Sunday, August 31, 2008

Southern Hospitality

I recently told you all about my beautiful Southern Belles. My pretty Belles continue to show me their beautiful dresses of pale and deep pink colors.

Georgia is one of many states known for its Southern Hospitality. My Southern Belles are no different then any other Belle in putting out the welcome mat and opening up their homes for others.

My Georgia Belles welcome all types within their folds. All types in the form of birds that is! Here you see a birdhouse and bird nest together in the Belle by the house. I assume the Mockingbird that built the nest was sure no resident was in the little house or were they thinking, eggs for breakfast?

This nest was found in the driveway island Belle. Notice how full it is of white fluffy stuff? That is a funny story. I set small pine trees on the porch as a winter decoration. Since we don't see snow in the Deep South, I place fake snow (pillow stuffing) under the trees for that cozy winter snow look.
The squirrels steal the snow and take it high into the trees and make nice warm pillows for their nest. Just look at that brave squirrel on my front porch stealing snow!
In time, the fake snow falls from the trees with the blowing winds. The birds find the snow on the ground and use it for pillows in their nests!

Here is another such nest in the Belle in the front yard.

When we had storm damage to the Belle by the house, we had to prune some of her branches. I carefully took the nest out of the tree for a good picture for you to see how soft that bed must be for babies. The Mocking birds never had babies in this nest as something took the eggs. I am guessing the crow I saw nearby. Argggg...
After I snapped the picture, I placed the nest on the ground at the bottom of a tree. Now look what happened within two days. Every bit of snow was gone with nothing left but the twigs! I can only assume the squirrels took the fluffy stuff back up the tree for another soft pillow. Recycling at its best! The critters in the yard are real funny at times and they do amuse me.
Our Southern Belles were gracious this year in providing lots of SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY to their guest, In the Garden...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

S'hrooms

Tina recently told you about the Fungus in her gardens. With lots of rainfall here in Georgia from Tropical Storm Fay, we now have fungus among us! Our fungus is Argaricus Bisporus simply known as, Mushrooms.
Mushrooms or Toadstools have stems, caps and gills underneath and seem to pop up over night! I know they pop up over night in our yard. Look at all the S'hrooms I found in the yard this morning!
Many different types of which I have no idea how to identify. Mushrooms are wonderful to eat but not the ones we find in our yard.
Some mushrooms can kill a human if consumed. So it is best to leave the harvesting for the experts.
I have seen the deer and squirrels eat some of the mushrooms that pop up in our yard. I wonder why this one was flipped over? Maybe a squirrel was hunting for one to eat and decided this s'hroom was not the one! I found a large grouping of the tiny mushrooms popping up and standing tall as if a group of soldiers standing in formation. These were popping out of the seed hulls from the birdseed we clean up from under the feeders. We just pitch the hulls over the fence and they break down in time.
The tiny S'hrooms seem to thrive in the Black Oil Sunflower hulls. Too bad I cannot eat them as I love mushrooms!
Here you see the genus, Trichaptum, a Polypores, or type of mushroom without a stem which grows on tree trunks or stumps. I find these all over the woods on tree trunks.
I have no idea what you call this fungus other then pretty! I always see something from within with my eyes and in this fungus, I see Coral of the ocean floor.
There were big clumps of this fungus growing in the pine straw of the natural area of the yard.

Some people do not like mushrooms popping up in their yard over night. But I find S'HROOMS fascinating and beautiful with their shapes, colors and texture, In the Garden...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Front Door


Skeeter's Front Door

Eve asked us to post about our front doors and in the spirit of support that is what we are doing! Tina didn't want to show hers as she is working on it-as always.

My front door is probably what some would call a traditional entry. We had the new door installed about a year ago. The Saint installed the new light fixtures and I put the personal touches on the wicker tables. Plants, whimsy items, birdhouses, etc. Decorations change with the season and the tables disappear during the winter months for evergreen trees filled with birds and snow...











I like to think the front door is inviting and the welcome mat is always out whether coming into my Front Door or, In the Garden...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Workspace

Tina's Workspace
Brenda started a tour if you will, of our work spaces. Where we spend our time blogging-as most of us do. I wasn't sure if I would share mine because as you can see I am a bit messy. But! I can tell you where and what everything is on my desk-unless of course I need it. Then it is irretrievably lost. Most of the books and papers are things I am working on. Can you see the ever important Southern Living Garden Book? I always keep that one close.

