Arjuga there? Ok, bad pun, I know. Actually, Arjuga is a plant. Apparantly the wild creeper that I have all over my yard is Arjuga. Now the stuff you buy in the store grows taller from what I can tell in the pics I’ve seen online this morning. I’ve been pulling it everywhere I see it for the last 7 years. It’s still everywhere, though.
Then I thought about it…
It really is kind of pretty. The little flowers remind me of tiny orchids. The bees and hummingbirds, or so I read, love the nectar that is in them. Course, I’m assuming they mean the taller ones, but there must be something in my tinier ones, too, don’t you think? Then I noticed that they love growing around and with other plants that shade them a bit. They grow and mingle with anything that will “umbrella” them. They seem to especially like my Hollyhock and growing in with all the wild violets.
Yes, my lawn is covered in beautiful violets that have been growing wild for who knows how many years. I leave them because I think they are gorgeous and even the plant is pretty. You mow them and they flower right up again. lol.
The other thing that is happening… I have spreading daisies everywhere. A tiny daisy plant was given to me about 3 years ago by some friends. I planted it and it did nothing. Last year it came up and bloomed. I had to remember where they came from. I thought they died. But THIS year… oh my Lord, they are spreading and mounding and growing like mad. I have huge daisy clumps growing right ON my driveway. Apparantly, all they need is a little crack and a sprinkle of dirt and they go nuts. BTW, all this in front of the little stone wall is overflow. My garden looks as if someone tipped it on its side and it’s spilling out. I sort of like it, but I really do need to clean it up a bit.
Well, this got me to thinking….
Why not let them go? The arjuga are not the prettiest greenery, but I’ve seen much worse. The little flower is adorable and makes up for its not as pretty dressing. And why not move the daisies and let them work as a ground cover of sorts and let them take over problem areas? Would I like it enough to not cringe whenever I saw it in large amounts? Hmm… not sure yet.
I had some plants coming up in my rock garden, but didn’t know what they were, so I left them to see what happened. I do this a lot, btw, since the tags always seem to get lost over the winter. They didn’t really look like a weed, but then some weeds are really pretty until you realize what they are. lol. Plus, they were placed in specific areas so I figured they were something I put in last summer. Here’s what they turned out to be. Needless to say I’m very happy to see them. I needed the bright, different color.
Tidbit…did you know that Dianthus are what Carnations were bred from? They are actually the original carnation. They have a single layer of petals, but they smell wonderful since they also have the carnation scent. You can also eat the petals.
Carnations can be steeped in wine, candy, or use as cake decoration. To use the surprisingly sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower. Dianthus are the miniature member of the carnation family with light clove-like or nutmeg scent. Petals add color to salads or aspics. Carnation petals are one of secret ingredients that has been used to make Chartreuse, a French liqueur, since the 17th century. (http://whatscookingamerica.net/EdibleFlowers/EdibleFlowersMain.htm)
Since I know many of you are brave about things like this, I’m going to do a post about edible flowers and plants. It’s from this site and laid out nicely, so I think you’ll enjoy it.
My little spruce is doing incredibly. I tell you, it took a few years to really get going, but wow, now its going like gangbusters. I need to do some pruning again this fall. I pulled out the centers last fall so that it would bush up more and that seems to have worked. This year I’m going to prune back the top. It’s getting really leggy up there. You see that long piece in the middle right at the top? The one that is like 9 inches long? That is this years growth so far! That whole center piece is all from this year so far. Yep, time to prune that puppy back. lol. I love my spruce tree.
Here is another plant that is blooming for the first time this year. I planted these towards the end of summer last year. I knew they lived because they were coming up nicely, but I didn’t know what they would look like. They are really pretty. These are Columbines. I have two of them. Not sure if they will spread or not, but they are a pretty plant. They are a double petal dark blue and yellow. They look more dark purple though to me, but I like them.
This is one of my blue ceramic planters in the front of the house. I have them on either side of the door. The bushy thing in the back is Artemesia. It’s silvery green and the softest thing in the world. Honestly, it’s nice just to brush your fingers through and it has a pretty, soft scent. I put in the pansies (actually I forget the real name but I think they are a type of pansy. I’ll check my tags tomorrow and update this post. lol.) this spring. I think they are perennial so I’m hoping they will come back next year like the artemesia does. They’re pretty, don’t you think? I also moved some of the artemesia to the window boxes and hopefully finally get something perennial going in those. I have a terrible time with my window boxes.
