Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Year's Progress

It is hard to believe we have been in South Carolina almost a year now.  We stayed in Yorktown for the 4th of July festivities, then packed and left after that.  Since this coming weekend is 4th of July---let's go back and see the changes over this year.

In the backyard, I have planted tons and tons of plant material.  We added the flagstones along the pathways and recently bought a bench.  We have had some big storms here in the last few weeks and had some washout in the garden and pathway.  Slowly but surely I will get that squared away.
 You can see the Japanese Maple in front of the birdbath.  This garden area is the sunniest.  Am trying to add more flowering plants in this area.

This area is the shady part of the garden.  There are ferns, azaleas, hydrangeas, and other shade lovers in this area.
 In the corner of the garden where the path begins we planted a Japanese Maple for our wedding anniversary.  It is Acer palmatum 'Glowing Embers'. 

Soon after we moved in last summer there was a big storm and a lot of washout in the front by the driveway.  Charlie and I did some planting and mulching and turned a construction looking area to a nice front garden.
A few of the grasses didn't come back, so I added some Powis Castle Artemisia in front the Crape Myrtle. 

Have more weeds to take care of...but that is an ongoing process.   I like the Miscanthus 'Little Zebra'.

The side garden has filled in quite nicely.  I have been adding plants along the woodline as well.

Next, a couple views from the lakeside looking back toward the house. 
 In addition to the storm water moving mulch, we have had a lot of branch tips falling out of the trees.  The female cicadas cut the branch tips to lay their eggs.  These tips die and hang from the trees until winds knock them down.  After each storm it looks like a war zone.  So in addition to the weeds, I have lots of tree litter to pick up.

The patio bank is still being added to.  Recently I planted some Nepeta racemosa 'Walkers Low' and more roses.
Looking forward to having this fill in.

The front garden on the left of the walkway is filling in.  Last summer I had some Ruby Grasses, not perennial in my area.  This summer I am just letting the Acorus to fill in more.

 Looking from the front door to the woods in the front, the garden on the left has had its problems.  Last summer part of it was planted with Pennisetum 'Little Bunny' and it didn't come back.   First I tried some Blue Fescue grasses, but they didn't seem to thrive.
So, yesterday and today I planted a bunch of Liriope muscari 'Variegata'....ordered 50 barerooted plants.  I had more than enough for here and other places in the yard.  I clustered the Blue Fescues together and planted the Liriope behind them.

 This picture was the Little Bunny from last year and then tonight, Liriope and Blue Fescue.  Along the house are a line of Gardenias with a focal plant of a Nandina 'Blush Pink' at the door.
 This was the Blue Fescue.......which would have looked nice with the stacked stone...oh well.
 The little black fencing is around most of the foundation gardens to keep my four legged friends out of the gardens.
In the front area is creeping Phlox which was grand in the spring.  I added some white verbena to try to have some color.

In addition to planting all the bare-rooted Liriope I planted another Rhus typhina 'Balitiger' or Tiger Eyes.  I had one earlier this year, almost in this spot...but I thought it needed more sun and moved it.  That was the end of that Tiger Eyes.  Keep your fingers crossed for this beauty.
 And finally, my containers for in the front of the garage....I was going for the purple and yellow combo.   I have a Sun Coleus for the tall feature, a Sweet Potato Vine for my trailing, and in the middle~~ an ornamental pepper and two different petunias, 'Pinstripe' and 'Phantom'.   I added some Liriope (from old container arrangements) and a small boxwood 'Sunburst'.  As usual the Sweet Potato vine is going gangbusters...I may pull it out and put something a little less robust.   I do like the Ornamental Peppers and Petunias. 

Thanks for coming along with me on my first year tour of the gardens. 

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

More Festival of Flowers, Sunsets and Spiders

This has been a busy time and I hadn't realized how long it was in between postings until I finally sat down to write this one.  Actually, I have been trying to write this one since Monday.  Funny how some days the words just flow and others, well, I would rather veg and play a Sudoku.   Monday was another very hot day here in South Carolina....well into the upper 90's if not 100's and quite high humidity.  Monday was Master Gardener Day at Park Seed.  We were invited for a special tour of  the trial gardens and then had the opportunity to shop.  Warm temps or not, I was going over there!
 The greenhouses were full of bargains.  I shopped while waiting for the tour to begin.  Because I live so close, I have been over there more than I could be less frenzied about all these bargains.   Shop I did, but more about that later.

The tour began looking at this great Rudbeckia 'Denver Daisy'.  What a great presentation in the garden.  It is planted in front of Salvia --prpbably 'Victoria Blue' and Gomphrena.  In the back is a Millet, not sure of the name.  Great full colors. 

 We got to see all the trialed beds, where they compare new seed varieties to a standard.  Here is one that I will look into buying next year---- Basil 'Lettuce Leaf'.  The picture doesn't show how large these leaves are, two leaves and you could have enough for pesto!

