Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gardening Tidbits

As we conclude 2011 I thought it would be interesting to learn of the impact that this Blog may have had throughout the World.  This report covers the time period from May 2009 through December 2011.  The countries listed with the number of page views is submitted for information of all the readers here:

United States 2,585
Germany 149
United Kingdom 101
Canada 92
Russia 74
India 70
France 32
Italy 23
Australia 21
Japan 20

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Decorations
Featuring Natural Materials

 I designed this arrangement for the top of the Hutch in the Breakfast Room at The Garden Center in Macon, Georgia.  Except for the three red balls all of the items came from the Gardens of the Pine Ridge Garden Club Members.

These Christmas Decorations on the Sub-Division Entrance Sign where I live was designed by a Neighbor.  Except for the ribbons the decor features Natural Plant Materials that grow in the sub-division.

I post this entry today to point out, as I am sure many readers already know, that one can decorate for any Holiday using what is available.  This post features Christmas which is really quite easy to decorate for using green plant materials and a minimum of red accents. 

I take this opportunity to Wish Everyone a Blessed Christmas 2011!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Enjoying the Beauty
Middle Georgia
November 18, 2011

I do not recall a Fall Season when the colors of the season were so rich and beautiful.  This evening I took the opportunity to walk around my home here in Bibb County to capture the lovely colors.  I hope you also have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.

 Angel Trumpet

 Nellie Stevens Holly

 Fatsia Blooms

 Japanese Maple

 Dogwood leaves and berries

 Queen Anne's Lace

 Japanese Maple

I have never had Angel Trumpet Blooms on plants in the ground flourish like they have this Fall.  This cluster of blooms has survived several frosty nights.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Angel Trumpet Blooms

Several days ago I posted an entry entitled "Leaving A Legacy" in which I discussed sharing the Flowers that I enjoy.  One of the Flowers was the Angel Trumpet plant.  Today I had the opportunity to take several more images of this lovely flower in a better lighting situation.  Therefore I decided that I would share them with all of the readers of this Blog.  Enjoy the beauty!!!  I took these pictures just a few minutes prior to 7:00 P.M. when there was no Sun light. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Leaving A Legacy

I recently was afforded the opportunity to present a program to a Garden Club Meeting.  There were sixteen members in attendance and I took the opportunity to discuss the "Pass Along Flowers" that I enjoy in my Gardens.

 The Hostess for the meeting happened to have a Night Blooming Cereus on display in her Garden Room so I started the presentation with a discussion of how I received a cutting from a fellow gardener many years ago.  I discussed how easy this plant is to care for and how it thrives in full shade.  I also stated that I also kept my two plants in fourteen inch pots so they could be Wintered over in the garage so that they would not freeze.  In recent years we have enjoyed three cycles of bloom at intervals of about 40 days.  I also discussed the lovely fragrance that these flowers have and the fact that they open in the late evening and usually achieve their peek beauty at about 10:00 P.M.  The plant itself is rather ugly, but the beauty of the bloom is to be coveted and enjoyed for the one night that they put on their display.  As I stated above, the plants that I enjoy were from a cutting a fellow gardener passed along to me.

 The next flower I discussed was the "Angel Trumpet."  I did acquire this plant from a mail order nursery.  That stated, I have shared many cuttings through the years with many fellow gardeners here in Middle Georgia.  They are very easy to root and I take cuttings each Fall and place them a jar of water after I have treated the stem with root tone to prevent rot.  Then in early March I transplant them into fiber liners  for future planting in small pots, once the danger of frost is past and place them on the deck.  I have experienced great success with this method and I transplant the plants as they grow larger into twelve inch pots so that I can arrange them along side of the deck.  Additionally I have about a dozen plants in the garden with a East orientation so that they do not receive too much Sun.  In the peek of Summer I have often had to water them twice a day so that the leaves would not droop.  In the Fall, just before a frost I cut the plants down to the soil line and place pinestraw and/or leaves over the plant.  Then in Spring I uncover them and they flourish.  Just as with the Night Blooming Cereus, I usually get the opportunity to enjoy three cycles of bloom each Year.

I then shared my love of the "Lenten Rose," which can be in bloom as early as Christmas and present their lovely display through March.  I enjoy these low growing plants, which the deer to not harm, every Winter.  The colors range from white, lime green to the light red you see here.  Some are even purple.  These plants enjoy the same soil conditions and shade that Camellias appreciate.  You can acquire these on-line and if you want a specific color I have seen them sell for as much as $38.00 a plant.  The Lenten Rose plants that I enjoy in my Gardens are of many colors.  They easily reseed themselves and, again as with the other Plants I discussed, require a minimum of care.  They do appreciate a light feeding of liquid fertilizer a few times a Summer and the leaves remain green all year.  I recommend this plant for the long term beauty the green foliage presents and most especially the beauty of the bloom during the Winter months.  These blooms are a challenge to to photograph.  You can view the stick I used to prop up this flower so that I could get a good picture of the beauty of this bloom.  The Lenten Rose does not present a fragrance; but the beauty of the bloom in the bleak Winder months make them a valuable addition to any shaded landscape.  As I indicated above, the fact that deer avoid Lenten Roses makes them a coveted addition to any urban landscape scheme.

