From My Carolina Home

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Early April in the Garden

It is getting warmer now, and the garden seems to be coming to life again. All around the flowers are not as prolific this year due to a late freeze that did some damage to the buds. Still, the light pink azalea is producing blooms and the bumble bees are having a great time.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

As was the case last year, the white shows the most damage in the discoloration of the blooms. But I still love the white flowers.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Covering the tulips helped, and the pink ones are in full flower.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Dawn on a quiet morning, sunlight makes an interesting pattern on the ground from the leafless trees. This time of day is so peaceful.  Crisp mountain air, hot coffee, breathe.  Soon the trees will leaf out, and the mountain views to the east will be obscured until fall.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The azaleas in the circle are sparse, but the ones that are blooming are pretty. Several others haven’t started yet, and the dogwood is still dormant.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A view down the drive from our home, more azaleas are coming out. It doesn’t seem like we will see the profusion of blooms all down the side of the meadow this year.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

We have new visitors to the meadows and the back yard. This Eastern Towhee was scratching for food.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

His mate was nearby. She seemed to be more interested in bits of twigs and grass, and I am hoping that means she is building her nest nearby.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

It seemed like this female cardinal might also have a nest in mind.  I hope so.  Her mate was in the rhododendron but I couldn’t get a good picture of him.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

We had a visit from a Northern Flicker as well.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Another dawn, and a foggy morning over the valley. Looking out over the hushed silence of the morning, there was time to appreciate the beauty of our world.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Goldfinches wearing their brighter color jostled for position on the feeder.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The hostas are coming up strong, and soon will completely cover the bare ground around the tree.  My one little red tulip gallantly blooms all by itself.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The redbud is blooming, hosting a number of bees and butterflies.  I am hoping that the new growth coming from the bottom will fill in the bare spots.  DH has pruned it a bit severely to get the branches off the driveway.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Closer to the small blooms, the pink color is intense, and lots of buds have yet to open.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Another new visitor, I am not sure who this is. I don’t think it is Bert or Ernie as he acts differently. He puffs a lot and gobbles loudly, happy for a handout of whole grain bread. But he has been in a scuffle or two as his bedraggled tail attests.  But, how would I know?  He might just be acting differently because it is spring.  In any case, he is fun to watch.  And he seems to like the bread treat.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

It is surely spring when the robins appear.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Small violas cover the mountainside behind the house, and sporadically in front.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The white and purple one I planted in the garden came back this year.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

In the small clearing behind the garage, ajugas are blooming profusely, covering a large section. The pollinators like them too.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I’ve taken so many more pictures, but this is enough for now. I love sitting on the veranda and enjoying the quiet solitude of our place, the mountain views ever changing, nature ever evolving.  We still have a week to go before the last frost date, but I think it is safe now to do some gardening.  The forecast is for temps in the 70s all week, with lows in the 40s.  Time to begin hardening off the seedings in the basement.  Some are still alive, but some died for no good reason that I can tell.  Oh well, will see what happens when I get them replanted.

What’s going on in your garden?

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A Quilt Garden, Dreaming of Flowers in Winter

I’ve been saving this post for a couple of months to give us some flowers to see in deep winter.  These pics are from my visit to the NC Arboretum last spring for the Lego Exhibit.  There is so much to do and see there, that you cannot do it all in one post.  One of my favorite things at the NC Arboretum is the Quilt Garden. The staff changes this every year, so it is different each spring. The Quilt Garden is a grid of planting squares surrounded by concrete strips. It gives the impression of quilt blocks surrounded by sashing. There are even cornerstones in the sashing made of stone. Last spring the quilt blocks were butterflies.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

There is a viewing balcony you can walk up to see the garden from a higher view.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

A close up view of one of the butterfly blocks.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

And here is the other block.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

The same small purple flower was used as the ‘background’ in both blocks.  I think it is a dianthus. These are Agearatums.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

