Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Skeeter did a wonderful job of posting spooky Halloween Sights last weekend. Very spooky.
Still needing a bit more scare though, we traveled to a huge Insane Asylum. It was very spooky, loud, and dizzying!
No, the first picture is not the asylum. It was a house in New Harmony that had lots of real headstones on the lawn. Do you suppose there are real people buried there?

The Insane Asylum did not have many gravestones, but lots of skeletons in the closet, in addition to the nuts!

Be safe this evening!

in the garden....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Harmony and New Friends

What through youth
gave love and roses,
Age still leaves us
friends and wine.

Thomas Moore

You all know I like to meet fellow bloggers. Not just any fellow bloggers, but the ones I speak with regularly and have established a relationship with. Albeit a online relationship-shhh-don't tell hubby!

Frances may not be too far off when she says she can see me traveling the country meeting fellow bloggers. One such blogger I wished to meet quite a while ago is Walk2Write. I knew she lived in Florida, but was in Illinois due to her husband's dream job of searching for oil. I had NO idea she was so close until she did a post and mentioned Carbondale. A light bulb went off. I knew I had heard of Carbondale and thought it might be close. It was quite close. I then set out to get a hold of Walk2Write to approach her with a meeting. Always a bit of an awkward thing because truly you don't know how the other person will react. Many are so afraid of meeting others from the Internet. To my delight, Walk2Write was open to the idea. Plans were made, telephone numbers exchanged and anticipation set in.

Now where to meet? How about a little city called New Harmony in Indiana? New Harmony....New Friends....hmmm...see a common thread here? New Harmony is a perfect town and Walk2Write was awfully kind to pick an area close enough we could drive to easily. I was not familiar with the area but she suggested we meet at the quaintest little restaurant called The Red Geranium. It had a darling little garden out front with some really huge turnips (thanks to the Jimster for identifying them), cardoon, Diamond Frost, and of course-geraniums. Scented ones that were huge! It also had a lovely seating bench where two garden bloggers met for a photo opportunity by more than willing husbands with cameras (a funny sight).

After a delicious lunch and some really good conversation around the table (and an even better photo op that Walk2Write has), we toured the town on foot. It was rumored there was a labyrinth in New Harmony. Well, after a bit of walking, we found the labyrinth. It was way cool. Looking at it from outside of it you would believe the shrubs were one solid mass of greenery. But what you can't see in the first picture is the multitude of paths that take you around this large labyrinth. I believe it was intended as a contemplative garden.

I had never heard of New Harmony and wondered what its background was all about. It was clear walking through the beautiful town that this was a religious town. I had never heard of Harmonists or Harmony, so thought I'd do a little bit of research. The Harmonists sounded like a pretty good sect, ones who valued gardens, peace and love judging by the many religious buildings in town.

Wikipedia says New Harmony was settled by the Harmony Society; which was founded by Johann Georg Rapp. The Harmonists left Germany after being religiously persecuted. I am not going into total detail, but it is interesting to note that the Harmonists settled in three areas of the United States; Harmony, Pennsylvania, then New Harmony, Indiana, then they returned to Economy, Pennsylvania (now Ambridge, Pennsylvania). The town still is very close to its German roots and was a super place to spend the day.

But back to our meeting with Walk2Write and her husband. Many of you know her husband is a geologist. What a cool job! I mean really cool! Mr. Walk2Write brought the Jimster a little gift that relates to his job as a geologist. And I want to say Mr. Walk2Write, if Jimmy chooses to become a geologist I will be grateful to you. This kit full of stones was quite the gift. The cards identifying them all and telling some folklore and history were very fun and educational. We all loved this kit of stones. In fact, I tried very hard to convince the Jimster it was given to me, but he wasn't buying it at all. lol

All kidding aside, I am hesitant to mention gifts at all because I do not want people to get the wrong impression on meeting bloggers. The real gift of meeting bloggers and the folks we talk to each day on our blogs is meeting the person behind the words. The person who brings great conversation all across the web on a regular basis. The person that can joke with you on the web and get it to come across well. That is not an easy thing to do on blogs at all. The person who is willing to carpool all the way to Chicago with you. The person who can talk and relate and with whom you have something in common. I have met many bloggers and all have made my day, been very nice and giving and talkative. Walk2Write, it was a joy spending those hours with you and Mr. Walk2Write. Mr. Fix-it, the Jimster and I sure had a super time. We look forward to visiting again soon.

Oh yes, the poem opening this post. The Walk2Writes gave us a bottle of wine. On the bottle of wine it had a sweet card with this poem. Inside of the card it said, "Enjoy the Wine Dear Friend". I was very touched by this card. We look forward to sharing this bottle with our new friends in Illinois soon. The last picture was one of many sayings inside the chapel at the center of the labyrinth. How perfect it is, though I did not intentionally take a picture of the saying involving friendship.

in the garden....

