Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Welcome to my front door......

After viewing everyone's fall pictures I decided to spruce up my front porch. It's embarrassing to admit but usually I don't do too much at all in terms of decorating. This week my mom has been here visiting and she helped make the pillow covers. Honestly, she did most of the work and they turned out really cute! Now, I am a lot more happier with my front entrance.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Splish Splash I was taking a bath!!!

I am such a bird watcher! It is one of those frebbies in life that my husband and I both enjoy much. This evening before dinner we were looking outside the kitchen window and the blue birds had come in for their nightly baths. They hardly visit us during the really hot days of summer but more this time of the year. We're not sure why but glad they do.

They sure looked like they were enjoying it. They didn't get into too many fights while waiting in line. Sorry the pics aren't better. It's hard taking them thru blinds and the window.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, I wish I was in the land of................Pansies???

Oh I wish I was in the land of Pansies. All times there are sweet and dandy! Come with me, come with me, come with me..........
To pansyland!!!Here's a few choices of colors we have in pansies this year.

Did you know that pansies are edible? I had to try a couple just to check the taste. Know what? They taste like a chalky mint. And you know why? Because they are in the mint family. So, next time you see some blooming, pinch off a bloom and give it a try!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I couldn't resist.........

I know, it's another picture of my monarch caterpillar. This little guy was chowing down about as fast as I took this picture. I was so excited because I found so many of them and the next thing I knew the bluebirds had also found them and decided they looked like tasty little morsels.

When I checked on them this evening I only saw two. But the butterfly weed was all but gone so I guess they had to seek out other food options. Luckily, I found them on another butterfly weed in my Keepsake garden.

I have also found more black swallow tail caterpillars on my parsley plant again. That's a big surprise. Isn't it a little late for this?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

D & D Tours, Part Two..................

Hello folks and thanks for joining us here at D & D tours for another fun-filled adventure. This tour promises to be full of surprises so hang on to your hats and lets get going.

Our first stop this afternoon is Sunnyland but folks something is wrong! Our sunshine is missing! Harry the guard gull is flying around squawking. It looks at though he is warning us that a storm may be a brewing out at sea.............. Whew, that was a close one folks! Everyone okay? Good, on with the tour.

Oh my, wait a sec! Folks, if everyone will look at to your left you'll see the most beautiful rainbow. So good to see everything restored in Sunnyland. Okay, lets get a move on now......
Next stop-Gator Alley. Folks, did I say this tour wasn't for the timid? Be careful now and watch your step. This is Charlie and he's all the time trying to fool folks into petting him. And if that ain't bad enough these are his four siblings.
All of them would love to get to know each and every one of you on a personal basis. So, as I said, watch your step and lets get on out of here.
Next stop is Wharf Town. Folks, night-time has fallen upon us so just beware. You never know what you might come across.
Oh, watch out folks, it's so dark we almost bumped into Fred the resident heron.
Ahh, look at how great he looks. Recently he's lost a few pounds and likes to show off his physique! Try to be quite though, he's kind of skittish.
Well folks this concludes another fun-filled tour with D & D. It's gotten too dark to continue. We truly hope you enjoyed your time with us. We hope you'll come back sometime in the future for another fun-filled adventure.

Nerves frazzled? Stressed out? Need some peace? Come with me!!!

We took a little getaway this weekend and found a calming and peaceful place that I wanted to share. So hop on the little blogging bus and lets take a ride!
First stop-Serenity Circle. You'll notice the gentleness of the sea and the early morning sky which says relax, drink it all in. Starting to feel the peace? Good, lets continue......
Second stop-Cloudy land. With just a few clouds popping out they are sure to help you relax and cool you during the sunny day. So, come on and lets get those legs moving.....

Third stop-Water Way. The water always calls to you when you visit here. As the waves slap against the beach they beckon you to come on in, the waters great! What's that? Afraid of the water? Well folks, at least get those toes wet!! Ahhh, doesn't that feel good? How's those nerves, calming down any? On with the tour.......
Fourth stop-Sunnyland. Folks, the sun always shines in sunnyland. As we explore, you'll notice all kinds of creatures here. For instance, here's Gus and George, two of the triplets that roam the beach.
And here's Harry the other brother. He had guard duty today so he's on post and couldn't visit with us. And may I add, he's doing a great job!
Their cousin Piper was too busy checking out the sand to stay and chat. I'm sure she found plenty to eat in the white sugary sands.
Now folks, we also understand that property is at a premium in Sunnyland. So when visiting be sure to get out and claim your plot of land early. You have to admit this looks pretty comfy, right? That sand is delightfully cool and wonderful to dig your feet down into. Go ahead, try it. Oh, can't you feel total relaxation? Is the stress just falling off? Good, we thought so. We're getting there, lets continue, shall we?

