Tag Archives: Gardening

Ageratum, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Blue Flower B

Blue Flower C

I love blue flowers, but they are not the most abundant flower to find in the grander scheme of gardening.

Years ago when I established some landscape design for my home I did quite a bit of research. I used my background as a horticulture student to do my digging and lead me where I wanted to go.

I was gardening for some definite purposes:

That was the foundation for my design and purpose and because of my health I usually have to depend on others to implement my plans. Tall & Handsome’s saying is, “Honey, you be the brains and I’ll be the brawn.”

Well, before we moved out of state for T & H’s work, the yard had a very good head start on a good landscape design. And, of course, I’ve shared the horrors of Big Jim the Terrible Tenant who had a six year reign of terror at the house.

To say the yard was grossly neglected is an understatement. At one time we counted almost 10 to 12 random vehicles parked in the yard Sanford and Son style…and this is not the type of neighborhood you do that in.

But, even in the “ashes” of ruin you can find surprises and renewal. Today’s pictures are an example of that. When we moved in 2004, these delicate little blue blossoms were not growing anywhere in my yard. Now? Well, there is an abundant little colony raising their cheerful little heads in the front and they have made their way into some of my pots.

Ageratum are generally considered annuals but a few are perennials. They tend to reseed themselves very well, profusely in fact, so you might have some to spread around and even share. In some places they can become invasive and may be considered a weed. I like to think of them as a wildflower. They are native to Central and South America and Mexico, but there are four that are native to the US.

They are known by the common names flossflower, bluemink, blueweed and Mexican paintbrush. They tolerate sun to part sun. Some of the more domesticated varieties may only grow to about 6 – 8 inches, the others vary in height from 12 inches up to 30 inches.

You can see by my photos that the two I have are very different. One looks more delicate, a lighter powdery blue with only green foliage. The other one is a deeper, purpley-red color. The stems and leaves have a red vein running through them and the flowers themselves seems surrounded by red calyx.

I’m just delighted that out of ashes of destruction something that appears so delicate rose like a Phoenix to surprise me with the unexpected.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu ~

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Filed under Ageratum, Alabama, Blueweed, Flossflower, Flowers, Gardening, Horticulture, Mexican Paintbrush, Photography, Picture of the Day, Plants, Tall & Handsome

Son of Prince, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Camoflauge

Impatients are one of my favorite annuals to grow and photograph. And, sometimes when you’re snapping a picture you have the opportunity to capture the unexpected.

That was true the day I took this picture.

We had a refreshing rain and I was hoping to catch the effects of the rain on the garden. When I came to the Impatients I discovered someone else was enjoying the after effects of the spring rain.

Once upon a time my mom had a little frog that came to visit her in her garden on a routine basis when she was going through a particularly rough time. She named him Prince.

I like to think this little fellow was Son of Prince…

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Alabama, Backyards, Frogs, Gardening, Impatients, Photography, Picture of the Day

Keepers of the Garden, by Beverly Hicks Burch

First, let me begin this by saying, “I am NOT a hoarder!”

But, I do have little eclectic collections of things I like to gather. Lately it’s been items to add whimsy and fun to the garden, decks and outdoors.

The first one is dedicated to someone I call my littlest angel. This young man (Tyler Clark) use to come with his Momma to my house when we had big quilting get togethers. The group surprised me with an angel quilt one Christmas (angels are another collectible of mine) and Tyler’s momma had made a block for him and incorporated it into the quilt.

Tyler just graduated from high school and is bound for the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa this fall. RTR!! (For all you non-Alabama folk, that’s Roll Tide Roll!!) So, Tyler will understand the significance of this garden keeper Smile I’m proud of you Tyler!!

Keeper of the Impatients

Keeper of the Impatients

As for the selection of my next keeper, it’s quite obvious, a Miniature Schnauzer to represent our wonderful little boy and resident rascal, Watson the Wonderkin.

Keeper of the Tomatoes

Keeper of the Tomatoes

I certainly prefer these guys to scarecrows any day! And, hand to God…all the other tomatoes not being minded by this little fellow have been nibbled on by some interloper! My yard may soon look like that ancient Chinese tomb they dug up a few years ago that was full of clay Chinese warriors.

