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Posts Tagged ‘hostas’

For as far back as I can remember, and by some reports farther back than that, I have been a sucker for growing things.

gardener Ellie

That picture was taken when I was three.   We were planting peas and what I was doing was pulling the soil into the furrow.

The story goes that one fine day when I was closing in on my third birthday, it came nigh on to meal time and my mother put out the dinner call.   Needless to say, my one year old brother was johnny on the spot, having been put into his high chair willy nilly.   My older sister showed up fairly promptly, as did my father.   But there was an unoccupied chair at the table, and the question arose:   “Where is Ellie?”

Another call made from the back porch, and again, no response.   A posse was formed and the search for the miscreant began.   It wasn’t long before the forces of the law discovered the fugitive’s whereabouts.   I was crouched at the edge of the bean patch, delightedly engrossed in the show that was going on there.   Urged by the warm Southern California sun, the bean seeds were emerging from the soil, literally popping from the u-shaped form to erect with their little dicotyledons deployed to catch the rays and begin their job of growing.

My mother reports that I was laughing and cheering each victorious seedling, heedless of hunger or parental calls.  After a suitable celebration, we all went inside to eat.

My fascination has not abated.   I still like to watch the beans unfold.   I like to see the plants in my garden thrive.   Today I went out on a safari through my urban jungle to see what was going on.

The poppies are blooming in the stroll garden.

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Personally, I think they bear a closer look.

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I proceeded out to the pond to see if I could spy a dragon fly.   They were still asleep, it being quite early in cloudy and cool morning.   The water lilies were not open yet either, but there was a pond denizen in evidence.

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Out there is where the pipe vine grows.   I planted it as a food supply for  the pipevine swallowtail, in the fond hope that one would happen upon it and start a colony, but so far they have not shown up.  I may be located too far from their usual habitat.   But I love the vine anyway.   Right now it is covered with little “dutchmen’s pipes”.

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You might wonder why I entitled this post “Hosta love” since I haven’t mentioned them yet.   Well, I’m getting there.   Just be patient.

I have quite the collection of hostas.   They are actually fairly trouble free plants, and the huge variety of color and form make them a wonderful thing to fill dark corners.  I started out with just a few varieties in a garden on the north side of the house.  In addition to hostas, this garden contains hellebores, a couple of bleeding hearts and sundry filler plants.

This beauty is located there, and she is the perfect exemplar of what I love about the genus.

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Here is a broad shot of the area I call the Hosta Dell, that gives you an idea of what a beautiful garden you can create using hostas as the main focus.

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That is where you can find this variety.

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And this one too.   It may be the star of the show, but the two Heucheras behind it make a pretty fine back up section.

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I am very sorry to report that I have neglected to mark and remember all the varietal names of the hostas I own.   I started out with good intentions, but I was derailed by certain events that I had no control over, namely the blue jays’ penchant for stealing plant tags for nest material.  I always have good intentions of making maps with labeled plant locations, but then I move a plant or one dies and gets replaced (or not), and the mapping falls by the wayside, so to speak.  So I really couldn’t tell you these particular lovlies actual names.   Sorry.

Of course, all is not perfection in the gardens of The Havens.   I have a rose I need to move off the root cellar so that we can cover the area with more dirt in preparation for the solar panel installation.   The garden I wish to transplant the rose into was choked with weeds yesterday.   I have it 80% cleaned out, but the north end of the Hosta Dell is sadly in need of attention too.

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I guess I’d better stop procrastinating and get out there and get to work!

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I was cleaning out the Hosta Dell a few days ago on a cool cloudy damp day, and came across someone sleeping in the miniature hostas.

She’s really a very good sized box turtle, about the size of a small canteloupe.   She was sleepy, and grumpy because it was cold.  Garbo-like, she wanted to be alone.

As I returned to the house from the task, I stopped to admire the new strawberry bed.

We were motivated to raise the bed just because that box turtle and her kin think strawberries are the BEST, ripe or not.   Ripe is better, of course, but if all there is is green ones, they will do just fine.   So far, we have not discovered a climbing box turtle.

You will note the finely crafted cage resting on top of the wall.   That is in honor of all the birds around the place, who also think strawberries are a fine dining experience not to be missed.   There are four doors on top that fold open for picking and weeding.   The whole thing breaks down into 8 easily carried panels plus one two by four.   This is what it looks like when one of the panels is open.

Inside, there are hundreds of strawberries growing and expanding in all their splendor.   And not a speck of mold, which is another benefit of raising the beds so they drain well.

In other news, I believe that I have noticed at least 8 different robin nests around the place.   The one under the wisteria has babies, the one on the box bush that I featured the other day is still eggs.   In the barn, there is a Carolina wren whose eggs are now fuzzy headed babies.   I also saw a young fledgling dove the other day as well, so lots of bird activity is going on.