You can read Walk2Write's post on our meeting here. Do stop by and say hello to her!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Storing Your Tender Plants

I have several non-hardy plants that were either gifts or acquisitions along the way. I am not normally a houseplant non-hardy type person in the garden. However, these tenders have earned a spot outside in the summer garden. They look great and add so much to the landscape. What do I do with houseplants in the other three seasons when they can't tolerate the weather outside?? My house is not equipped to handle a ton of houseplants, plus cuttings, plus seedlings inside it, so I had to have another option.

That option comes into play when frost is imminent, like this time of year. My solution is to store many of my houseplants (ferns, tropicals, geraniums, dahlia tubers, Angel Trumpets, caladiums, and aloe) under the house in my crawlspace. Crawlspace you say? How can that work? Not sure, but it does and has worked great for over five winters now. The crawlspace under my home stays above freezing (I haven't actually took the temperature though), is dry, ventilated and somewhat cozy for the plants. Especially the Boston Ferns.
These pictures were taken on the day I pulled my plants out this spring. The ferns are a bit more bedraggled than I would like, but this is the way they went under the house, a bit worn at the end of last summer. You do need to ensure the plants stay moist during the winter. I did not water this year, though I should have. These plants were all bone dry. Check them monthly or so to be sure they are moist, not dripping wet. The ferns do drop some leaves under the house, but that is not a big deal. Better there than in my house.

One of the plants actually came out of storage in bloom. It is shown in the first picture. This is the only plant I have seen which blooms in three colors, Red, White and Blue! It is my patriotic plant and I do like the red, white and blue color scheme in the garden so it is a favorite outside plant during the summer. I know the picture is not that good but still hope someone can help me identify it. Does anyone know what it is called?

A friend of mine from school is skeptical that this is a good way to winter over plants. His problem with it is that there is no light. The vents under my house to allow some light to come through, but truly in the wintertime I think the plants all go dormant and don't need any light.

The really big bonus of storing these plants under the house is there is no mess in the house. Who has messy Boston ferns they store in the house? I don't, not since I store them under the house now.

If you have a usable crawlspace area and some ferns to store, you might try my method. I am NOT responsible for the plants dying though if it does not work out. I can only say it has worked for me for several years. Skeeter tried it last year and I am sorry to report she had no luck at her Georgia house. Still sorry Skeeter! So try it with a plant you generally replace each year anyhow. Good luck.

in the garden....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Under the Sea.......Dave's GB Fall Color Project

Have you ever went swimming and while underwater opened your eyes to look up at the sun through the water? It was a neat thing wasn't it? So different and wonderful.

I have been feeling like I am under the sea when looking up at the beautiful fall colors of trees. The sun shines through kind of like it does through the water. You know there is a sparkle coming from somewhere. But you can't see it for the water magnifies the sun's rays and somehow distorts the rays. Still you look because you are mesmerized by the way the sun's rays play on the surface of the water as you seek the sun. The leaves do the same by spreading the suns rays around through the canopy of the tree. Let's go under the sea to view some magical colors and sun.I think this was a maple. I took it in sunny Massachusetts on my recent trip to Maine. It truly gave me the feeling I was under the sea.

Forest pansy redbud. This guy just glows.

Sumac from Sumac Attack. Love the rainbow colors. Sadly, no blooms this year but that is okay. This is a volunteer sumac that is very low care. I love its spot and am letting it go wild. Perhaps it will someday reward me with blooms.

Japanese Maple in front of the house. This maple has not turned its color yet, but is a pleasure to enjoy when the sun hits it just right, as on this day.
A maple in Indiana. The colors were just glorious this past Sunday, the weather perfect for fall pictures....under the sea

Thanks for viewing my fall colors under the sea. For more fall colors do check out Dave at The Home Garden.

in the garden....

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lola's Summer Garden

Many of you know Lola. You all know she gardens and is a faithful reader and commenter of not only my blog, but of many, many others. I see her everywhere on the net. This is unique in that she does not blog herself. She simply enjoys talking, sharing and commenting. A rarity for an individual who does not herself blog. Today is Lola's post. She gets to be the blogger herself and share her lovely garden with you all.

Here in my zone 8B or 9 garden, gardening is a bit different from what I am used to. Being from Tennessee I am used to a Zone 6 garden; where I probably could never grow pinecone ginger (Zingiber zerumbet) as pictured above. Although I've lived in different states, I didn't get "involved" with gardening until the last few years. More so as a hobby or something to do. I think I got the gardening bug from my mother.
Now that I have plenty of time on my hands and since I started reading Tina's blog, I have begun to pay more attention to the plants and what they do. I have learned a lot from Tina.

I plant veggies and flowers in pots, as it's easier to tend them. I do have some plants that just have to be in the ground. Most of them I planted before my accident. But now I've learned how to do more.

As for the rose arbor where the gourds are, the gourd vine attached itself to a rose cane and then it grew to the top like it is now. If you look close you can see it growing out of the black plastic tub. Imagine my surprise when I found the gourds growing as I thought the vines were dead. I found the gourds just before yanking the vines out. I'm glad now that I didn't.

