Sunday, December 25, 2011

Cool and Crisp - Winter Version

As I was leaving to visit relatives on Christmas Eve morning, I couldn't resist snapping a few cool temperature photos.
Miscanthus and Rudebeckia fulgida 'Goldstrum'
Panicum Dewey Blue background, Schizachyrium scoparium-Little Bluestem and Achillea 'Coronation Gold'.
Same combination as previous photo with morning light
Achillea Terra Cotta.
Panicum 'Dewey Blue' switchgrass

Solidago and Achillea
Sedum 'dragons blood'

Happy Holidays to all!- Greggo

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Photo capture at the Chaplin Nature Center(Cowley County, Kansas) during summer of 2011.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Doctor My Eyes

Photo taken with My Smart Phone-A Kansas Sunrise
It's been two weeks since we visited my son, granddaughter, and newly wed bride for Thanksgiving weekend. He had made an monumental move soon after his wedding, along with starting a new job position in an alien city. From San Antonio to Oklahoma City. wheh. My significant other is a great caring mother and carries many of the concerns and worries which would accompany such a large change. And sadly our beloved granddaughter who lives in Corpus Christi with her mother will now be 528 miles from daddy. Realistically I suppose this is a common occurrence in today's society, but making that point does not make it less difficult. Needless to say, whats my point, and what's that have to with gardening? No point, and nothing to do with gardening. I started writing about my camera and it derived into this paragraph.
Well to the point. I took my camera along to take photos of course. Since I was extremely tired from working the Thanksgiving and Black Friday rush I was completely oblivious to everything. I can't even remember if any photos were even taken, and the worst part is the camera is still there and I've lost my eyes.............................

 Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
And the slow parade of fears without crying
Now I want to understand

I have done all that I could
To see the evil and the good without hiding
You must help me if you can

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long

'Cause I have wandered through this world
And as each moment has unfurled
I've been waiting to awaken from these dreams
People go just where they will
I never noticed them until I got this feeling
That it's later than it seems

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what you see
I hear their cries
Just say if it's too late for me

Doctor, my eyes
Cannot see the sky
Is this the PRICE for having learned how not to cry
-Jackson Browne

So who's your doctor? And is it later than it seems? Tell your loved ones they are loved and they are a special part of your life, before it's too late.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bougainvillea goes to Town

 Over the past three summers in Kansas I've planted these Texas purchased bougainvilleas in the garden. Two are five years old, one is red and the other orange flowered. Another was given to me by my mother last fall. When I lived in San Antonio they were some of my favorite container plants but were somewhat persnickety when it comes to producing blooms. I researched many different methods to produce blooms and discovered a few rules of thumbs for my particular growing zone in Kansas. They bloom more often when they are pot bound. Many landscape contractors will transplant the growing pot into the new pot and slit the growing pot down the sides to allow some root escape. They are heavy feeders , but  heavy nitrogen amounts will create more foliage than blooms (kinda like tomatoes). They seem to do very well in my compost enriched soil with no additional feeding. When moved from one growing condition to another they often take 3-4 weeks to recover and resume healthy growth. They must have full sun to bloom. They will do fine in partial shade but will not bloom as well if at all. And of course good drainage is important.
 The above photo is the orange flowering variety purchased at a Home Depot in Corpus Christi, Texas over five years ago in a #1 pot. Planted in the hell strip, it gets full sun surrounded by asphalt and concrete on two sides. These photos were taken November 13th before the big freeze. The tallest vines are 5-6' tall.
Here I am pruning the vines before transplanting and moving indoors. What a shame I suppose to cut those blooms.
Are you nuts, thinks my wife?
Many branch vines.
Time to root prune. Not much left there.
Pulled from soil in original pot from the spring planting, a 10-12" plastic one.
Surprised to see such small roots?
 Pruning roots before taking inside.
Looks like a bonsai doesn't it? This was three weeks ago and today the plant which is set in a west facing window is producing  a flush of new growth. I'll create a new post during planting time in the spring.  Which I wish was closer than it is. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gotcha - GGW Photo Entry for November

