Saturday, February 15, 2020

Mid-February Garden Blogger Bloom Day 2020

One of the blogging memes that has been going for a long time is the Garden Blogger Bloom Day. I haven't participated in a long time but am jumping back in. Every month, on the 15th, is Garden Blogger Bloom Day, or GBBD. The meme is hosted by Carol Michel at May Dreams Gardens. Be sure to go over to Carol's blog and see what's blooming in other areas.

One of my new pet peeves is blogs not saying up front where they are located. I don't mean your mailing address but what is your zone, what state do you live in? That said- I live in the Upstate of South Carolina, zone 7b- 8a. I am right on the line. Living on the lake helps moderate the temperatures so I am claiming 8a.

On to the blooms.

We have had a very mild winter so far and many plants are saying, "hello".  I went outside this morning with new camera in hand to get some shots- after a few photos the battery light was blinking red. Bummer. The cell phone came out. The photos are a mix of both.
Starting with the daffodils- there are so many blooming right now. Some varieties are known, but not all.
Narcissus 'Carlton'

N. 'Barrett Browning'

N. 'Ice Follies'
N. 'Erlicheer'

possibly N. 'Avalanche'

N. 'Barrett Browning' and N. 'Carlton'
One of the nice things about our Garden Blogger Flings is the wonderful sponsors who share tools, products, plants, and seeds with us. The above daffodils were swag from Colorblends a few years ago. They sent you bulbs based on your location. I received 'Gritty Southern Mix' and they have done great!
Another bulb that I kept looking for and didn't see emerging. Snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis. All of a sudden, there it was!!

Iris reticulata, a sweet little iris

Let's move along through the garden- so many blooms!!
Another spring favorite are Helleborus. Some named, some pass-along plants- all great!

Helleborus orientalis 'Brandywine Series'

H. orientalis 'Brandywine Series'

View from the deck- Edgeworthia with Helleborus under planted

H. ballardiae x 'COSEH 710' 'Pink Frost'

Next up are the trees and shrubs that are in bloom.
Viburnum tinus  'Spring Bouquet'

Edgeworthia chrysantha 

Forsythia x intermedia

Lean in and take in the fragrance! Osmanthus fragrans Tea Olive

Flowering quince Chaenomeles sp.

Magnolia 'Jane'

Loropetalum chinese 'Ever Red'
"Close to the ground" group-
Iberis sempervirens, Candytuft

Violet, Viola walteri 'Silver Gem'

And last but not least- Gaillardia, it is a sporadic bloomer during the late fall through early spring. Once summer comes, it is in bloom full force.

Thanks for stopping by to see my blooms for GBBD. Be sure to stop by Carol's blog to see more gardens. 

©Copyright 2020 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Blogging and Flinging

Why blog? Why Fling? Eleven years ago I could answer the first question. I just started this blog and it was going to be a garden journal of sorts. The frequency of my posting waxed and waned, depending on what was going on in my life. I wanted to keep track of what was going on in my garden when we lived in Virginia. Once we moved to South Carolina I had a new property, new garden, MORE gardens to fill, more journal material to record.

Photo from my first post

Blogging is a two-way street for many of us. You write your post and hope someone reads it and comments. You in turn read others' posts and let them know by commenting on their post. Many used pseudonyms for themselves and any family members mentioned in the blog. As we got to know each other our true names were used. The more blogs you read the more bloggers you  got to know, sort of an electronic pen-pal.

Chris Mello's Garden, Asheville, NC

Chris Mello's Garden Asheville, NC

Flinging takes the blogging to a new level. The full name was Garden Blogger Spring Fling, we have since dropped 'Spring'. Each year a few bloggers host a Fling in their area, plan visits to public and private gardens, host/cater a dinner, and arrange bus transportation and a hotel, and invite garden bloggers from all around the world to attend. My first Fling was in Asheville, NC. Knowing certain bloggers were attending, you looked for friends who you haven't met yet. Their blog names might be the only name you know. I remember overhearing one of the bloggers ask another, "Who is the Queen of Seaford? Is she here?" Strangers in person, pen-pals online and now friends. This coming Fling will be my ninth one.

Keeyla Meadow's Garden San Francisco 

Viewing the gardens is always fun. You might see familiar plant material or you might see completely foreign plants. You can appreciate color and design. You might want to try something you have seen- will it work in your horticultural zone? Broaden your horizons.
Timing for the Flings varied -different climates and different seasons, you don't want to tour Texas in July and Toronto in May might be a tad chilly. The Flings are during the growing season best suited for each location.

Outside the hotel in Toronto
Here's where the coming back again and again makes for friendship bonds that last over the years, getting stronger with each gathering. Whether you read each others' blogs or Facebook posts or Instagram pages, each Fling you get to know each other better and better.
Maya (from California) and Beth ( host for this coming year's Fling in Madison, WI)

Bus rides are great for getting to know each other
First time Flingers have a  newbie designation on their name tag. We who are not first timers search out newbies to say hello, make them welcome, and make life long friends. Each year we in the Carolinas/Georgia try to get a group photo. Texas bloggers seem to have the largest number of attendees. There are some very charming ladies from Great Britain who have been numerous times. Friends from across the pond! Canada is well represented each year. Photo below - two Canadians, one Brit, one Northerner and a couple of Southerners (one behind the camera).

Breakfast before we fly out Monday morning

NC/SC/Georgia group

Evening gathering grows, adding table after table
Whether you go home with plans for your garden or memories of great gardens with killer views, the Fling is always a good time. We have been rained on, more than once, endured some really hot afternoons, and love every memory made.

Denver Fling- see the mountains in the distance?

More than one of us talked about trying to make our own rock garden

I will end this post with a photo of one of my favorite gardens (minus the mosquitoes) outside of Denver. Interested in joining the group and coming to a Fling? If you write a garden blog you have met one of the requirements. The rest of the guidelines can be found here. Lots more info about this year's Fling in Madison can be found at I know I shared many of these thoughts in a post earlier this year, but it certainly bears repeating. Registration for Madison is now open, time to sign up!
Both the hosts have lined up a wonderful weekend for us. Come and join us!

©Copyright 2020 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.