Gotta Garden

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Garden Trips: Bartholdi Garden and Smithsonian Gardens

After much effort (drum roll), I have finally put together in an online album pictures from last August's visit to Barholdi Garden and the Smithsonian Gardens. This was a MWH Gardeners group trip and it was terrific (scroll down on the previous link)! There was so much to see and learn. I just love garden visits!

Here's a picture to tempt you:

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My other albums are still a work in progress...most still unorganized photos on my hard drive...but many wonderful things to come, e.g., 06 Chelsea Flower Show, Sissinghurst and even my own flowers ( comparison to the former!.

To see this album, however, click here

Monday, January 29, 2007

More Gardenias in Snow

I'm doing this in a bit of a hurry...and it does feel rather strange to be looking at snow when it's all sunny outside, albeit cold...these are from last week when we had snow on the 25th (a light snow...but it came down in a hurry...was mostly gone by evening). The top one shows Chuck Hayes in the right corner and the bottom one has the Kleims...which is right in front of the mushrooms with a hellebore behind it...a bit hard to see. Anyway, I think...hope...these are clickable...although, they are not the best of shots. You can tell the gardenias are in a protected area by my front door...especially the Kleims...this faces east and without that protection, not an area I would normally site them in...but, hey, I also wanted to smell them when I came in and out...and what better place than the front door?!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Green Thumb Sunday...something new for me

Green Thumb Sunday

Join Green Thumb Sunday

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Chuck Hayes Gardenia with a dusting of snow.....

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

Monday, January 22, 2007


An email recently got me to thinking (rethinking) about my stance on camellias. I had decided that I should concentrate on the sasanquas because they tended to bloom in fall and hence, would not be as susceptible to our erratic spring freezes. Much as I love camellias, I am not fond of brown blooms (from frost). However, I glibly replied to the email that even my fall bloomers were getting hit by late fall, what was I thinking??! The reply surprised me. Didn't my camellias bloom anyway, with the blooms inside (the browned edges) still opening? Well, no, not exactly...but then, I got to thinking...maybe they had. I just hadn't paid attention.

So, I'm out...actually looking, mind you, the other day, and I spotted these buds: (okay, look UP...who knows where the second picture is going to land....)

As some of you may know, yesterday and last night winter finally arrived here and we had a pretty good snow along with some pretty good ice. I waited until late this afternoon and ventured out to have a look at those buds. Now, this next picture is not very good...but please understand I'm leaning out with gravity trying to pull me down this slope as I cling to a snowball viburnum that I have chopped up (it's going to come out...really), I only have a few branches to hold on to...trying to see those camellia buds. I am too impatient to wait a few days when I might be able to actually walk down and see them...they might be gone! Drum it is, from about fifteen minutes ago:

Well, sheesh...that's not very dramatic when the picture plops right on top of the the very top! To give you much needed perspective, the white on the left is the side of my house...maybe you're not dizzy now! Those two pink blobs are opened camellias! So, to my email friend (I'm emailing you now!)....YOU WERE RIGHT! (And, thanks for pointing it out to me!)

P.S. Yeah, I know, they're facing the house....but, at least they're blooming!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

And now....the snow(drops)

I couldn't resist showing you these. The bottom picture was taken on the 14th...the top, about an hour ago....I guess they're earning their name now!


Three fantastic shrubs for fragrance! All are blooming now...or were, we're having snow, the Tea Olive is probably not happy. Anyway, from the top is the Tea Olive, next, is Daphne Odora, and the bottom is Pink Dawn Viburnum in full bloom. If I had to pick a favorite....very hard!


I'm not one of those folks who don't appreciate pansies! I adore them! They ask very little and bloom continually....until the heat sets in.

First Crocus 1/14/07

Cream Beauty is always my first crocus to appear, but this is truly early! The "arrangement" (half in/half out of the ground) is provided courtesy of Mr. Squirrel.

Before the Snow...

Clematis Armandii...evergreen clematis. I first became aware of this clematis while attending a gardening symposium in South Carolina a few years ago at the Riverbanks Botanical Garden and Zoo. Dr. Alan Armitage was one of the speakers and he had picked a bit and brought it in with him. As soon as he talked about the fragrance, I remembered walking by and wondering what/where it was. After his lecture (which was wonderful, of course), I raced back to that area and now saw it.

