I guess you would call me a rogue gardener. I have an acre and half of hill, much of which is wooded, where deer, squirrels as big as cats, raccoons, a groundhog and at least one resident barn snake roam about freely. There’s also a mother fox that often brings her kits/pups out to visit. I garden for fun but the one thing I get serious about is invasive plants.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Late Thanksgiving

Here on the Hill at five in the morning, it's thirty-two degrees but feels like it is in the twenties. Those that know predict that by afternoon it will have warmed into the high fifties. Personally I have my doubts on that. I will be happy just to have it a little warmer.
There's not much going on in the garden, that's for sure. Late yesterday afternoon I found a blackeyed Susan, close to the house and well protected, with bright yellow flowers.
Tomorrow the family will all be here for dinner. I did not do Thanksgiving on Thursday because the kids all have other places they need to go on that day and it's just easier if we do it on another day. Work was generous this year-we were off, not only Thursday and Friday, for the holiday but also Wednesday. I had already taken Monday as a vacation day. Wednesday I painted the wall of the stairs and about half the foyer so on Monday, if all goes as planned, I will finish painting up there. Since I've moved into this house people who just come to expect me to have some project in process when they arrive. The coming week contractors will be working here so amid my Christmas decorations will be ladders, etc. Even my young grandchildren have learned to avoid the ladders and such. (Sigh) One day it will all be finished and I can just sit back and enjoy it. Then what will I find to have "in process"? I've renovated and remodeled houses most of my life so I just don't know what to do if I don't have something in process.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Changing Weather, Holiday Cactus, Reblooming Iris

Out on the Hill this morning it was really quite nice for this time in Novemeber - somewhere in the upper forties. The wind was still but there seems to be a chance of some rain moving into our area along with some much cooler air and there was the mention of a snow flake or two on Thursday. Brrrrrrrr!

Saturday was a gorgeous day which I spent cleaning up the flower beds. The lawn guy picked up leaves and cleaned out the gutters on Thursday so on Saturday I did the flower beds-Last and final cleanup until spring, I hope.

Last evening I went out and cut all of my reblooming Iris. I wanted to bring them in before the weather changed and there are still several unopened buds on them that I hope. My Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus are blooming also. I hope the blooms are all open on the Sunday after Thanksgiving since that is when all my family is coming for dinner.

I did my menu last evening so I have to go to the grocery later this week.

Friday, November 13, 2009

So What IF IT's Friday the 13th

Saturday morning the crew all showed up at my house to help clean up the back section of my yard and load all the limbs, brush and whatever else I had cut earlier in the summer, into the dumpster that I had rented. There were stacks of cinder blocks from the foundation of an old building that burned long before I bought the property and other old junk that someone had piled at the edge of the woods and over time had become overgrown with vines. The guys pulled out a couple of small metal tanks and then another two and another two (six in all). We discovered that they were not tanks but old water heaters and they were all stacked on top of a cistern. In the spring I will see if I can get someone to come take down the few small trees that grow along the back of the yard and a very dilapidated old building that seems to be defying gravity in the fact it's still standing. All the stuff below was gone when they finished. WoooHooo!

I have to get out and make some more pics of the cleanup area. Maybe this weekend.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sunrise on the hill

This is a view from my driveway at about 7:20 this morning. Sunrise out there is almost always breathtaking.
This one is taken about five minutes after the above picture. Amazing how fast the view can change.

It was a chilly thirty eight degrees this morning but the afternoon has been in the sixties. We are looking forward to a beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fall Cleanup and Found Things

It's in the low forties here this morning, gray and drizzly, but not a bad November day. The weather person was talking about it going to be cold but for me when the temp get up in the fifties it's not really a cold day. It appears that we will have clouds all day but...we are, after all, approaching winter.

We were talking the other day about how the winters have changed over the years. As a child I well remember my Dad picking corn in October and it being very cold, bitter even. Thanksgiving Day was a day for hunting rabbits and quail and invariably there would be snow on the ground. These are all memories that go along with the ones of going to my grandparents house for Thanksgiving dinner. Good memories of times spent with folks who are mostly all now gone.