Hidden in all that lovely greeness is my poor dilapidated gate to the backyard. The big bush in the front right corner of the picture is a mock orange. It’s growing like crazy. The honeysuckles are the two big round bushes on top of the gate and they are overwhelming the gate. I can’t wait till they bloom. Honeysuckle is one of my fav scents of all time. That and roses. We were going to work on the gate first, but I won’t let the hubby do it now because of the robin nest in one of the honeysuckle bushes. She is still sitting on her egg, but I keep checking. That nest and egg is the one I took the picture of and used in my new header.
The rest of the green bushes are Red Raspberry. Yep, we will have a million berries this year. We had lots last year but the bushes are twice the size this year and full of very unripe berries. These are an heirloom berry from a friends mother’s yard. They are HUGE and bright red and wonnnnnnderful. I think I’m going to try making raspberry jam this year. Did you know you can make jam in a breadmaker? Well, at least in mine you can. The book has the recipe and I want to try it.
Lastly for this post is something I did not find outside, but ON my bed. (shudders) Apparantly one of the dogs, probably Rosie, brought in her own toy to play with. I couldn’t understand what Baby was trying to find in my blankets. I thought it was one of her bones, but then I let Rosie in and saw her making a dive for the bed, too. I figured I better check again for that bone. Imagine my surprise when I saw this.. and it was still moving! I would LIKE to think it’s a mouse, but I’m thinking perhaps rat. Somehow that bothers me more. The back legs don’t work but the front legs were. It’s eyes are not even open yet. I put it in this container and put it outside under a bush. I know it will die out there, but I just can’t kill it and with the back end not working, no amount of nursing it was going to do any good. Plus…I really don’t care for rats…or mice for that matter. If they stay outside, live and let live, but we kill too many of them INside for me to like them much. The whole thing was maybe 1.5 to 2″ long. The rest of the day has been spent washing every blanket on my bed. LOL.
See you round the yard again soon! I painted my shutters and got them up <winks>. Soon as I paint the door I’ll take piccies to show you.
Yep, that’s me. I’ve been sewing, ripping and hooking together all yesterday and for the last 3 hours. It’s 5:06 am and trust me… the bleary-eyed is true. Still thought I would show you what I did…well, a couple of them at least.
The second picture is my “sheet yarn” balls that I made from a large sheet I picked up this weekend. The color is hard to tell, but its a light beigey color. I have another piece of material in dark brown-rust that will look really nice with it. Tell you what though…that’s a really tedious job: tearing, snipping, hooking together… oi! Next time I’ll hook as I go so I don’t have the mess I had to deal with last night and this morning.
Ok that’s it for now. Time for BED! lol.
I have more things to get made this afternoon to sell at the store, so I’ll post a piccy of them later.
Have fun all!
You know… I was thinking about this post and realized this is more or less a journal of my yard throughout the summer. That’s sort of cool. I’m watching my yard change as the season changes and documenting it. I like this. You will all probably get sick of my pictures before this is over. LOL.
Anyway, I put some new plants in and took pictures of just a few of them. All but two are perennials. I’m too old to do the 150 annuals thing anymore. I actually prefer, not just the ease of perennials, but also the expectation of seeing what made it through the winter and watching them come up. God did good when He made plants and animals. (except spiders and snakes <grins>)
First up for today was a wonderful surprise. I was out back with the dogs and saw an odd gap in my honeysuckle bush beside the sad gate. I went over to see why and found this. I looked in closer and saw it had a little occupant. I can’t wait to document this!
Mamma was not happy about me taking a picture just now because we had startled her already moving the gate to let the dogs out.
Next up for your viewing pleasure…Spiderweb Hens and Chicks. This is one of the new plants I put in. I also put in one pot of regular Hens and Chicks, but had never heard of this variety so I took a photo of it. Both plants are tucked into the part that is supposed to look like a dry river bed so I think they will look pretty as they spread. I have to work on the river bed a little more, but it’s off to a good start.
The next picture is one of those wierd things you just have to laugh about and which make my point about perennials. I had planted, apparantly, Hollyhocks in my side garden. The birds or wind or something decided to transplant a seed. Last year this came up and since it didn’t look like a weed, although I had no idea whatit was, I let it go. Mind you these Hollyhocks were planted a couple years ago and only last year did anything. It’s sure going like gangbusters though this year. It has a sister that actually is in the side garden, but this one is a diehard. I’ll probably transplant after it blooms.
Another new plant I put in was Yellow Lamium. I also put in a new Silver-Leaf Purple Lamium, but I hadn’t heard of the yellow ones before. I know there are pinkish ones, but I just had to get two of
the yellow ones. This has the darker green variegated leaves and looks really pretty up against the wood chips. I hope it spreads as well as the purples ones. I just put these in yesterday and they haven’t missed a beat in moving into their new digs. (haha pun intended) The purple one has already started blooming. yay!
