Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's Blooming

What is this blooming in my Georgia Garden?

We now have walls in our bathroom and closet! And the Sun room/Office is missing 2X4's and stacks of Plywood! We still need to mud, tape, sand and prime before painting. The purple paper to the mildew resistant walls is pretty though. LOL. We have both decided that installing Dry Wall/Sheet Rock is not for us. Next time, we WILL pay to have it installed. I am in terrible pain in my shoulder from sleeping so soundly after putting in an 11 hour work day. I am not doing much more then resting my body in the recliner. Even having my nice cozy office chair back in front of the computer is not soothing. So you will not be seeing much of me today...

Have you guessed yet as to WHAT'S BLOOMING, In the Garden...

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

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Get So Frustrated By the Birds!


Our home and garden are bird and wildlife friendly. Probably the garden is more wildlife friendly than we'd like because we are overrun with squirrels and chipmunks. We do like the birds but along with the great amount of birds comes problems. In any population there is a natural order to living and dying. If you don't have a lot of birds in your yard you may not notice the dying part but here in Tiger Gardens we have a LOT of birds and a lot of baby birds. Many are the dead kind. Some fall from nests, predators get others, but still others do well. Recently we had a difficult situation with some robins. 

Mr. Fix-it took his truck downtown and while downtown shopping he heard a bird chirping at him. He looked in the bed of his truck and what should he see but a baby robin. Poor thing. It happened to be raining and hailing at the time. He called me and asked what he should do. I knew the robins around the garden were in the fledgling stage so I had a pretty good idea what kind of bird it was and where it came from. It seems I may have been wrong on where it came from but at any rate back to the story.


Mr. Fix-it took the baby robin into the cab of his truck and gently placed it in a box for safe keeping until he could get home. I figured this baby came from this robin's nest on top of my PVC arbor. It took but a few minutes to get out the ladder and climb up to place the bird back in its nest with its two siblings. The problem was that the silly baby bird was not going to cooperate. Normally baby birds are trained well to hide and stay quiet unless their parents are around. This baby bird, having been out of the nest and hungry, wasn't having any part of staying put and being quiet. It quickly jumped out of the nest and fell down the gelsemium vine along the arbor-not once but twice!


That's when I came up with the brilliant idea to make it a nest of its own and place the new 'nest' next to the robin's nest. Content the baby would be safe and would not fall out of its nest anymore, Mr. Fix-it and I stood back to watch our handiwork. Ha! The mother or father (I can't tell them apart but both were close by) came to feed the babies but only fed the two that were in the nest. Uh oh. Well, we decided to feed our baby so we gathered worms and the baby hungrily scarfed them down but this was not a workable solution for any of us.


My next not so brilliant idea was to create a lip for the nest so the orphaned baby bird could stay in the nest with its siblings. As I was placing the lip around the nest the two baby robin residents decided they'd had enough and jumped out. Geez! Mr. Fix-it was chasing them down and I was still busily putting the new improved nest together. All good intentions mind you. We lost track of one of the babies but since it was evening time and since the parents were nearby we knew as long as we kept the dogs inside the baby would most likely be safe. The other two were placed back in the new improved nest and we again stood back to watch our handiwork. The parents came back and fed both of the babies! Including the orphan that Mr. Fix-it had found in the back of the truck.


Here is the funny part. After comparing our orphan with the other two babies already present in the nest we realized the orphan was maybe a day or two younger than the two in the nest. This meant that the orphan baby was not part of the PVC arbor nest after all! It seems that there is another robin's nest in the oak tree out front. We figured our orphaned baby robin fell from the nest from out front into the truck since the truck was parked under the tree. At any rate, the parents accepted the orphan and began feeding it along with its own. All's well that ends well right? Well, this story is not over yet. Hence the frustration.


The next day we went out to check on the robins and the two original baby birds were gone. They'd flown the nest. Our orphan was still in the nest, though not in the original nest. It had moved to the pseudo nest (the flower pot). We believed the parents were still feeding this baby as they were close by and scolding us as we looked at the lone orphan. We were hopeful for a good outcome for our orphan but it seemed like the baby may have injured its wing when it fell from the tree. There were no vines there to break its fall when it landed in the back of the truck.

The next day we checked on the orphan again; only to find it had died. With all best intentions to save this baby robin we could not. Sometimes nature is like this and I tell you it can be a cruel thing to feel helpless while a living thing dies.

