Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Visit to a Nursery

A few years ago we visited one of the local nurseries in our area that advertised hostas. I had started a small hosta garden in our backyard and I was looking for a few more hostas to fill in. I can always find room for some hostas.

We returned to Rawlings Nursery a few weeks ago, and this time I brought my camera with me. Thought you might enjoy some photos from the Rawlings  Hosta Farm.

My husband and resident black cat.

We were greeted by Kevin Rawlings, their friendly dog, and a beautiful black cat that took a liking to my husband, Ted. Kevin gave us a tour of the grounds, and I was hoping to get some photos before the rain started. Luckily it held off for us.

I'm not sure how many hostas the Rawlings have, but I'm guessing several thousand.

Rawlings Nursery is a small business that sells hostas. They are located about one hour's drive north of Syracuse, New York in the Town of Ellisburg, N.Y (Jefferson County). In the spring they sell hostas at the Regional Market in Syracuse, N.Y.

They have beautiful perennials and trees throughout their gardens. At one time they used to sell many different varieties of perennials, but now they just sell the hostas.

What I liked about this hosta farm is the fact that you can walk around the gardens and see how the hostas perform in their surroundings. As well as seeing how nice they look growing with other grasses and perennials.

There are some nice design elements in use as seen in the photos using curving lines, along with different textures and colors.

Hostas are labeled in the gardens

Greenhouse in August. In the spring this greenhouse is packed full.

View of the pool, house and perennial gardens.

If you are interested in visiting the farm it is recommended that you call ahead for their schedule or email. I'm not sure how long in September he will be open. Phone- Home: 315-638-1415, Farm: 315-846-5265. They do not ship orders. The web page is: Rawlings Nursery

Here are two photos of the hostas I purchased.

This is called Curley Fries.
I liked it because of its name.

This is a miniature hosta called Appletini.
I liked this one because of the color, size, shape, and its name.

There are quite a few miniature hostas available now, and I'm using them for fill in some of my beds. There are some hostas available for sun, but most do better in shade with some sun. If hostas get too much sun the edges of the leaves will burn and turn white.

There are a few problems that you might encounter if you plant hostas: 1) the deer love them, 2) slugs and snails can be a problem by chewing holes in them if these can be found in your area.

Here is a link on more information on growing hostas: Care of Hostas

Hope you enjoyed your tour of the Rawlings Hosta Farm. 
Thanks for taking the time to view it.
Feel free to add your comment; and if you leave a working link to your blog I'll check it out. Thanks.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer Fun In The Sun!

Can't believe that another summer is coming quickly to a close. Wow! Where did it go??? It wasn't one of those sweltering summers where you were either looking for a pool to jump into or a beach to cool off at or even a boat ride---- just a nice summer. A few warmer days in July, but that didn't last too long. I think we only used the air conditioners for maybe two or three days the most.

And then the rains came- lots of rain. It wasn't a drought-stricken season like we've had the last few years. I think our longest period without rain was maybe ten days. And I felt so bad for the areas that experienced severe flooding. And then on the other side of the country- California, etc. - severe drought.

Well, I hope that you had a chance to get some rest and relaxation this season, and it's still not too late if you didn't have time to get away even if it's just for a day trip somewhere. Maybe take a ride to the countryside, a walk in a forest, climb a mountain, or head to the BEACH!

When I was growing up in Western New York, my family loved taking us kids to the beach. We didn't live that far from Beaver Island State Park and that was a park that my family used to go to quite often. Either on one of the weekend days or even after my father got home from work we would head out there. My mother always packed our dinner which was usually hot dogs or hamburgers that also consisted of either macaroni or potato salad. And Kool Aid! Remember making the different flavors of Kool Aid? And lime Kool Aid. I think that was the worst one.

Just about every year when our cousins visited from Memphis, Tennessee, we got together at Beaver Island for a big family reunion on my mother's side of the family. We came from a large family. I was one of six children, and my mother was one of 11 children. I have 55 first cousins (as of last count- and I am probably missing some here). At the family reunion there was usually a softball game that either finished up when someone got hurt or the food was done on the grill. There were also volleyball games, badminton and then swimming when we needed to cool off. And for those relatives that were older and didn't get into the physical games someone always brought a deck of cards and the Euchre games were held at the picnic tables. That was so much fun, and we always hated to see our cousins leave and head back to Memphis.

