Saturday, June 17, 2017

What's Blooming In My Pocono Mountain Garden In Mid-June 2017

Can't believe it's already mid-June. My gardens are still in Spring mode. Could be the cool somewhat rainy weather we've had for quite awhile. None the less ... flowers are popping!
My Blush Nymph Peonies are beautiful this year. I bought them 5 years ago as bare roots from Walmart. Part of the proceeds went to the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. They hold a special place in my heart since I am a new breast cancer survivor myself.  
Siberian Iris is also on my hit parade. I love purples and lavenders. This Siberian Iris is such a pretty shade of bluish-purple. Have no idea what variety they are! They are not flowering as much as they used to. Think it's time to divide them.
Bearded Iris are new to me although this small clump as been in my garden for 5 years. They just never bloomed. This is the first year they have ever flowered for me! The only difference this year is that I amended the soil they're planted in, fed them, and watered them more. I just love them! Definitely going to plant more next year.
My little red mini rose bushes are doing great! I bought them years ago on clearance (paid $1.50 for 6 scraggly little bushes) after Valentine's Day. I lost 3, but do have 3 healthy bushes planted in a very large flower pot that I over-winter in my garage. This is their fourth year and they come back stronger and just as pretty as ever.
I love Walker's Low Catmint! Started out with 1 small bush a few years ago. Wish I had bought more at the time. My original bush is now almost 4 feet high and wide. Love it! I did take cuttings from it and have 2 smaller bushes coming along nicely. 
This year my hubby and I decided to make a special garden. We both love and admire, The Blessed Mother Mary, and decided make a small garden just for her. This little rock garden was already existing, so we added a bit more rocks, planted some patches of white alyssum, and then added 2 solar lights. We placed our statue of Mary in the center of the garden where she faces the front of our house. It looks so pretty at night with the soft lights shining on her. 

Life has its joys and its sorrows.  I have learned to appreciate each and every day ....


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Pocono Mountain Girl Goes To Florida 2017

Vacation!  You plan. Time goes by ... And VOILA! The day finally comes and you're on a plane. For hubby & me, our destination is southwest Florida. We have kids and grandkids to see! We left PA with temps in the mid-seventies. We arrived in Florida and ... into 90 degrees!  Couldn't wait to get the AC cranking in our rental car. Things are still beautiful though.
                                                                Palm trees
                                                       Tropical flowers
                                                          Beautiful sunsets
                                                     Beautiful shorelines
                                                          Exotic birds
                                                                 Alligators
                                                               Sailboats
                                                         A quarter-moon
              And a Fishing pier.  But the best part is being with
                                                          FAMILY. 



Monday, April 24, 2017

Five Annual Flowers That Don't Mind Pocono Mountain Frosty Springs

April in the Poconos can be very unpredictable. One day it's 70 degrees, and the next day we could have a dusting of snow. Right now many nurseries and big box stores in my neck of the woods are stocking their shelves with all kinds of annuals and perennials. Since I have been bitten by the "planting bug", I have to choose wisely. So, let me tell you about some annuals that don't mind a little chill.



 Sweet Alyssum. If you haven't grown it, it is a lovely little plant. It can easily spread a foot wide and anywhere from 3 to 8 inches tall depending on the variety. It likes the sun, but will tolerate some shade. It also is very drought tolerant as well. And it smells ... heavenly.  It comes in shades of white, pink, and lavender. And the biggest plus for me? Nothing eats it! Not deer, slugs, groundhogs, or squirrels. 


Calendula. Also known as Pot Marigold, it is a pretty flower with bright yellow or orange petals. It tolerates full sun to shade and grows 1 to 3 feet in height. Its petals can be added to soups, stews, and salads giving the dishes a slightly spicy taste.


Pansies are an early Spring staple here in the Poconos. They come in a multitude of bright colors. They grow 4 to 8 inches in height and and 8 - 12 inches in width.They absolutely love the cool weather and grow best in full sun or light shade. They will bloom brightly right into Summer before they need to rest. Shear them back, or deadhead them then, and they often return for a second flush of flowers in the Fall. 



Petunias? Yes, Petunias. They love to bask in the sun, but also do well in partial shade. They won't survive hard freezes, but are considered cold tolerant to temperatures hovering around 39 degrees. They come in a variety of types and sizes.



Snapdragons. They love sun, but do their best when temperatures are cooler. The come in an array of colors and sizes. I happen to love the dwarf varieties. Keep them well watered and pinched back  and they will continue to bloom right into Summer. 

HAPPY APRIL IN THE POCONOS!






Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pocono Mountain Deer Resistant Flowers

Deer resistant flowers are a matter of opinion.  The deer's opinion. To a deer, what might not look tasty today ... might look yummy tomorrow. Anyway, let me show you some flowers from my Pocono Mountain garden  over the years that the deer usually leave alone.
For me, Marigolds are deer-proof. They are a staple for me. From year to year, not a nibble. More than likely it's their pungent scent. Even mosquitoes don't like them!
Violas, sometimes called Johnny-Jump-Ups are another winner. Cute and cheerful. Volunteers show up every year, and I just plant more seeds in the area where the flowers have begun to dwindle.
One year I tried Lavender and found it worked very well. Unfortunately, It just didn't grow well in my garden. It was pretty though.
Snapdragons flourish for me.  Tall varieties are more popular, but I prefer dwarf plants.
 One year I had Shasta Daisies and Rose Campion blooming together. Pretty combination. The deer never touched them. 
Bleeding Hearts are another staple. I have lots of them. Just take divisions from a strong growing plant in early spring and plant them in other places. Voila! New plants. Bleeding Hearts are plants that keeps on giving.
Columbine is another good one. Occasionally, later toward the end of their blooming period, I would find nibbled-on leaves. 
Yarrow grows very well in my garden and spreads with each year.
Lambs Ear doesn't interest the deer at all. The fuzzy, soft pale green leaves are it's selling point, but I actually like the flower stalks more!
Daffodils ... of course. Pretty much every critter leaves them alone.
Alyssum is another deer-resistant plant. I have never seen deer touch it. I've also had great luck with Catmint, Salvia, Monarda, and Ajuga.

It's all trial and error. Try this ... try that and see what happens.
Oh, one other thing ... I have found that some plants that deer will leave alone ...
                                       Groundhogs absolutely ... love!

















Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pocono Mountain Beauties From Springs Past

Patience is a virtue. Unfortunately, in early April, I have very little.  Up in the mountains, Spring takes longer to arrive. Things are still brown and gray in April. In the lowlands, grass is greening up, daffodils are starting to bloom, and the buds on trees are swelling and showing color.  So, I present to you some Pocono Mountain flowering beauties from Springs past.
                                    What is Spring without Daffodils
Pansies
or Bleeding Hearts?
Dandelions herald the arrival of Spring, too. Although considered a weed by most, they are still very pretty up close.
Tulips ... tall and elegant, they jubilantly welcome spring with open petals.
Short and dainty, Crocus brighten up even the tiniest corner of the garden
                    while Grape Hyacinths sway gently in the spring breeze.
Peonies always add a pop of color to the garden bed with little effort.
Pieris Japonica are just lovely with their little bell-shaped flowers.

One last thing ....
Be sure to cut some of these Spring-time beauties to enjoy inside!