Happy Halloween

“Happy Halloween”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Witch & Cat (redu)

 

Song Of The Witches

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and bling-worms sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

William Shakespeare    Macbeth

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Scary Stuff

“Scary Stuff”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

Scarecrows are useful for keeping birds away from crops, but the ones that schools and gardens clubs recently made for display were clever as well.

One that was just right for Halloween was Edgar Allen Poe-sy made by the Master Gardners of New Orleans.  They even added Lenore’s grave.

Edgar Allen Posey (redu)

 

Alligators are plentiful in south Louisiana, but I’ve never seen a gardening one.  Here was one called Ali E Gardener.

 

Ali E (redu)

 

Ali E sign (redu)

 

My favorite one and one I would love to have in my garden was made by a talented art class in a public elementary school in New Orleans.  With the wind blowing the strips of fabric, this bird would surely keep the birds away.

 

Bird Scarecrow (redu)

 

Bird Scarecrow Clsp (redu)

 

But, the cutest ones were little ballerinas in Hooray for Ballet.  While not scary, they certainly were adorable.

 

Ballet Scarecrow (redu)

 

Containers for Fall

” Containers for Fall”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

I can hardly believe that it has been five days since I posted.  When I started this blog, it was my goal to post every day so that I would have a good record of my garden.  I knew that I would probably not be able to post that often, but if you don’t have a goal it is so easy to give up too quickly.  It has been a hectic few days.  Dear hubby’s car died and had to be replaced.  Is there anyone who likes to go vehicle shopping?  I certainly don’t, but finally he found something at a good price Monday night, and after all the negotiation and paperwork, we are now a two vehicle family again. 

Needless to say, there has not been much gardening going on except for a little weeding Saturday.  Since the weather last weekend was so nice – cool, sunny – I really wanted to get some garden work done that I had put off while it had been so hot.  This coming weekend is not supposed to be so nice, so it looks like I’ll be finishing up the old garden chores in winter at this rate.

Here are some photos of autumn containers that I took a while ago.  They certainly give me ideas for next year.

Fall Container 1

 

Fall Container 2

 

The next one isn’t particularly fall looking, but I just love the container.

 

Fall Container 3

A Serene Garden

“A Serene Garden”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

It is only in recent years that I have become fond of Japanese style gardens.  Maybe it takes a bit of maturity or experience to realize that colorful gardens are not any prettier than gardens that are basically green with texture and contrasts.  Or maybe it is the hustle and bustle of today’s world that makes me appreciate the calmness and serenity of a Japanese Garden.  Saturday was the first time that we explored this type of garden that is set up in the New Orleans Botanical Garden.  With all the people at the garden show bustling about, this garden which was close by, remained quite, peaceful, and meditative. 

The entrance was a corridor of bamboo, which directed you into the heart of the garden.

 

Bamboo Jap Garden (redu)

 

As you enter the garden, you see a stone urn filled with water.

 

Jap Garden - Urn (redu)

 

Once in the open area, there are several vignettes as you look in the four directions.

 

Jp Gar Teahouse (redu)

 

Jp Gar Stone (redu)

 

Jp Gar Teahouse 2  (redu)

 

Finally, as you walk out of the area, surrounded by bamboo, you come upon a stone lantern which just reinforces the sparse atmosphere which is so calming.

 

Jap Garden - Lamp (redu)

 

While I know I will never have a Japanese garden area on my property, this particular garden has inspired me to make a small area simple and natural, a perfect place to meditate and relax.

What’s for Sale

“What’s for Sale”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

As my sister, daughter, and I entered the sales area of Saturday’s garden show, the mantra was “what’s for sale?”  The highlight of the trip is the plant buying.  I have already written about my purchases, but I wasn’t the only one buying.  My daughter bought several cactus plants in an effort to keep her cats from eating inside plants, and my sister bought many of the plants I did except in different colors.

But there were so many other great plants offered by vendors or grown by volunteers of the Botanical Gardens.  I would have like to have taken more home.

They had sansevieria (mother in law tongue) that was in bloom.  I have never seen this plant with a flower.

 

Sansv. Bloom (redu)

 

They had row upon row of dessert rose plants, all in different colors.