I concluded my talk with a brief discussion of the "Daphne Odera" shrub.  I first saw this lovely, fragrant plant at a "Southeastern Flower Show" in Atlanta many years ago.  When I returned to Macon I found a local Nursery that had them for $7.00 for a one gallon liner.  Of course I acquired eight or nine plants.   These plants have become so desirable that I often see them in Garden Centers for $30.00 a plant in a one gallon liner.  One thing about this shrub to always remember, they appreciate well drained soil and flourish with a minimum amount of maintenance.  They are slow growers and even though we have had ours for many years I have never had to prune them.  They are now about 24 inches tall and 36 inches across.   One word of caution, this plant may grow for years and years and they decide to perish.  Therefore I would recommend that you acquire one or two every few years and place them in your landscape so they are ready to take the place of the plant/s that perish.  I have never attempted to transplant any of our plants.  I have been told by a very experienced local Plant Person that they are quite easy to root.  Just like the Lenten Roses, this plant thrives in the same shaded setting as a Camellia plant; which we have in the same general area.  The Daphne Odera also presents a very pleasant fragrance.  The plants we have are in the general area of our driveway and as I bring in the morning paper on a damp humid day in Winter I always appreciate the lovely fragrance.

Please be aware that the images I have included in this Blog Post are my own as my additional hobby is photography so my Flower Growing Hobby and my Photography Hobby support each other.

I concluded my talk by emphasizing the fact that it is always nice to be able to share cuttings and plants with other people.  Leaving a Legacy for future generations and passing along the love of beauty is the life long mission of every Gardener.  In fact, as someone at the Meeting pointed out, there is no known source for the Night Blooming Cereus that anyone was/is aware of.  Therefore, it is a true Pass-A-Long plant meant to be shared by gardeners everywhere.

Take The Opportunity To
Pass-A-Long Your
Love Of Plants At
Every Opportunity.

Thank You!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Night Blooming Cereus

October 9th, 2011

Once again I have had the opportunity to enjoy these lovely, fragrant blooms.  Later this week I will capture the final blooms of the Angel Trumpets that adorn the East Garden.

I always keep the Night Blooming Cereus Plants in fourteen inch pots so that I can Winter them over inside the garage.  I have found that this works very well for this tropical plant.  As always they require very little care, just a bit of water once in a while.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Blue Star Memorial Markers"

Everyone who travels throughout the United States of America has had the opportunity to view these Memorial Markers.  They are frequently placed at Interstate Highway Rest Areas as well as on will traveled roads and other high traffic places.  The Blue Star Memorial Markers and the By-Way Markers have been placed thoughout our great Country by the National Garden Clubs in conjunction with the State and Local Garden Clubs and Federations.

 This Interstate Rest Area Blue Star Memorial Marker was dedicated on November 12, 2007.  It is placed near I-75 for Southbound traffic at the Rest Area, which also contains the Macon, Georgia Welcome Center.  Because the landscaping was in poor condition the Members of the Pine Ridge Garden Club determined that a Landscaping Project would be appropriate.

This is one of several views of the completed project.  The pole in the center supports the Flag of our Country. 

The project involved the planting of three Purple Muhly Grass Plants and three Gold Mop Cypress Plants.  Of course edging was put into place to hold the large pine bark nuggets.  In addition to that each plant was given a bed of garden soil mixed with the already present soil.

The member of the Pine Ridge Garden Club who performed this task on September 28, 2011 also posed for the previous two images.  It was a cool misty morning and the project required 2 hours and 58 minutes to complete.

These plants were selected because they will provide year around color and interest for the thousands who pass through this Rest Stop each day.  For those Garden Club members who read this "Gardening Tidbits" Blog you now also get to see the Author and Publisher of the Blog.

I enjoyed performing this task, especially in view of the fact the the Blue Star Memorial Marker Program Honors our Nations Heroes, Past, Present and Future.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Something to Consider!!!

Yes, it has been a challenging Summer here in Georgia for Gardners.  We are lacking adequate rainfall to keep our lovely plants and flowers in perfect health.  I have decided that I will water what I need to keep for the future.

