Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The new dog, Baxter!

Hey folks,

Hope some of you are still here it has been over 6 months since my last posting. I have missed many of your blog posts and hope to be here more often.

In mid July the new chickens started laying eggs. We usually get 3-5 eggs a day with our 5 new hens and a year old hen. Been enjoying the eggs very much. I learned the best way to make hard boiled eggs. Steam them for 15 minutes and then place them in ice water. Much easier to peel than boiling them.

The garden did great with lots of rain most of the summer. Cucumbers were in better numbers than I can recall ever. Tomatoes not so much the rain was more than they needed. Right now we have Swamp Sunflower, very tall asters, Japanese Anemones, hardy cyclamen and Miss Huff Lantana  in bloom in the garden. Today our Saffron Crocuses popped out of the ground!

The past few days I have pulled 6-7 wheelbarrows full of Japanese Bamboo Grass from the overgrown flower beds, the rain made it grow crazy. Good news is I beat letting it go to seed! Hoping to build a nice work shop and make a lovely new garden around it.

Back to what the posting is about our new dog Baxter. We think he's a a little over a year old. He's a terrier mix and wieghts 15 pounds. We adopted him after seeing him in a share on facebook that a good friend posted.

Baxter was found to need house training as he peed on the furniture the first night in the house. His training is coming along, as we are getting up in the middle of the night to let him out, no accidents yet! Our cat hates him as expected. Walking him he's a puller, got him a special harness for than and it is big help. He walks pretty well and will certainly improve. Around the house he's very active, chews on socks, chew toys are next on our list. Friday he gets his shots, next week he's getting fixed. We got him last Friday.

Here's Baxter with his new harness the lease pulls from two points, pretty cool. We bought it at the locally owned pet shop in Hillsborough on Nash Street.
 The first thing he did when I met him was to roll over to be petted just like this.
 OK office I give up arrest me.
 He jumps around so much getting any photos of him is a challenge!
Still got more bamboo grass to pull. Bunches of new plants Meg came home with. And we are planting lettuce, kale, mustard, spinach, Swiss chard and carrot seeds in the next few days. Also picked up 9 broccoli plants for the garden.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Baby chicks!

Hey everyone! Wanted to talk about chickens. Let me inform you if you ever decide to get chickens do not get 'straight run' chicks, unless you intend on eating the roosters. Straight run means about half of them might be roosters. Each rooster needs at least 10 hens to keep him happy and not damage the hens by mating too often.

Say you get 5 chicks 'straight run'  this means 2-3 could be roosters which is way too many for the hens to handle. We didn't eat our roosters as they were treated at pets and had to give away 2 roosters, our two hens were getting brutalized. One of the hens died and now we have just one laying hen. The remaining rooster jumped out of the pen during the day and was likely killed by local dogs.

Yesterday Meg and I picked up some week old pullets(pullets means hens)! Three Welsummers, two Easter Eggers and a Cinnamon Queen. So cute and living in the guest bathroom.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New hellebores & plants for the garden!

Hey everyone we are now 4 years into this blog! Hope you have enjoyed it. I still have visitors that were commenting in my very early posts, I'm glad to still have you visiting!!

Anyway as you know we visited the Pine Knot Frams Hellebore Festival last Saturday. We picked up some new plants for the garden! In case you want to get some of these Pine Knot Farms Hellebore Festival is still going on the next two Fridays and Saturdays, they have lots of cool plants!

Double hellebores was our goal, but as always I get a little side tracked.

We used to have only one yellow hellebore in our garden. This is our new yellow one, above and below. Just love those pink outer edges.

This one is my favorite one of the whole group. Its a bit on the small side, but stunning. They had a couple of hellebores close to this and larger, but the outer pink veins called me to buy this one.
Helleborous Atrorubens X hybridus
Could not pass this one up, they had several of these. This is a species hellebore crossed with hybridus.

Helleborus Liguricus a recently classified new species of Hellebore!

 Don't see many double yellow hellebores! This one is going in our garden!
 Just liked this one, nice blend of colors in this double.
My first pick when we got there. This is very dark for a double hellebore. We already have a smaller lighter one in the garden.

Every year at the Hellebore Festival they have some Parks drought resistant primrose hybrids grown in Chapel Hill.

Meg picked this Witchhazel up called "Aurora" it is supposed to be the largest blooming witch hazel and one of the most fragrant. It was heavenly riding home in the car for an hour enjoying its aroma! The witch hazels were brought in from Rare Find Nursery in NJ.

Here is a Small Anise Tree, illicium_parviflorum it is called 'Florida Sunshine'. This is fragrant and will make a nice addition to our garden.

We also picked up a Harry Lauder's walking stick, Corylus avellana'Contorta'for the garden, very cool plant. And we got three new cyclamens, two spring bloomers and a fall bloomer too.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

JC Raulston Arboretum's hellebores!

