Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Healthly Hosta and a Stumped Stump

Posted by: Dawn

Have you ever had one of those days? Yep, this was one of them; a day that it took forever to get a simple task done. Move this giant hosta and pull the stump out. You see, this tree was a pin cherry, a pretty pin cherry. This tree even had a robin's nest in it with live babies. It was fun to watch mom feed the tiny birdies even though they were really ugly they were cute when hungry! Anyway, my husband has always disliked the pin cherries, so when we moved from our mobile to the house it was time for the cherry to come out and the hosta to be moved.

Now, this hosta is just starting to grow in this photo, there are two; one on each side of the tree. Between them, they grow to about 4 feet in diameter. The other side of what used to be the deck had another pin cherry with 2 other hostas but my dog saw to the demise of it. He continued using this one as a potty place and I had to stop him on the days before we moved it. The others didn't survive his indiscretions but this one has although I don't know how. I was amazed in how little dirt the hosta was thriving in. You can't really see from the photo but the small roots are extending from, what looks like a wooden block.

Transplanting called for drastic measures, this hatchet was handy.

The second hosta had the landscaping paper growing within and also needed the hatchet treatment. (No plants were harmed, just a plant's surgery,) //*o*\\

We ended up with four substantial divisions from each plant and after two weeks of settling into a new place, all are doing great and growing fast again!

There are 2 groupings of four with a lady's mantle in between, and a bi-color hosta on each end. The bi-colors are on their second year and look pitiful next to the divided hostas. Ha!

On to Mr Stump....the other pin cherry stump came out with ease but this one fought. Look at how the chain dug in after the first pull with a four wheel drive.

The second pull managed to yank the chain off all together, taking the moist bark with it. I backed away for fear Mr Stump might retaliate.

For a junk tree they sure do have long roots, at least this one did. This stump has been sitting for a year now and gave us a whooping fit to hang on.

Finally it gave up. I have no idea how I managed to get this action photo!

Buh, bye, Mr Stump. In the Garden

Take the time to thank a military person for your freedom today. Happy Memorial Day to all!


Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,

In the Garden

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bird Gets Stuck in the Bird Feeder: No Laughing Matter

This was not the post I had originally scheduled for today but I thought this drama merited a change in the posting schedule. I was doing a bit of gardening in between working on a landscape design when I spotted a titmouse stuck in the bird feeder. Obviously the bird feeder was empty and the titmouse thought he or she could outsmart the emptiness by reaching inside-with its head. I thought to myself "Wow! A picture opportunity!" I ran and grabbed my camera and the poor thing was still stuck in the bird feeder-I thought "What luck!" But then it became clear the bird was actually stuck! Struggling as hard as it could it could not free itself from the feeder. I immediately got the boys to come and help me try to get the poor thing out. Its head was somehow jammed in between the opening and the frame holding the opening. I tried to gently push its head out and pull its body out at the same time. The little bird first bit me then squawked and he wasn't budging! How do you tell a little bird to be calm and relax and it can get itself free? It wasn't working for some strange reason:) Enter Mr. Fix-it who immediately took off one of the bars holding the feeder together and the little titmouse flew off none the worse for wear.

I have had this bird feeder for more than five years and never has a bird gotten stuck in it. Has anyone else ever had this happen to them? It was a bit of drama for a little bird...

in the garden...that ended well.

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,

In the Garden

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gift's and Freebies

By Skeeter Thank You so much Tina for hosting a little get together at Tiger Gardens! It was wonderful to finally get to meet Miss Jean in person. Lunch was ever so yummy to include Whoopee treats. Getting to visit with you Jean, Nina, Anonymous and little Bundle while strolling in the garden made for a perfect day.... Thanks to "Papa" for snapping this picture with my camera.
Here is a not so clear cropped picture of us chatty gals...

Today's post will be a posting with an update. My parents home flooding in Tennessee took me out of my Georgia Garden for a bit so I never was able to get part one of this posting published. Now I find myself with not only part one ready to post but a follow up as well.

Last year for my birthday, the Saint surprised me with this Redbud tree. I was happy to see it survived our harsh winter and gave me plenty of buds and leaves this spring. Strangely shaped I must say but pretty to me all the same. As you can tell, this picture was snapped when the Azaleas were in bloom in late April.

The update: Now the leaves are full and greener in color...
This years birthday gift from the Saint is centered in front of the Redbud tree. Somehow, I failed to snap a picture the day we planted her in full bloom. I was captivated by Fringe Bushes this spring and just had to have one.
Update: Miss Fringe is doing well in her new spot being grouped with Redbud, Azalea and Bridal Wreath.
Here is another gift to me from the Saints sister. Thanks S for the sweet house plant.
I have misplaced the tag name but find the foliage of this plant beautiful with pink and green color. She sits on the front porch greeting us each day.
I told you about the Free Lilies our neighbor gave me a while back. Here is a new planter in honor of the lilies and a gift from our very own Master Gardener Tina! I put 6 of the lilies in this new garden along with the Angel Trumpet Tina passed along to me. I wintered the Angel Trumpet in the house all winter long keeping her snug during the winter months.

