Monday, February 27, 2012

Crocus tommasinianus... in February! oh my

Crocus tommasinianus pushing up through the moss planted by my daughter.
The Back Woodland is home to our naturalized Crocus tommasinianus, which creates the most spectacular scene of the year in this garden area. We were gifted this planting from some long ago gardener/owner of our property.  After a good snow storm over the weekend, it is refreshing to see these little beauties uncover themselves to catch the sunshine. There were no pollinators about today, but perhaps tomorrow as the warmer weather continues?

They are blooming three weeks earlier this year, thanks to the mild weather.
Crocus tommasinianus naturalized in our lawn and garden.
Here is Crocus tommasinianus with Cornus alba 'Elegantissima'
 Pretty violet haze of Crocus tommasinianus
Locate the Back Woodland on our map of Gilmore Gardens.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Have you been messy yet today?

All the best things in life are messy!
The longer I live, the more I see it:

Eating warm chocolate chip cookies...

stomping in mud puddles...

babies... oh, so cute, but definitely messy...

fresh new paint...

And the messiest of all just might be gardening!

What else can get me covered in mud from my knees down in ten minutes, keep me out clipping plants in the rain for an hour, or contrive to lure my hands into gooey mud while strolling around the house?

I love it. And today I am dreaming about it being warm enough to garden in the rain again...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Driveway Garden ~ March through December 2011

See the Driveway Garden on our map of Gilmore Gardens, and also find links for the other succession planting areas around the garden.

I am linking this short post to Christina's GBFD because of the key foliage elements that keep it looking good all year long.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Plants from Longwood Garden's Conservatory

Hallway to the Orchid Room
A few more plants I enjoyed from our walk through at Longwood Garden's Conservatory a month ago. The main Christmas show was dazzling, of course, but it was also nice to have a break from all the red and taken in a few other choice plants.

The hallway above is draped in Cinnamon Wattle (Acacia leprosa), which is native to Australia and in the pea family.
The big hanging baskets above are full of the African violet relative, Streptocarpus 'Concord Blue'
Passion flower (Passiflora) blooming near the fruit tunnels
Luscious but deadly, a hanging tropical Pitcher plant, Nepenthes x mixta var. superba

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Front Walk ~ May through December 2011

May 10, 2011
May 20, 2011
June 4. 2011 (path-side view)
June 14, 2011 (street-side view)
August 12, 2011
September 7, 2011
November 8, 2011
November 11, 2011 (just days later)
December 1, 2011

See the map for the location of the Front Walk at Gilmore Gardens.

Since our current view is a snow one (which you may see in my photostream of "Current Views of Gilmore Gardens" in the right-hand column), I am posting these succession planting pretties instead for Carol at May Dreams
Happy GBBD!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Post #202 - For the love of Blogging and my Readers

I meant to share this a few posts ago (for #200), but I have been rather caught up in trying to finish my succession planting series from 2011 before the bulbs really get going in this earlier spring! (So far I have done the Hill, Cherry Corner and the Shade Path... only three more to go... whew.)

Firstly, I want to say a big THANK YOU to all of my wonderfully encouraging and gifted readers from this past year!! You are scattered across the globe, but I have felt your warm wishes in Pennsylvania. I have so enjoyed the interactions that we have shared through comments and emails. It has truly been my pleasure to share a bit of our small garden "paradise" with you.

Peonies in June 2011
Wife, Mother, Gardener started a bit slowly at first, with only a handful of posts in its first year in 2010. My husband was the instigator from the beginning, and he finally assailed me a year later with pleas to beginning writing about what we were doing here in our gardening. It was his idea for me to write my first series of posts on our 2010 season in January of last year (see Part 1). Once I really got rolling in February, I have not looked back. So, I would also call this my one year garden-blog anniversary.

Blogging has become one of my major creative outlets: a place to put together both photos and the story of our garden and home-life.  So thank you to my Sweetheart for stretching me into it!

Also I want to say thank you to Donna at Gardens Eye View and Karen at Southern Meadows for mentioning me in their Versatile Bloggers lists! I so appreciate you ladies for all of your encouraging words this year, and for sharing your gifts in your wonderful blogs as well!

Here are seven things I hope to do better in my garden this year:
  • Keep more seeds from damping off
  • Grow more sun plants in our new sunnier backyard (more info on that to come... but so sad)
  • Walk in the garden more and enjoy it!!
  • Read a garden photography book and use it
  • Think about stretching my plantings further in color and form
  • Add more ornamental grasses!
  • Have a garden party in early summer and add another in fall (more fun, yes?)

As another nonconformist, I am also going to bend the rules a bit. Here are some posts by other blogs that I have enjoy recently that you might also like to take a look at:

I hope you all have some chocolate to enjoy today! I am going to try whipping some up for us this evening... perhaps you will want to try it too? Molten Chocolate Cake with Raspberries... yum. 
Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shade Path Garden ~ April through December 2011

April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
For a thorough post on the planting and maintenance of this year-round border, see Shade Path Garden Succession Planting 2011.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cherry Corner Succession Planting 2011

October 2011
This garden is located in our front yard at the corner of our property, just feet from a stop sign. It contains a weeping cherry tree (Prunus) that we planted our first spring here in 2008. Hence the name, Cherry Corner garden (see it on our map). The succession planting begins here in March with Anemone blanda 'Blue Shades' and continues through November with Sedum 'Autumn Joy' and the cherry tree in brilliant yellow.

As with most of my plantings, my individuals plants are not especially rare or expensive, but it is their combination and progression that enhances their place in the garden. I would love to someday invest in the $100 lady slippers and the $50 peonies, but my wallet does not stretch that far at present. I think there is joy in knowing that we can take what we are given as gardeners and make it beautiful, even if it is a tiny town lot with common plants.

Anemone blanda 'Blue Shades' with loosestrife shoots (Lysimachia punctata 'Alexander'). This is a great time to divide the latter, though it can be done successfully at anytime. April 25th.
The same plants in waves. This anemone is a great plant in succession because it covers the ground in early spring with foliage, blooms for weeks, and dies back as the other foliage matures and covers it up.
Narcissus 'Pink Charm' adding their apricot tones to the blues in this garden, which repeats the color from the Spirea in the Front Walk garden just down the path.
Narcissus 'Pink Charm' with Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica). April 26th.
Weeping cherry tree blossom at the end of April (the 28th).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

First flowers at Gilmore Gardens

Crocus tommasianus on February 5th, 2012
A few pretties for the start of the year. They are about a month earlier than last year.

more on their way...
Galanthus elwesii
Galanthus elwesii with an upturned head? We shall see.
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