Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Greetings!

It's been awhile since I've posted anything on the blog. We've had an unusally cold winter already here in Kentucky and it is just now officially winter! We had an ice storm last week which left about a quarter to half inch coating of ice over everything. It certainly was beautiful but was very treacherous for walking and driving. The weather forecasters are predicting we'll have a white Christmas this year!

Best wishes for a happy, safe and healthy holiday season to all and Happy Gardening in 2011!

Jim, a Weekend Gardener in the Bluegrass

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Impatiens finally succumb to the cold weather

Well, the cold weather of the past couple of nights did a number on my  impatiens. They were holding up very well but today they're gone. And, with the change from daylight saving time, I think winter is definitely coming to the bluegrass state. I still have lots of leaves to rake whenever I can find some time. I's always a bit sad to see the garden look so barren during the winter, but I know that Mother Nature will make a splashy appearance in a few months. Until then, I guess I will bundle up and try to stay warm.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Can anyone tell me what kind of bird this is?

This afternoon, I was attempting to plant some daffodil and tulip bulbs but the ground was so hard and dry from the drought, I didn't make much headway. While I was working, I was distracted by this big bird that landed on the fence. I went inside to get my camera and was able to get a few pictures of it. It's the largest bird I've ever seen in my yard! I think it might be a falcon but I'm not sure. If anyone knows what kind of bird this is, please let me know. It certainly is a stately looking creature, to say the least. I wouldn't want to make it mad!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lace Vine is in bloom

I haven't posted to the blog in a few weeks. This has been the hottest summer on record in our area and we haven't had a good rain in a long, long time. As a result, my lawn is brown and the few parts that are green are primarily crabgrass. I'm about ready to try a rain dance!

About the only thing that is blooming now is the lace vine. Several years ago, I planted this vine to provide some privacy for the back yard. It has certainly served its purpose and is actually a bit out of control..However, at this time of  year, the lacy white blossoms on the vine are quite a welcome sight. Here are a couple of pictures:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hummingbird Festival

This past Saturday was the 3rd annual Hummingbird Festival at Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood, KY. Yew Dell is the former estate of the late commercial nurseryman Theodore Kline. It has been reopened as a horticultural display, education and research center for the region. There is a link to Yew Dell in the "links" section of my blog. Check it out. It is a very interesting place!

At the festival, trained volunteers were catching hummingbirds and banding them for tracking purposes. It was fascinating to watch the tiny creatures up close and personal. The volunteers took each bird's measurements and put a tiny band on the bird's leg. It was very intricate work! The birds were then released and they flew on their merry way.  

Some interesting facts about ruby-throated hummingbirds:
  •  adult females are slightly larger than adult males
  •  they weigh less than a nickel but may double in weight prior to migration
  •  they can fly hundreds of miles non-stop (500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico)
  •  they live about 4-5 years if they survive the first year
  •  they eat their weight in nectar or sugar water and insects each day
So, I plan to keep feeding the hummingbirds in my yard because they usually return to the same location the next year. They are truly remarkable creatures and so interesting to watch!
Here are a couple of pictures of a female hummingbird in the hands of a trained volunteer at Yew Dell :

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The garden in August

This has been an oppressively hot summer in the bluegrass state. Most of my perennials have already had their "day in the sun" and won't make another appearance until next summer. The black-eyed Susans are getting droopy but provided a much needed burst of color during the last part of July and early August. The annuals are still looking good and my elephant ear plant has grown considerably since I planted it at the beginning of summer. I hope I'll be able to dig it up in the fall, store it over winter, and plant it again next spring.

One plant that is blooming now is called "hot lips turtle head".  The botanical name for it is "chelone lyonii".  It has pink blossoms that resemble lips.

Here's some pictures of the garden in mid-August:
Hydrangea and elephant ear

"Hot lips"
Elephant ear and assorted annuals
Impatiens did well this summer in spite of the heat!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hummingbirds are finally here!

I have been filling the hummingbird feeders all summer long but had not seen any hummingbirds until the last week or so. I suppose they didn't need the nectar from the feeders when there were so many flowers in bloom. They are so much fun to watch. I tried to take a couple of pictures of them. If you look closely, you'll see them!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A look at the garden in July

Even though it has been a sweltering summer here in the bluegrass state, my garden has held up pretty well. Most of the daylilies have bloomed but the black-eyed susans are now in full bloom. I think I need to thin them out a bit next year. I also have some August lilies (aka naked ladies) in bloom and it isn't even August. Everything seemed to bloom earlier this year. Here are a few views of the garden taken during the month of July.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Old Louisville Garden Tour

I enjoy seeing other people's gardens. One of the best ways to do this is to take a garden tour. It's fun  to see beautiful and unique gardens, and I usually get some ideas for my own garden on these tours.  There are several annual garden tours in the Louisville area including Crescent Hill, Tyler Park, Audubon Park, the Original Highlands neighborhood and Old Louisville. Last weekend I experienced the Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour. This is my favorite tour because the yards and gardens are small like mine (some are even smaller) and the architecture is spectacular! Old Louisville is a National Historic Preservation District and has a large assortment of Victorian architecture. Saint James Court in Old Louisville is host to the annual St. James Art Fair, one of the largest art fairs in the country. It is held the first weekend in October. For more information on Old Louisville: http://oldlouisville.com/ Here are some pictures of gardens I found especially interesting:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Introducing Maggie the Cat

Maggie has her own special viewing areas of the yard and garden. This happens to be one of them!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The walkway to the garden from the front yard

I tried a new look this summer for the front yard. In the past, I've planted impatiens in this bed. This year I planted blue and purple ageratum, penta, Mexican heather, blue salvia, begonia, snapdragon, and dusty miller. It's quite an assortment but they seem to blend very well. At least I think so :)

Stargazing Time

My one and only stargazer lily is in bloom for the 4th of July holiday. I wish I had a few more of them. Maybe next year!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hydrangeas June 2010

My attempt at trying to alter the colors of my hydrangeas didn't quite work out as anticipated. My plan was to have alternating pink and blue plants but they mostly all turned out blue. Mother Nature seemed to have other plans in spite of my putting lime around some plants and sulfur around others. Oh well, they have been beautiful but are beginning now to be a bit faded and droopy. They are located at the top of the hill in my back yard which makes it difficult to water them. Maybe next spring, I will buy a longer hose in order to give them more water.

Welcome back to my gardening blog!

After a year or so of not posting anything new to my blog, I decided it was time to update the site. So, welcome back to the Weekend Gardener in the Bluegrass blog!