Friday, December 11, 2009

Yankee Candle has Seed Mats on Sale

Use this promo code XF912A2 to save $10 on a $20 order at the Yankee Candle site.

They currently have seed mats on sale. The three types are wildflower, butterfly garden, and giant pumpkin. See mats are 17 inches wide and 5 feet long. I bought the butterfly garden mat for $1.75 each. That is about the price of one packet of seed.

The seed mats are listed under What's on Sale/miscellaneous.This the description of the butterfly garden mat that I purchased.

Attract multitudes of butterflies with this colorful blend of cornflowers, cosmos, coreopsis, black-eyed Susan, zinnia and more. Contains both annuals and perennials for quick and long lasting color in summer. 17 x 5 long.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pinespple Sage in Bloom

Talk about a late bloomer. My pineapple sage has started to bloom.This sage smells just like pineapple. I haven't tried this herb yet but I think pineapple sage would go nicely with ham. I'll have to try that next year.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Pair of Pears

What a lovely pair of pears. These two perfect pears came from a tree in our yard. This was the first time this particular tree has had fruit and it only produced two pears. We do not spray our fruit trees but we do add organic fertilizer in the spring.

Go to my kitchen blog to see what I did with these two pretty pears.

I will need to get out my binder to find out exactly which variety this is but I am going to take a stab and say they are Bartlett pears.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hardy Hibiscus

I thought this plant had died. I know that they don't pop out of the ground until late May or early June. But seriously it didn't start to grow until July and then I thought it might just be a weed.

I am not sure of the exact variety of hibiscus but it is a cross between red and hot pink.
Rain drops on a red Knock Out rose.One of the few Midnight Blue roses that was not devoured by Japanese beetles.
The gardens are winding down and soon I will be cutting flowers back, throwing out tomato plants, and raking leaves.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

End of Summer Produce

Earlier this spring I bought a bag of discounted bulbs. I threw them in a pot and forgot about them. Look what I have now.......Isn't it beautiful. I think it is an anemone. I'll have to check my folder to be sure but I do know that whatever it is isn't hardy and that is why I planted them in a pot. I don't particularly care for bulbs or plants that need to be dug up in the fall, stored all winter, and replanted in the spring. I just don't have the time. But I think for these lovely blooms I will make an exception to the rule.

The photo below shows the Royal Standard hostas that I transplanted. You can also see the Irish and Scotch mosses that I planted last month. This is probably as far as I will get on this project this year.

The utility company, Consumers Energy, marked some of our trees for removal. Thank goodness they came by when they did as I was just getting ready to call the tree trimmers to remove them.
Time is running out on the produce here at 'The Gear'. The tomatoes are past their prime but are slowly turning out a dozen or so every day. I've been passing our extras on to neighbors family, friends, and anyone who will even look my way. Cathy, my neighbor, has been canning. She past along a a couple of jars of stewed tomatoes. I used one jar the other day. I mixed it with a carton of V8 herbal tomato soup and then poured it over some fresh 4 cheese ravioli. It was soooooo good.
The Asian pears are ripe. What in the world do you do with three trees full of pears? I also have an additional 2 trees with Comice and Keifer pears but those trees only have a few pears each. The red Bartlett pear tree is still young and did not produce fruit this year.
Check out the size of those pears. What a pair of pears!Next year when I have a little more time I will try and make pear sauce and apple/pear sauce. I did bake a pear cobbler but was disappointed in the results. R says it was just fine but it wasn't what I expected. It seemed too doughy. I think I actually wanted a crisp or something along that line.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Special Box Arrived Today

A box arrived in the mail today from my blogger friend Sandy. It was a box of iris bulbs.
R loves irises. So recently I purchased several bulbs to add to our iris collection. But now I have a bountiful supply of blue irises. Thank you Sandy.

I was able to plant three areas with iris front of the house, side yard by the deck, and out front by the fence. This will give me color in the yard between the tulip/lilac bloom time and peony bloom time.

Thank you again Sandy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tomatoes, Copper Misters, & More Hosta Pics

We are up to our ears in tomatoes. AND for the very first time we have plums.

In the photo below we have Belgium Giant, Marglobe, Golden Jubilee, Amish Paste, Black Russian, and Early Girl. The plums are a Japanese variety called Satsuma.
I need everyone to keep their eyes open for these copper mister/sprinkler things. They are shaped like a mushroom and have a squirter on the top. I bought these two at Meijer two years ago. They had 4 but I talked myself out of the other two. I really need 4. If anyone sees them any where for any amount, let me know. I will forever be in your debt.
What would a garden report be without a post about hostas? I've been slowly working on my miniature hosta bed. I planted some Royal Standard hostas around a large tree next to the sidewalk. Rather than having all miniature hostas I added a clump of Irish moss and Scotch moss.I really hope we can finish the fountain next year. The blue tarp doesn't blend well with the rest of the garden or with anything else for that matter.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Onion and Garlic Chives

Today I made a quick run to Lowe's to see what they had on sale in the garden center. This time of year is perfect for scoring loads of deals on perennials. They may not look their best but come next year you will be happy you only paid a fraction of the full price.

