Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Vehicle!

We traded in the 03' Pontiac Grand Prix for a 07' Chevy Equinox. The Pontiac had 97,000 miles on it, body damage from my accident and learning to drive, and was surely on it's way to more problems that come with any car reaching 100, 000 miles. This was a great deal for us. Rest assured we'll have no problems with a new car on our upcoming vacation to California! Yipee!

Bye Bye Pontiac!

We stopped for a little celebratory dinner at Olive Garden
Here she is, at home, well rested for another day. She'll be taking us to a Bear's pre-season game this evening! Free tickets compliments of the USO. Howdy Doody, when things are good, they are good 'round here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Walk at UW Arboretum

Still hungry for more walking this weekend, we headed to Madison to find a place where we could stroll along a body of water. We ended up by the zoo, on a path that leads to the UW Arboretum. We walked a ways, admiring the many canoes, and fishermen, other walkers, Sunday drivers. Another peaceful place. Lake Wingra was on one side of us, and a marsh on the other. The skies could not have been more blue.

The water through the trees.
The lae was like a mirror, so still.

August at the Rotary Gardens

Last weekend we finally had a sunny day. Our local gym is closed on Snuday so we headed outside to get some excercise. I thought to walk in Janesville, on some trails... but then I remembered we could go to the Rotary Gardens. It's been awhile...

What an entrance! When we walked up I could not draw myself away from this spectacular display of color, deep plums, cheery reds, splashes of green and bolts of chartruese. Incredible.

I think this is cockscomb (sp?), however it was one of the few plants left unlabeled.
Caladium, Hosta, and New Guinea Impatiens:
I'm searching for more shade colors, and a blue hostas is on the spring list... here is a nice one with some coleus and impatiens.

Coleus, and ?:

Some type of giant burgandy amaranth, hellenium, begonias, more...

Coleus spills over, backed by a dark red grass or corn? I can't remember what it's called.

A zinnia. Love this zinnia.

I'm on the hunt for yellowish hostas, and this one caught my eye. I have about 15 more pictures of other varieties, too, but I won't totally bore you.
I think this obelisk is surrounded by spider lilies? More of that corn/grass like stuff. So pretty.

Impatiens, "molten lava" oxalis, and perhaps a coleus in the middle... whatever it is, I'm on the way to finding it and putting it in my garden soon.

Wine and lime shaded oxalis with a number of other goodies...

Hydrangea, Hosta, coleus, more...

This garden provides me with so much serenity. Walking through, looking closely at names, admiring contrasts, wondering about the choices the gardeners made, imagining them digging in the dirt, planting for us to see and enjoy, intensely satisfies me.

It's my not-so-secret dream to have a bed at a public garden someday. Maybe have my own whole public garden. Maybe own a nursery? I'm not talented enough yet, but given more time, like when I'm an empty-nester, and more knowledge, like when I get to be a certified Master Gardener, and more money, like after I win the lottery, this dream can come true.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Garden Color

99 cent find, potato vine, not hardy... but trying as a houseplant with humidity and sun.

seed geranium

hardy mums

zinnia and marigold

croton and oxalis

porcelain plant

impatien, yellow



still blooming pansies:

Orange mini rose, with many full size roses in the background.

sweet potato vine

sweet potato vine, pansy, and dahlia

sedum "autumn joy"

stonecrop "Vera Jameson"

Phlox "the king"

coral bells "black beauty"


Project Perennial Border

The back of our yard was blessed with a line of lilacs we love, but over the year a few of the less mature lilacs have not grown as fast. We've even lost one. I wanted to fill in the spaces between the lilacs, as well as put perrenials and shrubs in the foreground. I took these pictures tonight, mostly for myself, so I can document what I planted where, and account for what's doing well in the spring. I have been out there working as hard as I can as often as I can. With all this rain, it's been kind of a joke... I've fallen in the mud twice, broken my sandals, been literally stuck in the mud, and been eaten alive by mosquitos. This has been a taxing endeavor.

The pictures go from the side of the shed first, the far left side of the back of the garden. This is the least complete section. I still have to rip out some sod, till the soil, and move many of the plants towards the back. It definately doesn't look like much right now, but I'll hopefully be able to use these as "before" pictures by next fall.

Here I have: mums, iris, hydrangea, joe pye weed, coral bells, hostas, daylilies, hollyhocks, bee balm, sedum,

I transplanted at a very rough time, many of the plants were past there peak, and are beginning to re-grow now. They look pretty rough... there are 4 sage in the fron here, a russian sage, my first grass, some recently-divided phlox and daisies... among others.

This is our path to get to the back of the yard. There will be an arbor here as soon as I can afford one. I have put in a Iceberg Climbing rose here, found on clearance, and already 4 feet tall. I am thinking I'll make a trellis out of rebar and chicken wire, something different... we'll see. It will be hand made, for sure. Also pictured here: iris, painted daisies, lamb's ear, primrose, sedum, mums, black-eyes susans, bellflowers, columbine, phlox... more.

Goldenrod, cardinal flower, sweet william, mums, daisies, bachelors buttons, iris, more...

Here is the part-sun portion of the garden, containing astilbe, azalea, coral bells, hosta, sedum, foxglove, and more. I plan, when the budget allows, to put in a couple blue hydrangeas back here next.

The other side of the tee-pee, this white lamium is my favorite find this month.

Gourd vines are growing up the tee-pee.

I have not neglected the back of the shed... here we have hosts around the compost pile.

I plugged in some divided daisies and coral bells here today, too. Like I said, doesn't look like much now. I'm so addicted to dividing plants!