 

Dessert Rose (redu)

 

The orchids that were available were gorgeous.

 

Orchid Red (redu)

 

Orchid Orange (redu)

 

It was interesting to see all the plants available, which is one reason I am looking forward to the spring show.  With such a bounty of plants, it is a wonder I left with only seven new plants.

Floating Flowers

“Floating Flowers”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Water feature – it seems that everyone has one but me.  One of the reasons I would love to have a pond is to grow water lilies and lotus plants.  Saturday’s garden show at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens just reinforced my desire for a pond.  Of course, I can’t have one as big as theirs, but I sure would love to stroll around a pond and see these lovelies.

 

Water Lily Pink (redu)

 

The water-lily starts and slides
  Upon the level in little puffs of wind,
    Tho’ anchor’d to the bottom.

Tennyson

  

Water Lily Lav (redu)

 

I like not only the flowers but also the leaves.  Having more than just plain green lily pads is a plus for these plants.  Speaking of green lily pads, I always find the giant water lily (Victoria amazonica) fascinating.  They are so big!  The bigger ones in the photo below are about four feet across.

 

Water Lilies - Giant (redu)

 

Water Lily Wh - Giant (redu)

 

Theses “platters” have spines all along the underside to deter plant-eating fish.  This smaller one below shows the spines along the edges which haven’t flattened out yet.

 

Water Lily Sm - Giant (redu)

 

I really do enjoy seeing unusual plants that I can’t or don’t grow, and visiting this water garden certainly helped make the day.

Living Fence

“Living Fence”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

I found a very interesting fence while touring the New Orleans Botanical Gardens Saturday.  It is a “living” fence, and would make a wonderful boundary especially if an unsightly area needed to be hidden. 

 

Living Fence (redu)

 

This “fence” was about twenty-five feet long and at least eight feet tall.  It consists of long troughs about twelve inches wide and nine inches deep.  At first I thought it was made of the extra large guttering, but then I saw the undersides.

 

Living Fence Underside (redu)

 

These troughs were planted with sedums, sweet potato vines, kalanchoes, etc.  Everything seemed to be thriving.

 

Living Fence 2 (redu)

 

I was thinking that something like this would be nice on a balcony or deck.  It wouldn’t have to be as tall as this one was.  For someone who was handy with tools, a fence like this should be fairly easy to make.  It wouldn’t have to have the same type of drainage this one does.  I wonder if guttering with holes in the bottom for drainage would work?  Anyway, I would love to look out my window and see this.

 

Living Fence 3 (redu)

 

I Want That!

“I Want That!”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

The only bad thing about going to a garden show is that it creates wants.  Plant wants, garden decor wants, landscaping wants.  You get the picture.  I, too, developed the “wants”  at the garden show my sister, daughter, and I attended Saturday in the New Orleans Botanical Gardens.

I would love to have big statues in my garden.  Of course, I would also have to have a big garden to accommodate the big statues.  I remember as a young teenager going with my family to visit Zemurray Gardens during the spring azalea bloom time.  All throughout this large garden were placed large statues of mythological characters.  I was so impressed.  It looks as if I never got over my sense of grandeur.  While it is large, the sculpture below is simple, and I know would look so nice in the side garden.  Too bad I am not married to a Rothschild.

 

Statue (redu)

 

Another “want” of mine is a water feature.  Because of all the pine trees which seem to drop something (needles, cones, and small branches) just about all year, we have been very hesitant to put anything in.  A pond is just about out of the question because of all the pine tree roots (digging a large hole would be almost impossible), so an above ground water feature is the way to go.  After seeing sugar kettles outfitted with water and plants, I thought this might be a solution.  The one in the middle of the herb garden seems just about right even though it was about six feet across.  While this one is metal, I’d be satisfied with a fiberglass one.

 

Sugar Kettle (redu)

 

Finally, I spotted what I think may be a perfect solution.  A small fountain about four feet tall.  We want something that would make some noise to drown out the hum of traffic that has become more noticeable over the last few years, and while this fountain doesn’t make a huge amount of noise, it would be enough so that you would pay attention to the sound of the water instead of the sound of the cars.

