From My Carolina Home

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


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.


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?



Gardens Galore Link up

Saturday Sparks




Early May in the Garden

The garden is coming alive again, finally!  It seemed like everything just turned green overnight here, but actually the trees really leafed out while we were gone for a week.  Still, the transformation from bare limbs to verdant green means spring is well and truly here. Our driveway down the mountain is glorious, and the overhanging dogwood is still in bloom.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

So, a trip to the garden center was in order to pick up the torenias, and a few other plants to turn the veranda into an lush, flower filled outdoor room.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Going to buy plants is so fun, and it is difficult not to just go crazy with all the colors and types of flowers.  This is Raymonds, my favorite spot to buy flowers.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I have plenty of pots to fill, some new ones from the thrift stores and some that have been on the veranda for a long time. A couple of gifts from friends of pots or plants all need to be dealt with. DH was kind enough to move my potting bench up to the upper level and set it in the shade for me.  I had to make a second trip out to the local big box hardware store’s garden center for more small seedlings and tomato plants. My bargain buy for this season is the white petunia basket on the ground. Actually I bought two of them on the clearance rack, just $3 each and they contain seven plants each! Just deadheading the spent blooms and a little water is all that was needed. White impatiens will once again occupy the table planters. They are just so perfect, and grow so well in the shade that nothing else would do as well there.  In the background, the redbud is done blooming, and the azaleas finished up while we were gone too, so I didn’t get a lot of pictures of them in full flower.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Torenias will be the hanging baskets once again as I love having the hummingbirds and butterflies.  I place coffee filters in the bottom of the pots to keep the dirt in while allowing excess water to drain.  Adding potting soil, and this year I am shaking in a sprinkle of slow-acting fertilizer and a bit of bone meal into the very bottom soil which is reused from last year.  Then fresh potting soil is added over that and the plants set into place.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Three to a basket, they are hung on the hooks on the veranda.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The veranda holds four baskets between the pillars.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I picked pink begonias this year instead of the yellow I’ve had for several years.  Good to mix things up so the veranda is a bit different each year. I put one in each of these taller planters I got at the thrift store, along with a white petunia. These will go on either side of the front door.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

New this year will be this fuschia placed in a pot on a stand to allow it to cascade down the sides.  I had one of these several years ago but I tend to forget about them.  This year they were next to the torenias at the garden center, so I got two.  This variety will have dark pink, purple and white flowers.  A little fairy has moved his bakery into the pot too.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Lobelias have such a vibrant blue color and bloom profusely. This year I got one in blue and one in white. More and more I am gravitating to mixed pots of flowers with different colors together instead of single varieties. Last December, a friend gifted me with this white poinsettia, and it is still alive. So I put it in the large ceramic planter next to the door, along with the blue lobelia and a peach begonia, also a gift from another friend.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

This yellow daisy was another gift from friend.  I just realized that my friends just seem to like to bring me flowers! I seem to get new ones every time I have a luncheon or dinner party. I put it in the larger planter on the corner of the veranda with a pink coleus and yet another white petunia.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

This blue pot sits on a stand, and was planted with a pink begonia and a small basil plant. I wanted at least one of the basils near the door in case I need some when it is raining.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

More pots are planted, and set around the veranda.  Pink begonia int he little blue rimmed pot, and a white one with a basil plant in one of the Chinese planters.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Another pot is planted with a couple of yellow celosias along with the white petunia. I haven’t had these before, so looking forward to seeing how they do.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I put the yellow torenias in the rectangular pot like last year. I like the way they cascade down the sides of the planter. Another fairy has moved his house to the veranda, I wonder what his home is like up those little stairs behind the door. The white lobelia got its own pot.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

My seedling starts were not a success, not a dismal failure, but somewhere between.  A few plants did OK, but many didn’t survive and I have no idea why.  I put them under the grow light, and watered them carefully, yet many died after putting out their first set of leaves.  The squash and tomatoes I replanted and the second ones are still alive.  Some of the lettuce looks viable still, but all the herbs need to be restarted.  All the johnny jump-ups died, and that is one of my favorite flowers.  I got some more seeds to start again.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I set them outside a week before transplanting to harden them off.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The hummingbird vine second planting is looking good. I put it next to the lattice in the front flower bed.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

In the front flower bed, the veggies and flower seedlings were placed in front of the perennials. I got another perennial in a deep purple called a Veronica ‘Inspire Blue’. It is supposed to bloom all summer, so the butterflies should be happy. It has the potential to get 2 feet tall! I put the lattice back out again, and added white bargain petunias to the clay pots that hold it up.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The snapdragons were supposed to be annuals, but our winter was so mild that they survived. We are Zone 7 and they aren’t supposed to be considered perennials until Zone 9, but who knows!! I am enjoying their beautiful blooms this year too. I got them for just 25 cents a plant last year on the clearance table at the hardware store’s garden center. Great buy!

