Friday, June 21, 2013

Pathways, Vines & Groundcover

I don't think I've taken many pictures of the west side of the cabin as seen from the porch. Mainly because I never liked the way they looked, or maybe it's the junk in the background that I need to collect and burn. Too much trash here and there in the woods. That because of the local trash collection place. A few years ago they had a huge dumpster one could toss anything into. Not anymore. I understand they have another place somewhere in the county but I don't know where.

Several types Azaleas and Hosta, including some perennial Vinca vine started two years ago. Ajuiga or something like that in the second picture on the right middle. Lot's of ferns that just grow here and there and a wild hydrangea (lots of those around here) in the foreground of the second picture about to bloom.

Yep, it's turtle season...again. Hefty looking claws eh?

The other side of the cabin; pathway leading into the woods. Blue Star Creeper filled out great, but takes work keeping the weeds from taking over. Blooms in May. English Ivy full. Probably get completely out of control if I don't cut it back twice a year.

Third year for this climbing hydrangea on a poplar tree next to the creek. It finally appears to be spreading rather than climbing. Hopefully it will bloom next year.

More ivy I started two years ago taking over this poplar also down near the creek.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Time To Divide Hosta

Yea, it's the wrong time of the year but I figured I could get a few smaller ones out of the way that includes these three. The one in the bottom left had been living in a muck pond on the west side of the house in part shade for the last three years. It always seemed like it could do better elsewhere because the leaves get a funky ruffled appearance to them. Original tag does not indicate that. Anyway there were two, now  four with the one shown being the smallest.

After three good years of growth around here I'm now realizing some of my planning is off. Not only Hosta spacing but size of Day Lillies. Smaller ones in back shown above. This is an area I also filled with annuals in past years, but now are being populated with Daisies and Coneflowers from seed, plus an unknown from seed last year barely visible. Must be a fall flower; slow growth all spring.

These guys down near the creek have taken off. Note the milk jug for size. Definitely need dividing next March or April when they're barely out of the soil. I also stuck an elephant ear in the back this year, but noticing they do need more sun to reflect their name; Mammoth.

Another elephant ear moved This one will get about four hours of sun. Could overwhelm the entire area within a few months. Also shown is another divided Hosta. Notice Azaleas getting crowded out; more poor planning, along with the next Hosta picture. Nice clumps of Ferns here and there about three foot high.

Creeping Jenny spreading all over. Fine with me, but I hate weeds growing through it.

Endless Summer Hydrangeas. These were the first two planted in of May 2010. Hoping they remain that bluish color after earlier treatment. Why one is white and the other blue is a mystery so far. I count seven now on the property, with five coming from the original two. Only a foot or so high.

Clematis that I thought I had killed off last year after I cut it back, eventually to four inches above the soil line. It needs some screening to spread out. That's it for this month.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

More Shrubs Added

Headed up Tennessee way today for shrubs and finally a handful of annuals at Quinns Greenhouse. My plans have changed this year as the impatiens disease has some to do with it. Besides I'm getting tired of spending money for something that doesn't come back the next year. Add the fact I'm giving up on areas that are just plain too difficult to get something growing; along the driveway going up the hill.

I was going to buy at least a dozen impatiens just to see what may happen, but not after seeing this. Signs of downy mildew. Looking in Lowes last week I saw the same. The weather has been perfect for it. Cool and rainy. So, none of them around here this year. I did settle for Begonias...but they have never impressed me.

English Roseum

This one caught my eye at Tree City just north of Blue Ridge. It's a hybrid Rhododendrum. I picked up two lavenders and a white. Should be interesting in a few years. Slow grower though. The ones I picked up are about three feet tall and filled with buds. Should bloom within the next few weeks. Reaches something like 8 high and six or seven feet wide.

Mature Look. Lot's of big flowers.

