Sunday, May 5, 2013

Gardening / Here Comes the Rain Again.

If you are of a certain age this song is now stuck in your head.

Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory .........

 It seems that here in Middle Tennessee we have been singing this song more often than not.  Again this weekend it is soggy with flash flood warnings so I won't be playing in the yard.  We have had the hardest time getting into Spring this year.  In fact, today, along with the rain we are frolicking in the 40's!   Mother Nature seems to be having some serious mood swings.

For the first time in many years, I don't have in "big" projects this Spring.  No big makeovers inside or out just tweaking existing things and enjoying.   Good thing, since the weather has not been cooperative.  In addition to the annuals I will plant I am adding a couple of new ideas that will hopefully be improvements to some of my landscaping.

Sorry the pic is askew....don't know why it won't flip.  A couple of weeks back Wonder Hubby was on vacation and he managed to stay off the lake long enough for us to take a day to junk.  We visited Springfield, TN and a couple of awesome antique malls.  Within 5 minutes I had spotted these garden Obelisk's.  I just couldn't concentrate on anything else. 
We left the mall without them because I am so cheap.  Wonder Hubby was a bit annoyed with me since I initially considered buying only the largest of three and was okay with the price, yet, when that price turned out to be for all three I hesitated!  Guess he was right.  We left and had lunch at The Depot (I would recommend lunch there if you find yourself in Springfield) and went on to mall two.  I just couldn't get these out of my mind so we toured mall two and then headed back for them. 
So glad Wonder Hubby insisted because I love them and can't wait to have them in the garden.

Last year I had many of my plants in by mid April and all by the end of April.  I finally managed to purchase my first plants for this year, last week.  We had nice temps and weather this week so I was able to get in the dirt and complete some other outdoor chores.

Although I clean up in the fall there is still a good amount of garden debris and leaves to clean up in the Spring.  Thankfully, I am done with this now and have already had a massive bon fire to get rid of the mess. 

I love "finding" what annuals made it through the winter that are beginning to make a debut.  Until last year, having an annual come back in this area almost never happened, but with the last two winters being relatively mild I have had several this year.  The photo above (shot this morning from a dry spot!) shows dracaena spikes that made it through the winter. 

Looks like weed but its is a Gerbera Daisy making its way into Spring 2013.  I was very shocked to find this.  It is a bit like Christmas as I wait to see what color it will be!

Also making a reappearance, Calibrochoa also known as million bells.  I discovered this annual year before last and have fallen head over heels for it.   Feed it a bit and keep it watered and it just keeps on producing beautiful petunia like flowers.  I was over the moon to see some of my plants making an appearance.

I also used Calibrochoa in the pot Wonder Hubby gave me for Mother's Day last year and it has come back with a vengeance and is beautiful already.

There is my obelisk, perched in my pot waiting for a Joseph's coat rose to climb it.  I just can't believe how the Calibrochoa returned, full and pretty already.

For years I have had a flower bed in the front yard.   I actually hesitate to call it a flower bed because it has been a mish mash of things people gave me or plants I was rooting.  I had good intentions when I initially plowed it up but I always had another area I wanted to work on more.  This year I have finally decided to put some effort into this bed. 

Wonder Hubby brought in a truck load of garden mix for me and I have worked it in (in between floods) and have moved some existing plants around already.

First change/improvement, a Pinterest inspired planter atop an old bird feeder post.  Poor Wonder Hubby mounted the first planter I was going to try and naturally I found a better option (he should know that I am going to change my mind by now). 
 The better option is more proportionate....sometimes using what you have just doesn't work.

I can hardly wait to see this in a few weeks when everything fills out and begins to spill over! 

Two of my obelisk's will call this bed home.  I am planning to plant Moon flower on them as well as on the post.  Have you tried Moon flower?  It lights up a garden in the evening and smells incredible.  Next year I may try a climbing hydrangea on the large obelisk.

I am ready for the rain to end to plant my Moon flowers (I have them soaked and ready, I guess I could have skipped the whole soaking and planted them directly in the ground! lol).  My peony is on the verge of blooming and I have a few iris in bloom.


This pot is very special for me, it was my grandmother's.  For as long as I can remember a set of two of these sat on the corners of my grandmother's front porch and were always planted with red geraniums.  I brought these home after she passed away and planted them for the first time last year.  I had the set in my back landscaping but decided to rob one of them for the front bed.   The "foot" on this one is broken in half so I had so do a bit of burying to make it work, but that's okay I know what it is supposed to look like!   I didn't go with red geraniums but I think the red calibrochoa will be very pretty.

 Now I will be able to enjoy one when I am out back and the other when I am swilling iced tea on the front porch or when I am at the stove cooking, since this bed is in my direct sight line from the kitchen island.  Hopefully this week I will be able to get some annuals in this bed and bring in the mulch to finish it up.

Also blooming and growing....the old azalea's from our original front landscape.  They are dwarfing the plants we put in last year, which is a bit frustrating as I had expected much more growth of those by this year.  I guess I should just been thankful the new plants made it considering we planted and a few days later we went through almost two weeks of temps of 100 - 108.  They really didn't grow they just survived.