Update: It is amazing how things can grow in a months time! Look at the grass and the planter now!

Back view a month ago when created.

Back view now! Look at those butterfly bushes in the background will ya!
Our neighbor that passed along the lilies also had this statue he was going to toss. I don't think so as I will gladly take it to my garden.
I think they are so sweet in this planter. I hid the broken legs under the gravel but no one will ever know they have broken legs if you don't let the secret out. Shssssss....
Tina, Thank You so much for the Angel Trumpet! I can hardly wait until she blooms.
I had some Celosia left from another planter so in this planter they went.
Update: Look at the ever growing Celosia now!
Serena Angelonia was discovered by me last year and loved. I found it again this year and just had to add it to this planter for additional color.
Update: Angelonia is growing nicely as in the past.
One day, this planter will be attached to the Butterfly island you see in the background. My overall plan is to join all my small gardens into one nice strolling pathway some day. As time goes by, the planters will grow in size until they meet. Oh what fun to add more each year...

The free lilies survived being transplanted during a really abnormal hot spell but as you can see, I think they are happy in their new home. Buds are forming each day and I can hardly wait to see everything in its full glory soon.
A new planter full of GIFTS AND FREEBIES, In the Garden...

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wildflower/Native Wednesday-Tradescantia

From In the Garden

This month's Wildflower Wednesday (brought to you by Gail of Clay and Limestone)Tradescantia virginiana. This native wildflower is a favorite of mine because it thrives in woodland conditions. I have a lot of woods here and a lot of shade. Thanks goodness for these sweet little spiderworts!

Spiderworts come in all shades of pink, purple, and blue. I grow all the colors and I think they tend to hybridize freely so I never know what kind of mix I am going to get. I also have a special cultivar called 'Sweet Kate'. This little spiderwort has chartreuse foliage with a dark blue flower. It has grown in my garden for five years and I've never found seedlings of it-though they'd be welcomed.

Spiderworts can grow to a height of one foot to three or more feet. I have a big mix of them here and enjoy them all. Some are squat, some are tall and gangly, but all are easy care perennials that return each year without fail.

An interesting note is spiderwort is named after John Tradescant. Tradescant was a famous plant collector who helped to introduce many native North American plants to Great Britain and Europe.

Do you grow spiderwort....

in the garden....

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

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tennessee Floods part 2

By SkeeterAs you know from my last posting, my parents Tennessee home flooded recently. I was with them the day the waters started to rise. On that Sunday morning, May 2, we awoke to mud on the driveway of the house.
My father takes pride in his home and yard and was not happy with a neighbors renovations causing the mud to creep into their driveway with the heavy rains. Little did we know, this would be the least of worry.The waters continued to rise and their house was under water by Monday. This picture I found on the Internet of their house still makes my stomach turn into a knot when I see it.But what is done, is done and now the cleaning and rebuilding begins.... After talking to my mom on the phone on Monday evening, I longed to be with my parents. The house was still under water and the interstates remained under water as well so nothing I could do to help.

