Sunday, March 29, 2015

Goodbye, Hello

I've decided to close this blog.  Every so often, there comes the urge to start a fresh blog with no mistakes in it (yet).  This seems like the right time. 

This blog will stay up for the time being (mainly to help jog my faulty memory), but I don't expect to put up any new entries here. 

Instead, you can follow our gardening exploits ;o) and (I'm sure) the occasional tidbits of Real Life on the new blog (which at the moment looks an awful lot like this one): 
A Garden of Coastal Alabama (

And of course I'm still blogging along on a fairly regular basis at a couple of other blogs. 

For crafty this and thats (crochet, knitting, quilting, etc.):
Sew I See!

And for book reviews/reactions (hey, there's a chance someone might care!):
I've Read That

I think that's about it...
Goodbye, old blog; hello, new one!  :o)

P.S.  I've transferred over a few of the most recent blog posts, so it looks like an actual blog, but there's nothing new over there yet.  Maybe by the end of the day...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Two in One Day?

Second post of the day!
I just noticed that I never blogged about the photos I took earlier this week (even if it feels like I did).

Raised Vegetable Beds

The raised vegetable beds, above.  They're in their new spot behind the garage.  Near a water source.  Out of sight.  Inside the yard (not that that will deter deer or rabbits, if they're so inclined).  They're not completely finished, yet, but at least they're in the right place!  (The bigger of the two blueberries is in the background.  I hope we'll actually get to enjoy some of the berries, this year.)


Here's my pile of rocks and old pieces of shingles.  (There are more rocks, but this may be enough.  I won't bother carting around more until I'm sure.)  I'm still not positive what I'm going to do with them... I need to decide soon, though, or the weeds will begin to grow in/around them. 

New Oak Leaves

The trees are beginning to put on leaves.  Amazing how they can go from bare to well-covered in just a few days' time!

Bridal Wreath

The bridal wreath with the tiny flowers is looking lovely.  The one next to it with larger clusters of flowers isn't so happy, right now.  Maybe it's just getting a slow start.  Otherwise, I need to remember to prune it back to the ground.  (I think that could help rejuvenate it.  Just need to determine when to do it.)


The viburnum that had just barely poked out a few tentative leaves, last week, is now greening up nicely!

Earlier this year, I cut a few ill-placed new-growth branches from this shrub.  At first, I was just going to toss them on the burn-pile, but then it occurred to me that they might possibly root.  I stuck them in a pot of soil, then (after days) thought maybe water was the better way to go about it, so I brought them inside and stuck them in my favorite old-jar-turned-vase.  Just when I'd decided they weren't actually going to do anything-- roots!  (I don't know that I've ever successfully planted something that I've rooted in water... I think maybe I tend to wait too long to plant them.  Still, it's exciting that they even grew roots!) 

Japanese Magnolia

The Japanese magnolia has been giving us a nice, long show.  The one in the front isn't quite as impressive, but it's newer.  It should improve with age.

Wild Iris

The wild iris has been growing steadily, along with the in-ground daylilies (not pictured). 

White Iris

We had three white iris blooms all on the same morning-- then this one the next day.  Funny how they are so perfectly in sync!

Creeping Phlox

The creeping phlox from Mom's garden is still going.  :o)  (This should be an easy plant, from what I understand, but I managed to kill the one I had before... We can only hope that I'm a slightly better gardener than I was back then.)


The achillea Mom gave us is growing!  (And a good thing, too, because the seedlings look so pathetic!  So spindly!)

And that is all for now! 

Plantasia 2015

Mobile Botanical Gardens' Plantasia spring plant sale is going on this week (through Sunday).  We decided to check it out-- the first time we've gone to one of their plant sales.  It was busy and warm, and there were at least a couple of things on the posted "plants for sale" list that I simply couldn't find (though if I'd been persistent, I could've asked until I found someone to either show where they were or explain that they were sold out).  In any case, there were plenty of plants to ogle, even without those fancier varieties of echinacea.  ;o)

I'm not sure how their prices compared to nurseries and home centers...  Some things (the fruit trees, maybe the hydrangeas) seemed a little high to me, but others felt like a fair price-- especially considering that plants are rarely cheap, unless you catch them on clearance.

We decided to splurge and bring a few things back home with us.

Hibiscus mutabilis "Plenus" (double)
Confederate Rose
A Southern heritage plant.  The flowers start out white, then turn pink and darker pink through the day, and the petals on this one are supposed to be double.  I think Mom used to have a confederate rose in her garden... At least I know I remember her talking about them.  (If this one does well, I can give you a cutting, if you need one, Mom!)