It is a lovely place to sit and just enjoy being outdoors. It is relatively quiet here too, depending on the number of visitors at the time.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

All over the Arboretum are gorgeous flowers in the spring and summer.  Their pots of mixed flowers are such an inspiration for my veranda pots.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

This bromeliad garden was in full bloom.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

This rooftop garden was a surprise. The hydrangea bush next to it has a multitude of blooms.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Springtime means lots of pollinators are out in abundance.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

This fascinating little guy is a Hummingbird Moth. This was the first one I have ever seen, and there were dozens of them on these purple flowers – perhaps a variety of impatiens.  Phlox!

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Beautiful isn’t it?  I entered this photo in the State Fair photography contest, but it didn’t get a ribbon.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Here’s another hummingbird moth on a different flower.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

There are wonderful hiking trails on the property, and we had a nice walk in the woods that day too.

Arboretum Hiking Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Of course, I took about a hundred pictures!! There was just so much beauty everywhere. Something about walking in the woods, with green everywhere is just so relaxing.

Arboretum Hiking Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Occasionally you’ll come across a real surprise too, like this giant mushroom. It was a bright bit of yellow color in an otherwise mostly green landscape.  I love the moss behind it on the tree trunk.

Wild Mushroom at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Heading back to the car, we kept going by lovely masses of color.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

I love white flowers. I think these are a variety of stephanotis.  Phlox!

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

One last stop, the Mason bee garden.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Mason bees are non-aggressive, solitary bees that make their homes in holes in trees or bark, or wood. You can actually attract them to your garden with a bee house made of wood tubes.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Purple petunias were almost done.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Here and there you can see the mountains surrounding the arboretum through the hedges. The statue is of Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr., who first thought of an arboretum as part of a plan for the Biltmore Estate gardens.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

These red beauties were in a huge pot near the visitor’s center.  I should have taken a picture of the identification card, I am not sure what these are.  But the red color was just vibrant! (Update – Salvia)

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

The NC Arboretum is definitely a place to visit, in many different times of the year.  The early spring is really beautiful with all the bulbs in bloom, and I hope to get there this year at the right time.

My amaryllis is making good progress now! This picture was taken Saturday, and I should have a bloom soon. Looking at it this close kind of reminds me of the plant in Little Shop of Horrors, LOL!!

Amaryllis bulb year 4 a

Are you dreaming of flowers and springtime?  Is there an arboretum near you?

 

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An Interlude on the Veranda

The flowering season continues, and as we head into a holiday weekend, many more blooms have shown their faces. There were several weekend mornings over the past month where I took my study materials out to the veranda on a cool morning with a hot cup of coffee. Quiet and peaceful, birds chirping and enjoying the feast of seeds in the feeder, it is relaxing and easy to concentrate.  Although sometimes I got caught up in the beauty of the forest and the flowers.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Sunlight filters through the forest to the east as the sun comes over the mountaintop.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I finished 24 hours of CEUs in June, bringing my total close to the 50 I need for the year.  Thank you to everyone who commented for all your support.  I wouldn’t say it was fun, some of it was interesting, but I would just rather be playing.  There is only so much neuropathology, cardiovascular disease, diabetes management, and psychopharmacology one can take, even as interesting as those subjects are to me.  Now I only have one more course to do and four months to do it. Cool quiet mornings on the weekends and my days off helped. So did staying off the computer as it gave me back a lot of time.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

In the garden, things are still blooming wonderfully, especially my hydrangea! Looking over the railing, it is full of blooms in three colors. What looks like white on the right is really a pale pink in the early morning light.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

This lavendar color is my favorite, and I cut a few of these to have inside.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The daylilies continue their show, this one is just so intense with color.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

