Monday, June 18, 2018

Newest Passion~~Abutilon

Also known as Flowering Maples, Chinese Bellflowers or Chinese Lanterns

I have been growing these for a few years now due to a gardening friend sharing seeds
but this past year it has really caught the passion for them.  I added several new ones and
looking for anyone with seeds that are willing to share.




Will add more when they bloom.

Last Iris To Bloom




Just breath taking!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Garden Tour Time

I had a request from a couple online garden friends
to see our gardens.  I tried to video but found that the
photos worked best for me.  So grab a nice drink and
enjoy!!  First, we are a working garden here, where we
test plants for folks that need their species tested before
they are named or released.

This is the east side of the property and where
my husband parks his truck in the gravel area off
the east side of the driveway.   I am reworking this
area close to the street.  Currently the rose of sharon
is cut back and regrowing.  I used to have ribbon grass
in this area and looking for something else to go around
the Rose of Sharon, Lady Di, white.

Driveway area where you will find the
growing rows of plants on each side.
The new PVC trellis was June's project
and our hopes it giving the clematis
on either side a place to grow.
This photo is taken from the front center looking towards the house.   I know it's a jungle and it's green!!
This photo is from the south east corner of the
property.  We had to post our property due to the neighbors' kids tossing the ball into the yard and walking into the yard to get the ball.  Also we have watch folks being their animals into the area and use the lawns to do their jobs.   Our yard has toxic plants so please stay out unless you have made an appt.

This is the south side of the driveway, home to Brugmansia, passifloras, clematis, and a lot of the tropical plants.  This area stays pretty warm
and easy to water.
This is the north side of the driveway, more Brugmansia, clematis and Iochroma.
This is the center island, our memorial garden.  Where we have planted many plants that some of our garden friend used to grow in their gardens.
When one passes we try to find something to honor them.
This photo is looking back towards the southeast corner, towards the street.  Note on the right hand side where our beloved White Dogwood
one stood, it was removed after calling in the no dig folks.  So glad we did as the power and cable lines were in that area.  Yes those are Brugmansia in the buckets, makes for easy moving.



Our favorite area to shoot the yard from the driveway looking into the yard.

A better shot of the area where the dogwood once stood.   Next year we should mulch the yard as it's done ever 3 to 4 years.
This is a photo of the bed closest to the house, our variegated Dogwood and in this bed we have a wide variety of plants.  Some of our crosses of Columbine, special dutch irises, perennial hibiscus, what is left of the lilies the squirrels haven't gotten, black mondo grass, and much more.
This photo is looking back at the Clematis on the driveway, which give a nice screen.   We are in hopes when the fence is completed to have some of these in the ground running across the fence.
This photo is looking back towards the front door, this year we decided not to hand the baskets on the eves hooks.   Last year up against the house it got way to hot and I had to water several times a day, the baskets dried out fast.
Up the walkway you will find the special callalilies of all colors.   In front of the wall is several varieties of iris that we have started to cut back.


Here is the southwest corner of the front yard, the wind and rain took the daisy to the ground and I will be cutting them back and making cut flowers for the house with them.
Looking east at the memorial bed.   I will be taking some of the irises out and putting in different colors later this month.

Through the south gate to the veggie garden area, you will find Blueberries, wine grapes, lilacs, south strawberry bed and this years' crop.  We got a really late start due to the cooler then normal weather and snow on the mountain.  They say not to plant until it's gone!  I totally agree this year, we would of lost a lot if we planted sooner.  We are also fighting a loosing battle with the fir spring crap coming from the trees to the west.
I have blown and vac up the area three times and this past week I decided to use more lime on this area and wait until it dried up before vac.   My Toro does a great job picking it up once it's blown out of the beds.  If you zoom in you will see by the wood frame what we deal with as it covers the whole area.  Behind the veggie bed is the over flow bed with our kiwi plants.  The bed by the fence is Hollyhocks that are eaten by the bugs coming out of the fir.   I spray weekly to keep the bugs at bay.

Looking back at the house you will find our south rainbarrels, which we use to water the blue berries and strawberry beds.
Here is the better shot of the over flow bed and out special maple.

