Monday, May 21, 2012

Hail & Hydrangeas

We had hail last night along with a thunderstorm.  My heart always sinks a bit knowing the damage hail can do to my garden.  I had softball sized hail a couple years ago and every plant in my garden was damaged in early spring.  I said a little prayer that the hail would stop soon and that it wouldn't get any bigger than the marble size that was falling.
My prayer was answered!

This morning as I took my morning garden walk I was relieved to see only minimal damage and my hydrangeas were fine.  They are at peak bloom right now and remain looking beautiful until the 100 heat arrives..which I hope won't be until July!

  This lacecap is so beautiful with it's 
variegated leaves.   I planted this as a one gallon several years ago and it 
has grown to just over 3 feet. 

This is one of my tried and true Nikko this part of my garden it is pink...needs more acid to keep it blue....but actually 
I enjoy the pink color in this spot!

This more sun tolerant variety is still setting blooms which is great as it will bloom throughout the hotter part of the summer.  Wish I could remember the name of this one!   The leaves are thicker and it is a much more drought tolerant variety than my Nikko blues. 

Nikko blue mixed in with lavender and roses.

My hydrangea border is the shade 
on the east side of our home. 
This border has been enriched with lots of peat moss, pecan and cocoa hulls.   They need acidic soil to stay blue and I add pecan hulls for mulch to help keep the ph acidic.   I also have azaleas in this bed along with a dogwood tree that I planted this spring.  Grouping plants together with the same 
needs makes maintenance easier. 

One of these mopheads can fill a vase
 and lasts for over a week.  

A few white blooms on my oakleaf hydrangea..this one didn't have as many blooms this year.  I did have to prune it back last fall to keep it in bounds so I'm sure that had something to do with it.  
Most hydrangeas bloom on old wood so you have to be careful not to prune in early spring or you will be cutting off the blooms.
The endless blooming varieties or rebloomers can bloom on new wood and that is why they continue off and on during the season.   I have one endless bloomer and it does in fact live up to it's name!

I've saved my favorite for last...this 'Frau Reiko'
is so beautiful...

This lacecap is drought tolerant and has the most beautiful white edging around each flower.  I have also propagated this one from a cutting and it is now blooming in the garden.  
If you can find this one it!  
You will love it and it will not disappoint!

Thanks for joining me on my garden walk...hope you have a wonderful week.

I'm joining Susan's Outdoor Wednesdays
Tootsie's Fertilzer Friday
Beverly's Pink Saturday Blog Anniversary
Tablescaper's Seasonal Sunday

Saturday, May 12, 2012

West Cliff Inn

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I will be celebrating at home with family and going to church.  I will also be redecorating my front porch.   Two new rockers, cushions and some plants
 are on my gift list.
So before we go off shopping I wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Mother's Day and share one of my favorite bed and breakfast destinations on the California Coast. 

 A trip to West Cliff Inn would be a wonderful
 gift for Mother's Day!  

Located in Santa Cruz the inn has beautiful views of  Monterey Bay. 

Sunrise view from our room

We stayed here in February as part of our anniversary trip to the coast and enjoyed 
our visit so much! 

I love big front porches and the West Cliff's porch was a perfect place to sit and enjoy the views!  The architecture is stunning.  

I love the corbels and trim around the
 windows and porch!

The inn has been meticulously restored and remolded as a bed and breakfast and the 
decor was serene and restful.  

Upper deck above the covered porch was
 another great place to relax!

Taking cues from the ocean and bay, the color palette included lots of blues, sea foam greens with soft sandy yellows.  

The staircase was gorgeous (even though our room was on the third floor)  and the foyer ceiling was a show stopper with it's stained glass dome. 

Mr. Bloomers was a trooper and lugged up my oversized suitcase up three flights as it wouldn't fit in the dumb waiter!  No elevators of course but the dumb waiter was fun to use. 

Our suite was lovely and oversized  with a king sized bed with a sitting area,  sofa bed with another sitting area and  fireplace. 

The room was quiet and comfortable and could easily accommodate  four people.

The bathroom was a dream bath, carrera marble with a spa tub, skylight and separate shower.  

The dining room is lovely and I coveted the sunflower painting above the fireplace.  West Cliff serves a delicious breakfast, cookies at night and has a wine, cheese and hor'dourves
  reception in the evening.  

Across the street is a walking trail along the cliffs and we enjoyed watching the otters play in the surf.

The view from the trail looks back at the Boardwalk a place near and dear to my husband.  He spent many weekends there during his summers since he grew up in the San Jose.  

It is the first and last roller coaster I have or will ever I am terrified of heights!  We have some good memories though!  We have three grown sons and they love riding the coaster with their dad!  

West Cliff exceeded our expectations and 
we can't wait to visit again!

Here is the link:

Hope you each have a Happy Mother's Day and if you are not a mom..hope you spend your day with someone special!

I'm linking with 

Tablescaper's Seasonal Sundays

P.S.  My son Ryan who lives in Georgia sent me a dozen  stargazers! 
 He knows me well signature flower!  

P.S.S.  My new Mother's Day rockers and boston fern on the front porch...still have some landscaping to do in the front yard...
Hope your day was special!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Day and Butterflies

Yesterday was May Day and as I walked through my garden I couldn't help but notice hundreds of butterflies covering my privets.    

The wind was blowing furiously but they just kept fluttering from bloom to bloom.   

A few Monarchs were here but mostly 
American Lady butterflies, some bees and moths.

The privet smells divine and perfumes the backyard and obviously attracts nectar lovers!

What a joy it is to watch these lovely creatures.  They fight the elements...I was glad they had found a soft place to land.

My hydrangeas are almost in bloom.  What a show they will put on in a few weeks.

The oak leaf hydrangea is starting to bloom beautiful is this plant in full bloom.

I planted a new Japanese red maple off the patio for Earth day and planted a few begonias in the bed around it.  Can't wait till they mature and fill in.

I still have some planting to do but will wait till the winds die down.  Hopefully by Friday I'll be out in the favorite place to be!

Happy Planting!! 

I'm joining Cindy's Show and Tell Friday
Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday
Fishtails Cottage's Garden Party
Tablescaper's Seasonal Sunday

Go by and say hello!