Friday, October 7, 2016

Critter Proofing

 I love fall!  
The colors and flowers of fall just make me happy. 
 I planted a fall pot for the patio and purchased a few pumpkins for the porch but needed to critter proof them before setting them outside.  

We have squirrels, skunks and opossums that love to 
come by for a meal.   I have found that a coat of Mop & Glo makes my pumpkins not only pretty but less attractive
 to all those fall critters.
When the wax dries I follow it up with a coat of bug spray that I reapply if it rains. 

The critters don't like the smell of the spray and 
don't bother the pumpkins.
Thought I'd pass along my method of critter proofing pumpkins.

Happy Fall Y'all  !! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Monarch Migration

The monarchs are starting their fall migration and my little pollinator garden is doing it's job.  I was so excited this morning to find the first caterpillar on the milkweed I planted this spring.

This is a variety of swamp milkweed.  In previous years I've only planted tropical milkweed but I prefer the swamp milkweed since it's a perennial.  It's all about making the garden low maintenance and low cost.

 The pollinator garden 
 is behind our home on the neighborhood greenbelt across the street from the lake.   
We have lots of wildlife and we do not use any chemicals in this area. 

This orange trumpet vine is a favorite of bees and hummingbirds.

Sedum Autumn Joy 
is almost in full bloom and a 
monarch favorite during fall migration. 

Sweet clematis vine is just starting to bloom and the bees love this vigorous plant.  It's very easy to grow and can be somewhat invasive but can be kept under control 
with a few early spring prunings.

The blooms are so pretty and smell 
so good!

Hyacinth Bean Vine is another easy to grow vine from seed.  I love the color of the blooms and the hummingbirds do too.  They have been visiting this plant almost daily since it bloomed.  Although this is planted next to my patio so I can enjoy it, I do have one planted on the greenbelt and it's doing 
well in full sun. 

The plants I choose to grow there have to take hot summers and be drought tolerant. 
I do hand water the plants a couple times a week when the temperature is above
 90 degrees and I use leftover grass clippings and mulch to keep the plants 
from drying out too fast.   

Monarch on my privet in the spring.  
They do like privet blooms in May as they
 are migrating north. 

I am hoping to see more monarchs as the migration gets in full swing however the reports this year say the count is low again.

I hope everyone will plant a few milkweeds in the garden each year and eliminate the use of chemicals.  
We all need to do our part to help these wonderful butterflies!   

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Signature Flower

Do you have a favorite flower that just makes 
your heart sing?
My 'Stargazer' lilies are in full bloom and I have shared before that they have to be my all time favorite and "signature" flower. My love of this flower goes back 30 years when my husband bought me a pot of stargazers from the grocery store because he thought they were so beautiful.  

After they finished blooming I read the plant tag and discovered they could be planted in the garden so I plunked  that first pot of Stargazers in the ground and forgot about them.  To my amazement they came back the following year!  I was forever hooked and each year I've added more to my garden and have shared this wonderful flower with friends.  

I guess I was amazed because of their tropical and exotic  appearance.  Something I would expect to grow in Florida, Hawaii or the Philippines where I grew up,  so I couldn't believe they could survive the winters here in Oklahoma.  Since they are bulbs they do very well here and 
usually bloom around the 4th of July.  
This year they are blooming early due to the 
mild winter we had and I'm okay with that! 

Last year I decided to purchase large pots and planted about 40 bulbs in pots and near my patio so we could enjoy not only the beauty but the scent.   I do have lilies out in the garden too but find I can really enjoy them having so many 
right off the patio.
They have a very strong fragrance which some people find overpowering.  I happen to love how they perfume a room or the patio.  

I have found after 4-5 years they need to be replaced but what joy they give me for a small investment!
I encourage everyone to plant them because you can grow them in a small space on a patio even if you don't have a yard or 
garden area. 

I love cutting them and making bouquets to bring in the house and share with friends.   

 Mother's Day bouquet from my son.

If you're not growing them you really should try adding them to your garden.  Bulbs are available in spring and fall.  

I'm linking with Thoughts of Home on Thursday
Bernideen's Tea in the Garden 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Hydrangea Love

This has truly been the year for hydrangeas in my garden!

'Frau Reiko'

Violet Mophead

I've been adding a few different varieties 
the past few years and wish I had room 
for more!

Newly planted 'Forever'  White Mophead.
I add lots of peat moss to the planting hole and around the plant to help with 
moisture retention.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

'Nikko Blue'

Hortensia Merritt's Supreme

I have 'Little Limelight' in my front border that is a late blooming panicle variety
and blooms in full sun.
I'll share it next month when it blooms. 

There are so many new varieties 
available now and I am trying to figure out where I can squeeze in a few more.
It's hard not to fall in love with hydrangeas!

Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Garden Walk

This week brings more bloomers in the garden.   May has brought wonderful weather this year.   The temperatures have been a bit cooler and everything has gotten off to a great start!

On my garden walk today, the morning glories have started putting on a show.   I love these purple flowers and although the vine can get out of hand I still grow them. They reseed easily and I just pull out any volunteers that I don't want. 
A package of morning glory seeds is the gift that
 keeps on giving!


White flowers are so pretty in the shade.  I really need to add more white in my garden.  These 'Forever' hydrangeas really make a beautiful statement and brighten up the space under our redbud tree.   I think some hostas would be great as companion plants and I have them on my list for garden additions this year.  

The white lavender in the background is 'Alba' and is planted in a sunny location.  It's now in it's  fourth growing season and is producing lots of stems for cutting.   'Alba' doesn't have a strong scent but is pretty in a mixed border with other flowers and I mix the flower buds with other lavender to make sachets.   I grow my lavender in raised beds with other drought tolerant plants that 
need good drainage.

The tropical milkweek and 'Provence' lavender are
 so pretty together and I'm still waiting for more Monarchs to arrive in my pollinator garden.  I am seeing many more bees and other butterflies this year which is a very
 positive sign.  This year as soon as I see a caterpillar I will cover the milkweed with a small screened enclosure to insure their survival.  

You can help the Monarchs too by planting milkweed in 
pots or in your garden.