Last up for today are little Johnny Jump-Ups. They are either that or Violas. Honestly, I think they may be the same thing with a different name. Either way I thought they were cute and I even tried am artsy-fartsy look to the picture.
When I was little every single picture we took was in front of the blue spruce in the front of the house. You could watch the tree grow with me and my sister. When we bought our house I wanted to get one the first year, but that didn’t work out. So this was gotten our second year.
It was touch and go, since it was only about 15 inches tall when I got it. I thought it would never start growing, but now it shoots up every year. It’s finally even big enough to decorate at Christmas time so I can see the light when I’m working in the kitchen. I love my little tree. Here it is with all its new shoots.
How would you like it if the very air around you was perfumed? At our house at this time of the year, it is. The entire side of the front of the house is purple and white lilacs. We figure these are probably over 100 years old. It’s hard to tell but they are almost up to the roofline on the second floor. They were a bit bigger and fuller until the ice storm a couple years ago, but even with the damage they took, (one was laying down on the ground completely), they still bloomed and started reaching again for the sun.
They are just coming into bloom and the air around the whole house smells amazing.
Lastly, I took at look at my old arbor. I made this I cut an olddddde ladder in half, stuck the ends in the dirt and put striplings across the top for a “roof” and for support. The roof is gone because my husband had to duck his head all the time. (snickers), but the sides remain. They are held up now by my Hall’s Honeysuckle. I adore the smell of Honeysuckle and knew I would have tons of it around my house someday. This is doing really well. It’s been cut back to almost nothing twice now and just keeps bushing up thicker. this summer its getting pulled down, the gate I mean, and a whole new arbor is going to be built with a good gate that the puppy can’t get through. So this is the swan song of my faithful little gate and arbor. Honestly, it’s nothing short of a miracle they lasted this long. LOL.
The bushes on either side of them are my red raspberries. They came from a friend’s mom’s yard and are an heirloom variety that has been in her yard for years and years. I don’t know the name, but the berries are beyond wonderful. They’re huge and sweet and juicy. Raspberry bushes can be a bit invasive, but I just pull the shoots I don’t want and leave the rest. The more bush, the more berry. yay!
Addendum: I finally have a real composter! We got it this weekend. Doing it in a pile just wasn’t working out. The stuff was all just getting eaten. Now I have to do a bit of research on getting it started.
Phew… well, the A-Z Challenge is over and I have to say I’m glad. It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work and yes, pressure at times. Next time someone shoot me before I pick something I have to do photos for every day and type out knitting directions for. lol.
I haven’t done any “what’s going on here” posts while I was doing that, so hold on to your bloomers cause here it is. ;0
First.. I took some pictures of my gardens as they stood before the freezing temps set in again. I wasn’t sure what would be left, but luckily everything survived. Here are the piccies anyway. And yes, I know, the yard needs mowing BADLY. Every time the sweetie is off its raining or we’re out all day on errands so it hasn’t gotten done. Try to look past that part, ok? <grins>
This house had nothing when we bought it. Not a single plant, bush….nothing. So while I do not have the greenest thumb, and much of this has been trial and error, I’m still pretty proud of it. I did make a note to myself about trimming my rhodos at the end of the summer so they are more bushy and less “stalky”. Oh well, live and learn. I didn’t know they didn’t do that naturally.
I call this my side garden. That was all grass when we moved in. I pulled every single blade of grass out of that by hand. Grass wth 200 year old roots. Yep, that was fun. I couldn’t even pick up a cup of tea with one hand for days. BTW…click on the pictures for a bigger view.
I have a ton of plants in there. Funny part is..some of them I planted 3-4 years ago and only just came up last summer. Made for some interesting looks when the plants I planted in their place also came up. lol. This garden is mostly for color and for birds, bees, and hummingbirds. Those windows are my room so I wake up in the morning to the birds in my window feeder that my sweetie made me right beside my face. I love it. There is a lot of bee balm, pinks, dianthus, autumn joy (2), evening primrose (one of my favs), a giant yucca I never knew would grow, lamb’s ear, a big butterfly bush (which apparantly should also have been trimmed), a wild fairy rose right in the center which by the end of the summer will be almost to the second floor, 2 miniature roses, (i adore roses), various creeping sedums, and one I c an picture but can’t recall the name of but it smells wonderful, a few lily of the valley, daisies (no idea where they came from but boy are they spreading), and a hollyhock that was also a surprise. lol. Thats the stuff I can remember off hand. There are a few other things that usually just surprise me. I had wild strawberry and lamium, but I think they got lost in all the rest. I’ll have to redo those. The stuff on the wall are creeping phlox. I love those little suckers. hehe.