Photos were taken on a cloudy day and this is looking north on the west side of the house to the hosta area.  This used to all be Brugmansia gardens in the past but when the neighbor dropped his fence the wind was strong to pull them out of the ground.  We get high north winds and it too will pull our corn up.  Hostas, Hellebores and Peonies are the main focus there now.
Closer to the fence is our collection of Hydrangeas, ferns, to the west side and to the north is Rose of Sharon, irises, yellow azealas.
bananna, and some ground covers.   We have
in the past few years been putting Hollyhocks along the fence to cut the glow.

Sorry these photos are dark but it's life out back with the trees that hang clear into our yard to the top of the roof of the house.  Two of the trees were removed due to they were split and the mess left in our yard was a four day clean up!    They stated the other four will be removed but we aren't holding our breath.   These are fir trees with shallow roots, planted to close together and will come down in wind storms.
We have had damage to our fence now three times!    We love our privacy fence!!
This was taken later in the day when the sun was high and the shot is clearer.  North fence with the wisteria that we are going to train to climb up the trees, thank you to the English cad, for the great idea!!
This is what our living room windows look out
to the west, so peaceful.









This photo is looking to the south of the Hosta bed.









This photo is the north side of the house, shed area, the old swing set with eagle's nest and to the greenhouses.  This is also the area where I
start a lot of the plants due to the shaded area.







The north rainbarrels, that feed the hosta garden beds.
Here is some of the over flow of the plants we have started on the right hand side.  A look at the tropical greenhouse.  We have had to put a tarp over the top duet to the sap and junk coming out of the fir trees on this side of the property.  Yes I have to vac the gravel area to the east of the greenhouse as this is where our dog goes out. 

Our beloved Brugmansia House as we call it, it's temporary, the top is removed during the summer months.  The way it's setup, it stays cool in there, made of PVC and 6m plastic.  I know the next question is what is up under the tarp to the right?
It's our son's classic, 1960s Belair.  It is covered due to the junk coming out of the trees.
A look inside at the cuttings and we have moved the Clivia collection to this area for the summer months.  They like it better out here then by the front door.   Another rainbarrel is used out there to keep the temp up in case of a power ourtage and to water.  The black plastic bad holds the cover for the top.
When the top is removed we can hang the eppie collection.  During the winter months these are hung on the PVC frame.
Here is the first baby off our Mom Clivia that was a gift from Dan Heines when we visited their nursery in 2003!  She is the first to
bloom this year.
Here is the mother plant as she is getting ready to send up the flower spike.  She is huge!!
This photo is a look into the tropical greenhouse,
we are still moving plants out, mid June...it's been that cool.  Another rainbarrel that helps keep the temps in the winter month and we water from them!  You will also see our new half rain barrel planters on both sides.  I'll try to get a better photo of them later.
The Northeast rainbarrel and this area is where we start the seeds in the winter months, it's protected in this area.
The tropical greenhouse area and the short path to the gravel. 










This is the end of the fast garden tour and we hope you have enjoyed it.  If you want a different photo of an area that you see, let us know so we can add more to give you more details.

Again we are a working garden and yes things do spout legs and move here.  We usually do a spring sale and have many folks asking for a garden tours.   We started giving tours some 6 years ago and that weekend we had over 450+ come tour the gardens in one weekend.   We now do  tours by appt. only.   We do have many folks that drive by and some that walk to the end of the lane to look at the gardens.  If time permits I will stop and give a private tour if asked.    There is so much to see and several gardeners have stated, "it's great to see certain plants growing here."  I do have to warn folks the hummingbirds can really act up so be mindful this is where they come to eat.  We are currently dealing with the rabbits that were miss placed when the farm to the south was developed.   The rabbits have found that they like what is here to eat!!   After over 20 years of no rabbits, we now deal with them. 

So if you are in the area and want to tour, let us know!  But remember we are a working garden and know what flowers will be blooming that you want to see.  We do cut back once they are done blooming and you will see spaces empty when this is done.  June 15th the spring bloomers are gone,
Mid July the clematis are cut back, this is also the time the tropicals come out.  Fall is the time we take wood cuttings and we are always collecting seeds! 

We do special requests for plants but you need to know something take time to root.  Any questions please contact.