Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Foliage & Some Things Thrive

Like the Nasturtiums that never do much of anything until the cooler weather arrives or so it seems. In previous years I just gave up on them in the middle of the summer.

Black Eyed Susan Vines are putting out nicely. This is Spanish Eyes.

Yellow colored Marigolds that grow about 20 inches in height finally bushed out along drive. Zinnias in background.

Mexican sunflowers (background) found a better place this year. However they did get knocked back quite a bit from the heavy rains of about a month ago. Very fragile with their hollow stems. Coleus gradually fading with a Pineapple Sage taking the stage this time of the year.

Mums planted from two years ago, moved two times to this spot under shade. All the Asters bought at fire sale prices last fall for one dollar failed to make it one year. Well, some are hanging in here and there but the plant size is 80% less. Scraggly. Not worth a picture.

Some fall foliage...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

More Late Summer Pictures

I never took a picture from this angle, but it does give a good overall idea of the back yard size looking from the edge of the woods. Morning mist after a few days rain. Sun peaking through.

From the other side of the woods

Black Eyed Susan vine mixed in with some Marigolds and Begonia nearby...

Moon flowers still going strong but nearing the end. It's been five weeks of steady blooms.

Poldka Dot plant with another BES vine (late seeder, no blooms yet)

A newer smallish garden for Coleus. They faded quite a bit when put into 4-6 hours sun.

Annual Salvia love this spot. It is very rich in organic stuff though.

Finally some fall bulbs. Gladiolus bicolor acidanthera.

Just started blooming a week ago. One by one. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

E Cigs - Nine Days Without A Smoke

And it wasn't that hard at all. It's these e-cigs that I learned about on a TV infomercial. I think it was about the Blu brand which I've learned does have it's drawbacks mainly with battery power. E Cigs work by way of water vapor or mist with flavors and that all important ingredient of nicotine.

Even though you can order tobacco flavors it seems few actually stick to them; and they don't really taste like a real butt. Some taste like pipe tobacco. I've tried five flavors with Keoke Coffee (mild coffee taste) seeming to be the winner at this time. Strength: 18 mg, whatever that means. For hard core smokers that use Camel and the likes one can opt for 24 or 36 mg. I tried a test vial of 24 mg and it knocked me back a bit.

It started at 7PM Friday September 9. I've been cutting down on those older analogs (that's what they call real cigarettes in e cig circles) since April of 2010. Down to 10, 8 back to 12 and finally at six per day, while only smoking 1/3 of a butt at a time. This past summer it got worse as far as breathing capabilities. I thought I had COPD or worse. I thought I was done, a goner.

I couldn't push the lawnmower without taking two breaks, walk up part of my driveway without five breaks. Nine days later it's a complete reversal. I zipped through the lawn with ease and actually pushed a wheel barrel up the drive with one break. I have energy and don't dread doing yard work anymore.

More important I can breathe again. Yea, it sounds all preachy, but will it last? For me it has to which will make it work. The real benefit to this and not all the other gimmicks is the sensation of "vaping." Although different flavors offer different results it's just a matter of forgetting that real cigarette feeling...if that makes any sense. I'll admit I'm not there yet, but minor urges pass me by each day.

Yea, I've been "dragging" on coffee all throughout this short entry. If you're interested I would suggest the TRex e cig and buy the additional power thingie that you can plug into a PC. While they claim the batteries last awhile(300 charges), I don't trust it. How safe is nicotine? Who really knows? Could be similar to caffeine. With some e cigs you can ween yourself to 0 mg. One thing is clear, I don't choke and gag every morning.

Good message board for more information

Monday, September 12, 2011

More Final Garden Pics

I'm not expecting any changes from this point for the rest of the year. That moon flower has been a tough one to photograph, mainly because the leaves are shiny so there's always a glare off them. This one taken after the big rains early last week with dear ole' momma.

Another view taken this morning along with the Morning Glories that have fully leafed out. Notice Cleome bush in front. I had dozens of these things coming up earlier this year and decided to keep five of them. Cut back about five times and they've become a bush. Petunias growing wild in driveway as well. Reseeded from last year.

More Petunias below. White silverish ones from seed...took forever. I had them scattered everywhere but this time of year it gets too shady in most areas so most were moved into this spot that catches more than six hours sun daily. I'm planning on tiering them up the drive next summer. Picture taken this evening. Cardinal flower vine getting full (fence post)...some flowers...too tiny.

Along the side of the cabin. Annual Lantana that was rescued for $ 1.50 back in July. Three plants in pot. Two types of potato vine, a struggling Clematis but it did have a bloom last week. Lot's of different colored impatiens, Red salvia, and some stupid African Daisies that only bloomed for one week.

Let's see what else? A hodgepodge of a mess here...Begonias did very well in part sun this year. Never made it in the shade in previous years. Coleus here and there, Angelonia, one sun Impatiens that never really found a real home. Butter Daisies (yellow) reseeded from last year. They're real late comers. Didn't pop through the ground until mid July.

Blue star creeper planted two months ago filling out nicely. They seem to crave this spot. I've already taken plugs and spread them to other locations.

