Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April Showers Bring April Flowers

We've had a fair amount of rain this month. We were even in the severe weather watches this week, but thankfully, we just came away with some rain and a bit of wind. I went out before the rain thinking that a lot of blooms would be knocked off in the bad weather that was predicted. In Evan's Garden I now have three Baptisia australis plants, or False indigo: one white, one blue, and the newest one: yellow! I had been wanting a yellow one for years, but never timed my visit to the nursery in time to get one...until this year! Evan loved yellow flowers, so I'm pleased I have the yellow version now.

Sorry for the blurry pic.

I just picked up some new plants from Pike's Nursery with a gift card from my in-laws. I thought I'd get a couple of more pricey things that I'd never get if I was just shopping on my own. So, I got two Peonies. This one has big, red flowers (Evan's favorite color!) and is called Buckeye Belle. 

I also just installed some annuals for my front beds. I went with a couple shades of Angelonia, a Penta in the center, and Zinnias up front. I hope they will be pretty there, and attract lots of bees.

I put a new Tiarella cordifolia Foamflower in Evan's Garden. I had one in that bed several years ago. It flourished for years and then, all of a sudden, it was gone. It's good to have another one.

My hardy Geraniums have gotten big, and need dividing. This might be the year I actually do it! Their common name is cranesbill.

A pretty honeysuckle on the arch in Evan's Garden.

Deutzia gracilis "Chardonnay Pearls," aka Duncan has been magnificent this year. The one in Evan's Garden looked a bit peaky last fall. I thought it was dead, but she's come back nicely.

I tried to get a decent picture of my little Dodecatheon in my woodland garden. They are called Shooting Stars. You can really see why in that side view, in spite of the quality of the photo. One of these days I'll get a nice one.

There are several plants that didn't come back, including my Columbines and Foxgloves. Both were in Evan's Garden. I'm bummed, but I can't say it was completely unexpected given the rough winter we had. I'm pleased that so many things did come back. Although, I could have had fewer weeds!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

World Meningitis Day 2014

Evan, who lost his battle to Bacterial Meningitis in November, 2006.

Join hands against Meningitis! Learn the symptoms of Meningitis, so you'll be prepared. Learn what you can from groups like the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations. They can keep you posted on what's going on globally against Meningitis, and give you links to groups in your area. Join the fight! Remember those who were lost, as well as survivors.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ahhhh...the Beach!

 My sister and her husband made the big move from the Northeastern US to the Cayman Islands late last year. When they invited us for a visit, it was hard to say no. So...we didn't!

Since they were nice enough to let us crash at their place, we decided to get the direct flight (cha-ching!)

Staying with family sometimes means awkward morning hours, and shared bathrooms. Not at this posh place! Look at the view from their balcony! Lovely!

Everyday they took us to the beach. Mostly to do some snorkeling. We checked out the Kittiwake wreck as part of a big group. I'm a confident swimmer, but the choppy water and the (gulp) 60 foot depth had me a bit freaked out. Next time I'll wear the life vest for a little added comfort level. I did wear it at the next site, a corral reef at only 10 feet deep. I really enjoyed seeing so many fish!

We sat on the balcony in the evenings and watched the moon rise. My sister, who has always loved astronomy, showed me Jupiter and Mars! I was very excited to share these with Duncan (he's taken an interest (to put it mildly) in space!) when we got home.

Crystal clear blue waters. The ocean was a bit rough when we were there, actually. My sister said it's usually fairly calm. A woman on the flight back (who lived in the Caymans for a few years) said some of the places she visited that weekend were feet higher than usual! It was beautiful to watch the waves crashing into the shore, but did make swimming a bit of a struggle.

This lizard kept his eye on us at the beach. 

I misplaced my camera for a few days, so I don't have a lot of photos, unfortunately. 

There have been several events where I was taking photos, and I wasn't in any of them! So, to prove that I actually was there, here's a selfie!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

RIP Daphne

I planted this Daphne odora 'Marginata' on the one year anniversary of Evan's death. I picked the Daphne specifically because it would bloom around the time of Evan's birthday on February 1st. I also chose the Daphne because we shared a special moment sniffing the lovely flowers sometime around Evan's second birthday. So, she's been pretty happy there at the end of our sloped driveway for more than 6 years. I was a bit concerned about the location, because Daphnes like sharp drainage, and I wasn't sure she'd get it there. But she seemed happy, so I let her be. This winter was pretty brutal even for us in the Deep South. We're not used to single digit temperatures, and unfortunately, some of our plants are not coming back this spring. My Daphne was hit hard by the 6 degree morning we had in January. The leaves died back at the time. I thought, "well, I'll wait and see if the leaves start coming back on when it warms up." I got around to doing my late winter clean-up routine in March, and snipped back some of the Daphne's branches to see if there was any green in there or just brown. I was stoked that there was green! All of the branches had green! So, I patiently waited for more signs of life. And, I waited. It's probably been a month now and nothing. So, I'm assuming that she's not coming back. My mom has already given me a replacement Daphne. I just have to find a good place for her. I am sad to have lost something I planted for Evan. Hopefully, I can make up for it with some nice, new plants for his garden this summer. RIP, Daphne! You will be missed!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Playing Catch Up. Again. Snow Day!

We're fortunate in The South not to get a whole lot of the white stuff. We may get a little snow one year and none the next. Six inches of snow is a big deal here. Of course, we're not used to driving in it! We never get any practice! Because we see so little snow, we're able to see its beauty and enjoy it like we did when we were kids. The picture above is Evan's tree (Crape Myrtle 'Acoma,' I believe.) We planted it in 2004 when Evan was born. It's 10 years old now and probably 8-10 feet tall!

One nice thing about living on a slope is that we don't really need to go anywhere for our sledding.

The driveway ended up being the favorite spot. A longer, scarier ride! (Miranda, sporting the Birthday Hat!

The cold weather and precipitation was pretty rough on the plants. Things are coming in now and leafing out. But not everything came back.

Miranda takes making Snow Angels very seriously.

Hitting The Slope with me!

After being out in the cold, the kids, sparkly eyed and rosy cheeked, were ready for some homemade hot chocolate!