Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Praying Mantis Egg Sacks and Ornamental Grasses and a Floating Fish

It is that time of the year when everything in the garden must be cleaned up in anticipation for spring time flowers and new growth. To say I have been busy is an understatement because this spring came upon me a little too fast and the garden for some crazy reason just keeps growing. And of course that means more work for me. While cutting the some two dozen clumps of Miscanthus sinensis 'Adagio' grasses I found several praying mantis egg cases. Can you see the one above in the picture? This was the second one I found in a clump of the Adagio and I was fairly delighted. The clumps of grasses are not anywhere near one another so I think I am safe to assume the Adagio, and perhaps all miscanthus grasses, might be a good home for praying mantis to lay their eggs. Fortunately I did not damage any of the egg sacks while cutting back the grass clumps. I was, as usual, late in cutting back the Adagio because the grasses have already begun to put on new growth. Can you see the green in the above picture? I think February is much too late to cut these grasses back and perhaps January would be a better month. My vow is to cut all the grasses back in January of next year-but you know about good intentions.
And simply because I did not want this post to have only one picture I thought I'd show you one of my baby koi. This one was at the surface of the water on a really warm day. It really seemed like it wanted out of the pond for some reason. I took the opportunity to snap some photos of it while it was up close to the surface. The water is so clear and the fish right there that it almost looks as though the fish is floating in air. I also think the baby koi are slowly beginning to change colors. I am now seeing a bit of orange showing up in them....

in the garden....

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Crop Circles?

BY SKEETER We have been busy this winter doing such things as entertain house guest here in our Georgia Gardens. The Saints parents and Fur Baby "Minnie" left the bitter cold of Virginia to spend some time with us. Minnie stayed with us over a week while the Saints parents went even further south into Florida to enjoy some time with friends. Minnie was a great house guest and she enjoyed time running, laying and rolling in our green grass on sunny days. I have yet to feel the Winter Blues of SAD such as last year. I am not sure if keeping busy or being surrounded by pretty green grass has kept me happy. But as long as I have no winter depression, I am Happy. We shall continue to sow Rye Grass Seed each fall as we enjoy the green color during the winter months.
Now to yet another Mystery in our yard. Why are we seeing circles amidst our pretty Rye Grass? The Saint seems to think these are spots where Minnie may have "tinkle" during her visit. I on the other hand am sceptical of that theory. I have always heard that where a dog uses the yard to potty, will become damaged rather then flourish such as these spots.
Here is a close-up of one of the spot's. See how bright green and thicker in texture these spot's are compared to the other grass? Could this be from Aliens making CROP CIRCLES? Na, those circles are normally grasses that lay down and do not grow taller. Until we solve this mystery, we shall call them CROP CIRCLES as that makes for a better story, In the Garden...
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Monday, February 27, 2012

NO Interest in Pinterest~!

Are you a Pinterest user? If so then this post may be directed to you. I have a major issue with Pinterest and have been fighting their conglomeration for several weeks now and many bloggers cannot understand my consternation with Pinterest. Here it is, Pinterest users are STEALING our photos from this blog and Pinterest is benefitting from the theft. Sure, supposedly the makers of Pinterest do not make money on our photos but they are clearly drawing traffic to their website by using my photos on that website at the expense of traffic to my blog! Additionally, the argument is that the photos are credited to the owner of the blog where the photos was stolen from-not! While it is true that if you click through the photo you will be taken to my blog via the illegally pinned photo, however, this does not work so well when you have a consolidated bank of photographs pinned from because the url is not complete as shown in the below photograph. Do you see the little url that is incomplete in the upper left corner of the below screenshot? It says Pins from: Tinaramsey.blogspot Huh? Since when is this a url? And what is the point? I can only surmise it is to keep viewers of our photos on the Pinterest website and from visiting the actual source of the photographs. The only reason has to be to up the traffic to Pinterest and it appears the trick is working based on the growth of Pinterest.

