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Monday, July 20, 2009

Mid July

Butterflies, lizards and flowers from the moon garden. click butterflies & lizards for larger pictures (opens in a new window)

3 gulf fritillary butterflies & buckeye butterfly
gulf fritillaries

2 zebra swallowtails
zebra swallowtails

painted lady butterfly on echinacea
painted lady butterfly on echinacea

buckeye butterfly
buckeye butterfly

Takes caterpillars to have butterflies, and they have very specific dietary requirements.... In this day & age of endless turf, we all should grow
butterfly host plants   << click the link

It's no longer possible to depend on the vacant lot down the street to supply us with butterflies for our flower garden.

little gray lizard
little gray lizard
AKA Eastern Fence Lizard

striped lizard
striped lizard
AKA Six-lined Racerunner

These lizards are helpful in the garden, They will occassionally dash out in front of me to grab bugs... I've even had them hang out next to the campfire eating termites while I made coffee & pancakes!

I was reading at the baker creek forum (http://idigmygarden.com/forums) where somebody had a squash bug eatin horned toad!

Obviously, you wouldn't have butterflies or lizards in so-called "traditional" chemical gardening...

Here's a couple taken at dusk from the moon garden.

flashlight bush
flashlight bush

gourd blooms
gourd blooms


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Monday, June 15, 2009

The June Garden

Everything is blooming!

What were these veggies doing in my flowers?


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Monday, December 29, 2008

winter colour

First Bloom... I grew this camellia from seed.... My camellia bushes traveled with me from GA to TN, and back...


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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Autumn Colours

The sand holly bushes are beautiful! I spent days online searching for the name of this drought proof wonder, using search terms like "red berries in the autumn", "in the fall", & I did find one picture on an Alabama blog, but she didn't know what it was either. When / if I find her blog again, I'll post a link.

The leaves on the Sand holly soon turn yellow and fall to the ground, but the berries persist on the naked branches till Spring. I sampled the berries, hoping for cranberries, and while one didn't make me sick, they also didn't taste good enough to make a meal. It would seem the birds agree.

I finally wrote to the Georgia Extension Service and after a false start, we got it narrowed down.

Ilex ambigua

some additional colour:


Another cool xeric shrub



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Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Well

We're Finally getting a well! No more portaging water from the city when transplanting.

Here's pictures of the equipment & crew.


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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Early spring

dogwood trees in bloom

Now that It's spring, I've been enjoying all of the spring ephemerals.

Things like blood-root, may apples, star flowers, trout lilies-AKA dog tooth violet, Virginia bluebells. The shade garden is full of surprises as something new comes up every week. The turn-over of bloom in the early spring means that we seem to have a different garden from month to month.

The soil is soft, which means that it's still time to create new garden beds.

Keep the heavy equipment off the soil! Someone told me a story last week about putting in a wildflower garden that gave me the shivering horrors!

It seems the client hired a paving company to replace their turf with a wildflower garden. The person doing the work went out there with a bobcat and took up the turf.

I'm sure they got the turf grass out... they also packed that wet soil into an impermeable hard pan that nothing will be able to send roots through.

The solution? Most turf will die if covered in the autumn. This is why people rake their leaves! So... save yourself some work and leave those autumn leaves in place, and no more turf. No leaves? Cover the lawn with wood chips, or any other organic mulch.

Next they spread the seed and covered them with several inches of wheat straw. Ok, First of all, wildflower seed needs light to germinate. Secondly, Wildflower seed really should be spread in the autumn here in middle GA. The plants grow all winter and bloom in the late spring, after the spring ephemerals have finished.

Moral of the story? Hire the paving company to pack your driveway, not your flower garden.


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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Winter Chores

There's a lot of gardening to be done in the winter here in zone 8.

Number 1 on anybodys list:

Locate a source of manure!

It is really important to be specific about it being in a pile!

Amazingly, people will often tell us that they have all that we could want... When we get there.... they point out to the pasture.... give us permission to scoop it up behind the animals!

I don't let them load it for me. I have tailgate damage from the last time that someone used their front end loader to load my truck.

2. Thining
If you're lucky enough to have a wooded lot, winter is an excellent time to assess the health of your trees.

With the leaves gone, we can see how the trees are shaped.

Do some look mishapen? Do the smaller ones have a clear way to the sky, or have they stopped putting on top growth because of larger trees?

Are they leaning toward the light?

With these thoughts in mind, now is the time to consider getting out the chainsaw.

3. Soilwork.

The soil doesn't freeze in the deep south, thus making winter the ideal time for soil prep & bed creation.

It goes immediately into summer here, with temps in the 90's from March on.... Rain is scarce, thus creating baked hard soil that is impervious to pick or shovel. In the winter, it finally rains, loosening the soil, making shovel-work possible.


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