Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June Garden

A Photo of Our Lady of Lourdes Garden Bed
Planter with Dahlias, Alyssum, and Million Bells

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


As my husband set up the sprinkler yesterday morning, we saw a hummingbird flying around. It hovered over the sprinkler a couple of times, taking a little shower, and darted from place to place.  Hopefully, we can get a photo one of these days.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our Recent Visitor

Tiger Swallowtail

Brendan and Theresa came running inside today, urging me to come and see the swallowtail butterfly in our backyard. Several of the other children and I quickly went outside and were rewarded for doing so.  The butterfly remained resting on the rhododendron for a couple of minutes.

Friday, June 11, 2010


We have added Blanketflower 'Burgundy' (Gaillardia Grandiflora), Blanket Flower (Gaillardia 'Goblin') and a third Gaillardia (I can't find the tag, but I think that it was Arizona Sun) to one of our front garden beds.

Marian Name: Virgin's Face

Blanket Flower 'Burgundy' (Gaillardia Grandiflora)

Description: Perennial. Large daisylike flowers bloom June to August and attract butterflies to the garden. Makes an excellent cut flower. Prefers well-drained soil. Grows 18-30 inches tall.

Update: I moved this flower to a garden bed that is closer to the house. I like the flowers, but not the scraggly look. Ours grew to be about 30" tall last year.

Gaillardia 'Goblin'

Description: A dwarf variety bearing flowers with red petals and yellow edges. Grows to a height of 12" and width of 18".  Blooms June to September.

Gaillardia 'Goblin'
Photo taken by Theresa, June 25, 2011.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


We have been seeing some unfamiliar birds in our yard.  Usually, we have Robins, Hummingbirds, Northern Flickers, Stellar Jays, Crows, Sparrows, and Starlings flying and hopping around.  This spring, we have also seen a Yellow Hummingbird, an Eastern Towhee, and some other birds that we still need to identify.  In the interim, some of us are wondering what the Eastern Towhees are doing this far West.

Update (4/30/11): Our Eastern Towhee is actually a Spotted Towhee. Much to the children's delight, the Spotted Towhees have returned this year.

Sparrow: Our Daily Little Visitor

Monday, May 17, 2010

Marigolds for Mary

As we drove home from Ascension Thursday Mass, Theresa asked, "Can I buy some marigolds for Mary?" I liked the idea of honoring our Blessed Mother on the day that her Divine Son ascended into Heaven, so I readily complied. We stopped by the local garden center and Theresa chose Taishan Yellow Marigolds and 'Bonanza Bee' Marigolds (French).  When we arrived home, she planted the flowers with a little guidnce from me.  We were all pleased with the end result.

Now, we need to finish weeding the backyard.

Marigold Care
Light: Sun to part shade
Care: Best in fertile, well-drained soil kept evenly moist

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bleeding Hearts

I have always liked our bleeding hearts ("Mary's Heart"), but Patrick and Theresa's conversation made me like them even more.

Pink Blossoms

Now that I have shared our newly planted flowers, it is time for me to share some of our well-established plants and flowers.  I always enjoy seeing this plant blossom.  I have wondered what this plant with its soft pink flowers is for several years.  Thanks to Caroline on 4Real, I learned that it is a pink flowering almond.  It is one of my favorite springtime plants.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Container Flowers

On Saturday, we took advantage of Fred Meyer's garden sale and bought three planters to take the place of our old broken terra cottas.  The store had a buy 2 get 1 free deal and the employees were filling the containers with Black Gold gardening soil and purchased plants.  I am hoping to get a fourth planter on sale at some point.

We planted the same flowers in each container.  In the center, we placed a Dahlia Hybrid and then surrounded it with alyssum, impatiens, and million bells.  I can't wait to see how they bloom.

We also planted pansies and lobelia in a smaller container.

Our coco hanging baskets were filled with fuschia starts from DeGoede Bulb Farm and Garden (their granddaughter was homeschooled and is a very sweet young lady).

Petunias were purchased to add a little color to the flower beds in the front yard.

Notes about each flower can be found below.

Dahlia Hybrid Dalina Hawaii (Churchyard Flower)
Description: An elegant long-season display of showy blooms.  Annual
Light: Sun to part shade
Spacing: 12"
Height: 12-24"
Water: Medium

Clear Crystal White Alyssum (Mary's Cushion)
Uses: A reliable choice for borders, containers, and rock gardens.  Annual
Care:  Does best in light well-drained soil
Light:  Sun to part shade

Super Elfin Deep Pink Impatiens
Uses: Wonderful for borders, beds, and containers.  Annual
Care: Best in fertile, well-drained soil kept evenly.  Annual
Light: Sun to part shade

Million Bells Trailing Pink Calibrachoa
Habit: Trailing
Blooms: Planting to hard frost
Height: Short: 3-8"
Spacing: 7-8"
Zones:  Annual except in zones 9-11
             Hardy to 25 degrees
Fertilize: Regularly for best results
Water: Normal
Light: Full to part sun
Features: Heat tolerant; deer resistant; deadheading not necessary
Uses: Containers
Care: Easy
More Information: Proven Winners

