Driving and Daffodils

March 16, 2010

Our daffodils are finally blooming.  Spring is really coming!

daffodils

Daffodils in the front yard.

As for the driving part of the title, we’re getting ready to head out the door and drive to Chattanooga. I’m going to catch a flight to Sanford (near Orlando) from there, and go visit the kids and attend a seminar.

Busy times! Fun times! Catch ya later times!

Happy 226th Birthday Landreth Seeds!

January 7, 2010

Happy 226th Birthday
to D. Landreth Seed Company!

D. Landreth Seed Company

If you like gardening, you should know about Landreth Seed Company.  Browsing through their catalog is at least a 3-bib drool-a-thon for gardeners.

The company first opened in Philadelphia on January 7, 1784.  Now how many seed companies do you know that have stayed in business 226 years?

Some of their initial customers included such notables as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon’s brother).

Zinnia Orange King from Landreth Seed Co.

This company introduced the Zinnia into the United States, and what would a summer flowerbed be without cheerful zinnias?   Landreth also introduced the first truly white potato. (Potatoes were yellow before that.)  Now they not only have white potatoes, but other colors like purple!

Potato Purple Majesty from Landreth Seed Co.

And a crowning achievement in my estimation – in 1820, Landreth introduced the tomato.  Think how many foods you eat that have tomatoes in them!  Spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, ketchup, salad tomatoes, sliced tomatoes on sandwiches… the list could go on and on.  It’s hard to believe people first thought tomatoes were poisonous!

They have about 85 different kind of tomatoes now, with some great heirloom varieties like Brandywine.

Brandywine Tomato from Landreth Seed Co.

Reading about Landreth’s history is pretty interesting.  They are the fifth oldest corporation in America, and claim to have  sold seed to every American president from George Washington to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In their words,

“The Landreth story is the story of an American family business which was born near the time of America’s birth and grew with America over three centuries. It is a story of strong minded men and women of principle, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters who pursued a path of innovation and exploration with the pioneering spirit that will always be the essence of what makes this country great.”

So Happy Birthday to an American success story that helps our gardens grow!

Winter’s Star Camellia

October 2, 2009

It’s that time of year again, when my one and only camellia bush blooms. When I lived further north, I always wanted a camellia, but they don’t take kindly to really cold winters, so that killed that idea (just like it would have killed the bush, ha, ha!).

When I got further south and we moved to the farm, one of the first things I planted was this Camellia ‘Winter’s Star’ (camellia oleifera).  It’s a little hardier, and seems to be doing well here.   About a week ago it was in bud.

Camellia 'Winter's Star' (camellia oleifera) buds

It didn’t take long until the buds opened up.

Camellia 'Winter Star's' (camellia oleifera) bloom

There are bud and blooms all over the bush.

Camellia 'Winter's Star' (camellia oleifera) bush

This picture doesn’t really do it justice.  The sun was a little too bright shining off the blooms, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it’s a beautiful bush.

At any rate, I sure like it!

It’s Raining At Home Too!

September 23, 2009

Well, we made it home.  We drove down to the beach in rain, and we drove home in the rain, too.  I’m starting to feel like maybe there’s just a rain cloud hovering over my head, ha!

I’m still sorting through pictures and trying to catch up on a bunch of stuff.  That’s the downside to vacations.  There is always a whole lot of things you need to take care of when you get back home!

I’ll try to get more pictures up soon, but for now, here’s a picture I took the first day we were there. 

Flower On Panama City Beach

This flower was blooming along the pathway from our condo to the beach.  That’s not ocean spray on the flower – it’s rain, what else!?!

Of Rainbows And Wildflowers

August 28, 2009

It was relatively cool early one morning this week, so I took a walk down in the bottom pasture to see what kind of wildflowers were blooming.

The field is full of Meadow Rue and Joe Pye Weed.  It makes a striking contrast of whites and rosy-pink, with a little green mixed in from the underlying leaves and stems.

Field with Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) and Meadow Rue (Thalictrum . .)

There are also yellow flowers blooming.  I’m not sure what they are, but they sure do shine in the shadows.

Yellow Flower

There are other splashes of yellow  mixed in with the taller plants, with tall goldenrods here and there.

Goldenrod bloom closeup.

A lot of the bottom pasture is a little boggy, as spring water oozes out of the hillside.  This makes a perfect environment for Cardinal Flowers (Lobelia cardinalis).

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

I love these plants, and so do the hummingbirds.  It’s kind of hard to get a good picture though, as the camera doesn’t want to lock in on the red and the edges can be kind of blurred.

Around the outer edges of the pasture, there are patches of Jewel Weed (Impatiens capensis). 

Jewel Weed (Impatiens capensis)

The juice from this plant is supposed to be a good rememdy for poison ivy, but I’ve never tried it.

A whole bunch of these yellow flowers grow on a bank near our pond.

Yellow Flowers

In fact, I used them as a background for a picture of Ellie in her 2007 calendar.

Ellie in her Secret Garden.

There are also morning glories growing on a hillside near the pond.

White Morning Glory and Yellow Flower

Near the mailbox, there are some wild blue morning glories.

Blue Morning Glory

Of course the butterflies enjoy morning glories, and I usually see a few near them, like this Pearl Crescent Butterfly.

Pearl Crescent Butterfly

Then yesterday evening when The Farmer came home, he told me to come outside, because he saw a rainbow as he was driving home.

Rainbow

While I was outside with my camera, I took another picture of all the Meadow Rue and Joe Pye Weed in the bottom pasture, because the evening light gave it a different coloration.

Field of Meadow Rue (Thalictrum . .), Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum), and Ironweed (Vernonia altissima)

I thought the colors were more vibrant and the white showed up better.  You can also see some purple Ironweed (Vernonia altissima) in the lower lefthand corner.

It’s a lot of fun looking around the farm for wildflowers!