Here and There

Hello again!

I really should have written about the tiling that I was working on in December while I was at it.  Why did I convince myself that projects must be complete before I could post?  All that leads to are delays, and it is silly considering that all the blogs that I’ve most enjoyed reading all seemed to be progress posts rather than complete and perfect before & afters.  Speaking of, I recently found a really enjoyable blog, written by a talented and impressively productive lady, while researching for a future project.  It took me forever to click through to begin reading at the first post, so you’re welcome for the link to it.  😛  (I don’t know about you, but I have to start at the beginning when I find a great blog.)

Just after my last post I did grout and finish the hearth and entryway.  (Although I didn’t seal it yet, now that I think.  Whoops.)  Photos were taken, and there will certainly be a post about those coming up.  Aside from that we enjoyed the holidays, and I was focused on frenzied sorting and organising of all the things before succumbing to 1st trimester exhaustion.  I’m still fighting it, to be honest, and I don’t think that the dreary winter weather is helping much.  Sporadic project-ing does happen, but I could use some energy.

Yesterday I caulked crown moulding in the guest  baby’s room and edged the ceiling.  Rolling on the paint was too much, however, although I re-coated the hallway where water had leaked months ago.  At some point before Christmas I pulled all the furniture to the middle of the room and brushed one coat of Coconut Ice trim paint onto the wainscoting.  Slowly I’ll get there.  Now the dilemma is whether to paint the walls with the colour-matched dark blue (that I already purchased) or go light and bright, perhaps with the Polished Limestone that I have on hand?

This is a difficult choice!  First of all, I already bought the blue.  It is a lovely shade that matches a bedspread and picks up the blue in some heavy linen curtains that were finally put to use after being found at a thrift store some years ago.  It has character and cohesion.  …But it is soooooo dark!  Our entire first floor is done with rather extremely dark shades of paint, and the light does get sucked right into the walls.  It would be lovely to have and airy room on cloudy days.  …But the pale grey is so neutral and boring comparatively!  Sure, it is a lot more “nursery,” but it feels like giving up.  Heh.  Yesterday I asked DH about the situation, and he surprised me by not jumping at keeping the blue.  I thought he’d be all for it since it is his favourite, but he even suggested choosing something entirely different.  Perhaps?  Such a shame to lose that blue though!

This is not the most helpful photo, but I was laying on the bed tired and just wanted to get a shot of the two colours.  The colour-match may read a little differently than this, I believe, and Polished Limestone can be seen in the hallway beyond the door.  Disregard the need for at least one more coat of the trim paint.  😀

Anyway, this will be a long series of progress posts for the nursery, I am sure.  I already plan to move the bed to fit a crib, and the dresser will be stored indefinitely.  I love it, and it was a Salvation Army bargain which I felt lucky to find, but it doesn’t store very much and is delicate.  I used to have one handed down from my mother that is much more suitable, but it has been stored in my father’s basement for a few years.  The condition is questionable.  Once I refinished it and would love to again, but I’m afraid paint may be the best case scenario now.  At worst I have to find one on Craigslist and figure out how to get it home or resort to  Ikea.  (I realllllly don’t want to do Ikea.)   Due to the placement of windows, closet, entry and bathroom doors I don’t know whether I can fit a recliner/glider into the space too.  Gliders are wonderfully comfortable but mostly ugly and always expensive, but I have a thrift store recliner in storage (and pieces.)  It needs refinishing and  reupholstering, again, because the cats shredded the fabric the first time I did it.  Also a nicer fabric would be ideal, but the one I planned to use isn’t in stock (now that I waited a couple of years before buying it.  Unfortunately upholstery fabric isn’t cheap, so…)  I can only hope it will be available again and soon  or else the recliner is doomed to sit in pieces for years.  😦  Planning a real makeover for the nursery could be fun, but I’m not sure I’ll go for a full leap.  The kid is sure to love navy blue and Jacobean floral curtains, right?  Right?  What I do have so far is a lot of linen crib bedding that I scored at the Restoration Hardware Outlet during big sales.  It is all shades of grey and white.  The crib is iron, but I don’t know yet how I want it finished/painted.  Perhaps just clear coat over bare metal?  Boringly safe white?  Decisions!

