Early in the Morning

Early morning in the garden checking what’s new since my last visit.  The first thing that caught my eye was a defoliated bronze fennel.  After further observation I found this beautiful Swallowtail caterpillar feasting on another plant.

dsc_0005-1.jpg Years ago, when I learned bronze fennel is a favorite host plant of Swallowtails, I immediately planted a dozen.   The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is the state butterfly of South Carolina – the bronze fennel is in the South Carolina section of my garden.  An intense search did not reveal any cocoons; they are well hidden/protected.


At the end of summer, bronze fennel sends up stalks covered in yellow flowers which attracts bees.  I love to see bees; without them, the garden would be bland.

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Part of the iris family, the crocosmia is blooming.





The sprinklers changed zones signalling time to exit the area.  Hope you had a good day in your garden.

Here Comes The Sun

I really do not like to cut trees down.  One of the reasons I love my neighborhood so much is the many trees.  When this subdivision was built, only the trees necessary for construction were allowed to be removed.

When the arboriculturist conducts an inspection and tells you two of your oaks have canker rot and one pine tree is infected with beetles, you know they have to go.  Like me, Sox & Freeman does not like to remove healthy trees.  I trust when they tell me I have three dead trees and recommend removal.

In the fall, I’ll plant three trees to replace the ones removed today.  I will not live long enough to see them reach 100; but, I hope whoever comes after me will enjoy the shade they will provide.

We are saving a small section of one oak to make a scratching post for the cats.  I’ll talk about that another time.

More Blooms

More plants from neighbors.  Shasta daisies from Kim N. and these big purple flowers from Jackie F.  The huge purple flowers start as little dark purple pods.  Both love full sun which I have lots of.  If anyone wants some of the purple flowers, I have seedlings to share.

“Good Fences Make Good Neighbours”

From Mending Wall by Robert Frost.

“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.”
My home came with an 8-foot privacy fence enclosing the back yard.  The previous homeowners were breeding bulldogs  – a violation of County ordinances and the restrictions and covenants of the homeowners association.  The fence kept prying eyes out and the ‘livestock’ in.
In the beginning I did not feel one way or another about the fence.  It turned out to be a wonderful place to hang bird houses, feeders and other chachkies from.  My only disappointment is that it lacked a gate allowing me to walk to my neighbors without having to walk around the entire block.
Only the trees necessary for the construction of a home were removed when my subdivision was built.  The mature trees are one of many things that makes this area so desirable.
A new homeowner has decided to remove the trees in his backyard to make a place for his four children to play.  Sadly, he did not grasp the concept of what trees do and his home has flooded twice during heavy rain.  He also did not grasp the concept that trees sometimes have a mind of their own; they fall where they want.  This is why my fence looks like a gap-toothed smile.
I’m in the market for recommendations to replace the entire fence.  It makes no sense to repair a few sections; I want to do the entire length of the backyard which looks to be 11 panels. And add that gate and haul away the old stuff.

Crinums aka Hot Country Lilies


The original bulb was purchased from Riverbanks Botanical Garden during their plant sale.  Sometimes it is difficult to “see” what the plant will look like when you are holding the bulb in your hand.  I picked some beauties simply based on the verbal description.

Horticulturalists at Riverbanks tell us original crinums were originally brought here by slaves.  You find crinums growing wild in unkempt cemeteries, vacant lots and in poorer sections of town.  In my opinion, they get bad publicity, “I’ve sprayed ’em with Roundup, cut them down with my mower, you just can’t kill them.”. Why would you want to?

I suspect this crinum is blooming earlier than normal because of our mild winter and the protected location in the garden.  The other varieties planted in the ground have a lot of green; but, no flowers yet.  I’m anxious to see them bloom again.  And they are invited to grow wild in my garden.

What’s Blooming?

DSC_0011 DSC_0012 DSC_0014 DSC_0015 DSC_0016I enjoy working in my garden.  Playing in the dirt is not just for kids.  This is another area I can go out to cut a spent bloom and find myself hours later.

By Southern standards, we had a “harsh winter.”.  None of my lantana came back.  I know it is sold as an annual, but mine was a perennial.  Was.  Much did survive and I enjoy it every day.