Entries in wren (3)

Saturday
Oct292016

October's End: the Good and Bad

I will begin with the bad:

This is a recent news photo of Lake Purdy, from which Birmingham, Alabama gets its water. Residents of Birmingham and its suburbs are under strict, mandatory water restrictions because of the drought that has extended for over two months, with no end in sight. I live about twenty miles south of Birmingham, and we get our water from other sources, mainly from underground aquifers. We have not yet been hit with mandatory restrictions; but with some doomsayers predicting the drought to continue through the end of the year, I can feel the restrictions coming. Helena has not had a drop of rain in October, and we only had a few drops in September. The drought has been especially bad because of daytime temperatures continuing well into the 80's every day.

Meanwhile, we try to keep important shrubs watered, but with 3.5 acres, it is impossible and prohibitively expensive to water everything. Many leaves look like this:Fothergilla normally has beautiful fall foliage. Not this year!

But here is the good! Despite the drought, there is still beauty out there, especially if one looks through the golden light of late afternoon. So here is a tour. This is likely to be as good as it gets until rain returns.

I will begin with fall flowers:This area by the front walk is brightened by various salvias, lantana and gomphrena. I planted the red snapdragons on the right a year ago. They survived last winter and continued to bloom all this year.They are still going strong. Amazing!Autumn sage and blue salvia

'Black and Bloom' salviaClockwise from top left: Marigold; Asters; Mexican Sage; 'Endless Summer' hydrangea.

This creamy lantana is another low maintenance, front garden bloomer.Most of the Asclepias (butterfly weed) has finished blooming, but I came across these seed pods the other day:

Firebush is still blooming, but I am beginning to see seed pods on that plant, too:

One day I brightened my patio with some leftover cut zinnias from the grocery store; I stuck them in a vase with a spray of Mexican sage.:

Here are random views from around the garden:

Forsythia (Yellow bells) is a common shrub with lovely fall colors, even during drought. This plant never gets supplemental water.

This wren hangs around our patio.

An ancient muscadine vine grows in the woodland garden.
Clockwise from top: Japanese maple; Southern Magnolia; Alabama Croton.

Do you see the bug on the hickory nut shell?

I hope you enjoyed the tour! Blessings to you all, Deb

 

Monday
May092016

Am I a Crazy Gardener?

Recently I was helping a friend in her garden when I became aware that she was looking at me oddly. 

"Oh, I guess you noticed I talk to the plants."

"Yes," she replied. "And you also talk to worms."

It's true. I talk to all sorts of plants and critters. Since none of them have talked back yet, I don't think this makes me crazy, though some folks may have a different opinion.Wrens are raising a family in this red birdhouse next to the patio. I usually say good morning to them, and they answer me with song.

I am hanging on to each moment in the garden, treasuring the fresh air and the glorious spring blooms. In the front garden, roses and other shrubs are flowering along with annuals and perennials. The vibrant foliage of Japanese maples adds to the colorful scene.

Confederate jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, grows on the arch near pink Anthony Waterer Spirea.

Clockwise from top left: Daylilies in front of the pink bird house will soon be blooming. Behind the bird house is purple Loropetalum and to the left is Anthony Waterer Spirea; Persicaria 'Purple Dragon' grows next to potted Hosta Aureomarginata; Coral Drift roses by the patio; Confederate Jasmine.

Clockwise from top left: Foxgloves; Rosa Mutabilis; Anthony Waterer Spirea; Rose 'Orchid Romance.'

The woodland garden is taking on an enchanted, deep green atmosphere that gleams with golden tints in late afternoon sunshine. I love to walk along the moss paths and watch the light glinting over the plants.

Blooms in the woodland garden are more subdued than those in the sunnier front garden. Above are on the left, Heucherella 'Alabama Sunset' and, on the right, a white woodland phlox.

Clockwise from top left: Fatsia japonica 'Spiderweb' in pot, seen with Strawberry begonia flowers; Ligularia; Indigofera; Bird's Nest Fern, a tropical plant that spends warm parts of the year in the woodland garden.Ground covers seen here are Liriope and Indigofera.

Summer will be here soon, and bugs and fungal diseases will arrive with the heat and humidity. Flowers will retreat. Some plants will wilt overnight. Others will reach and twine and proliferate like true denizens of the jungle.

Meanwhile, I continue to talk to my garden, and because I am so tuned to it, it responds to my care and love. How about you; are you a crazy gardener, too?