Monday, May 18, 2015

The Peony Bed

Welcome to Tiger Way Gardens! The peonies are one of the first things you'll see upon your drive to our home. When I come home I want to stop right here and just sit all day and look at these beauties.
Leaving you'll get a great view of the peonies as well.
These plants are so awesome and my apologies to my Facebook friends as I keep posting pictures of them. I guess I just did not realize how much I'd like this bed once it got going. The effect of massing peonies is quite the sight and I wished to share it immediately. It seemed as each hour passed the bed got prettier.
Moving most of peonies out here to the land in the Fall of 2013 I was in a predicament because I had to have a spot for them to go. The spot had to not be in the way of the house build, be permanent, and the conditions had to work for the peonies. As it was, this bed was a bit in the way of an electrical ditch but the backhoe operator did an awesome job of keeping damage to a minimum. 
There are five crepe myrtles in this bed. They are the main framework. I moved them here about two years ago. They have constantly been damaged by the winters but come summer when they bloom I really enjoy them so for now the crepe myrtles stay here. It was an easy decision to make a full bed and add the peonies as well. Between each crepe myrtle there are baptisias and daffodil bulbs. Eventually I'll have about a dozen or two of baptisias here but right now there are only about nine. To see them showcased check this post.
The bed is about sixty feet long. I was able to fit in about 40 something peony plants. I laid the plants out according to colors in a manner I thought I'd find pleasing. The color blocks really work well. I don't think I would've been as happy if I just randomly scattered the colors in this bed.
The yellow of the 'Carolina Moonlight' baptisias plays well off from the pinks, whites, reds, and maroons of the peonies. The bonus is the flower form of the baptisias is most complementary to the rounded and full bloom of the peonies. Those peonies look like cupcakes to me! That might be why I like them so much because I love cupcakes.
To show you where this bed started we go back to October 2013. I was surprised to learn I had actually turned over the soil in this bed. Despite this the weeds such as lespedeza have been an issue. Lespedeza had long roots that are wiry and difficult to pull and I would've thought turning the bed would solve that issue. Starting new gardens in a former field is really a big pain. All of the peonies are dejectedly hanging out waiting for planting. The best time to move peonies is in the fall. All but a few of the transplants survived. You must leave a couple of eyes for the plant to grow. On some of the divisions I barely had one eye but that's okay. Dividing plants is free and I have plenty so I have replaced the few that have died.
Here is another shot of the bed. It is so interesting to me to see how beds transform over the years. Fortunately for gardeners we have that kind of time and before you know it you have full mature gardens. This peony bed will continue to mature and get better as the years pass. One caveat, you might not wish to plant all of one kind of plant in a bed because if a disease or pest does strike it might take out the whole bed. That is an individual decision tho and as for me I chose to garden my way. The peonies have not been bothered by animals, they are in a prominent position and are doing well.....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mosaic Windows

 The Master Gardener here at In the Garden, Tina has inspired me yet again, to create a fun craft for my GEORGIA GARDENS. Click Here for the popular Posting of Tina's Mosaic and how she created it.
Soon after Tina had posted that wonderful tutorial, back in 2009, I decided I needed one as well. I picked up 3 old wooden windows at the Rehab store for a mere $5.00 each. Those 3 windows have spent the past 5 years tucked away in a storage closet just waiting for me and this project. Ha, I have such intentions but as I age, it seems I have issues becoming motivated to follow through with my plans. I am trying to get over this issue but I feel I am fighting a loosing battle at times. Sigh... 
Winter is a great time to take on crafty type projects so finally, the windows came out of the closet and into the sunroom. The windows had been a set of odd windows to a home therefore, there were metal tracks on them. I asked the Saint if he could cut them off for me. With us not having the proper tools for that job, we got assistance from a neighbor/friend with the proper tools. Thanks Dion for your help.
 The cuts exposed holes where the casings and grid were attached together.
No problem as I have filled many holes over the years. Out came my wood filler.
I filled the holes using a putty knife removing excess filler.
 These were small holes where hinges were attached.
 Once the filler was dry, I sanded the area smooth.  
 Next, I painted 2 of the window frames black.
 I do most of my craft projects in the sunroom as I enjoy the natural lighting from the surrounding windows.
 I allowed the windows to dry and cure a few days before moving forward with this project.
 I found many different colors of glass rounds at different crafts stores to include Michael's, Hobby Lobby, The Christmas Tree store and even the Dollar Tree!
 The fun part is creating a design using all the different colors.
Once I had my design in place, Out came the E6000 Glue. Be careful when purchasing this glue as you want to use the Transparent color! I found this out the hard way and now have an opened tube of Black Glue. Grrrrr....
 Here is the second pattern I created. As Tina mentioned in her tutorial of Mosaics, be sure to use plenty of glue or the glass rounds may not adhere to the glass panels. 
 I allowed the glue to cure several days before starting the next step.
 Now comes the messy, time consuming, tedious and at times, frustrating part of this craft.
 I chose Black Grout (no sand) to match the black trim of the windows. I had the Saint mix small batches and I put it into a baggie and cut a tip for easy application. More so like when cake decorating with icing.
This was such a slow process for me, that the panels were drying way too quickly. So I would grout a panel then lightly wipe a panel. Then tend to another grouted panel before starting to grout the next panel. I felt I was keeping up doing it this way. It took many times of wet wiping them before they were finished. Very time consuming.
 I was finished with the grouting process, on March 11, 2015. The windows have been sitting in the sunroom waiting for the Saint to hang them for me. As me with my "putting off" things to be done, the Saint has been in no hurry to hang them. I have harassed him a bit but he knows that I understand that some things take time. Ha ha.. 
  The windows were now very heavy so the Saint and I had to carefully chose good quality heavy duty hooks and chains for hanging them securely to the front porch. 
 I had the Saint hang them on each end of the front porch.
Opposite side of porch with swing. 
 This one has the morning East Sun shining through it.
This one has the evening West Sun shining through it. I am so happy with the way these two panels turned out. I still have one window that I have yet to create but in time, I will get to it.
I am so grateful to Tina for sharing her Mosaics with us on this blog and inspiring me to make a couple of my very own.
Click Here to see another of Tina's wonderful Mosaic creations. This is a great way to recycle old windows into a work of art. I just love these MOSAIC WINDOWSIn the Garden...

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden