From My Carolina Home

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


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Saving Tomato Seeds

It’s time to save seeds from all those wonderful tomatoes coming out of the garden.  I remember my grandmother’s little seed packets that she made herself using paper envelopes and the seeds from her garden.  I remember using them to plant, but I don’t remember her drying the seeds in the fall, so I wasn’t sure how she did it.  I’ve been working on the tomato pie recipe and almost have it right, but not quite yet. In the process of making those pies, I decided to save some tomato seeds, and I need to show this before we get to the pies in case you want to save yours too.  These tomatoes came from my garden, all except the large yellow one.

Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

Tomato seeds are embedded in tomato jelly, and I found an easy way to get them clean by doing an internet search.  I really do not know if my gran did it this way or not, but it worked very well, so here is how I did it.  First, I gathered my tomatoes, and labeled three vintage mason jars with the three different varieties.   Start by cutting the tomatoes in half along the middle horizontally.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Scoop the seeds and jelly into the jar, getting as much out as you can.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Now, add some water to the jar, not a lot, about the same amount as the seeds and jelly. Roughly double the volume.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Here is the Cherokee Purple seeded with its jar of seeds and water.  There was a bit more I went back to get.  The idea is to remove a lot of the moisture from the tomatoes as it makes the pies soggy.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Then I did several red heirlooms.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

I like yellow tomatoes too, this one came from the store. By saving its seeds, I might have some in my garden next year.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Now, let them sit on the counter and ferment for several days. I left mine for a week, shaking the jars several times over the week. A week later, there is a definite separation between the pulp and the water.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Now, dump the seeds into a fine mesh strainer and rinse under running water.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

The jelly will rinse off easily.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Then spread the seeds out on a paper towel and allow them to dry. I wrote the variety on the towel and prepared a little plastic bag to hold them with a bit of paper labeled with the name. Each variety got its own paper towel for drying.  Those seeds look identical, so you have to take care in labeling and keeping them straight with more than one variety.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

I let the seeds dry for a least a day, and put them in the little bags. I stored them with my other seeds in the basement, cool and dry. I hope that they grow next year, will see!!  The second harvest gave me more red heirlooms and a medium size Cherokee purple.

Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

I made the first pie, and didn’t like the results, too soupy and the crust wasn’t done right.

Tomatoes at From My Carolina Home

Second try, I prebaked the shell which helped a lot.  But it still wasn’t right.

Tomato Pie at From My Carolina Home

It looks good, and it tasted good, not soupy, but the ratio of topping to tomatoes was off.

Tomato Pie at From My Carolina Home

So, yet another to be made.  More Cherokee Purples from the garden, along with some basic red slicers locally grown from the store.

Tomato Pie at From My Carolina Home

And I’ll save more seeds just to be increase the odds that I get viable ones.

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

Have you ever saved seeds?

Saving Tomato Seeds at From My Carolina Home

 

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September in the Garden

The garden is winding down, and the hurricane has helped to move things along.  A few critters did their share too. DH modified the bird feeder so that less seed would spill into the tray, which made it a bit more difficult for the larger birds like the cardinals to eat. So, feeling sorry for them, he purchased a second feeder, and mounted it below the first one.  The little birds like the goldfinches began using the new one pretty quickly. The cardinals continued to go to the big one.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Then later, success, they figured it out.  He later added a larger perch to this one to make it easier for them to land.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The red heirlooms ripened beautifully.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Another Cherokee Purple is getting close to ripe.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Caprese salad was even more delicious with Cherokee Purple tomatoes and fresh basil from my own garden.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There are still more tomatoes yet to come.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Some of the larger tomatoes were harvested before the hurricane so they wouldn’t be lost. These are now sitting on my kitchen windowsill to ripen. Well, OK, I ate the red one.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A few of the potted plants are giving me a fall show, like this red one.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A few more calibrachoa, these were blooming right up to this week, before the rain and wind came.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A flock of female turkeys visited last weekend. I stepped outside carefully and began talking to them, and tossing bits of bread to them. They weren’t real interested in the bread, but they didn’t run away when they saw me. So, progress with my turkey pets, LOL!!

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A couple of them did finally eat the offered bread. Then, of course, the others wanted the same bite, LOL!

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There was this skink sunning himself some days ago, I haven’t seen them since it began raining.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

More tomatoes harvested all at once became my first attempt at tomato pie.  I wasn’t happy with the result, the crust came out soggy and there wasn’t enough creaminess in the filling.  So, I’ll keep trying until I get it the way I want it.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

OK, I ate one of these too before it made it into the pie. It was too tempting on a bed of fresh spinach.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I found this sweet cutie pie in the garden a couple of weeks ago.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Then the next day my petunias were nibbled down to the nubs. Oh well, at least he didn’t eat my tomato or basil plants. I just want to pick him up and cuddle him, but I don’t think he would like it.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Just this past weekend, I finally was able to have the camera in hand when the hummingbird came by for a visit to the still blooming torenias.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The torenias are almost done, some parts are starting to die off, but the tops are still blooming. This hummingbird stayed quite a while, visiting all four hanging baskets for all the nectar available.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Irma’s winds reached a peak on Monday night, really howling through the coves and woke me up. Luckily, there wasn’t any real damage to the flowers on the veranda.  The begonias must love the cooler temperatures, as all of them are blooming more than ever.

September Flowers at From My Carolina Home

Even the pink ones, although this isn’t really a fall color.  Still, the blooms are welcome.

