Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rocking Chair Front Porch

We are only a few days into summer but my GEORGIA GARDENS have been feeling like summer for some time now. And as usual, I have been busy with projects. One such project, giving the front porch some Tender Loving Care. This is the "Before" photo.
 This would be the "After" photo of the removed handrail. It was rotting and we did not want to replace it as we never use it. So why spend the money, we asked ourselves. We also removed the old flag brackets as we now have a flag proudly flying in the yard with a spotlight.
 Another "Before" photo of the hand rail.
 "After" We like the look as it opens up the front porch a bit.
 I put two fresh coats of white paint on the porch.
 It was a hot, humid, time consuming project but well worth the days of work with the end results.
I made two pots of plants to greet guests as they arrive at the stairs. Here you see one of them. They are the same being Coleus, Pentas and Creeping Jenny.
 Looking to the right of the porch as you climb the stairs. Notice the black gutters.
Standing on the front stoop of the porch. I went with an accent of red for a pop of color. I am really into the red colors these days.

 Looking to the right side which has the swing and one rocking chair.
 I love this little fern as it does not shed like Boston Ferns. I have battery powered candles all over the porch. When lite at night, this plant glows.
I painted all the furniture on the porch black as the roof gutters.
 I had painted the swing white when doing another house project recently so left it alone. Just gave it a red seat cover. I enjoy sitting in the swing during the day time and watching the hummingbirds at the hanging feeder.
There are candles on every table. This one is inside a neat red jar. The little wicker watering pitcher hides the ashtray for our smoking guests.

 Now lets go to the left side of the porch. 

 I added a palm plant in red pot next to a deer my mother gave me.
These chairs use to be in our sunroom but they were replaced with recliners. A fresh coat of paint and now they are black along with the wicker tables.
 Candle sconces found at Goodwill store hold two more candles. A wall hanging from my favorite store, The Christmas Tree Shops completes this ensemble. A simple push of a button, and all the candle lite up on the porch!

 Once white rocking chairs are now black.
 We are now at the end of this side of the porch.
 My little whimsical recycled birdbath.

My mosaics go well with this new look. I have red material to make seat cushion and matching table runners but have yet to create them. I am getting use to the white cushions but still plan to make the red ones. What do you all think, Red or keep the White cushions as is???

The porch runs the entire length of our house. I wish it were a bit deeper though for a bit more room to move about. I must admit, the day I saw the front porch, I was sold on purchasing this house!  
I always fuss at the Saint for picking the most hottest time of the year to tackle outdoor projects. I did the same thing with this porch. My love of animals won out over my comfort of painting when I desired. Mr. and Mrs. Wren decided to build a nest on one of the porch posts. Why builders leave these exposed ledges is a mystery to me. They just beg for a bird to build a nest. I could not disturb the Wren family and once the babies had fledged the nest, it became hot and humid. Those stinkers tried to nest a second time once the porch was finished but I was on guard. I painted all the little birdhouses, I put on each ledge to blend in with the posts. I must stuff cotton in the holes or wasp will build a nest. I have bird houses all over the gardens but they prefer the post ledge. I tell you, it never ends with the critters around here. Always a battle. Sometimes they win, sometimes I win but in the end, we try to keep a perfect balance with nature.

I sit on the swing often in the evening while enjoying the awesome night sounds of crickets, frogs, etc. They are so soothing to my soul.

Love this ROCKING CHAIR FRONT PORCH, In the Garden...

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

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Walk Around Tiger Way Gardens Part II

