Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Top 10 Gardening Resolutions for 2011

From In the Garden

I figure if I print my gardening resolutions for 2011 I might be more apt to follow them but we'll see. Here goes:

1. I will plant the right plant in the right spot the first time. If I fail at that I will limit myself to moving it only one time-just once!

2. I will not buy anymore hydrangeas. 

3. I will plan for the drought by endeavoring to plant drought tolerant plants.

4. I will not water each time a plant shows signs of wilting. 

5. I will only grow those vegetables I love and not those vegetables that are easy. 

6. I will preserve my harvest or not grow it the following year.

7. I will focus on my core group of plants and not strive to have every fancy plant that comes along. 

8. I will finish some uncompleted projects-one at a time instead of trying to do five at a time. I will not go onto a new project until the previous one is completed.

9. I will not stress over blank spots in August when the spot was filled in April. I just need to get over it. 

10. I will enjoy my garden more by relaxing and savoring the moment. 

Any gardening resolutions in your neck of the woods?

in the garden....

From In the Garden
My first daffodil of the season bloomed inside my kitchen and it is a lovely one! I planted several Narcissus tazetta 'Minnow' in a clear square glass container using red glass gems as the growing medium, as you can see in the opening picture of this post. I have also planted over 100 of these lovely fragrant miniature daffodils in the garden. While they are showing their sweet heads they are no where near to blooming. 

Garden season has begun here at Tiger Gardens. I've been busy cleaning up the left over fall garden, removing mulched leaves where they are too thick, working on new garden projects (some of which will appear here), giving garden talks, and just generally enjoying the longer days of spring-even though as you read this we are probably covered with snow. Nonetheless, spring is near....

in the garden....

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

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Winter Wonderland In the Garden...

From In the Garden
Backyard View From the Deck

From In the Garden
Front Foundation Garden on the Northern Edge of the Border Looking Toward the Northside Border

From In the Garden
An aster wearing its winter color in front of the mosaic.
From In the Garden

Front of Deck with its skirt of lathe and metal decorations. 

From In the Garden

Vegetable Garden with its yellow metal entry gate and cedar pyramid made from cedar on the property. Below the cedar pyramid are four blueberries. This is the focal point of the vegetable garden. 

From In the Garden
The new Non-Pool Garden with its wonderful walk through.
From In the Garden

The Wisteria Arbor in all its glory. 

I wasn't going to post today but thought I'd share a bit of my garden after the two inches of hard sugary powder snow we received yesterday. I was struck by the bones of the garden as much as the little foot prints of animals wondering by and the ice crystals glowing in the brilliant sun. The snow may have made a mess of the roads but my oh my, how the garden shines. I think I enjoy the garden so much more on days like this...

in the garden....

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

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter Tease

I am still around, just not back to Blogging full time as of yet. I had a crazy year last year and was out of my Georgia Garden more than I had planned. Things finally started to fall into place for me in the Fall.
I have been able to get some well needed rest in the past few months. Wait, is that what you call driving through 8 states and visiting another country? Well, in my case, yes. Once all that came to a halt, the Winter Blues set in a bit on my body. The snow fall from last week revived my body and had me outside snapping pictures and sharing with you all. I am getting my groove back and had planned to post on my normal days once again. But now I find myself deep into another project. My dad gave me a box full of stuff with my last TN home visit. I have finally started going through this box. I have found some things that have made me laugh and cry at the same time. Hand written letters from grandmothers amongst other fun stuff. Needless to say, I have had a blast going down memory lane this week. This project may keep me occupied for a bit but I am anxious to share my Oct, Nov and Dec adventures with you. Until then, enjoy the above (except the snow bird) pictures to keep you warm. I sure was warm when snapping them the day after Christmas. Ah, can you guess where I was enjoying this warmth? Hint, I was inside as the snow started to fall outside...

The last of our Georgia Snow melted yesterday and today, I was driving on a sunny day with my sunroof open! Yes, from snow to warmth in a day! Such a WINTER TEASE, In the Garden...