pinterest mosaic

These two photos were pinned by one individual and resulted in several visits to my blog as evidenced by the following picture. However; this photo of my Sitemeter statistics does not show the whole story. Other than the original pinner who stayed for a few minutes (yes, I do have her name but will leave that out for now and will discuss the individuals who steal our photos further down) all visitors to this blog stayed for a grand total of--get ready for it--0 seconds! I am assuming the original pinner stayed a few minutes to read about how to make my glass on glass on mosaic then stole, ah hem, 'pinned' the photo-two to be exact, then moved on. For what reason does someone steal others photos? If someone likes a photo the best way to save it is to bookmark the page then visit it as needed. Within an hour of pinning my photo that exact same photo was repinned several times more and I no longer have control of my original work and ideas. 

referrals pinterest

Why bother coming to the blog if the photos are present on Pinterest? Would you like another picture of some of the things folks visiting Pinterest can see that came directly from this blog? Then look at the below picture of the previous bank of photos pinners have moved from this blog to Pinterest. It is quite a few and I tell you it is not a welcomed sight to see one's work somewhere else.

Some would say that when an individual uploads a photograph to the web then they lose all rights to it. Not so!! Copyright says: 

       Copyright protects “original works of authorship” that are
fixed in a tangible form of expression. The fixation need not
be directly perceptible so long as it may be communicated with the aid of a machine or device. Copyrightable works
include the following categories:
1. literary works
2. musical works, including any accompanying words
3. dramatic works, including any accompanying music
4. pantomimes and choreographic works
5. pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
6. motion pictures and other audiovisual works
7. sound recordings
8. architectural works
These categories should be viewed broadly. For example,
computer programs and most “compilations” may be registered
as “literary works”; maps and architectural plans may
be registered as “pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.”

The exact same website says this about securing a copyright: 

How to Secure a Copyright
Copyright Secured Automatically upon Creation
The way in which copyright protection is secured is frequently
misunderstood. No publication or registration or other action
in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright.
following note.) There are, however, certain definite advantages
to registration. See “Copyright Registration” on page 7.
Publication is no longer the key to obtaining federal copyright
as it was under the Copyright Act of 1909. However,
publication remains important to copyright owners.
The 1976 Copyright Act defines publication as follows:
“Publication” is the distribution of copies or phonorecords
of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership,
or by rental, lease, or lending. The offering to distribute
copies or phonorecords to a group of persons for purposes of
further distribution, public performance, or public display
constitutes publication. A public performance or display of
a work does not of itself constitute publication.

I am not an attorney and will not bore you with more information on copyright but it is all in black and white located on the U.S. Copyright Office website found here if you would like to learn more about copyright. 

My view is that any photos I or my co-posters upload to the Internet belong to us. We do not transfer ownership of them to the world simply because we upload them to a blog. Google does not own our photographs, Flickr does not own them, and anyone who pins or saves our photographs does not own them simply because the photographs are available on the web. Photographs are original works just like our ideas-and they all belong to us. 

Let me liken it to the Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa painting is a world renown painting and also an original work. It is owned by the French Republic and is on permanent display in the Museum Louvre in Paris.We can all agree on this fact right? While our photographs on this blog in no way compare to the Mona Lisa as far as world renown and quality our photographs are equivalent to the Mona Lisa in that they are original works and they are owned-by myself and my co-posters. We can agree on this fact. Well, let's now go one step further. The Mona Lisa is on display so that anyone who cares to pay an entry fee can view it in the Louvre right? Our photographs are on display but we don't charge for people to view them-right? If you equate putting original works on display such as what is done to photographs on the web then the same would hold true with the Mona Lisa-it is on display but one would never ever think of stealing the Mona Lisa and putting it on display in another museum without permission now would they? What makes anyone think that it is okay to steal a bloggers'  photographs and put them on display on another website? It is illegal and this is reiterated each time I contact Pinterest regarding the matter.

 Pinterest will and does remove our photographic database that their users have made on that website. Would you like to see some of the photographs stolen from this blog? The below pictures were all stolen from our blog and pinned to Pinterest's database. 

After sending a certified letter to Pinterest's copyright agent all of these photographs were removed from the website. The first time I found photographs belonging to this blog I emailed the company and received a quick response where the individual removed the photographs. But the second time I found more photographs and emailed the same individual he did not respond. That led me to mail the certified cease and desist letter to Pinterest. THEN, the photographs were removed. But why do I have to be the one to request this to happen when these photographs should not have been pinned to begin with??