I open this post with the fact that many animals die. Over the past few years as our yard has become more wildlife friendly due to the dense shrubs and vegetation we have noticed many more dead baby birds. It is always heartbreaking to us but we witness this part of life. While we try to help them out as we can we really can't do much but hope for the best for the baby birds....

in the garden....

Happy Memorial Day to Everyone!
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lillies and Lovelies For You; Or Shall We Say Tango 4 You?


With a name like Tango 4 U how could you go wrong? I love this lily! I purchased a few pots as a markdown at Lowes last fall and look what I got. I had to do a close up just to show all the speckles. This lily is a peachy pink color. Who would've thought there was a such a color? I love lilies and this year they are looking pretty good so I thought I'd display a few for you!

This is a longer shot of the Tango 4 U lilies. They are planted at the front of my new Non-Pool Garden. Behind them grows coneflowers along with some permanent flowers in the form of wine bottles mounted on rebar.

It's hard to show the context of the gardens in pictures so I always try to include long shots. Here we look past the coneflowers and lilies to the back of this large garden toward the hydrangeas. Oakleaf hydrangeas and mopheads are coming into bloom now. Since we did not have a late freeze this spring it is looking to be a fantastic year for most of the hydrangeas. Annabelles also grow in this garden and are also nearing their bloom time.

Back to our Tango lilies. Looking down the path we see these lilies glow. Along with the colorful foliage in this bed there is quite a tapestry here.
Not to be forgotten though are a few other lilies. In my gardens the lilies come and strut their stuff for about a month then slowly fade away into obscurity. That is, they go dormant after they bloom. I don't mind this trait at all because by the time they go dormant the summer perennials have taken over.
I have no idea what cultivar of lilies these ones are but they've been growing in their part shade spot for several years now. I'm always happy to see them come back because some lilies have not done well here. I believe most if not all of my lilies are Asiatic lilies. They seem to do well. It is the oriental lilies like 'Stargazer' that have not done well here. Unfortunately none of my Asiatic lilies have a scent.
But they sure do shine in the garden.

Not many plants do well with shady conditions but the Asiatic lilies seem to be an exception. This cluster is planted on the north side of my home and gets only a few hours of sun. This area is most challenging but the lilies and penstemon seem to do okay.


Here we have some daylilies and crinum lily flowers. I don't know the cultivar of this crinum but I purchased it at the Nashville Lawn and Garden show in the spring of 2010. This is the first year it has bloomed. I am hopeful the other crinum bulbs I purchased will also bloom this year. Also blooming are the St. Joseph's hardy amaryllis. The reds stand out wonderfully with the tango lilies.


Finally a new bloomer (just yesterday) and this is the first year this lily has bloomed. I asked the Jimster if he thought this was a pretty lily. He said it made him want some pink lemonade. A good thought indeed. 

There are more lilies coming including some Skeeter passed along to me (Tiger Lilies), some white lilies and of course more daylilies. They are all so sweet to tango with....

in the garden...

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

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Hollyhock blooming in my Georgia Garden.
Now the big question. Who gave me the seeds for this beauty?
Tina, could you be the kind giver of the seeds? I am enjoying these HOLLYHOCK, In the Garden...

Note: Renovations continue so blogging is slacking for me. I will be so happy when our house is back to normal. I am sitting in a small chair while typing as the room is too cramped for my large comfy office chair. And supplies have moved into the living room which I said was off limits. Arggggggggg....

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Lovely Combination


Love and marriage, father's day gifts....they go together just like a horse and carriage, or in this case like pink and blue. A fortuitous combination came along in the front foundation border-pinks and blues. Catmint and 'May Night' salvia provide the blues whereas a peony and 'Rolly's Favorite' silene make up the pinks.


This is a soft orchids color combination that works well just about anywhere. Right now in the garden it seems to be the mode of operation-with a few newly blooming lilies kicking in some yellows and oranges.


The fine texture of the catmint combined with the rougher texture of the salvia and strong foliage of the peony and silene make for a pleasing flower and foliage combination even without the soft pinks and blues....

in the garden....

What are some of your favorite color combinations?

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sad Day

Butterfly Bush blooming in my Georgia Garden...