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

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2010 In Review

From In the Garden
I don't know why I haven't done one of these "Year in Review" posts before but from now on these posts are a must. I find as time goes by I forget things, big and small, that have happened to me. The blog is a wonderful source for remembering so I thought I'd wrap up the year 2010 in one post relating special big and small events that have happened in my life.

We begin in January with the installation of new Bellawood 3/4" teak floors on January 16th. I can easily remember this arduous task because this time last year we had no carpets and were walking on OSB in the living room and hallways. I was also busy removing all of the kickboards and painting them a clear white. This was no easy task as we have no less than four closets; which had kickboards, and several feet of hallway with several doors and corners, as well as the living room. The process of preparing for the new floors to completion was about two and one half months. I was ever so happy to have that big job finished! We love the new floors and all of the work was well worth it. 

On the day the installers came to lay the floors we found out my husband was not deploying to Afghanistan and that his future in the Army was not certain. January 16th was a bittersweet day indeed but happily all issues have been worked out.

I must mention Bellawood and put in a plug for them. With between 3-5 large dogs the new floor has not scratched at all and is very easy to maintain. But, I found out the hard way, if you drag an 800 pound piano across the floor it will crease and leave quite an indentation. That is another story entirely and I try to forget about that story. Nonetheless, Bellawood is a great flooring; no wonder Bob Vila recommends it and so do I.

From In the Garden
February was a slow month though I did get to attend the Tennessee Master Gardener Winter School in Murfreesboro. I have not done a lot of 'business' travel since I retired from the Army so I was tickled to get away on a gardening trip with my friend Julie (center of the above picture). Terri also attended from our county and we all had a great time learning from master gardeners. I am the short one on the right. I sure wish I was a bit taller. Sigh. Murfreesboro is again hosting the winter school this year and I think they are a great county to do it because they were so welcoming and facilities were fantastic.

From In the Garden

My grandson and daughter in law visited Tennessee in March. We so enjoyed seeing Josh because we had not seen him in quite some time. Grand kids grow so fast!

From In the Garden

A very big happening in my family was the wedding of my daughter in April. Most of my immediate family traveled from Maine for Liz's wedding. It was simply splendid having the whole family together and the wedding the most beautifully done wedding I've ever attended. 

While some of the family was here the big floods came and wreaked havoc on Tennessee. I'm sure it was a trip to remember for all, while most Tennesseans wish to forget those floods they did not harm my home or garden. Thank goodness as it was a big mess.
From In the Garden
While my parents were visiting the team here at In the Garden had big plans to get together and finally meet. This blog started as a community blog and we quickly gained a community feel. So much that many of us began talking and relating in a big way on this blog. The original group still reads but as the blog has grown we don't talk as much. I sure do have warm feelings for this group and can't thank Anonymous, Nina, and Skeeter enough for coming to visit my home while my mother was here. (Skeeter also posted about this visit here.) I think I can speak for my mother that meeting you all was a highlight of her year. We were all sad Lola and Dawn (my sister) could not be here for the visit but perhaps next time. After my parents left Tennessee they traveled to Florida to visit another one of my sisters and were able to stop by and meet Lola. For the most part all of the original seven members of this blog have met each other with just a few exceptions. A big feat considering we all live from Maine to Tennessee to Georgia to Florida! The memories of our visit will last forever. Dawn is one of the exceptions since she lives so far away and rarely travels. Dawn has also been ill so if you all get the chance go by and visit her at her blog and wish her a speedy recovery. I'm sure it will cheer her up immensely. 

From In the Garden
May saw the garden really take off. The spring of 2010 was the best ever for Tiger Gardens. The summer was not so great though. Even with the floods in May we experienced a drought that lasted for a very long time. Many plants died and I endeavored to change my way of thinking in managing my gardens. High water bills and hydrangeas had to go, in came drought tolerant plants and a completely new way of thinking. We shall see how it goes this year.
From In the Garden

