at this part of the stem.   Last, the stem has the classic white milky sap.

 Alternating along the stem.

Whorled where the stems split.
 Another view of the whorled leaf pattern.
Thanks Daricia! 

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My First Wildflower Wednesday

Many of you have participated in Gail's Wildflower Wednesday over at Clay and Limestone, I wanted to before this, but the stars didn't align correctly until now.  For those who don't know, each month on the fourth Wednesday of the month Wildflowers are profiled.  Native plants are a whole new ballgame for me, slowly I am learning what is in my garden, my woods, and across the street from my house. 

While planting my new garden,  I wanted to put in as many natives as I could.  There are a lot of honeysuckle vines all through our woods, unfortunately, they are the invasive variety, Lonicera japonica.    I wanted some native honeysuckle in my garden, so I bought some Lonicera sempervirens.  I bought two....'Major Wheeler' which is red and 'John Clayton' which is yellow.  The blooms are long trumpet shaped.  The one pictured is supposed to be 'John Clayton'....oops!!

Doesn't look yellow does it?  Maybe next year I will find a true 'John Clayton'.  In the meanwhile, the hummers loved these!

This is the view of the neighboring lot.  Yesterday while I was in the side yard the light was shining just so----do you see what I see? 

 No, not the poison ivy....right in the center, see it?  The white bloom?  Ok, look at the photo below.
Yes, it looks like False Solomon's Seal, Smilacina racemosa.  The blooms are just about done. 

 This is the one I saw over the weekend on my way the JMU Arboretum.   Season-wise, they are about 2 weeks behind us in South Carolina. 

What fun to find this is my area. 

I am tooting the horn for Ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius 'Coppertina'.  This is a cultivar of a native shrub....Just love the sparkle!
I am thinking of getting some more in our garden, year round interest.  Super shrub!

Remember when I posted this little plant a while back?  Common name is Striped Wintergreen or Pipsissewa, Chimaphila maculata.  I  have been watching it since I found it this winter. 
The flower buds have been getting bigger and bigger this spring....and when I looked on Monday---

It finally opened!!  What a cool bloom.

It has been a lot of fun exploring my new surroundings ---many times finding plants I have no knowledge of.    Take for instance, this plant.  Interesting tiny bloom, wide branching, understory growing little plant.

 Anyone know what this is?
Again, take a look at Gail's postings....never know what you (or I) might learn!

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sad News

Sad news greeted me when I opened an email from Ronda, a friend of Rain Gardener's (Linda) from Gardening by Trial and Error.  Linda was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago.  She went into Hospice on Monday.   Yesterday she died.  Many of us have read Linda's blog over the last few years and feel as though we know her personally.  I was really taken back by Ronda's email.  I had no idea.  
Ronda lives in Winlock WA and she sent me her phone number.  A memorial service will be in the near future.  Anyone wanting more information about the service or where to send a note, drop me an email and I will give you Ronda's contact infomation. 
Linda's last post was about a cute little I leave you with this picture

FYI--my email address can be found on my profile page.
©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blooms and Critters

This time of year all through the South Magnolias are blooming.  The deciduous magnolias bloomed earlier this year, now it is Magnolia grandiflora's turn.  I have four M. grandiflora 'Little Gem' in my garden.  In  the evening when I am outside with the dogs I can smell the fragrance on the breeze. 
The blooms don't last too long, but the large white flowers stand out beautifully against the dark green foliage.  You can see the bloom is already starting to fall apart.

Don't you just want to crawl inside this beautiful white flower? 
 What I find so interesting with the blooms is how they turn almost leather-like in appearance as they fade, before the petals fall to the ground. 
 This fall the seed pods will have bright red seeds emerging from the center. 

In the backyard garden the Hydrangeas are starting to bloom.  I brought one from Virginia with me, 'Nikko Blue', and purchases two Endless Summer varieties after we got here.  Knock on wood, the deer haven't discovered these.

The area along the roadside in our housing area is pretty wild.  There are a lot of grasses sprouting up and putting forth their seed heads.  They are all very different and I do not know one from the other. I was trying to get some good photos of each so I could then start some research on which grass is which. 
As I moved off the road into the grasses I had company/help.  Newton wanted to see what I was looking at and with the added frustration of the wind, it was hard to take closeup photos of the seedheads.

 I did get one, though I am not certain what grass this is, but I will get some more photos and start my investigation.   The seedheads are all so different, they are really beautiful.