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I am impressed with how well the dianthus is doing too.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Believe it or not, I still have empty pots.  So, those will get seeds planted for more herbs.  I’ll let you know how it goes in a couple of weeks.

One more thing to show you, as I looked out on the veranda a few days ago, I saw our resident woodchuck on the veranda eating one of my plants!! Opening the sliding glass door sent him running to the other end of the veranda. He went behind my largest pot and stuck his head out. Of course I grabbed the camera then, the good one with the nice zoom lens.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

DH tried to get him to run off, but instead he went behind the grill to the right of the table in this picture, and climbed up onto the shelf under the cover. After DH wiggled the grill while trying to stand well away, the woodchuck circled back around the large pot and made a bee line for the steps.

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Then ran off, jumped off the retaining wall and kept going across the meadow and into the woods. By then he was going at top speed! I could only get one picture as he bolted away.  Little toot, he better stay out of my lettuce!

May in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I have another garden post for tomorrow, a special one for a special day.  Then I have quilting to show, a new recipe, more tablescapes, and the mystery quilt continues soon.  Lots to come, not enough days in the week!

Have you planted in your garden yet?  Any critters visiting?


August in the Garden

Every time I say something about the garden, it conspires to prove me wrong.  In July, I said that I planted the johnny jump ups too late to get any flowers.  Then not a week later, here they come. I really cannot complain as I love their sweet flower faces.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

More little tiny buds are showing and I hope to have a lot of these soon.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Then I said I was disappointed in the dianthus in the flower bed, and then they went to town blooming.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The caladium is getting a lot bigger. I’ll have to repot it soon.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I put a saucer from one of my larger pots out in the yard near the bird feeder for the birds to use. Contrary little things haven’t touched it.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

These white begonias must love this heat, every one of the pots that has them is blooming profusely.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

And more begonias.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The verbena is still producing pretty purple flowers, surrounded by those begonias.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The last thing I said was that the hydrangea was just about done. Then it decided to put on a new show, with copious blooms in a dusky pink…

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

one gorgeous bloom in deep lavendar…

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

and one in a blueish hue with some purple and white, all on the same plant. At the same time!  I think this one will deepen to all lavendar over the next week or so.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Of course, the torenias are still going strong. These baskets will keep going all summer and well into fall.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Then there were the visitors this month. A small flock of wild turkeys is back, which usually doesn’t occur until September. I am hoping for cooler weather soon.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

With the longer lens on my camera, I can get much better pictures of the wildlife now. These males were fluffing their feather against the rain, and I was hoping they would spread them and strut but they didn’t oblige me.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The one on the right here is a juvenile, likely hatched this spring.  I think this small flock of five is all bachelors.  Hard to say though, as the young ones don’t have their red coloring on their heads or the feather wattles they will get later.  But the females don’t turn red or grow wattles.  Either way, I just like watching the wildlife as it strolls by.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

They stayed around for quite a while, eventually working their way around the house and up the mountainside behind the house.

What is going on in your garden?


Celebrate and Decorate

Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes



Mid-April in the Garden

Yesterday was a very busy day for me with a meeting in the morning, and a bunch of errands to do including picking up my torenias from the garden center, checking out the humane society thrift store, and hitting Pier One’s sale.  Of course, while I was there, I had to get a few more plants, but I stopped short of buying enough for all the pots on the veranda in one trip.  For those of you who are local, these lovelies came from Raymonds Garden Center on Kanuga, a fantastic garden center with wonderful helpful people.  They even went to the greenhouse to bring out the torenias for me, and then made a second trip for the lobelias I wanted.  They hadn’t even put those out yet because our last freeze date was yesterday.  The weather looks good from here on, and I think I am safe doing the pots now. So, the trunk was full when I got home.

Trunkful of flowers

Unloading the trunk, I set the plants in the pots I thought I might use for each one. They may or may not end up where they are now.  Should I put the pink geranium with the yellow or the blue?  The little white pot in the middle there is a thrift store find, really cute with blue and yellow painted flowers on it.  It would look great with the blue lobelia.

plants on the veranda

Aren’t these yellow colors nice? The striped one is a Super Belle, next to a white geranium. The yellow on the left is a lantana.  The little white flowers in the middle are begonias.

yellow super belles and white geranium

These are members of the verbena family, and I usually associate them with a blue or purple color. These are the first yellow ones I have found, and it is such a pretty clear yellow.