Continuing on with our walk around part of Tiger Way Gardens we find ourselves in the orchard. Here is where most of the daylilies, the fruit trees, hydrangeas, small fruit, and the chickens are in relative safety from marauding wildlife because they are behind a seven strand electrical fence (noted in the background behind these daylilies). I don't always need to turn on the electric fence for it to be a good deterrent but Mr. Fix-it and I recently found some peaches that had been devoured. That caused me to turn on the electric fence and guess what? It worked!
Outside of the chicken coop we find some bee balm, Gloriosa daisies and pink knockout roses. There are also a bunch of lilies and other plantings here. I am trying very hard to at least mask the smell from the girls (and the Boss) and if I can't do that then making the area pretty is a consoling fact.
The chickens! We now have six hens and one rooster. Two of hens are golden comets, one is the original Rhode Island Red, the rooster (named The Boss) is a Rhode Island Red, and just this February I purchased three baby Australorpe chicks. The new chicks are now full grown and are the black ones. I did a lot of research on chickens and think the Australorpes will be a good fit for us. I do really enjoy chickens but some days I don't get any eggs between the hens eating their own eggs and them just not laying regularly as they age. It is frustrating. Now that I have been successful with chicks I may add one or two yearly just to keep up the flock. We really love fresh eggs in the Ramsey household!
The orchard was planted three years ago come November. I remember it well because it was very cold. I believe this peach tree to be the Early White variety. I can't believe it produced so many peaches after less than three years. We have one other peach tree with peaches too. It's cultivar is Intrepid. We have also harvested some tart cherries and plums from the fruit tree part of the orchard. Right now we are currently picking blueberries and raspberries. The blackberries will be coming on soon.
The grape arbor with its hedge of 'Annabelle' hydrangeas and one lone surviving 'Bella Anna' is looking good. Growing up the arbor we have a 'Concord' grapevine, two muscadine grapevines, and one hardy kiwi vine. All of the grapevines are loaded with grapes. We are pretty excited about them. The hardy kiwi is not yet bearing.
The three daylily beds are in full bloom. This picture really does not do them justice as the flowers and total effect is stunning. I have not weeded these beds at all this year and they really need some attention although the weeds are not too awfully visible in this picture. Thank goodness!
This butterfly garden started life as an 'Orange Garden'. I am transitioning it a bit still focusing it on butterflies. The straight leafed plant on the left is Chinese blackberry and it is about to bloom. The frilly flowered shrub is Abelia 'Raspberry Profusion'. The swallowtails love abelias! This is a popular area this time of the year. Behind the abelias are two 'White Diamond' hydrangeas with a new addition from Proven Winners of 'Blue Diddley' Chaste tree. I am very excited to see how this shrub does because chaste trees have a beautiful blue flower that blooms in the summer and the blooms are beloved by butterflies. This particular cultivar is supposed to stay relatively small so that it can fit into garden easily. This fall I will probably add some sedum and coneflowers or rudebeckia to the front of the garden for some perennial interest.
Right next to the Orange Garden is the Peony Garden. The peonies were spectacular in May but they have all gone by now. The five crepe myrtles I dug up from my old garden are now beginning their bloom period and look great. I find that bees really like crepe myrtle blooms and for me that is an added benefit to the crepes since I try to garden for pollinators.
These lime green daylilies were a gift from my friend Angie of Angie's Gardens.  They look lovely in an island garden right next to our driveway near the house.
Here are a few of the peaches we have been picking. For Mr. Fix-it and I we find the ability to walk outside our door and pick our food to eat right then and there a most amazing thing. I will try to get a vegetable garden post up this month. We've harvested a bunch of potatoes and onions and even one tomato so far and some heads of cabbage. Yum!
One last picture of my koi pond. I simply love this spot on a hot day. The sound of running water helps to cool things down here in Tennessee. Speaking of which, I will be giving a presentation to the Perennial Plant Society of Middle Tennessee at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens on July 19th at 7:00 PM. Be sure to come on out and show me some support! I'll be talking about how to keep cool....
in the summer garden.....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Walk Around Tiger Way Gardens Part I

It's been such a long process for me to buy this land, move my garden, move my house, prepare the old house for sale, and get settled in that blogging has taken a backseat to all I do. The good news is the process is pretty much over. We sold our other two houses within the last month so that burden of caring for more than one house is now over. Moving the garden is now over too. Moving things out of the old house when you have a lifetime of 'stuff' there is also over. What is not over is still sorting out and organizing the house and gardens in our new home we call Tiger Way Gardens. That chore continues. Nonetheless I still garden and work diligently to get these gardens up to snuff. It is a neverending chore and I am not as young as I used to be so things move a lot slower than in years past. Despite this I have made some progress in some areas and I thought I'd be okay sharing them with you all. 