Hopefully over the next couple of afternoons I will be able to get some more fall cleanup done. I have help coming Saturday to really do some major cleanup around the property such as getting rid of limbs and things that I've discovered as I clear away the undergrowth. I keep thinking that maybe I'll find a pot of money buried somewhere up there but so far I've only found an old bathroom sink, a stack of very old cinder blocks, a tub of glass window panes (the tub of window panes was tucked away under a large lilac bush). There was an old plow who's wooden frame was decayed, a hay fork and some other things I can't identify, not sure I'd want to know what some of them were. We will see if I find anything of interest up there this weekend.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Colours of Autumn

Out on the Hill the flowers are really winding down. I need to harvest some of the sage.

The reblooming Iris just keeps on blooming. I'm really surprised at this one but for sure I'm getting more.
We had temps in the mid-thirties one night. The banana plants just could not deal with that. Guess this is a week-end chore that I will have to get done - Dig them up and store them in the cellar until next spring. My neighbor at the florist has some that he just leaves in the ground to overwinter. A little mulch and they come back in force the next spring. I inherited this one when my Dad died a couple of years ago. This thing has probably been in my family for close to fifty yeas. I just feel I'm obligated to keep it going, IF I can.

Trees are really beautiful this year. It's suppose to rain tonight so that will probably bring a lot of them down.
I made the above picture in the morning and
About twenty-fours later I made the following one.
Yep! the leaves changed overnight.
Take a look at that beautiful blue sky!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Saturday Morning Ramble

At six- thirty here on the hill it's a chilly forty one degrees but it feels more like low thirties. It's a dreary and morning here on the hill with the high to be only fifty today. I have been forced to turn on some heat here in the house. I had hoped to get more of the brush and yuck cleared from the edge of the woods this fall but now I don't know if I will get that done until the spring. The leaves are turning and we have lots of reds and yellows in the woods behind the house. On the drive home from work yesterday some of the streets that are lined with the huge old trees were really beautiful arrayed in their reds, yellows, gold and green. I have some banana plants growing that I will need to dig up and take to the cellar in the next few days. I tried mulching one of them a few years back and leaving it to over winter outside. It did not survive and since these have been in my family for forty plus years I just kinda feel like it's my job to keep one around as long as I can.

Along with the gardens and the renovation of my log home I have gone back to my first love which is sewing. I hope to soon have some of my repurposed deimn jackets and other items on Etsy. Right now, as my grandmother would have told me, I have too many irons in the fire, but things will all work out and it will all get done, eventually. Adding to the chaos contractors will probably be at the house one or two days next week. Over time one learns to live around them and you soon become on a first name basis with them. They bring me pumpkins and other decorations for my front porch and have taught me how to chink the logs in a two hundred year old house. All these things sometime make life a little hetic but it also keeps thing interesting and the garden is where I go "to stop and smell the roses". It's the place of peace and quiet in a hetic life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Snake Picture

I found a picture and a name for the Snake. Known as a Worm Snake. I've never heard of one but he is aptly named. Guess I should have left him alone and been thankful that he might have been one reason I have very few slugs. That statement, so far, has been true.

I did find a toad in the Blackeyed Susans the other day. First one I had seen on the hill. I will have to post pictures of the "craw dad" holes that I find but thus far I have not seen the creature venture forth from his hole. If one were to step into those holes they could break an ankle or leg.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall Cleanup - Surprise Visitor

I haven't been around lately but have been really busy inside. Did manage to get out and do a little fall cleanup Saturday afternoon. While I was pulling weeds I found what I thought was a huge night crawler. This big old worm is very common in my flowers. I only had a glimpse of one end as he wriggled beneath some weeds. I grapped an end and pulled. He was quiet strong so I pulled harder only to have him get away from me. By now, it's a matter of getting him. I wanted a picture. Well, there is no picture and there was no night crawler. When I finally yanked him from under some weeds that I had pulled earlierI discovered he was a baby snake. Needless to say he is no more. I have no idea what he was but he was about eight inches long, kinda taupe or light brown in colour with a white underside. When I finished with him there could be no pictures to post. I'm not afraid of snakes, in fact, I have a resident black snake that sometimes lives in my cellar and he is welcome so long as I don't find mice around the place, but I don't like to have the unknown kind slitthering around my flower beds. If he was a "good" snake then I am sorry I smashed him, If he was a "bad" snake then, Oh well! I'm aware that if you find one small one there are usually more. I tried to look him up on line but didn't find him. There were no markings at all on him.

