Friday, July 24, 2009

New Occupants

The BOBs have begun moving in to the condos! Yesterday, as I was meandering aimlessly through the garden as I am wont to do on a daily basis, I noticed that one hole in the BOB house had been sealed!
Notice the sealed hole - it's the second one down on the left.

The female bees lay their eggs in the holes and then seal them up with mud plugs. In the spring, the new bees will dig their way out and begin their task of pollinating plants.

The bees look very much like a common housefly and are not in the least agressive.

More information about these fascinating bees can be found on the website below:

It was a beautiful afternoon, and the boys were happy to join me in the garden. They, however, were more interested in the jumping grasshoppers and the chipmunks chirping in the shrubs.

Sluggo was obviously entertained by something as he focused intently for quite some time.

My huge Ruby Spider daylily has just begun blooming. Again, this year, it's blooming about a week or more earlier than in years past. I hope this doesn't portend yet another cold, snowy winter!
The dahlias have begun blooming, as well. I thought I had overwintered all of them, but it seems only the pink ones came back.

This coreopsis "Zagreb" was a pass along from one of my dear neighbors.

The "Jackmanii" clematis is blooming and I see buds on the "New Dawn" climbing rose that is winding it's way through the clematis. It should be a pretty combination!

Down in the shady part of the garden, the Ligularia is blooming a beautiful yellow, and when the dark purple Monkshood begins, they too, will make a nice combination with the silvery lambs ears encircling their feet.

And finally, here's a shot of the new hosta bed and the impatiens, astilbe, catmint and cranesbill on the other side of the rock walk. If you recall, this is the where we dug and found the cleanout to the septic tank earlier this spring. The big pot of geraniums is sitting right on top of the cleanout.
And today, it rains yet again. If this keeps up, we should have a very colorful autumn (providing of course, if the sun comes out in October!) One can only hope that Mother Nature will bless us.

Life is Good!

Hugs, Giddy

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Blue Orchard Bees, that is.

If you recall, from a previous post, H and I had visited Thuya Garden in Northeast Harbor and saw these cute, whimsical Blue Orchard Bee (BOB) houses. As most of us gardeners have read, honey bees are being decimated by Colony Collapse Disorder and as we are all dependent on pollinators for our very existence, it makes sense to cultivate breeding areas for a variety of pollinators.

Sooo, H and I are doing our part by making four BOB houses for our garden. They are so easy to make and give us an outlet for our artistic side. I think they turned out really cute!

H painted the one with the kitty in the window. Spike is on one side and Sluggo on the other and
I painted the other three. Now we're just hoping the BOBs will find these accommodations pleasing.

This morning dawned clear, cool and beautiful. We awoke to the thrumming sound of a lobster boat in the bay so I had to get a quick shot of it and the seagulls flying around, hoping to catch their breakfast.
And, as long as I was out on the deck, I took a few shots of the amaryllis which have been blooming for weeks now.

My eldest son sent these to me from his garden in Florida.

This is the first year I've tried Nemesia and so far, I've been thrilled with it. It's been a non stop bloomer and no dead heading needed - my kind of plant. I think it looks very pretty planted with the deep blue Lobelia.

The veggie garden is just now coming into it's own and the other day, I prepared peas and carrots with the Sugar Ann peas I planted in the spring. The Sugar Anns are an edible podded pea and so tender and tasty that it's difficult to get enough to bring in to cook as I tend to just eat them in the garden.

Now, it's off to the garden for more weeding!

Life is Good!

Hugs, Giddy

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thuya Again

Last Tuesday, the sun was shining again, so we headed back over to Mount Desert Island to revisit Thuya Garden. We had been there four weeks ago and due to having substantial rainfall in June, and the lack of sun all month, not much had been blooming at the time.

This time, after a bit of warmth and sun, there were more blooms, but still not as much as should have been by mid July. The trip, however, is always fun and we enjoyed the quiet, peaceful stroll through the garden.

