Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Garden Update

Irene blew in here around midnight on Friday night and didn't leave until 6 pm on Saturday. She huffed and puffed and threw buckets of rain at us but thankfully we didn't even lose our electricity. We're 2 hours from the coast and were at the westernmost edge of this particular storm. My father-in-law is one county over got almost no rain at all.

Except for some vertically challenged Seashore Mallows and wind whipped morning glories, the plants were happy with the rain. DH has already staked the fallen down pepper plants and Candletrees (Senna alata).

See the cute little gray pony? She was still a little bit off at the last vet visit so they're still in the paddock out back. Better to keep an eye on them during the hurricane anyway.

I love Mexican Petunia for its height and its lovely
shade of purple. It will be a good companion for the Bidens.

This is the first year I've grown Snow-on-the-Mountain.

Next year I want to try out Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' too.

A glamour shot of 'Venice Blue' Morning Glory. From a distance the flowers look small and ghostly white since the blue fades quickly. I plan on cutting it back since it got so beat up by the tropical force winds.

The flower part of the vegetable garden looks like it's taking over the vegetable garden. Survival of the fittest. Some of the stuff will be transplanted out if it gets too much in the way though. Next year I want to grow sweet potatoes rather than regular potatoes. I like sweet potatoes better and they do very well in this area. Tobacco (less so than it used to be), soybeans, sweet potatoes and cotton are the main crops around here. I still haven't tasted the Marabar spinach but Gene has, sauteed, with olive oil and vinegar, and he likes it. (btw this picture was taken pre-Irene; the seashore mallows are lying down now.)

The Black Swallowtails have discovered the parsley and
the caterpillars have been munching it down happily.

Until the Bidens kick in the Brazilian Blue Sage and Four o'Clocks continue to dominate the big perennial bed. Brazilian Blue Sage makes the hummingbirds very happy. I have not even attempted to get any pictures of them they whiz about so quickly. The sage is their favorite even though I see them sampling all sorts of things, including the Blush Noisette that's sitting in a pot on the porch waiting to be planted out. One morning a female was either checking out her reflection in one of the porch windows or watching me at the computer. lol Not sure which but she sure was cute.

In the evenings the 4 o'clocks provide an ocean of fragrance as well as color. They are very sweet.

I love the dark pink ones.

Here's hoping for a peaceful September.


  1. Lovely and peaceful as always. Glad you had no real damages from Irene.

    Those morning glories are wonderful, and I love the Brazilian blue sage and 4 o'clocks are always a favorite. I'm able to grow them too.

    Yes, let's hope for a quiet, peaceful September.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. It's good to know you survived Irene with no problems. We did too in north central Connecticut, but many of our New England neighbors did not fare so well.

    The hummers love my black & blue sage (Brazilian sage) too and wear themselves out trying to get to each and every delicious bloom.

  3. Lovely flowers and great macros of the bugs!

  4. Gode billeder.
    Hvor har du mange smukke blomster.
    Tak for rundvisningen.

  5. Bujne rośliny i piękne zdjęcia makro, stworki fajne :)

  6. I am so glad to hear that you all made it through the storm well. Such a relief I know. The Brazilian Blue Sage is so lovely. What a great Morning Glory. I love the colors in the blooms. Great shot. That spider is a little spooky though. LOL!

  7. So glad you were minimally impacted from Irene SB. She sure caused a lot of damage some places.
    I love that you are making plans for next year already. I don't know where you will fit all the new additions but you'll find a way. Dig up some more field maybe?? Love seeing your Swallowtail cats ~ I have Monarch caterpillars for the first time and I'm beyond excited about it.
    I think your garden has weathered summer really well. You still have lots of blooms ~ I need to add some four o'clocks ~ they look great in mass like that.
    I hope September is peaceful too.

  8. For as bad as Irene treated the NC coast, I can't believe how short here reach inland was. Here in Norfolk/Va. Beach we were very close to the center of the storm, but it was further inland that saw the most damages and power outages. Someone mentioned to me that we have had more "pruning events" than the rest of the state, so perhaps there was less to fall on power lines. I am glad you missed most of it.

