Tag Archives: Hydrangea
“Peace begins with a smile..”
only love can do that.”
the world will know peace.”
If you are attentive, you will see it. ”
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
With each step, a flower blooms.”
Posted in Flower Gardening, flower photos, Garden Tapestry, Gardening in Williamsburg, Hydrangea, Nature art, Nature Photography, Perennials, Perma-culture, Photography, Plant photos, Plants which attract butterflies, Plants which attract hummingbirds, Plants which attract pollinating insects, Summer Garden, Weather, Wednesday Vignettes, Wordless Wednesday
Tags: Allium, Daucus carota subsp. sativus, Forest Garden, Gardening in Williamsburg, Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia, Nature Art, Nature Photography, Photography, Summer garden, Wednesday Vignette: Peace, wildlife gardening, Wordless Wednesday
What elegant geometry is this,
that builds itself day by day, cell by cell,
from the common elements of Earth?
What innate intelligence puts every leaf,
petal and stem in its proper place?
Such perfection bears witness
to the innate beauty of our universe.
The Architect knows the structure of every cell,
every atom of existence;
consciousness permeates all that is or ever will be.
As we look ever more closely,
observing the crystallization of energy into matter,
water into cellulose, thought into form;
we see the Artist’s guiding hand bringing life to all.
What elegant geometry is this,
growing by the roadside and in the garden;
a joyful expression of aliveness.
Woodland Gnome 2016
Posted in Ferns, Foliage, Garden Resources, Garden Tapestry, Gardening addiction, Gardening in Williamsburg, Native Plants, Nature art, Nature Photography, Perma-culture, Plant photos, Poetry, Summer Garden
“Green was the silence, wet was the light,
the month of June trembled like a butterfly.”
Posted in Gardening addiction, Gardening in Williamsburg, Hydrangea, Nature Photography, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Perennials, Perma-culture, Photography, Shade Gardening, Summer Garden, Trees, Wednesday Vignettes, weekly challenge, Wordless Wednesday, Zone 7B Cultural Information
All colors of light
Joined together in clear unity.
Reflective, cool, at peace with itself;
Serene white beckons
with a promise of rest and respite.
Bleached and clean,
Crisp or crinkled,
White linen putting a good face on
whatever may live beneath.
Creamy white ice cream melting on pie,
Creamy white paint on porches,
Cream swirls in Cappuccino and Gazpatcho;
Creme fraiche on chocolate Creme brulee.
White shells ornament the sands of memory
Like bright white stars piercing an indigo sky,
Time travelers from other worlds;
Messengers of possibilities unknown.
Great white brothers and sisters
Offering Pleaidian promises of
Eventual evolution and peace.
Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014
With Thanks to Jennifer Nichole Wells for her One World Photo Challenge: White
Posted in "Kent Beauty", Adam's Needle, Coleus, Container flower gardening, Container gardening, Daylily, Gardening addiction, Gardening in Williamsburg, Hydrangea, Magniolia, Native Plants, Nature art, One Word Photo Challenge, Perma Culture, Photo Challenge, Pitcher Plant, Plant photos, Poetry, Star Jasmine, Trees, Use of Native Plants, Wildlife gardening, Yucca, Zone 7B Cultural Information
Our friends live “across the pond” from us.
We could reach their garden much faster by canoe than by foot or car.
When I stopped in one morning recently, I was left speechless by the beauty of their Mountain Laurels.
It was the first time I had visited during this beautiful time in May when our community lights up with the blooms of Mountain Laurels, Rhododendrons, Ligustrum, and Hydrangeas.
Our friends invited me to return this week to take photos of the Mountain Laurel before they fade in our early summer heat.
The back garden drops steeply towards the pond in a series of terraces.
Mature Dogwoods, Hollies, Mountain Laurels, and Hydrangeas gather under the taller hardwood trees to thickly carpet the bank.
Wild grapevines trace patterns across the tops of the shrubs, basking in what sunshine may be had.
Ferns grow in dense shade near the house,
but a deck, overlooking this beautiful bank, and the pond beyond; holds a variety of beautiful potted plants which thrive in partial sun.
When the Mountain Laurel bloom, their white and light pink flowers billow like waves; white water crests rolling down the hillside.
Towering over my head, these mature shrubs have grown to become more tree than shrub.
Their tops reach towards the sky as their trunks remain cloaked in shady undergrowth.
This is a true woodland garden, inhabited by wild things.
The deck feels like the deck of a ship.
It offers a secure place for the human inhabitants to view the constant activity of all the wild things scampering through the garden below.
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014
Posted in Ferns, Four Season Garden, Gardening addiction, Gardening in Williamsburg, Hydrangea, Ivy, James City Co. VA, Mountain Laurel, Native Plants, Nature art, Perma Culture, Pitcher Plant, Plant photos, Plants which feed birds, Shade Gardening, Spring garden, Trees, Use of Native Plants, Vines, Wildlife gardening, Williamsburg, Zone 7B Cultural Information
We all love to spend time in our gardens, but how often do you “shop” your garden for cut flowers? Most of us have wonderful flowers and foliage every day of the year that can be re-imagined as cut flower arrangement for friends, special events, and of course our own homes.
We all know that most of the cut flowers offered for sale at the florist or the grocery store are flown in from another continent. There are far too few growers here in the United States. So just as grapes from Chile and oranges from Israel come with a “carbon cost”, so too do the pricey stems at our favorite florist.
Besides, when is the last time you smelled a deliciously sweet flower out of the florist’s cold storage? Most flowers on the market have been hybridized for size, color, and staying power. So many lost their fragrance along the way.
Like locally grown tomatoes, there is just something very special about locally grown flowers. And you don’t need a special “cutting garden” to have a good supply of flowers and branches to cut. You just need a little planning ahead and creativity.
This arrangement began with a desire to use the Beautyberry which is so intensely beautiful at the moment. It is beautiful on its own in a vase, or mixed with something tall and airy, like Dill. After reading the new Country Gardens magazine, I was inspired to use a pumpkin as the base for this little arrangement.
To prepare to “shop” your own garden, prepare a clean container with warm water. The stems take up warm water faster than cold, and so are better hydrated. This is a gallon jug, rinsed, and cut to make room for lots of stems. I added a few drops of honey, which not only feeds the blossoms, but also helps control bacteria in the water. The other important tool is a pair of sharp pruners. Since I gather woody branches as well as herbaceous stems, the pruners work better than scissors.
First walk around to see what might be in bloom. I was delighted to find that the Pineapple Sage had finally bloomed. A few hydrangea blossoms sheltered under an other shrub were still fresh enough to cut.
I have an abundance of Rudbeckia, Queen Lime Zinnias, Basil, and Ageratum. I also had lots of white Lantana, flowering dill, mint, and some chrysanthemums about to open. Herbs are a wonderful choice for foliage and filler, especially if the herbs are also in bloom. One must pick and choose. The flowers I cut actually ended up as two separate arrangements yesterday morning.
Once deciding what to use, cut long stems, and remove all of the lower foliage. Beauty berry still has all of its leaves, but they should be removed when you cut the branch. The branch is more striking with just its berries. Cut as early in the morning as you’re able, and allow the stems to rest in deep, warm water for several hours. Cut more flowers than you think you’ll need. I almost always head back out into the garden part way through for more of something. Extra flowers can be made into something small and will always be enjoyed by someone.
To use a pumpkin or gourd as a container, first study it to determine how it sits, and what side is best. You don’t have to cut it “Jack O’lantern” style. The hole you carve can be off-center. You can make a series of small holes around it and place just a few stems in each opening. The pumpkin can be stacked in a basket, pot, urn, or on a larger pumpkin. It can be set in the midst of grapevines. I chose some little white companion pumpkins to go with my larger white pumpkin.