Another summer activity that my family loved to do for quite a few summers was to rent a cottage in Ontario, Canada for a week or two. I can remember the first cottage they rented. It was in Port Dalhousie, near St. Catherines, Ontario. It was on the water, but there was a steep bank with a set of stairs going down to the beach. There was also a little amusement park in Port Dalhousie, and we could walk on the beach to get to the amusement park. I will never forget the smell of french fries from the amusement park. (Canadians call them chips.) They were served in little paper white cones, and of course you had to put vinegar on them. It was a special kind of vinegar- malt vinegar. Oh, I loved that smell- I even loved the SMELL of the french fries more than I loved the taste of them. We would also go on the amusement rides there. The "Caterpillar" was fun- a little roller coaster that went around in a circle and after a few times around a cover would go over the entire ride. And they also had a ride called the "Whip". One of those rides that the car turns around and all the cars also go around each other. The Carousel from the park is still in existence with it's hand carved animals from Brooklyn, NY.  You can still ride the Carousel for 5 cents! Here is a link: Lakeside Park Carousel.

Some interesting things I remember about that first cottage we rented was the smell of the old wooden furniture, especially the dressers. It had a certain "smell". It wasn't musty, but just a nice woodsy smell. And then we had a wooden icebox. Can you believe that? The cottage had electricity, but no refrigerator. There was a man that delivered large blocks of ice in a truck to the people in the area for their iceboxes.

The electric lights that I remember were just light bulbs hanging on a cord from the ceiling. And then there were the mattresses. They were very firm, and they made a scrunching  noise when you sat on the bed or moved around in it. Well, come to find out they were straw mattresses. And one last thing, but I won't go into detail about this, is that we had outhouses. hahaha.

We could usually count on at least one good thunderstorm coming up on Lake Ontario and those were fun to watch from the cottage on the screened in porch. And then it was time to start the card games - when the rains came.

After renting this cottage for a few years, my parents located another cottage that we rented for a few years after that. This one was located quite a bit farther north in Canada. It was located in Wasaga Beach on the Georgian Bay off of Lake Huron, but still in the Province of Ontario. Wasaga Beach is huge. This beach is nine miles long, the longest freshwater beach in the World! At one time you could drive your car all day/night long right on the beach, but that has since been changed due to erosion. Here is a  link to Wasaga Beach.

Vintage postcard purchased at Antique Market. 
Those are all cars parked on the beach. They could be seen for several miles

Looking back, it's hard to believe those summers were so long ago. . . Endless Summer Dreams

Do you have any special memories or experiences of your summers from your youth?

Hope you enjoyed my experiences and stories from my youth. My wish for you is that I hope you get a chance to enjoy the rest of our beautiful summer here in the Northeast or wherever you may live!

Sail On -

Note: I Wish I had photos to share with you of the original cottages we rented. All of the camps/cottages shown in this post are from the Town of Henderson, New York area.

Thanks for reading, 
feel free to leave a comment-

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Neighbors and Visitors!

I'm very fortunate to have several neighbors and friends that enjoy gardening and flowers. Here are two of my neighbor's (Betty Smith's) clematises.

I love the color and shape of them. Not sure of their names though- sorry.  The one pictured here has a very unique shape. The flower petals are star-shaped, and the color is so nice and vibrant.

Clematises add height to your garden. Most of them are upright twining vines, but some like to spread out horizontally.

Most clematis like about six hours of sunlight to bloom well. Some will do well in partial shade, and in the south they prefer afternoon shade.

They do best in rich soil with good drainage. Avoid fresh manure. Plant the crown a few inches below the surface of the ground. This will encourage buds below the surface to sprout if the main stem gets damaged. The clematises will need support of some kind like a trellis. They are heavy feeders and will benefit from a low nitrogen fertilizer in the spring, and a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) every four to six weeks after that until the end of the season.

Clematises are divided into three distinct pruning groups. Here is some information on pruning your clematises: Growing Clematis Vines

Same clematis as above only close-up.

