The Party’s Over

August 26, 2012

I was a bit worried there wouldn’t be enough flowers blooming to make a bouquet but two big bouquets arrived with my friends so we were surrounded by fragrant beauty.

I managed to get all the invasive euphorbia pulled out from in front of my newly revised terrace the day before…

…and potted up some fun little party favors early in the week.

I did leave some grass growing…it was a pot party after all!

We had munchies – oh my gosh, do my friends know how to ‘treat’ one another.  Delicious fare.

Lots of Cosmos blooming as we walked about in the garden digging up plants to send home with friends.

Lucky me, left with these pots full of plants,rocks and garden gifts from my friends!!!  We decided to make it an annual round robin event with a different host garden for each ‘Pot Party’.  Too much fun for all involved.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Pot Party on the Left Bank

August 18, 2012

To celebrate the conclusion of my latest project, I’m having a Pot Party.  Oh not that kind of Pot Party, the kind where you bring a Pot and take a Pot…  My friends will bring a Potted Plant from their garden and I’ll send them home with a Potted Plant from my garden!  Or maybe they’ll choose to take home a Pot of river rocks.  Or a little garden ornament in a Pot.  All legal stuff, you get the idea!

It’s taken me all summer to re-terrace my very first terraced bank.  I call this my ‘Left Bank’ because it’s on the left side of my garden if you’re looking out from my front deck.  If you look closely at the photo above, you can see that rocks were falling down and weeds had taken over some areas.  I started removing plants a year and a half ago, knowing this task had to be done.  As my pretties bloomed, I moved them to a nicer location and eventually I had all most of the plants cleared out of my way.

Mid June I started at the base, pulling out all the anchor rocks.  I missed removing a few plants, so worked around them while they bloomed; then moved them out of my way and dug out all the grass and weeds.

  I used the largest rocks I could find to re-establish the base level, also moving it forward a bit.  About thirty feet of big rocks.  Under the hot sun.  Mostly just 2 to 3 hours each morning was all I could take.

With all of ‘Row One’ complete, I began ‘Row Two’, again pulling out the rocks to begin with and trying to not trample the few remaining plants.  I didn’t want to move them until I knew where I wanted to place them.

Towards the end of July, ‘Row Two’ was almost complete, but I was running out of big rocks.  I began Row Three as a diversion because pulling out rocks was easier than finding ‘the right rocks’ to fit the end of Row Two.  It was a giant rock puzzle.

Excavating by hand was particularly grueling under July’s hot sun.  I finally remembered the trick:  soak the soil the night before and it was much easier to dig out.

I was running out of large rocks, but on the garden tour I went on a few weeks ago, I met Donna, who was willing to give me lava rock, one of my favorites!

Row three now well underway, I’m once again having to get creative about using rock.  I scavenge other parts of my garden, trading smaller rocks there for larger ones here.  I stack flat river rocks and incorporate some of my cement sculptures.

Row Three finally complete, I felt compelled to celebrate by planting a beautiful red hibiscus as an anchor plant.  I know I should wait, I still have the last row on top to finish.  But….. to have my Pot Party while the weather is nice, I’m putting the last row off until fall so I don’t have to move all those plants that I’d left in place.

I should have thought about stairs sooner, but originally didn’t think I needed them.

Tonight I’ll contemplate what to do about those stairs and more importantly what I’m going to plant!  Thanks for stopping by.

I Love my Lytro

August 15, 2012

Exciting news, I was personally invited to take part in the first Lytro contest because of this photo of flags I took on Memorial Day.  Lytro published it on their Facebook page a few months back!  Click the link, wait for the photo to load, then click on different flags to alter the focus.

The butterfly photo above is the first of my Lytro entries and to help me win, you can vote for it at Lytro’s Photo Contest on Facebook.  You do want me to win, right?  You are entered to win a Lytro for yourself with each vote you cast.  You can only vote for each photo one time and only one photo per day.

What do I win?  Each week for seven weeks, five finalists will win a Lytro Accessories package (including new to the world accessories that are coming out later this year). One of those 35 finalists will win the Grand Prize – a Master Light Field Photography Lesson with Eric Cheng, Director of Photography at Lytro; plus FIVE cameras to give to my friends!