In all that excitement I did discover that I have a balloon flower blooming. I will try to post a picture and more later this evening. Also, my reblooming iris is still blooming. The temperature has been down in the forties here at night but tops out at around sixty in the daytime.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monsoon Season? Reblooming Iris!

Out on the hill it looks like fall but the afternoon temps have been in the 80s. We've gone from no rain to somewhat of a monsoon it seems. From the looks of the weather map it's going to be rain and thunderstorms all the way thru Saturday. This morning it rained on me all the way in to work and for about an hour after I arrived. At this point it has stopped but there's suppoe=se to be more waiting in the wings, I believe. My garden surely will enjoy the moisture and so will the weeds.

I purchased some reblooming iris a year or so ago and this spring they bloomed. On Sunday as I was leaving the house something caught my eye and guess what? This beautiful iris was fully opened. I had not even noticed it was going to bloom. I purchased several but for health reasons did not get them all in the ground and this is the only one that seems to have survived. I most certainly am going to order more of the reblooming varieties. I've been shopping the cataloges for others. This morning there were 2 more blooms but it was raining and I didn't get pictures.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Winerberry? Wildflower?

My japonicas and one of my pencil hollies seem to be trying to give up the ghost. I'm thinking that they needed more water than they have been getting. We have had very little rain since August 4th. Since I am on a hill and the water drains quickly I am going to put in soaker hoses, hopefully this fall. I've been considering adding a timer but have not yet decided for sure about this. I have not grown japonicas before and if they are this temperamental I'm not sure I will grow them again.

Here on the hill not alot of things are in bloom. The sages and catmint are very robust in aroma and size. Coreopsis have continued to bloom and are still flowering beautifully. I gathered my hydrangea blooms yesterday and made bouquets for the sunporch and on each side of the colonnade. They are one of my best flowers and I like the fact that I can collect them to make arrangements that will last all season. In the spring I will add 4 or 5 more plants along the French Drain.


A the edge of the woods near the end of my drive, in one of the few areas that we have managed to somewhat reclaim from mother nature's take over with unwanted growth, I noticed a shrub that is simply loaded with red berries. I was on my way to work so it was not a good day to go climbing thru weeds and brush but that is just what I did. I'm not sure if this is a winterberry but it may be. Whatever it is the berries are stunning. At the base of the same small bank I discovered beautiful yellow flowers that are some type of wildflower. I am posting pictures of both the flower and the shrub. If anyone can identify either please do so.

Sage & Catmint and some others

Winterberry? Maybe? No? Yes?

Unknown flower

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall is Definitely in the Air

The past few mornings when I have stepped outside there has been the feel of change in the air and fog hangs over the land that spreads out below my hill. Behind the house the trees have reds and yellows in their leaves. The burning bushes will soon lose all their green. This one changes from day to day.

Below the touch-me-nots have lost their seeds and leaves will soon be gone.

And as if that is not proof enough take a look at the poke weed. Picture is not very good but you can see the clusters of berries and the faded leaves.

Yes, autumn is arriving here in Kentucky! There is a crispness in the early morning air but by afternoon it's back in the 80s. On Saturday I pulled weeds and did a little clean up and for that I have a good case of Poison Ivy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back to The Garden - Soon Very Soon

I've had lots of things going on at my house and not necessarily in the garden. I have been painting and cleaning and now it's time to get ready to go back out and do some late summer garden work very soon. I have mulch that needs to be put down around shrubs and lots of clean up is going to start. With cool weather just around the corner I will be doing some more work at the woods' edge - trying to get rid of poison ivy, grapevines and honeysuckle. I so want to get some of that yard reclaimed and put in some ferns and flowering shrubs. Hopefully, in the next day or so I will have some pictures to post.