And this one too.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The paler peach one with the yellow throat blooms just a few feet away.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The ruffled one is still going too.  Daylilies will bloom continuously for a month or more.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The Easter lily bloomed finally, just a few days ago. Just one bloom this year, it may be done, but I’ll give it some fertilizer and we will see what happens.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The geraniums and verbena are happy, and apparently the fairy is out as he left the door open. One can just imagine what wonders await at the top of those stairs inside.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The little blue lobelia in the pretty pot is happy.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I think the white lobelia got a bit waterlogged as the container is water tight after all. I drained it out, and will be much more careful with the water on this one from here on. I need to move it into more sun too.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I can’t believe how tall the yellow lantana has become! I didn’t know it would get that tall, it is almost 2 feet. Next year I’ll put those in the front bed for some height.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Here’s my study space in the evening after work, glass of tea at the ready, books open. The impatiens are getting huge and blooming like crazy!

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

This verbena on the porch was lagging along, then all of a sudden took off, blooming and filling in nicely.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Out front, the local goldfinch population got the word out that the diner was open and all the barstools were taken, LOL!

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The hostas came into bloom over the weekend, I love these. The foliage fills in beautifully every year and the flowers are so pretty. These are along the back retaining wall behind the garage.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

These are out front, around the big oak tree.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Close up they are such a pretty purple with a variegated throat.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Here is the hydrangea from the front, spilling through the railing on the steps.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Out back, on the mountainside, the rhododendrons start pale pink opening to white.  They will bloom for a couple of weeks.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

In the time I allowed myself between studying and working, I have been planning and sewing on a special event to come in July. It is a Christmas in July event that will cover daily posts here on my blog for 12 days, plus the link up with a blog hop. There will be something for everyone, the crafters, the sewists, the quilters, the stitchers, the tablescapers, the DIYers, the cooks. I promise you will not want to miss a day. But, that is all I will say for now, there are more plans to finalize, sewing to finish up, crafting to do, cards to make, pictures to take and tutorials to write.

How is your summer going?


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Garden Blooms May

I have had so much to post about that I haven’t been able to get back to updating the garden.  The fairies have settled in permanently, and I found another door in the kitchen.  The weather finally has turned warm to stay, so the landscape has turned verdant green.  There are still some flowers in the wild areas of our land.

Late May Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

It rained so much during the time the rhododendrons and mountain laurel were blooming that I almost missed getting pictures. Across the meadow, the huge green shrub in the center is mountain laurel, almost done. The white next to it on the right and just visible on the lower left are both white dogwoods.

Late May Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The dogwood on the circle is blooming too.

Late May Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Mountain Laurel is blooming in the back on the mountainside as well.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The pink rhododendrons are in full swing, but the white ones are still in the bud stage.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

In the back, I went to check out how the peaches were doing, and they are all gone. ALL of them! Dang bear they weren’t even close to being ripe!

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Out front, the lily does have a bud and I am hoping for it to flower this week.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Looks like I may get some tomatoes this year…

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

and some squash too!

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

This little dianthus is blooming like crazy, but I wish it would get a bit bigger.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The daylilies are starting up now, and there are tons of buds to come.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

These will bloom continuously for several weeks.  There are five or six varieties in the garden.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

I have put three pots in the garden with flowers to add interest and height to the bed. Those are doing well, this one really looks good with three different flowers. I just missed the geranium blooming with them, but it will bloom again and most of the summer. The verbena and petunias are doing great.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The most exciting thing is my hydrangea is blooming this year! It didn’t bloom last year or the year before, so I am thrilled. It is covered in blooms!

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

There must be sections of soil more acid and some more alkaline in the same area because I have blue and pink flowers, and a lovely lavender too, all on the same plant!

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Stunning, aren’t they?!!

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

They spill out of the bed through the stair railing, with many more clusters in the process of developing.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Back up on the veranda, the lobelia seems to be happy.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

White impatiens are overflowing their spaces with flowers.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

All the torenia baskets are now trailing a bit.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The yellow ones are doing well too.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The lettuce is coming up, and I hope the bear doesn’t find it.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The white geranium is happy too.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

I love this pot with the pink and white colors together.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

On one end of the veranda, the lobelia looks great with the pink geraniums. Another variety of lobelia complements the yellow lantana too.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Lobelia and white begonia almost cover the little fairy house.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

The rockers are ready for visitors.

