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Winter arrives with the new year

I was hoping to pull together a review of the last year but winter decided to arrive with the new year, thankfully. We’ve actually had to to swat away mosquitoes while working in the garden over the past week or so. We decided to turn the porch into a temporary greenhouse (I’m going forward with one on my wish list this year). We ran out to secure some drop cloths and extra staples and set about making a safe haven for our more delicate plants.

It held up very well during the night, despite wind gusts topping 60mph. It’s supposed to be colder tonight and I need to make sure all the sheeting outside gets a little more security.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the year in review!

Worm sign

The holidays have been super busy and I have a couple new posts to share before the end of the year, but I had to share this. The bizarro weather has had us out in shorts (until late yesterday) working in the garden and pruning bonsai. We also noticed …

Worm sign! I am probably more excited about this than I should be, but they’ve moved out from the garden beds and into the yard. They’ve made great distance. I think there’s hope for our super shitty soil now. The dirt must flow.

Carry on.

What is it ‘they’ say about one door closing and another opening?

Also known as failures in gardening. I mentioned last week that we had a sick Japanese Maple and that we put it in the ‘hospital’ hoping for a recovery. For reference, here it is in June. We finally conceded to defeat. I’m a little distraught over it’s demise but I’m trying to be positive that we’ve replaced it with something I think is equally awesome… a blueberry tree!

Notice the empty gurney. 🙁 We’re keeping it in the corridor while we eagerly await a new maple.

Excuse me while I get back to weeping. Next year I hope to weep in my cereal and muffins.

Finally! Hakonechloa, Aureola

Back in April I mentioned that I placed an order for a few plants with Hyams. Well, they never arrived { I think it had to do with their supplier. }. Don’t know why so I gave up, but it never left my mind. I was going through some garden inspiration images in August and I couldn’t hold out any longer. I ordered a couple of plants from Burpee’s. Burpee’s only ships live plants twice a year and their fall shipments go out the first part of October. I tried to put the long wait out of my mind and it worked, because the tracking email from UPS totally surprised me. It felt like finding a $20 while going through clothes in the laundry bin!

Let’s hope they manage well in this area.

The garden in review

We took the sunshade down this weekend and I took a few photos. I know I’ve posted a lot in reference to what we’ve done outside, but I thought it would be good to do a retrospective of this year’s work. We’ve had some great success and some things need to go back to the drawing board. We hope to get the patio done this fall, as well as the French drains. It was just too damn hot this summer to deal with that kind of work.

But first, here’s a detail shot of some Selaginella moss. There are more detail shots behind the jump.

There are some areas of the yard that I’ve left out because they’re struggling right now. Those are what will have to go back to the drawing board in the off-season. (more…)

Bon Weekend – Small things take up large chunks of time.

What is this? An azalea in my garden? It cannot be! Well, it is and it’s one of the things that has kept me away from blogging for two weeks. Michael first started playing with bonsai when he was about 13 and has wanted to be able to take it to another level. We had the opportunity recently to invest in a lot of bonsai pots and decided it was now or never. He has a few trees that he’s been working with for a some time and he’s transplanted them to the more traditional pots. After seeing images of mature azalea bonsai, I couldn’t resist. But only in this state.

Here are a few of the many trees we’ve been working on, some new and some have been around for a bit.  (more…)

Small measures

While working in the garden yesterday…

Baby Tree Frog

Baby Tree Frog

Pardon my garden thumb, I promise I’ve started wearing gloves. This little one measures about 3/8″ compared to my nail bed (which is about a half inch), when it let me get my thumb much closer.

Such a cutie!

Munch time

This has been an incredibly busy week with Tyler in town and getting our hurricane prep done. Thankfully we’re out of Irene’s path, but now we’re set for the season. Tyler will head off in about a week and a half to spend this semester at the Disney College Program. We’re so very excited for him!

We were cleaning out the millstone pond pump and I noticed that most of the venus flytraps are happily munching on some food. I’m trying to figure out what this one is eating, I think it may be a grass hopper, but the antennae gives it an awesome profile!


I took some progress photos about a week ago and I think the killer garden is coming along nicely since the photos I took on July 1st.


Monday, Monday

Wow, what an incredibly beautiful weekend we’ve had here in the Lowcountry! We’ll start to feel things return to ‘normal’ over the next few days, but in the meantime we’re spending as much time outside as we can. We worked on clipping several plants for rooting and we’re about to separate the papyrus’ and a few others and move them to other beds. I am so excited to see the garden starting to propagate!


I can’t get over how many gorgeous varieties of coleus we’ve seen this year. We’re propagating about four different plants right now.

Shelter from the swelter


We’ve been doing our best to embrace the onslaught of summer, but we have our breaking point. It’s rendered the yard virtually unusable during the daytime, and that’s the best time for mom to try to take her mind away from the daily pain she lives in (even after the last round of surgery). She has dreamed of having a pergola one day but we need something NOW. We all agreed that a sail shade would be perfect for this space. I found some on for a really great price and we ordered one with a square shape. We only have two fixed anchor points to work with and I really didn’t want to have permanent poles installed in the ground, so we brainstormed an idea to sink the poles in tubes seated in pots. I originally wanted to go with large ceramic pots but that seemed a little cost prohibitive with buying two pots at the time, and we have plans (and need to budget) for using large ceramic pots elsewhere in the garden. So, we went with these resin pots from Lowes.

1. Cement is mixed and the pvc pipe is set into place.


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