Yellow lantana

I love the intense pink on this geranium, and the lobelias always have such a bright blue color.

Pink Geranium with blue lobelia

Needless to say, I have a lot of work to do in the garden. Arriving home later in the day than I wanted, I had to get busy weeding the front flower bed before they took over completely. This had to be done before I can plant the veggies I got last weekend. There are two tomatoes, a yellow squash and zucchini so far.


So, after an hour or so of prepping the front bed, I was done for the day. Planting will have to wait until the weekend. But at least the bed is ready, and weed free.  I really want to get at least three larger perennial plants for this bed this year.  I am thinking an evening primrose, and maybe something else tall with pretty flowers.  I wonder if a Carolina Jessamine vine would grow here, weaving in and out of the slats on the railing might be really interesting.  Maybe a clematis.  Or both!  A lovely variegated purple clematis would look wonderful with the yellow jessamine.

front flower bed weeded

The rosemary came back, and it should get a lot bigger this year. I think the sage gave up.  I am going to put some flowers in the clay pots in the bed, again to add a bit of height and more interest to the flower bed.

Rosemary with pot

On the other side of the sidewalk, the ajugas are still tempting to the bumble bees.

April bumble bee

The tulips are still blooming too. Amazing that they lasted so long. A few got bitten by the frost, but most are still here.

Tulips with darker tulips

Next to the tulips, Iris bed #1 is looking good with lots of leaves, but no buds yet here.  I am happy that they all look strong and healthy after being divided last summer. The small green plant on the lower left is a lily. It bloomed last year later in the spring, and I hope it will again.

Iris bed #1

The freeze last weekend really had me concerned about the buds on the mystery bulbs. So, I put the tomato cages in the box and put plastic over the top for the two nights it dipped into the 20s.

Freeze cover 2

Yesterday they seemed to be doing OK, and Marsha may be right after all. The buds are starting to look like iris.

mystery bulbs after the freeze

Iris bed #2 is looking good, no buds yet though.  Again, nice healthy looking plants, all from dividing the tubers from Iris bed #1.

Iris bed #2 with hydrangea

Behind the iris bed, on the lower level, the hydrangea is showing signs of freeze damage. This likely means that for the third year in a row I won’t have any flowers.

hydrangea damage

Out front, the hostas are coming up well, and the azaleas are just coming into bloom. The white one on the right has freeze damage. I’ll take you on an azalea walk next week when they really come into bloom.


So, back to the veranda, yellow torenias will go in the same rectangular pot as last year, sitting on two clay pots for a bit of height to allow them to cascade down as they grow. It is more interesting too, to have different levels for the pots. I have the white geranium in the plant stand along with one of the lobelias. I’ll have to see if I like that after a day or so.

arranging the flowers

Out in the forest, one of the dogwoods is coming into bloom.

April dogwood

Inside, one more surprise. The amaryllis finished its blooming about a week ago, and the leaves turned yellow. When I went to cut the spent leaves off, I found this – two more leaves are just coming up!

Amaryllis new leaves April

What does that mean? Is it just putting up leaves to soak up the sun and build up stored food to make more flowers next year? Will it bloom again this year? We will just have to wait and see.  I set my seedlings out to harden off in their bakery boxes, and will plant those soon too.

How is your garden? What is blooming around you now?


October Garden and more visitors

The leaves are still lagging behind in color, but a few places are starting to show the promise of a glorious autumn. This single tree, a maple, behind our house has turned completely red, while the others around it are just biding their time still green.

Autumn 2015 maple

Out front, the redbud tree is starting a golden changeover.

Redbud Autumn 2015

I learned that woodchucks and ground hogs are the same thing, when this little guy paid us a visit.

Woodchuck 1

He stayed quite a while, picking up acorns, then sitting up on his haunches to eat them.  I wonder if he will see his shadow in February?

Woodchuck 3

Wild turkeys came to the meadow to forage for more of the acorns and other delicacies in the grass.  The deer have been here again too, and the foxes are still nearby.  In the forest behind the meadow, the dogwood has changed to a muted burgundy.

Turkeys Oct 2015 - 2

I saw these leaves in the grass, thought they would make an interesting photograph.

Leaves 2

On the veranda, the mum is getting bigger and the flowers more full. Those begonias continue to ignore the cool nights, or maybe that is the way they like it. I have more of those yellow flowers now than I did all summer.

