Friday, January 31, 2014

Birds in our winter garden Part 1

I  decided that this year I will try to document and learn about all birds that visit our feeders and garden during the year.

Here is what I have so far for this winter:

Can someone guess all their names correctly?
Sharing with I'd rather be birding   and Saturday's Critters blogs where magnificent pictures of birds are being shared.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The top 12 beauties of 2013 garden

This is the hardest thing to do! To pick only twelve favorites out of my garden! But I forced myself to do it saying, if I would move to another home and I would only be allowed to take twelve plants which ones I must take with me. Here are my 2013 picks: 

Hosta "Sagae" (zone 2-9)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Garden Blogger Bloom Day -January 2014

I am late to the party but it is better to be late than absent, don't you think? Here is what is happening in our Ohio zone 5b gardens.
Lets start with the indoor garden..yes you heard it right..the sun room now winters over 40 type of plants so it qualifies to be called the indoor garden. More plants around the window sills in the  house and a couple dormant ones in the garage.

Sun room January garden
Fuchsia "Gartenmeister Bonstedt" has been blooming non-stop since I got it in 1998..or maybe I cut it hard twice in sixteen years.

Begonia "Escargot" in bloom
The obvious reason I grow this plant is the foliage! Such cool foliage shape, texture and color.
Begonia "Escargot" needs well drained soil, humidity and indirect bright light. Pretty easy to grow.

The bloom of the Shrimp plant or Justicia brandegean
A non stop bloomer indoor and outdoor. 

 Zonal Geranium or Pelargonium- it hasn't stopped blooming since I bought it in May 2013

Hundreds of blooms cover the Valencia Orange tree or Citrus Sinensis dwarf Campbell. Very difficult to pollinate so far.

An non-hardy sedum planted last spring in this piece of wood saved from a tree we had to take down. 
I only water this with a mist every two weeks! It is amazing to me how drought tolerant it is!

    The best winter for our Meyer Lemon Tree. We had this tree for eight years and this winter it produced  about 20 lemons in its signature deep yellow color. No spider mites problem for the first time in years and it already tries to bloom while 8 lemons are still awaiting to be picked. Talk about a winter spirit lifter every time you cut a slice of these juicy fresh lemons!
Coleus -possibly  Mt. Washington variety. It almost died but recently I gave it a warmer spot away from the outdoor windows or doors and it has gotten new foliage.

A lot going on in our indoor garden. While the outdoor temperatures had been varying between -4F and 44F this winter, the indoor managed to stay between 45-57F thanks to the four electrical wall heaters. Today it was sunny outside and 13F. Indoor garden at 55F. Out of all the plants I tried to winter indoor petunias, impatiens and torenia didn't make it. All new rooted cutting of coleus died when temperatures dropped in the 40s. I have two more old coleus plants (one pictured above) that are struggling and hope to make it to spring. 

The Bougainvillea foliage is showing a sign of redness.
I was surprised to be able to winter Tallinum Purple Heart for the first time and many varieties of sedum.  More foliage plants are in the house but none in bloom at this time.

Outdoor January Garden

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at  May Dream Gardens. Visit her blog to see what is in bloom this month in gardens from many climates and countries.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday's Favorite Flowers Combination #5

Here is a more subtle Monday flowers combination that I like as much as the bold bright ones I posted in the previous weeks.

The focus in this picture is on the front row of plants, but overall a somewhat blurry shot so here comes
take two:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Monday's Favorite Flower combination #4

Today's favorite combination involves three different flowering shrubs in bloom together with the cobalt blue Bachelor's Button during the month of May. This bed is in the front left side of the house as you look from the street called the North front bed. It receives the most sun out of our garden beds and it has been a challenging bed to plant in due to the vast amount of tree roots left in the ground after some old trees were removed before we moved in. Every year I continue to add sun loving perennials and flowering shrubs to this bed  but more to come on this later.
Azaleas or  Deciduous rhododendrons  " Herbert" (pink) and "Gibraltar" (orange) plus  Deutzia "Nikko" (white) and Bachelor's Button or Centaurea Mountain Bluet

Monday, January 6, 2014

New blooms in 2013

As I was looking at my flower pictures from 2013 and I realized that a lot of the flowers that I can't wait to see again in the spring or summer were new to our garden in 2013.  Some of these plants I had researched for a while and had on my MUST FIND list. But some, I just discovered on the spot and knew that I must try.
I will share with you a few of these beauties:
Poppy Mallow, Winecup or Callirhoe involucrata (zone 4-9). It prefers a sunny dry location.