Last year we visited the arboretum a little earlier in the season, saw nothing this exciting! So the winter garden is at peak and wow! Here are some of the photos I took and many we want in our garden.

 A large pink single from Ashwood Gardens.
 A species hellebore Helleborus torquatus. We need this is our garden!
 Another species hellebore Helleborus odorus. New to me, tall and knocked over.
 Love this one. It was marked as an Ashwood Gardens hybrid. Look at the difference in an older bloom next to it.
 Here is a pink semi double show stopper. Wow I want this in our garden!
 A new species hellebore for me: Helleborus Atrorubens
 A new species hellebore for me: Helleborus Atrorubens
 Here is a double called 'Snow Queen'
 Funny name 'Cattleya Semline' I like the way this picotee's petals fan out.
 This yellow picotee was next to Golden Sunrise, it was Meg's favorite!
 'Golden Sunrise' very nice I want this one for our garden!
 This one was tagged Yellow lenten rose.
 Peppermint Ice, we also have this beautiful hellebore in our garden.
 Had to be my favorite in the garden wow!
This huge deep red hellebore was very upright and has red stems, wow!

This might be the best collection of hellebores I have seen in NC mainly because of all the species hellebores. Pine Knot Farms in Virginia is much more exciting and has a lot more varieties, mainly because they breed them. Two weeks before they have the Hellebore festival!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

First of February Hellebores


Back to cold weather again this morning the thermometer said 21 degrees at 8am this morning. The pond and bird feeders are covered in ice. My mission today once it warms up more is to build a bird cage for 5 Ringed-neck Doves. Meg's daughter is leaving them in the care of Meg's school for a while. She has had them in her screened porch, I heard last night she has been finding eggs.

Anyway the hellebores are moving right along, noticing lots of babies around them. Sorry if my memory fails me Tina sent me some seeds last year, there are babies where I spread them now! My 'Gold Finch" hellebore which bloomed wonderfully last year has babies too, pretty excited about them.

Here they are from the garden yesterday.

Here is 'Winter's Song' bought it 2 years ago at Southern States, it had close to 50 blooms on it when I bought it. Thought it was a goner by the end of the first season. Season two one flower stalk, it lived IMO barely. Back in good standing this year.

This most likely a Hellebous Niger. We've had it for years, finally it blooms. Lovely foliage too.

This deep red Hellebore was one of the $10 quart Pine Knot Farms un bloomed possible doubles. Well you can see it is not a double, but still a winner, I love it!

This pink is one of our really big helleobore plants, has lots of babies under it.

This is the second year for Helleborus Viridis a species hellebore from Northern Italy. These are supposed to be hard to grow, it dies back over the summer then returns in the winter. This was smashed by a big hickory limb and lived!.

 'Red Lady" it was one of two of our first hellebores purchased here. The other 'Blue Lady' in not blooming yet.
I put this one on my facebook page yesterday. It is another of the un bloomed doubles I got from PKF. Lovely isn't it.

This is the deepest red we have it is called "Birkins" was given to me by my friend Breezy.
 Another PKF un bloomed double. Think I'll get a few more of these mystery plants this year.

 We have had this for 3 or 4 years finally a first bloom 'Swirling Skirts' Wow!

This pink one is small but wow!
Another PKF double, this is the whitest hellebore we have!

Here is one of the 2 tiny cyclamen we bought last year at the PKF Pine Knot Farms Hellebore Festival, it is a 75 minute drive from here. Think we'll get a few more there is a guy that brings at least a dozen different ones. The Festival is February 22 -23 and March 1-2  we hope to go this year.

We it is now 31 degrees out there I'm going to build that bird cage.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hellebores out!

Sorry I have not posted in over a month. It has been very busy here leaving me no time for myself. And I joined Facebook which has taken away my blogging time. Facebook brought me a contact who was looking for me to use 2 images in an upcoming book so that was a win win.

So our hellebores are blooming and winter arrived yesterday. The 1 1/2 inches of snow we got is mostly gone, the back steps still are covered in the shade.

 Semi double hellebore, supposed to be a picotee.
 This is my Romanian hellebore, been struggling for at least 2 years in the garden.
 Here is what one plant looked like before the snow yesterday.
 Our most common helebore.
 Hoping this opens soon, freezing temps the the next 5 days.

 Likely my most beautiful double hellebore

 This hellebore is hazy from the camera lens.
 Penguin the hen that gets out all the time. Just because it's called chicken wire it does not mean she is supposed to perch on it!
Bright and cheery hellebores this morning when it was 29 degrees outside.

We also have 2 crocuses blooming in the garden. Bees are out drinking from the melting snow.