It was a fabulous trip and seeing everyone was a very special treat. Mr. Fix-it even was able to hook up with high school friends whom he had not seen in about 17 or 18 years. I enjoyed listening to them describe my husband and his antics as a high school hot rod. It's a miracle he is still around but he is, and the love of my life.
From In the Garden
August brought in the swallowtails. I hear this year was a banner year for swallowtails and it was so very special to see them all flock to the garden. I had never seen so many butterflies in one spot and hope the swallowtails return this year and even bring a few friends.
From In the Garden
August and September saw me house hunting for one of my daughters (Christy). Christine was due to come home from Iraq in September so in order to get the process started I was given the honor of finding her just the right home. This was quite an experience for me. You'd think that with so many houses foreclosed on and the mortgage industry struggling that it would be simple to get a mortgage but not so. While Christine was preapproved for a loan the bank had so many requirements for the house that I became very frustrated about the whole situation. In this case this house was a foreclosed house so the bank was the seller. Ever try working out a 'deal' with a bank? Add to the situation an agent who was starstruck because 'they' (the bankers) were very important people and couldn't be bothered by small details. Huh? It makes me shake my head each time I think about the situation. If you ever buy a foreclosed house be prepared for a lot of red tape with the bank. Fortunately all worked out and Christine is most happy in her new home. She's already started gardening too! This house has some nice shrubbery and a good start with some beautiful plants around the foundation. A real treat for her and for me.
From In the Garden
Not much of note happened in October and November so I'll skip straight to Christmas and the holiday season. The Jimster is an avid musician and plays the guitar, piano, and is now learning the violin-all on his own. He takes singing lessons and hopes for a career in the music industry (any music contacts out there?) His school offers a guitar class which he loves. The school music teacher puts on a community Christmas concert each year and we all attended. The concert was wonderful and we were all so proud of the Jimster as he performed on stage. This was not his first performance however; you can find a post on his first performance here.

From In the Garden

Christmas arrives and finds the Ramsey family home in Tennessee enjoying some down time and together time. Two of the four children were able to be around at Christmas and we really enjoyed that. Christine had duty but was able to leave to come to dinner at our home. Brian (the oldest son) and Liz (daughter) were unable to visit.
From In the Garden
I traveled to Louisville to see my daughter Liz in early December for a Christmas Tea at her church. Liz plays the handbells and I must say this was the first time I had seen a handbell performance. It was amazing. We had a good visit and when we woke up the next morning the ground was covered in white! It was the first snowfall of the season for me but quite startling being away from home and having to travel in it to get back to Tennessee. Since then we've had our fair share of snow here in Tennessee and tons more in Kentucky. 

From In the Garden
I'll close the year with another family holiday photo. We were delighted to see our grandson and daughter in law in early January. Liz came down from Louisville for a visit and we all had a wonderful dinner at Christine's new house.
I look forward to 2011 being another wonderful year. After doing this post though I've learned I need to post on my year end post as things happen and not all at once at the end of the year. But for sure these posts will part of this blog from now on....

in the garden....

Words and photos property of the In the Garden team

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Global Warming??? NOT

We had a winter storm and Burrrrr, it is cold here in Georgia! We only had about 2 inches of snow which is beautiful but,
on top of that snow, we had ice! Ice is good to me when added to a drink during the summer time but not welcome on our roads...

This storm pretty much closed our entire town! Schools, all Government to include Ft Gordon closed on Monday. Tuesday, schools and other county facilities remained closed.

Yep, to be expected when you live in the Deep South. You visitors from the North laugh at us during these times with some of you calling us Wussies. What you don't understand is, we do not usually see such stuff this far south. Therefore, we do not have the equipment to clear the roads of such mess quickly. Some may think that our county should invest in a few more plows and stockpiles of salt. In the 11 years I have called Georgia home, I can only recall 3 snowfalls and two ice storms so I am not so sure that would be money well spent. Also another good reason to stay off the roads during such mess, not many people here have experience driving in such conditions, thus, many fender benders. Normally, Snow and Ice are gone within hours of falling here but this one is still melting after 3 days of arriving. Yes, it is cold down here!