 There is one area in the garden where they have the American Garden Award plants.  This is sort of like American Idol for gardeners.   Here is what they have to say about it--
What is AGA?

The American Garden Award is a unique opportunity for the gardening public to vote on a specific flower that they think has the most appealing garden characteristics. Some of the world's most prestigious flower breeders have chosen their best varieties to enter in this competition. Then, in cooperation with over 24 highly respected public gardens throughout the United States, we present the entries so consumers can view the plants in person, then vote on their favorite. For those consumers and home gardeners who are unable to make it to view these flowers in person, the above link allows voting on this website.

So without further ado-- Here are the plants for 2011. (You can also see them on their web site)

 The Dianthus isn't doing well in our wet clay, hot humid evident here!

So jump on over to American Garden Awards and vote for your favorite!

And now for my goodies................yes I did bring home some plants, duh!!  I bought 9 Heuchera, 3 each of 'Mocha', 'Frosted Violet' and 'Pinot Noir', a Geranium 'Rozanne' to replace one that was eaten, and........

 A clematis for the family garden.............I couldn't pass this one up.  I am so excited to find this one!!! 
'Prince Charles', yes I know I ordered a 'Charlie's White' Peony, which will be delivered in the fall, but this was too perfect~

Also bought some Japanese Forest Grass, Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' for some of my shady areas and a them.  Also in my basket was an Amaryllis 'Papilio'---will keep you posted on its progress.

Monday was one of the few days were we didn't have a thunderstorm in the afternoon, so we went on a boat ride....chasing the setting sun as we headed home.

 I love the sunsets we get over the lake.
 Once home the boat goes in the boat lift to keep it out of the water.....look who is lurking by the lever !??!?!
 I included these sunset and spider pictures for my friend Ann, who likes both.

Friday night is date night.  We managed to stay out of the rain (for the most part).  As we drove home the skies were the most amazing colors.  It was almost as if they were ablaze.

Now it is time for a quick shower and then off to the home garden tours as Festival of Flowers' Grand Finale is today.   I love this place!

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

If It Is June, It Must Be Festival of Flowers

This year is the 44th Festival of Flowers in Greenwood, South Carolina.  Charlie and I took a trip to Greenwood a few years ago, part of his plan to get me on board with moving to Greenwood.   Our trip centered around Park Seed's Flower Day.  We were here for just a weekend.   I was thrilled.  What a great weekend.  Now that we live here I find there are activities all month long. 

Preparation for FoF begins well before June.  One of the center pieces of the Festival is the topiary display.  Some of the Master Gardeners help with putting these displays together.   After they are assembled and growing, a bit of upkeep is needed.  My friend Ann, another MG, and I worked together one afternoon. 

 The Master Gardeners did the Jeep and helped with some of the others.

I like the elephant, there is a baby elephant as well.

Included in the group are the team mascots for University of South Carolina, Clemson University, and Lander University.

 Last weekend was the beginning of the Festival of Flowers, started with bringing the topiaries into Uptown and a Wine Tasting.   There are 30 topiaries throughout Uptown. 

Friday evening, after dinner, we walked around Uptown and I got some pictures of the topiaries.  Saturday we went back to Uptown for the Antique Car Show.  There was everything from Maseratis to Corvettes to Studabakers to GTO's ---a car for every taste.  I liked the El leather interior.

All month long there are activities.  There is a dinner next Friday, Farm to Fork.  It focuses on local farms and local chefs, it will be held at one of the garden centers I frequent...Wyatt Farms.  Looking forward to dinner!!!  Hope it isn't too hot.    Additionally there will be Park Seed's Flower Day, a golf tournament, a 5-K run, a bicycle tour, garden tours, arts & crafts, a horse show, and a few concerts to name just  a few.  Listed on the website is the full schedule.
The theme this year??  Well, it is------
It's a Blooming Good Time! 
So if you are in the neighborhood......come on down!

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Clouds and Cones

It has been hot here, about 10 - 15 degrees above the norm for this time of year.  Hot and humid conditions can produce thunderstorms most every afternoon into the evening hours.  We would welcome the rain, but so far we have been just getting dark clouds and a lot of noise.  These clouds are from last night, producing nothing.  The only outcome from this storm was to put a certain dog I know in the shower stall to hide.

 On our way to dinner we had some magnificent skies.

 We are about 8 inches behind in our rainfall totals. 
Maybe some of the dark clouds rolling in today will bring some much needed rainfall.

In the garden I have a couple different kinds of Echinacea purpurea.  One is 'Magnus' and not sure what the other one is, but it is shorter and a bit darker blooms. 

I love how the petals start off almost pale yellow as they are opening.  I leave the spent flower heads on for the Goldfinches.  They love the seeds.

The smaller ones are a nice backdrop for the tall blooms of 'Magnus'.

What a beauty.  Slowly but surely my newly planted gardens are filling with color. 
©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.