Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Here we are on another snowy day in Rhode Island. I've been taking it easy this past holiday week. I'm caught up with projects and waiting for the holidays to pass and clients to get home from travelling. It was much needed. For a quiet snowy day, it's been a flurry of activity around here with both Bird Central and engaging in Rottweiler Games outside. Since there's not much to do outside in the garden, Lars shows me how to truly enjoy a winter storm warning!

Bah! Who cares about 20 - 30 mph winds and a 6 degree wind chill!

I was the party pooper and made us both come inside because a) my lens started to get covered in snow and b) and I wanted to go back to feeling my extremities. I had been watching the feeders myself today (but it wasn't a count day today) and was pleased to see a ton of birds. I did get two new feeders for my safflower and my thistle seed - one of them is really squirrel proof from what I can see. Eric fixed my heated bird bath which had been smashed by a falling tree limb last year. I have to find and extension cord that will reach to the garage. I've had a bunch of chickadees, juncos, goldfinches, nuthatches, house finches, carolina wrens, titmice, and the pair of cardinals.

His and Hers feeders. :)

Before this week's snow it was close to 60 degrees this weekend. I popped outside and snapped a couple of pics of cool things in my landscape (granted there are just a couple.) Below is one of my yellow foliaged heathers (yes, the foliage is yellow in the summer and changes red) I planted two falls ago. I have to look up the variety and figured it out from deductive reasoning since it didn't have a tag when I bought it. I can't wait to get good sized. I think I have a new love affair with heathers, especially since they love my sand.

I'm dying to see what this hellebore does! This is it's first year in the garden and it's starting to set buds. Hellebore flower in a weird time of year - winter. I think I will cut these and bring them in to enjoy them. They are tucked in behind the grass and the witch hazel near the water garden because it would get the shade it needs there. But that doesn't lend well for viewing and it being winter time doesn't help viewing either.

Move over Poinsettia, there's a new holiday flower in town

I am so psyched at this unexpected floral gift! I haven't had my passonflower bloom in the winter before...and I can't help but think the Faux-electra had something to do with it. Totally cooler than a Christmas Cactus or a Poinsettia -

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Now for some indoor gardening

I think this year will be a good one for indoor plants at the GC HQ. I'm attempting something completely different this year with them. I fed everyone today with my faux-Electra and want to see what results I get. I think they will be good since an organic fertilizer will release nutrients slowly which will be great for the slower growing plants.

This year's orchid crop is going to be a good one...I have multiple panicles coming on most of them. That is very exciting. I'm amazed at how easy Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis) are easy to grow in a home environment. I would like to get some more because we did have some casualties from puppy jaws over the year.

Here is my "holy grail" for this year with gardening inside...overwintering my rosemary inside. I tried it years ago when I was in college and actually got it to survive. I haven't been able to do it since because we always kept it too warm in the house. Rosemary likes cooler temps at night and we have been doing that in this house since we moved here. So, I dug it up and potted it. I kept it in the greenhouse for about a month and a half. When it got seriously cold a couple of weeks back, I moved it to the house. So far, so good and I do believe it's growing!

Jack Frost came a knockin' last night

I just said to Eric as this window was popping up for me to make a post that it snowed this week last year too. I only remember that because it's a year ago he had his last back surgery. We didn't get dumped on...just enough to make it feel like the holiday season and for the boys to go out and enjoy it. It helped to get the embers of my holiday spirit start to glow a little bit. I put out my wreath on the front door. I was also saying to Eric last night I have a bad case of the "Bah Humbugs" this year...he feels the same.

As Lars and Sam were charging around the backyard, I really noticed how pretty the pond looked. So, when they were done, I went back outside with my camera to get some winter garden shots. I definitely think the winter garden is completely overlooked when people consider their landscaping. If you think about it, winter is one long season in this area and it shouldn't be written off by gardeners. I have noticed the longer I do this design gig, I get requests for landscapes to have winter interest which is very encouraging. I was over at Jim's house (the design in my title photo) yesterday and I swear that yard doesn't have a bad season. Is it just as amazing in December as it is during the rest of the season.

(I've having some difficulty writing at the moment...there's someone playing with his ball and using my right arm as a headrest. So, I'll post photos)

Frosted Lavender

The fall pansies just won't give in to winter...

Ghosts of summers blooms -