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Monday, September 26, 2016

Has it really been 12 years?

Asters were also blooming in my garden 12 years ago
I was looking through some old blog posts earlier today, digging down deep into the past when I reached the very first post on this blog, published on September 26, 2004 and realized today is my blog's 12th anniversary.

In honor of this occasion, I'm turning my blog over, once again, to the garden fairies, to take a walk down memory lane.


Garden fairies here. We are garden fairies and we are quite busy these first few days of fall.

We have been pulling out our paints for the leaves so we can start painting them as the temperatures cool. Can't miss a year or folks would be disappointed. No, we are still not going to plant leaves of silver maple trees. We don't like those trees so those leaves can just fall off while still green.

And if that is not enough to keep us busy, we have to make sure to open all the asters and goldenrods because the pollinators need every pit of nectar and pollen they can get before winter.  And we are pushing up autumn crocuses, if we can remember where they are planted.  We hope Carol does her part for the big fall show, which is mainly weeding. And there is plenty of weeding to do.

But we are garden fairies and we have been asked nicely to post, so we are going to put down our brushes and pause in our duties to celebrate this 12 year anniversary of this blog.

Carol asked us to invite everyone who has contributed.  Let's see, there's Dr. Hortfreud, her analyst. She has been pretty quiet for a while but that's because she's been so busy with Carol spending extra time in the garden this summer.  

Hortense Hoelove sends her greetings and congratulations as well. She used to answer questions on this blog but hasn't done that in forever. She's lazy.  But not as lazy as Gloriosa Vanderhort, Carol's stylist. We hear she gave up on Carol ever wearing something that wasn't green, then Carol showed up in an orange shirt and she gave up completely. 

Remember those one act plays Carol wrote? She still has hopes of an off-Broadway production but we told her to forget about it. 

We are pleased to report the Old Woman at the Door is still around, though she has been minding her manners and doesn't bug Carol as much as she used to.

Who else should be celebrating this blog anniversary? Well, there are so many others, Carol once posted a page to keep track of them.

But what Carol really wants to do on this 12th blog anniversary is thank all the readers who have come back time and time again, some 2,535 times, to read and occasionally comment. Without them, she wouldn't have continued on, would have stopped years ago. We are garden fairies and we echo her thanks and appreciate the opportunities we've had to post as well.

Oh gosh, we are garden fairies and we feel mushiness coming on. No one wants that.  So, we will close out this anniversary post and return to our duties in the garden, with a wave back at all you readers and a big thank you that echoes from one end of the garden to the other.

Submitted by:
Violet Greenpea Maydreams, chief scribe for all the garden fairies at May Dreams Gardens

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Additions to the Garden of Southern Follies and Delights

In a couple of months, a couple little starts of Gardenia 'Sweet Tea™' are going to wake up on a snowy morning and realize they are not in the south any longer.

They are in my Garden of Southern Follies and Delights, nestled in with two camellias that have so far survived one winter, three "big box" crepe myrtles sold as perennials, and a bunch of dandelions.

The dandelions are ruining the party, so to speak, so I'll be evicting them soon and adding some more mulch.  They are why I can't show a picture of The Garden of Southern Follies and Delights. It looks awful. It looks worse than that kid in the grade school class picture who insists on making an awful face, ruining the picture for everyone else.

But really, there isn't much to see so far in The Garden of Southern Follies and Delights, as not one of the plants in this garden of southern plants which should not be grown in the midwest is more than a foot or so tall.

One of the camellias in this border, 'April Remembered' has started to branch out some and looks quite nice, if you consider a camellia a foot tall "quite nice". It hasn't bloomed much, though, which is probably why the plant looks so good.  The other camellia, 'Snow Flurry' is a fall bloomer and doesn't look so good but does have a few flower buds on it. I'm going to nip those buds off, though, so the plant hopefully puts its energy and effort toward surviving another winter.  Oh, the sacrifice.

But back to the gardenias. I'm willing to try to grow them in my zone 6a garden because they were offered free to me and many other garden communicators who attended the conference of GWA-The Association of Garden Communicators, held a few days ago in Atlanta, Georgia.

Let's hope they add delight and not folly to my Garden of Southern Follies and Delights!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2016

Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for September 2016.

Here in my USDA Hardiness Zone 6a garden in central Indiana, the garden is on the verge of something big, a grand finale when the asters and goldenrod will burst into bloom and pollinators from miles around will flock to the flowers for their last bits of nectar and pollen before the final curtain falls and...

