Friday, August 23, 2013

I'm Still Here Among the Flowers

I ran across this post in my drafts and decided to send it on without any picture.Something I rarely do.I have no clue as to the date it was written, but it doesn't really matter. I need to post enough to fill at least one book on my flowers, and then it is my plan to retire this particular blog. I have neglected it for way too long.

It might seem that I have completely abandoned this blog, and no excuse is really satisfactory, but I have been working with the yard and the flowers for awhile this Spring. 

Today is a rainy day, and I find myself indoors more than usual. Naturally, I end up on my computer. I love writing about my interests, but I enjoy more, the actual working with them, and working with my flowers is right up there at the top of "My Most Favorite Interests" list.

Early in the Spring when everything begins to bloom, I get excited and that, of all times, is not a good time to move things around, but it seems I do most of my flower moving then. When and if it happens to rain and stay cool for a spell, then all goes well and my plants survive and do wonderful. If no rain comes and it turns off hot, they may die. That's a chance I have always been willing to take. I have so many flowers, loosing a few doesn't upset me that much. Now if I only have one of any particular flowers, I will use more caution when thinking of moving it around. Like in the Fall, when it is dormant. Flowers are a favorite of mine, but really I love working with plants of all kinds. I'm not sure if working with plants or working with the dirt is my greater love. I love trying to improve the soil. Our property has lots of red clay and that is not the best soil for growing anything. Kentucky is well known for the clay it supplies to the pottery companies, but for gardening, it's not the most ideal soil. We have lived on this piece of land for 35 years. It is a constant battle trying to keep the soil in good shape. Whenever you think you have it like you want it, along comes a gully washing rain, and washes a lot of it down the sinkholes, headed to Mammoth Cave country. I know they must have a Garden of Eden, of sorts, down there, from my efforts alone.

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Clematis paniculata (C. terniflora)  Common Name: Sweet Autumn Clematis

I have had this vine for many years, but never really knew it was a Clematis until recently. It produces a lot of vines in the early Spring and Summer. So much so, I must keep it trimmed, so as not to over run all of the other flowers in the surrounding area. This Fall, I plan to set out a few starts in other places. My son-in-law thinks it might be a good flower for the bees to use in gathering nectar. I have seen a field just down the road from our home in which this same flower has run rampant and it is beautiful. We now have plenty of open fields for it to roam, if necessary. Maybe the bees will take advantage of it and give us a good harvest of honey next Fall. Wouldn't that be wonderful.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Moon Vine

My last post on this blog was on the Moon Flower. 
I learned of this flower many years ago, and have raised it extensively,every since.It drops seeds readily, and comes up everywhere, if not kept in check. In most cases, I let them grow. They have such beautiful and fragrant blooms,which open around 8 or 9 o'clock in the late afternoon. That in itself, is a novelty, and a fascinating sight to behold.It amazes all who happen to see it open,right before their eyes.

 This post today is about the Moon Vine.Several years ago, I stumbled across a  young lady with a set-up at the local flea market,who sells all sorts of interesting flowers and herbs and various other plants. She had a plant called the Moon Vine that caught my eye.I had already learned of the Moon Flower and this flower peaked my curiosity. I paid $5 for the plant, which is rare for me to do, but like I said. I was curious.I took the plant home, set it out in one of my flower beds and waited impatiently for it to bloom. Soon the flower,   slipped my mind, and we went to Louisiana for our Fall Break from school. To my dismay,when we returned home, the flower had bloomed while we were gone. I never got to see the blooms.Here it is many years later, and I have found the seeds at a local Amish Greenhouse, so I gave them another try.Unfortunately, I planted them in tubs, and with the drought, it was rough keeping them alive. They did survive and finally bloom,after me keeping a watchful eye on them for months.I was about to give up on them as another loss, when I noticed them, beginning to bloom. Not near as abundantly as I had hoped, but they are blooming.