Lately I’ve been dreaming of spring and have been making garden plans.  Today I placed an order with RareSeeds, and I bought a montmorencey cherry tree too.  We moved to this house two years ago this week, and that first spring I planted a tiny cherry tree thinking the sooner the better if I ever wanted to eat any fruit, but the poor thing died right away.  Last year I told myself not to bother and be glad not to attract more critters, but now I’d really like some tart cherries to look forward to.  I have fond memories of eating them straight off the tree once at a relative’s house (she had an amazing garden) and this pushed me to go for it so that our child can pick cherries in our back yard.  (If I can get the thing to live and grow!  I opted for the more expensive one instead of bare-root hoping to improve my chances.)

The RareSeeds order is basically for decorative stuff that was in the goth garden already, but I added some beans too.  A few of them are gorgeously purple and will be part of the decorative garden.  This year I’ve decided to make use of the somewhat sunnier front of the house more ambitiously.  There is no water source, however, so I’m thinking of ways to extend soaker hoses knowing anything out there is otherwise doomed.  Some of the beans should be pretty there, and perhaps I’ll try a few tomatoes and watermelon?  Last year the tomatoes were a dismal failure since we are so shaded by neighbouring trees, but I desperately want home grown tomatoes if nothing more!  I was working too much and think they were not watered enough either, so my hope it that more attention will make a difference.

The Exterior Staining Project: Beyond Halfway

The house staining project is… going.  I’m more than halfway through now, and it looks very nice, but the going is slow thanks to ladder troubles, weather, and energy levels.  I’ve found that I cannot set up the 32′ extension ladder by myself.  I can shift it around once it is up, but whenever it needs to be brought to a different area altogether I have to wait for L.  This has caused a big delay, because fully half or more of the best weather days went unused for staining.  I thought I’d have finished by now.

I knew the siding was calling for some stain, but I hadn’t realised just how badly it was needed until I began.  The difference is dramatic here

the difference.jpg

siding in dire need of stain.JPG

After doing the back section of the kitchen addition I headed up to the roof.  The siding on the upper addition was in rough shape, and I wanted to coat it as soon as I could after pressure washing lichens and stuff off of the wood.  It would be a nice little boost to feelings of productivity too, being a smaller section, and I love to spend a warm fall day on the roof anyway.

Reaching the highest areas was an obstacle, but I was surprisingly comfortable with this set-up.  It worked out just fine:

how I reached.jpg

 

Last week I was focused on finishing the front of the house.  The big ladder had finally arrived, and I quickly stained the living room section.  Yay!

one section of the front.jpg

Then I ran into trouble.  The big ladder was actually too tall to use on the upper landing at the front door, because it extended beyond the gutters and held me too far away from the siding to reach decently (if at all,) so I had to switch back to the telescoping thing which feels very bouncy and fun.

ladder scare.jpg

It wasn’t awful to do that first corner using the telescoping ladder, but I found myself very nervous when I began the next section over.  To reach the very top I’d have to climb above the gutter that it was leaning against, and I didn’t trust the gutter very much, and the sway of the ladder was unnerving too.  I couldn’t bring myself to go high enough without the “support” that the corner had provided.  So, I moved onto the portion reached by the extension ladder.  It felt gloriously stabile!  However, it was also resting on the gutter, and while I could stain to the left, my brain wasn’t happy with the idea of looking to my right or brushing beyond the centre of my body.  Seeing the drop off of the landing made me freak out that the thing would crash down or something to the right.  The left was perfectly fine thanks to the visual mass of the house… despite that actually being no help at all.  Silly brain!

Therefore I switched to the back of the house and completed the lower level.

Over the weekend we drove up to visit my family, and the scary-ladder topic came up (with much agreement that they are indeed unnerving.)  On Monday I got back to work and no longer found myself fearful after all.  Great!  So, I finished what I could reach with the ladder on the landing and also moved it to the steps to get the patch that I’d missed before.  A cinderblock and board helped with levelling.  No problem still.

front.jpg

 

The front was so close to completion, but I was stuck without any help.  The weather remained dry and favourable although cold, but the ladder needed to be brought down to the driveway to get over the garage.  I used very little time on Monday before hitting a standstill due to the ladder.  Tuesday was wasted too.  😦

Yesterday L. worked from home and moved the ladder twice.  First we brought it from the front steps, where I’d dragged it on Monday, down to the driveway so that I could complete the front of the house.  I was so excited that it would look good to all the people walking by!  However, nerves got to me again.  We struggled to set up the ladder but eventually did get it in place.  The feet had been slipping a lot on the hard surface while we were setting it up, and that bothered me a bit.  On top of that it was now extended much more than before and was flexing like crazy.  I began scampering up to test it, and I didn’t go quite halfway before feeling uncertain.  Maybe I could have steeled my nerves, but with L. only able to help so much it seemed more productive to leave the front and take the ladder to the back of the house where I was certainly able to work.  L. encouraged me to climb down immediately, and we brought the ladder to the back.  There I was perfectly comfortable with the more calming landscape (with decently flat grass, the rise of the hill behind me, and a tall neighbouring house set above us rather than the hard surface, visual drop off of the hillside, retaining wall, street, and neighbouring homes far below.)

back progress.jpg

Annoyingly I had to stop working for an appointment in mid-afternoon which kept me from finishing the section before today’s rain.  Otherwise the back would have been totally done leaving the pathetic patch of the front and each side of the house remaining.

Today we have nasty, cold, rainy weather all day.  While tomorrow is going to be dry and Saturday warm with some sun I doubt I’ll do any staining due to weekend plans with L.  There will be rain on Sunday, and on Monday I have an appointment to set up our second round of IVF.  By Tuesday things will be dry.  I’ll have to do as much as I can before it rains again on Friday, but it looks like it will be nicer and warmer than I was expecting.  Surely I’m running out of time in that regard, so wish me luck that I can finish this thing!

Meanwhile I have neglected to do any gardening posts all season long since spring.  Perhaps through the winter I’ll share gardening cheer and photos between projects?  Currently I have some bulbs left to plant, but that isn’t conducive to pretty “job complete” photos, heh.  I surprised myself with a shipment of fall bulbs that I ordered in spring.  Just as I hoped, I completely forgot about them until I received a tracking email, and it was fun to figure out what was on the way.  In fact, I had to search each bulb on the website to see what they were.

surprise bulbs.jpg

I’ve already planted a few bags but still have to get to the rest.  Leaves have fallen everywhere and are in the way, but nice days are meant for staining not raking.  Last year’s saffron began sprouting up a couple of weeks ago, but I only found one or two shoots of this year’s planting.  Either the squirrels messed with them or the vendor isn’t as reliable. (I believe it was the squirrels.)

saffron.jpg

The garden has looked about like this since mid-August, but it will not for much longer.  We almost had frost these past few nights.  Of course one of the black pearl pepper plants, planted in April, finally began blooming!  There are two tiny peppers on it now.

fall garden.jpg

Due to the cold weather I brought in the three hanging planters with black petunias in hopes of keeping them blooming all winter, but we’ll see how that goes.  Here they looked nice against the new red on a warmer day:

stain and black petunias.jpg

 

State of the Garden 25th April, 2016

 

Today I must remove the last of the leaf piles from the yard and mow the grass before it grows too tall for the reel mower.  Luckily the weather is perfect for it, being overcast and with a high in the low seventies, but I’d really rather use my day off to tackle painting or even a sewing project.  The regular chore list is long for the day, so I doubt that I will get around to any painting, but there is yet a chance of brushing on a section of trim paint in the kitchen this afternoon.  I’m getting impatient with the bare primer in there, and I’m increasingly driven to buy a few cans of colour for the master bedroom/stairwell/dressing room now that I chose a shade, but I know it will realistically be a long while before I could actually tackle it.  In the living/dining room the trim around the windows is only primed too, and I keep going back and forth on using the ‘coconut ice’ trim colour to highlight them or the dark grey that I opted for on some of the trim and the heat baseboards.  Right now the grey seems like a nicer idea, but…

Meanwhile, at least the garden is increasingly pretty and pleasant to relax in.  All of the tulip varieties have at least one bloom, and I’ve accumulated so many photos in the last week or two that I’ll have to break up my posts into a few categories.

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During the past few weeks I have continued transplanting and sowing seeds.  I happened upon trays of ajuga at Home Depot and brought some home.  I’m rather excited at the idea that the spaces between the slate pieces might be filled in by it.  Of course I was pleased to get the blackest sort, but I broke it up with a mottled lighter sort too.  Today I’ll place the last few under the hammock and in that area.  I’d already sown seeds for dragons blood sedum all around the pathways, but I am unsure how well they’ll fill in.  Besides the seeds I bought a pot of that and put a few clumps near the garden beds.

