Friday, July 4, 2014



2014 is the year of renovation at Laurel Brook and it had a huge impact on my little gardens.  The beginning phase of the renovation was the removal of 10 trees, plus 6 huge American Holly shrubs that were too close to the house.  It broke my heart to remove them as they were so beautiful and provided shelter for the many birds that pass through the area, but they were destroying the house (so were the birds, the squirrels, the chipmunks).  I also lost my beautiful shade garden which quickly became the main path for the crew..........oh Mr. Bill.    At one point I just couldn't look anymore and told myself I would worry about it all once they the crew finished the renovation.

But “Hardships make or break people.” and there is hope!  My goal is to make the gardens bigger and better than they were before.  With the removal of the trees we will be able to annex more gardening space and we now have sun, several hours!  I will have lots of a new photos to show our progress, but currently we're digging up roots, rocks, vines and weeds, digging holes, transplanting and fostering trampled plants and planning. For fun we've created a "test" garden with various sun loving perennials AND a tomato plant!  Fingers crossed that we'll be able to have a spectacular new garden to work in and to feed us during the summer months!

Stay tuned................

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rain drops keep falling on my head.........

Since January we've had 63" of rain, primarily on the weekends, go figure!  We have another band of rain coming through this afternoon and during the evening, so we'll see where our rainfall total will be after these last few rainy days of 2013.

Georgia is a subtropical climate with an average rainfall of 50"

January is usually our wettest month
October is usually our driest month

January 2013 - 7"
February 2013 - 7.375"
March 2013 - 5.25"
April 2013 - 4.75"
May 2013 - 6.875"
June 2013 - 7.5"
July 2013 - 9.975"
August 2013 - 6.05"
September 2013 - 3.25"
October 2013 - 3.225"
November 2013 - 2.075"
December 2013 - TBD

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's officially Autumn, the Toad Lilies have bloomed!

I love these small lilies, they are so beautiful and extremely easy to grow.  One of my favorite characteristics of this lily is how the flower blooms in multiple locations along the stem, very dramatic and exotic! 

I've planted these in mostly shade with dapples of sunlight throughout the day and then an intense blast of direct sunlight in the afternoon for about an hour.  They seem to be happy and have multiplied significantly since I planted them in 2010.

Common Toad Lily (Tricyrtis hirta) is softly fuzzy with hairs. Its arching stems bear clusters of upright flowers. The white orchid-like flowers are spotted with dark purple. It grows to 3-feet tall. Zones 4-9







 
 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ruby-Throated Hummgingbirds

The Ruby-Throated hummingbird is back again this year.  Time to make some nectar and hang out the feeder.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Birds at Laurel Brook

It's been an uneventful winter season with not much to do in regards to gardening.  I've made a few plans for the much anticipated spring season, but it's all in my head at this point.   During my winter sabbatical I have bought squirrel proof feeders and began the hobby of bird watching and documenting the permanent residents vs. the seasonal visitors.  So far the birds shown below have been permanent since January 2013 with no signs of moving on, Canadian Geese excepted.  The Canadian Geese have been making the neighborhood lake their winter home for several years. 
 
The Pileated woodpeckers have been permanent residents for about 6 years and even though they are fun to watch, they have destroyed the cedar trim on the house.  Why?  Because every spring the carpenter bees drill holes into the wood and lay their eggs, which apparently the woodpecker LOVES.  So the Pileated woodpecker will use their powerful beak to dig out the larvae that is in the wood........very annoying and expensive.
 
I have quite a few sparrows and wrens, but I'm not able to identify them quite yet.  I've been studying their behavior and their markings and will hopefully be able to provide their identities soon.
 
The photos were not taken by me and are borrowed from various websites.


Black and White Warbler

Brown Thrasher

American Robin

Blue Jay
 
Canadian Goose
 
American Crow
 
Red Tail Hawk
 
American Cardinal - Male

American Cardinal - Female
 
Cedar Waxwing

American Purple Finch
 
Carolina Chickadee

Tifted Titmouse

Eastern Bluebird
 
Downey Woodpecker

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker - Carpenter Bee
 


 
Red Breasted Nuthatch
 
White Breasted Nuthatch
 
Mourning Dove
 



Sunday, November 18, 2012

BOO!!
 
MY HALLOWEEN JACK-O-LANTERN.  IT MUST HAVE BEEN INTIMIDATING BECAUSE WE HAD NO TRICK OR TREATERS!
 
 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

California Dreaming in Zone 8B - Wine Country

So here we are again in Zone 8B, but check out the scenery compared to the previous post!  The temperature changes from 43 degrees to 85 + degrees within a 60 minute drive, perfect for wine making and farming.  As you drive away from the coast and out of the fog you start to see a huge change in geography as the once treacherous cliffs become gentle rolling hills and the rivers become dry creeks. Next stop, the famous vineyards of the Russian River Valley, Green Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Carneros Valley.  I can't pick a favorite location, they all are wonderful and have their own style and beauty.
 
 
 
Cliffs along the PCH 1 with the fog pouring inland
 

 
Road leading inland with the fog in the distance - you should be able to see miles of beautiful shoreline.
 
 
 

The Russian River flowing toward the pacific ocean
 

 
 
Beautiful California oaks sprinkled along the hillside
 

 

Beautiful California oaks sprinkled along the hillside

 
 


Dry Creek Valley - Wine Vineyards

 


Famous town of Glen Ellen
 

 
Perennial garden in Duncan Mills
 


Container with pansies/violas in Duncan Mills
 

 
Dianthus' & roses in Duncan Mills
 

 

Dianthus garden in Duncan Mills
 

 
Majestic California Oak
 
 
 
Wildflowers at Iron Horse Vineyards in the Green Valley
 
 


Iron Horse Vineyards - Green Valley




Fort Ross Vineyards - On the coast but above the fog
 
 
 





Fort Ross Vineyards - On the coast but above the fog

 
 
 
Dry Creek Valley
 
 
 
Alexander Valley
 
 
 
Schug Vineyards
Carneros Valley
 

 
Gundlach Bundschu Vineyard or GUNBUN
Located at the crossroads of the Sonoma, Carneros and Napa Valley