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Saturday, February 28, 2015

You Know You're a Gardening Fanatic If... February 27, 2015

First, a peek at a visitor to my deck, the Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Poecile rufescens-

Today I am linking with-

Wild Bird Wednesday, hosted by Stewart M.

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

I'd Rather be Birdin' hosted by Hootin' Anni

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

Next in my houseplant series is the Amazon Lily, which blooms once a year and is fragrant-

You Know You're a Gardening Fanatic If...
*your household decorations and your pursuits are mostly botanical.  Every fall the end of the gardening season is a let-down, so I compensate by starting my indoor gardening endeavors.   This can be done cheaply by using a 3 tier metal shelf, tying 4' fluorescent fixtures to the top and middle shelves, and then they accomodate 2 20"x10" trays per shelf, each holding 36 2.25" rose pots, x 4 = 144 plants per shelf unit.  I fit these shelves in where there is some wall space.  One is by my bedside in front of a glass door.  I covered it to block the light when necessary and make it warmer.
And under the curtains-

Some perennials I started early in 2013 in November did bloom last year but not all.   I started these, mostly perennials, 12/10/14, in hopes I will get flowers this year.  Last year I started some Gaillardia later and planted them out but they didn't bloom, but I hopefully they will bloom this year with an earlier start, one can always hope.

The little seedlings growing make me feel like life is bursting forth.  And earlier this month I started tomatoes and eggplants, a pot of tomato seedlings that need transplanting is on the left below, with Creeping Thyme behind-

Transplanted tomatoes, notice I put them a little deeper in the pot to develop more roots-

A painting done by my artsy sister of Hazelnut trees with embellishments and Lunaria (Silver Dollar)-

Oak leaves in a pastel orange-

Tell me why the Ivy twines-

Hoyas love moist shower air-

A twig cabinet pull is handy to hang something on-

What form does your gardening obsession take?      But I look elsewhere to meet my deepest needs. Hannah

or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I look forward to reading your comments and visiting your blog as well. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Spotted Towhee Welcome to Spring February 22, 2014

Welcome to some spring flowers, very early.   We have had unusually warm weather in January and February, and the plants have calculated their warmth hours and decided it's spring.  Of course they could face some harsh realities, I hope not.

Today I am linking with-

I'd Rather Be Birdin' hosted by Hootin' Anni'

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

The compelling flash of red, the Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculata-

I thought my new Gold Collection Hellebores had mostly disappeared.  I was mistaken, I didn't look in my back bed where my Helleborus 'Winter Moonbeam' was alive after all, I love the way the flowers age to salmon-

Helleborus Winter Jewels 'Royal Heritage is coming along-

A whole bed of my original happy Hellebores from a friend-

And next entry in my houseplant continuing bloom, an African violet I inherited from my Swedish mother-in-law who lived with us for 8.8 years, and lived to 102.33 years.  I haven't succeeded well with African violets before but put this one by the back sliding door where it thrived-

This week my husband and I celebrate 47 years of marriage, 3 children and 6 grandchildren later.  All the older generations are gone on my side of the family this year, and only 2 aunts are left on my husband's side, so we are nearly the older generation.  This fills me with wonder and joyful expectation about the future, because I know this world is not my home.   Hannah 

                                               or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I'm looking forward to hearing your comments and looking at your blogs as well.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day, Hellebores for GBBD! February 14, 2015

This is wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day!   I hope you can spend time with someone you love.  To commemorate, I wrote a poem inspired by a lucky find in a grocery store-

The watermelon was warm as he lay on his side,
Dreamily wishing to go for a ride.
Visions of wheels swirled through his head,
Spokes and chains, and onward he sped,
Pedaling madly his bike up a slope,
Then speeding down fast as a melon could hope.
A mystical weevil deduced his wild dreams,
And burrowing in she gave form to his schemes.
So happily I discovered this art,
Envisioned by someone with a very sweet heart.

I went out to see how my Hellebores were doing, my earliest spring bloomers, and was surprised to find some flowers.  My 14 year old white to pink to purple down-facing Hellebores were doing great, they not only survive but also freely self-sow into various shades of white, pink, and  purple with splotches-

Their one fault is that the blossoms face downward, making it hard to photograph them, so I had to prop them up.