Why can't Pinterest, with all of its technical experts, figure out a way other than making me add a 'metatag' to my blog, to prevent pinning of photographs on its website? Pinterest's user agreement says, 

"You acknowledge and agree that you are solely responsible for all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services. Accordingly, you represent and warrant that: (i) you either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content, as contemplated under these Terms; and (ii) neither the Member Content nor your posting, uploading, publication, submission or transmittal of the Member Content or Cold Brew Labs’ use of the Member Content (or any portion thereof) on, through or by means of the Site, Application and the Services will infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other proprietary or intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy, or result in the violation of any applicable law or regulation." (Source: Pinterest User Terms)

When Pinterest users 'pin' photographs they are supposed to be the owner of the content they pin. I guarantee you that while I am on Pinterest I have never ever pinned anything to Pinterest that didn't belong to me (and only as a test). While I may forgive folks for 'forgetting' this part of their user agreement with Pinterest I cannot forgive them for deciding to ignore my note on this blog specifically denying the right to Pinterest users to pin our photographs. Almost all of the pins of our photographs have been AFTER I posted this notice and let's face it, the note is very hard to miss. I have no doubt Pinterest users can read and do indeed read the notice but still decide to steal the photographs. 

invalid url pinterest

Our photographs are easy to find on Pinterest and not difficult at all to track down. I have begun leaving the original 'pinner' of our photographs a comment letting them know the photograph was pinned illegally. I have had two pinners respond and while one was very nice the other one had the nerve to say they did not see any disclaimer on my blog and since there was no mark on my photographs they assumed they could post our photographs. NO! This is where the misconception comes in. Simply put, original work, that is, work done by someone else, whether it is photographs or words, belongs to that person and not to the world. 

On the 21st of February I happened to be surfing the Latest Headlines feature of my computer. I never ever do this so it was fortuitous that I did so on this day. I came across an article that said Pinterest was taking a small step in preventing copyright infringement by providing a meta tag that would give would be pinners a notice saying that the blog or site does not allow pins. I installed it but apparently installed it wrong because the mosaic posting came after I installed the meta tag. Darn. I have since corrected the problem and have tested in out myself on Pinterest. I am so happy that this small step will at least help prevent some thefts of our work. 

In fact, I must say thank you to a social media representative in England. He came across this blog and saw my note on the sidebar regarding Pinterest. He emailed me the info about the new meta tag you can install on a blog to prevent those easy pinnings. The meta tag does not prevent downloading but it will slow down the pinning. I was not sure if I had installed it correctly on the blog but he actually checked it out for me without me asking. I felt this was a nice gesture and really appreciated knowing that I had finally installed the meta tag correctly. The fact he took the time to check it out was a small but giant courtesy. So far there don't seem to be any new pinnings. 

Another note about Pinterest and this blog. An anonymous commenter left a very nice comment on one of my broken concrete patio posts. The person felt that Pinterest would bring traffic to this blog and she or he said that they thought the ideas on this blog were great. I almost didn't post the comment since it was anonymous. We've had a bit of an issue with anonymous comments on here lately. But I did and I responded. I appreciate frankness and the person had a valid point. I simply explained my point as I have done in this post. All bloggers want traffic to their blog and I am not an exception to that rule. But if it is someone who is going to misuse the pictures or words on this blog then no thanks. I'd rather not get those visitors under any circumstances. There is enough content on this blog that it will stand alone in its rankings as far as getting traffic. That is satisfactory enough.

 I understand Pinterest cares about copyright and hope they continue to take steps to prevent pinners from stealing others work. And one more note, while Pinterest does not currently have advertising or make money, make no mistake, they are in the business of profit and that website is heading in that direction-at who's expense I ask you? 

I am not naive in thinking that I can stop all stealing of our photographs from this website but I can guarantee you I will do my very best to limit and to reverse the situation when I find it. So please folks, do your thing on Pinterest and have fun but leave this blog and the photographs on this blog alone....

in the garden....