Next are some views of whats blooming in the front. You have to understand that until last summer, that entire front hill was all grass. It was horrible to mow. So I had someone come with a backhoe and we pulled up all the grass ( I was NOT doing that by hand again) and filled it in with a bit more dirt, then topped it with weed paper and pine chips. It needs another layer of chips but I have those already so just need to get it done. The rocks we placed so that I had a pretty rock garden. We even made rock steps up the side and one big rock to sit on. The other rocks we stacked on top of each other and to me its like a little fairy city. I’m going to do more with that and I’m tossing around the idea of painting some of them bright colors. The bush at the top left corner is a hydrangea bush I got from a lady who was having a yardsale and her hubby was throwing away tons of it. I asked her for some and he got it for me. Its slow to spread but it blooms pretty and each year it is a bit bigger. Again I think a trim would help it along, though. The other tree in the center top is my sour cherry tree. It had hundreds of cherries on it last year but the birds got them before I did. This year it will be tented. muhaha! The winter took down some of the stacked rocks, but I’ll fix that, too. It’s hard to see with the long grass, but in the center on the top on this side I have a Weigula Bush that I put in last year. It lived! Hoping this summer it takes off and gets some good growth. I love those bushes. The other on the corner is another hydrangea bush from the same lady. They are white hydrangeas btw. So pretty. In my barrels,…again hard to see… are stella d’oro lilies and that yellow plant I have no idea what it is. I put it in there and its a perennial but I dont recall what it is and the tag I left in there is gone. But they are blooming like gangbusters and look so pretty. In a couple weeks I’ll have pansies in there, too.
Now don’t laugh, but this birdbath is brand spanking new and was a real splurge for me. It matches last years splurge of the two huge ceramic containers you see in the background. I just love it and when you can actually see it, will look so pretty up against the blue house with the soon to be new blue shutters. (Yes, I picked, thanks to all of your helps, and I bought the paint. Now we just need dryer warmer weather. lol)
Next is my new phone. Ok, yes, you can chuckle a little here, but this is my first smart phone. Now the problem is that the phone and I are having a battle of wills atm and, I can’t let the phone hear this, but it’s winning. Yes, my phone appears to be smarter than me, but I’m coming up on the outside and plan to run its little techno-butt over. MUHAHA! On the bright side, I did manage to find some spiffy knitting apps and I have Angry Birds and Uno on it. I even got my own special ringtone now. Yes, I have officially entered the 20th century. Yes, I know its the 21st century, but I just got this far, give me a break!
I got some new books. Oh, they are new to me. I love that you can buy used books through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Saves you money for sure. These were all used, but they were pristine and only one of them even looked like it had been opened. You all lived with me through the hat I made for my sister, who is going to send me a picture of her in it as soon as she gets one, but I thought that top book might have been helpful during that. lol.
Lastly, since you guys are always cleaning and re-organizing and making me feel like a slug <winks> I started in on my stuff in my craft room. The table still needs to be finished up, but it took me 3.5 hours just to get it looking like this. Sweetie is bringing home all kinds of cabinets from work because they are replacing the old ones and they have huge drawers and have made organizing stuff soooo much easier. It’s hard to tell but this is actually a huge table. It was hard to get a good wide shot though because I couldn’t back up any further till I start cleaning that side of the room. A lot of the stuff in that room is for a yard sale we’re having, weather permitting, this weekend. Once all that stuff is out it should be a lot easier to clean in there. Those are the new cabinets. It’s hard to tell here, but the drawers are really wide and really deep. I can even fit all my tools in them. He has two more of those sitting in the kitchen and another one that has one row less drawers, but the drawers are even wider. He will probably be able to get a few more of them. Oh boy! :: dance :: And no, I know what you are thinking, I do not know where I’ll put them all yet, but we’ll find a place. <grins>
So feel caught up now? Dangerous for me to let all that wait, isn’t it? I did warn you. <winks> Off to get my two trays of Shipwreck out of the oven. It was a dishes and cooking day. I’ll put up the recipe later. It’s yummy and sticks to your ribs.
bye for now!
Some of you will remember this picture from another post. “Have pots will paint” . Well, here is what I did with them.
The pictures don’t do them justice. The sun is so pretty coming through the water beads that are inside the bottles. I’m really happy with how they turned out.