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.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Wandering about the Yard

Let's wander around my yard for a bit. Maybe something will be of interest.

This stump was a huge catalpa tree beside the walk from my driveway. The center was totally gone when the tree was cut and now with dirt in the center it makes for a great "holding pot".

If you look closely on the left side of this picture you will see my birdbath which I may have rambled about before. This is one of my most unique pieces. Made from concrete the bowl is about 2 inches thick with an outside that resembles the bark of a tree and it sits on what appears to be a concrete tree log. Another intersesting tidbit is that the bowl has a 1 inch diameter hole directly in the bottom. You plug up the hole and it holds water. I will try to post a full picture of it maybe.

This is the start of my shade garden. There was nothing growing here when I arrived except several years worth of leaves and layers of hickory nuts. Yes, I have an Old House - built in the mid-eighteen hundreds, mostly from hickory and ash logs from trees that grew on or near the site of the house and that were hewn with a broad ax -maybe I will write more about the house at a later date. Pretty neat.

The perfect front porch on which to while away the hours on a lazy afternoon. There is a swing, not seen in the picture, where my grand daughter loves to spend her time.

The cinder block has been moved.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Interesting reading.

I stumbled onto this website by way of several different blogs but this guy is great. It was his The 10 Tenets of Renegade Gardening that caught my attention but then I found lots of stuff of interest.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Plants on Steroids

Picture does not do this hen & chicks justice because it's about the size of a saucer.

The dragonsnaps seem to like were they landed. When my grandson was about four years old that was what he called snapdragons and around here that name stuck.

Moved the coralbells and astilbes this afternoon to the shade garden. The ferns are doing good. I was really concerned that they might have problems since there have been so many hickory nuts and leaves left on the ground. I suppose the tree is so large it pulls alot of moisture from the ground but when I was diggng over there it was really dry considering it's rained almost every day. The leaves apparently act like and umbrella.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I just read an interesting article on pokeweed . I always have a bumper crop of this stuff regardless of what I do. I have had it grow until the stalk was well over 1.5 inches in diameter. I remember that my grandmother always said to boil three times, draining the water off each time, and then bacon grease was added along with some salt and it was cooked again. Supposedly the bacon grease would take care of any remaining poison. Seems quite "risky" to me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Roadside lilies & spiderwort

It's very overcast this morning but no rain as yet. Hopefully it will come later today. I have this huge clump of roadside lilies that have the perfect home down by the road. Only thing is the ground is so hard to dig I need some rain. Also, there are some extra spiderwort I want to put there. These two are tough enough to survive the poor soil, hide the storm drain and help filter the water.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

More Rain on the Way

Supposedly it will rain most of this week. I have a bunch of free plants that I need to get in the ground so if it is cloudy and we do get rain I'll be gardening not working in the house as I had planned, like cleaning the sunporch and painting. Those plants that have no permanent home, at this time, I will put in a holding bed. One of the things I really need to get done tomorrow is move my astibles. Since the walnut trees were removed there is very little shade and the astibles seem to be very unhappy - "Fear not, little Astilbes, I have the perfect spot over with the ferns."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jurasic Park - Maybe

It's sunny and 85 degrees and I'm heading out to cut undergrowth, brush and whatever else is growing on my hill. If I do a little at a time eventually it will be gone. Sometimes I wonder "What's gonna crawl out of here." It's kinda like living on the edge of Jurasic Park. It is a jungle but at least I don't have carnivous plants or dinasours---I hope . "Did you hear that noise?"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mr. Squirrel and Me

It's a beautiful day and I wanna to go play outside. I was doing OK until I had to walk across campus earlier and then I didn't want to come back inside. We have lots of squirrels here on campus and they are all well-fed. If you decide to have lunch sitting outside on a bench you better hope there's enough food for the squirrels. I'm sitting on the end of the bench and have my sandwich in hand. Mr. White Squirrel comes over to join me and promply hops up on the other end of the bench. This bench is maybe 36 inches long. Well here we sit, Me and Mr. Squirrel. I have my sandwich and in a baggie beside me I have an apple that has been sliced. He looks at me, this rodent with the bushy tail, flicks that same bushy tail, and moves over closer to the bag with the apple. I pick up the baggie and he barks at me and is no longer sitting down but seems to be in attack mode. It's like, "You WILL share that with me or I will have a bite of YOU." Have you ever looked into the eyes of angry squirrel that is less than a foot away from you? I gave him a slice of apple then headed back inside where it was safe. Wouldn't have surprised me to see him sitting outside the door banging on it with those tiny little feet with the long, long toenails.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Yesterday I found this really interesting plant and I did something, that in my opinion, no gardener should ever do. I purchased a plant I knew absolutely nothing about. I bought a Little Lantern Ligularia. The one big complaint I may have with it is that slugs apparently like it - I hate slugs, that's why I don't grow hostas. A couple of hostas were on the property when I moved here and so far "slimeys" have not been a problem. Guess I will just save all my egg shells and crush them.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Problem Plants

