Say It Isn’t Snow.

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It happened, something that has eluded me all winter.  No complaints though, as I am  not a big fan of snow.  Something about it is beautiful, and with the wonderful addition of having  a snow day, it was truly lovely.  I enjoy it as it is now; however, it is fine with me that the forecast is for rain in a few days.  The pergola top looks like a waffle. So inside I go to make blueberry pancakes.  That was after I shook the heavy snow off the blueberry bushes.

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Some time was spent digging out paths for Bowie.  I can’t tell if he likes the snow or not.

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Today was the first day I had to use a shovel all winter, and this should all melt away by the weekend. A few more looks at the snow before it goes. This was a heavy, snowman building type of snow, but I didn’t have it in me, so no snowman today.015

Inside I have signs of spring.  The forcing project this winter has proved to be successful. I only had three containers out of more than 25 that did not develop buds.  The three that did not produce buds were likely taken out of the cool storage too soon.  This was the first time I used crocus bulbs.  I filled small containers with lots of the bulbs, and they turned out to be quite the sight, and the blooms have lasted a long time and are still going strong.

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I will have daffodils any day now, and the hyacinth are doing well. I have found that the hyacinth is likely the easiest bulb to force, and the scent is wonderful.  One bloom will fill the room with the scent of spring.  Just don’t look outside!

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So it is a  great snow day and I will enjoy it, knowing that spring is on the way.

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This is a stepping stone which was a gift from a friend, and it is so true!

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Enjoy your day.

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A Few of My Favorite Things

I do love raindrops on roses

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Better yet, Raindrops on Daylilies.  This is Broadway Review.4101

I love Whiskers on Kittens too, or Whiskers on Bowie!  The daylily with Bowie is Navajo Princess, a Dan Hansen daylily.

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Silver White Winters that Melt into Spring,

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Those are just a few of my favorite things. Yet my most favorite thing  would be the daylilies. Of course it is daylilies. I have now reached 500 daylilies, which as many of you know, is just a drop in the overall bucket. I think this is part of the reason that daylilies can become such an addition. There are just so many to choose from. Any daylily can be my favorite daylily on any given day. Don’t be timid about growing daylilies that may be introduced by someone who is not in your gardening zone. So far I have had good luck with all. The bud count, and sometimes the registered height may differ somewhat, but I have found that the blooms are always pretty close to the descriptions. It always helps to visit local gardens in your own area, just to see what is growing well in your gardening zone. I grow evergreens, semi evergreens, and of course dormants. I only mulch in the evergreen or semi evergreen daylilies when they will experience their first winter here, otherwise, they are left to the elements. I also never plant a new daylily or transplant/divide a daylily past mid September.

I have lots of Hansen daylilies, and he is a Florida grower.

This is my favorite Hansen in my garden!

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Yes, that is Dan Hansen,  he did visit my garden a few summers ago.  Of course it was the coldest day we have ever had in July, but the blooms did manage to put on a show that day, just another great thing about daylilies. It was a great day,  that made my summer!  Thanks Dan!

Another favorite thing about daylilies, is when they Poly.  This is just when they show extra petals.  A typical daylily bloom is made up of six petal like segments.  To get technical, the petals are arranged in two sets of three, with the inner segments called petals, and the outer segments are sepals.  Occasionally the bloom will show a fourth petal and a fourth sepal.  This is Ruby Spider in the poly form and if you look closely , it looks like Ruby has five petals. and four sepals. 4932

Also love the early blooming daylilies, that is a favorite thing. This is Web of Intrigue, always one of the first to bloom for me.

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I also have started to include Hostas on my favorite things list.  This is a shade garden that I started working on this past summer.  I look forward to seeing it expand.  The rubber duckies added a nice touch.

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A favorite event in the summer is when a hot air balloon flies over the lake.

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So when the bee stings just think of your favorite things! It is what I do.

Stay warm and think of spring.