Tree City Sign

Tree City flush with blooming azaleas, ass was the drive from Blue Ridge to Tennessee.  Most of mine got hammered by rain over the weekend. More of a no show this year.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Elephant Ears Coming Back Strong This Spring

I have two varieties around here after trying another last spring called Mammoth. Last year I didn't see it until mid June after an early May planting. Anyway they're already popping through or almost on the same schedule as the hosta. What astounds me is the one that did the best last year.

After cleaning out the leaves and pulling winter weeds (I don't remember them in recent years either) from around the star of the show last summer, I found what almost felt and looks like a stump. I didn't expect that. Maybe this sucker will be enormous this year? The others that are planted in shadier areas did not grow as large, nor do they have the stump appearance.


It's a mystery as are many things around here from time to time. Heavy rain this year? I've calculated the rainfall around 25 inches since January 1 which offers a very strong running creek.  Winter temps were similar to the previous year, or on the mild side. But that does not explain why the smaller EE (planted in 2010) are also coming through. They typically don't show until later or in May.

About a dozen or so trailing petunias (from plugs last year) made it through the winter in areas that do get sun in the winter months. How well they'll do is unknown as they really petered out late last summer unlike the perennial wave Petunias I always have growing on the warm east side of the cabin. Here's a really nice chunk that could bloom in a few weeks.

My transplanted Kerria bush (Easter Rose) is blooming. I did manage to root another but it's only twelve inches high. That climbing hydrangea (background) better bloom this year, dammit. Bought it with profuse blooms three years ago. Nothing since, except climb like crazy.

Japanese viburnum (Popcorn) blooming, but only one showing more than a dozen blooms. The other two in the background have a few here and there. Another mystery.

Leaves beginning to show on most trees. Lawn always looks good from a distance this time of the year. Does have a mild winter weed problem.  I'm leaving it alone this year. Some weed and bug killer, that's it. Not worth struggling with anymore. I'm in the woods. That's my excuse.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Looks Like Petunias For Awhile

Yea, I know what I said a few days ago..."why bother." A combination of horrible weather and a case of the black ass led me to those comments. But I thought, I have to do something for my daughter in law Beverly who will be visiting with family May 22 to May 26 or 27. They have a wedding to attend in Helen, Georgia that weekend. Should be a fun four days with the kids.

I never thought they would have time to visit for several reasons. Btw, son Ryan has made a career change. For his sake I hope he sticks with it because it's not easy as time goes on finding good employment. Maybe he can excel at sales eventually here. Or management? Who knows. It's a company that has apparently grown through the tough times in Florida the past several years. Looks like they have a good niche.

About Petunias

They do pretty good around here until July or so, but it's more of a hit and miss with what has a lot to do with the soil used. Mentioned last year, it's the clay they seem to thrive in, so forget that Miracle Grow stuff. Remember the picture below? July 2009. All clay, barely anything else except maybe some leeching from the cement used in the stone wall.

So, Lowes had a six pack buy on Waves for about six bucks...only pink. Probably won't look like the above until mid June, but a start below. Those smaller azaleas that bloom in late May have really done well after pruning a few times last year. Nice and bushy! Should be bursting with color.

I'm not going to touch any Impatiens until the second week of May or so. Probably head up to the  MacCaysville greenhouse and pick some up. They usually have some sizable annuals for cheap because of their growing conditions. Will they last? Probably not, but I'm just hoping for color while Bev is here.

A few more Petunias (mounding) in clay once again. I hope these will show well in six weeks. I've also picked up some six pack whatchacallits. That name I can never remember...snap dragons. Both plants will do okay if there's another frost before summer (likely- average last frost date around 4/22)

Should have some good Azalea color in a few weeks. Most everything around here is about two weeks behind last year judging by photo comparisons. Six azalea in this picture. About 20 total on property. Looking to pick up a half dozen more or maybe something that blooms in mid summer. Tree City in Blue Ridge - great source. Had to get water heater replaced - lattice missing.