 

Fountain (redu)

 

This just may be the solution to dear hubby’s Christmas gift-for-wife dilemma.

A Glorious Day

“A Glorious Day”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

After weeks of unseasonably warm, humid, and rainy weather, a cool front came through late Thursday and brought in wonderful weather.  Lows in the 40’s and highs in the 60’s plus sunshine has meant a glorious weekend.  Doubling the pleasure, this weekend was the garden show at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens.  This twice yearly garden show is a highlight of my garden year.  This year just one sister and my daughter made the trip with me to New Orleans’ City Park where the show is held.  The Botanical Gardens were looking so good after all the rain we have had.  (October is usually our driest month.)  It will take a few posts to get through everything we saw.

One of the best things about the garden show is the plant sales. 

 

Vendors (redu)

 

Of course, I couldn’t resist buying a few things.  Fall is a big planting time in this mild climate, and today, I planted everything I bought.  Unfortunately, nothing was in bloom, so there are no photos of my purchases.  I bought four daylilies: Billye Red, Red Orbit, Rosette, and Frank Gagney.  I also bought Hedychium coccineum “Disney” which has gorgeous orange/apricot flowers.  I have seen this on several blogs and was impressed with the flowers.  When I saw the muhly grass blooming, I had to get another one since one of mine really declined this summer and needed to be replaced.  Lastly, there was a vendor selling day-blooming cereus plants, and I just had to had one.  They had so many different colors that it was hard to decide, but I finally selected a white one which is supposed to have very large flowers – nine inches across.

Now, I have a lot to look forward to next summer when all these plants start blooming.

To get back to the Gardens, though, everything looked so lovely.  One of my favorite areas was the white garden since I love white flowers so much.  The front flowers were white torenia, then came white angelina, next was the white pentas, and at the back of the borders was white cat’s whiskers.  This garden has given me some ideas of how I may want to use white flowers in my small “white” garden area.

 

White Garden (redu)

 

White Garden Clsup (redu)

 

There were several  displays throughout the gardens.  A particularly cute one was a grouping of large butterflies surrounding butterfly plants.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a large area so that you could have something like this?

 

Lg Butterfly Display (redu)

 

There is still more I have to post about the garden show and the glorious day, but that will have to wait for tomorrow.

October’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day

“October’s  Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for coming up with GBBD.  This is the day (15th of the month) in which we post everything which is blooming in our gardens.  This is a great way to keep a record throughout the year of when and what bloomed in our gardens.

We our unseasonably warm weather and high rainfall here on the Gulf Coast this October, the garden for the most part still looks like summer.  Salvias, gerber daisies, hibiscus, all the summer flowers are still blooming like crazy.

The salivas in particular are doing very well, including the coral nymph, Mexican Bush Sage, Van houttei, and pineapple sage.

 

Coral Nymph (redu)

 

2008-1010-mex-sage-i-redu-022

 

autumn-sage-redu

 

pineapple-sage-redu

 

The cannas are still blooming including the India shot, yellow, and China Doll.  The China Doll is really brightening up the “pink” garden.

 

China Doll Canna (redu)

 

The gingers are still hanging around though with cold weather right around the corner, I don’t know how much longer they will be in bloom.  The pinecone ginger I posted about the other day still looks good, but the butterfly ginger is the one doing the best.  I have three stands of it around the property and come evening time, the scent is wonderful.

 

Buttterfly Ginger (redu)

 

There are still the roses: Iceberg, Knockouts (Red, Pink & Blushing), and Mutabilis.

 

2008-1011-iceberg-redu-029

 

Blushing Knockout Rose (redu)

 

butterfly-rose-redu

 

All the rain really seems to have helped the plumbago to bloom even more than normal.

 

Plumbago (redu)

 

The toad lilies are blooming well.  They and the Confederate rose are about the only “fall” flowers blooming now.

 

Toad Lily (redu)

 

2008-1003-toad-lily-redu-001

 

confederate-rose-blossomreduced-p01-ed-w-pspxi

 

I am sure by next month that there will be more “autumn” flowers to show, or at least I am hoping there will be.  Check out what is blooming in other parts of the world by visiting Carol’s blog.

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