Here are a few random shots from my garden this week. If you look close in the picture below you will see some leaves in the background. They are leftovers from last fall. I have learned that some of my very best resources come from nature. Many people rake up their leaves in the fall and bag them and send them to the dump. This is a huge wasted resource. Leaves make excellent winter time mulch for my beds. Many plants that I grow are from a warmer zone and I get away with it because I use piles of leaves to mulch around them. In the spring time I rake many of them away out of the beds but I leave a few because they break down into wonderful leaf mold. I sprinkle a bit of blood meal over the beds and leaves and that helps the organisms to get going in breaking the leaves down. I have a friend who covers her ivy bed with leaves and puts the blood meal on in the fall time and by spring her ivy is growing beautifully.
The picture above and below are pictures of my first blooms from some alstromeria lilies that I ordered from Springhill Nursery last year. They have been very healthy and beautiful.
I just love hollyhocks. They are so easy to grow from seed and they produce many seeds for next year's crop. I like the height they add to my garden. The honeybees really seem to like them too.
I have learned to treat them with the same systemic fertilizer that I use on my roses because there are several critters that like to chew up their leaves.
My hollyhocks are always so willing to give me beautiful pictures.
I like to use pentas in some of my flower pots because they are very good in the sun and they can take some shade (especially here in Texas).
Geraniums are also a favorite for my pots for the same reason and because I really like them.
I bought this gorgeous beauty in the picture below this spring. I wish I had bought a few more. I came across a really neat method of overwintering my geraniums. In the fall you can dig them up roots and all. Let them lay in a dark spot like a garage until they look like they have died back. Then I put them in a box with layers of newspaper and I store this in a place that gets no colder than 50 degrees (my garage works here in the South) In spring when it is time to plant I get them out and replant them. I was so surprised when most of them actually lived through winter. I did lose a few and it helped me have less pots to tend to through the winter months. I have wondered if I could just let the pot dry out in a dark area and just store it for the winter like I do with my calla lilies. In spring I move the lilies out of the garage (pot and all) Water it and it takes off growing once again. I may try it with my geraniums and see what happens.
This is a bed that I am still working on. I let some flowers that really aren't my favorite take it over so I am in the process of getting rid of them and replacing them with others that I like better. This is the part of the bed that I do like. I have found that with the conditions of this bed that cannas and sages do wonderful. I plan to fill it up with more. I always have cannas that need to be divided so it shouldn't take me but one summer to get it full. I have thought about adding a few Mexican petunias too. I have the tall variety that should add to the bed nicely.
I played around with my Picasa and this picture came out this way. I love doing creative things. It makes me feel closer to The Creator. Oh how He must have enjoyed creating flowers, ladybugs, butterflies, fireflies, dragonflies and all the other critters. How he must have smiled as He thought of our delight when we saw them. That is why I love gardening, and photography and painting and many other creative endeavors. I love to imagine the delight of those who choose to come enjoy them. I have an open door policy at my house. I always love it when someone wants to come tour my garden or home. They aren't fancy or perfect but they are creative and I am so blessed to have them.
This is a spot in my front yard where I like to sit sometimes. It is usually in the middle of the night. I love to come out here and look up at the stars and hear the leaves of the trees rustle. It is one of my very favorite spots to pray. At night it is a wonderful spot because everyone is all tucked in bed and so I am almost never disturbed. Except once . . .
I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. (keep in mind it was 4:00 a.m.) I looked up surprised to see anyone moving at this hour and there were a couple of teenage boys sneaking down through the alley. I watched them as they moved towards a neighbor's house and began to toilet paper their lawn. You should have seen them jump and run when I told them that I was watching everything they were doing. Lol, they had no idea where I was and they ran like scared rabbits. I helped the neighbor clean up the mess the next morning. I just wish I had figured out sooner what they were up to so there hadn't been any mess. Oh well, it is like life I guess. Sometimes you just have to clean up messes.