After opening the pumpkin, and removing the seeds, decide whether you want to hollow it out a bit and place a plastic or glass vase inside, or whether you prefer to work in crumpled chicken wire or oasis. Oasis, like Styrofoam, is controversial since it is a chemical product. It is what I happened to have on hand, and so I secured a half-round, pre-soaked, into the body of the cleaned pumpkin with wooden skewers.
I added warm water with honey to the cavity, and began arranging with the hydrangea blossoms first, and then the beauty berry branches. Begin any arrangement by determining the outer “edges” in space with your largest elements both vertically and horizontally. I added lots of African Blue Basil next, which has blooms along with the wonderfully fragrant leaves. Finally place the major flowers like the Zinnias and Rudbeckia, and finish with the Ageratum “filler”. This arrangement would be viewed from all sides, so I turned it frequently so it was presentable from all angles. At some point, “enough is enough”, and
you know it is complete.
We had a special event in our community this weekend. Friends from our garden club made many beautiful silk arrangement to decorate our “Boutique Sale,” which were also offered for sale. They were elegant and beautiful throughout the room. My little pumpkin arrangement sat in our refreshment area, and went home today with a special friend as a “thank you” for her help this weekend. It will only last a few days, but the joy in making it lasts a life-time.
Whether you cut a single blossom, or a bouquet, just remember that most plants respond well to “pruning”, and generally give far more flowers over the season when you harvest flowers regularly. Cultivate a “cut and come again” garden with blooms and branches ready for harvest throughout the season.
Share with friends, family, your community, and of course, bring the beauty of your own garden into your home as often as you’re able.
- Late Summer Purple Haze (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- Never Underestimate the Power of Fresh Cut Flowers (lisaslivinghealthy.wordpress.com)
- How To Create a Foraged Floral Arrangement from Amy Osaba (stylemepretty.com)
Posted in Beautyberry, Garden planning, Gardening in Williamsburg, Herbs, Hydrangea, Lantana, Perennials, Perma Culture, Plant photos, Plants which attract butterflies, Plants which attract hummingbirds, Plants which attract pollinating insects, Plants which feed birds, Tips, Tools, and Techniques, Use of Native Plants, Wildflowers, Zone 7B Cultural Information
The plants in the following list are mostly ignored by our herd of deer. They are well suited to our Williamsburg, Virginia Zone 7B climate and our soil. Some gardening friends and I have been compiling this list over the last few years.
We have observed that plants which grow extremely well in some of our gardens, such as Camellias and Hydrangea macrophylla, also called mophead Hydrangea; get eaten in others. Our mature Camellia shrubs are left alone, but I’ve had tremendous damage done to some, but not all, newly planted Camellias. Even newly planted oakleaf Hydrangeas have been stripped of their leaves during the last few weeks.
In fact, newly planted trees and shrubs are the most vulnerable because they are rich in the nitrogen based fertilizers growers lavish on them. They taste salty and delicious to deer, like salted French fries for us. Plants which have been in the garden a while tend to have less nitrogen in their leaves and so aren’t as tasty. When considering how much extra fertilizer to spread around your shrubs and trees, if any, this is an important consideration. Growing your garden on the lean side might offer additional protection from grazing.