The path up to the garden at the top of the hill looks quite steep, but the pink granite steps make the climb much easier as it winds it's way to the top. In many spots, the granite cliffs give one a feeling of being in an ancient stone cathedral......

and the view from the top is nothing short of spectacular looking down on Northeast Harbor.

The garden itself is full of beauty and whimsy among the more formal parts. This old cedar tree had literally split this huge boulder before it finally succumbed to old age and had to be cut down.

Many of the Dahlia varieties were beginning to bloom, but this pretty one caught my eye.

I took a shot of this rustic bench so H could build one for our garden. How difficult can that be???

The Delphinium were having a contest with the sky to see who could be the bluest!

And the ferns were winning their own contest with the other verdant greens of the garden.

This little Blue Orchard Bee house (BOB), reminded us that we still had to finish our BOBs.

After a lovely time winding throughout the garden, we headed back down the hill and moseyed on over to Little Long Pond for a picnic beside the quiet water of the pond.

And so ended another wonderful day in our little corner of the world.

Life is Very Good!

Hugs, Giddy

Monday, July 13, 2009

What's That Bright Light in the Sky?

Gasp! Can it really be the SUN????

Maine has had the rainiest, foggiest June ever. I doubt we saw the sun more than three days all month and unfortunately, July is looking pretty bleak as well. However, we did have a few days of glorious sunshine and blue skies last week and H and I took full advantage of it with an annual tradition of attending the Belfast Garden Tour.

We visited 6 lovely gardens and I was heartened to find that my garden was not alone in falling behind due to the gloomy weather. Many of the gardens showed signs of the nasty slug infestation that was so difficult to keep under control. And I awarded myself bragging rights as no one had as many tomatoes as I do! The experiment of bucket versus garden planted tomatoes so far, has the bucket planted tomatoes ahead by a mile. One of the plants has a tomato the size of a baseball - I'm excited!!!

Each of the gardens were unique and one stop on the tour was the Cellar Door Winery near Camden.

The view of the vines from their deck was spectacular with the Camden hills in the background.

However, I think H and I enjoyed the glass of wine on the deck of the winery best!

We met some lovely ladies on the tour and it was very apparent from their accents that they were not from Maine! Turns out they were from Georgia and with H, being originally from Alabama, a discussion of the finer points of boiled peanuts ensued. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly H and I fall back into our southern drawl. The ladies were kind enough to get a picture of the two of us together for a change.

These lemon yellow daylilies were so bright and pretty they made me smile.

Always one to find uses for the pile of twigs I end up with after pruning, I found this little masterpiece quite interesting. Looks like a cute way to prop up the floppers in the garden.

Remember that humongous pile of wood we had delivered to the door yard last month?

Well, there only remains to stack another 1/2 cord and we will be finished with the task!

Yesterday, we stacked 24 wheelbarrows full before the spirit finally gave out......

ah, but there's nothing more satisfying after a long day of stacking than looking at what one has achieved. Our winter will most definitely be warm and cozy.

As lovely as the gardens were, we were happy to get back home to our own for a bit of relaxing in the sunshine. As Dorothy said, "There's no place like home"!

The goatsbeard is in full, feathery bloom right now.

The nonstop begonia is putting out a great effort to brighten the front porch....

and the fern garden out front is really getting lush. I think I may have to transplant the remaining hosta next spring to make room for the lady ferns behind it.

Despite the ravaging of slugs, the cabbages are looking pretty good. Now that I've gotten more slug bait, the nasty creatures shouldn't be a problem. I was getting pretty tired of looking for them every morning with my spray bottle of water and ammonia.

The green beans are finally beginning to climb the poles

The lovage in the background is blooming and is larger than I have ever seen it. It must really have loved the rain, as unfortunately, did the weeds. I've just not been able to keep up with them.

So, Dear Ones, this day finds me finally able to sit down at the computer and blog. And to my blogger friends, please rest assured that I'm keeping up with all of you, just don't have time to do much commenting.

Life is Busy and Blissfully Good!

Hugs, Giddy