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The New Year is Here

So much to look forward to in 2016.
The dark nights are here for now, but there is so much more light to come.
I put a few lights in the garden to brighten the night time garden; however, my lights just pale in comparison to the beauty of a winter sunset. My lights are simply the frame for the real show.
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A few paperwhites will soon light up the room.
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Happy New Year.
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Winter Prep

Getting ready for winter was so easy this time around. The days were almost balmy with plenty of sun. Just the crazy weather pattern. No complaints for now. I easily prepared the garden for this soon to come winter. Everything that needed to be mulched, is mulched, everything that needed to be cut back, is cut back. Leaves and debris were raked and bulbs planted. All set. I ordered just a few bulbs this time around, the smallest order ever.
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The order included Allium Pinball Wizard. I had a few in the garden, but felt a need for more. Just a great giant allium. You can see how nice the bulbs were.
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This order also included Hyacinth Blue Eyes, and daffodils, Falconet, Kedron and Ringtone. I potted up the hyacinth and the daffodil Falconet for forcing. Then after all of that I ended up going to the big box store, and purchased a few crocus, and more daffodils for forcing. Next fall I will just place a larger order! There was a distinct difference in the quality of the bulbs. The big box store bought were Ok, but the ones I ordered were far superior.
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I recently checked the potted up bulbs, and all have rooted and have top growth, just a few more weeks and I will be able to start to bring them inside for winter blooms. I did stagger the potting time, so I could have continuous bloom inside all winter. Bowie is finding his way through the fall leaves.
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So as we wait for winter, I must end this post with a bright picture of daylilies!
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Happy Gardening and Happy New Year.

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Never Enough Thyme!

Ok, that is really corny, I know, but I had to start somewhere. Days are flying by, and I am enjoying each and every one!
The spring ran by, and now it is in my favorite time, summertime, and that means daylilies. Perhaps some cold winter day ( I shudder at the thought), I will go back and revisit the spring garden. The weather has been so unpredictable, yet I have been fortunate in that area, as we have had just too much rain. No horrific storms or flooding here. I pray for those that go through that. For the month of June we had 9 inches of rain here in this part of Northeast Ohio, in comparison, 4 inches would have been just right. I don’t really experience flooding living by a lake that has a spillway. I have been happily busy in the garden, moving plants, adding new plants, and just enjoying the sights and scents. The daylilies are doing well in all the rain. The summer garden is the best it has been in years. I am seeing instant rebloom and many poly forms. Almost all of my daylilies have scapes, compared to last year when I had just about 41 daylilies that took the year off and didn’t bloom for whatever reason. This is Eyes on the Prize, in poly form. The typical daylily form would be three petals and three sepals, but this has one more of each. Nice touch for sure.
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I have decided that I need to add more of the spider form of daylilies. This is Dancing Chevrons, one of the few spider forms that I have, and I have very few, only about 4 out of the 500 daylilies that I have. A spider form daylily is defined by how narrow the petals are, with most having a ratio of at least 4:1, which means the length of the longest petal must be at least 4 times its width. I didn’t have many, because I simply didn’t care so much for the look. I am slowly changing my mind.
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I do have many daylilies that are considered to be Unusual Form daylilies, as they don’t quite meet the definition of a spider. This is an UF daylily, Speedo.
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Well the season is off to a blooming good start, as the daylilies are running at least a week ahead of last year’s bloom times. I had many daylilies in bloom during June. The search for more places to plant more daylilies is on! I gained two spots by adding two more large pots to the deck.
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Now I search everyday, for places to plant yet another daylily.
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I will end with a wonderful orange daylily, Dragon Knife.
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I did start many other postings, didn’t finish them, and didn’t publish. I will make an effort now to finish!
Happy Gardening!
And Bowie, my garden helper, is doing well.
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The Necessity of Winter

While I do certainly dislike winter, I also know that it is very necessary. I see it is even snowing on my blog. Without winter, there would be no spring to follow the required winter. Winter is required for this to happen.
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The beauty of spring blooms is so anticipated, yet I know it is the dreaded winter weather that creates such beauty. Spring bulbs require weeks of chill in order to display such spring wonder, making winter a necessary component for spring bloom. So I tolerate winter. In the garden, several steps are taken to ensure a good spring. Our weather has been a regular roller coaster of temperatures. We experience an arctic vortex with sub freezing temperature, only to have balmy temperatures in the 50s a few weeks later. This can cause many perennial plants to heave, with the iris being most prone to heaving. You can see the new growth of baby fans on this iris rhizomes, and to minimize the heaving, I place heavy rocks on the iris rhizomes that are exposed. The older iris tend to do better, and I try to place rocks on just the newly planted.
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The younger azaleas also require some protection, not so much from winter weather, but from hungry rabbits. The rabbits tend to chew the young azaleas down almost to the ground. This should help. I also place shredded leaves in the wire bins.
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Roses require some protection. I mound old potting soil around them. The climbing rose receives a burlap cover around its longer canes. There is a tomato cage around the rose that serves as a frame for the burlap. I hope that some day this climbing rose will cover the pergola.
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So many perennials require the cold winter, not to mention the fruit trees that need the chill. I have two cherry trees that need winter.
I only mulch in new plants, along with this raised bed of daffodils, and hyacinths. Maybe not necessary, but I like to think that it helps. It makes me feel better.
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The daffodils, as always, are peeking out, and I let them. It doesn’t harm them and they are just fine in the spring. The poppies also show their green as a promise of what will come. So we wait.
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Besides the necessity of winter to provide what many perennials and bulbs need, I need the time to plan, read, and really do housework. All those things that I don’t do during spring and summer. So I don’t have spring cleaning, I do winter cleaning! Perhaps winter is necessary for me to engage in those activities. I try to remain positive about winter, and try to work through my to-do list. The sun is so low in the southern sky, that mid day, can be quite dreary. At least we are now beyond the winter solstice and each day will bring increased day light time. I get through winter knowing it is simply necessary.
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When October Goes