The waters finally lowered and they could get into the house by Wednesday. Thursday morning, I was on the way back to Tennessee with a car full of supplies such as boxes, tape, cleaning supplies, etc. The Saint headed to TN after work that evening. He had our pressure washer with him to help where needed. He sprayed the house, porch, part of the driveway, swing, garden statues, etc while I worked on clearing the remainder of the stuff from the house. Most items on higher spots such as cabinets remained and needed to be removed. We were shocked as to how high the water was in the house. As you can see from me standing on the deck, the swing is much lower then the house. The swing was completely under water! The house you see behind my parents in this picture is a story too. It is a two story house with flood insurance. The homeowners were in the process of getting the house ready to go on the market For Sale. Most everything was removed from the house but the garage held lots of boxed items and a new zero-radius (expensive) mower and all other lawn equipment. I am not sure just how high the waters got into their house but at one point my brother said it was about to cover the entire front door of the house! Insurance will cover the house repairs but NOTHING that was in the garage! You see, the insurance company states the garage is not part of the house as it is on a separate foundation being concrete! You better read the fine print in your insurance policy people!!! Debris such as this large stump were all over the yard.
The first thing I noticed when stepping out onto the deck was the missing Air Conditioning and Heat Unit. It along with the entire duct work had to be removed. Several family heirloom pieces were stored under the crawl space of the house. They were all lost to the flood. Rocking chairs belonging to grandparents, wash stand, library table, etc.
The deck and screen porch combination will have to be inspected by a professional as the right side of the deck has settled into the ground thus it is leaning.
Water was up to the arrow I have marked to show you on the screen porch.
The same amount was also in the garage.
The Hot water heater was under water so a new tank must be purchased with renovations.
Luckily, the water did not get above the electrical outlets thus they still had electricity. Fans were in every room running full blast to dry out the sub flooring. The contractor had to drill holes in the floor for drainage as well.
The carpets in the house were removed as they were saturated with smelly contaminated water. The wood paneling must go.
Look at that red clay on the kitchen floor! Water got into the cabinets so new ones are on order. The dish washer was damage so must be replaced but the stove was fine and the refrigerator was removed before the flood.
The sun room doors had to remain closed as this room was a health hazard according to the inspector.
Rotting worms were covering the floor and they were an awful scent to the nose. Shoooo-weeeee.
Red clay in the bathroom and lower vanity's filled with water. All tile must go and the shower as well.
The master bedroom closet water line was saddening. The louvered closet doors must all be replaced as all other doors in the entire house.
Guest bathroom vanity will have to be replaced along with the toilet, tub and tiles.
Marble foyer floor will have to be replaced as well.
One week after the flood, everything remaining salvageable was placed into boxes and put into a neighbors basement for storage. Monday morning, May 10 demolition begins for major renovations. My mom had been wanting to update the house and with Mother Natures help, it is now happening. Not the way she prefers a renovation but nothing can be done with Mother Nature's act but to move forward.
Dry wall was cut above the water line from all walls and door's begin to be removed.
Kitchen cabinets were removed. Anything salvageable will go to Habitat for Humanity as the contractor on this project is a big HH fan and donates lots of time and money to this program.
It was sad to see the house slowly being demolished by a mere 6-8 inches of water inside.
A sad view for what was once a gathering place for a fun family kitchen.
The Great room does not look so great now.
When my mother saw the old wood paneling and dark doors gone, she was excited while my dad had a minor break down. Mom is seeing the positive side of things while my dad is having a difficult time with change. He does not like change and at his age, I know this is very difficult for him.
Can you imagine the horror of walking into your home of 26 years and seeing this sight?
My mother is so happy to see the 'Harvest Gold' colored tiles, tub and toilet going away. We must find the Rainbow at the end of the Storm...
About 3/4 of the dry wall is okay so that will save some of the cost of repairs and renovations.
All wall paper is now stripped and all staples from the old carpets have been tossed into the huge trash container.
The house is now starting to look like a new house under construction.
The Great room is ready for new walls and floors.
New kitchen cabinets/counter tops are on order and the wall cabinets will be recycled for use in the garage.
The sunroom was pressured washed to clean out the smelly worms but the structure was damaged. Since this picture was snapped, the glass room has been removed with the metal and glass being recycled. This spot will remain a patio for now.
The Bathrooms are totaly gutted with the Gold tub removed since this picture.
Bedrooms ready for new construction.
Closet's ready for make over as well. A lot of do it yourself Free labor has applied in getting the house to this stage. Family and Freinds have pitched in where possible (manual labor, donations of materials, food, water, etc) and will continue to do so to keep the cost of repairs low.
Here you see my mom and dad taking a moment to sit and reflect their 51 years as a married couple. My nephew (their grandson) had renovated this swing and planters a few days before the flood. We were all happy to see it survived the wrath of the flood after being pressured washed. The contaminated dirt will be removed from the planters but it will once again have blooming flowers to enjoy as they swing. Bob the cat keeps a close eye on his best buddies in the world. He is the cat that belongs to neighbors but pretty much lives on the screen porch with my parents.

Houehold items remain in 3 different neighbors basements and my parents continue to stay in a basement apartment of one of these wonderful families. Mom and I had to joke while at the local "Wishy Washy" (laundry matt) doing our laundry together. It brought back memories of a time when that was normal for us as we did not have a washer and dryer in the 1970's.

I received news on Sunday that my dad was in the hospital emercency room. One of his hip replacements has jumped out of place. While putting on his shoes the same way for 16 years, this hip decided to jump on him. We are awaiting news to see if he will have to have it replaced a second time. What is that saying, "When it Rains it Pours". Well, in my parents case, it sure has rained enough on them.

This is a big hurdle for my parents to jump but they will survive with being surrounded by a loving family, caring friends and neighbors...

Note: I plan to be back in TN the first weekend of June. I hope renovations will be close to complete and I plan to remain in TN for as long as I am needed. Blogging will not be possible so I will be in and out for a while. Please keep my parents in your prayers...

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