To the right of the arbor is my new garden that I just started. I planted a Red Crepe Myrtle, and behind that a Flowering Almond dug up from a different part of the yard. I will add more as the myrtle grows. This new garden will take up the corner of the chain link fence. I hope it grows the way I have it pictured in my mind.I also have an asparagus garden that is to the left of the arbor if you are facing East. From these plants is where my volunteer asparagus is coming from. You know how seeds and birds go together.See the Pinecone Ginger below? It grows in the back of my house. Now for the story of my using the sticky liquid that is in the "flower". I broke off a couple blooms and put them in a glass of water. I put one in the shower so I could reach it. I first shampooed my hair then rinsed with the liquid (sticky) found in the bloom. The smell of ginger was so pleasant. I noticed that the tangles were easier to comb out afterward. When my hair was wet it was "squeaky" clean. Now that it has dried it feels so soft and there is a hint of ginger smell to my hair. I will use it again to rinse my hair. I wonder if I could freeze it for later use!!! Hmmmmm.

Those are NOT tomatoes pictured to the left of the pinecone ginger; they are persimmons. Do you notice how much my persimmons look like tomatoes? It is easy to confuse the two.


in the garden....

Thank you so much for sharing your gardens with us Lola and this lovely post today!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Sights

*Disclaimer: I am not responsible for nightmares one may occur from going beyond this line.

Since Halloween is creeping up on us, I thought I would spend today getting into the spirit of things.
I have not crafted in some time so it was a bit fun to get some supplies and create this garland for my front door.

The front porch is Halloween festive all ready for Trick Or Treaters to arrive. Too bad we live out in the country and don't have any one come to our door! This year we should have two little girls ring our door bell. They are the daughters to our new neighbor which happens to be a co-worker of the Saints and our friend. I am looking forward to their visit and already have them gift bags ready!

The porch is decorated with original items that I picked up while working in a Craft Store while in Germany. The military community is full of very talented people. We were fortunate to have an outlet for crafters to sell their wares to earn a little money and to keep them busy while the spouse was in the field.
Now things start to turn a bit scary so beware! Boo, just kidding... How does that story start... Hummmm, It was a dark and stormy night......

Oh my, is that Blackbeard's ship along the coast of Jekyll Island looking for trouble?
Do I see Blackbeard's dagger sticking in one of these eerie looking oak trees?

I think I see arms on those trees! Are they moving?
I am starting to get a bit scared now. No more trees please...

Oh my! What is that big black thing on the top of a chimney? Is it one of those fake crow birds that people put out for Halloween to scare people? ha ha, look at the fake bird....
Oh my, it is not fake at all. That thing is real and look at those wings open up! Get me out of here...
I see dead trees! Those poor old trees had died, fallen and they can't get up!

This must be that scary place called Driftwood beach on Jekyll Island. What happened to all those trees?
Poor trees, laying there all piled up with no one to untangle them. I can feel the room spinning now....
Egads, an alien is hanging on the side of my house! Get your finger back Saint, it may get you...
Poor little baby bat fell out of his bat home. Mommy should come get her baby but I reckon mommy is scared a snake may get her if she goes to the ground. Keep those gloves on Saint, this thing may have rabies!
Why are all you silly bats hanging around in my attic vent when I have a great home installed nearby for you?
I like that you eat mosquitoes in my yard but please go into the nice new house we installed for you. Get out of my attic vents...
Oh you poor little things. Now the vent was replaced and you no longer can fit into your old home. I wish you had not all flown off because we did enjoy having you stay with us. Please come back my little Brown Southern friends... Now you can tell your buzzard friends to go elsewhere as I don't really like them. I know they are the highway sweepers but they give me the creeps! Why did that car have to kill my favorite deer we named Redd? I guess the buzzards needed a meal. I don't like this part of the story. It makes me sad so Lets move on now....
Hey little Black Fur Ball, what do you have there? It looks like a piece of string. May I have a better look?
Yikes, a snake has done gone and stripped down to his naked self in my yard! Neighbor's Beware, there is a snake Streaking around the neighborhood...
Ahhh, everyone is safe now as the Queen of Sheba and Monkey Girl Cheetah are on patrol....

Wow, such HALLOWEEN SIGHTS, to be seen In the Garden....

Everyone have a fun and safe Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vinca with time

My all time favorite Annual in this Georgia garden is Periwinkle (Vinca). This plant is a profuse self seeder, therefore a Perennial, drought tolerant and blooms from late spring until the first frost! What more could you ask from this plant? I planted the red and white slips you see below but look at the seedlings popping up on their own.

This is the round planter I have as the focal point in my Flower Garden. St. Francis is centered as we love the animals in our life also. Well, not the Moles and Voles so much these days.

Lets sit back and watch these little beauty's grow shall we....

The Above picture was snapped on June 4, 2008.

June 19, 2008 and starting to fill in a bit.

July 5, 2008 and now the self seeders are starting to bloom for us.

July 14, 2008 and really showing color with Susan in the background.

Aug. 7, 2008 and now starting to get tall beside St. Francis.

Aug. 27, 2008 and now making the planter sides disappear with hanging stems.

Sept. 8, 2008 and Susan is starting to fade but not the Periwinkle.

October 14, 2008 and still blooming strong with color but about to take over St. Francis!

I hope you enjoyed watching my VINCA WITH TIME, In The Garden...