Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sooooo close to blooming! This might just be my most amazing display of sunflowers ever! And there are at least half a dozen different varieties! watch out!

This is yet another great transplant, Crocosmia "Lucifer"...

This is Cosmos bipinnatus "Psyche Mix", with sweet pink and white semi-double and single scalloped blooms. Started from seed and just started blooming this week! Really pretty!

This is the bloom from the Luffa gourds!

This is a native helianthus but I don't know the real name... Transplanted from one of the garden club ladies gardens.

what's blooming in the nursery...

Borage officinalis is sown in with the wildflowers flanking the perimeter fence... It is a really lovely little hardy annual, regularly self-sowing, and I found it is a great companion plant for tomatoes, actually improving the flavor! (next year!) I was originally introduced to Borage in herb school. Medicinally it is a tonic plant for the adrenal glands, it is rich in minerals, especially potassium, a tea made with borage helps to reduce fevers and ease chest colds, and an infusion of borage acts as a galactogogue, promoting the production of milk in breastfeeding mothers.

This is Phlox paniculata, I'm going to say it's "Davidii"... I once took a plant exam as part of a job interview/application and one of the last questions was "Least favorite plant" and I responded with phlox. Why? Because it has never been anything but a powdery mildew nightmare for me... until now... Now it is absolutely gorgeous! This was a transplant from one of my little old garden club ladies gardens and I'm sold... She is striking and scented and completely devoid of any traces of powdery mildew! Phlox, I'm so sorry I talked any trash about you! My guess with the why of powdery mildew is, once again, exposure and making sure she has enough airflow and is not overcrowded.

This daylily is also a transplant from one of the ladies... very sweet pale yellow with a softly spicey fragrance... nice!

This is Hibiscus "Southern Belle". A really outstanding red.
New friend in the yard! This little hummingbird has been coming by to visit the Monarda and Agastache... Katie Grace gave me a hummingbird feeder so I set it up but he seems uninterested in the sugar substitute when so much of the really good stuff is available!

There he is again, a blur, when he flew in during a downpour yesterday. Confused, he flew back and forth from front to back again and again trying to get back out but he was too flying high, so I let the roll up all the way up and he got out. Cutie!

Not so cute is this Tomato Hornworm, Manduca quinquemaculata, I found on one of my tomatoes. I actually first saw a huge amount of caterpillar poo, then looked for him, he blends in very well with the tomato foliage which he was decimating at am alarming rate! I'm not so good at squashing big bugs, not a fan of the crunching noises or guts spurting in random directions... so I put him in a bag, with some leaves, in the trash. Technically not my bad killing karma, right? However, he does have his own issues with parasitic wasps... " Larva that hatch from wasp eggs laid on the hornworm feed on the inside of the hornworm until the wasp is ready to pupate. The cocoons appear as white projections protruding from the hornworms body. If such projections are seen, leave the infected hornworms in the garden. The wasps will kill the hornworms when they emerge from the cocoons and will seek out other hornworms to parasitize." So I do feel for him, but not enough to let him destroy my heirloom tomatoes! If he was to survive all the odds, he would become a hawkmoth, and that's pretty cool!

Here's one of my all time favorites! Cardiosperum or Love-in-a-Puff, an annual vine whose seed pods puff out and form black seeds inside... The best part is that the membrane that suspends the seed inside the pod dries out to reveal a perfect white heart where it was attached! I love it & save the seeds religiously!

Shimmy, this one's for you!

Friday, July 18, 2008

lil babies

These are Nepalese bell peppers, slightly hot (more so towards the center, more mild along the outer edges). They have this crazy sombrero shape like they've been squished... they will eventually turn red.

Golden Treasure pepper is an Italian heirloom, 8"-9" long and sweet...

A miniature birdhouse gourd! So fuzzy! probably to protect it from bugs...

And the biggest baby, 3 year old Arrowyn, having a fullblown naked sulk on the boat at Lake Hartwell, while her mama and I sat in the sun and chatted and giggled at her silliness!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

new signage!

The last line was painted on as an afterthought, since there was a bit of extra space at the bottom... but it's appropriate I think!

This "closed" sign is my favorite because I sprayed it with silver glitter spray paint! I think glitter makes everything better!

big mama philodendron!

I bought this giant philodendron the other day because I just couldn't not... So I justified it by chopping baby plants off the sides and potting them up to become future big mamas!

Sometimes when Bandit gets needy he'll put himself in between me and whatever it is I am trying to get done...

The original plant is still huge after I took off all of these smaller guys!
My roomie Rob got suckered into buying a $12 bouquet of gladiolas... The thing is, once you pull off the road to the little card table stand and some little girls say "Twelve dollars please" it's not like you're going to turn away without the flowers... and he had no bargaining power since he was paying with a $20 bill and is a very nice guy! They are beautiful blooms!

My California poppies, Eschscholzia californica, started blooming!

I spotted these Tiger lilies just starting to bloom while at a stop sign the other day... They're natives and I love them!

Luckily I spotted this little lightning bug in my shoe before I put it on... I felt a little bit bad taking a picture of him all stuck on his back and exposed but his phosphorescent booty is so interesting!


There are all sorts of spiders all over the nursery and I try not to smush them unless they frighten me - usually in a jumping out and surprising me sort of way - or they are giant and deemed just too big... the nursery's just not big enough for the two of us, and you creep me out so... Anyways, I decided that this spidery guy is good feng shui in that he is guarding my lucky cat, who represents good fortune and protection, a symbol of Chinatown I could not leave behind me in New York.

This spider mess, currently located behind the front door, is a dilemma... Clearly baby spiders, but if I capture the whole webby mess in a solo cup and throw it outside quickly will they get on me? Something I would rather avoid...

Nice place for a Daddy Long Legs to nap! A few months ago someone told me that these spiders are lethal but their teeth are too small to bite us.. then he added that who knows, maybe they'll evolve into bigger chompers and take us all out for pulling off their legs as cruel kids will... Nice... now I'm paranoid. He does look a little bit pissed...

What to do with all of those extra pumpkin plants? Put them in the compost heap of course! There are 2 hot peppers in there too.

Bandit and the bugs

This one's for my friend Chris Dean, or rather, for Max...

My boyfriend thinks he's spoiled... and yes, I suppose he is... but why not? He's just so cute!

This is a not good bug... actually egg cases of Squash beetles, which will hatch into little larval stinkers who will in turn demolish the leaf. After being documented they were promptly squashed.

garden porn

One of the sempervivum flowering on a long tall spike...

Pods... I looove seed pods! I covet, collect, squirrel away, forget and then upon rediscovering, cast about seed pods... obsessively. This one is Baptisia, a legume but nonedible... Yummy, but not ready to pick yet!

A Veronica, Speedwell, blooming purple with a yellow Cosmos and green "Envy" Zinnia in the background...

Mimulus cardinalis, Scarlet Monkey Flower, I picked up on a whim at the herb festival this spring. Never having encountered it before, I am sure I bought it purely for the name "Mimulus", it sounds very magical and the "cardinal" could only translate into a scarlet bloom...

pretty views

I drove around up on the parkway looking to see if the Tiger lilies were in bloom yet... I didn't see any, but the vistas are amazing!

We had a rainbow in our front yard after a rainshower...

Katie Grace came to visit with Ezra the other day and Ezra found herself a peach and immediately started to eat it... she only has 2 little teeth on the bottom but we suspect there are more coming soon!

After the peach her little outfit was totally soaked with peach juice and she got to go naked!