For some reason one of my japonicas that I planted this spring and that had been doing great has some dead branches. I can't figure out why. Hopefully, it will recover. I do know that we could sure use some rain. Haven't had much rain since the downpour that caused the flood on August 4th.

Monday, August 17, 2009

This and That and Some More

This morning I went out to make some pictures. I did discover that if your camera is anywhere close to the AC vent and you take it outside in the 70F degree heat the lense will fog, therefore, some of my pictures are not all that good. I had to snap a picture, wipe off the lense and try for another one. Didn't always work. I missed a shot of a redthroated hummingbird. He was buzzing around the Hollyhocks and Lavender but before I could get a focus on him he was gone.

The stonecrop is beginning to look like autum is somewhere in the wings waiting.

I love the silvery colour of sage and the spiderwort has bloomed again.

The Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida) was just a tiny sprig when I put it out this spring. It seems to enjoy full sun. I only recently discovered that it and spiderwort of of the same family.
Not sure the name of this little lilly. My mother had this for many years after a neighbor gave her a start. She always called it her "little pink lily". My sister gave me a pot of it last fall since I had lost all of mine several years ago and it has bloomed all summer if I give it a drink everyday.
My cypress vine has taken over the stump and is trying to cover everything on the ground. The hummingbirds love it. I hate to cut it back but I think I am going to have to rescue some of the plants

There were lots of honey bees around the cleomes this morning but you can't see them in the pictures.
I'm not sure planting them around the mailbox was such a good idea but they sure seem to like it there.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Someone was Hungry

My sweetpotato was doing fine and when I came home about six o'clock it had all it's leaves and vines. About 2 hours later when I went outside this is what I found. Apparently the groundhog was very hungry. I saw him just the other day as he was scurring across the yard. He is very well fed. About a week ago he dined on one of my large dahlias that was just getting ready to bloom. Considering the fact that he appears (from his rotund size) to have a large appetite I consider myself lucky that he has not done more damage.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Flowers, flowers and more

This is the only one that came back. I bought some more this year so hopefully next spring will bring many more.


Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we seek to...
Cypress vine. Hummingbirds love it.

One of my most liked flowers - the hydrangea

These blackeyed Susans were a wonderful surprise when they appeared.

Touch-me-nots have always been favorities of my kids and grandkids. The seed pods are wonderful entertainment.

These bees were busy collecting pollen from this large sunflower.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Here are a few pictures of the new garden I have been working on. It is just outside my back door and is doing beautifully. By next year everything should really have filled in and look very nice.

Right side of path with lavender and daisies.

Left side with coreopsis anddelphinium/larkspurs.

The eggplant has really not done very well so I relocated it here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Water, Water Everywhere & Not A Drop To Drink"

Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is one of my favorite classic tales and on August 5th the "Water, water everywhere..." described the scene outside my office building.

I was on vacation for a week which was really great. On Monday August 4th I came back to work. That was just a regular workday.

Then came Tuesday, August 5th. The two pictures below show the stree in front of my office building about an hour after I arrived.

As I was driving in there was this black cloud that was directly in front of me. It was black and there was a green look to it - as a child I was taught that if the cloud looked "green" it almost always meant that there was going to be hail involved. Anyway, still a good distance from work I considered going back home because there was this "feeling". Next time I will head my "feeling". I arrived at the office at 8:20 am. Within minutes it was almost as dark as night outside and I could hear hail hitting the windows. Then came the rain - 6.5 (16.5 centimeters)inches of rain in about an hour. We watched it flood the street in front of the building and then it blew the covers off the sewers and it was like a huge wave that moved higher and higher until it was up over the parking meters.

My car, along with many more was in the way of this wave of sewage, and needless to say flooded. By the time I realized the water wasn't going to stop before it got into the parking lot I couldn't get to the car to move it. Well anyway my car made national news on the weather channel.

