December 25, 2011

A New Bench for the Garden

Tara always advises having a double axis.
The new bench is visible out the window.
From the bench, the camellias are seen.


The bench curves around the tree.
Pieces of a pole serve as garden tables.

 Drops of water on the bench after a rain. It sits under  a forty-five year old Juniperus virginiana.

The view to the northwest takes in a young camellia, a dogwood tree and various other treats.
The bench is partly obscured by ancient boxwoods and wisteria.



Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

December 19, 2011

Pleasures of December

Hippeastrum blooms are big and bold. They don't always bloom true to the red or pink on the box. Every bloom is a delight, no matter what shade of pink, orange or red they may be, or white.






Hyacinths show promise of January treats to follow Amaryllis
Next year maybe I'll start them earlier to bloom at Christmas.

One by one tiny Pentas cuttings root and bloom.
I pot them as they root. Ruby, my favorite red is ready.

A mockingbird was trying to go into the roof vent today. His companion flew away when I approached but he kept on until I shooed him away. Maybe they think this is a bird condo. I don't think a potted gardenia will support a mockingbird nest. Abandoned nests are everywhere: in the Camellias, the pear trees, the grape arbor, dogwoods. December is not nesting time.


Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in warm, humid Southwest Georgia.

December 16, 2011

Prettiest Blooms for Christmas and Beyond

Begonias, I have 'em. Duranta cuttings bloom nonstop too.
When warm weather comes again, these will be garden plants.
Tiny duranta cuttings can grow to 5' in a season.

I use waxleaf begonias where other gardeners might use impatiens
because they are less prone to faint in heat and drought.

Pots of Violas are blooming outside the greenhouse and
in a bed elsewhere. They'll stand the inevitable freezes
to bloom again in spring until hot weather takes them out.



Always planning for next year, I'll have more Schlumbergera,
start my Hyacinths earlier, no Paperwhites and more Amaryllis.

Amaryllis started early and there will still be some in bloom on
Christmas. Hyacinths and Kalanchoe will brighten dark days in
January and February. Tulips are out of the chill now, hopeful of
blooms on Valentine's Day along with Camellias outside.  

Tootsie Time

Flaunt your Flowers Friday at Tootsie Time click for link.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

December 12, 2011

Duct Tape and a Party Tablecloth

You want attention to be on plants in your garden pics.

The heat-sink barrels in the greenhouse are not attractive. They really do help in mediating the temperatures by holding and slowly releasing heat. They do not 'heat' the space but help to hold in what heat collects on sunny days. They do not however form an attractive background, however handy they are for holding a great shelf for plants. The shelf isn't a focal point, either.

The Bare Essential Barrels
 I thought of a great coverup at little expense. I used a purple plastic tablecloth from the dollar store. It was the perfect length for the shelf, even turning the corner a little way on the south end. I stapled it to the wood shelf. A little wide, so I turned back the first fold. Perfect.

Then it began to pull off. I duct-taped it from the back. Duct tape is not waterproof, so the loops of tape turned loose when they got wet. One day in the hardware store, I noticed a brand of duct tape that comes in colors, patterns even.

I  bought the tape called 'tie dye.' The color is perfect with
a blue plastic tablecloth. 

I put a few staples through both tape and tablecloth to secure.

A thin plastic table cloth has a short life in a greenhouse where pets visit. The next coverup will cost more for a sturdier skirt, but you'll have to wait to see it.

The next tape will be solid color -- twice the length per roll.
No, I'm not tempted to use the leopard print tape at twice the price.


Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

December 10, 2011

Schlumbergera: Much Prettier since more Blooms Opened

I took the Christmas Cactus out of its gaudy blue basket and into a more sedate cache pot.



Plenty of buds are left to carry it through Christmas.




Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

December 05, 2011

Christmas Cactus Right on Time

Schlumbergera truncata

Do you think it will still be pretty on Christmas?
There are a good many buds yet to open.
Nights have been warm for December and it really opened up.

This is not a cactus, despite its common name. It is an epiphyte native to South American jungles.
An easy enough houseplant, it asks little in the way of care. When it isn't getting ready to bloom, watering can be haphazard and it will survive, but regular attention will ensure a prettier plant.



Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

December 03, 2011

Missed the Meme Again

Town Mouse has a great First of the Month Meme -- I forget, every time. On the first day of the month I made pics of the tree limbs we were sawing with the new electric chainsaw appartatus powered by a generator and operated from the tractor. Only pictures of the limbs; we made a video of  sawing a week or so before to send to my nephew to show him that it actually worked.



Live Oak trees are not easy to trim, the limbs grow in every direction
and are ultra-twiggy.

This was supposed to be a picture of Ike the Cat posed on his 'porch' at the greenhouse.
Instead by the time I was pointed to shoot, it turned into an unflattering pic of Buffy the Dog
putting Ike back in the greenhouse.