If it worked for them, it’s gotta work for me…

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Alabama, Elephants, Flowers, Gardening, Keepers of the Garden, Miniature Schnauzer, Photography, Picture of the Day, Plants, Tomatoes, Tyler Clark, University of Alabama, Watson

Waiting for Results, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Waiting for Results

A couple of years ago Tall & Handsome and I tried our hand for the first time at container gardening. I saw him enjoy a new hobby and it was good for me to do something I had loved for so long.

I had majored in horticulture at a local community college years ago. But, even before that I had enjoyed getting my hands dirty so to speak. I think it’s genetic because there seems to be a green thumb that has been passed down generation to generation on my Mom’s side of the family. I do have to give my Daddy’s side some credit, too, because I remember Papaw growing a garden.

My PaGee (Mom’s daddy) grew ornamentals…salvia and marigolds first come to mind and the biggest juiciest tomatoes this side of Eden. I remember Papaw (Daddy’s dad) grew a garden…potatoes, corn…that kind of thing. I remember him letting me pick cotton and peanuts. Now that was a big thing for a girl raised in the suburbs.

So, there just wasn’t a chance that somewhere down the line I would not grow something, right? It was bound to happen…

For years I did “garden”. I even had an honest to goodness vegetable garden a few times. But, I loved landscaping my homes. Finding and using obscure plants most people didn’t use, know about or would never think the use.

Unfortunately as my health started to decline my ability to garden decreased accordingly. Fortunately I have a guy that says, “Honey, you be the brains and I’ll be the muscle.” And, fortunately I can container garden! It’s kind of the best of both worlds. Container gardening is also a great way to garden if you have a limited amount of space.

This year we’re growing tomatoes, jalapenos, pablano peppers (they make wonderful Chile Rellanos), bell pepper, cilantro, cinnamon basil, sweet basil, lemon balm, mint, lavender, rosemary, Greek oregano and for ornamentals geraniums, Impatients and coreopsis. We also planted a Japanese maple. T & H planted some of these in the ground and I have a clematis waiting to go in the ground.

We started compost last year and we were excited to be able to use that in our plantings to enrich to soil. He planted some of our plants in the ground but the majority are in pots.

So, now we wait for results…yummy tomatoes and luscious peppers. The good news is we can already go out and snip herbs when we need them. The mint is wonderful in baby English Peas and Mojitos if you are so inclined. The basil, well what isn’t it good in?

So, hurray for having your container gardens and eating fresh produce, too!

Our first Early Girl Tomato

Our first Early Girl Tomato

Roma and Husky Red

Husky Red Tomato (cherry tomato) and Roma Tomato

tomato blossoms

First Parker’s Whopper Tomato Blossoms

cilantro and oregano

Greek Oregano and Cilantro

Cinnamon basil so fragrant

Fragrant Cinnamon Basil

 

Hardy lemon balm

Hardy Lemon Balm – this is perennial and very fragrant. Lemon balm is in the mint family

my precious mint

My wonderful Mint. I have two patches of mint. The one in this pot and we’ve planted one in the ground hoping it returns next year much like the Lemon Balm does.

 

countdown to jalapeno

It won’t be long before we have our first Jalapenos

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Backyards, Container Gardening, DIY, Gardening, Herbs, Jalpenos, Peppers, Photography, Tall & Handsome, Tomatoes, Vegetables

Fireworks in a Pot, by Beverly Hicks Burch

fushis impatients my favorite

Impatients are one of my favorite annuals. I love the dark green foliage juxtaposed against the bright colorful blossoms. They’re kinda like fireworks in pots when they’re doing what they’re suppose to do.

Impatients prefer shade but will tolerate some morning sun. Late afternoon sun will leave them looking wilted and limp…even if they have been watered sufficiently. If they get “leggy” just pinch or cut them back and they will fill out and have a lovely shape again. My perfect place for growing impatients is on my screened-in deck. I have pots of them setting around.

Momma had a variety that reseeded themselves year after year and would come up every year on their own. That’s pretty amazing because impatients aren’t really known for that. I’ve tried to preserved some of those impatients but they seem to be fewer and fewer each year. So, this year I bought several bedding impatients to fill my pots. My favorite color is the deep pinkish purple…I just love that happy little color brightening up shady spots…

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Flowers, Gardening, Gardening Tips, Horticulture, Impatients, Photography, Picture of the Day

Take this, Punxsutawney!, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Well, ole Punxsutawney Phil has promised six more weeks of winter. Now, I don’t know about you folk up North, but down here in the South, we’ve had an extremely mild winter especially when you compare it to last year’s winter when we actually had a white Christmas. (Hence the devastating storms last week due to this year’s freaky weather.)

