Tuesday, June 30, 2009

All-You-Can-Eat Salad

My lovely leafy Hostas have been ravaged, they are being destroyed right before my eyes by a plague of RABBITS. A neighborhood child said he's seen even 10 at a time in the woods at the back of his house, and my husband saw 4 rabbits lurking nearby yesterday night. I personally spotted a (very bold) rabbit this evening out in the open during daylight, and so it appears that trying to save my garden from the damage may be a losing battle. The Hostas were oh-so-close to blooming, but now I'll miss out on that this season. I at least would like to minimize my losses, and I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the Rabbits won't attack any other plants. Perhaps next year, I'll try some "liquid fence", it's supposed to deter small animals without doing harm to the environment, and so this may be the only way to go.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

West Virginia Wildflowers

On a roadtrip to West Virginia over the weekend, we noticed that the hills were covered everywhere with an interesting blooming groundcover.

My husband & I plucked some of these for a close up inspection.

The dainty soft pink flowers smelled very refreshing.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yellow Slime Mold

We have had some really rainy/damp/humid weather lately, and yesterday I noticed something GROSS on top of the mulch in my flower bed. This morning when I left for work, it caught the attention of both my husband & I because this weird stuff had actually GROWN overnight! After Googling "yellow mold in garden", I found that other people who Garden have also had experiences with this stuff, and what we apparently have is Fuligo septica (dog vomit slime mold). At least it's considered completely harmless, but unfortunately it's also impossible to get rid of according to the Fungi experts. I just hope it will go away and won't spread.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Toads and Loads of Wildlife

Since moving into our new home we have spotted various creatures large and small on and around our property, and that makes me HAPPY because many of them are actually very beneficial to my garden and the environment as a whole. Recently, we had our backyard credentialed as a "Certified Wildlife Habitat" by The National Wildlife Federation, and definitely it meets the criteria of providing the "four basic habitat elements needed for wildlife to thrive." I have spotted chipmunks, rabbits, and even a large Yellow Tabby Cat from time to time, and we have a wide variety of birds and even some butterflies that like to hang out on occasion too! If you wish to attract more Wildlife to your garden, be proactive and make sure the following are widely available:

Food Sources - For example: Native plants, seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, nectar
Water Sources - For example: Birdbath, pond, water garden, stream
Places for Cover - For example: Thicket, rockpile, birdhouse
Places to Raise Young - For example: Dense shrubs, vegetation, nesting box, pond
Sustainable Gardening - For example: Mulch, compost, rain garden, chemical-free fertilizer

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An Alpine Escape

My lucky husband got to attend a conference in Switzerland last week, and these pictures have left me pining for a European Excursion for myself. I briefly toured Switzerland as part of a vast Continental Tour back in 1998, which seems like an eternity ago, but alas with only a minuscule budget at the time, I was forced to depart after only a mere 3 days or so in the country. There are so many other places that I still wish to see, which is why I rarely do re-treads, but just maybe, maybe one day, I'll find myself once again in the Swiss Alps humming "The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music..."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Double the Fun

This weekend was absolutely *beautiful*, and I have a Double Hibiscus putting out dinner-plate sized blooms. I love this plant! My little boy was pretty excited too, and gardening is Double the Fun when you throw children into the mix. The world is so new to a child. This is the very first June for my son, and it's often said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, so I want this Summer Season to be spectacular! I want my son to grow up feeling at home in nature, so that he will always have a respect for Mother Nature and feel duty-bound to be a caretaker of the environment. There are so many teachable moments and lessons to be learned in the garden, and I really am looking forward to sharing this with him as he grows.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The National Arboretum

The National Arboretum really has something for everyone, and today my husband & I spent the afternoon exploring not only the Bonsai Garden with it's Satsuki Azalea Exhibit, but also the grounds that are further away from the entrance where we had never ventured before. It's become our tradition to visit the Arboretum each Fall for the annual Orchid Show, but never before had we seen the vast space set aside for the varied Tree Collection. The beautiful Southern Magnolias (Magnolia Grandiflora) are abloom as are the Dogwoods, and there are just so so many interesting plants at the Arboretum. It is truly a living museum, with a Herb Garden and a Koi Pond and all kinds of different Perennials and Shrubs, and now we plan to visit there more often and at least once a season. It's the perfect place for a picnic or a leisurely stroll, and best of all it's FREE!

Satsuki Azalea Exhibit and Bonsai Garden

Koi Pond

Mahonia Bealei


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