I have such mixed feelings about October. When October goes, it can only mean one thing—snow. 

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The daylilies are gone, and it is the rare daylily to bloom in October.  The Stellas don’t count, they are just about always in bloom until we get hit with a killing frost.  Which makes me wonder, why can’t we get that trait in other daylilies.  Then again, would the fabulous blooms of other daylilies be so fabulous if they were more common place?  The stellas are yellow and start the season, and finish the season with that same yellow.  Many daylilies are labeled as rebloomers, but the truth is, here in northeast Ohio, they do not rebloom.  I typically have a few that rebloom, but it is a real toss up as to which ones will rebloom.  Every year, a different daylily decides to rebloom, and it is most often not the ones that come with the claim to rebloom.  You will get more reliable reblooming further south, and I do mean much further south.  This year Clothed in Glory rebloomed for me, and it has never done that before, and it is not listed as a rebloomer. I am thankful that it rebloomed, and it isn’t yellow.
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I did have one lone daylily blooming away in October. It just kept sending up flower scapes all season long with it’s FFO on July 17th. ( FFO  = First Flower Out)  Baby Moon Café. Isn’t it cute? I have Baby Moon Café  in the field across the street, which is my overflow bed!
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However, and most fortunately, October is the beginning for some gardening activity.  The planting of spring bulbs.  The one fall activity that I do so look forward to.   Last fall I did not do a major planting, only potted up a few for forcing.  This year I placed a large order.  I planned out this order last spring, as the gardens were filled with daffodils, and other spring bloomers.   I carefully marked areas that needed a bloom with golf tees.
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The bulbs arrived from my favorite seller Van Engelen , their website is on my sidebar, and I highly recommend them. The UPS driver was very concerned with all the ‘work’ he was delivering!  I see planting bulbs as therapy, not work at all.
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The bulbs were large and healthy. Here is a double nosed daffodil bulb. There is Bowie in the background, overseeing the bulb planting.
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I ordered a bicolor, Classic Garden, a double pink, Candy Princess, a trumpet pink, Chromacolor, and a nice yellow/ white small trumpet, Pipit.   This order also included a mixture of Muscari , a few Asiatic and Oriental Lillies, and a few bulbs of Crown Imperial.   The Crown Imperials are impressive spring blooms, but they do stink.  If planting these, and I do recommend them , plant away from any sitting areas!  The plus side of the stink is that they will deter those pesky squirrels and chipmunks.  I have several planted among the tulips and I know it is why these tulips have not been disturbed over the years.
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The other word of caution for the Crown Imperial, which is in the fritillaria family, is that the bulb is different from most spring bulbs, in that it has a hollowed out center as you can see from the picture.
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Because of this unique characteristic of the bulb, it needs to be planted sideways in the ground. This way water will not settle in the center and rot the bulb.   All other spring bulbs are planted with the root plate on the bottom and the pointed end up.

Well, October is quickly passing and the bulbs are planted, and there is snow in the forecast for the last day of October. I am closing up the garden, putting most of the hardscape away.  This is probably not totally necessary, but I know the items will last longer, and I have the room to store them.
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I haven’t been on my blog much at all this past year, the time spins by so quickly, with computer issues, and life becoming busy, I just never got around to sitting down at the computer.  I have much more gardening to share, as the summer was very busy with special garden visitors.  I do have one last bloom to share, and this is my most precious bloom of all!   A new (and first) grandson!  What a joy and a true blessing.
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Happy Fall Gardening

Posted in Daylilies, garden hardscape, Gardening, Perennials, Spring Bulbs | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments