From My Carolina Home

Quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography and more


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August in the Garden

This has been a really hot and humid August, normally the peak of the heat is gone by now, but not this year.  Of course the plants love this, but it means we haven’t gone hiking as much as we like. My tomato plant in the pot is finally showing signs of ripening fruit, plus the parsley is going wild. I really love the yellow calibrachoa flowers with the parsley, the green and yellow draw the eye to the lush corner.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I had to add a cage from an old bird feeder to the front flowerbed for the huge and heavy Cherokee Purple tomatoes to have a place to rest. The weight was pulling the branches down and breaking them over the top of the support cage.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Nearby, the wonderful pink daisy, a gift from a friend, bloomed again. Surprising as I thought it was done.  The color is just stunning.  Thank you, Bonnie H!!

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

All of the white begonias continue to bloom, both in the bed and on the veranda, growing nicely.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The torenias are winding down. I need to get out and pinch out all the dead blooms. They would likely bloom profusely again if I would.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The few blooms now still attract the most lovely of pollinators.  I think this one is a Spicebush Swallowtail, with the orange spots underneath and blue on the open wing backs.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

This beauty dined on the dianthus pollen for quite a while.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I like the red leaves on this pink begonia, but it hasn’t grown as large as I hoped. I think it is getting a bit too much sun, the ones in pots on the veranda are bigger.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I put some garden lime on the hydrangeas to make the flowers more pink. The blooms came out this icky color at first.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

But the latest one is this lovely color!

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

My phlox is preparing another show, a few blooms are showing up and I expect three large heads of flowers in a few more days.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Impatiens and begonias spill over the pots on the veranda near the front door.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The two African violets love the humidity, and have doubled in size. They also bloomed nicely, now on the downside of the blooms.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The largest pot has three plants, but I am still disappointed in the flowers here. The lobelia has refused to bloom and the begonia hasn’t bloomed in a month. The coleus at least has some interest with the variegated leaf.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

But over in the east corner, the red geranium fairly glows next to the white petunias. In the back, the yellow daisy has bloomed again too. Pink coleus is getting very tall, and pink petunias spill over the edge of their pot.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Bringing the bounty into the kitchen, parsley and an heirloom tomato are set out for a salad.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Fresh parsley leaves are scraped from the stems, chopped and added to lettuce for a nice contrast in greens.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Spinach is added, and the heirloom tomato is cut into bite size bits. Lovely colors!

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A few days later, two more tomatoes are harvested for dinner.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

We ate those, and then harvested these beauties on Thursday.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I nipped out to one of four basil plants for a few leaves.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Caprese salad is so lovely with homegrown Cherokee Purples and fresh basil from the veranda. Lightly dressed with a homemade balsamic viniagrette, it made the perfect first course for a grilled dinner.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Back in the garden, the Better Boy tomato is coming along, looks like I’ll have some slicers soon.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

One more look at that parsley, I am just so pleased with its growth.

August in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

What is growing in your garden?  Are you harvesting tomatoes and veggies?


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Late July in the Garden

It is hard to believe, but I haven’t done a post about my garden in a month.  There has been a lot going on between the Christmas In July hop and the Safelight Project, but I know some of you like to know what is growing and flowering on our mountain.  Today, I’ll show you how my garden grows. I have taken photos of this group several times over the past month, and it just keeps getting prettier. The vibrant red geranium is set off nicely next to the white petunias. That pink variegated coleus is getting really tall now too.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Lettuce and garlic are coming up well in the pot on the right. Calibrachoa in three colors planted in two pots bloom only sporadically. The daisies in the back are done.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

White begonias are overflowing several pots on the veranda.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

After having my Summer Luncheon and giving away a bunch of day lilies, one of my guests dug up the white iris in her own garden she didn’t want anymore and dropped them off  on my veranda with a gerbera daisy. Those went into the ground the same day.  I love getting new plants!

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The phlox is getting a bit taller, and the color of the flowers got a bit lighter.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Fresh parsley is wonderful for cooking, and this one is doing well with the yellow Calibrachoa.  Some of the parsley went into the shrimp risotto we had for dinner this week, adding a wonderful fresh flavor.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Multiple basil plants are giving me lots of fresh leaves for caprese salads with heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

These are Cherokee Purple tomatoes, cannot wait for them to ripen!

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The tomatoes in this pot are coming along too.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

These are cherry tomatoes in the front bed, hoping for a good harvest here too.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Early in the month, the mornings were crisp and cool, perfect for sitting outside in the early dawn hour, listening to the birds. I found it was a great time to get some pictures of the choir in their natural setting.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Apparently there was a meeting scheduled, but I didn’t get the memo to attend.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There were still plenty of birds visiting the feeder too. This young female cardinal stopped by.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Goldfinches stay here year round.  A male and female were in the tree, looking around and taking their turn at the feeder.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Now that I know what the wood thrush looks like, I have seen him quite often.  Oops, brain glitch, this is a purple finch, thanks, Jan!!

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Other mornings dawned foggy, lasting a couple of weeks, giving us humid, and (for us) hot days near 90°F (32°C).

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There are a bunch of apricot gladiolas on the mountainside out back, I think some were planted by the previous homeowner and some may be volunteers. Either way, they are difficult to get to. But DH got out the limb lopper and managed to get some blooms for me to enjoy in vases in the house.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I put them in vases with some of the pinkish hydrangeas and a few tall purple hosta blooms. They look really good with my Stacked Bricks table quilt.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

After those were done, it was time for the yellow gladiolas to bloom, pretty aren’t they!

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Our resident skink made an appearance.  Usually he runs away with any movement, but this time I caught him from the veranda while he was hiding below near the hydrangea.  He ran inside the drain pipe, then slowly peeked out to see if the coast was clear.  I think there is a good size family that lives here, and I like that they eat a lot of bugs.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The snapdragons are still going, and I put the white iris in with them.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

White petunias bloom nicely in the front flowerbed next to more snapdragons.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A woodpecker watches as I water the garden.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The hydrangeas are still blooming too.  After I took more pictures of the gorgeous blooms I deadheaded the bush.  This lavendar color is so clear and pure.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I did add some lime to the top in the hopes that I’ll get some more pure pink blooms like this one.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

This one is blue to lavendar on the same flower, such gorgeous colors!

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Looks like the African violets are going to bloom again too, unlike me they love the heat and humidity.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The northern flickers are back too.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A friend gave me this adorable birdhouse for the garden, and it looks perfect in the big pot next to the front door. I have been a bit disappointed in the lobelias, usually they give profuse vibrant blue flowers all summer long, but this year they aren’t doing as well.  The chocolate variegated coleus is getting bigger, and the begonia is blooming a bit too.

Late July in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

So, that is the garden in July.  The torenias stopped blooming for a bit, I think they got stressed when we were gone to Lexington for a few days.  They are beginning to bloom again, but will take a couple of weeks to fully come back.  I did see the hummingbird one morning while watering the flowers, she came up and hovered right in front of my face.  It was a magic moment, and I watched her in wonder.

What’s going on in your garden?

 

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Late June in the Garden

This past weekend a cool front came through, lowered the humidity and made Sunday a perfect day for gardening. I had weeds to pull, and some other tasks, so I got busy. Get ready for a picture heavy post, there is a lot to see in the garden today. Late June sees more flowering plants showing their beauty, beginning with the hostas around the large oak in the front of the house.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

Aren’t these flowers pretty? The variegated purple and white is so interesting close up.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

Hosta volunteers are appearing along the driveway too.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

In the flower bed, the gladiolas are blooming, tall spires of apricot color flowers.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

The rain last weekend beat them over a bit, so I cut them and brought them inside for a vase.  Gladiolas will continue to open up after being cut, so they make wonderful vase flowers for the kitchen.

Apricot Gladiolas at From My Carolina Home

Up on the veranda, I hit the clearance rack at the local big box garden center and came home with more small plants to fill up the remaining pots.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

I replaced the dead white poinsettia with a variegated coleus, planted more begonias and impatiens, and arranged a few more pots near the front door.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

Looking from the other side, I have groupings of pots with all kinds of colors. The torenias are now trailing down to the railing, and I am considering entering one in the State Fair gardening competition.  I still want to find some metal plant racks to add some varying heights to the groups.  On the lower right, you can see the amaryllis set where the remaining leaves can soak up the sun over the summer for another bloom next year.  I am debating repotting it.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

I found a red salvia for the white ceramic vase, now a pot.  The yellow celosias on the left have been disappointing, they haven’t gotten any bigger.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

The corner that gets a lot of sun now has a full complement of colors and sizes. The yellow daisies were deadheaded and are now blooming again. A red geranium gives a pop of bright color. The purple flowers in the lower left pot are calibrachoas, a flower I had never heard of before, but on sale so gave it a try. We’ll see how it grows. Pink petunias in the middle, and on the right is a lettuce crop coming up from the second planting of seeds.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

Small ceramic decorative pots have pink impatiens and begonias, set on the table as a centerpiece.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

Back out in the flower bed, I got the weeding done, and decided to dig up the first clump of day lilies. In that spot I put a new-to-me perennial called a penstemon. I had to keep the insert from the pot to remember what it was, LOL!! It is supposed to bloom all summer and get 15-18 inches tall.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

Then in the middle of the iris bed, I put a perennial lollipop verbena, to give some color there after the iris is done.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

This group of day lilies went into pots, and will be given to friends.  This started as one plant a few years ago and has prolifically propagated itself.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

While I was digging up weeds and day lilies, I found this little volunteer snapdragon. So I moved it to the front of the bed since its color was so pretty.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

Speaking of snap dragons, the bargain plants I got last year for a quarter are putting on another wave of blooms.  Another basil plant is doing well, good thing as I have an heirloom tomato and some mozzarella for a caprese salad.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

The dianthus pinks should be done by now, but they are blooming again too.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

Long view of the front bed after the glads were cut, day lilies dug and all the weeds were pulled, there are still some bare spots to fill in. My tomato plants are doing well, growing larger this year and flowering, but no tomatoes yet.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

The tomatoes in the large pot are growing and flowering now too.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

The hydrangeas continue to bloom in three colors on one plant. I’d like more purple and pink blooms so I added some lime to the top soil.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

I am hoping for a few really pretty pink blooms to add to my table centerpiece. I’m having a few friends over for lunch, and I’ll show you that tablescape soon.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

Petunias in the pots are going well too, the white is lovely.

Late June Garden at From My Carolina Home

Lastly, out back the rhododendrons are blooming now. The blooms are sparse due to the lack of sun the plants get being under the canopy of tall trees.

Rhodos June at From My Carolina Home

The flowers are pretty though, the bush on the left has white flowers with a blush of pink on the buds.

Rhodos June at From My Carolina Home

The bush on the right is pure white, both buds and blooms.

Rhodos June at From My Carolina Home

I did get a clematis, and got it planted. It is light pink one. I really waited too late for a good selection at the garden center.

clematis at From My Carolina Home

I have given up on getting any strawberries, and converted this pot to one with pretty yellow calibrachoa and some flat leaf parsley.

Flowers at From My Carolina Home

One last flower to share, I planted a lovely purple phlox just Wednesday.

Phlox at From My Carolina Home

There will be more to do soon, I want to move the irises from the upper planter box to the bed below, dig up the rest of the day lilies in the planter to move somewhere else, and add more perennials to the front bed.  Of course, there will be more weeds to pull soon too.  But the wonderful thing about living here is the mild climate that makes flowers easy to grow, both wild and cultivated.  I didn’t show you the honeysuckle that is taking over the side yard, or the peaches that are ripening still.  I haven’t seen the bears lately, so maybe I will get some of the peaches, but they are not ready to harvest yet.  Speaking of critters, there has been a fair amount of wildlife here lately, and I’ll show you the recent visitors on Sunday.

What’s blooming in your garden?

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Car Club Weekend Fun and Gardens

It was one of those weekends where everything went just right.  We had two car club events scheduled for Friday night and Saturday morning, but the remnants of a tropical storm threatened to scuttle our plans.  On Friday nights all summer long, our small town does free band concerts called Music on Main.  People bring their interesting cars to park on the road, paying a $5 fee to be in the show which goes to charity.  We always have a fun time, and go as often as we can. We had a discussion as to whether or not our new car would be welcome, but the Classic Car Club members in charge of the show said yes, they’d love to have us park on the street with the newer models.  Our white two-seat convertible Fiat Spider is still a bit rare in this part of the country.  The car next to us is a replica kit car.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

We parked and walked just a block off Main street to a new restaurant called Olive or Twist on the corner of Barnwell and Church. If you are local, or you come up to visit, have a meal here. The food is really good, and they specialize in small appetizer plates, and specialty martinis. I like having a meal like that, shared with friends, ordering a bunch of appetizers and grazing off all the choices. The four of us at the table had shrimp cocktail, spinach artichoke dip with chips, smoked trout, baja fish tacos, fried oysters and a tuna-tini.  This was the second time I have eaten here and the food was consistently good.  In the evening, they have a light jazz group playing live music and we enjoyed that before the main concert on the center stage began downtown.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

The band was Special Edition, playing lots of oldies from mostly the 1970s and 80s.  This is a permanent stage set up to do concerts and events in the summer and fall.  It is downtown next to the Visitors Center.  I’ve done posts on this summer music series with car shows before, and you can see more on Summer Fun and Friday Night in a Small Town.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Further down, the rest of our British contingent were mostly parked together.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Lots of other old cars were there too, I won’t show you all the pictures I took, LOL, but they will be on our BCCWNC.org website in a couple of days. I need to collect the rest of the pictures the guys took.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

The rain stayed west until after the concert was over and we were home.  Whew, dodged the first downpour, now for Saturday’s event.  We were a bit afraid that the rain would extend into the morning as it rained most of the night, but we got up to mostly clear skies.  Meeting up with a bunch more club members in a parking lot in Fletcher, we were in for a wonderful drive. We set out on Mills Gap Road heading up to Hooper’s Creek.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Through lovely green areas with trees and lots of fresh grass, fragrant from the overnight rain.  The clouds were building, but we hoped for the best.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Out in West Henderson county, we stopped for a brief photo-op of these huge cow statues. If you are local and want to see them, they are on Old Clear Creek Road.  We were told that the Paul Bunyon statue is nearby, but we didn’t look for it.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

We wound around the apple orchards, with the trees heavy with ripening fruit. We still have about 8 weeks to go to get fresh apples. With the abundant rain and sunshine, it should be a good harvest.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

More of our beautiful roads, our route took almost an hour.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Our destination was Troyer’s Amish Farm.  I posted about this wonderful place last year, showing a lot more of the farm and the country store.  Click Here to see more. Members parked on the green, and had our lunch in their new pavilion behind the cars.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

They have added to the gardens as well.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

After lunch, we caravan drove over to a members home, like we do every year, to see Mary Alice’s gardens and have dessert. Her home was on the Garden Tour from Asheville this year, and they estimate that they had about 1000 people visit their garden over the course of the event. You can see why, her gardens are just wonderful, full of flowers and veggies!  That is her greenhouse next to their home at the top of the hill.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

I’ve shown her gardens before too, click on Mary Alice’s Garden to see more of her gorgeous flowers, along with the treehouse and some of the other features of their home.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

She has a new ‘she-shed’ for potting and doing the artistic things she does. It is all reclaimed wood, and recycled windows.  Built by husband, Terry, it is a true marvel, right next to the vegetable patch.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Inside is rustic, and the creek can be heard babbling just outside the shed. I love the old glass.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Inside her home on her table, she has a chrysalis house. She has found a number of monarch chrysalis on her plants, and brought them inside to protect them until the butterflies emerge. As usual, she had the perfect thing to keep them, a little metal house with glass panels to use as an incubator.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

Thankfully, the rain held off until the club members had toured the gardens and eaten most of the three cakes offered for dessert. We sprinted for the car as the rain came on, thankful that we made it through both events before it let loose.

Fun with the Car Club at From My Carolina Home

What did you do this weekend?

 

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Early June In the Garden

The garden continues to grow and evolve, watching for the first tomatoes and hoping for a good crop of basil.  The garden is busy and blooming so get ready for a picture heavy post!  Out in the forest, the honeysuckle is going like crazy.

Late May in the Garden 3

The sweet fragrance wafts across the air, and the pollinators are all over these blooms.

Late May in the Garden 14

Mountain Laurel is blooming across the property.  Ours are all white, no pink ones.

Late May in the Garden 4

The peach trees have a good amount of fruit. These are wild clingstone peaches, not a lot of usable fruit, but a really sweet and intensely peach flavor.  If DH is lucky enough, I’ll get the peaches before the bears do and make him a Fresh Peach Coffee Cake.  The problem is I have to leave them on the trees until they ripen or they don’t get ripe.  So, the bears and I have a race each year to get to them at the perfect moment.

Late May in the Garden 17 peaches

This red and white petunia sneaked into my basket of bargain white petunias, so I put it with the white lobelia. Both are doing nicely on the veranda.

Late May in the Garden 18

The yellow torenias are growing and beginning to bloom more profusely.

Late May in the Garden 30

Whoopee, I actually have a nice lettuce plant! This will be a salad soon.

Late May in the Garden 22

The red snapdragons are starting another show.

Late May in the Garden 24

The celosias are still little, but blooming well.

Late May in the Garden 25

The day lilies are getting going, this one with dewdrops in the early morning.

Late May in the Garden 26

My favorite pale yellow one with the deep purple throat is blooming profusely.  It is too bad that these gorgeous blooms only last one day.  I like the ruffled edges of this one.

In the Garden at From My Carolina Home

More ruffled edges on the peachy color ones with yellow throats, there are two clumps of these both putting on daily shows.

In the Garden at From My Carolina Home

My largest tomato plant has a flower! Hoping for a nice fat tomato.

Late May in the Garden 27

The tomatoes planted in a large pot are getting bigger too.

Early June in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Out in the front flower bed, the white petunias are growing and filling the pots, flowering nicely.

Late May in the Garden 28

The larger pot on the corner of the veranda is filling in too. The daisy finished blooming and I deadheaded the blooms hoping it will go again. I like this pink coleus a lot, it adds nice color to the pot.

Early June in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Another planting of basil in a small pot is coming along.

Late May in the Garden 34

Inside, a friend convinced me to try growing another lettuce from the core of one used for dinner. So I did. I thought using a bulb vase would be perfect to keep it just in the water. I cut a thin slice off the bottom and put it in water.

Lettuce rooting

About a week later, it seemed to be doing really well. No roots yet, but I was hopeful as the leaves were growing.

Lettuce in bulb grower

Then, for some reason it died and turned brown. I don’t have a clue why. Another epic fail, LOL!! Also on the failure front, the poinsettia in the large pot on the veranda died too. I guess it didn’t like being replanted, or something was wrong with the light or water. But the blue lobelia and the peachy pink begonia still are growing and blooming nicely.

Lobelia May

The vibrant colors are just beautiful.

Peach begonia with lobelia

Basil and more begonias, both doing well.

White and pink begonias

The fuschia put on a spectacular show!  The two color flowers are so interesting.

Fuschia 1

Last week I made DH a couple of loaves of Apple Bread, and put the peels and cores out in a dish for the critters. It didn’t take long for the crows to find it and steal an apple core.  The others tried to take it away from him, instead of getting their own from the dish.  Later, I noticed it was all gone, so I think they came back and had a feast.

Crow with apple2

The goldfinches are wearing their summer colors, so bright and beautiful.