Here is the code you can add to blogs to prevent Pinterest users from pinning your photos via the app the website designed. It needs to go in the header section. I had to install it twice before it worked as I am not too good with html but it is in html it must be installed. Good luck all. BTW, this meta tag will not prevent people from downloading your photos then uploading them to the web. But if you find that this has happened (as I have) you can prove copyright and force the offender to remove your photos or Blogger/Google will do it for you.


Here is a short video concerning the problems with Pinterest. It's easy to watch and understand all the issues with Pinterest. A person researching Pinterest came across this post and brought this video to my attention. Check it out for its simplicity explaining the issues with Pinterest. I am not the only one who feels the way I do about Pinterest and it will at some point be a matter for the courts to decide. In the meantime, be smart and don't pin others images either by the Pinterest app or by downloading the images. Thanks.

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

Friday, February 24, 2012

Transferring Baby Koi to Another Pond In the Winter

 Last fall my friend Naomi gave me two baby koi. I was not really certain about taking the baby koi because at the time my only pond was a 50 gallon cast iron bathtub. The bathtub pond has served me well for nearly eight years and is the home of one six inch goldfish. I have loved this little bathtub so much that it gave me the courage to give a big pond a try which brings us back to the baby koi. I told Naomi all I had was the bathtub pond and I wasn't sure if the koi would survive there. Supposedly koi need a large pond and very clean water. While my bathtub pond has its own ecosystem and clean water it certainly is not a big pond.  Nonetheless I put the small black koi into the bathtub pond about six months ago and did not expect much from them. I do not feed my fish and paid little attention to the now three fish in the bathtub pond. I would occasionally check the bathtub to make sure there weren't any floating fish but that was about it. Wonders of wonders the koi not only lived but even grew a few inches. They are even slowly beginning to get their colors as they grow. Naomi is very unhappy that these koi have taken so long to get their color but perhaps that is common? Maybe these koi won't get pretty colors at all but they are indeed koi as Naomi has no goldfish in her pond-only koi. Enter the new large pond and the need for a new home for the two baby koi.

Once I finished digging my big pond and found the leaky area (a low spot in the liner) in the pond I let the pond sit for a few days in order to give it time to clear up and to begin establishing itself. An important part of my large pond (and small pond too) is the fact that I have some plants growing in the ponds. I find these are the best filters for any pond and simply love the ease of care of these plants. So, before moving the baby koi into my front pond I planted some horsetail rush and native irises in mesh pots. I believe these helped to clear up the new pond just as much as the mechanical filter did. I swear by plants in a pond when, after a couple of years of pea green water I finally added some plants to my bathtub pond. After I added the plants I never had pea soup ever and have not had to add an additives to the water either. After a few more days with the plants in place it seemed like the pond was ready for the baby koi to be moved into it from the bathtub pond. 

I was able to move my baby koi from the bathtub pond to the big pond mainly because the koi are already acclimated to the temperatures in both ponds; which should be the same since they are both outside. Since I do not feed my fish I knew there was no danger of the koi being full of food and being placed in cold water where the food could slowly harm the koi. If I purchased koi from a store during this time of the year the fact that the store would feed their koi and the water in the store would be warm could cause a major problem with any koi I purchased and put into my pond. You are not supposed to feed fish when the water temperatures drop to a certain level because the fish slow down their metabolism and kind of hibernate when the water is very cold. Going from a high metabolic rate in the store to a cold outside pond in the wintertime would mean the food the fish had eaten would just kind of sit in the stomachs of the koi and that would not be a good thing. Fish do not need food in the wintertime at all and in fact I usually don't feed my fish at all-winter or summer. I do plan to start feeding these koi come spring though because I'd like to be able to interact with them. The goldfish in the back is easy to see in the small pond but in the large pond I can barely see these baby koi. Coming up to feed will be essential if I wish to see them up close. 

After catching the baby koi in the bathtub pond I was able to see them up close. Something I relished. In fact, I took a great opportunity to snap some photos of my baby koi up close and I also held both of them in my hands. Fish are so cool and these two are no exception. Up close I was able to see that these koi appear to be changing colors and I do hope they get some great koi colors but if not, that is okay as well. They are great additions to my big pond....

in the garden....

