Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Garden Makes Me Smile!

Even though we had a late frost last Friday that killed most of my annuals, the garden continues to grow more beautiful every day with new blooms and leaves awakening from their winter slumber. I can't help but smile every time I see something new. Let's take a look....

The Azaleas are almost ready to burst into bloom and the Columbines are blooming.

"Frisk Me" Dwarf Iris, Silver Artemisia and Creeping Phlox.

This little fairy likes to hide among the Columbine and Poppies.

Penstemon "Prairie Twilight" in foreground surrounded by Penstemon "Husker Red", Daylily, Sedum, Poppies and Iris.

"Cat's Eye" Dwarf Iris with Sweet William.

These little gnomes live down the path from the other family of gnomes. Their house is surrounded by Bee Balm and Black-Eyed Susans.

This past weekend my hubby cleaned out the herb bed (last year's  Apple Mint had gone crazy) and planted new herbs. Included are Chocolate Mint (yummy!), Cilantro, Oregano, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.These are right outside the back door so they are very close to the kitchen.

Many of my gardening friends have decided to raise chickens so I thought I'd get some too....I bet mine are easier to take care of! They were a gift from my hubby.

And to think this vine was only a foot tall and very sick last year. We gave it a lot of TLC and look at it now!!

These flowers surround the Zelkova tree in the front yard by the seating area. Last year I tried something different with my seeds...I mixed them all together and threw them down instead of planting each kind separately. This is what I got....I really like this look! 

More "Frisk Me" Dwarf Iris, Mums and the old wheelbarrow is planted with white Salvia.

The shrub is a Mock Orange and I believe it's going to bloom for the first time since we planted it about three years ago. The orange flower is "Apricot Swirl" Wallflower.

The Columbines and Dianthus in the front corner bed. Soon there will also be Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susans.

Columbines surrounded by Dwarf Iris, Black-Eyed Susans, Cheddar Pinks, Coreopsis and Lilies. 

Our spring weather continues to improve with warmer days and nights. I've been able to do quite a bit of work in the garden...weeding, trimming, planting and mulching. One thing I know for sure....I will never be done....my garden is always changing and improving!
 I just love it!!

Happy Gardening!

Words and Photos Property of Christys Cottage Wildlife Garden.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Garden Springs To Life!

Hello all!! Today I thought I'd take you along on my morning walkabout to see what's blooming in my garden. We've had rain and warm weather so the plants are really coming alive. 

We start with a dwarf bearded Iris "Truly" that is surrounded by Love in a Mist.

The Camellia is really showing off. 
Here's a close up of one of the blooms.

Carolina Jessamine with Columbine in the front corner garden.

Purple Iris. Iris is the state flower of Tennessee. You see purple Iris growing wild along the roads.

Columbine. I just love Columbine and planted several new ones this year.

How beautiful is this!! Another dwarf bearded Iris "Pokemon". It's really putting on a show!

Wallflower. I love how these plants have different color flowers on each stem.

Summit Alyssum really brightens up this corner.


My new Pearlbush "Snow Day Surprise" is looking great!

One of the eleven pots in Morrow Park...Penta, Sweet Potato Vine and Marigolds. They were just planted one week ago, so they should really start taking off now.

I would like some help identifying this. It looks a lot like Summit Alyssum, but the leaves are different. This came up on it's own, and since it's so pretty, I let it stay!!

Cheddar Pinks and Dianthus.

I made this garden totem using two vases and two plates. I filled it with small gravel and keep it filled with water so the butterflies have a place to drink. I saw my first butterfly of the year yesterday!

Ajuga. This was given to me by a very nice lady I met when she attended the garden tour last year.

The garden gnomes have awakened from their winter slumber and have been helping in the garden. There is another family of gnomes living down the path.

Woodland Phlox.

Finally, this is the house that "my" Bluebirds chose as their home. It's in my favorite Oak tree. They are busy all over the garden catching insects and keeping me company. 

Hope you enjoyed going on my walkabout with me.....I enjoyed having you come along!
Happy Gardening!
Words and Photos Property of Christy's Cottage Wildlife Garden.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Has Finally Sprung!! (I Hope)

Hello all!! I think spring has finally decided to stick around here in middle Tennessee. We've had some nice warm weather in the last few days with more in the forecast. Over the weekend, my hubby and I planted 480 plants and today I planted 9 more perennials. We still have 223 annuals to plant. Most of them will be put in pots on the patio and around the garden.  We did finish the Big Surprise in Morrow Park Phase II. Once it matures a little bit, I will post a picture. We are very excited about it!
The garden is getting prettier every day. You can certainly tell we've had rain and some warm weather! Leaves are popping out and flowers are opening. It's just wonderful to spend time gardening....everyday there's something new to see.
Let's take a look....

The Creeping Phlox has really started blooming. We have three different colors. There are also Daylilys, Iris, a Rugosa Rose (which I still need to trim), Bee Balm and the Clove Currant in the backround.
Here you can see another color of Creeping Phlox. Miss Kim Lilac has started leafing out and so has the Knockout Rose. By the way, the reason we have this wire fence is to keep the dogs out of the garden. After a while I don't even see it!

These Daffys were the first ones I ever planted. They surround our Maple tree. Behind the Daffys you see Goldmound Spiraea and Forsythia. 

Looking down the path....the Clove Currant is in full bloom and smells wonderful!

This is a little piece of my small shade garden.

This weekend we planted eleven pots and put them in Morrow Park Phase I. They will add a lot of color when they mature. Seven of them are along the path. Remember this phrase when you plant in pots...thriller (something tall), filler and spiller (something that trails down the pot.)

The other four pots are by the large bird bath and seating area. 

Looking across one of the other flower beds into Morrow Park.

The perennials and annuals were planted in Morrow Park Phase III. In the area just past these beds I'm going to sow all different types of flower seeds. 

Looking towards the house...we just planted these two small beds this weekend. They are the entrance to the Big Surprise.

Another shot. Flowers are getting taller every day!

I love the tiny blue flowers on this ground cover Veronica.
This is the path leading from the front walk. You can see the Tulips are almost ready to open!

This is the West side of the house. Flowering Quince, Lambs Ear, Iris and Indian Hawthorne. 

In spring we spread Black Gold (horse manure) on our flower beds. We also spread it over newly made beds before they are planted and around all new plants. We get this from a friend that owns horse stables down the road from us. I would bet most people who own horses would be very happy to give this away. So if you live near a horse stable, ask them. I'm telling you it REALLY makes a difference in your plants. Just make sure the manure is aged as fresh manure will burn your plants. 

We get this stuff by the trailer full! Next to this manure is our regular compost area. Our plants are very happy!!

Since my post is also about wildlife, I want to give you an update on the happenings in the garden....

For quite a while we had two Mockingbirds that were always in the garden. In the last couple of days, I have seen eight at one time. Look closely at the apples...there are two Mockers eating. They must be male and female. It's definitely mating season because I've seen them taking twigs into the bushes to make nests. 
In the two pictures below you can see several Blue Jays on the structure to the left...one is coming in for a landing! The Mockingbird is on the structure to the right and is protecting the peanuts in the hanging feeder from the Jays. Those Mockers are very busy trying to keep other birds away from all the feeders!

Well, that's it for now. Spring has finally "sprung" and I'm a happy gardener!

Happy Gardening!

Words and Photos Property of Christy's Cottage Wildlife Garden.