I have just been doing some reading and research on Problem Plants and found this really great info. So many of these plants are sold under different names from those I/we associate with them. Most of the plants mentioned at this link are problem plants here in Kentucky. I am a firm believer that gardners need to do a little research before they purchase any plant with which they are not familar. I am in a never ending battle with invasive plants. It's easy to dig a hole, plop in a plant that has a beautiful flower only to find that by the next year your garden has been over run by the "pretty one". While checking out some plant names I found a picture of a Thornapple. Thinking it looked familiar but never having heard it referred to by that name I checked it out. Growing up on a farm we referred to it by less attractive names - jimson weed, stinkweed, locoweed & devil's trumpet are a few of the mentionable ones. It is considered an unsual poison plant because more humans are affected than animals. All parts are poisonous. A picture to help identify the plant. Take care if you have this in your garden.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's day brought calls from my out of town sons and my daughter treated me to lunch then she and I spent the afternoon sitting on the front porch. Looking out over my front yard as the twilight settled in brought to mind and old song:
When it's late in the evening I climb up the hill
And survey all my kingdom while everything's still
Only me and the sky and an old whippoorwill
Singin' songs in the twilight on Mockingbird Hill.

Looking up the hill from my back yard. The fire wood is awaiting transport to my son's home.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Front Landscaping

Well I did it again! Went shopping at Lowes Garden Center and pratically melted my credit card. It burned my hand when I put it back in my purse. I found these beautiful Lily-of-the-Valley shrubs and in a nice size with a decent price so I bought five of them. I have a couple of mountain laurel already then I bought 2

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Blooming Iris

The iris which I moved a few days ago never even knew it had a new home. Look at the blooms! I didn't realize that the blooms would not show very well against the aged latice. Oh well, isn't moving things around part of gardening? It sure is for me. I'm thinking that the yellow iris would really show up against this background and it has really more than doubled since last year.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More Flowers

One of these days my acre and half may become over run with flowers and trees and shrubs but for now I seem to be making slow progress. I was out digging again yesterday evening after work. My Iris are blooming and they are beautiful. This is the first year the reblooming ones have flowered. I'm curious to see how they perform. The blooms on my regular Iris are huge. I have yellow, lavender and blue all in the same bed and although there is only one blue it really shines.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Moving Iris & Spiderwort

It's been fun around here the past few days. Trying to dodge rain drops/showers/ downpours and get more flowers planted. It's great weather to transplant flowers IF one doesn't mind being wet. A few days ago the tree guys came and cut down the two walnut trees that were in my back yard but before they came I had a large bed of Iris that I had to move. Dug them up, tossed them into the garden cart then replanted them in a bed near my side porch. They never knew they were moved and now all of them will be bloomed in a couple of days. I also dug up a big clump of spiderwort. Some of it I have back in the ground but I still have this huge clump that I need to put somewhere. It's blooming in the pot that I tossed it into.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Patience Needed - HURRY!

Aye! Yi! Yi!. It's that time of year again -- Derby. Friday is the Oaks and then Saturday the Derby. People from everwhere desend on Louisville and it's not pretty. I just stay home and don't go out anywhere. Every year I promise myself that I will take a vacation day on Friday but every year I forget until it's too late. So today I ran the gauntlet of trying to dodge people crossing the street, waving signs at me "Park here", "Parking, $20 all day". These crazy people don't just stand on the curb they jump out into the street and after a while you wonder how many you are gonna pick off before you've driven about 4 blocks. You need quick reflexes and 360 degree vision to avoid hitting someone. The old request, "God grant me patience but HURRY!" takes on it's true meaning at this time.