I have not yet named these koi and would like some suggestions. Any suggestions for names for these two koi will be considered. Thanks.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Early Spring

Valentines Day has come and gone here in my Georgia Gardens. My display remains in the woods as I type though. We have returned from our winter cruise to the Bahamas and brought back the crud with us. We did not start showing signs of this nasty Cold Type mess until we were off the ship. We were able to enjoy our vacation up until last Friday when both The Saint and I were down and out. We both had and continue to deal with Runny nose, Clogged Sinus, Pressure, Cough, etc. You know the typical Sinus Cold Symptoms. I feel a bit better today and even got out of bed and opened windows to allow fresh air inside the house. We are in the mid 70's and with us going from cold to warm, warm to hot, hot to cold, drizzle cold rain and back to warm and then Hot temps, it is no wonder our sinus are messed up!
Today was the first day I stepped outside in my gardens in many days and I see spring colors saying hello to me. I snapped pictures then back inside to rest. I have no energy with this sinus draining me. Grrrrrrrr....
Daffodils have come and gone and some still blooming for me. Hyacinth in colors of purple and white are blooming. Oh, how I wish you could smell this beautiful white one above. Clogged nose and all, I still can smell the sweet scent of this beauty. Hopefully, I can get over this crud and get out into the gardens by weekend. The Valentines Day Display really needs to go Bye Bye....
The Wrens are at it again. Look high upon the post on the front porch.
Yep, I have placed small birdhouses upon each post in hopes to keep the birds at bay. But as you can see, the houses are not working.
I have 3 functional bird houses on the front porch for the birds to enjoy but they prefer to make a mess on the posts instead. Flowers blooming and birds building nests is a sure sign that we are having a EARLY SPRING, In the Garden...
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Nearby Black Vulture


No matter what one may think about vultures, or buzzards, they are quite a sight when spotted in nature. Here in Tennessee buzzards are a very common sight in the air and along the roadways where they avidly feed upon the many dead animals killed from collisions with vehicles. I got quite a thrill recently while sitting in my home office when two black buzzards came calling in my neighbor's front yard. I am not sure what attracted the buzzards but they did not stay around for very long. They are so very majestic when they take off, but then I think all large birds are most majestic. 

Oftentimes old timers and folks from the south call buzzards turkey buzzards. At first thought I too thought all buzzards were called turkey buzzards. So when I looked on Google for pictures and information about turkey buzzards I was surprised to find this buzzard did not look anything like a turkey buzzard. Turkey buzzards have a red sleeve like covering around their heads whereas this one was all black. Further investigation revealed that this buzzarrd was most likely a black buzzard. Black buzzards are also known as carrion crows or black vultures. I learn something new every day....

in the garden....

If you are local and like crinums, our local Walmart located on Fort Campbell Blvd has three packaged crinum bulbs for less than $10. These are fabulous plants for this area. See my post for information on them or search the sidebar for their beautiful blooms.  

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

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Plant Labels and an Update on Old Plant Labels