  9. I am glad that you got through the hurricane okay and that the garden got some much needed rainfall. I just love that Venice Blue morning glory. It makes me think of Batik. I will definitely be looking for seeds next spring at my local nursery.
    I was also happy to see the Snow-on-the-Mountain. I was passing by a neighbourhood house, when I saw some planted in the front garden. The homeowners weren't there and so I couldn't identify the plant. Now, I know its ID after seeing your post. Also going on my list for next year.
    I especially like the grasshopper shot. Are all those dark shinny spots on the spider eyes? Do they have that many eyes??

  10. So glad to hear that you missed the worst of the hurricane, Sweet Bay. Your garden looks so beautiful and lush, it's hard to believe a storm passed through at all. Your photos of the insects are beautiful, as always. Love the morning glory!

  11. I like the euphorbia a lot! Must look particularly good during the evening.

    Is Mexican Petunia perennial for you? I've not seen it before, but love the height and colour.

  12. I am curious about the Snow on the Mountain. Everything looks so healthy. Love the morning glory! I also have the pink mexican petunia.

  13. I am so in love with Snow-on-the-Mountain that I can't even tell you how much. It's always a surprise as to where we'll find it growing in the spring. Gorgeous! I love it.

    I like, I like the Mexican Petunias. Have never heard of them before.

    I thought my Morning Glories were pretty, but no so much now that I've seen yours...or do you just have a much better camera? Both, I suspect:)

    Thanks for the nice words about my dad.

    Happy Labor Day weekend to you there in beautiful NC.


  14. Thank you everyone for your comments!

    Jennifer, in the spider's picture you can only see 4 of its 8 eyes! lol

    Rob yes Mexican Petunia is a perennial here, hardy to zone 7b.

  15. Popped over to check on you in the aftermath of Irene -- happy to hear she caused you no harm. Stunning photos, as always. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  16. Thats a sea of colour! how beautiful is your garden in summer.
    Is good to be back here


  17. I'm glad you didn't have too much damage from Irene.I haven't come across the mexican petunia before. It's a lovely shade of purple. The spider photos is a brilliant close up.

  18. I never get over how beautiful your garden is!! Have you ever grown native ruellia? It would do well in your climate. The blue wild petunia (ruellia) is an annual here. I hope your pony gets better. Going to the vet is so expensive!!

  19. LOVE the insect photos!! That spider looks pretty fierce!

  20. Casa yes I do grow the wild Petunia in the garden. I saw it growing in one of our wild fields and moved some. I love it! Not sure of the species but it might be this one.

  21. I didn't realize you were dealing with Irene just as I was dealing with my injury... I am glad Irene didn't do much damage to the garden, it looks as beautiful as ever. I love drifts of sage and four o'clocks, really lovely.

  22. I am glad you came through the storm OK! I think the humminbird was watching you. I have noticed they are curious creatures, and more than once I have had one hover in front of my face, as though examining me. I have had little success getting photos of them, either. However, your insect photos in this post are outstanding!

  23. Oh a peaceful fall would be lovely. Your gardens always look so lush and full. Sorry it got battered by the hurricane. For some reason I was thinking you were in western NC....wonder where I got that idea?
    Love the Snow on the Mountain...thinking of adding it to my garden after seeing it in Kansas.

  24. Dear Sweetbay,
    Where to start with this great post . . . I love the lush wild-like landscapes with the horses and then the stunning close ups!! Wow! Your four o'clocks and salvia are so robust and floriferous . . . gorgeous photography and gardens. I think all the new rudbeckias will be fabulous too. Magical environs. So glad that you too were spared Irene's wrath.

  25. Your flowers and insect life seem to have survived the storm very well. Hope the hurricanes are over in your part of the country for this year.

  26. Dear Sweetbay,
    I have so enjoyed my time with you this evening. Thank you.
    Good to know Irene came and went without too much ta-da...Your gardens are amazing...love the caterpillars...

  27. I do love your garden and love its lushness. You, like me, have a penchant for four o'clocks. I forgot about the Mexican petunia and must grow again and 'Diamond Frost' is the best filler ever.


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