Well, we won't mention what comes after that. We'll focus on what's blooming right now.

First up, the diminutive boltonia, Boltonia asteroides 'Snowbank' is blooming in August Dreams Garden border.

Behind it, or in front of it, depending on where you are standing, the rare goldenrod, Solidago shortii 'Solar Cascade' is just starting to bloom.
The pollinators will figure out quickly that these little flowers are open and they'll be all over them grabbing that heavy, sticky pollen which isn't causing anyone to have hay fever, I promise.

Down the way, under the copse of serviceberries, Colchicum blooms have appeared to add a little bright spot in an otherwise dull area.

Nearby, false sunflowers, Heliopsis helianthoides, are still blooming.
I swore I was going to pull them up as they came up last spring because they'll self sow themselves everywhere, but then they kept blooming, and I got busy so there they bloom, still, undaunted by the grape vines that threaten to smother them out.

Just on the other side of the grape arbor is the vegetable garden.  There are not too many vegetables left to pick but there are still plenty of zinnias blooming.
This has been the best year ever for zinnias. I don't know what will stop them, other than a good hard freeze.

What else is blooming? A few roses, some hostas, marigolds, purple hyacinth bean, liriope, hardy begonias, tall sedum, mums, and toadlilies, to name a few blooms. There are probably more flowers to name, but most are them are leftovers of past months, reminders of the summer that is nearly past.

A lot of people think the end of summer is the end of flowers. We know it isn't the end, and we can hardly wait for the big finale this fall when the asters bloom in all shades of lavender and purple.
The first blooms are just starting to peak out to see if it is time.

It is.

What's blooming in your garden on this lovely September day? We'd love to have you join in for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and show us.

It's easy to participate. Just post about what's blooming in your garden on your blog, then come back here and leave a comment to tell us what we have to look forward to seeing, and a link in Mr. Linky to make it easy for us to get there.

And always remember...

"We can have flowers nearly every month of the year." ~ Elizabeth Lawrence.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I left my garden for a week

I left my garden for a week, and when I got back, I went out at first light to see what happened while I was gone.

Rain seems to have happened.  Four inches of it, if you want to believe this rain gauge. I think it shows more rain than we actually got, or the other rain gauge I have shows less. I'm not sure which is right, so I generally average them.  I know that's probably not the right amount either.

Let's just agree it was good to get rain.

The zinnias kept blooming.  This has been the best year for zinnias, at least in my garden. There is not a spec of downy mildew on the leaves, even though this is a common problem with zinnias, nor have there been many Japanese beetles feasting on them.
I will definitely and justifiably sow seeds for zinnias again next year.

While I was gone, some seedlings came up in the veg garden.
Some years, which means most years, I don't sow seeds for fall veggies. But this year, I decided I would try some late-sown crops. I had the seeds, took the time, and hope to squeeze a bit of lettuce, a few radishes, perhaps some spinach, and if I'm really lucky, some peas out of the garden before a hard freeze.

I also discovered some new blooms showed up in my absense.

The dahlia 'Tutti Frutti' bloomed.
It looks a little rough because some bug was eating on it right before I flicked it off to take this picture.  I admit I planted this dahlia late, so I'm happy I got at least one bloom.

I also planted this miniature gladiolus late and so it decided to bloom while I was gone, too.
I'm not sure what its name is, other than "mini green".  I bought it at a garden show.  Yes, you know I bought it because it was supposed to be green.

Elsewhere in the garden, I noticed someone has been digging in the lawn. I am hoping they are digging for grubs or worms, but fear they are digging for crocus corms. I'm pretty sure they won't dig up all the corms since I've planted close to two thousand of them over the last several years. I can't imagine that any squirrel or even a herd of squirrels, could dig them all up.

While I was gone, I saw where a spider took up residence in the front garden. It built a gigantic web that goes across the front walk, ready to trap anything that tries to get near the front door.  Thankfully, my sister noticed it when she came by to check on the garden and alerted me to it before I got home.

I'm pondering if this particular spider is breaking the spider rule around here. You know the rule. Spiders outside are left alone. Spiders who come into the house, and are discovered, die.

I might need to add an amendment about spiders who block the entrance to the house.

While I ponder that, I'll leave you, dear reader, with one final picture of the goings on that went on while I was gone from my garden for just a week.
The hyacinth bean tried to overtake the mouse melon vines, while zinnias watched. Crazy, isn't it?