Then, I began my quest for one. Hence, the one you see at the left. Let me just say it has endured a lot! First, I decided to leave it in its pot, sort of intentionally/unintentionally. As winter approached that year, I was torn between trying to put it out and bringing it in. Since it might be a bit tender here, I opted to put it in my basement. Mistake! It broke domancy and was growing all around! Then, I left it on my deck, deciding to think about where I would place it....time went by, and I finally got it into the spot you see now. That's Clethra, by the way, showing the spent blooms. Anyway, this past spring arrives and I am thrilled to see it coming along. I make my way to it, thinking I will tie it up or some such, when I hear this....terrible....crack...and I discover (horrors!) I have broken it to the ground.

At some point during the summer, I look down from my deck steps (like the picture above) and see that it has come back! Yes! Now, I'm full of hope again.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Some of the hellebores blooming today...even the backs are pretty, don't you think? Still waiting on some, e.g., the double, the picotee edged one, the yellow and all of the backyard ones. Buds on some more of the darks, too. Hellebores are such long lasting flowers outside. I've seen slides of Hellebores with snow and ice on them. It's nice to have flowers that will take whatever winter dishes out. I remember the owners of Pine Knot Farms ( saying they could imagine hellebores replacing pansies as bedding plants. Something to think about. You wouldn't have to toss them and they'd just get bigger and better every year...

Today's Finds

Hardy Cyclamen on top. If you look carefully, there are three different ones growing in there. Witch Hazel in the middle. Would be great if it would self clean, wouldn't it? Oh well, considering I bought it as yellow (absolutely!) and fragrant (yes, indeed!)...and it is neither, I go back and forth about whether it can stay. For now, it stays. On the bottom, ever faithful Viburnum Pink Dawn...much earlier in bloom this year than last, but about the same as the year before (gotta love those journals!). Pink Dawn is fragrant, by the way.

Garden Journaling

With a day last week in the 70s, never was the importance and benefit of my garden journaling brought home. All the hoopla everywhere reminds me how short our memories are. Thank goodness for the journal! There, in my pencil scrawl was an entry in early January of 2005 noting a temperature of 71.

I started semi-seriously garden journaling in 2003 and each year when I look back, I am so glad that I made the effort. Limited though those efforts are….(I have no entries for May, for instance…and very little through June and July…I’m in the garden during those times and writing falls to the wayside), they are a wealth of information. What a reminder to try harder each year.

It seems I start out well in January of each year and do a fair job through March…but as the garden picks up, my writing slows down. This year, I vow (like every year) I will do better.

This time of year, January, I enjoy a different kind of gardening. Gardening of the mind, I suppose. It’s a time to plan and reflect. I don’t know about you, but I need the rest, both mentally and physically. DH will often talk of moving south and will say something along the lines of “Just think, you’ll be able to garden all year!” It has dawned on me that I don’t want to garden (in that way) all year. I like seeing snow covering everything and realizing that the garden will manage without me. It’s another kind of pleasure to pull out the journal and favorite garden books (even some new ones). During the busy season of actual gardening, I seldom find time to indulge in feeding my gardening mind. I try, but I’m usually pleasantly weary from working outside or have a thousand ideas/thoughts/chores that take precedence. The physical garden calls me, even demands my attention.

For now, though, I can pleasantly dwell on the non physical aspects like putting together the online albums I desire ( kidding…of pictures of Chelsea 06!), trying to make a dent in the stacks of garden books I collect, sorting seeds and even making a stab at organizing the piles of handouts, etc. that I bring home from lectures.

Speaking of snow, it looks like we might get some tonight! I’m ready….and I hope you’re ready to join me in making a better effort at that garden journaling.

REALLY Red Faced

Recently, I switched over to the beta format here and one of the immediate benefits was that…viola…a list of comments appeared! I never knew! It was like Christmas! I must thank each of you who took the time to comment; I so appreciate it! And, those of you who endeavored to help me with my photo linking request…thank you, thank you, thank you!

So, what would a new year be without resolutions and mine is to READ comments…now that I know they are there…lol! Thanks again, you really made my day!

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