If I were a fairy..

If I were a fairy, I would live in a big oak tree.

I would have a slate patio to have parties on.

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I would have a garden full of tiny flowers like…

EpimediumIMG_7905

JessopIMG_7884

Little Lantern ColumbineIMG_7894

Fire Spinner DelospermaIMG_7903

Salvia nemorosa, ‘New Dimension Rose’IMG_7866

Sagina subulata, Irish mossIMG_7879

Wild fernsIMG_7880

with moss and lichens and lovely rocks for my friends to sit on.IMG_7870

I would have an urn full of Lily of the valley and violet blooms.IMG_7872

I would leave out a basket of treasures for children to find.IMG_7867

I would have a bowl full of cool water for my tiny, thirsty friends.IMG_7874

I would have a whirly-gig with the colors of the rainbow to spin in the breeze.IMG_7871

I would have a gazing ball with the colors of the Earth, so I could dream of all the places I have not been…yet.IMG_7865

If I were a fairy, I’d live here.

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Wouldn’t you?

FLOWER

Wildflowers by the Highway

I had the great pleasure of visiting a local garden club meeting this week.

Their group was a delightful mix of flower folks.

The room was surrounded by vases of flowers from their gardens.

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The meeting was at the new Lake Norman State Park Visitor’s Center. If you are local, it is a great place for mountain biking, swimming, hiking, camping and boating. I always see wildlife as I pass through this lovely park.

I attended this particular meeting because there was a guest speaker from the North Carolina Department of Transportation Roadside Environmental Unit.

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Derek Smith gave an informative and entertaining program about the NC Wildflowers on North Carolina Roadsides. I wanted to take photo of each slide, but there was no need. We were given a fabulous booklet of all the flowers and a packet of seeds. My kind of party favors!

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I am so proud of my state for having such an environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing program.  All the plantings are funded by the purchase of customized license plates.

The plantings include about one third annuals, one third perennials and the last third native wildflowers. There are meadow mixes and pattern plantings that include stripes, checkerboards, stars and even an outline of our state.

There is some good science involved in this program. Density planting keeps down the weeds and flowers are pollinator friendly.  Compost is added to deficient soils.

These plantings provide a much needed corridor for pollinators to travel on. Trucks aren’t the only traffic along our highways.  Bees, birds and butterflies use these plantings as rest-stops between fields and farms.

Next time you are passing through North Carolina, look for these beautiful and functional plantings.

FLOWER

 

 

The Frozen Phase is Here.

It happened last night.

The elephant ears are drooping, the dahlias are black.

The banana leaves are brown and the Turk’s caps are gray.

The green has left the garden.

Another phase in the life of a gardener.

Clean up the frozen leaves and stems before they turn to slime.

Dig up tubers, corms, and rhizomes that now have no tops.

Pack them in peat moss, haul them in.

Sometimes I wonder.

What would I have done with all that time if I had NOT

followed this same routine over and over again each year?

My nails would be prettier.  Maybe my back wouldn’t hurt as much.

More traveling? More money? A career? A cleaner house? More friends?

No matter.  I have chosen my flowers.  My living rainbow.  My green children.

That has been my path.  My little world of tiny friends and flowers.

ALL these photos were taken yesterday, just hours before the freeze.

Many blooms were covered with frantic bees. CLICK on any photo to enlarge it.

(The feature image is a pumpkin bloom)

The Frozen FLOWER

 

Mona Lavender

My dear Plectranthus friend seems to be mealy-bug free after the musical cleansing.

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All the attention lead to a growth spurt, then a potting up and a pruning.  Now it is almost as tall as the Exotica Amaryllis.

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I love purple. Not only are its tiny blooms lavender and purple,

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but the leaves have a dark purple underside.

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This plant has spent the winter indoors by a sunny window.

It is a Zone 10 from South Africa. I am in Zone 7.

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FLOWER

 

High Tech Plant Tag

No more plant research for me!

Now all I have to do is buy plants with QR codes on the tags.

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Scan the code with my QR Code Reader App.

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Then type in the plants’ name…

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VOILA!   Instant information.

Now that I have shown you the tag, I will let you see the irresistible flowers.

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Plectranthus  ‘Mona Lavendar’

Who could resist that tiny purple face?

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What lovely little buds!

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It is not cold hardy.   You know what that means?    Another plant in the house all winter.     Hooray!

FLOWER has a flower fetish.