Pumpkin Flowers3

I received my soil report this morning, and it is very interesting. While last year the pH of the soil was perfect at 6.6, this year it recommends that I add some lime as the pH has fallen to 6.1. It also says that my phosphorus and potassium are low. This could explain why I got flowers but no fruit. So, before it gets too cold, I’ll add some lime and a slow release fertilizer to work on assimilating into the soil over the winter. We’ll see what happens!

Inside I have another project, getting my amaryllis to bloom for the third year in a row.

Amaryllis Autumn 2015 1

I brought it inside, and cut off the stems.

Amaryllis Autumn 2015 3

Since I don’t have the required 50 degree spot to keep it, I wrapped it up and put it in the refrigerator.  Later when it gets a bit cooler, I can move it to the garage for the required amount of time.

Amaryllis Autumn 2015 4

The websites mostly say that amaryllis needs six weeks of rest before bringing it out again to bloom, which will put that to mid-November, then 10-12 weeks for the blooms to appear.  I was hoping I could have it for Christmas, but it looks like it will be Valentine’s day instead.  I should have started sooner. We’ll see what happens!

What is your garden doing now?


Early May Garden 2015

Oh, finally!  Spring has taken over, and I am able to do some  planting.  Even though our last frost date is still over a week away, I feel confident that we won’t have one again this month.  So, I went to the garden center and picked up my torenias, along with a few other pretties.  If you are local, Raymond’s Garden Center on Kanuga has a lot of these beauties in several varieties. Go get some, the hummingbirds love them.

Garden May 2015 - 2

My lettuce is coming along now that it is planted in a larger pot.

Garden May 2015 - 3

The iris blooms are coming along, too.  Although only four or five actually are blooming, the ones that are blooming have multiple blooms on each stalk.

Iris May 2015

Irises May 2015

Tomatoes, parsley and thyme are coming up, and the day lilies are getting ready to bloom.

Planting May 2015

The hydrangea is leafing out beautifully, and I hope it blooms this year.

Garden May 2015 - 7

This tip was on the internet some time ago, and it is brilliant – use coffee filters in the bottom of your pots to keep the dirt in while allowing excess water out.

Garden May 2015 - 4

I did that with the torenias, using the green hanging planters.   These purple ones are Summer Wave.  I love how they attract hummingbirds.

Garden May 2015 - 10

I start with one plant spreading the roots over the bottom soil as I go.

Garden May 2015 - 8

I put three plants in each hanging pot, making sure I add enough soil around the plants and in the center.

Garden May 2015 - 9

All planted up and hanging up.  A hummingbird found one this next morning.

Garden May 2015 - 16

I did four for the veranda.

Garden May 2015 - 17

This yellow torenia is called Gilded Grape.

Garden May 2015 - 12

DH thinks I have too many pots, so I thought to use a couple as a stand for a longer planter. It adds some height and interest to the collection of clay pots. More Gilded Grape torenias are here.

Garden May 2015 - 14

A sunny corner will have a pink geranium along with a white lobelia. I cannot wait for those to bloom.

Garden May 2015 - 18

I set this pot on its stand, and planted a yellow and white striped variety of Superbells.  I had these last year too.

Garden May 2015 - 19

The large pot next to the front door is planted with double begonias in a bright yellow, and some tiny pansies in purple and white.

Garden May 2015 - 20

Below are two pots, one with more tiny pansies, and the other with an orange star flower that was a gift.

Garden May 2015 - 21

The staff at Raymond’s is always so helpful. Today, a lady recommended this variegated leaf New Guinea impatiens,with leaves of yellow and green.  I planted those in clay pots to put in the bottom of my little tile top tables. They add much needed weight to the bottom so the little tables don’t tip over.

Garden May 2015 - 6

Impatiens do beautifully in the shade.  Most years I put white ones in the table pots, but this year the flowers will be pink.   The tables are set by the rockers to hold a drink.

Garden May 2015 - 11

I found a green planter to use in a tall stand. These pretty, intense blue flowers will trail over and down.  I didn’t manage to get one with an information tab, but I’m pretty sure it is another variety of lobelia.

Garden May 2015 - 15

I have about half of the pots planted with something, I didn’t show you the jump-ups or the other bulbs.  This post was long enough as it was, LOL!!  My experiment with the bakery boxes wasn’t the best, it was hard to get the seedlings out to transplant.  I’ll rethink that idea for next winter. In a couple of weeks, I’ll go to the bargain bin and see what I can find that is new to me.  Remember my bargain hibiscus from last year?  Who knows what can be found this year!

Garden May 2015 - 22

What are you planting now?