Our Little Piece of Heaven


Sunday, August 21, 2011


Posted by PicasaKOUSA DOGWOOD (Cornus Kousa)

This is an Asian flowering dogwood native to Korea, Japan, and China.  This tree is on our "Little Piece of Heaven on Earth."  Kousa Dogwood blooms later than the native dogwood.  The blooms attract bees and butterflies.  The fruit attracts birds and squirrels.  Believe it or not, the fruit is edible to people; however, I have never made anything with the fruit from this tree.  Maybe I will do a little more research on it and create a fabulous recipe using the fruit???

The dogwoods are such beautiful trees year round.  From the flowers in the spring to the fruit in the summer and then lastly the changing of leaf color in the fall, the dogwood creates year round color and a unique show in the garden.

Happy Gardening! Mindy

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mirabilis jalapa (4 o'clocks)

Mirabilis jalapa (4 o'clocks)
(An Old-fashioned Favorite)
These brightly colored, trumpet-shaped, fragrant flowers open in the mid-afternoon, stay open overnight, and close early in the morning.  They do this not because of the time of day, but because of the drop in temperatures!  They also will remain open on cloudy days. 

The bright, fragrant flowers also attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
 Plant in full sun in moist, well-drained soil.  For best performance, add a general purpose fertilizer once a month to encourage vigorous growth and big, bright blooms. 

 Once the plants have flowered, you can collect large black seeds from the base of where the flower came from.  These seeds can be directly sown in the ground in the spring after the last frost in your area.  They germinate quickly in 7 to 14 days.  You can also soak the seeds in water the night before you plant them to further increase germination.  When planting, cover the seeds with 1/4" of soil.  Once the seeds germinate, thin to 2 feet apart. 

At the end of the growing season in the fall, dig up tubers, brush off excess soil, and store in a dark area in damp peat moss or sand.  The tubers will be ready for planting the after the last frost the next spring! 

Bring some old-fashioned flare to your garden with 4 o'clocks!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Well it has been a busy week at our house with preparation for school to start and the end of my vacation from work! We still had some time to take photos outside in the garden. My daughter captured these two butterflies basking in the sun!

My surprise lilies (also know as magic lilies) are coming up! These lilies amaze me as the green foliage and the pretty flowers never come up at the same time. In the summer I enjoy the long, green leafy foliage, in July the foliage dies back and then once has all died back, the lilies emerge from the ground! Pretty neat! These plants enjoy fun sun and multiple each year, much like the daylilies.

This chair I found at a local thrift store for just $5.00! What a find! How cute it would be with a basket of flowers sitting on top, another project for me!

We have been enjoying a bit of a cool down here and it has been very refreshing! 80's in the daytime and 60's at night! Wow, so much better than what we had just a couple of weeks ago! Happy Gardening! Mindy

I am also joining http://www.tootsietime.com/ for Fertilizer Friday, Flaunt Your Flowers!  Join Tootsie and see some other gardeners beautiful flaunts! 
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 On my morning stroll this morning (Saturday, August 13th), I found still more surprise lilies coming up and the ultimate surprise!  THE SURPRISE LILIES HAD BLOOMED!!!
 What beauty and they smell amazing too!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Wow, what a relief this morning! We had some showers, a breeze, and clouds. What a relief from what we have been having. The breeze alone is refreshing. I sent my daughter out with the camera this morning, which she was very excited about! She got some really great photos after the showers!  Currently it is 81 degrees with a "feels like" of 84 degrees!  This may not seem like a relief to some, but it is for us.  The bunnies are even happier! 
With much more weather like this and I will definitely be ready to start my shade garden area by the bunnies!  I have been trying to hold off a bit because of the extreme heat we have been having!  It won't be long.  I already have some plans for it.

I am trying to come up with some frugal ways to create bed areas and decor with inexpensive items or items I may already have!  I am in the planning stages now.  If anyone has any good ideas or would be willing to share some good ideas, I would definitely appreciate it!  I have already collected several ideas on good shade plants from several of you (my fellow gardeners), and I have written them down and appreciate the help greatly!  Thanks so much!  Have a Great weekend and Happy Gardening!  Mindy
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Thursday, August 4, 2011


Here are some pictures that I took on my morning stroll this morning in my garden! We have had a little bit of relief in the humidity this morning, so it is a little bit more enjoyable outside. I actually was able to do some work in the garden this morning without it being miserable!

My 4-o'clocks are blooming well and were still open early this morning! These elephant ears are some bulbs that my brother gave me! They are really awesome. They have a way of catching water for the little insects to drink! In the middle is a picture of one of my Gerbera Daisy's named 'Festival Spider Salmon'.

I am joining Tracie at http://fishtailcottage.blogspot.com/ for Cottage Flora Thursday! Check out her blog and all the beautiful photos that our fellow gardeners have posted! Have a great day and Happy Gardening! Mindy
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011


It seems as though the only ones braving the heat and humidity we have been having are the ones that have no choice.  I decided to get out today and just see what I could see.  This little squirrel doesn't seem to be bothered by the extreme heat and humidity!
 I went out on my back deck to take a look into the woods and noticed three baby raccoons.  I scared them so badly that they all scurried up a tree!  When they stopped in the tree, they were even with me.  My deck is very high up.  I ran in and got my zoom lens and got these great pictures!  They didn't seem to be bothered by the heat either!

This little guy was hanging on and wondering what I was doing!
Of course, I can't forget about Daisy and Oreo.  Today my daughter took out two frozen water bottles and laid them in each of cages.  Later she went out to check on them and they were both lying next to the cold water bottles.  This really helped them keep cool!  Rabbits are not as tolerable to heat as they are to cold temperatures. 


 In this picture that my daughter took, it looked almost as Daisy was saying a prayer. Who knows, maybe she was saying a prayer that the heat and humidity go away!!! 
The weather forecasters are speaking of a possibity of a little bit of a let-up in the heat and humidity, I certainly hope so!   Maybe Daisy's prayer will be answered!

Happy Gardening!

Monday, August 1, 2011


 Well on Saturday my husband and daughter helped me start on my new garden area!  This area is a shaded area under the huge weeping willow on our property!

It was very hot and humid outside and we had a few heavy downpours during the building time, but they were troopers and hung in there for me!   

The structure part of my new garden area is a double-pen rabbit hutch!  The bunnies will be pets for us, as well as a "production center" of rabbit manure for my gardens!

 This is the finished part of my husband's work!  He did such a great job!  I am so excited, now I can begin work on my new shade garden which will be focused around the hutch!  I plan on having a nice sitting area and will add some stones, a walkway, and some neat shade perennials.  If anyone has any ideas on some good shade perennials, I would appreciate any help in deciding what to plant in my new area!!

We went to a local rabbit breeder in our area who has a really great facility!  They knew a lot about rabbits and really helped us out a lot!  Then the really hard part came, picking which two we wanted!  They were all so cute!!  My daughter was a big help in this part, as she helped me to decide which ones to get!
At 3G Farm


I will be posting further pictures of my new area, as I complete it!  Any ideas on good flowering or non-flowering shade perennials would be greatly appreciated!