It has been nearly two years since I posted about making plant labels for Tiger Gardens and I find I am in need of many more plant labels. As I am wont to do I tend to evaluate things I try in the garden before I either add to the mix or recommend my experiments to others. I am pleased to say the sculpey labels I made in that post two years ago have held up absolutely wonderfully so I have decided to make more for my shrubs in my gardens.
The process was quite simple and for less than $12 for materials I now have 20 new labels to hang on my shrubs and small trees in the garden. The first picture in this post is showing how the new labels look in situ. The above picture shows one of my labels I made nearly two years ago. All of those labels have held up very well. The only sign of wear on them is the fact that the stain and varnish have worn off from the label and mildew has set in. While the mildew affects their looks it does not affect the functionality of the labels. As you can see each one is still easily read and clearly serve a function in my garden--that is to identify the shrub or tree.
The above picture shows my latest batch of plant labels. I purchased two large blocks of Sculpey clay at our local big box store. I already had the stamper so just reused it. For further instructions you are welcomed to look back at the initial post on plant labels. I found that I had a GREAT need for labels identifying viburnums. Viburnums are a very versatile shrub and the types available for gardeners is sometimes mind boggling. A key facet of growing viburnums is to have a cross pollinator of the same specific epithet. Some viburnums are self pollinating but in my gardens I find viburnums don't produce many berries without a pollinator so I have tried very hard to find pollinators for my viburnums. For example I have a couple of Viburnum nudum viburnums. One is the cultivar 'Count Pulaski' and the other is the cultivar 'Winterthur'. I believe these two viburnums will pollinate one another (I hope) so I have planted them fairly close together. To help me keep my pollinators and groups of viburnums in order and to remind me of what might work and not work I made plant labels to identify all of viburnums. I think the labels will be a tremendous help in the garden.
As far as labeling perennials and bulbs I have plans to make some of my own metal plant labels using the same stamp kit I purchased for the Sculpey plant labels. I just haven't gotten around to it though. Instead, I researched some plant labels online and found that these tall heavy duty rose pin labels work the best for me. I purchased mine from a company online that I found had the best prices. I used a paint pen marker to write the name of the plant on the label. I really do like these labels but the problem with labeling perennials is that the labels have to be in the ground. When labels are in the ground they are very likely to get bounced around, stepped on, or moved. I find that I have to be careful around these labels but that would be a problem with any labels you use for perennials. Labels are a very good tool for gardeners. I am very good at remembering most of my plants but I do find that as time goes on I tend to forget plant names....

in the garden....

How do you label your plants?

Everyone enjoy your long weekend and President's Day! In this year of elections it is a good thing we get a day off to recuperate from all the campaigns.

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

Monday, February 13, 2012

A White Winter Flowering Quince and Whitney


I spoke of my three quince shrubs in Friday's post but only posted pictures of the two red quince. I thought today's post would spotlight a white quince. Once upon a time I didn't even know what a quince was let alone that they come in a variety of colors including white. Then one year while visiting the Nashville Lawn and Garden Show I found a vendor who had several pots of white flowering quince called 'Jet Trail' (Chaenomeles speciosa 'Jet Trail'). Quince blooms right around the time of the Lawn and Garden Show so this small shrub that was in full bloom was a big hit with customers--including me. Jet Trail has now graced my garden for about four years and is doing well. 

I find that this quince is a much smaller quince than the two red flowering quince I showed you on Friday. Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants says Jet Trail is a sport of 'Texas Scarlet' (a cultivar I also grow) and that Jet Trail grows to three feet and is a spreading shrub. I have my Jet Trail planted along a rear boundary fence and I'll attest to its small but spreading stature. The location I grow my Jet Trail in is an area under trees but the shrub does get afternoon sun--perhaps 3-6 hours a day. The soil is very poor and the conditions rather dry. I have not had to prune or water Jet Trail at all. It is a nice addition to my rather wild garden and is located in an out of the way area so I am not bothered by its thorns. I always think that no matter how pretty quince are in the spring the thorns are a major drawback for me. Do you all feel that way too? Someday I'll probably remove my quince due to all the thorns. The roses might also go away if they keep clawing me when I give them their annual haircut--which is right now. Nonetheless I keep this white flowering quince....

in the garden....

Those of you who are of a certain age (over 30 or so) will remember Whitney Houston. The world lost her this weekend all too soon. She was only 48 when she passed. Her voice was, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest of all time and her songs and movies, especially The Bodyguard, will forever be remembered as will she. Here is one of my ALL TIME favorite songs. Enjoy.    