Thankfully we saved a couple of our old azalea's and at least one of them looks fabulous.  The other is still recovering from being crammed between VERY overgrown shrubs.  We added 6 Encore azaleas last spring that hopefully will start really growing and blooming soon.

I truly love Azaleas.  I have ever since we vacationed in Natchez Mississippi when I was a teenager and azaleas were in bloom everywhere.  While my son attended college in Memphis I looked forward to seeing all the azaleas there as well.   Strangely, azalea are not nearly as popular here in the Nashville area as other places in the South.  I am doing my part to change that in my little corner of the world.

We put up the hut and brought out the deck table yesterday.  It finally is beginning to feel like spring on the deck.  We have opened the fish pond and got it up and running.  I have a few things around the pond that are coming out little by little, a few elephant ears, iris and Asian lilies.   I looks a little bare right now, I still have to plant annuals in pots around the pond.  I cannot imagine our backyard without the pond.  Just listening to the water seems to lower the temperature even on the hottest of days.

This is my rear landscaping. Our lilac is in bloom, the hostas are almost fully up and there are a couple of things growing that I know I planted but I can't remember what they are.  Good thing surprise in the garden is a good thing!  Hopefully when this rainy weekend is over I will be able to purchase the annuals for this area and get those in. 

The lilac smells amazing.  Wish I could send it your way.

Oregano and basil are back as having these to use with fresh tomatoes all summer long.

My phlox is looking good. 

I have blogged about my good friend and junk buddy Tammy many times but I thought I would share this little story and how she coined a term we use all the time.  When Tammy got married she and her husband moved to Memphis.  We talked on the phone fairly often (even back in the days of watching your long distance bill) and we were always lamenting about being newly married and broke!  We were always sharing shopping strategies. 
 The big thing you need to know about Tammy is, she is a  clearance shopping nut!  So when she discovered shopping meat that was in the mark down section of the grocery store it was a big deal.   She affectionately named this area The Rotten Meat bin and it stuck!  Boy did it stick.  It refers to clearance of any sort and we are constantly searching for "rotten meat."  Recently we hit Lowes to check out their "Rotten Meat bin".  We purchased quite a few plants at a steal.

  One of the items I purchased was phlox.  Great deal at $2 for a large pot of it.  Seeing this picture of phlox reminded me of how much I love shopping for plants in the Rotten Meat bin! lol  I have also landed several packages of annuals for fifty cents and these adorable drift roses.

They were looking pretty rough when I dropped them in place a few days ago but are already perking up.  At a full grown size of 3 ft. wide and 1 1/2 feet tall, they are perfectly proportioned for Mini's house.  I am so excited to see these fill out.

Lastly, I have been piddling with a bed in the back yard.  When I began to turn the front bed into an actual "feature" bed I started a bed in the back yard to be my feeder bed.  I tossed in iris that I was thinning those out as well as some lilies and vinca from a neighbor.
  I also have been fortunate the last couple of years that the mums from my fall decorating made it through the winter and were transplanted to this bed.  I think I have 10 mums in it now.  This fall it should really be pretty.  For now, I am weeding and added some Phlox straight from the Rotten Meat Bin and need to mulch. 

That concludes the tour of what I hope will be beautiful gardens in a month or so.  Seeing all the beautiful new growth brightened this soggy day for me I hope it brightened yours! 


  1. I love it when annuals make a surprise reappearance! Looking forward to seeing your gardens again in another month!

  2. Your flowers and gardens are beautiful!...I love lilacs...just wish I had them here!!!...We are now getting the horrible rains here today in NC!

  3. Hi Shanee,

    So nice to meet you! You live in such a gorgeously wooded area! It reminds me of Canada, where I was born and where, as a little girl I grew up loving lilacs and peonies, which are very difficult to grow here in the Mediterranean. Thanks for sharing yours; they look so healthy and I'm sure they smell like heaven!

    Poppy :)

  4. Wow, your garden is really coming along. I can't believe you've had pots come back from last year. Seriously impressive. Thanks for sharing, liz

  5. Oh my goodness, it all looks just WONDERFUL to me!! I love the lilac and the phlox pictures the best of all. I am having some returns from last years annuals too. In fact, I potted some new begonias in a pot with some returners, and the returners look much better than the new ones.

    We're so water logged that our plants are growing as fast as I would like. I had better not complain though since we are only one year out of a multi year drought.

  6. Just lost my whole LONG comment. (Or so I think). I won't repost it just in case it is venturing about in cyber land and will eventually light.

    I love your flowers, especially the photos of the lilac and phlox!

  7. Nope. Thar she blows. I had a hunch she was flying about in cyber space...

  8. Your gardens are looking really good. I've already lost an awful lot of new plants due to the late freeze we had last weekend. I should have waited another week. Oh well....


  9. My gardens are slow this spring too. Can't wait to see it when your gardens fill in.

  10. You're awesome!! Your flowers are so beautiful!!

    I'm sure the fountain around back is so relaxing!!

    Have a blessed and wonderful day!!


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