Matrix Pansy (Trinity Flower or St. John and Mary)
Uses: Wonderful for borders, beds, window boxes and containers
Care: Best in fertile, well-drained soil kept evenly moist
Light: Sun to part shade

Riviera Rose Lobelia
Uses: Wonderful for borders, beds, window boxes and containers
Care: Best in fertile, well-drained soil kept evenly moist
Light: Sun to part shade

Petunia 'Dreams Red' (Our Lady's Praises)
Description: Provides an abundance of highly colored blooms all season long.
Care: Best in fertile, well-drained soil kept evenly moist
Light: Full Sun
Height: 10-15"
Space: 10-12"

*Photos by Catherine
**Additonal photos of individual flowers may be added at a later date.
***Religious Flower names found at Mary's Gardens.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Gardening

After hearing Theresa tell Patrick about bleeding hearts, I decided that I better prepare our garden for Easter.  I usually start my plants from seed in February, but this year we had too much happening to do so.  My father-in-law visited on Friday of Passion Week and gave us a little money, giving me an opportunity to buy some flowers and seeds that were on sale.  I enjoyed visiting the gardening center at Fred Meyer (twice) with my children, looking at all of the flowers and choosing some perennials and a couple of annuals to bring beauty to our yard.  It felt good to be outside digging in the dirt with the children again.

What did we plant?

Angel Daisy Leucanthemum
I have always liked daisies, so I was delighted when my children chose these pretty flowers.
Description: One of the least demanding most satisfying perennials in the garden.  An elegant, long-season display of showy blooms.  Ideal choice for beds, borders, and cutting gardens.  Perfect for all kinds of containers.  Excellent cut flowers.
Care: Best in fertile, well-drained soil. Water freely in dry weather. Remove faded flowers for best display.
More information

English Daisy Habanera Bellis Perennis (Mary-Loves)
As I stated above, I like daisies.
Description: Profuse flowers carpet the spring garden. Great in borders or rock gardens. Prefers cool, moist soil.
How to Grow: Plant in sun or part sun 6 inches apart. Grows to 6 inches.
More information

Fragrant Sunshine Wallflower (Erysimum Walfrasun)
I bought these to plant by the angel daisies, but then I decided to plant them in a different flower border.
Light: Full sun
Water: Semi-moist
Flowers: Spring to fall
Height: 15-18"
Width: 18-24"

Lithodora diffusa
We purchased three of these plants for one of our flower beds.
Bloom Time: Late spring to summer
Light: Sun to part shade
Height: 3-8"
Space: 18-24"
Water: Allow soil to dry between thorough waterings
Description: Vivid blue flowers bloom in spring on spreading evergreen perennial.  Good in edgings, rock gardens, and as a small scale ground cover.

Pink Princess Escallonia
I have been looking for something to replace an old rhododendron that died in our garden a couple of years ago.  This shrub definitely has promise.  The tag reads, "Profuse pink to rose colored flowers bloom almost year round. Compact evergreen shrub with glossy green foliage.  Excellent color source in coastal climates.  Quick hedge or screen."  I am looking forward to seeing how it grows and hoping that it does well.
Sun Exposure: Best growth and flower production in full sun.  Needs partial sun in hot areas.
Average Height: 5'-6' tall and wide
Type: Evergreen
Water: Keep soil moist until established.  Drought tolerant when established.
Fertilizing: Fertilize in spring just before new growth begins.
Pruning: Pinch growth tips to keep compact and increase floral display.
More information
Update (4/26/11): Pink Princess Escallonia was a disappointment. It was not an evergreen as stated, at least not in my yard. Both plants currently look very spindly. I will be replacing at least one of them with a true evergreen shrub.

Strawberry Pretty in Pink (PPAF Strawberry)
We planted three of these around the base of our daisies.  Patrick has claimed them as his and promises to take care of them.  Hopefully, he shares any fruit that they produce.
Light: Full sun
Water: Medium
Height: 4-8"
Width: 10-12"
Description: Everbearing variety produces pretty pink flowers and flavorful deep red berries.  Good in flower beds, planters, and window boxes.
More information

In addition to planting the above flowers, we also planted a few other things.  We found some bulbs, minus the packaging, in the garage. We are excited to see what flowers the bulbs produce; some of them are already starting to grow.  We discovered a small lupine (St. Mark's Plant) that had sprouted from an old seed in what is now our daisy bed and transplanted it in a new location.  Finnian scattered his snapdragon seeds (Infant Jesus' Shoes) in some of the beds. We also purchased lupine, sunflower, larkspur, and hollyhock seeds.  We will most likely sow them directly outside and hope that they grow.

*Some photo credits go to my eldest son.
**Religious Flower names found at Mary's Gardens.