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

Friday, February 10, 2012

Winter Bloomers in Tiger Gardens

Winter has hardly made an appearance here in my section of Tennessee and the blooms in the garden sure are putting on a great show with the unseasonably mild weather. I'm not complaining at all but hope the trees and shrubs don't break dormancy prematurely. If so there could be dire consequences for them. We are still experiencing the loss of large and mature trees due to the late freeze and subsequent drought of 2007. All gardeners who experienced that freeze will never forget it and I think it will be one for the history books that will be talked about for the next fifty years. At any rate the perennials, some early shrubs and bulbs are usually not too bothered by early blooming. The crocuses are a bit early in Tiger Gardens but the bees don't mind at all. Jimmy tried to catch a bee here and that didn't even faze the bees. And, he was not stung so that is good. Teenagers!
Quince is a never fail early bloomer. Quince is the only early red blooming shrub that I know of. I simply love the brilliant early red blooms. The shrub itself is not something to be desired though. It has a great deal of thorns and is nondescript the rest of the year. The one pictured above is 'Rubra'. I have two other types of quince blooming as well; which you'll soon see.
Have you ever seen the bloom of Petasites japonica? Me neither but I will as soon as this large bud opens its flowers. I purchased this plant from the University of Tennessee Trial Gardens in Jackson Tennessee during Summer Celebration one year. Petasites is a large plant that has leaves reminiscent of gunnera. Petasites likes a moist soil and can be quite invasive in the right (or wrong depending on your perspective) conditions so use care if you plant this plant. I planted mine behind Mr. Fix-it's garage in a wild area of the garden. It is not a terribly moist area but does get some runoff since it is a low area. So far during the past two and one half years that this petasites has been growing here I have had no issues whatsoever with it spreading. That may change at some point but so far it has behaved itself. It has a cool bloom though huh?
Christmas roses, aka Helleborus niger, are well behaved perennials. In fact, they are so well behaved that it is very hard to get them established in the garden. I've had this one since 2003 and with its two blooms it looks the best it has ever looked. Lenten roses, aka Helleborus species, are the complete opposite of Christmas roses. They take off pretty well. The major differences between the two as far as I can see from my garden is the bloom of the Christmas rose is about two inches across and is flatter. The leaves of the Christmas rose are also quite different.
Daffodils continue their march toward the big show to come in a another few weeks or so.
This quince is 'Texas Scarlet'. It is the quince that gifts me with real quince fruit nearly every year.
This gal is not a bloom perse, but a new addition to Tiger Gardens. My friend Sandra and her grandchildren gifted us with Speckles. She joins Cuddles in our garden. She has her own very elaborate rabbit hutch and lives out front where we can enjoy her company every day....

in the garden....

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Duh" Moment

BY SKEETER I am ever so busy with many things going on in my life right now. Yes, still too busy to be able to visit bloggers but I just had to pop in here and share this today.

The Saints parents and large dog have been visiting with us and we had a great time together. While entertaining at meal time, I took the easy way out and purchased a bakery cake rather then bake one myself. The cake is long gone but above you see the empty container.We recycle and I was looking for the number in the triangle to see if this container is a #1 or #2 as those are the only numbers our recycle center will accept. I easily found the number on the bottom but could not seem to find a number on the top/lid/dome of the container.
As I flipped the Dome over to look for the number, I had a "Duh" moment. Do you see what I saw???
What is a "Duh" moment you may ask? Well an instant when your brain goes, well Duh, I should have thought of that sooner! I have tossed many of these containers into the recycle bin, trash, etc. I have also purchased many of these type items for my plants. They keep water from going onto the floor after feeding a plant! I just had to share this little Tip for those of you that have yet to have your "DUH", MOMENT, In the Garden...

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

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Wonderful Winter White Camellia

