February

We have escaped from the snow and ice for a bit and are spending some time in the St. Pete Beach area in Florida.  So instead of snowy garden photos to post, I have colorful flowers.  The place we are renting has a butterfly garden.  I know some of the plants – hibiscus, pentas, phlox, lantana, gaillardia but some others are unknown to me.  So I will just post a bunch of pretty but unlabeled photos.  We have seen some butterflies in the garden, and I may try to photograph those for another post.

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Enjoy

 

 

 

 

January

The garden is snoozing, of course, but we had snow this week so there is a bit more to look at other than cold hard ground.

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We also had visitors

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The dog was watching the deer and they were watching her

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We have had many many cardinals at the feeders as well as other birds

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I don’t think we will be using the new porch for awhile

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I am happy we have the snow. The plants really like having a warm blanket to snooze under until spring.

 

 

December

The Thanksgiving snows melted and I was able to get out into the garden and cut back the last of the perennials and put up Christmas lights.  This time of year the “bones” of the garden really show through so I though a few photos would be fun.  Here are three taken from the back step left to right  – a panorama of sorts.

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There are still creatures about – deer mostly as I think the little bear cub must have hibernated.  The birds and squirrels are at the feeder non-stop, and we had a nocturnal visit from this little flying squirrel.

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When its too cold to garden, I bring the garden inside – here are some succulents wintering over in a south facing window

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I like to make a “sparkle tree” from a crabapple branch – the light is wonderful when the sun sets around 4:17 these days.

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I made this star from milkweed pods and an acorn cap collected on a walk

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Winter is here and the garden is resting

Wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year

Forsythia Hedge

When we moved here in 2001, there was a small hedge of forsythia behind the fence.  It grew and grew and became a monster 60 feet long, up to 15 feet high, and 20 feet deep.  Intertwined were vines of bittersweet, grapevine, and Virginia Creeper.  We mostly ignored the “hedge” because we didn’t have to gaze at it very often, but once the porch was finished, we knew we had to tackle the monstrosity or be swallowed up.  Here it is back in October.

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Starting to cut it back:

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Making progress:

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We found the groundhog burrow:

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Almost done:

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There’s a bit more trimming to do and we created a pretty big burn pile to take care of in January, but come spring it should be a vast improvement.

 

 

 

Frost on the dragonfly

Boo and Happy Halloween.  It was a very frosty start to the day here, 22 degrees. I hurried outside to photograph before the sun warmed everything up.

Rusty dragonfly

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Frost on the garden fairy

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Sedum Autumn Joy

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Amsonia

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Lambs Ears

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Yarrow

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Sun coming through the woods

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Porch view

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The sun rose higher and we took a walk in the woods

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Back in the garden

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These little faces peered out from the birdhouse

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And this little guy was having Halloween treats in a nearby crabapple

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Hope you had a great day

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BOO!

 

 

 

 

Mid-October

It has a been a balmy autumn in these parts but that is about to end.  We had a hint of frost the last couple of nights but the real thing is coming this week.  Sigh.  We have been scurrying about trying to finish up the exterior painting on some steps we rebuilt, putting wood preservative on the new porch and finishing up some landscaping.  Landscaping around here has a domino effect. Let’s see: if I move that plant over there , then this plant can go in that spot and then I can move that other plant…. it goes on for awhile.  Here are a some photos of the declining garden, pre-freeze.  There is lots of color even on a gray day.

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Dahlia photo is a bit washed out – but the true color shows in a vase

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Since we have a new view from the porch we thinned the lilacs and are beginning to hack away the forsythia – it will be a long project

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All that stuff to the far left has got to go

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Improved view from the porch

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Lastly, one of my daylilies rebloomed … a first for me.

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“Hoick” it out

Every once in awhile you just have to come to terms with a big overgrown area of your garden.  I read about this somewhere and the reference was regarding Vita Sackville-West  – she made the garden at Sissinghurt in England.  She said, “Gardening is largely a question of mixing one sort of plant with another and of seeing how they marry happily together; and if you see that they don’t marry happily, then you must hoick one of them out and be quite ruthless about it.”  There was a gorgeous pink hued fragrant lilac in my garden when we moved in 17 years ago.

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I tried keeping it under control but it kept sending out shoots, and it was taking over other areas of the garden.  You can see it out on the right near the end of the fence.  It was invading the daylilies.

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Finally, I decided it had to go.  I dug many of the shoots and planted some near the new porch.  Many more were given to friends.  That was the easy part.

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Next I had to get the stump(s) out of the ground.  Hubby helped and we dug and lifted and pried. We even got out the saws-all and cut massive roots. Finally,  we “hoicked it out” and we were “ruthless”.

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Here’s what the space looks like now.

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I wish I had done this years ago.  Now what should I plant there?   Hmmmmmm….. dahlias come to mind.  Stay tuned.