The above picture showcases carrot blooms in my frontyard vegetable garden. These blooms are a delight and look just like 'Annabelle' hydrangea blooms from the house. As a bonus the blooms and foliage attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. I'll soon update you all on the vegetable garden. It is doing awesomely this year.
The front foundation gardens are filling in as well. These gardens have been a major struggle because of course most of the backfill of soil is next to the house. Think rocky clay subsoil. It is not a pretty picture. Ragweed and other grassy weeds have overrun the foundation gardens since we've lived here. I think I am finally getting a handle on the issue now. I've weeded, laid down cardboard, and mulched with hardwood chipped mulch to get these gardens on track. The foundation gardens are quite large and face west. I've used both evergreen and deciduous shrubs as well as a small tree or two and some perennials. Both the front and back foundation gardens are home to bird feeders and a multitude of hummers empty the hummingbird feeders daily. I enjoy sitting on my front porch and watching all of the action. This particular garden also sported a baby timber rattlesnake; which I found dead. Apparently one of the cats or dogs killed it and I was grateful for that! I am now careful when entering heavily planted garden areas to look for snakes. All of the plants you see above were moved from my old home.
The back foundation gardens are unique in that they face east and back up to the koi pond. The colorful shrub in front here is a Deutzia 'Chardonnay Pearls'. This is the very same shrub that was in my old garden and which was the Plant of the Month for May 2009! This deutzia is quite large and when I dug it up last summer I did not think it would survive but it has surprised me and come back quite well.
Right behind the above deutzia is a shrub I received from Proven Winners last spring. This is 'Little Quickfire' and it is an awesome shrub! This one and its twin came in small pots last spring. Despite being small it actually bloomed last year! This year there are more blooms and both this shrub and the twin are growing well. I love hydrangeas and this particular cultivar is smaller than the original Quickfire; which enables me the ability to plant it along my foundation without it overtaking the garden and the windows on the house. Hydrangeas are typically a multiseason interest shrub and Little Quickfire fits the bill. Once these blooms go by they'll turn a pinkish red and the dried blooms will stay on the shrub all winter even as the leaves fall off.
Next to the pond is a working table that holds some pots right now. These hypertufa pots I made are filled with Stepable sedums. If you haven't tried the Stepables give them a try. I received a few flats last spring and never got around to planting them. My original idea was to build a greenroof but I just never had the time where a green roof was a priority. Perhaps sometime in the future. So the Stepables lived in their flats all summer, winter, and spring and performed magnificently! I am most impressed with the combination of sedums and their toughness. To finally give them a home I put them in these hypertufa pots and am happy with the effect. Perhaps one day I'll get to that greenroof.
Some coneflowers in the 'Pink Garden' surrounding the koi pond. It is really easy to design a garden around color. Of course I also use textures and bloom times and forms to design a garden but goodness, the number of pink flowers that bloom throughout the year is vast. Once these coneflowers go by, the Surprise lilies, turtlehead, Joe Pye weed and asters will step in. There is always something going on in this garden.
You'll see this picture again just because I love it so much. These are lime green daylilies from my friend Angie of Angie's Gardens. They are a nice tall daylily that goes with anything.
The Red Garden is coming into its own as well. This particular garden is the one I use in my cover photo for my facebook page Coach in the Garden. That particular picture was taken last fall. I may need to update it soon. This garden is a corner raised garden in the frontyard and is visible from the house, driveway and actually the entire frontyard. It is a full sun garden and butterflies love it.
The corner of it is just waiting to burst into brilliant blooms. Here we have the textures of rudbeckia and tatarian asters along with a Japanese cedar and grasses and let's not forget the rounded heads of 'Annabelle' hydrangeas.
Another view of it shows the Red Drift roses and some 'Sunny Border Blue' veronica. Bumblebees love veronica! I took dozens of pictures of this plant trying to get a good one of a bumble or two with no luck. Just take my word for it that if you plant veronica the bees will come.
On the lower side of the raised Red Garden I moved five 'Limelight' hydrangeas here from my old garden. The blanket flowers are offspring from some plants I also received from Angie. Lamb's ear was a volunteer. The grass behind these plants is 'Adagio' and is actually located in the Red Garden raised above this lower garden. I'll have to showcase how this garden was made one day. It's a creative story of reuse of some things.
I'm going to finish with my little Pawpaw tree. You may remember I posted about them and tree shelters a few years ago. I kept the tree shelters on until last summer (about two years) then removed them. The pawpaw trees are doing so well! The three grafted varieties in the orchard must have grown a foot or more just this year. In fact, one of them actually bloomed! There are no fruit though. You'll see more of the orchard in Friday's walk around post....

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

Thursday, June 2, 2016

It's Lily Time

It is June which is the month for Lily to shine in my GEORGIA GARDENS.
 I use to keep all the lily together in one garden area but after a couple of years, they would become too large for anything else to be seen. 
I started to dig them out and move them around a bit.
The lily did not mind being moved. In fact, they thrived and became much larger each year.
 They have become so large that I am dividing the lily to make more plants.
 I add new ones to my collection as I find them on the bargain bins.
 Lily are so easy to grow in my gardens. They do not seem to mind the drought times or the soggy times of year.
 I do not know the names of my lily.
But knowing their names is not important to me.
 I enjoy their beauty and that is all that matters to me.
 I wish lily would bloom all summer long.
 But they do not and that is a bit depressing.
 Once the blooms are gone, the foliage adds interest to the gardens.
 I would have to say they are my favorite flower during the month of June.
 Look at the pollen on the Easter Lily.
 The fancy ones such as this one above do not seem to grow as quickly as the other lily but I am able to divide some of them now as well.
I have Lily in just about every one of my garden areas and I cannot get enough of them. I just love this time of year as
 IT'S LILY TIME, In the Garden...

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