As it is so often happens here in Tiger Gardens I am surprised by what is blooming in the garden. No surprise is as grand as a five foot tall white camellia in full bloom as viewed in the woodland garden. What a shock it was for me to find this camellia blooming! Usually this white camellia (and the other spring blooming camellias here) will get zapped by a freeze. I expect at some point this one will too but for the moment I am reveling it its glory.
Camellias are quite easy for us to grow here in northern Middle Tennessee. I've been growing them since 2003 even when our zone was classified as a 6B. I was told by many gardeners and at least one camellia expert that you can't grow camellias in Zone 6B. Enter the USDA and their new updated zone charts. My zone went from a 6B to a 7A. I guess that now explains why I can grow camellias-tongue in cheek of course. If you wish to read about how I grow my camellias you can check this previous post
Skeeter posted about her white camellia and how it always gets zapped by a freeze. I find the white camellia blooms do look the worst once they are frozen. It's a messy sight. With gardening we don't always have only happy days in the garden and on this blog we like to show the good, the bad, and the ugly. While frozen blooms are not necessarily bad or ugly, they aren't always good. I expect this stunning shrub and its blooms will be here but for a fleeting moment because freezing temperatures are in this week's forecast.
If you wish to grow camellias you need to be aware of the types of camellias you can grow. Predominantly there are japonicas and sasanquas. I personally like the sasanquas for my garden here. Once you know what kind of camellia you would like to grow you then need to know whether your chosen camellia is a fall or spring bloomer. There are fall blooming and spring blooming camellias. The words fall and spring are really not too terribly applicable because the camellias, at least in my experience, bloom during the winter. But! When I refer to fall and spring you can expect 'fall' bloomers to bloom before the end of the calendar year and the spring bloomers will bloom in the new calendar year. I have had fall bloomers bloom anywhere from October to December, and spring bloomers will bloom anywhere from February to May. Again, spring and fall blooming words to describe camellias are relative. If you wish for a sure bloom with longevity then I suggest you get a fall blooming sasanqua camellia. The fall blooming sasanquas seem to avoid or at least withstand the freezes better than the spring bloomers. They have worked best for me.
The winter bloomers sure can be stunning though. The evergreen leaves add so much to a landscape even when the camellia is not in bloom.
The bloom of a camellia tree is something that can be indescribable. The camellia bloom is for sure a most rewarding part of winter gardening. I could not imagine a southern garden without a camellia.
The wonderful white of this unknown camellia ties in with winter so very well and even if we don't have snow I still have the winter white of a camellia....

in the garden....

Every spring since 2002 I have marveled at the peeping frogs here in my neighborhood. For me the spring peepers signify spring and guess what? I heard the first peepers of the season Saturday night, February 4th. Spring is near. On warm nights I'll sometimes sleep with my bedroom window open just so I can drift off to sleep listening to the very loud peepers calling....

in the garden....

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

Friday, February 3, 2012

Another Glass on Glass Mosaic for Winter Color


There is not much going on in Tiger Gardens other than the usual--life. I've been busy with one project or another and with work and preparing for spring. The pond is still giving us fits too but it will all work out in the end; I just know it will. So today's post is a short and sweet one. My original glass on glass mosaic has been a mighty popular post here at In the Garden so I'm following it up with another of my creations. The original glass on glass mosaic was so popular another blogger actually stole it. That blog is now closed to the public so I'm not sure if anymore of my posts have been reposted there or not. Please readers, respect the copyright of others and while we here at this blog are honored folks like our creations they belong only on this blog. Thanks.

I actually made this glass on glass mosaic about 18 months ago. It lay in the above garden all that time waiting for Mr. Fix-it to weld a frame to it so we could mount it in the garden. It took Mr. Fix-it a long time because, well, things just get in the way and this mosaic was a low priority. Once it was installed he asked me why it took us so long. Ha! The garden I installed this mosaic in is called the St. Francis garden. It is a garden in the frontyard that is quite shady. I have a great view of it from all of the windows on the front of my home. We are looking southeast from the house and behind this little vignette and garden you can clearly see my driveway and the road in front of my home. I wanted a bit of a barrier between the road and my home, as well as a backdrop for St. Francis who is solidly ensconced in this garden. The bonus is that when I sited this mosaic I knew the rising sun would shine through the glass gems in a brilliant manner. Each morning this spot of red is a highlight of the front garden. Of course, as the sun moves its angle to more overhead and to the north I will not get the brilliant shine but that is the beauty of gardens. They are ever changing and variable. The gems will always shine and there will be plenty going on in the garden to keep me amused even when the sun moves-think plants and other mosaics.

The window was a lucky find. It is actually a metal framed window that is quite solid. Nonetheless, when Mr. Fix-it welded the square tubing to the frame he accidentally cracked two windows. You cannot heat up glass when welding as it will surely crack. Don't try it. It's okay though because the cracks are not even noticeable. Yeah! So I finally get to enjoy this glass on glass mosaic with dear St. Francis in his spot in the frontyard....

in the garden....

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