In the front, the irises are just prime.  There are dutch irises as well as the bearded irises out there.

In the rain garden, the false indigo is just starting to bloom.  Right next to it is an amsonia, which is quite popular with the bumblebees, and there are sphinx moths enjoying it too.

I saw the leopard frog out by the pond yesterday.    She deigned to pose for me before leaping off into the jerusalem artichoke patch.

Down by the Hosta Dell, the hen and chicks are propagating.   I find these guys to be too cute for words.   Bear in mind that the gravel out there is about 1cm in diameter.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a hosta dell without plenty of hostas, would it?  This one is looking quite wonderful right now.

Now, I have an area that has approximately five million salvia volunteers that need to be discouraged.

Ta ta for now, then.

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Last night it rained 2 inches.   In these pictures, you can see rain drops on the leaves of some hostas living in my Hosta Dell.

The next one is also featuring water droplets on hosta leaves, but the difference is this rain has been taken into the plant through its roots, and is now being exuded by the hosta from tiny pores at the edge of the leaves called stoma.   Usually the atmosphere is warm and dry enough that the water vapor being transpired just evaporates as fast as it forms.  But sometimes, when things are very wet so the plant has an excess of water, and it is cool and humid out, the vapor being emitted by the plant forms tiny droplets around the pores.

It’s very cool and grey out there right now, and quite wet as well.   The ground here is fairly saturated and slopes almost imperceptibly, and so the water that fell from the sky doesn’t really have anyplace to go.   Even so, I need to take Ruby for her walk.   So off I go.

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We’ve been pretty hectic around The Havens lately, not so hectic that we couldn’t make visits to other blogs, but a little too busy to actually sit down and make a post.   Even now, as I sit at the computer, I am second guessing my decision to make a post at this time, as I listen to the wren singing about the new day.   This will probably be a pretty quick post, actually.

Our son Jesse has come home from where he was stationed in Iraq for a two week leave before he goes back there.   It is interesting to watch this young man develop as he accepts and is changed by the new responsibilities that come with rising rank.   It is also wonderful to see how the commonality of experience has drawn him and my darling husband closer together.

We had a family dinner the other night, and enjoyed watching him interact with my father and my sister.

That last picture perfectly demonstrates why the Navy refers to the area where the coffee service lives as the “Coffee Mess.”

For my birthday, my son presented me with an iPod nano, and I am overwhelmed.   Thank goodness my IT Guy (that would be Jim) was here to load it up with music.   It is all prepped and ready for my upcoming drive to Texas for the memorial service for my older sister’s husband.  (I’m leaving tomorrow.) When Jesse saw the list of music that I selected from the CD carousel, he opined that he probably should have gotten the 64gig  iPod instead of only the 8 gig.   Whatever that means.  Anyway, it pretty much blows me away that this tiny little box contains the music on 60 CDs, plus has a camera and a speaker.   Amazing.

It is blueberry season here in the Ozarks, and yesterday I went out to the blueberry patch across town and picked three and a half gallons, which are now resting comfortably in the deep freeze, awaiting future reference.    I intend to get out there after I get back from Texas and pick another 3 or 4 gallons, that way we’ll have plenty set aside for the winter.

Out in the garden, the birds are still singing away.   We are hoping for some rain, it has been sweltering here with temperatures in the 90s every day, and no rain all month.

The day lilies don’t care.   They are getting adequate water and seem to be putting on a show a la Zeigfeld Follies:

The hostas have a competing performance going on in the Hosta Dell.  The day lilies are providing back up down there.

The Rain Garden is looking quite lacy and delightful too, although it doesn’t make me think of lines of can can dancers kicking up their heels the way the day lilies and hostas have been.

Well, I’d love to spend more time with you all, but there is a lot to do, so I had best get a move on and go do it.  There are weeds to pull, beans to pick, water to distribute, flowers to admire, birds to listen to, and a dog that wishes I would pay attention to her and not the dumb-ass computer.  Plus I have to do 4 massages today.

I’ll probably not be making another post until I get back from Texas, so I’ll take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful weekend.

Catch ya on the flip side. . .

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The poppies are blooming, and the bees think it is terribly exciting.

The Hosta Dell.

Echinacea, liatris, coreopsis in the Rain Garden.

Black eyed susan and skullcap in the Petite Prairie.

Oriental lilies, asiatic lilies, orienpet lilies, day lilies in the Front Garden.

Baby robins in the Marechal foch row of grapes in the vineyard.

Little green apples — golden delicious.

Water lily on the pond.

Have a beautiful day.

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