I custom designed my space so that I would have a window view. I need to always be close to the window so I can see nature and the garden. Here I have a nice view of the perennial border, a crab apple and a birch tree. I enjoy working here so much and spend more time here than I probably should. I also have a good view of the television so all needs are taken care of. I just need to work on the kitchen here. Just kidding. The desk was an old purchase from the old Defense Reutilization Maintenance Office (DRMO). DRMO used to be the agency that disposed of old Army furniture. We got this solid wood desk for $15 many years ago. I don't have the heart to let it go, so it was re-purposed into a computer desk. Back when this desk was made no one could ever have believed we would need desks for computers!

We also have another computer close by so oftentimes this room is home to the whole family where we either play on the computer, or watch moves. It is a warm room facing due south so it is a sunny room as well. The sunniest room in the house; for which I am grateful.


Skeeter's Workspace

We picked up this desk while still living in Germany. One of a few items we bought in a German Furniture store. This is a simple desk but solid as a rock. Just ask the Saint about getting it up 4 flights of stairs in a German Apartment while in a box! No elevators in Germany and some assembly required. I am glad I was at work the day he picked it up. He also had fun getting it up the stairs into this office space. I would like to have the office downstairs but there is no room for it anywhere. I do enjoy gazing out the window looking into the gardens as I type. I see lots of activity on a daily basis...

Notice my little office helper. That would be Cheetah, my little shadow that hangs out with mommy. She has a blanket on the desk to call her own. Spoilt cat... It is really cute when both my fur girls sit on the desk and look out the window at the same time. I do spend a lot of time at this Workspace, when I am not, In the Garden...

Disclaimer: Though I do not generally participate in memes because of the whole linking thing and badges and back commenting, we voluntarily do this because the spirit is in sharing and why not? No back commenting but linking is fine for this post. We do it all the time here at In the Garden. Gee, I know I spend a ton of time in mine, and I bet Skeeter does in hers as well (along with Cheetah), so work spaces ARE a big part of blogging. What a great idea Brenda posted about.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Caterpillars and Beautyberry!

Beautyberry is a great little native shrub. The berries are the outstanding feature of this shrub, but that is about it. The berries are attractive to wildlife and are really all this great shrub needs to be welcomed in my garden. Birds, butterflies and moths all like beautyberry as well.
On a recent walk around the garden my friend Judie spotted three yellow woolly bear caterpillars all lined up on the beautyberry. Good catch Judie! I went back later with my camera and there were only two still lined up. The third was not far away but not in this picture.

I have never seen these caterpillars before and spent some time researching them. I believe they are the larvae of the Virginian Tiger Moth, Spilosoma virginica. The moth is actually quite pretty, though I haven't seen it. These larvae feed on a wide variety of low growing shrubby plants and they are welcomed to the beautyberry in my garden. I am looking forward to seeing the white moths with an interesting abdominal pattern in the future.

Has anyone ever seen these before?

in the garden....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Flower Designs

Beachaven Garden Club met recently for its yearly August Workshop on flower arranging. A very big part of garden clubs is not only the social aspect of meeting up with good gardening friends, but also of flower arranging.
I must admit my favorite part of flowers is growing them. But I good naturedly try to arrange some flowers into some semblance of a bouquet which will please me. The fun part is cutting them and finding out you really don' t have as many flowers as you thought you did-especially in August!


















Here are a few examples of the beautiful designs we ladies come up with at our meeting. Ann is fortunate her husband grows an abundance of marigolds. She designed the first picture of the sunny marigolds. I am pretty sure she also designed the second flower arrangement of Rose of Sharon, crepe myrtles, and zinnias. Zinnias were in abundance in everyone's gardens and are a great flower to grow for summer interest.

Bet you can't guess who designed with the hydrangeas. Just kidding, that should be an easy one. Sandra, our resident expert and blue ribbon winner designed the arrangement with the pink hibiscus. Her category was 'One blossom' and yes, she did take the blue ribbon with that cool design. She is so artistic and has been a good mentor to me.

I think Bernice designed the above design with a bunch of neat flowers. The textures and different varieties of pinks add so much interest. Faye designed the above design with pentas in the 'Unusual Container' category. Can you see the cucumber she placed the flowers in? Pretty neat huh?

