You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Raleigh gardening’ tag.
But there are so many annuals I NEVER want to garden without.
At the top of that list:
Manaos Beauty aka Brazilian Button Flower aka Centratherum Intermedium. A perennial in it’s native country, here in Wake County NC it’s tender and needs to replanted in the spring.
Even the leaves are pretty–
And the button-like buds and flowers rock the front of the border from mid-summer to frost.
I first saw this plant at he famous Montrose Garden in Hillsborough. Fortunately I was able to find seed at my favorite source for hard to find and old fashioned annuals, The Fragrant Path. http://www.fragrantpathseeds.com/product.asp?ID=135.
Annuals like Manaos Beauty are the reason I usually have lots of flowers in the garden. What about you? What are your workhorse plants?
When the season changes, so does the pallet in my Wake County NC garden. Cooler temeperature mean deeper colors.
Red which looks too hot in summertime suddenly seems to glow.
And of all the reds, spider lily may be my favorite. I’m lucky if it blooms 2 weeks out of 52. Still, I wouldn’t be without this old southern flower that makes the path suddenly exoitic and full of color after the long hot summer.
All it asks from me is an initial investement. Plant the bulbs in an area where they won’t be disturbed and every year you’ll be delightfully surprised. The dark green leaves belong to Lenten Roses, BTW.
Popping up and not quite blending is the oxblood lily. It’s another of those plant it and forget it blubs that do well in the South. Just don’t forget where you planted them. Like spider lilies, they hate to be disturbed.
Cypress vine grows readily from seed and is great to cover a mail box. I save the seeds from this plant every year and start them indoors under lights. (BTW, our mail man says he loves it, too even though he can no longer read our address)
Finally, the beauty berries are a delight this time of year. This one is a Asian variety–but I’ve never met a beauty berry I didn’t like. They’re tough, will grow in my deicious woods, and make a great cut-back shrub for a mixed border in part sun or part shade. Do put it on your “grow that” list. And do share–what early fall colors are you enjoying in the garden?
Because flowers come and go, and sometimes fail, I’m always nursing a few annuals along this time of year. In fact, I just planted cosmos seed in plugs today. I’m hoping they’ll take over when these splendid flowering tobacco flower out.
So I have been a home owner for 6 years…isn’t that crazy how time flies. And since I bought this home, the number 1 thing I said I needed to do is stain my deck.
You see my deck is amazing – just an atrocious red color. Plus, I added an addition a couple of years ago that didn’t match. Oh, I tried to ignore it…but you can see in the picture…it was like Clifford, the Big Red Dog:
So I put my mind to it. Here is how I stained my deck – 1,4oo square feet of it.
Nine Steps to Staining Your Deck:
- Create a plan – with the handy dandy advice from my dad.
- The Plan- wash deck, dry deck, stain deck – seems simple enough–oh no.
- Spray and scrub your deck – 2 reasons to clean your deck before staining – 1- you need to remove the mold and mildew, 2 – the dirt must be removed so the stain will adhere to the deck surface. You can powercwash or you can find several deck washes at Lowes/Home Depot – you will need a little sprayer and a scrub brush. SUPER Important.
- Dry deck for 48 hours at least
- Enlist help – I asked my family if they would come help – I called it a deck staining party…and provided lunch, snacks and festive beverages. Plus, co-blogger Chris, watched my dog. They graciously helped. Help is important…doing it by myself would have been miserable.
- Buy all staining materials – I bought a couple of rollers with extensions, a mini roller, several paint pans, gloves, 2 large brushes and a small one, oh and the stain.
- Pick the right kind of stain – my big red deck wasn’t going to be covered with a semi-transparent stain, so I had to go with a solid. Not what I would have picked, but I refused to sand down the whole deck. I labored over the color – I picked a blue, grey. I figured since I couldn’t go natural, why try. It felt so permanent. In the end, it was fine, beautiful actually.
- Get to work – the four of us stained for 4 hours straight…start at the top and work your way down…in case of spillage. Then my dad came over to finish the next day for a few hours.
- Let dry and touch up as needed.
That’s it. A new and improved deck….that zen-like experience in my backyard oasis is complete.
Remember that cold, cold December we had? It didn’t matter. My October transplants of kale, cabbage, collards and leeks are great food right now, chocked full of flavor and vitamins. I just harvested a batch for one of my famous greens pies.
But you have to plan ahead, especially for a leek crop. Leek transplants are almost impossible to find in garden centers. I always have to start my own.
Below is a recent photo of next spring’s leek crop growing from seed on my dinning room table.
I’ll transplant these seedlings to the garden in late summer or fall. Next spring–fresh leeks–so much better than those woody things that show up at the grocery store. And much, much cheaper too. Leeks are pricey.
Don’t do seeds? Here’s a short cut. Next New Year look for bundles of “baby leeks” in the produce section of up-scale grocery stores. Take them home, and plant like transplants in your garden. I had leeks galore using this method one year. Give it a try. You’ll be hooked on homegrown leeks like I am…