September Flowers at From My Carolina Home

The yellow torenias are also putting on a show for the cooler weather, and seem to be just a vigorous as before, unlike their purple cousins in the hanging baskets.

September Flowers at From My Carolina Home

My parsley and yellow calabrachoa were beat down by the wind and rain, but I expect them to recover shortly.

September Flowers at From My Carolina Home

I put the Thanksgiving cactus out on the veranda over the summer so it could get more sunlight.  It seems to be perking up well now, maybe it likes cooler weather too.  I’ll bring it inside in about a month, and it should bloom in November.

September Flowers at From My Carolina Home

One more flower to show you. DH went to the store for me, and came home with a beautiful bouquet of white roses, one of my favorite cut flowers. Gorgeous aren’t they? Their fragrance is so sweet.  He’s a keeper.

White Roses at From My Carolina Home

Volunteer day at the book sale was last week, and I did pretty well.  Note that large binder on the bottom left, that is a Master Gardener manual! Specific advice for North Carolina, also in another North Carolina Gardening Month by Month book (on top of the Cooks Country Best Lost Suppers book), will hopefully help my efforts to plant more native plants and more perennials for my area.  Cookbooks, novels, audio books, and a DVD of Gosford Park completed that day’s haul.

September Thrifting and Shopping at From My Carolina Home

Last Friday, I worked the book sale, and of course came home with an additional score, books on hiking in our area, plus another gardening book for the Carolinas. We do plan to do more hiking in the fall and next spring.  I’ll be going through my cookbooks and other books to cull some out for the garage sale this weekend at my friends home.  If you are local, look for us on Dawnwood in the Haywood Knolls Neighborhood garage sale on Saturday only.  I’m taking dishes, quilting and cooking books, fabrics, notions, stamping sets and lots more.

Hiking Books and Gardening Books

Hope you are doing OK after the hurricanes, both Harvey and Irma. We were lucky that the path turned west, and the storm weakened. The fair closed on Monday for the first time in many years as the winds were too high for safety. But it is open again, and the cooking competitions will go on this week as planned. More on that later.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Hows your week going?

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A Visit to the Kentucky Arboretum

I finally have a day to post the last of my visit to Lexington, Kentucky.  The State Botanical Garden of Kentucky is located on the University of Kentucky campus Arboretum and is open on weekdays.  It has a 2-mile paved walking path that I enjoyed early one morning to try to avoid the heat of the day.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

The Arboretum has eight regions representing the different ecological areas of Kentucky including Appalachian Plateau, Bluegrass, mountain and wetlands areas, with woods containing 70 different varieties of oak trees.  This map shows just one of the garden areas, this one dedicated to the home garden.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Here and there are lovely fountains and sculptures.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

I didn’t see what kind of flower this one was, but you know I love white flowers.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

This was part of the home demonstration area too, showing container gardening and bed planting.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

The Knot Garden has plantings to appear like knots.  What a fun idea for a circular bed.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Beautiful purple flowers were attracting the pollinators.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Several areas have benches and peaceful views to relax, like this little pond with fish and a babbling stream.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Hibiscus flowers were in full bloom in several colors.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Out on the paved section around the back side, there were a number of unpaved paths taking short strolls to get closer views of the oak trees and other trees.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home<

Wildlife was taking advantage of the warm day, like this little rabbit nibbling on the grass.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Cottage roses, grasses and lavendar in the back made for a sweet fragrant walk in this garden.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

This sculpture was really captivating.  It was a memorial sculpture for Comair Flight #5191 victims, where 49 people were killed in August 2006 when their plane crashed on take off at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington. (Thank you, Ramona for the correction.)  The birds seem to be in full flight, and turning.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Walking around the sculpture, the view changed with each step.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

White hibiscus bloomed along a stone wall.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Wetlands near the back corner of the property had a raised walkway with displays to tell the visitor about the region and the plants. The ecological impact of wetlands is important to the planet and there was much to see here.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Interesting colors in foliage set off more greenery and hydrangeas, as I made my way back toward the entrance.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Stunning pink color on these hydrangeas!

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

This area is plant testing for garden centers, I’ll bet some of these varieties make it into most home gardens.  I know I recognized some marigolds, petunias and impatiens that I have had before.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Candy striped petunias are being tested for future seed offerings.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Pink and orange varieties  of zinnias are blooming well.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Canna Orange Shade is a such vibrant color!  Looks like fall doesn’t it?

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

The Arboretum has the Stout Daylily Collection, an entire garden of award winning daylilies covering years.  The Stout Silver Medal is the highest award given to the daylily hybrid, and only one award is given each year.  The exhibit includes winners going back to 1950, with about half of the winning cultivars represented.  The Arboretum is looking for the years they are missing.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

This lovely purple and yellow striped one was blooming profusely.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

This is the first double bloom daylily I have ever seen.  I don’t know what its name was.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Pollinators like this tiny butterfly were having a field day with all the blooms.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

This one was interesting in the shape of the petals and the variegated color.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

More places to sit and enjoy the day were on the path near the visitor center.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

Red calibrachoa near the entrance, I had to get one last shot before leaving the arboretum.

Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington at From My Carolina Home

It was a lovely morning, but by the time I finished the two mile hike, the temperature and humidity were climbing.  So, off to get some cold water and a shower before hitting the bookstores and quilt shops I showed you last month.  I hope you enjoyed the tour!

How’s your garden now?


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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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