I have both onion chives and garlic chives planted in my garden. The onion chives are doing great and are multiplying. The garlic chives on the other hand seem to be slow growers. I've been looking for three more plants to fill in but garlic chives are harder to come by. Today was my lucky day. I was able to get three very healthy plants to fill in my garlic chive plot.

Garlic chives have a flatter leaf and a white blossom which blooms later in the year.
Garlic Chive
Onion chives on the other hand have leaves that are tubular and have a light purple or pinkish flower in the spring.
Onion Chive
Onion Chive Blossom
I also bought several dark burgundy leaf sedum to plant between the Autumn Joy that I planted earlier in the year.
I also scored two Pink Double Delight cone flowers. They rang up $14.95 each. Egads! They were pretty ragged looking so I asked if they were on sale. The cashier called over some one who had the authority to verify prices. She took one look at them and said "ring them up at 4 each." Now that is more like it.
It kind of reminds me of a cross between a pincushion flower and a cone flower. Now I just need to find a place to plant them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

There's Fungus Among Us

Mr. Frost was trimming his large magnolia tree and cut off a limb that had shelf or bracket fungus on it.This shelf bracket fungus was bigger than my hand.We also had shelf fungus growing on a log we were saving. Earlier this summer while my husband was cutting up the dead trees we had cut down he came across a limb that had been hollowed out by a bird (probably woodpecker).Look at how smooth the bird was able to carve out the limb. Amazing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Miniature Hostas

I couldn't resist the urge to snap a few photos of my miniature hostas. Some were in bloom but all were cute as a button. I placed a quarter in the photos so that you could better gauge the size of these miniature plants.

This is my newest miniature hosta acquisition....Teeny Weeny. The quarter is that round white disk in the bottom right corner.
This one is called Dragon Tails. This plant is 3 years old and was started with a single eye.Rock't you think?The next two photos are of unusual hostas that are in my garden. The first photo is Praying Hands, a small upright hosta.
The next one is Fire Island, a small yellow hosta with red stems.Here's an up close photo of the stems. From far away it appears that the stems are solid red but up close you notice the stems are covered with red dots.
I have no ideas why this particular hosta has holes in the leaves. None of my other hostas have this affliction.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Butterflies and Tomatoes

In between, running off trespassers and spectators from the Buick Open urinating in my bushes, we were able to enjoy one male Tiger Swallowtail and three Monarch butterflies.The Tiger Swallowtail was easy to photograph. I stood there for at least 15 minutes as he went from flower to flower. The Monarch butterflies were more skittish but at one time three of them were flying around my head.

If you are interested in Monarch butterflies visit the Monarch Watch site. This site is loaded with all sorts of interesting Monarch info.

Any day now we will have more tomatoes than we can eat. But today we finally got a small taste of what is to come.
The Brown Berry heirloom tomato was listed as a cherry tomato but I think it is too big to be classified as a cherry but it is also too small for a small tomato. When you slice it, it reminds me of a Black Russian style tomato kind of dark green in the center. Taste was so so.

Lordy lordy.....I just noticed I spelled heirloom incorrectly on the paper plate. How embarrassing. I would take another photo but we ate the tomatoes. Sorry my paper plate didn't have spell check.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cone Flowers Upclose

My cone flowers are doing great this year. Probably the best year yet. So I got out the camera and snapped a few for future reference.

I planted two different varieties. Magna was one type and I forgot the name of the other. I just looked up the correct names......the photo below is of Magnus and the second photo is Ruby Star.

Did you notice that the petals are different? On one type the petal sticks out and the other the petals droop. I could stick a Viagra joke in here but I won't. Just chuckle and smirk and let's move on.'s a little honey bee. He's a busy little bee.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I've Got a Monkey on my Back and It's Called Daylily

Oh boy.......I figured out how to legitimize my day lily addiction.

Once I get my fence row cleared out and plant more lilacs, I will need to fill in spots with plants that are hardy. Day lilies fit the bill. Day lilies are on sale right now.

So that means I bought more day lilies.

Daring Deception.....a lovely day lily for close to the house. I also bought a dark purple day lily but it is currently not blooming.I bought 6 each of these two types of miniature day lilies. The yellow variety is eenie meenie and the other variety is eenie allegro. They only grow to 12 inches tall. We decided to use hot bright colors in the outside fence row planting area. Our reasoning was that as people speed by at 55 mph they will be able to see bright flowers easier than plants with flowers of subdued color like pale pink.I can also add in all the orange/dark rust color day lilies I have in the back yard.

Speaking of addictions. I normally cut the flowers stalks off my hostas unless they are white. Since I have been side tracked with other projects, this chore went undone. But lo and behold of the hostas has bloomed with a dark purple flower stalk. Not only dark purple but stripped dark purple.