But I went overboard the last couple of years buying some new Hellebores with fantastic silver-accented foliage, and white, green, and/or pink flowers that faced more outward,  like White and Pink Marble, Helleborus lividus.  Then there were some hybrids of Helleborus orientalis, like Winter Moonbeam, delightful to behold, green and pink tints, and also wonderful outward-facing flowers.

Pretty, huh?   I searched for them now in the garden, and was only able to find one survivor,

 So I looked them up and found out why.   Some are only hardy from zones 8-10, and plants are only hardy at my house in zones 5-7.   Don't you just hate it when nurseries sell plants that are not hardy in your area and you fail to look them up to find out first?   Pet peeve.  Some of them should have been hardy but disappeared as well, disappointing.  But I still want to get a double Hellebore, I hope they are tougher.

But I also bought 2 hybrids from the Winter Jewel line, big plants with droopy flowers more like my original Hellebores, which are doing great, Apricot Blush-

and Cherry  Blossom, which was developed to have colorful nectaries-

So it seems I can have blooms in mid-winter, thanks to the Hellebores.  I also noticed the beginning of the Vinca blooms, and Muscari and Daffodils about to break buds.  To see what else is blooming in many gardens, check out Garden Blogger's Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens hosted by Carol.

Today I am also linking with-

Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart M

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

"I never promised you a rose garden"-

Hannah   ©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.  I enjoy visiting your blogs and commenting, but if google+ is the only option I can't do so, but can comment here.

I was given a marvelous Valentine by some who never lets me down- Whispering Hope

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Deer Control February 7, 2015

Welcome to my post, today I am linking to-

Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

A small flock of Pine Siskins visited my deck

Deer also like it here- "So lovely, no dogs!"

"And the grass is so lush, thanks to the chickens!"

"Fun in the sun"

"Funny bumps on my head, they are getting itchy!"

Deer inspire me with their persistence in difficult circumstances.   I am grateful this week because my husband had cataract surgery on one eye and is doing well and seeing without glasses for the first time since he was 7 years old.  He got his other eye fitted with a contact lens as well.

How I manage to grow vegetables with the hungry mouths around- my newish main vegetable bed in winter.  To attain the  prerequisite 8' / 244 cm high deer proofing there are metal T-posts hammered into the ground with 8' bamboo poles from my grove tied on, a 5' / 142 cm tall welded wire fence around the outside, and wire run at the top from which is hung trellis netting 5' / 142 cm tall so there is overlap with the fence.  This makes a barrier that the deer can't just jump through unlike when I used to have just wire run at several levels above the fence, and a deer did manage to crash through to escape, after he got in through the gate left open.   So this last summer was peaceful with no breaches of the garden as long as I kept the gate closed.

I have found that deer usually will not jump into a narrow bed because of insufficiency of landing space, this allows me to grow perennials that would otherwise get eaten, here mostly dormant for winter-

But a deer did get into my blueberry bed, so I stuck a lot of bamboo 3-5' /1-1.42 cm tall around the bed to make jumping in more formidable, and it seemed to work fine-

But most natives such as Mahonia nervosa and Salal, and quite a few shrubs are not appealing to deer, especially those with aromatic leaves.  Santolina with 2 species of Hypericum and Illicium henryii.

Evergreen Lonicera nitida with native deciduous Lonicera involucrata, Twinberry, not very visible, Vinca minor and major for ground covers, along with some native Sword ferns-

Ceanothus 'Victoria', lopsided after losing a big part of the plant last year to frost, and in the background the wonderful variegated Elaeagnus ebbingei 'Gilt Edge'-

So they won't look really great until summer, but they are left alone, I could find deer proof plants, some of which work fine here, in various web searches.   But for the others, I have my wire fences, so don't give up!

And for this week's houseplant in my series, a plant that is long-lived but has not been easy for me to grow in an attractive and lush presentation, the Rosary vine, Ceropegia woodii, with cute silvery heart-shaped leaves on vines, and tiny flowers-

 that give rise to small potato-like tubers that if planted, will grow into new vines, and enlarge slowly.   I tried coiling a severed vine around a shallow tray, burying the vine with the leaves sticking up, and rooted some new tiny vines.

The second month of winter has brought lots of snow to the east coast, but has been very mild here.  I continue to dream of spring, and enjoy my little seedlings which I will share next week.  Hannah

                                                              or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy visiting your blog and commenting but can't do so if google + is the only choice, so will comment here.