Monthly Archives: May 2015

A Wonderful Garden Shop

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Here are some colorful mushrooms to decorate a fairy garden.

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Rustic outdoor architectural pieces.

 

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Decorations for a birdhouse themed garden

 

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Colorful hanging glass balls.

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An assortment of garden statuary

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A lady statue to be used as a focal point.

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Decorations for a swan garden

During our Florida vacation, my friend took me shopping to one of her favorite spots.  It was called The Barn and was a shopping enclave which included a restaurant along with antiques, interiors and gardening shops.  The garden shop was my favorite. It overflowed with a variety of gardening statues, plaques, wind chimes, flags, garden gnomes and fairy garden decorations. A path wound in and out of a quaint open-air building where different garden themes were featured.

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Florida Gardens

During our Florida vacation, I took pictures of some tropical plants and flowers. Some I am familiar with and some I am not.

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Here is a prickly pear cactus that was growing in my friends’ back yard. They gave me a piece to bring home. You can stick it in the ground and it should grow just about anywhere in the south.

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These are bromeliads or air plants that do not need soil to grow. They were suspended on wire and made a great display at the Bok Tower Gardens museum.

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Here is an unusual purplish colored orchid growing in a pot among some mondo grass.

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This lovely blue flowering plant is called Lily of the Nile. I tried to grow one once and was unsucessful.  I think it prefers Florida’s climate.

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In Florida, palms grow everywhere. There are many different varieties. Here is one growing beside a rather large elephant ear. I have tried these also but they can not survive frost.

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Here is a mystery plant. It is some kind of vine, perhaps a variety of bougainvillea. Does anyone know what it is? It was very beautiful and I had never seen one before. You can see a yucca plant in the background.

 

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Coming Down From The Clouds

It is difficult to literally come back down to earth after a weekend spent with our dear friends of 30 years.  We have grown and challenged each other throughout many of life’s journeys.  They know the good, the bad and the ugly about us and we know the same about them.  It is rare to have friends with whom you can be yourself and trust that when you are exposed they will still love you.

We met when we were  young parents in Maryland. We moved away when our oldest daughter was still an infant. First we lived in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Naomi travelled the long eight hour trip with her daughter to visit us in our rental home.  We moved to Augusta, Georgia for a year then moved back to Rock Hill, South Carolina just south of Charlotte.  Paul and Naomi came to visit us in our new home when we had a new baby and many times since.

Through the years we have gone on trips together to the Biltmore Estate, Tweetsie Railroad and to Monticello in Virginia.  When they moved to Naperville,  Illinois I visited them at their new house.  When they moved to Lakeland, Florida we  visited them twice. It was nice that they were so close for us to take our children to Disneyworld.

They are in a different house now in Davenport, Florida. They are pastoring  a church in their community. What a treasure to be with them again and see them lead their congregation in fellowship and worship.

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Enjoying The Fruits of My Labor

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Miniature Red Roses

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Yellow Knock Out Roses behind Mardi Gras abelia bushes

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Purple ice plants

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Double coreopsis

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Spanish lavender

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Red Knock Out Roses. I know they look pink.

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The best part is getting to bring beautiful flowers in the house!

Well, it is officially HOT in South Carolina!  The temperatures have reached 86 degrees and the humidity level must be near that same number in percentage levels. I knew that it would happen sooner or later. That is the reason I scramble about planting like a crazy lady from the end of March until early May.

Now, the watering chore begins….but I really don’t mind it a bit.  It is fun to water the plants, inspecting them for flowers and new growth.

My roses are beginning to take off.  I have both yellow and red Knock Outs. I have coreopsis, scabiosa and  Spanish lavender blooming now.  The Stella D’oro daylilies have buds and are about to bloom.  I started some ice plants but it will take a season or so for them to spread out.  Soon the crepe myrtles will join in with their spectacular frilly blossoms of pink and red.

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Please Be Patient, Garden In Progress

Along with my garden, I am a work in progress.  I am learning to be patient with the work that God is doing in me.  Gardening is teaching me spiritual lessons. For example, it takes a long time and a lot of effort to remove ugly weeds or thorns then nurture the plants that make a garden lovely. So it is with our lives. We must yield to God’s pulling and tugging to help us to grow stronger and eventually become fruitful.

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Our first project was replacing the old mailbox and making a bed around it. We had some existing azaleas which we saved but removed a lot of old plants and had to remove an old tree that was rotting. This picture shows the top of the bed with new shrubs and perennials. We used some evergreen cryptomeria shrubs, some variegated euyonomous shrubs and some perennial flowers. It is especially challenging since the yard is on slope.

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Here is the front bed as viewed from the driveway. There is still a stump where the tree was removed but we planted a crepe myrtle to replace it. We have planted a mix of shrubs and plants. We have some yellow Knock Out roses on the far side. There are some trailing yews and dwarf forsythias in the lower portion of the bed. We chose shorter plants at the bottom so that the larger ones could be seen from below . On the steepest area next to the driveway, I placed some sedum and Ice plants to spread out and cover bare spots.  Hopefully they will help prevent the soil from washing away.

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Here is one touch of color right now. This blue clematis trails and climbs up a garden globe near our front steps.

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Here is a trouble spot. We have no grass under the front left side of our house under the trees. The slope forces water to flow this way. So far we are having difficulty getting anything to grow here.

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Here are some plants along our front walkway. We replaced most of the old plants in this section. We have a mix of arborvitae, gardenias and japanese pieris. These plants are better suited for this area that gets almost no direct sun all day. There is a Confederate Jasmine vine growing along a trellis that should reach the newly constructed arbor in a year or so.

I will begin posting pictures of my garden this year as it progresses.  You can see that we have been hard at work but still have a long way to go.  My yard has some challenges.  I welcome suggestions for these problem areas.  Hopefully, we will inspire others by our ideas as well.

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