Gotcha is the theme for Novembers Gardening Gone Wild's Photo Contest. In definition this month has to do with gardeners and not gardens.  A case for portraits. Charles Mann a professional photographer from New Mexico is the judge. This a unique topic for me as most of my photos either have plants or insects as subjects. I will use my granddaughter as the subject, as many are doing. To go see other entries go to this link: November Gallery.
Above is the selection I chose. Grandaughter and Marigolds.
Good luck to all the participants.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder-GBBD 11/11

Asclepias tuberosa-Butterly Weed

As preparations for the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post for November began, I began to reflect about the past year. These reflections had been influenced recently by my loss of internet technology, and how I've responded to this drought. Or more importantly how do we as bloggers make this blogging world take precedent over our daily lifestyle. I suppose everyone has their own answer to that question.
 Schizachyrium scoparium-Little Bluestem with Salvia 'Mystic Spires

Initially my thoughts were focused on comparisons of a year ago, and how this blogosphere has influenced my everyday life since then. When my shoulder was injured in January along with the subsequent surgery, all my time was spent indoors or at physical therapy. Blogging became a real passion for me. Enjoyment was spending days reading, blogging, and pickin' on blotanical. (Does that mean I get a star now,since I mentioned it on my blog?).
Salvia fairnacea, Artemesia 'Powis Castle', and Schizachyrium scoparium-Little Bluestem

Along the way I met many garden blogging "friends" which are very encouraging and provide great fellowship. It's been great. My artistic side has resurfaced, knowledge gleaned, and have had a renewed interest in photography. Thank you all!
 Last of the Gallardia.
However, after getting over the withdrawals after a week, (my video memory in my laptop was gone, my warranty was up along with my soul after dealing with Tech Support in India), I became "used" to being in the "real" world. More time spent outside, more time with family, and of course more time with my wife. She mentioned a few times she thought I was spending too much time online, and she was probably correct. It's kind of like food. Food is alright but too much of it can cause problems. Anyway, the biggest time constraint occurred when I went back to work in August. Seven months not working, what an adjustment. So, it's good to "see" all of you again! In conclusion the loss of technology has brought perspective for this blogger, gardener, husband, dad, follower of Christ and last but not least "grandpa". And I'm pleased to be back in a more limited role. Greg.
Salvia leucanthus-Mexican Bush Sage, Miscanthus 'Dixieland', and Salvia guaranitica 'black and blue' before the great freeze two weeks ago. Mex.Bush is smoked bush now.

Taken yesterday "Grandpa Fred" - Red Admiral. Last of the butterflies. Noticed a Monarch flying three days ago. Didn't quite understand that one.
Volunteer Alyssum "Golf" seedlings
Panicum "Heavy Metal"
Kalamagrostis "Karl", Achillea. and Annual Salvia.

Achillea, Artemisia "powis"
Basil seeds
Salvia fairnacea and Panicum Dewey Blue
I have linked to Carol(May Dreams Gardens) @ GBBD, Donna(Garden Walk, Garden Talk) W4W which is texture and Foliage Follow up with Pam @ Digging

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fill the Frame

As usual I'm perplexed and disappointing with my Gardens Gone Wild Photography Contest photos selections. As none of them have received even a honorable mention. I will admit however that they didn't measure up to the "winners". I suppose we second guess our selections or if we cropped them right etc etc. Well I suppose I will continue on! I'm sure some of you have seen these before, so excuse me if they are redundant.
Penstemon mexicali (died this brutal summer)'red rocks'
Stipa tennuissama, Festuca and Rudbeckia hirta
Stipa tenuissima, Achilea 'Coronation Gold', Penstemon mexicalli 'Red Rocks', and Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster'
Salvia fairanacea, Salvia guaranitica 'black and blue', globe basil, Rudebeckia fulgida 'goldstrum' and Miscanthus sinensis 'morning light'
Achilea millefolium 'terra cotta', Liatris spicata, Salvia fairanacea, and Achilea 'coranation gold'
Achilea millefolium 'terra cotta' presently my favorite plant.
Falugia paradoxia -Apache plume

As usual you can go to Gardens Gone Wild Picture This Photography website to view Octobers participants.