Late May 2016 Garden at From My Carolina Home

Want to come sit for a spell?

 

 


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Apple Blossom Tour

The apple tree blossoms are in various stages, some are just blooming, others are done.  We almost waited too late to take a drive out to the apple orchards to get some pictures of the blooms.  They really are beautiful, once again white flowers hold a special place for me.  I just love them.

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

I am not sure what varieties of apples will come from these beauties, there are so many different ones in this county.  One can hope for lots of Honey Crisps!  But these could be Jonagolds or Sheep’s Noses, Pink Ladies or Winesaps.  Who can tell?

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

There are many apple orchards in this county, it is our primary economic crop.  Henderson county grows 85% of the apples in the state.

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

The sky this day was a striking blue, not a cloud. The lovely blooms have a blush of pink.

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

Another orchard nearby, but the grass was a bit too tall to get a close shot of the blooms.

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

Going farther east, this orchard is right on the main road to Bat Cave.

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

These blooms are almost pure white.

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

Yet another orchard off the main road, the branches of these trees are more twisted than the other orchards.

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

Lovely, aren’t they!

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

Soft blush pink, gorgeous blooms.

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

Row upon row, out in the country, with rolling hills behind this orchard.

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

More close up shots, little apples in process.

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

Softly fragrant, beautiful and abundant.  There was a cold snap this week, so I am hoping that the “Blackberry Winter” didn’t damage the crop.

Apple Blossoms 2016 at From My Carolina Home

Now I am trying to decide if any of these might be an entry in the photo category for the State Fair this year.  The light was just perfect for some of the close up pictures of the blooms.

Thinking about the apples to come in the fall, I am thinking of getting some apples from the store to bake my Apple Cake Donuts or a Caramel Apple Coffee Cake.

Are there fruit trees near you?  What is blooming in your part of the world?


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Early April in the Garden

April is warm, and sunny, and I am really antsy to get into the garden. But, I know better.  The prediction for the next few days is to have overnight lows in the 20s!  The last frost date is still a week away, and I am not going to pick up my annuals until next week. The tulips are still pretty, the redbud is still blooming, but those bulbs in the brick planter haven’t yet bloomed so I still don’t know what they are.  The ajuga is still blooming next to the sidewalk, and in the back.

April Front walk 2

This cherry tree is on the way to my office, lovely isn’t it?

April Weeping cherry 2

At the office, these two-tone daffodils are blooming in front of the front door.

April Daffodils 2

Along with these yellow ones.

April Daffodils 5

These have a faint sweet fragrance, just lovely.

April Daffodils 4

This is a saucer magnolia, almost ready to spread out the petals.

April Saucer Magnolia 2

There are buds and one open flower as well.

April Saucer Magnolia 1

Back home along the driveway, two azaleas are starting their spring display, one pink and one white.

April Azaleas 2

Around the circle, this darker pink is almost ready to burst.

April Red azalea

This one little red tulip comes up every year, and I think maybe this year I’ll transplant it to the bed with the other tulips. The hostas are coming up around it.

April Red Tulip

The flowers are so pretty around here right now that I had to have a go at some artsy pictures with my still-new-to-me camera. Here are some golden forsythia blooms at the edge of the parking lot at the office. I love the way the background blurs.

April Forsythia 1

These are maple tree flowers. Yes the sky was that azure blue just a few days ago.

April Maples 4

Here’s a closer look.

April Maples 3

Sunlight through the pear trees.

April trees against blue sky

In back of the house, the clingstone peach has a lot of blooms this year. I hope that means peaches! Maybe I can get a few before the bear does.

April peach 2

How is your garden going?


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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?