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There is some of the ajuga a week or two back.  I’ve read that it spreads very quickly, but I wonder how fast that is?  I’d like it very much to have a dark filled path area this season!  The ajuga is welcome to spread into the grass too, heh.

There was a weird grass at Home Depot that grows like a cork-screw and likes shade.  I put it under the hammock stand to help it blend into the garden better.  Something more much be done to hide the stand, but it is not simple since I want to be able to approach it, it is shaded, and there are maple roots all over to deal with.

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I also picked up three pots of purple sweet potato vine.  Last year I added one late in the season and liked it, so this year I snapped it up at first sight.  This time I placed one in each galvanised tub and one in the old whisky barrel in the rather sparsely gardened back corner.  Sweet potato vine trails so beautifully, and they’ll have time to grow nicely.  This year I hope to keep the corner from remaining an empty eyesore, but the squirrels or something keep fighting with me on the matter.  They rip out half or more of what I plant there, and I’ve had little luck with seeds either.

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The temporary fence has, knock on wood, done a great job of keeping the deer away from the hostas and tulips around the house.  They only ate a bit near the cedar face this spring and left things alone otherwise.  I’m eager to pull up the ugly posts and have them out of my way, but last night I saw that the deer had just nibbled the hostas in front of the retaining wall by the street.  Should I risk it?  I’m so impatient and it would help with mowing and removing leaves today, but…  Darned deer.

In the front of the house I’d put in some fall bulbs, and some have bloomed nicely:

More views of the garden:

 

 

Now I must try to finish all of my chores.

 

First Tulips!

After the cold snap completely killed a few of my newest and most interesting plants I am glad that today I can write something positive regarding my garden.  It was a gloomy and rainy day until the sun came out and cheered things up for around two hours.  I’d begun some transplanting in the rain, and when I was done I napped in the hammock for a while.  I am so glad that the warm weather is now here to stay!  The extended forecast is perfectly spring-like.

I’m also very pleased that the deer never yet destroyed the tulips that I took a risk in planting.  Well, they did come over the fence and ate the ones that someone else had planted long ago, but they shied away from the house (unlike last year) or were thwarted by the string fence around the flowerbeds.  Great success!  😀

Knock on wood.

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As for the frost damage, the free Tibet plant is done for sure.

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I was even more sad today to find that the mottled angel wings were entirely gone too!  I hadn’t noticed or expected that, and it was one in particular that I really had wanted.  The other variety, sandy wings, is perfectly happy.  Strange things, plants.  Also, the underwood trillium lost one of the two leaves and looks unwell.  I was tempted to replace the three (well, hopefully add in the trillium case,) but I just can’t do it.  Perhaps next year?  I did find a site offering tomato plants beyond the sort big box stores sell, and the price was good enough, so tonight I purchased some heirloom and tasty varieties.  I’d entirely forgotten to source the seeds that I’d hoped to find and wouldn’t have time to start them even if I was decent at starting seeds.  I’ll post more about them later, but as an example I went for a couple of the Bulgarian tomatoes hoping they’ll be similar or as tasty as the Romanian variety I’d like to get.

These are the new ones that I planted today:

I have read that ajuga grows very fast and will be a nice ground cover.  I put it sort of staggered in the midst of the slate pathway.  I think the lighter and darker purples will be nice.  The sedum is dragon’s blood.  I also scattered seeds of it a while ago, but when I saw these at the store it seemed like a safer bet to start with too.

The first rococo tulip is starting to look less bizarre.  Some of the tulips are oddly short on the stem, I have found and don’t know why.  Meanwhile, I love the hellebore in the background.  I was hesitant to add it, but the blooms are so long lasting and pretty that I have the opposite of regrets.  😀

 

Tomorrow it will rain, but Wednesday is going to be sunny and gorgeous, and afterwards is looking nice too.  I’m sure I’ll be sharing as more tulips bloom!

Truly Unusual & Very Goth Garden Plants: an Extremely Extensive List

black and white violets and black mondo and white-green grass

I am particularly excited about this post.  I’ve spent a LOT of time on it and on researching the plants found in it.  This is the largest and most unique list of goth and unusual plants if my Googling has not failed me.  I hope you enjoy the results!