Needing some of my butterfly experts out there.  This picture is not upside down, the butterfly is.  He and about a dozen of his friends were hanging out on my mailbox post.  While in a resting state their wings were up, you would not believe how many photos I took to get ONE with its wings open.  

More wildlife--- as we were coming back from town last week, in the middle of the day, we spotted a mama deer nursing her fawn.  Camera in hand, I tried to get a photo of both of them.  Mama took off into the tree line, leaving this very close to newborn out in the open.  I quickly took a couple pictures----this is zoomed to the max and then cropped, we were a good distance away.  I have mixed emotions on seeing this baby.  The emotions range from --oh how cute!- to- oh no! deer!   As soon as we got home (just a couple lots down) I got the deer repellent out and protected my newly planted rose bushes.

Yesterday we were on our way out and saw one of the turtles we usually see in the water, up at the top of a neighbor's driveway.  Hope it found its way back to the water.  It was a pretty big turtle, kind of fun to see as they usually dive into the water as soon as we come near.

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

View of a Slice of Paradise

With sunsets like this, I know you think I am just lounging around, watching the waves lap the shore.

I have been doing a lot more planting.   I decided I wanted to try planting roses along the shoreline again....yes I know-- don't say  it.  I will try to stay ahead of the deer.  Two of the roses they nibbled to the ground (instead of uprooting and walking off with) are blooming.  I have faith the new ones might thrive as well---if they have the chance to get their roots in the ground securely. 

This is the backyard, taken from the lower level, looking uphill.  Shrubs are filling out, I mark my victories with each plant when I can see it from the deck.  I have rearranged a few plants, giving them a bit more sunlight.  When they were planted I thought the amount of light would be greater.  I will photograph this angle later in the season and share the difference.

While planting and replanting I had a serenade from this Summer Tanager.  His song is so pretty.  It took a long time to get a photo of him, the sun was right behind him most of the time.
 While working under the trees near the fern area I found a plant that I am leaving.  I believe it is a native Solmon's Seal, Polygonatum biflorum.   It hasn't bloomed, so I am reserving judgement.  Any ideas?

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Family Bed---I Mean Garden Bed

Ever since we started planning our new house and new garden, I wanted to plant a family garden.  I already had a family name plant-- Ledebouria cooperi.  Our last name is Ledebuhr, very close to Ledebouria.  I bought it years ago and brought it with me to our new home.   I was worried it wouldn't come up this spring but my fears were dashed when all of a sudden there it was!  Hooray---

Now we wait for it to bloom. 

After reading some of the blogs I decided on a David Austin order for my namesake plant--  David Austin Rose 'Janet'.  It came bare-rooted and dormant but quickly started to sprout. 

'Janet' is a light pink mixed with copper color, with a strong Tea Rose fragrance.  I can't wait! 

My husband's plant is due to be delivered in October....Paeonia 'Charlie's White'.   This was a tough one to find in stock.  Will post about its arrival this fall. 

Our daughters, Rachel's and Rebecca's plants have been planted close by 'Janet'.  Clematis 'Rebecca' is a repeat bloomer.  First blooming in May-June time frame and then later it will bloom again in August.  It is Pruning Group 2...prune lightly in early spring just above new leaves.  Remove dead or broken branches.    It is a gorgeous red bloom.

Rachel's plant is a peony, another tough to find plant....but I finally was able to buy one and it is now in the ground.  Paeonia officinalis 'Rachel' is another red bloom--a big, double crimson slightly fragrant bloom.  I will have to wait until next year for it to bloom....this one is still pretty immature.  This season will be root and foliage production.  

I found a few other Rachels and Rebeccas, might add them as the years go by....The Rebecca Dahlia is really pretty and Rachel Dianthus is a sweet little fragrant bloom. 

We will be having a wedding next summer, welcoming Alex to the family as Rachel's husband-- and will need to find a proper Alex plant.  There is an Alexander Fleming peony...a possibility.  Anyone have suggestions?   I have been looking around to see if I can find a good Alex to add to the family garden. 

If you are thinking of doing a family garden there is a nice website that can get you started on some of the plants with 'people' names.  The downside of the website is that it is an English site and not all the plant material is available in the States.  Royal Horticultural Society.
Have fun with it!! 

A little follow up on the cicadas... the ones in my neck of the woods are the 13 year cycle species -- in the northern part of the United States there are the 17 year cycle species.  There was a question about the size of these ugly bugs-

And an interesting photo-- one of the cicadas emerging from its exoskeleton. 

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.