Key to symbols:
! a native plant in our area
# attracts birds with berries, fruit, nuts, or seeds
* a nectar producing plant which attracts butterflies and other pollinating insects
+ a nectar producing plant which attracts hummingbirds
Flowering Trees and Shrubs
# * Boxwood Buxus sempervirens
! # * + Butterfly Bush Buddleia (various species)
# * + Butterfly Tree or Glory Tree Clerodendrum trichotomum
! # * Dogwood Cornus florida
# * English Laurel Prunus laurocerasus
! # * Fringe Tree Chionanthus virginicus
! * Hydrangea arborescens
Japanese Maple Acer palmatum
* +Lilac Syringa vulgaris
# * Mahonia Mahonia aquifolium
! Mountain Laurel Kalmia latifolia (all parts of this plant are highly poisonous)
# *Heavenly Bamboo Nandina domestica (all parts of this plant are highly poisonous)
! * Native Holly Ilex opaca
! # * +Red Bud Cercis canadensis
# * + Silk Tree or Mimosa Albizia julibrissin
# * St. John’s Wort Hypericum
! #* Adam’s Needle Yucca filamentosa and other species
Perennials and Bulbs
! # * + Butterfly Weed Asclepias species
* + Canna Lily Canna
* Centaurea ( various species)
! # * Coreopsis ( various species)
* + Crocosmia ( various species)
* Daffodil Narcissus ( various species)
! # * Daisy Asteraceae ( various species)
# * Dianthus ( various species)
* Euphorbia ( various species)
# * Fall Anemones A. hupehensis
Fern (click for detailed information)
# * + Gaillardia ( various species)
* Geranium ( various species)
* + Ginger Lily Hedychium ( various species)
! * Goatsbeard Aruncus dioicus
* Dutch Hyacinth Hyacinthus orientalis
* # Iris (Bearded, Dutch, Louisiana, Siberian, etc.)
! # * + Rose Mallow Hibiscus moscheutos
! * +Joe Pye Weed Eutrochium ( various species)
# * Lambs Ears Stychys Byzantina
* + Mexican (Bush) Sage (Salvia leucantha) or Salvia Mexicana
* Muscari ( various species)
* Pelargonium ( various species)
* Peony Paeonia ( various species)
* + Red Hot Poker Kniphofia ( various species)
! # * Black Eyed Susans Rudbeckia ( various species)
# * Basil
# * Dill
* + Lavender
!# *+ Monarda
# * Parsley
* + Pineapple Sage Salvia elegans
* Sage Salvia species
Annuals and Biennials
Castor Bean (all parts of this plant are highly poisonous)
# *+Spider Flower Cleome hassleriana
* Dusty Miller Centaurea cineraria
# * + Foxglove Digitalis purpurea
# * + Lantana or Shrub Verbena Lantana camara
* + Mandevilla sanderi
* Mexican Heather Cuphea hyssopifolia
* New Guinea Impatiens Impatiens hawkeri
Persian Shield Strobilanthes dyerianus
* + Pentas ( various species)
* Plectranthus ( various species)
* Purple Heart Tradescantia pallida
# * + Zinnia elegans
! * + Trumpet Creeper Campsis radicans
! * + Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens
* Periwinkle Vinca major & V. minor
# * Star Jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides
! # * + Virginia Creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Bamboo (various species)
Plants that will need extraordinary measures to protect in a forest garden include:
Azaleas, Hostas, daylilies, lilies, roses, impatiens, some Sedums, Tomatoes, squashes, sweet potato vines, cucumbers, beans, and mophead Hydrangeas.
All photos by Woodland Gnome.
- Still Optimistic…. (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- A Beautiful Wildflower (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- Bringing Birds To the Garden (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- Figs (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- Southern Wax Myrtle (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- Camellias (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- “Miss Huff” Perennial Lantana (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- Information About the Beautiful Oakleaf Hydrangea (landscaping.answers.com)
- Goldenrod (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- Pass Along Plants, Ginger Lily (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
Posted in bees, butterflies, Deer management, Ferns, Garden planning, Gardening How-To, Gardening in Williamsburg, Herbs, Hydrangea, Perma Culture, Plant lists, Plant photos, Plants which attract butterflies, Plants which attract hummingbirds, Plants which attract pollinating insects, Plants which feed birds, Rose of Sharon, Shade Gardening, Tips, Tools, and Techniques, Use of Native Plants, Zone 7B Cultural Information
Tags: Acer palmatum, Althea, Asclepias tuberosa, butterfly plants, Camellia, Deer resistant plants, Forest Garden, Garden, Hardiness zone, Hosta, hummingbird plants, Hydrangea, Impatiens, oakleaf hydrangea, Pelargonium, Plant, Plant list, Pyracantha, wildlife gardening