Carex oshimensis "Evergold"
Japanese Sedge
Donald liked this one.  Evergreen, variegated, grass-like plant.  Good for a shady spot.

Salvia purpurea
Mexican Purple Sage

Ruellia elegans
Red Mexican Ruellia
This and the salvia listed above are supposed to attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.  I'm not sure how cold-hardy the Mexican purple sage is, but we'll give it a try...

Dryopteris ludoviciana
Southern Shield Fern
For the shady north side of the house.  I hope it will be satisfied.

Louisiana Iris "Jeri"
I really want this one to do well!  The flowers are supposed to be a rich, "grape purple". 

Baptisia australis "Purple Smoke"
False Indigo / Blue Wild Indigo
This is another I'd love to see succeed.  Need to remember that this one is best not to try to divide-- or transplant after it's established.  Apparently it has a deep taproot, so it's a good idea to choose its spot carefully, remembering that it can get large (3 to 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide).

Bambusa multiplex "Golden Goddess"
Golden Goddess Bamboo
Clumping.  Non-invasive. 6 to 10 feet tall (and wide), depending on who you ask.

Chasmanthium latifolium
River Oats / Northern Sea Oats / Indian Woodoats / Spangle Grass
Some people complain that this reseeds too freely, so maybe it's best not to include in the main flower beds... If nothing else, I think it would be pretty along the edge of the shed... maybe around the edges of the fire ring clearing.  The thought of the grass and seeds rustling in the wind was too enticing, so this was on my "look for" list going into the sale.  Maybe I'll be cursing them in a year or two. ;o)

Photos of the new plants:

Plantasia 2015

Plantasia 2015

Plantasia 2015

Plantasia 2015

Plantasia 2015

Plantasia 2015

Plantasia 2015

Now to plant them... ;o)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring in Full Swing

This weekend, we set up the last of three vegetable beds in its new place behind the garage.  (Photos next time?)  They still need some more soil, but they're in place.

Then we started working on clearing some brambles/wild blackberry briars from the southern wall of the house and taking out some of the scrub growing along the fence on that side of the yard.  We could be fancy and call it a wilderness garden or something similar, but it's actually just a mess.  An invitation-to-snakes garden?  The clearing-out helped, but it still needs work.

Somehow, we went from chilly to hot almost overnight.  The temperatures are nice enough if you're sitting in the shade, but work of any description (especially in the sun) is a very sweaty and exhausting proposition.  Highs in the 80s already!  Weeds popping up everywhere!  Time to get serious about mulching.

- - - - - - -


Daylily seedlings in their new home on the covered patio:

New Daylily Seedlings

Attempting to propagate ivy (to grow on the lattice wall of the covered patio):

Propagating English Ivy

Blueberry blooms:

Blueberry Blooms

Azaleas about to burst into bloom:


Tiny daffodils:

Tiny Daffodils

Aloe plants coming out of the garage again:

Aloe Vera

White loropetalum in bloom:

White Loropetalum

A new plant-- blue sea holly:

Blue Sea Holly

Another new plant-- red-hot poker/torch lily:

Red Hot Poker / Torch Lily

A new climbing rose ("Joseph's Coat") for the planned arbor by the main gate:

Joseph's Coat Climbing Rose

Green anole on the ivy trellis:

Green Anole on Ivy

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Planting and Moving Pots

Last week, I planted a bunch of things Mom gave me pieces of from her garden.  There were several volunteer yellow Knock Out roses, divisions of the daylilies that Carrie and Victor grew from seed, a piece of pink-flowering creeping phlox, Mexican heather, a branch of Encore azalea that had rooted itself, and one or two things we didn't know the names of. (After doing a little googling, I think the unknown plant may be achillea, which is one of the plants I'm currently trying to grow from seed. Coincidence!)

Placing those plants has made me excited about the prospect of one or two other projects for the garden.  For one thing, I'm gathering up stones from various piles around the yard.  A small rock garden, maybe?  Just off the back porch, beside the proposed site of a small patio.

This weekend, I moved the seed pots outside and brought out the plants that spent the winter in the garage.  They're all on the covered patio, where they can acclimate.  (Judging by the forecast, though, I may need to move the delicate seedlings back under cover.  We're expecting a lot of rain.)

Below, photos from last week.   Pink loropetalum, white loropetalum (witch-hazel), daffodils, camellia, Japanese magnolias, and periwinkle (variegated vinca).