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Jan. 28 - Filled the bird feeders and shoveled snow. Lots and lots of snow.
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Posts Tagged ‘anemones’

Limelight Hydrangeas and Japanese Anemone – How To Grow Perennials, When to Plant & How To Use In Landscape Gardens

Shady flower bed

Dogwood, Japanese Anemonies, Limelight Hydrangeas, Lamium and Sweet Woodruff by front porch.

When we bought our house a couple of years ago there was a small varigated Dogwood Tree beside the front porch with Sweet Woodruff and Lamium growing thickly under it. Late in the summer some pretty foliage started coming up. It only grew to be about a foot high and since I didn’t know what it was I just let it grow there. Since the foliage was so pretty and was coming up in little sprigs all through the Lamium I decided to move some of it around the yard. Most of these sprigs soon looked dead and I regretted moving them.

Since the Lamium is a low grower I planted Limelight Hydrangeas in front of the Dogwood. In September the little plant I didn’t recognize began to bloom and were beautiful. Well the next year those little plants, which I finally identified as Japanese Anemonies, grew huge and practically covered up the Hydrangeas.

The ones I had moved the year before had been just playing possum and they began to grow too. Now I’ve moved sprigs all over the garden. It’s a beautiful plant and still tries to outgrow the Hydrangeas but I’ve decided it’s survival of the fittest because I don’t want to move either of them. That next year too there were pink ones where there had just been white ones the first year. By the way, there is a Hydrangea behind that mass of white blooms.

I’ve since learned that they can be considered invasive but they are such a hardy plant and so pretty and best of all bloom in the fall when

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Perennial garden in back yard

almost everything else is finished up. I hope they invade my whole garden. Maybe I’d better be careful what I wish for.

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by Eliza Osborn

Underwater Garden – Salt Water Reef Tank

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Mushroom anemones with pink coralline algae on rocks

Once, years ago, when we were having dinner in a New Orleans restaurant, I was mesmerized by a very large reef tank that was located near our table. I could barely take my eyes from it, it was so beautiful. With the beautiful rock formations and the colorful corals growing on them, it looked like an underwater garden. There was a variety of colorful fish gliding by, but they seemed insignificant compared to the corals. I was smitten.

A few years passed and then one day we passed a reef tank shop and stopped in. There was a large, used tank set up (80 gal. tank, solid oak stand, sump pump and tank) for sale, and since it seemed so cheap we bought it, with the idea of gradually building up an  reef tank. We later learned that the tank is the cheapest component, and the “live” sand and “live” rocks to be added, more than doubled the cost of the tank set up. This was all before special lighting, super charged filter systems, chemicals and a large complicated chemical testing kit. (I know nothing about chemistry but thankfully, the whole thing was color coded.)

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Green closed brain coral

The reef tank shops mostly sell “frags” which are fragments of living corals that have been broken off during storms etc. These are then attached to the “live” rock (live because it has many organisms and creatures living in it that will eventually reveal themselves) and if the conditions are right, the corals will grow and spread or multiply. In the shops there may be very large corals for sale that they have allowed to grow in their tanks, but of course these will cost much, much more than the frags.

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clown fish and yellow tang in salt water aquarium with purple coralline algae

These are some of the pictures of the corals in our tank. We had very few fish, because we were mainly interested in the corals. We enjoyed this underwater garden for a number of years but because of so many hurricanes (3 in one season) shutting off our power for prolonged periods, we lost most of our corals. We sold the whole setup to someone who was just as happy to get it as we had been.

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Red open brain coral

 

 

I still miss that reef tank.

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Long-nose hawkfish and green open brain coral

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variety of Euphylias with purple coralline algae on rocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Salt water aquarium with corals and fish

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Red open brain coral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shady Spaces in the Garden

 

hostas, spirea, shady garden

Hosta bed with 6 varieties of Hostas

Like a lot of others, we have a yard that has a combination of very sunny to very shady areas. The sunny areas are easy because so many plants do so well and have to have full days of sunshine. The challenge is finding plants that not only will tolerate the shade but will thrive and bloom in it.

Some shade loving plants are Astilbe, Ferns, Hydrangeas, Japanese Anemones, Bleeding Hearts, Rhododendrons, Pulmonaria, Lamium, Hostas and Japanese Maples. Then there are annuals like Tuberous Begonias and Impatiens that bloom in the shade. All of these plants are wonderful and we have almost all of them in our garden but I’m going to just focus on Hostas and their big, leathery leaves. Hosta foliage ranges from amazing blues through some of the most beautiful greens, all the way to yellow/green. Grown mostly for their beautiful foliage, they also bloom on tall stalks, some even have fragrant blooms.

Hostas vary in size from very large to pretty small so there is one for about any space available in the shady garden. A lot of people love these plants, but so do snails and slugs. The pests are easy to spot and pick off or just  put out bait for them. Left alone though, they can turn hosta leaves into Swiss cheese.

Hostas like a moist (not wet), well drained soil and can take a few hours of sun, (morning being better than afternoon).

We have about 12 different varieties in our garden but my 2 favorites are Blue Angel, which is a giant, blue hosta, and Guacamole, which is a bright, beautiful shade of green and works well in darker areas to brighten them up.

Now is the time to plant hostas so they will be all ready to come up in the spring. Like any perennials, they will continue to get bigger and bigger and more beautiful each year.

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by Eliza Osborn

Kids In the Garden

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Bunny under the Limelight Hydrangeas

Kids really do like to be in the garden, whether it’s flowers or vegetables growing, they just have such a good time.  We like to create different garden rooms with places to sit and with different views. This really appeals to kids since they have no boundaries on their  imaginations and can enjoy the garden in totally different ways than we’re able to.

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Gnomes under the Astilbe, hiding in the garden for kids to find.

We’ve started hiding objects like bunnies, chickens, gnomes, turtles etc. in the garden to make the garden even more fun for kids.They like “discovering” the hidden objects and are always on the look-out for them. We move them around from time to time and make some even harder to find, but they always do. Sometimes I think they know and love our garden about as well as we do. I really like that.

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Statue in hydrangea bed.

 

 

 

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Bunny hiding in the Anemones

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by Eliza Osborn

Our Garden Gate
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Japanese Anemones
Delpiniums, Lilies, Centranthus
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Yarrow
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