Saturday, June 25, 2016

Critters, Drought and Gardening

Deer damage to a hosta plant.
Gardening this year has been interesting. I have been spending time working on the hardscape and planting additional plants to fill out the garden. I had great expectations for the garden this year and I hoped I would see blooms and good growth, but Mother Nature has not been helping.

The area that I live in is a thermal belt with cooler summers and warmer winters and normally 56 inches of rain per year. That works out to be 1 inch plus per week. Not this year. Spring did not bring lots of rain and my plants did not grow as tall as they should have. We are now in a moderate drought and each day they forecast rain, but it just does not come. The temperature and humidity is really high and it is not pleasant to be outside. I have been watering to keep the garden alive.

The deer have found my garden and one deer did lots of damage to hostas, lilies, roses, hydrangeas and containers of annuals. I am now spraying the garden to keep the deer out. The pictures show the deer damage to my plants.

Deer damage to my container and oakleaf hydrangea.

No lilies this year!

Deer damage to my rose garden.

I was very happy that my tomatoes were doing very well. They are located in containers on the second floor deck. I have squirrels who has found the tomatoes and they have been eating on them.

Squirrel damage
Then came the tomato hornworms. They found the tomatoes and have been feasting on the vines.

Tomato hornworms

A very large tomato hornworm enjoying my heirloom tomatoes. This hornworm is about 5 inches long.

This is what tomato hornworms do to your tomato vines.

I am trying to have a positive attitude about the garden. I know during drought, that animals need food and my garden provided that. I know that if I keep watering the garden, it will survive and that there is always next year for those blooms.

I am now spraying the plants to keep the deer away and it seems to be working. I am using a product that is all natural called Deer Out.  The hornworms are another story. They are hand picked and given a toss down the mountain!

Happy Gardening!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Chinese Lizard's Tail

The other day, I was walking in the park and I saw this plant. It was a beautiful clump that was about 36 inches tall and about 4 feet wide. In the sun, the white color in the leaves just glowed. The markings of white to green on the leaves was very unusual and nothing that I had ever seen before. I took a picture, went home and started searching on the Internet for the plant. After about an hour of searching, I found it. It is called Chinese Lizard's Tail or (Saururus chinensis).

The plant grows between 2 to 4 feet and can grow in the sun or part shade. It grows along ponds, swamps, marshes, and streams in zones 5 to 11. It produces a fragrant white flower from June to September. It is deer resistant and the bees enjoy the nectar from the flowers. This plant spreads by rhizomes and needs to be growing in shallow water up to 6 inches deep around a pond, lake, river or it can be grown in a container water garden.

This is a striking plant to see and much nicer than common green leafed Lizard's Tail. This may be a plant that I add to my water garden just for the striking foliage.

Happy Gardening!

I started a new project in the garden today with the help of my husband. We are building stairs down the slope to the garden. The stairs will make it easier to go up and down from the lower garden. Check back on our progress!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Lure of the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge

Back in March of 2015, I wrote a blog post on the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. My husband and I were visiting the area in February and we decided to walk across the bridge to see the gardens. It was extremely cold and icy that day. The gardens were down for the year, but as we walked across the bridge we could tell what had once been blooming in the gardens and that there was something very special about this place.

Since that time, much has changed. We purchased a home in Lake Lure and made the move to North Carolina. When we were in town, we would stop by the bridge and walk the gardens. They were always changing with the seasons and always beautiful.

The bridge was built in 1925 on the Broad River in Lake Lure. In  2011, the bridge was closed due to constructing a new road and bridge. The old bridge was turned into a garden with raised themed beds running over the 155 feet length of the bridge. In October of 2013, the bridge was dedicated as "The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge".

The bridge has become a place where visitors from around the country come to visit and enjoy the flowers and wildlife. They take pictures of family and friends posed in the gardens to remember their visit. Here are some pictures of the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge in bloom. Enjoy!

The gardens on the bridge are maintained by a group of very hard working and dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to keep the gardens beautiful, blooming and ever changing. Donations of time and money keep the gardens blooming and open for the public to visit and enjoy.

If you are ever in the area, please stop by the bridge and stroll the gardens. Take time to talk to the many wonderful volunteers that make the bridge possible. They are always ready to share their love of gardening with each and every visitor to the bridge. For more information on the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge go to their web site or  Friends of Lake Lure Flowering Bridge on Facebook.

Happy Gardening!

'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood

Years ago, I purchased a very small tree that was only 6 to 8 inches tall. It was a 'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood. It had beau...