Sunday, October 19, 2014

A snake in the grass, or at least one on the wind chimes!

Good morning!

This is a funny thing. Well, I guess that would depend on how you look at it. A couple of weeks ago Hubby saw our cat Ollie sitting on the back of the settee in the screened porch looking out of the upper part of the screen. Ollie was chattering away, as cats often do when they see a bird. Imagine Hubby's surprise when he looked up...

...and saw this...

Mr. Slither was enjoying a rest
lounging on our wind chimes...

Though snakes are not my favorite beings,
I must confess that it was fascinating
watching him at close range.
We think that he was a Black Snake
and not poisonous,
but did not make any attempt to find out.
Bear in mind that these wind chimes 
are about two feet in height, 
and Mr. Slither was wrapped around them
three times in some spots.
Since I took these photos through the screen, 
they are not very good, 
but I think you get the idea...

After a while he got tired of us staring at him,
especially when Hubby tapped the screen,
and he slithered off.
The snake, not Hubby.
If you look closely below,
you can barely see him in the center of
the photo moving down the thin branch of
the Tardiva Hydrangea bush that is in front
of the screen. 
And he moved like lightening.
This answered our question as to how
he got up there in the first place...

By the way, at our garden wedding,
we walked down "the aisle" to 
Pachelbel's Canon in D.
We bought these wind chimes
because they play that song.
I wonder of Mr. Slither would have danced to the music.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Here's what's been keeping us busy...

Hello there! I mentioned recently that I would share with you what's been keeping us busy, so here we go. Of course, I just can't seem to let go of the garden, but I promise I will try to now.

Before we went up to Birdsong a few weeks ago, we noticed that we were getting a lot of wire grass along the rear border of our yard. Wire grass is a very bad mutation of Bermuda Grass. It is wispy on the top, spreads via runners, and has roots that are like, well, its name, wire. We hate it and it can ruin a nice fescue lawn in one season. So we decided to kill it all off and move the rear border forward. We spent the last 10 days or so on this project, first with Mr. Perch digging out the dead grass and moving all the concrete edging forward, and then me relocating several daylilies and bearded iris from our side gardens to the new section. The plants were not doing very well at the edges of the woods that surround our lot because the pine trees were robbing them of moisture, nutrients, and sunlight.

Here is where we used the garden hose to
outline what would become the edges of the 
expanded bed. 
We then used spray paint to mark it,
and applied Round Up within to kill
off the wire grass.
You can see below that the original border
ended just in front of the Crepe Myrtle
tree in the center...

When we returned from the mountains the bad grass was
all dead, so Hubby dug it all out and moved all of the
concrete edgers out to the end of the new. 
We only needed to buy eight additional edgers 
to fill the gap!

He then turned the garden over to me.
How lucky.
No, really!
After four six-hour days of digging holes,
filling them with new garden soil,
(yes, in NC we have to BUY garden soil 
because our dirt is so bad here!)
digging up the daylilies and bearded iris,
trimming off the dead foliage,
re-writing their identification markers,
hosing the bad soil off of their roots,
deciding where they would be placed,
filling the holes with more good soil...

...watering them all in...

...adding some of my home-brewed compost
to each...

...and covering all with fresh pine straw... babies found their new home and
were all snuggled in for a cold winter's nap.
All 88 of them!
You can not see him too well in the photos above,
but in the front of the bed is my little
moon gazer boy,
a beautiful garden statue.
Here is the new section seen in back of a portion of my herb garden,
to which I added yet more daylilies early this past spring...

I only hope that next year at this time my new 
bed looks like the daylily and iris bed
that you see below...

When we widened this bed in the spring,
these plants were all unhealthy,
and look at them now!
Receiving the benefit of being reached
by the sprinkler system is such a bonus, 
especially when we are away...

Oh, have I mentioned that I love daylilies and iris?
Almost as much as hydrangea!

And, in spite of all the work
and my unappreciative back,
I'm still not ready for a condo!!

I hope you have a wonderful day.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hydrangeas: Better late than never!

Good morning!

If you follow this blog, you know that hydrangeas are my very favorite in the garden.The blues usually bloom here in May and June, but unfortunately, we really had a bad season this year, with very few blooms. I heard others complaining about the same thing, but I think that for ours it was partially due to the fact that last summer we did not take the time to properly trim them, with being so busy working on Birdsong.

We usually have a second bloom period very late in the summer or early fall, and I'm happy to say that not only are the bushes blooming now, but the the blossoms are much larger than they usually are during the second season. At this time of the year, though, the leaves are starting to brown and don't look nearly as pretty as in the spring.

Some fall pretties!

This one is blooming next to
one called "Tardiva",
which blooms white,
and then turns a dusty rose in the fall...

What's blooming in your garden these days?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The last summer roses...

A long over-due hello to you! I am sorry to have been missing in action for a while, but after we returned from the mountains it seems that we had so much to do around here. Summer's end brings work with the lawn and garden in trying to get it ready for the winter ahead.

Today it has been raining most of the day, but between the raindrops I managed to go out and shoot a couple of photos of the last of our summer roses. It makes me sad to be getting ready to say goodbye to the garden, but I also think of it as a time of rejuvenation (for both the garden and myself!) and a promise of the beauty that will undoubtedly come in just a few short months.

One last rose is wilted, but hanging on,
and not yet ready to give in to fall...

Covered with rain drops
it almost sparkles under the grey clouds...

Thinking of roses,
I couldn't help but share this sweet trade card
with you.

I am by nature a summer kind of gal, but I am looking forward to doing some indoor things and getting ready for the holidays that are seemingly right around the corner. Are you sorry to see summer leave us?

In a future post I will share what I have been up to outside to give the yard a real autumn sendoff!