Sunday, May 31, 2015

Flower Arrangement Challenge, May

This month's flower arrangement is a little too close to the deadline. Must seek out appropriate plants earlier for June's arrangement. Nevertheless, I am pleased with what I could pull together for this bouquet. I'm a fan of all things miniature, so I gathered several of my smaller flowers (even the daisy is a dwarf variety) and placed them in a shot glass. It's quite a sweet little posy, I think.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

First Blueberry Harvest

This is a decidedly brief post, but I felt a celebration was necessary.

A wild storm blew through today, knocking down a 60-foot tree across the front yard. My first concern was for the vegetable garden. Once the lightning stopped, I stepped into my Wellies and slipped on my raincoat to go out and survey the damage. The peppers and potatoes appeared to be a little depressed, their shoulders hunched quite a bit under the weight of the heavy wind and rain. Everything else seemed okay, except for the tomatoes, which showed signs of a fierce battle. A number of branches had snapped, and a few of the supports were leaning precariously. It took a little while to shore up the support structure and truss the broken wings, but I hope they'll recover well enough.

While I was out, I thought I'd just check on the blueberries. This is the first summer I've had blueberry bushes. One bush is ripening now, and the other is laden with fruit still taking on color. Though this first harvest is small, it still fills me up.

Harvest, minus two, which promptly went from bush to my

Monday, May 25, 2015

Before and After in the Garden

I have mentioned before that the previous owners of our house had a "more is more" approach to decorating the outdoors. I offer this collage of selected items found around the pool as a reminder.

Those are, in all honesty, merely a representative sampling of the "treasures" that could be found everywhere. I can't recall why I may have chosen those particular items to show my readers. Perhaps I didn't want to frighten anyone with the larger pieces of art that were scattered about the property. I must warn everyone that I can no longer hide the truth. When Turfman first came to tour the house (I couldn't make the third house-hunting trip), he found this as he and the realtor came up the driveway.

Note: This is not my photo. It is from the Georgia MLS website,
and I cropped it.

When I look at this photo, I wonder what came first--the tractor or the trough? In my mind it doesn't really matter. What would make a person feel like one was insufficient? A myriad other questions continue to plague me about this tractor-as-lawn-ornament.

Happily, the tractor was gone, but the trough remained when I first surveyed the property. The trough was offensive to me. It was clearly a water feature, but something had gone awry with the electrical wiring, so neither it worked nor any of the outdoor outlets anywhere nearby. It immediately went on the demolition list, but it was low priority. The water sat stagnant all last summer, growing all sorts of bizarre things. I dreaded the thought of dismantling it, which would likely require a hazmat suit.

And a close-up of the monstrosity 

Time has a way of softening us, I think. Sometimes it's best to embrace the less desirable aspects of life and just see if they can be made palatable, which is why (well, that and the hazmat suit) I decided to resurrect the water feature. I dropped two enzymatic tablets into the water (which are basically beneficial bacteria that eat all the junk and keep the critters safe) to start the process of de-greening it. To make the pump itself less offensive, I gave it a faux patina. Then came the scrubbing of the mossy wood and applying a coat of tinted water sealer to help it blend into the landscape a bit more. The final touches were the installation of a new, working pump and some planting. It will take some time for the plants to grow in and hide much of it, but I think this thing may grow on me. 

New life for old eyesore

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Collecting Clematis

I have a thing for Clematis. Browsing Brushwood Nursery's website is a dangerous activity for my bank account because I simply have little restraint once I start clicking through the photos of gorgeous blooms. We have five Clematis vines scrambling up various supports at present and would have so much more if I could just figure out where to put them.

Lately, the desire for more of these magnificent vines has been nearly out of control, and it's not been ignited by a virtual Brushwood shopping trip. The culprit is the vines I planted from Brushwood last year. Don't be too quick to judge me for my weakness, dear reader. I simply ask you to consider how you might feel if, every time you walked out your side door, you were greeted with this.

A very content Clematis 'Giselle'

Such a profusion of flowers makes me feel a bit giddy at first, but then the greed sets in. I want more. I try to calm down, but then out the back door, I'm met with this.

There's Clematis 'Huldine' scrambling up an old ladder
fitted with chicken wire

Sitting behind 'Huldine' yields even more trouble, since it boasts gorgeous bars on the back of the petals. Again, this only makes me want more.

Looking good all around

Visitors to the garden might suggest that I already have more than enough when they catch sight of a little pinkish purple peeking through an ornamental grass. 

That's another tempter, Clematis 'Twilight'

They might be right, but then maybe they don't know that there's a Clematis called 'Rebecca.' Don't I need one of those? I don't know what will happen when 'Josephine' begins to flower. It may trigger a need for 'Galore.' Doesn't the name imply that it could sate my appetite?

I may just order that one to test my theory.