Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Why is it, if I find a type of plant I particularly like one is never enough. In fact, it seems my motto is,  if one is good then fifty is even better.  A couple years ago I bought my first bromeliad and fell in love with the sculptural form of these marvelous plants. Within six months I had at least thirty broms and after a year it was up over a hundred or so.... I'm hopeless I tell you.

I've always loved variegated and patterned foliage so when I found my first foliage vriesea on line I was hooked. The colors and patterns of these gorgeous bromeliads are total eye candy. They are easy peasy to care for. In winters I grow them under lights that are on 12 hours a day. They get watered once every two weeks or so and only get a dilute root feeding every six weeks or so. By growing them in groups the water in the 'tanks' in the centers of the plants keep the humidity up around the plants and creates a happy environment for these beauties. 

Here are a few photos of some of the Vriesea collection I took today while taking care of (read drooling over my plant babies. LOL)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall/Winter Pursuits

All of the tender plants have now been safely tucked into the house, garage or my friend's greenhouse for the winter and 99% of the containers have been emptied out and stored away for the season. (I noticed a couple of annual pots outside  that I missed, Jeesh...) We've raked up and shredded leaves, still lots of that left to do as the oaks take their time shedding.  I don't mind them falling and making more work as the oak leaves are one of the main ingredients of the compost I use for top dressing and amending the soil in the borders every year.  So, now is the time to take out my bird blind and set it up in the middle of my back yard.  Yes, I did say "bird blind".  I spend a good deal of my time in the winter outside in the garden in my 'tent' as my family and friends call it. They all think I'm a bit daft (you can imagine what the neighbors think) but I love my garden birds and I love taking pictures of them.   We got the blind set up last weekend and I spend a wonderful day on Monday enjoying the last of the fall color and my garden birds.

The Japanese Maples are my last blaze of color in the gardens now

White-throated Sparrow, one of the many Sparrows that visit regularly in the winter

There are only a very few leaves left on the Hydrangea petiolaris

American Goldfinch in the Hydrangea petiolaris

American Goldfinch

House Finch - love to see those nice buds for next year's flowers on the Hydrangea

Red-bellied Woodpecker on the oak

Mr. Pesty Gray Squirrel

Black-capped Chickadee tucking seed in the base of the Hydrangea petiolaris

White-breasted Nuthatch

The Japanese Maples are gorgeous right now - these leaves will be gone after tonight's first snowfall of the season

Drasty Chipmunk - I do wish they'd move to someone else's garden

Black-capped Chickadee

American Goldfinch

Dark-eyed Junco - love these sweet "Snow Birds"

Mourning Dove

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October Colors...

The birch and  maple trees are now bare of their brilliant autumn cloaks but the oak trees are in their full glory. My favorite autumn colors are the rust, deep burgundy and oranges the oak leaves turn in the fall and they make a beautiful backdrop for all the lovely birds that visit my gardens here in the fall. 

Tufted Titmouse

American Goldfinch

Pine Siskin

American Goldfinch

 Some gorgeous color right now from my dwarf Fothergilla, what a beauty!

American Goldfinch in the wild crabapple tree

There are still some flowers on the Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'

The Hydrangea petiolaris  still has a few leaves left

Black-capped Chickadee in the Hydrangea petiolaris

Pine Siskin

Salvia 'Mystic Spires' with a Painted Lady Butterfly

We are expecting a large wind storm in the next couple days and that will be the end of the foliage season for 2012, so now I'm looking forward to my indoor gardening and bird photography until spring rolls around again.