Now, my next subject - From time to time we read or learn of a locally owned Garden Shop or Nursery that is going out of business.  I would suggest that as we prepare for the Fall Planting Season that we consider obtaining more of our Bedding Plants from a local Garden Center. 

Admittedly, sometimes we must pay a bit more, but generally speaking you can also obtain a bit of knowledge when you deal with a local Garden Center/Nursery.

Certainly Something to Consider

Friday, August 12, 2011

2011 Night Blooming Cereus

August 8, 2011

It was a rainy night in Middle Georgia when I observed that the four blooms on the Night Blooming Cereus would most likely provide their one night show.  The times under each image is when the image was taken.

 7:06 P.M.

 9:48 P.M.

 10:15 P.M.

 10:15 P.M.

10:16 P.M.

These plants are very easy to grow.  I have two plants, one each in fourteen inch terra cotta planters.  Because they are a tropical plant I Winter them over in the garage.  They do not require much care.  In fact, other than infrequent watering this shade loving plant does very well.  I have been told that they like being pot bound.  I enjoy the beauty of these flowers and the lovely fragrance.

In 2010 I experienced three bloom cycles.  Early July, Mid September and then in November.  I do not know when they will bloom again in 2011; but they are usually about 40 days apart with their cycles.  I do know that if I walked up on the plant between bloom displays that I would most likely cut the plant down.  They do not look very attractive.  But their one night display makes them worthwhile.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

On July 12th My Bride and I were concluding a visit to the Upper Mid-West to visit Family and Friends.  As we entered Georgia we stopped at the I-75 Welcome Center.  It was great to be back home, even though we did enjoy our Holiday.
 As a Navy Veteran I always look for the Blue Star Memorials when ever we stop.  As the Chairperson of the Markers for the Garden Clubs of Georgia, Inc. My Bride is always also interested in seeing the Memorial Markers.
Of course I also appreciate the lovely Southern Shrubs that adorn our Welcome Centers so I had to take this picture for this Blog.  Sometimes we who reside in Georgia do not appreciate what we have.  Therefore I include this picture here.  We are indeed Well Blessed!!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blue Star Memorial Marker
Memorial Day 2011
West Point, Georgia

The Wedgewood Garden Club in West Point, Georgia dedicated a Blue Star Memorial Marker at the Rest Stop on I-85 on Memorial Day 2011 - May 30, 2011.

These markers are placed in high traffic areas to remind us all that we must daily hold up our Heroes of the Past, our Heroes of the Present and our Heroes of the Future with the utmost respect.

These Women and Men certainly deserve our respect and love.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

It is my goal this Memorial Day to place an arrangement of Red, White and Blue blooms at the Church where I worship.

I would suggest that all Garden Club Member place an appropriate arrangement in the Church they attend.  If the Flowers for the Worship Center are already in the scheme, consider placing an arrangement in the Fellowship Hall for everyone to enjoy during the fellowship/coffee time.

All Garden Club Members are also encouraged to place an arrangement at a local business, library or any other place that the public enters during National Garden Week which is 1 through 7 June.

Share the Beauty that abounds in our Gardens.  Thank You!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Garden Club of Georgia

 On April 26th I was part of a Field Trip conducted by the Pine Ridge Garden Club of Macon, Georgia.  We visited the Headquarters and the Botancial Gardens.  It was a delightful day.

Of course I had to capture several images of one of my favorite flowers.  The Angel Trumpets have always impressed me with their unique display of color.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Beauty Surrounds Us All
Macon, Georgia
2011 Cherry Blossom Blooms

 These blooms were on Coleman Hill in Macon on March 25, 2011

These blooms were in Central City Park, Macon, Georgia on March 26th.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Beauty Abounds
Middle Georgia

When we purchased our Home shown above we did not realize that we had an abundance of Dogwood Trees on the property.  Each year since 1992 we have enjoyed the beauty of these lovely flowers.  They usually are at their peak for the first weekend of April; however this year they are beautiful on the 22nd day of March. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beauty in Middle Georgia
Macon's Cherry Blossoms

Macon Georgia is preparing for the 29th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival which will run from 18 March through 28 March, 2011.

The beautiful Yoshino Cherry Trees are known for their lovely blooms.  They do not bear fruit.

The first Yoshino Tree Bloomed at this address many years ago.  The name of the tree was not known until the property owner was in Washington, D.C. on a business trip.  Mr. Fickling began propagating this plant and today there are over 350,000 Yoshino Cherry Trees in Macon, Georgia.
This series of pictures was taken on Monday, March 14th.  The trees shown here are on Ingleside Avenue.  Trees in other sections of Macon have yet to burst forth in full bloom.