If you’re on Facebook, please help me win by voting here:  Lytro’s Photo Contest on Facebook  (at this time the contest is being held on Facebook, no other way to vote).  And, if you’ll share with your friends I’d really really appreciate it.  Your friends will also appreciate it if they win a Lytro!

We can enter photos daily and these are some of the others I’m considering.  If I were on instead of .com, you’d be able to click and refocus the photos here.  Alas, to do that you need to visit my Lytro Photo Page.

My Lytro was a Christmas gift, but I didn’t get it until April because they were manufactured and shipped slowly!  If you haven’t yet heard about it, go to for all the info, but essentially it captures the entire light field instead of a single plane.  The fun part is that you can refocus your photo after you upload it to your computer – and you can share it as an interactive photo online.

I hope you’ll vote vote for my Butterfly photo at the top of this post and as a result, I hope YOU are the winner of a new Lytro camera!

Chasing Butterflies

August 11, 2012

One of the hottest days of the year and I’m out in the sun chasing butterflies.  Why? Because it’s too hot to work.   Help me identify them!  Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly? on my pink butterfly bush.

There were at least two dozen butterflies in this section of my garden.  It was amazing and exciting and oh so much fun in spite of the heat.

Bumblebees rolling in pollen were irresistable while I waited for a butterfly to land!

I also saw but didn’t get good photos of (I think) Mormon Fritillary and maybe a Skipper.

Common Buckeye butterfly?  in my coreopsis.  I found a shadier spot for a minute…

…and on the Buddleia, back under the scorching sun.

Another bumblebee I couldn’t resist.

Hydaspe Fritillary butterfly?  on my pink butterfly magnet – I mean bush.

Hydaspe Fritillary butterfly?  Ruby Giant Echinacea.

My friend Laurie Miller made this sweet sign (along with a dozen others for me).  I love it.

Thanks for stopping by on this sizzling day!

Edit:  I forgot to include my Coolest Chasing Butterfly Lytro Photo.  When you see the photo, you can click on it to change the focus – go ahead, play with it!

Plant List Updates!

August 7, 2012

When I started this blog I had every intention of photographing and cataloging each and every plant in my garden.  As the years go by and I add to my collection of plants, I now see this as a daunting task.  I’ve had a page for My Plant List, listing all my plants in alphabetical order almost since the beginning.  If you haven’t noticed, I’ve finally begun adding sub-pages under it with photos of my plants!  Descriptions, growing conditions, etc. will have to wait for now while I finally begin adding photos.  Yay ME!   Above is a ‘Honeycomb’ Butterfly Bush, that you’ll also find on my new Shrubs and Trees page.

I think this is my favorite Heuchera ~ ‘Georgia Peach’.  You can also see it on my Perennials Page along with a host of other perennials!  Trust me, I have hundreds more to add….  Finding photos of all my plants is also forcing me to clean up the messy way I keep photos all over my computer – I am learning ‘o-r-g-a-n-i-z-a-t-i-o-n’!

This is my favorite Fritillaria ~ stenanthera, which you’ll find on the Fritillaria page under the Perennials Page.  It’s a ‘bulbous perennial’ and I wasn’t sure if I should have it stand alone or add a ‘Bulb’ page (which sounds horrific right now as there are SO MANY bulbs in my garden)…I can always rearrange later, right?

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Variegatus’ is on the Grasses page also under Perennials.  Many of my photos are detail shots because that’s how I love to capture plants.  Especially if they flower…unless the foliage is particularly interesting…and I can remember the name of the interesting foliage plant!

Speaking of foliage, Hosta ‘Aphrodite’ is on the Hostas Page…again, under Perennials.  Does it all make sense now?  I’d love to entertain your ideas on how I should list these extra plant pages!

‘Keeping up Appearances’, a Tall Bearded Iris is found on the Tall Bearded Iris page.  That’s actually the page I began with when my iris started blooming.  The next page I add will probably be day lilies since they’re blooming now and I’ve hovered over them with my camera for weeks!

Since I tend to ‘collect’ plants I don’t have ‘just one’ of hardly anything.  Eventually I’d like to separate out more sub-pages like the conifers from deciduous trees.  But for now, while sitting near the fan blowing cool air, escaping the hot August sun for a few hours I’ll just keep adding photos.

Thanks for stopping by!

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