Saturday, June 9, 2012

Color on Deck

Last night I was standing in my kitchen, looking out the back windows, when I realized my rose colored clematis has finally come into its full glory!
Ann's rose colored Clematis 'Ernest Markham'
You should really be impressed, this plant has a story to go along with it. Probably 15 years ago, I paid $1.79 for a little box with a sprig of clematis in it. I purchased two of them, and planted both at the base of a dead tree.  This dead buckthorn was too much for me to cut down, so my plan was for it to become a trellis for the beautiful new clematis; in the back of my corner garden.

A little closer view of how it looks after an almost 20 year struggle.
The plan didn't work and years later, I purchased an electric saw to cut the tree up.  My neighbor helped me and realized that it could be pushed over onto the ground, and chopped up.  Then I saw it! There was a tiny little tendril struggling on the sunny side of the old tree, trying to live.  By this time it was probably only 4 feet long.

I dug it up, and planted it in a spot where it could climb up 5 feet up to our deck.  I tied together some long sticks to help it go up, then it could spread out across the railing. This is what it has done. "Clem" has been growing on the deck for 4 years now.  This year, I purchased an additional small trellis, so it could go even higher and just look at it, it's about 12 feet above ground. This morning as I was having my breakfast, a yellow swallowtail butterfly stopped for a few moments and sipped some of the nectar from the flowers.  Sorry, no photos.  It was a lovely moment.

Ann Fahl

Sunday, June 3, 2012

An Announcement for the Small Screen

Hello to all of my readers that own a smart phone.  My webmaster has been working for quite some time to make my website smart phone friendly. 

So if you are one of the fortunate that has one of these great phones, please come to visit and see how easy it is to navigate around my website with your small screen. It has been tested, but if you experience any difficulties, please let me know, so the problem can be fixed.

No smart or Android phone? That's OK.  You are welcome to visit my website and galleries 24 hours a day.  I'll put in a batch of chocolate chip cookies, for your arrival!


Friday, June 1, 2012

I'm Still Here!

Quilting has truly taken a back seat in my current life as a new Master Gardener in training. The classes were interesting, and I have passed the exam.

I've been getting really dirty, digging, moving plants, planting new ones, and having an absolutely wonderful time. The other day when I was taking a short rest from some serious digging, an inspiration for a quilt, actually hit me.  When the idea strikes really hard like this one, it means that I should actually get going and make something. All this has happened and my beloved coneflowers and black eyed susans aren't even blooming yet.

I was looking at my clump of poppies which were magnificent until it rained the other day.  Each year there are more and more flowers.  How can one not be inspired?

Look at the strong orange color, and the purple Siberian iris behind them

Also while I was resting I happened to look at the wild columbine that are blooming in the front yard.  I almost pulled them out last week because they make the garden look kind of ratty!  And a little humming bird came back 3 or 4 times to drink their nectar.  What a treat to watch.
This is the wild variety of columbine that grows in my yard. It isn't the most lush and beautiful plant!

Here is a closeup of the delicate little red and yellow flowers.  No wonder the hummingbirds love them.

Last year I posted about the world's most expensive free rose bush. This is its' third year or maybe fourth. Because of the ultra mild spring it is blooming profusely.
This is how the bush looked last spring, with my son's hockey sticks holding it up.

Here it is in all it's glory this spring 2012.  You can still see a hockey stick!

The jack in the pulpits are huge.  There must be many varieties, because I have one that is almost waist high and others as high as about 12 inches. They are amazing.
Look closely, and you will see Jack in the Pulpit. This one is about 24 inches tall.

The big news, is that after 5 or 6 years my hydrangea bush is going to bloom.  It has taken the right amount of sun/shade and patience.  Finally I've found both. You will have to wait to see a photo of this plant.

Anyhow, this is my first season as a Master Gardener. I am taking advantage of this new found energy for this muddy hard work.  It is so inspiring, thinking about the flowers and leaves that will grow; and very healthy and healing to work hard outside in cooperation with mother nature.  So all I can do is try and harness this new energy, work with it, and hopefully come up with some really inspired pieces.  This will happen when the mosquitoes come out or perhaps when the weather turns cold in the fall.  All I can do is dig stuff and see what happens. Quilting will have to wait, life is too exciting in my garden.