Goldfinch

All the torenias are blooming and they are beginning to cascade trailing shoots of leaves and flowers. They are growing larger and faster than previous years, and I think the bone meal and slow release fertilizer I added to the hanging baskets made a difference.

Early June in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Lovely cool mornings and evenings are nice to sit in the rockers and enjoy a hot cup of coffee or a nice evening libation.  The pillow is from my internet buddy Jenna’s site The Painted Apron.   She is such a wonderful artist!  I plan to get another bright pillow soon for the other chair.

Early June in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I love seeing the pollinators come by, this pretty butterfly rested on the veranda, moving its wings back and forth slowly.

Early June in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The June blooming lily has one bloom again this year. I wish it would do two like it has in the past, so I’ll give it some fertilizer and bone meal to help it along.  Not bad for a bulb that was a gift several years ago, and has bloomed every year since.

Early June in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I deadheaded the hydrangea, and it is starting to bloom with lovely shades of pink to lavendar to blue, all on the same bush and sometimes on the same flower.

In the Garden at From My Carolina Home

In the Garden at From My Carolina Home

In the Garden at From My Carolina Home

In the Garden at From My Carolina Home

So, much is blooming and more to come.  My one little squash plant has a big flower, and I hope for more.  The hostas are filled in and fully leafed out, and should have the tall spires of purple blooms soon.  More day lilies will come into bloom too.  I still plan to move some things around, and will get to that soon.

What’s going on in your garden?

 

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Garden Jubilee 2017

Memorial Day weekend is the annual Garden Jubilee in Hendersonville, the largest annual plant show and sale in the western North Carolina area.  We go most years, and this year I was on the hunt for more perennials, and I really want a clematis for the lattice in the front garden bed. Local nurseries and garden centers bring their best and the displays are a delight for the eyes.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

We came up at the middle of Main Street, looking north you can see lots of plant vendor tents along with arts and crafts vendors. The crowds were substantial as the weather was wonderful, but it wasn’t hard to move around and see all the flowers, veggies, and herbs on offer. We were there in the morning before it got too hot. The large trees are permanent plantings, along with flower beds here and there. Note the wonderful architecture on the buildings peeking over the trees.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

Looking south from the same intersection, lots more vendors, people, and gorgeous plants for sale, with a distant view of a mountain. Hendersonville sits in a valley between two ranges. There were eight blocks of Main Street blocked off for foot traffic only, vendors along the street on both sides and lots of things to see.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

Lots of people were purchasing rolling carts, and filling them up.  I liked this purple flower, but I didn’t see where it came from.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

There were several vendors with ‘yard art’, I thought about getting one of these chickens, but ultimately didn’t.  Cute though.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

Lovely selections of all kinds of flowers and colors were all along the street on both sides.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

These light purple verbenas are a nice pairing with the deep purple petunias. Every plant vendor had wonderful ideas for putting plants together in baskets and pots. Aren’t those hydrangeas gorgeous!

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

The next vendor had lovely red salvia flowers in pots.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

And one more down was showcasing pink and white.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

I came very close to buying this dalia. But the vendor was honest enough to tell me that it wouldn’t survive our winters without being dug up and stored. Not something I really want to do, I want to plant some perennials and just let them take over. But it is a beautiful flower.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

One of the craft vendors was offering barn quilts. These were so neat, some like this one were done in reclaimed wood. Others like the yellow, black and grey were made of tiles.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

I think one of these would be super over the garage door on our taller garage.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

There is a quilt trail starting in Henderson county, and I’ll try to get around to seeing some of those soon.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

The next plant vendor had a pink Mountain Laurel. I’ve lived here for years, and thought it only came in white! After I saw this one, I saw more growing wild. I just never got close enough to the wild ones to see they were Mountain Laurel.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

I was tempted by these foxgloves too, remember the ones at Brookgreen Gardens? I may try one eventually, they are biennials, reseeding every year, with new plants blooming the second year.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

I took a lot more photos of flowers, but I’ll close with this one of a huge display of hanging baskets.