They are nowhere near as spectacular as their cousin, the Moon Flower, but a novelty, just the same.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Moon Flower July 2012

I am more and more convinced that the Moon Flower that I have come to love this last few years, is,indeed, closer to being a WEED than not. It looks like the Gymsum weed and it's seed pods are identical so it has to be close kin.The horrible drought we are having this year,has had no effect on it.It is thriving as is the Bermuda grass. I guess if we lived in the desert, those two would definitely be the plants to grow.

While researching the Moon Flower, I found there are a few different ones. I'm not real sure which one I have, but it does open at night. It begins to open each evening around 7 pm, but is not fully open until much later. I took pictures at regular intervals, and at 9 pm, it still was not as fully open as it was this morning at daybreak. Which ever type I do have, I love it. I am willing to share seeds if anyone is interested. They are plentiful. I try to keep some of the seed pods cut off,helping it to bloom longer, but there are always lots of seed pods that have been overlooked come the end of the season. With all of the plants that come up each year on their own,it would be impossible to clip all of the seed pods.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hens and Chicks

     It seems I write about hens and chicks a lot on my original blog, but these are the plant type.Their botanical name is Sempervivum tectorum.Most years I have great luck with them. They don't require much attention, but this year, with this horrible drought we're having, they have not done so well. I hope this El Nino, if that's what it is, is over soon.I had all of the heat I can take.Pop was upset today because I mowed the few weeds that continue to grow throughout the drought, and stopped up the breather or something of the sort, on our zero turn mower. I haven't mowed for several weeks, which is unheard of for me,but we got a small shower here lately, and I thought I'd just hit the high spots.I got carried away and mowed the entire yard in an hour and a half. I was moving on, and the dust was a flying,but I got it done.I had to come inside and change from the skin out. I was covered with dust and dried grass,but the yard looks 100 % better. Well, maybe not 100 %,but 75% anyway. It won't look 100% better until next year, at least. I fear this dought  has done it in for the rest of this year. Oh,well. Once again, as my Cajun Mother would say say...."C'est La Vie."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pinks or Dianthus

Years ago, a friend of mine offered me a start off of her pinks, and of course, with me being the flower lover that I am, I said I'd take it.When I stopped by her home that evening to get the flower starts,I was shocked to see that she had a bushel basket full of the flowers for me. When I got home with the flowers, I dumped the basket out, with the intention of planting them,and you will not believe the flowers that were in that basket. They were rolled up like a roll of carpet,and packed tightly in the basket.If I had planted them in a row, in tact, the way they were, I would have had a 25 foot row.I  never dreamed of getting that many flower starts.It took me awhile, but I divided the flowers,gave several away to other friends, and planted the rest around the yard in different locations.That has been nearly 20 years or so ago, so with all the digging,transplanting,and rearranging I have done in my flower beds ,not to mention transplanting over the top of things,they have decreased in number quite a bit, but a few have survived.They are a hardy plant, but they prefer to be left alone to their own devices,and then they will fill out and make a wonderful ground cover,but that has not happened in my yard.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Morning Glory

I,like Nancy, of A Rural Journal,planted these from a seed packet. I have morning glories galore, coming up from the soil everywhere, but they are the common weed type morning glory, that we spend so much time in the garden,chopping down. I suppose they would do as well if I put them in a good rich spot and poured the fertilizer to them, but the ones you buy in a packet are so big and beautiful, I simply could not resist purchasing a pack.I struggle ever since, to pull the enormous vines down before they go to seed. Just this year, I wrote a post on my main blog about thinking they surely must be a cousin to Kudzu.The blooms are large and brightly colored which is great. They make a beautiful display each year, but get rid of the vines as quickly as possible, before they go to seed. Either that, or be ready to pull,pull,pull, young seedlings in the spring. If not, they will engulf you entire home with vines.(a slight exaggeration,but close)You may be like me, and need to learn the hard way.

They would make a great privacy fence, if they have something to climb on.Now that's a thought.I may take the pile of vines,which I had planned to burn, to my property line and hope for the best.I'll bet the neighbor  will be spraying his fence row with Round Up,next season,unless the cows eat morning glories.I'll check to see if they are harmful to animals first. I know some plants are.