I am saddened today. I found out that one of our own has passed away. Darla was so kind to get the word spreading through Blogland. Linda, better known as Raingardener has left her beautiful gardens. I truly believe God needed a gardener by his side when he took Linda from us. Linda posted in March of her 2 year Blogiversary. Click HERE to see that posting.

Blogging has brought so many of us together in many ways. I have met some of you in person and many I will never meet but feel as though I know you any way. Today, I feel as though I have lost a friend, sigh.

It is a SAD DAY, In the Garden....

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

Monday, May 23, 2011

German Chamomille In the Garden


Self seeding annuals are a gift to gardeners that just keeps on giving. German chamomile certainly is one such self seeding. Somewhere along the way, perhaps in a wildflower mix, I picked some German chamomile seeds. It was not a plant I was familiar with when it began growing here about five or six years ago but I am most familiar with it now and like it very much.

Generally when you look for information on growing German chamomile you will find it prefers a sandy soil in full sun. Perhaps so, but here in my garden German chamomile grows in heavy clay, an old wheebarrow (Pictured), leaf mulch, and in mostly shade. Surprisingly the chamomile does well and it is a delight not only when it blooms but in the fall and winter when it begins sprouting in the garden.


German chamomile is an herb that is useful for treating a number of ailments. I have not personally used this plant as an herb but only enjoy mine growing in the garden. Additionally, in the right conditions I am sure German chamomile could become a pesky self seeding annual.Here in my garden it has never been a nuisance.
I have never physically planted a plant of German chamomile but I am always aware of where it is in my garden. It grows in spots where it thinks it will look great and I let it be. Soon after flowering this German chamomile will set more seeds and go dormant. But I know come fall I'll have some sweet new plants to look forward to enjoying....

in the garden....

Another favorite self seeding annual is the old fashioned Love in a mist. 


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

Friday, May 20, 2011

Peonies and Orchids

Sorbet Peony

The peonies are blooming and I am soooo happy to be able to enjoy not only their beauty but their scent. The peony scent takes me back to my childhood and never fails to make me happy.

Duchesse de Nemours Peony
This year has been a fabulous year for peonies even with all of the rain. Yes, some were beat down but most of my peonies chose to open their smiling faces after the heavy rains passed. Here are a few for my blogging friends and family.

 'Sarah Bernhardt ' Peony
I wish I could pick a favorite but I guess I love all peonies. I recently did a swap of peonies with my good friend Naomi. She actually dug a tree peony in order to separate an herbaceous peony from it for me! The type of gardener who separates her peonies for another is very rare. I, of course, let her dig my plants too. I do not normally allow many folks to do this. Naomi is one good gardener though and my garden is enriched because of her generosity. Both the peony she gave me and her tree peony she kept suffered a lot of trauma. They will not be showcased today:(

 Unknown Red in Front Sidewalk Garden
Another kind gardener who lives south of me here in a small town called Palmyra shared a red peony with me. I've never ever met so many generous gardeners! I think peonies are the ultimate to share I have to admit that I've not shared mine with anyone-yet. That is due to change this fall when Naomi gets her piece of a peony and my daughters get a start of a few as well. I might have shared with some folks but honestly my peonies are just now getting to the 'share' point. It's not that I wouldn't share it's just that I couldn't-honest! This peony has very rich color and is paired with a very rich iris. 'May Night' salvia grows in front of the peony.
 'Duchesse de Nemours'
I hate photographing anything white. My poor 4.0 megapixel point and shoot camera just cannot pick up the subtle shades of white flowers. It did pick up the petals of this peony in the close up white peony showcased above.


A long view of a few of the peonies here. I think I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 peonies. There are four in this bed though you can see only two. Sometimes you see peony borders where peonies are all massed together in a long bed. I tried this but did not like the effect. For my garden I prefer to mix the peonies in with other perennials. Here in the south peonies can take a bit of shade too; which is great for my borders since none are in full sun.


Finally we have some hardy ground orchids. My sister Dawn first posted on these lovelies a few years ago on this very blog. This post is still an often Googled post that many people enjoy. 

I purchased my ground orchids from the Don Shadow Nursery last fall. These are botanically known as Bletilla striata or simply ground or Chinese ground orchids. They are hardy here in Tennessee but are only reliably hardy to Zone 6, possibly to Zone 5 with protection. My sister is in Zone 5 so she is smart to keep her orchids in the house. These orchids need a winter dormancy period. I have mine growing in a new garden area I just created last year when we removed our swimming pool. It is paired with a fabulous dark dark purple dwarf iris I received from a kind blogger in Texas. You can just see a bud opening in the background. The pink and purple are a perfect pairing!

