Monday, July 27, 2009

Another Weekend at Busch Gardens!

Oscar the Grouch or "Trash" as my son has always called him in the Sesame Street Forest of Fun section of Busch Gardens Europe - Williamsburg.

Not even in the park yet and the beauty of the landscape is all around with waterfalls and blue and white hydrangea.

Just one of the many overflowing container plant combinations.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fertilizer Fridays / Flaunt Your Flowers

This is my first time trying to participate in Tootsie Time's Fertilizer Friday's / Flaunt Your Flowers. So let's hope I get it right! It reminds me of the Spin Cycle that a friend has tried to get me involved in.

I already know that I messed up because I went out with scissors and my camera to be able to clip nasty spent blooms to get better pictures instead of the fertilizer as required. I wound up with so many out of focus pictures that I am left with what I am posting now.

I may actually go backwards after this and add some of my prior posts to Flaunt Your Flowers Friday as some of the weeks prior to today had better blooms. Here goes...

Here are the current blooms in the 3 home made hypertufa pots Bill made last year to use as weights for the umbrella. I do change them up every year but since all of the hypertufa pots around the pool serve a dual purpose, they are also planted with quite a bit of sedum and hens and chicks so they have winter interest as well. They serve to help hold the pool cover down, especially if we have some high winds.

This is this foxglove's second bloom of the season so its pretty stumpy!
Yes, they are back again! See last year's post about them HERE. They are Rudbeckia nitida 'Herbstsonne' / Autumn Sun (a very tall black eyed susan).
A new addition to the tropical theme. I have it in a container like all the other tropicals so I can overwinter it in the garage or house for next year.
These are the black eyed susan variety that came down from Harding, PA when mother in law moved down here. They are starting to spread by self seeding but are not terribly invasive.
One of the continually blooming glads in the pool garden. The pink color is very soft offsetting all the other hot colors of the season.
Just a longer view which can show you how much cleanup I need to do!
The echinacea purple coneflower are starting to fade.
This is a Weeks Roses Livin Easy (Fellowship, cv. HARwelcome). I have been ignoring it too much but it is hanging in there but looks best from a distance ;-)
The alstromeria on the front porch are blooming right now. The pot of them on the back porch are not. They typically bloom all summer so not sure what's going on in the back.
Somewhat new additon of white impatiens to the mailbox garden that I cleaned up recently.
The agapanthus or Lily of the Nile have been blooming for a few weeks now. They have never kept their blooms so long. Perhaps it is the more moderate weather we've had so far this summer. Many more low to mid 80's than the typcial mid 90's. I hear they're on their way though.

One of the last daylilies in my daylily patch up the hill.
Female easter tiger swallowtail (black form) butterfly on the coreopsis in my daughter's annual garden. Colors: Black Blue White Orange
Perfect red cosmos in her garden.
Beautiful coral peach colored zinnia in her garden.
Pretty pink zinnia.
Long shot of part of the annual patch which also includes her prized goblin gourds which are not quite ready for a good picture yet.
Yummy maters! The tomatoes are not doing as well as they have in past years but they are very tasty and make a mean sauce! Thank you husband.
Just another black eyed susan clump.

One of the varieties of gaillardia by the pool.

Wide shot of the back deck baskets. They need water twice a day. Not sure if they'll survive if we take a week to go to the beach.
Just waiting on the plumeria and the tuberose to bloom. This of course is one of the many plumeria I have.

I would like to start a Serene Sundays garden ring as I tend to get up very early on Sunday (or Saturday) morning and go out with the camera to get the best photos. The husband is here then to watch the kids and I have my peaceful early mornings to admire my gardens. These photos today seemed to be taken under duress LOL and it is too hot out there right now for me to want to go reshoot some of the ones I would have liked to post but were too blurry. Now I'm starting to sound like that grumpy gardener I turn into sometimes again!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Busch Gardens Europe Williamsburg

We visited Busch Gardens Europe Williamsburg Sunday for the second time this year with our Virginia fun passes. We will try to make it back at least once before they expire September 7th.

As you've noticed, I do my best not to post photos of my family on this blog. Just a personal choice. Here are some of the gorgeous planters they have outside a shop in Ireland.

The landscaping and fountains throughout are incredible.
This is Michael the Archangel slaying the demon. The plaque reads:

Medieval France experienced the emergence of a national state and of religious art. Artists whether working in sculpture or art glass, symbolically portrayed the perpetual confrontation of good and evil.
This sculpture depicts Saint Michael as a victorious angel thrusting a spear through an attacking lucifer, who has disguised himself as a winged demon.

I did post some other photos of the park on a post from our Easter trip HERE and I do have an album full of the family on my facebook page for those of you who are friends, go check them out!

The American Bald Eagle. A corporate symbol of Anheuseur Busch since 1872. Eagle Ridge houses a number of birds who were injured, no longer able to fly so cannot be released into the wild.

They brought out a number of other birds as well of which my daughter was absolutely enamored by. My son... not so much.

The Big Bad Wolf. My son's favorite roller coaster.

A tortoise near the Lorikeet Glen aviary and Jack Hanna's Wild Reserve. I believe it is an African Spurred tortoise or a sulcata.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My daughter's Annual Seed Garden

This year I was committed to getting my gardens under control. This meant major mulching, weed fabric, dividing and moving plants in some of the gardens. Basically, the maintenance is getting out of hand so I need to simplify. Typically, I have 2 oval gardens on the top of my hill where I heavily plant annual flower seeds. This has mainly been zinnias and cosmos since they have been doing the best in the hot sun here. I also plant some other small patches of others like Globe Amaranth or Gomphrena & various types of marigolds. Then I plant cardinal climber in various places around the yard for my hummingbirds, sunflowers behind the white fence so they are peeking over us while we are in the pool by the end of the summer. Last year I planted some mini sunflowers in the mailbox garden, which were just too cute so I planned to do the same again this year.

Although I bought most of the seeds, we seemed to have a late start to Spring this year with some unusually cold nights well into April and then we went to the beach for a week in a May. I really never caught up but didn't worry too much as I knew I needed to get the existing gardens under control.

I also had a large box full of bulbs. Some I bought from a school fundraiser and others I had collected in my travels.

One of the bloggers I enjoy following had a post recently with a picture of a cosmos. It made me sad because I realized I might not have any cosmos of my own this year. I then took a walk around the yard and was reminded that my daughter who has 1 of the 4 raised beds in my husband's veggie garden as her own, had planted a number of seeds, including some of mine. We have cosmos, zinnias and nasturtium. It made me realize that passing the love of gardening on to the younger ones, even when they are only 4 & 6, is a wonderful thing.

I am still committed to getting every last seed and bulb into the ground this year, as I believe they'll still have time to bloom at least for a short time this year. Ever the optimist, I know but I need to learn the lesson to stop buying before I know I have the time to plant!

So, all that said, here are some of the photos I took of her garden.