I do think things may be about to change. Evidently our friends up in the really frozen North – Alaska – have been sitting through some pretty cold stuff…like –50 F. They were hoping it warms up to about –10 or –15F. That must be downright balmy after 50 below! Now, you know that stuff has to go somewhere, and when it does, it usually moves to the lower 48…

uOh, joy…

So, to prepare for what may come and to give us a bright spot to look forward to, I give you today’s picture of the day…

Hang in there!

More Signs of Spring 2

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Backyards, Flowers, Gardening, Horticulture, Photography, Picture of the Day, Punxsutawney Phil, Winter, Winter Weather

My First Poppy, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Years ago I was a horticulture major…at least that was one of my courses of studies. I was a few hours short of an AA degree when the ex, Gomez had a car wreck and broke his neck. Being the loving wife that I was, I dropped out of school to take care of him while he recuperated.

I was repaid handsomely years later when he walked out on our son’s 21st birthday, clean out the bank accounts and took up with his wealthy co-worker girlfiend girlfriend Morticia (hand to God, that was their code name for each other).

Of course by then, I had survived non-smoking lung cancer twice, developed Sjogren’s syndrome, fibromyalgia and other chronic health issues. (Gee, kinda sounds like something ripped out of today’s political headlines vis a vie Newt and Callista.)

My green thumb seems to be a genetic thing from my Momma’s side of the family. There have been garden putters in our family for years. Because of health reasons I can’t do vigorous gardening, but a couple of years ago with the help of my Tall & Handsome we did some container gardening. Along with some herbs and veggies, I grew ornamentals. Today’s picture is one I took of my first poppy. It was enchanting…even if it was for a short while…

So, some bright color for a winter’s day…

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Flowers, Gardening, Gomez, Horticulture, Photography, Picture of the Day, Poppies, Tall & Handsome

Cold and Hot, Hot and Cold, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Have I mentioned I am a mountain girl at heart? Ya just can’t take it out of me.

The reverse of that I am finding is that I am not a perpetual beach person. I get bored with the same ol’ same ol’ of water and sand everywhere all the time and the unrelenting sun. I mean really…a big body of water is just that…a big body of water.

I also can not get use to the “no season” thing. I love having four seasons!  My favorites in order tend to be: fall, spring, winter and lastly summer. As a matter of fact you can’t even count summer as a favorite…I hate summer. The heat and the humidity are suffocating. I am an air condition baby…and yes, I know heat and humidity are quintessential Southern qualities when you think of Southern summers, but those two things are the only thing I dislike about living in the South. Hand to God…

This “epiphany” has been a growing realization, but the “light bulb” moment or eureka moment if you will came recently as I’ve been spending time in a subtropical coastal area. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a lovely place to visit and to vacation and find some great seafood. But, I just could never see it as “home”. A qualifying mountain here would be a fire ant hill…and then there’s that heat and humidity thing.

We’ve also gone from winter to summer with no spring…and then all of a sudden it’s cool again. I call it schizophrenic weather…

Anyway, there was signs of something that might pass as spring around here. Thought I might share a couple of pictures I took when I stepped out at midday.

Mystery Shrub

I’m not sure what kind of shrub this is but there are several all around the condo area. If you know drop me a comment and let me know…

Palm

Outside the condo window

© 2011 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved

 

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Filed under Brunswick GA, Flowers, Gardening, Georgia, Horticulture, Nature, Palms, Photography, Picture of the Day, South

Harbinger of Summer, by Beverly Hicks Burch

It’s always a sure sign of summertime when you see these blooming. Years ago I had hundreds of these in my yard. This one is in the yard of my parents “old home place”.

Orange Daylily

© 2010 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Backyards, Day Lilies, Flowers, Gardening, Horticulture, Photography, Plants

Camouflage, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Camouflage

By Beverly Hicks Burch

It’s hot and sultry now here in the Deep South. We’ve had the first official day of summer…and several days when the heat index reached at least 100°. As a result my little container garden requires some extra watering.

We were out early thing morning watering when I suddenly spied a tiny little visitor trying his very best to camouflage himself. He stayed on the same leaf…the only movement was a little repositioning every now and again. See if you can spy him hiding out…

Camoflauge

Can you spy him?

 

Camo 2 I’m still here… 

© 2010 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Flowers, Frogs, Gardening, Horticulture, Photography