Thanks all you good gardening friends in Beachaven. The yearly workshop is an opportunity to socialize and work together on our designs. Last year my mother was able to come to the workshop and this year I missed her very much. But I always look forward to our monthly meetings to see what new designs you gardeners will have and what beautiful flowers you have growing....

in the garden....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cow Days of Summer

video
Who says it is the dog days of summer? These wading cows would beg to differ. What a great way to spend an afternoon-wading in the cow pond.

Can you all hear the wind? It was a lovely day with a nice breeze!

Thank you Cindy for the delicious recipe for "Mock Crab Cakes". I made them for my family recently and even Mr. Fix-it had this to say, "They aren't half bad" in a very surprised manner. They were actually quite good and that was a compliment coming from Mr. Meat and Potato man!

in the garden....

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Blooms in August

There is still quit a bit of color in my yard considering it has been a hot summer under drought conditions here in Georgia. I spotted this Flying Flower sipping nectar on the white butterfly bushes. The two shades of purple are still blooming as well. I found two old tags from the butterfly bushes! The white is known as "Silver Frost" and the deep purple one is "Guinivere". Now if only I could identify the pale purple one... I found a shock in the chimney planter. A Drumstick Allium was blooming! Not to be expected in July much less August.















Another shocker for me was to find the Dwarf Lily in bloom during the month of August!
White blooms are adorning the Spider plants. They were babies which fell off hanging plants and started to pop up in the planter below the front porch. I transplanted them to the backyard and they return each year as a perennial plant here in Georgia.

Purple Emperor Sedum continues to blooms. I am struggling to keep the deer off this one. Pink and white Begonias are thriving in this heat and drought. My first try at Begonias and I am really happy with them. I believe we will plant them again next year... Of course the Southern Belles (Crepe Myrtles) continue to show their colors of light and deep pinks.









The Belle in the driveway island has had a hair cut since our last showing of her.
Purple Queen is blooming tiny purple flowers which the bees and hummers enjoy.

One of the Jimsonweed has bloomed and the second one has huge buds on it as I type. Thanks for the seed Tina. This is an awesome flower!

Blue Saliva continues to attract bees and butterflies in the chimney planter.
The Lantana's in gold and the orange-gold combination, continue to attract butterflies, hummer and bees with their beautiful blooms. They thrive in this heat and lack of rain.
The purple Homestead Verbena, gold Lantana and Coreopsis are beginning to intermingle. Ah, Purple & Gold, my high school colors. Go Wildcats!

















Lantana and Verbena are similar to me but the Verbena stays with us year round when the Lantana goes dormant for the winter months.

Purple Wave Petunia is still blooming although, the foliage is starting to look a bit scraggly!
Marigold still blooming profusely and enjoying the heat and drought of these Georgia Dawg Days of summer.
Pink Wave Petunia, Blue Daze and Allyssum are so pretty together in two planters and a pot! Ah, that sounds like a good title to me. Stayed tuned...

Trumpet Vine is still showing off bright orange clusters of blooms. It has given me more blooms then ever this year. I wish I had counted the blooms but I will take a stab at it and guess around 75 or more from the two plants!

Black-eyed Susan's continue to bloom even though about half of my pretties have a horrible virus. See the bee?
Purple Sage is still standing tall and attracting bees.

White Saliva is standing tall next to the sage and enjoying the buzzing of bees as well.

The Cosmos seed you gave me Tina, are still blooming! Here is a picture of the orange.
And here is a picture of the yellow Cosmos! Thanks for the fun seeds! I look forward to them reseeding for next year!
The Liriope blooms were in full bloom for the past month but now fizzling out on me. I am surprised the deer have not munched on them because they ate some last year. It was towards the end of their bloom time so I let them have the treats as it was another drought year and I feel sorry for the wildlife during drought times.

The drought tolerant Periwinkle (Vinca) in colors of purple, pink and white keep blooming and blooming more each day. I only planted purple in this planter this year and the others self seeded from years past. I love this stuff as much as the bees, hummers and butterflies.

Mexican Heather continues to show her pretty little purple blooms! Bees and butterflies surround her daily.
Catnip has such pretty tiny blooms that the flying flowers and bees enjoy. My cats enjoy the foliage, stay tuned for that Nippy bit of fun...

I took the Catmint out of the ground and put them into pots as the drought was taking it toll on them. They are once again doing great and still blooming!
I never know just how much color I have around the yard until I grab my camera and take off for a walk. I was shocked as to how many BLOOMS IN AUGUST, I found while In the Garden...