Another pic shows a Black Eyed Susan Vine that failed to climb all over this lattice. Not sure why this one didn't get off the ground like others. Lottsa Cleomes in back ground...the "Cleome jungle" Others, double Impatiens, Swedish ivy, creeping Jen, variegated Vinca vine, and Coleus.

Another hodgepodge. Leftovers more like it.Many rooted New Guinea Impatiens beginning to get full. Several rooted Petunias as well.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Caladium Pictures

These were taken in late July, or just about when the Caladiums peaked in color. Since, they've faded and some are beginning to lose their former luster. I don't know why, but none of these were fertilized, same with all my Hostas. They'd probably keep chugging along had I actually fertilized them.

The original Caladium garden back in the spring..

Full color...a bit bright though...

Maybe a closer look. The white ones are either White Christmas or Candium while the reds in the foreground are...lost the tag. Kind of ugly ruffled type. Same for the ones in the middle...lost tag.  Drat.

Here's my favorite growing about 15 inches high. I think they're Fannie Munson.

Those guys are tucked away in the Hosta garden started last spring. The supposed star of the show did not fare well this year. The lime colored Hosta in the center. Named Gold Standard. Apparently this one creeps along for a few years then takes off or so the consensus says. Hopefully next year it will fill in.

Another favorite and yes the tag has mysteriously's an unknown.

Pink Beauty...

A few other areas...

John Peed and Aaron (white)

Florida Cardinal

Monday, August 22, 2011

Snap Dragons - Good & Bad

I had a whole area set aside for these from seed in the spring of 2010, but they never really took off. They just sat there all straggly looking until last November when I yanked them. Could have been the location along the driveway, I do not know. Anything up the drive seems to struggle without attention.

Anyway, here are some that were purchased last fall from Lowes in the small six pack variety. These things can grow and bloom in freezing and very hot temperatures. Two whites and one red here. I have the hardest time remembering the name of this plant. Maybe it will come to me before the end of this entry.

Snap Dragons!!!

There must be different varieties. Here's a taller one (below) that was moved this spring. Originally planted in the spring of 2010 (one croaked) when it was purchased as a larger plant. It blooms now and then but not like the smaller variety that reaches 10-12 inches. It also falls all over the place and needs staking. Pain, really.

These two show three reds planted together. All shown here were dead headed completely July 28. I'll have to consider sticking more in the ground this fall. I wonder if these guys will make it through another winter?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's An Official Surrender least for this season. Can't grow much here with less than four inches of rain since May 26. About the only things that do hang in are the mountain laurel, creeping phlox (dormant) and that other thing (background) that blooms in September or so.

Others that can't make much of a life up here are day lilies (but they fade anyway this time of year), Salvia Sage, some type of Black Eyed Susan, Coneflowers, and a few Rose of Sharon. (top to bottom below) The latter obtained last year at a Daves Garden get together.

Life is hard along the fence line up the driveway as well. Asters from last year struggling (8 of ten survivors but much smaller), but I have lugged water up here a half dozen times since May 26. Marigolds never did too well, same with Cosmos. Silly spider Zinnias are alive. Don't bother trying these things. Flowers are ridiculously small and they just sprawl on the ground. Good soil after I worked it, but too darn dry.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vines and Other Climbers

Some sneak peaks at other happenings this summer are the many vines I have growing here and there. The question is undoubtedly, when will they bloom in profusion or am I dreaming? Here's the biggest project that takes about 10 minutes a day. Training these morning glories to climb in the right direction so I can get full coverage. They were growing heavily on the right side in basically one three foot by ten feet area (from bottom) two weeks ago. By redirecting some runners it should fill out within two weeks.

They're definitely climbers! And would probably go to the rooftop if given something to climb on. Maybe next year I'll run a more organized system with fishing line. The new addition from last year is created by using small eye/screw hooks with string run back and forth. The next pic was taken August 5 of last year. Considerable difference in growth but plenty of volunteer seeds popped through the soil this year.

Oodles of Black Eyed Susan vine here this year but slow to bloom except one I have hanging on the porch. Here's an interesting view taken from the ladder. Note Moon flowers are all over the porch railing, some black potato vine in with some Creeping Jenny and those lousy Nasturtiums (container)  that won't do it around here.

More on the Moon flowers...

And a flower here and there...

Moving to the lawn area. No problem with the English Ivy. How far to let it go?

More Black Eyed Susan Vine supported by wire mesh in the whiskey barrels. I did have some Vinca planted in amongst everything but they croaked. Common with that plant this year in some locations.

and more along the fence line on the lawn. Occasional blooms but nothing excessive:(

Most of these areas have three plants in each container. Here's one climbing a small beech tree. Some blooms occasionally at the bottom.

Lastly some potato vines. Planted about six weeks ago, the green vine now has ten "children" rooted elsewhere.

Oh, why not. Some Cardinal vines on the fence posts up the driveway...a bloom now and then, but too early I think. It was never impressive in the past but I thought why not give it a go again.

Not shown are about a half dozen morning glory vines on other fence posts going up the driveway. Real slow going there but does not surprise me with the lousy rocky soil.