The fire department had to bring in boats to evacuate some of the people. My sister and daughter had to be evacuated to the second floor of the building next door, then after is stopped raining and the water began to go down the grounds people took them out to a local business so that they could get a ride home.

Needless to say, my car has been totaled.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Digging in Rocks and Dirt

Yesterday was a beautiful day and for mid-July here in Kentucky it was about 10 degrees cooler than normal. The high was only 70F. Actually we broke the record of the coolest July I8 which was set (I believe in 1948) of 71F. I worked outside all day, dug out some of the pavement and put in the larkspurs, I need to find more if the markets still have them for sale. The ones I put in have already finished blooming and look a bit ratty but that's OK. I also added the sand and stepping stones for a path thru this garden. The other side of the path will be herbs since this plot is just outside the back door and very convenient to the kitchen. In the center of the herb portion I want to install some type of ornament, perhaps an old hand pump once used to pump water from the well. I have seen these used as fountains but I'm not going this route. Water features are just too much trouble for me.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I've been a bit out of touch these last few days. Have been working on my house. It's suppose to be quite hot here tomorrow but I have tons of things that need to be done outside. Guess I'll be up early and out before it gets in the upper nineties. Gardening in that heat is not my cup of tea. I want to get beds made for the larkspurs but that may not all happen. We will hope for the best. Next week we are suppose to have off and on rain several days so that would be good it I could get the plants in the ground

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Objects are Closer Than...

Let me introduce Mr. Doodles. I walk out to the car, purse over my shoulder, lunch and briefcase in one hand, a cup of coffee and some papers in the other along with the car keys. After some juggling I reach to open the door and out of nowhere this thing flies in my face. I duck and yell, spill my coffee (luckily not on myself) and try to wave away whatever it is. Then I realize it's a BIRD. He hops onto the windshield and glares at me. My mirror, where he was perched is covered in doodle and all the way down my door. If I open the door will he fly into the car? I put down my lunch and brief case and fling the papers at him, but he just darts over to the other side mirror and looks at himself. Quickly I open the door and toss my things inside. As I close the door he's back and in my face. It's like he's saying "Lady, this is my perch. You deal with it." I go around get in on the driver side. He's still sitting on the passenger side mirror looking at himself. It's like "OK, Bird, Let's see how you like the carwash." He flies off before I pull out of my drive. When I came home from work I tied a plastic bag over the mirrors. Hopefull this will keep Mr. Doodles from doodling on my car again. I'm thinking he is twitterpatted (Remember in Bambi, Owl tells Bambi, Thumper and Flower that the birds were twitterpatted?) with the reflection of himself. Anyone know what type of bird he might be? I know that it would be hard to tell from the angle of the first picture so here's a better view.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lemon Lily

I've been reading about a lemon lily. Just curious if this is what I have. The yellow is such a clear beautiful color.

Another Suprise

This has been an interesting weekend at my place. Yesterday I went out to begin removing some blacktop so that I could put in a flower bed near the house. I pried up a small piece and something looked strange, then I removed another small piece and another. There was nothing beneath the blacktop except A Hole! A very Black Hole. What have I found? Is this where some former owner, who didn't beieve in banks, has buried their fortune? ( I have found all types of interesting items but as yet no money) Some Indian hide-away, the land was once part of the Iroquois Indian Reservation, I've been told? No! Nothing so exciting. Just one of the 3 cisterns on the place that former owner told me had been filled in years ago.

I called my contractor and he tells me that it has to be filled in with sand. It seems the larkspurs and coreopsis will have to wait a few days before they get planted.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Purple Lily with visitors.
Yellow Lilies. These are beautiful. Such a clear pretty colour.
The tomatoes are getting ripe. Found this one turning last evening. Now if the "critters" just leave them alone.

I've never grown eggplant with any success but this one has several blooms. I will wait and see if the fruit arrives in due time.
And the cucumbers are doing great. This is only two of the ones that I have.