... and that's the extent of my First of the Month outdoor pics.








Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in relatively warm Southwest Georgia.

November 30, 2011

Treasures in the Out of Doors

I got the notion to fill a wire tiered basket in the greenhouse with greenery from the garden and a few trinkets from a half century of collecting Christmas.

I clipped greenery from junipers and boxwoods. I decided a few cuts from loropetalum might make good contrast to the greenery. I was surprised to find fringes of blooms on some of the loropetalums.
One dogwood still had red berries but I abandoned cutting berries when I realized the same twigs had next year's buds. Just before I came in out of the wind, I found a last orange rose.

All the treasures went into bottles on my tray where I put bits and pieces to enjoy.

Charisma, the last floribunda bloom.

Dogwood berries and late leaves.

Loropetalum fringes.

... and the Christmas decors for the greenhouse, including
a rose campion plant, pecans and a red nutcracker.





Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

November 29, 2011

Tuesday with Tootsie and Rock Rose

Read 'Em All Tuesdays is the proper name. I think of it as Tuesdays with Tootsie and Friends.

The friend I'm bringing today is Rock Rose, so named because she gardens in a rocky part of Texas. She brought in her tender plants in anticipation of a hard freeze. One of the most interesting is a tree with lemons on it. Her kewl greenhouse is so stuffed she says there's no room for anything else. You'll have to go visit her blog to see all the plants.




Here's what Rock Rose says about herself:
"I garden on a rocky hillside in Central Texas. There are many challenges but ... I have learnt that every garden has its challenges. Born in England my love of gardening came from my paternal grandfather. He had, and tended a beautiful garden.  I love travel too. There is nothing like the open road and a wonderful campsite at the end of the day. Traveling with our airstream Safari allows us to visit and stay within some of the most spectacular scenery in the United States. A home cooked meal and our very own bed is just an added bonus."

Rock Rose also blogs about her travels and that cooking she mentioned.

Visit Tootsie to see the rest of the friends who are being introduced on Read 'Em All Tuesdays #4.



Text from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in cool Southwest Georgia but not freezing. Yet.

November 24, 2011

Green and New and a Joy to Grow

My Bird of Paradise has a brand-new leaf, unfurled today.
I underplanted it with ferns so it doesn't look so leggy.

The first Amaryllis bud is about to bloom.

 
One of the pest control crew, a nice fat anole.

White begonias on the potting bench.

I remembered what else I wanted to have to bloom through the winter when I visited Darla's blog and saw her beautiful Geraniums Pelargoniums. Like Begonias and Pentas,
they'll bloom all winter inside in a sunny location.

High up, a pale pink Pentas bloomed. It has some Begonia cuttings around
its ankles. and is up among the stems of a pink Brugmansia.

I had company Wednesday, the nine-year-old granddaughter of a neighbor.
She said she'd always wanted a greenhouse. I asked what she would grow.
She thought she'd like really weird plants.
We decided pitcher plants would be a good start.
She'd seen some on a field trip and said they looked as if they breathed.

Then we pinched and sniffed various herbs like rosemary, oregano and lemon grass.
We broke off dried blossoms of Salvia leucantha that she thought felt just like velvet.


 
Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia where it is about to turn cooler.

November 21, 2011

I Haven't Given up on Blotanical. Yet.

Have you noticed the new Blotanical Logo?


It links to some information about when we might expect Version 2 and promises weekly updates. There's a link to follow Stuart on Twitter, if you have a Twitter Account. I don't.

Meanwhile, I'm hopeful that new members are not discouraged when their posts don't show up or cannot be picked. Some old members, too.

Picks are sporadical on my part. So are comments on blogs I read. I'm seeing more of your blogs on Facebook.

Then there's that Google thing. I keep getting notices that I've been added to a circle by someone I never heard of and don't know how to check them out. It gives me a creepy feeling.

Thanksgiving rolled right up here in no time at all. February will be here before we know it.

What do you think?


Meanwhile, I'll be spending my time here:


among these:

and this:
mesclun.



Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia. We had a freeze and then it was hot again.

November 15, 2011

November's Wide View

Town Mouse has a lovely First Views meme that I missed on the first of the month but I'll catch up here.


November 5, 2011


Photo above and below taken on November 7, 2011.

Here we are looking down the steps at far left on the first pic.


November 13, 2011
The Purple Heart is limp; Alternanthera is seared.
They'll be covered with pine straw.
I had already pulled Melampodium and Madagascar periwinkle
in anticipation so I didn't have to see annuals all frozen.

I'm focusing my attention on plants that tolerate cold: here Violas and Rosemary

... and an old Camellia sasanqua that laughs at a little frost.

This is a great meme; I always have better views on the First than on the Fifteenth, or was it just my imagination because I forgot there was a Blog Party for the first?

Go see Town Mouse and join the fun.








Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

I Blog Here & Here too