Garden Jubilee ~ From My Carolina Home

So, what did I buy?  Only one plant, a Cherokee Purple Heirloom Tomato, and I hope grows well.  I picked up some coupons to visit local growers next week.  Being local has its advantages, I don’t have to walk around with a bunch of plants, I can get them a bit later.  What did you do over the weekend?

 

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An Iris Adventure for National Iris Day

Today is National Iris Day, and I have been saving my odyssey to revive my purple iris flowers for today. I’ll show the progression of the beds, and give you some hopefully interesting Iris lore along the way.  Did you know that the Iris is named for the Greek goddess of the Rainbow?  She is called the Messenger of the Gods, and used the rainbow to move between heaven and earth.  The flower was named the Iris because they come in every color of the rainbow.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

Last month I was lamenting how my iris bulbs would put out leaves but had not bloomed last year after I divided them in 2015.  I created two beds from one by dividing the tubers.  Their blooming had been getting more sparse each year.  But after dividing them, they refused to bloom at all last spring.  Only the untouched bed produced any blooms.  Time for some research, and I found several sites that predicted I had replanted them too deep.  I thought that couldn’t be the case, really, could it?  They weren’t planted that deep.  But one site had a Q&A section, and the answer to almost every question was ‘they are planted too deep’, and also said not to mulch them.  Well, I had mulched them so maybe the site was right.  They also desperately needed weeding.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

One fine day, I got out the kneeling pad and gloves, and reduced the level of soil over all the tubers.  The tubers need to only be barely covered, with a bit at the very base of the leaf shoot uncovered altogether.  OK, so I did that.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

I know flowers need phosphorus to bloom, so while I was at it, I added a top dressing of bone meal to the soil.  Lucky for me, it began to rain the next day, so they got a very good soaking over several days.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

I have to say, the effect was almost immediate.  In just days, the tubers began to put up flower shoots.  They did so many I was afraid all the flowers would be done while we were in Myrtle Beach for a week.  Did you know that in Japan, the Iris flower is believed to ward off evil spirits?  People will put the blooms in their bath to prevent illness.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

In a few more days, those beautiful purple buds were developing nicely.  In ancient Egypt, the flower with its three petals was the basis of their king’s sceptre signifying faith, wisdom and valor.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

Then, about 2 weeks later, the bud are showing, and more are coming!  In Victorian flower language, sending a bouquet of iris blooms meant you were sending your compliments, or feelings of friendship, faith, hope and valor. The original bed is putting up multiple blooms on some spikes.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

In France, the iris is the basis of their fleur-de-lis design, symbolizing royalty.  Also the second bed is coming along at the same rate.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

The purple iris is a symbol of royalty, respect, and wisdom.  The tubers put out even more buds while we were out of town.  I think the blooming season for them will last a couple of weeks at this rate.  When we got back, there were a few that had opened up, and even more buds developing.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

The root of the iris plant when dried is called orris root, and is used in herbal preparations and perfumes as a stabilizer.  Now, they are blooming their heads off, these in the upper planter are putting out multiple blooms per shoot.  Although I didn’t do anything to the tubers in this bed, I did give them a top dressing of bone meal for the phosphorus.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

Both the reworked beds have the darker color blooms.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

I am really happy that they have begun blooming again.  It is hard to believe the solution was so simple.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

The lighter purples of the upper planter keep going too.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

Those blooms just keep coming, going on more than a week now with more coming into flower every day.  Some of the flower spikes have five blooms on them!

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

Did you know that only the upper petals are actual petals called standards?  The lower purple parts are septals called falls containing the reproductive parts of the flowers.

National Iris Day at From My Carolina Home

The blooms just keep coming now, these are few days later. The second bed is full now, quite a contrast from nothing to this with just a little care.  I don’t cut these flowers, preferring to enjoy them where they bloom.

Irises at From My Carolina Home

The original iris bed is getting full too, with all the green foliage on the mountainside as a backdrop.  A few blooms are spent, but more buds are showing as well.  I think this will go on for several more days, maybe even a week more!

Irises at From My Carolina Home

Do you have iris flowers?  What is blooming in your garden?

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