Last stop for today-Moonville. Full moon galore here at this stop. Folks just stop and soak it all up. Is there anything prettier than a full moon?

Well here at D & D tours we hope we have helped add a little peace and calamity to your visit. Join us again soon for an evening tour. It's sure to please.

A Few Garden Surprises!!!

This past weekend we went out of town for a little r & r. Before we left I planted some leaf lettuce, arugula, cilantro and romaine lettuce seed. I planted the seeds in a large pot I have had sitting in my multi-use bed. This was on Friday evening and much to my delight and surprise this is what it looked like Tuesday afternoon.

I've not grown lettuce before so this will be interesting. I know I will have to thin this out but right now I'm happy. Another beauty I found in my garden is this.....

My Mexican bush sage is showing off right now. I really like this plant. It's a great fall bloomer with pretty color.

The last surprise I had in my garden was.......
So, someone please tell me this is a monarch butterfly in the makings!! They are all over my butterfly weed. Yippee!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fascinating Plants

I took my camera to work this week just to see what I might find photo-worthy. We are in-between seasons so it's kind of hard but I did manage to find these. They are all growing in our bed out by the road.

I had never seen this plant before I started working here. This is a Candelabra tree(Cassia alata). It is an annual in our zone. It can grow 8-10' T in our growing season. It's a fantastic specimen. People pull in off the street just to find out what it is.

Next is an Angel Trumpet(Brugsmania), not to be confused with Datura. The winter usually determines whether this plant will return or not. It comes in pink, yellow, and white. The Datura also comes in a lavender. How can you tell them apart? Brugsmania blooms hang down and their seed pods are round and smooth. Datura blooms almost stand upward to outward. Their seed pods are round and prickly. Both are poisonous.

A couple of months ago I had a post regarding Coral vine. I received several comments saying this vine wasn't well known. At the time, mine was just a little baby and unfortunately still is. So, I feel fortunate enough to show you this one from work. It has beautiful little pinkish blooms but as you can see it comes in white as well. It grows up to 15 feet in length. Sorry but it will disappear when the frost comes. I'm not sure if it is classified as annual or perennial but this one did return this year.

I hope you enjoyed getting familiar with these plants. If you are looking for something a little different for your garden next year maybe you should give one of these a try.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How about an olive with that tea?

Sounds delicious? Not!!!!! Recently I was commenting to Perennial Gardener Lover about my tea olive and she wanted to hear more about it so here goes.

This is a great evergreen shrub that can get quite big. So when planting, one needs to take into consideration the size. Mine probably get 5-6 hours of sun a day.
Pictured are actually two of these shrubs on both sides of my sidewalk. These are probably 2 or 3 years old. I'm not sure how big they were when originally planted because they were already here when we moved in.

The botanical is Osmanthus fragrans. It can grow up to 20' or more with a width of 6-8' wide. As I said, it is an evergreen with very stiff leaves. Sometimes people are fooled into thinking this is a holly. But this particular varieties leaf edges are fairly smooth.
Besides it being evergreen another great feature is it has the most wonderful, fragrant blooms. It usually blooms spring and fall. The blooms are tiny but really pack a punch!
There are a couple more varieties that I don't have pictures of but they are Osmanthus fortunei and Osmanthus heterophyllus.

The fortunei has jagged leaf margins which really makes it look like a holly. It doesn't bloom as well as the fragrans and gets probably about the same size.

The herophyllus has jagged leaf margins as well but is variegated. I'm not sure about how well it blooms. It only grows 8-10' tall.

So if you are looking for a great evergreen shrub for a large area I highly recommend this one.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a.... no wait! That's a different story.

Well obviously this is no bear. Thank goodness. I'd hate to see a bear in my backyard. Seriously, I was walking around in my yard the other day and saw this little guy flitting about. He finally sat still long enough for me to snap this picture. I couldn't believe what a hairy little underbelly he had. Or maybe it's a beard that is hanging down to his little legs. lol However you look at it, I think he's cute!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Yard Work from Yesterday

Recently I blogged about my poor little plants that were drowning in my bird bath bed. These are some of the throw-away plants from work that I had rescued. Well I felt pretty guilty about letting them sit there and drown so yesterday I dug them up and moved them to a new bed. Okay, they don't look spectacular right now but hopefully with a little sunshine they'll survive. This area is on a small slope at the back of my yard so maybe the water will drain away.

Do you see my new pink knock-out rose on the right? Believe it or not that was a throw-away from work. When I took it out of the pot it didn't have much of a root ball. Hopefully with the rain and sunshine it will do well.

As you can see in these pics I'm going to have to do lots of weeding. Lots of weeds and grass to pull. Lots of tidying up to do. This bed is on the exact opposite end of my Keepsake Garden

Oh well, now my biggest problem is this. What am I going to name this flower bed?