During times such as this I cannot help but ask about Global Warming. I am seeing a Global Freeze in places where we normally do not see Freezing weather. Hum, Who is going to jump on this bandwagon? We knew this storm was on the way so we made sure to have plenty of supplies on hand. Winter supplies include bird seed for our wild friends. The Finches love their new Thistle Sock!
Black Oil Sunflower seed is a favorite as well at the large feeder.
The Peanut butter nugget feeder's top was frozen. This is why we have a top on the feeder as it kept the food dry and ready to nibble. Even though the squirrels are pest in my Georgia Garden at times, I do feel for them in the winter months. I made sure they had food to nibble as well. In the Spring, I will be chasing them around the yard out of my plants. Yes, a Love-Hate relationship with these critters...
Seeing these prints tells me the deer were at the corn bucket.
And Peter Rabbit was here for a visit as well.

As a Gardener, I cannot help but worry about my beloved gardens during such horrible weather. The Japanese Maples have endured ice in the past and survived so I believe they will once again jump back to life once the ice melts.
The Rock Garden looks more like a Snow Garden right now.This Pot full of Winter creeper and Arrows Rush is a new addition to my Rock Garden so this will be a "Wait and See" for me.

Another "Wait and See" will be this Fan Palm (Silver European) in the Beach Planter. The tag states she will be okay to temps as low as 0-degrees once established. I planted her last spring so we will see if she had time to establish or not...

Iris (Tina passed along to me) are still green nestled within the freezing snow and ice.
The Semi-Formal Garden did not look too inviting to me with its frozen pathways. Sigh...
This Dogwood says something to me. "I am okay and will be back in Spring" That is what I am hearing anyway. Hey, my story and I am sticking to it okay....
I also think the Vinca will be fine as it has endured much worse.
And I do not worry about the Butterfly Bushes either. They may be laying down right now with a heavy ice coating but with the melt down, they will pop back up, be pruned this spring and once again bring butterflies into my life. See how they are still green for me?

Of course we have to add a pretty Red Berry (Nandina) picture in this mix! I just love the way they glow through the ice...
Even though we are burning the fireplace as if we were living in the Pioneer Days, we have plenty of wood ready to keep us toasty this winter.
And more wood remains to be split for next winter as well. Yep, we are prepared for this GLOBAL WARMING??? NOT, In the Garden...

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

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bloom Day January 2011-Hedgehog Aloe and Bulbs!

Hedgehog Aloe Bloom
Ever see a hedgehog aloe (Aloe humilis 'Hedgehog') bloom? Me neither but I think it is pretty cool; especially since blooms are fairly nonexistent here in my home and garden in January. You might be like me and wonder what the heck is a hedgehog aloe? I asked myself the same question last March when I came upon some great specimens at the Nashville Lawn and Garden Show. The price was right so a pot came home with me that very day. The aloe was easy to divide so some snippets of my plant went home with my companions-shhh-it's a secret-save money by buying a big plant then sharing with your friends.

The aloe spent the summer outside receiving little to no attention from me. What a trooper it was in the full sun and dry conditions we experienced last summer. As the weather cooled I brought the aloe inside and set it on a plant stand in my living room. Walking by it one day I noticed a few stalks. Huh? What is that I thought? It took a few months but finally the bloom has shown itself. I won't go so far as to say the bloom is pretty but I do love the color. 

I also have some paperwhites blooming in the kitchen. These are splendid bulbs for growing inside the house and I so enjoy the smell, though the Jimster states they smell like cat pee. I don't see where he gets this idea at all.

From In the Garden
From In the Garden
Lastly I have some hyacinths that are very close to blooming. I purchased both the paperwhites and hyacinths as mark down bulbs at the end of the season. I had the hyacinth forcing vases left over from last year (purchased from Rural King in a kit for a mere $1 per!) The hyacinths are doing fabulously and will soon begin perfuming my computer room. I really enjoy any blooms inside the house this time of the year when it is so drab outside.

There isn't much else blooming inside the house and nothing is blooming outside. I am surprised there is nothing blooming outside because by this time last year the mahonia was blooming. It is nowhere close this year. The greenhouse has several blooms but I'll be talking about it and those plants in a later post so for now I just want to wish you many blooms....

in the garden....this cold January day.

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,  

In the Garden