Monday, April 27, 2009

105 Degrees in APRIL???

The last few days I've been out working in the new shrub/flower border in the back yard. We started this 4 years ago when we moved here, but decided last year that it needed to be much deeper. So, last summer we installed a rock border and started trying to kill the extremely invasive and much hated bermuda grass.

I can only work in this area for the few hours a day that it is shaded, so the work goes very slowly. At this rate, my perennials will be in the ground by Christmas.

When the sun drove me to the shaded patio this afternoon, I decided to take a thermometer to the border and see just how hot is was in the direct sun. I couldn't believe it! No wonder I was feeling faint digging those holes! 105.4 degrees after the thermometer had been there only a few minutes. Ignore the 9% humidity that shows in this photo...the temperature part works, but the humidity gauge has never worked.

The thermometer on the ground should be positioned just about the same way the sun was hitting my back while I was working out there. I see a nice cold drink in my very near future!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Native Azaleas

The shrubs I thought might be Native Azalea ARE! I'm finding more and more of these lovely shrubs in the woods. The ones deep in shade don't bloom very well, but those at the edge of the woods bloom nicely. These aren't the nice tame little azalea bushes you buy at the garden center. These will grow into sprawling tree size shrubs. They don't bloom for long, but they are so lovely for a few weeks.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Garden Ornaments from Recycled Solar Lights

The 3 year old solar lights were dead.

New rechargable batteries cost more than new lights.

Instead of sending them to the landfill, I made garden ornaments from the old lights.

We're calling them "Fairy Bells".

This is the original light.

I removed and discarded the top, which had the workings for the light.

Then, I removed the base that fits into the post, and turned it around.

Then I turned the glass globe upside down, and reattached the post. The post fits over the stake.

And now we have "Fairy Bells" in the garden.
The only part I had to discard was the round flat top part that held the batteries and solar panel.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Walk in the Garden

Okay, so the title is a bit pretentious. Actually, I stumbled around the yard with my camera.

It's time for our annual April freeze. Summer bulbs, shrubs and perennials are raising their hopeful little heads, only to be smacked down again by Old Man Winter...Mother Nature's cantankerous worser half. Every year I go out and cover everything in the hope that I can keep it from freezing...every year I fail. Most things recover...some don't. Winter ain't over til it's over....which ain't guaranteed until May 1 here in Metro Atlanta.

I wanted to check on some shrubs that I hoped were native azalea. A few weeks ago I cleaned a bunch of Mother Nature's uglies off of a bank that leads down into the woods behind the house...blackberries, honeysuckle, zillions of ugly little birch trees. Honeysuckle had engulfed several shrubs that looked suspiciously like Native Azalea. After weeks of rain, I notice now that they have big fat buds, that certainly look like native azalea.

This photo is of a bud on a plant that I know to be a Native Azalea. It sure looks like a more developed version of the photo above.

There are a couple of plants that I've not yet identified. Be ye friend, or be ye foe? If you know what they are, please speak up. Otherwise, I'll be pouring over books trying to ID them. Notice the bloom spike at the top.

Growing at the base of this plant is another unknown. It sort of looks like Virginia Creeper, though I've never seen that growing on our property.

The ferns new fronds are beginning to emerge.

The oakleaf hydrangea thinks it's already summer, foolish thing! If you look closely, you can see the little flower buds emerging.

The hopeful hosta are already almost a foot tall. I want to tell them 'go back, go back'. Every year they come up early and are turned into hosta-cicles by an April freeze.

And we end our garden tour with my favorite non-plant
item in the garden...the bottle tree. I've almost consumed enough blue-bottled wine to fill it with blue bottles.
Y'all come back now, ya hear?
Maybe I'll offer you some of that blue-bottled wine.