Lastly, a close up of the orchid. I may have an old 4 megapixel camera but every now and then the two of us-my camera and I-get a great shot-and I love this one! This shot and the one previous one does not have any extra lighting-it is all natural and not retouched in any way.

in the garden....

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

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Discoveries from Renovating

By SKEETER Lilies are blooming in my Georgia Gardens. The Renovations of the Bathroom/Closet are on-going, thus my lack of Chatting with you on your blogs. When renovating, one Discovers hidden surprises not planned for such as rotting floor joist which puts a slow down on production. Many trips back and forth to Lowe's and we now have the sub-flooring, plumbing, insulation and tub in place. Hopefully, no more hidden surprises to get us off track again.With our many trips to Lowe's, I take advantage of walking through the garden center. I am not happy to make daily runs for supplies but am happy when I spot items on the Bargain Bins! 2 Sensation Sky Blue Salvia, 2 Blue Moon Phlox, 3 Giant Crimson Mandevilla and 1 Crimson Mandevilla. Each plant for a mere $1.00. The Mandevilla were regular priced at $10.98 each! Here you see 2 Lauren Delphinium @ $1.50, 2 Croftway Coral Princess Cape Fuchsia @$2.50 and Wave Petunia for .75cents. I do not like running back and forth to Lowe's each day but these are wonderful DISCOVERIES FROM RENOVATING. Now, to find time to plant them, In the Garden....

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Let's Walk Around the Front Center Island Bed


I am going to try to spotlight some of my gardens by doing a walk around. I did this once before with the Northside Shrub Border. Today's garden will be the Front Center Garden. This garden is about 50' long by 15' wide. It is in the center of the front yard and visible from the house. Looking from the front door to the left of the garden this is the view we see in the above picture. The Front Center Garden is the garden on the right. The part of the other garden you see with the 'Forest Pansy' redbud is, simply enough, the Forest Pansy Redbud garden with part of the Walled Garden attached. There is also a small concrete patio built into this garden area but today we focus on the Front Center Garden. The red tree in the FCG is a 'Newport' flowering plum. 

Just to give you bearings, the garden straight ahead between the path in the above picture is the Roadside Shrub Border. This border runs the whole length of my property except where the driveway empties to the road and then the Driveway Garden. The Roadside Shrub Border is 10-11 feet wide and about 115' long. I tell you about the Roadside Shrub Border because it is directly behind the Front Center Garden; which is what I'm showcasing today. The Roadside Shrub Border and the Front Center Garden are separated by a wide grassy path you cannot see but we will walk around the FCG together and you'll see parts of it. The two front gardens (FCG and Roadside Shrub Border) hide the busy state highway in front of my home.

The Front Center Garden is one of thirteen large gardens in the front yard that include the following gardens: Northside Shrub Border, Crabapple Garden, Foundation Gardens (3 distinct sections), Redbud Garden, Walled Garden, Roadside Shrub Border, Driveway Garden, Front Perennial Border, Mahonia Garden, and Front Sidewalk Garden. In the above picture the 'Forest Pansy' redbud garden is to the left of the Front Center Bed. There is a grass walk through between the two gardens. The red tree in the Front Center Bed is a 'Newport' flowering plum. This shrub is a fabulous shrub-in the spring. it blooms and has a nice red color and even grows plums, but when June comes around it is usually decimated by Japanese beetles. I'm not sure I'll keep it in the long run but for now it is fine. Let's next see our center view looking at this garden from the house.


Here is the view from the front door. This garden edge faces west so it gets only afternoon sun-once the sun passes the large oak and pine trees that reside in this garden. Though it is difficult to see in the picture you are looking at two large pink azaleas on the left, three large oak leaf hydrangeas in the middle, two more large pink azaleas are on the right of the oakleafs as well. Centered between the two large beds and nestled within the shrubs are two Japanese maples. The maples are only about 6 feet tall but are filling in nicely. One can be seen behind the bird bath and the other is on the right by the green stake.These shrubs and the two trees form the center of this island garden. In front of it closer to me are three 'Endless Summer' hydrangeas, catmint, lilies, candytuft, daylilies, heucheras, a pieris, and some irises hostas, and other miscellaneous perennials. There are also a ton of daffodil bulbs in this bed.


Here is a closer view standing next to the garden looking north from the center. You can keep it all in perspective by using the bird bath as a point of reference. This garden is edged with broken concrete. I love broken concrete in my garden! it will never rust, rot, or discolor. It ages perfectly and makes a great edger for all gardens as well as fabulous stepping stones. I have recently nearly completed a patio made of broken concrete; which I will share at a later date. This view shows more of the perennials. Perennials are repeated frequently. I find that catmint and candytuft do well here in the raised bed with afternoon sun. The conditions in this bed are extremely austere due to the oak tree and large pine tree.


And here we are looking away from the middle of the bed to the right of the bed towards the driveway. Here you can see one of the Japanese maples, several aucubas, the pieris, irises, and in the background toward the driveway you can see some spireas and the bird feeding station. I frequently sit in this area after a long day in the garden. I enjoy watching the birds up close and I have a lot of peace in this garden in this chair.


We are looking at the right side of the Front Center Garden still. Here we see a long view toward the road and the driveway. The spireas are in the Front Center Garden. Across the grass pathway is the Mahonia Garden, and the garden closest to the picture taker (me) is the Front Sidewalk Garden. This is my view from my porch and I never tire of it. I barely have any grass but I do have enough so as to not feel closed in by the gardens. One can have too many plants and trees I've been told. In fact, one of my best gardening friends said she didn't think I needed any more trees. I tend to agree until that next 'must have that no one else has' tree comes along. I'll find a spot by golly!


Okay, we just walked between the Mahonia Garden and rounded the Front Center Garden. We are now on the eastern side of the Front Center Bed. This garden has the Roadside Shrub Border on the right and you can see the grassy path I talked about when I opened this post. The shrubs in the Roadside Shrub Border garden shade this side of the FCG bed something awful. I must deal with the shade and sacrifice some blooms in order to have privacy from the road. This side of the border primarily has the oakleafs, aucubas, azaleas, and a few other shrubs you'll soon see along with the ever present perennials. The shrubs do okay but the azaleas do not like the spot. I am having issues with them so may remove them at some point. I personally think perennials are supporting players in gardens and definitely support the shrubs and trees; which are the stars here at Tiger Gardens. I do love designing with perennials but they are not my first choice to plant. My first choice has always been and will always be to plant trees and shrubs then design around them. All of my gardens have trees and shrubs with the exception of the Back Sunny Perennial Border and the Vegetable Garden.


A closer view of the east side. You can see the daylilies, irises and shrubs. The brown shrub is an azalea. Like I said, the azaleas do not like this spot at all. This particular azalea is one of four that I dug from a friend's house. These azaleas bloomed nicely only one year in the past three. They are not happy and have some issues; mainly azalea leaf gall. The brown one is the worst one. The other three are okay and I like the structure they provide so I keep them around.


Moving past the first set of azaleas we come upon the oakleaf hydrangeas and the second set of azaleas. On the other side of the azaleas is a Lo-Gro Sumac and Japanese kerria. Both of these shrubs do fine in the dry shade. The shade is very dry here due to an oak tree and also an oak tree that was cut down several years ago. The soil is most dry.


Here I've turned around and looked back to where we just came from. You can see a giant hosta, the Lo-Gro, and some daylilies. There are also some grasses growing here and we'll soon see the 'Newport' plum.

Ah, here is the bend looking down the bed once again. BJ is the flower sniffing dog at Tiger Gardens. He is the best dog in the whole world. My neighbor shaved both him and CeCe. Doesn't he look great? Normally he is a shaggy dog.


We've now rounded the bend and have come full circle back to the front side of the Front Island bed looking south. There are lots of perennials in this bed. I plant all of my plants very closely-probably too closely but the benefit is no weeds and interest all year. There are layers upon layers here in my gardens. I'll show some more layers soon.

Another close up of the front center of this bed still looking south. The flower pots are not normally on the edge of this bed. We are getting a new roof soon and had to move the flower pots away from the house.


Now we've come full circle back to the right side of the Front Center Garden. I hope you enjoyed our walk around. I tried-really tried to make a logical order of the photos. It is so hard to do this when you have a lot and have not uploaded them in sequence....

in the garden....

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