Here is another one of my neighbor's clematises.

A Kindred Spirit's Fairy/Gnome Garden (Debbie Smith's). Unless you knew this was there you would probably miss it.

Now For My Visitors!

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
(Papilio cresphontes Cramer)

This butterfly likes my new red coneflower (echinacea). I lost the tag for this and I don't remember the name. When I purchased it, it reminded me of red zinnias and I know how much the butterflies like zinnias so I was hoping to attract some with this variety of coneflower. I think I was right in my assumption. It didn't get very tall this year, so I'm hoping next year that this coneflower will grow considerably taller.

In the photo above you can see its proboscis which functions as a drinking straw. They can only feed on liquids which is usually in the form of flower nectar.

Not a very attractive surrounding in the photo at right, but this one is getting a drink of water from the moist seaweed. They drink from mud puddles as well to take up minerals.

More facts on butterflies: 10 Fascinating Facts About Butterflies

Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog post. 

Hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to leave a comment.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August Blooms in the Garden

Well, by mistake I published this post early on Blogger before I actually finished it; thought I hit cancel, but oh well, here's the updated version.

Mid-summer doldrums? I think that's what I might have. That time of summer when I really don't feel like getting out there and weeding and deadheading, but I know I should. We've been lucky in that it hasn't been too hot here. We've had a few warm days, but nothing intolerable. Nice days for doing gardening work (if you feel like doing it). But even if I only get out there for 20 minutes I can pull some weeds and deadhead the flowers. I keep trying to talk myself into it-

It's still important to weed this time of year because the weeds are taking water and valuable resources like minerals from your soil that your plants can use. When you weed now, you're preventing those weeds from forming seeds and multiplying in your garden.

Japanese Irises (bloom later than tall-bearded irises)

This is a good time to cut back some of your perennials that are dying back, like the bleeding hearts. I already started cutting some of them back that have turned yellow.

It's important also, to keep any newly planted tree, shrub or perennial watered. This time of year it can get pretty dry. Also, your container planters might have to be watered once a day if they dry out from wind and heat. You don't need to water your grass if it turns brown. It is just going dormant. When things cool down and it starts raining again it will continue to flourish.

Give your containers and annuals some liquid fertilizer if you haven't done so recently.

Japanese Iris

You can cut back some of your annuals (like petunias) if they are starting to get leggy. Daylilies that are finished blooming, and irises can be divided now. If you missed my blog post last year on dividing perennials here is the link to it: Dividing Perennials.

Shrub: Spirea japonica "Shirobana'
Prune back summer flowering shrubs when they have finished flowering and the flowers fade.

Close up of Spirea japonica "Shirobana'. I love all the colors on this shrub.

Some of my daylilies have finished blooming, but some of the later ones will continue to bloom for a few more weeks. Because our growing season is so short the re-blooming daylilies and irises are not dependable for a second bloom (other than the Stella D'Oro daylilies).

Bee Balm (otherwise known as Oswego Tea or Monarda)

Bee Balm (otherwise known as Monarda or Oswego Tea): my son used to call these perennials fire-cracker flowers! And sometimes they bloom early around the 4th of July. They can be aggressive in your gardens so be careful where you plant them. Last year I purchased two dwarf varieties of Bee Balm and they both came up this year. I planted one in a small rock garden, and the other one I planted with some miniature hostas. More info on Bee Balm

One of my favorite perennials is the Ligularia- The Rocket, photographed below. It adds some height to the gardens and structure. They have large, deep-lobed leaves. This plant does best planted in an area that receives some sun (I found that morning sun is best), and is moist. The plant will collapse if it dries out from too much sun or heat. I read where this plant does fine in shade, so when I first purchased it I planted it in the shade. Well, it was growing kind of slow, and the flowers weren't very tall. So last year my husband dug it up and divided it up into three divisions and re-planted it in areas that received more sun. The results were a great improvement. They are doing wonderful in their new sites.

Ligularia: The Rocket

Close-up: Ligularia: The Rocket

Hosta: Paradigm

"Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun."
~Kent Nerburn

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And if you have a garden blog leave a working link,
 and I'll try to stop by and visit your page.