This March has been extremely warm, and I have been gardening whenever I have the chance and energy.  Mostly that has meant gathering up leaves and stones to clear the yard and create a new flower bed.  However, I have even sown seeds and transplanted a bunch of plants trusting that the temperatures will remain tolerably mild.  All of this, and some pleasant craziness at work, has left me little time for actually writing.  Meanwhile, I have been finding more and more dark and beautifully strange plants to share here.  They are not found on the usual lists of ideas I’ve seen, and  I’m really excited to share what I’ve found by digging further and further into the depths of Google.  😀

First of all, I have to give appreciation to the websites from which I took the photos used in this post.  I’m including links to everything in hopes of not upsetting anyone.  Of course I’ll post pictures of my own specimens during or after the growing season, but also I cannot buy and try to grow everything that I’m sharing today!  (Dream on, dream on…)

This photo above is of the new flowerbed that I want to fill with goth inspired blooms and such.  So far I’ve put in black mondo grass, black and white violas, some sort of white and green grass, black pearl peppers, ballerina red thrift, black charm lilies, black elephant ears, white caladium, and I have sown black bachelor’s button, delft blue nigella, and mother of pearl poppy.  Later I hope to add penny black.  (See my earlier post about other plans and plants that I’ve used, like black petunias, black hollyhock, queen of night tulips, black diamond crepe myrtle…)  I’ve also planted a black elderberry bush and am looking forward to the colours of it and the berries too.

black viola

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black pearl pepper

black and white row

ballerina red thrift

black and white violets and black mondo and white-green grass

new garden bed

 

 

And here are quite a few more beautiful dark plants which you may not have seen before:

Bat flower, which is gorgeous and perfectly goth but tropical…

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(A thanks to Google images and The Wild Papaya for the photo.)

Also lovely in white:

white bat plant

 

Snake plant which would contrast nicely in a goth garden if you are in a dry and hot area.snake plant

 

Black shield plant, another perfect houseplant for the theme.black shield

 

Black rose tree  another one for warm dry climates or inside.   black rose tree travellingmcfrothys(The Google provided photo is lovely, and I found it at the Travelling McFrothys.)

 

Crossing over Jack in the pulpit:Arisaema-Crossing-Over.i-4094.s-63786.r-01

 

The very strange and splendid Japanese cobra lily:

Arisaema-ringens.i-2531.s-63983

 

Japanese Jack in the pulpitArisaema-sikokianum.i-1850.s-64351.r-1

Dominatrix Jack in the pulpit

arisaema-urashima-in-flower.i-2663.s-61238.r-01

 

Belleville, which I think is particularly gorgeous in colour.

bellevallia pycnantha

 

Wild ginger:

asarum-maximum-shell-shocked-in-flower.i-9566.s-62937.r-01

 

Cleopatra canna:

Canna-Cleopatra.i-2399.s-13269.r-1

 

Moonlight caladium:

moonlight caladium

 

Mojito colocasia:

colocasia-esculenta-mojito-leaf.i-8545.s-60827.r-01

 

and tropical storm colocasia:

Colocasia-esculenta-Tropical-Storm.i-11746.s-64372.r-1

 

Pottawotomie clematis pitcheri:

Clematis-pitcheri-Pottawotomie.i-11081.s-64194.r-01

 

Mountain king lady slipper orchid:

Cypripedium-Froschs-Mountain-King.s-63342.i-3590.y-2014

 

Black sprite:

black sprite

 

Voodoo lily:

Dracunculus-vulgaris.i-2821.s-64381.r-1

 

Night heron fairy bells:

Disporum-longistylum-Night-Heron.s-63350.i-8307.y-2014

 

Alba bleeding heart:

dicentra alba:

 

Kentucky lady slipper:

Cypripedium-kentuckiense.i-8931.s-64375.r-1

 

Sandy claws fairy wings:

epimedium-wushanense-spiny-lvs-in-flower.i-8861.s-62502.r-01

 

and super mottle fairy wings:

Epimedium-wushanense-Super-Mottle.i-9195.s-64392.r-1

 

Fritillaria meleagris mix:

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and fritillaria uva vulpus:

fritillaria uva vulpis

 

Zwanenburg peruvian daffodil:

zwanenburg

 

Harrisiana Peruvian dafodil:

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Ruby ribbons grass:

panicum-virgatum-ruby-ribbons.i-8334.s-60389.r-01.jpg

 

Narcissus cantabricus:

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Netty’s pride lily:

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Pauline iris reticulata:

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Frank Elder iris:

Frank Elder.jpeg

 

Underwood trillium:

trillium-underwoodiii-a1fl-001-in-flower.i-2973.s-62948.r-02.jpg

 

Shelbyville trillium:

Trillium-gracile-Shelbyville.i-10410.s-63958.r-01.jpg

 

And I must include Adam’s Family trillium, of course:

Trillium-foetidissimum-Adams-Family.i-10803.s-64099.jpg

 

Royal maroon sweet pea:

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Sumter white topped pitcher plant:

Sarracenia-leucophylla-Sumter.i-9370.s-64252.r-01.jpg

 

Lastly, here is a tropical looking bit of foliage that can tolerate New York winters:

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And here are a few more things currently growing:

siberian iris and allium

herb bed

herb and flower bed

HD hellebore

hellebore onyx o

chocolate vine year two spring buds

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pastel pansies

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And just a few from previous posts in case you didn’t check out the link:

 

Planning the 2016 Goth Garden

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Last season I had some success with the dark themed garden that I envisioned, but there was plenty of room for improvement.  Naturally I’d like to add to the number of things grown this year.  Also, I’ll be trying to keep in mind the timing of blooms, spacing and grouping of plants, and what I learnt about my green thumb last year.  I seem to do better with flowers than vegetables, so I’m mostly eliminating edible plants.  Perhaps I’ll keep the pretty dark purple tomatoes and black aubergines, and I’ll always have herbs, but the focus this year is on the purely pretty things.

I’m not even sure what to do with the old, huge garden bed in the corner of the yard except to let it lie fallow.  The two cedar squares near the house may become permanent flower beds.  Hmmm.  What I do know is that I already have or will hopefully be placing orders for some of these in the coming weeks:

Black cat petunias, Odessa callas, ghost athyrium, more mother of pearl poppies (which I also saved hundreds of seeds from,) black swan poppiesburgundy beauties cornflower mix, sophistica blackberry hybrid petunias, maybe more eyeliner lilies, black boy bachelor’s button, more delft blue nigella, giant red castor, yellow creeper canary nasturtium, blackout heucheria, obsidian heucheria, chocolate chip ajuga, star of billion astrantia, french kiss hellebore, and landini lily.

 

From last year:

 

 

There were things that I wanted to order but missed out on.  For example my beloved Alaska red shades nasturtiums were automatically eliminated from my cart having gone out of stock before I could order.  😦  A stunning, two tone deep red and black-red Olina lily that I considered was also already gone as was Big Blue sea holly.  Another out of stock beauty was Dark and Handsome hellebore.  There are also some that I found to be pretty but will not add.  The blue colour of the loddon royalist anchusa wasn’t as dark in other Googled images as on the ordering site, sadly, and the stems didn’t appear black as they said either, so I’ll pass.  The Helen Elizabeth poppy is so pretty, but it would mess up my scheme to have pink, wouldn’t it?  (Sooo pretty though… hmmm, maybe it could work out front where I am not doing the gothic thing?)  This columbine was tempting also.  If I was made of money I’d have liked Leonora widow’s tears and windflower too.

Today was my day off, and it was warm and sunny.  I did some yard work and found a surprising amount of blooming things for February in New York!

I never finished raking leaves this past fall, so I began again today and uncovered many shoots.  The house came with crocuses and snowdrops, which was a nice surprise.  They are joined in their early growth by the tulips that I planted last fall.

One of the tulips and a hellebore bud!

The hellebore is supposed to be blackish, but I’m not so sure…

I really hope that the weather remains mild and doesn’t harm the lovely display that I’m looking forward to!

Oh jeez, I found a few more:

Black magic elephant ear, black night hen and chicks, and black parrot tulip.

 

Looking Back at my 2015 Goth Garden

I’d hoped to write and update from week to week during the growing season, but since I did not…  Prepare for many photos.  I’ve decided to make this post more of an overview, and then I’ll add another to review some of the types of plants that I grew and plans for next season.

So, here are some of the more spectacular specimens, beginning with “ismene.”  Also known as Peruvian daffodil, ismene is indeed spectacular.  They were an unplanned purchase at Home Depot, and I am very glad I did get a few of the bulbs.  They grew easily in the bulb tubs although only a couple produced blooms.  This year I would like to buy more, and I hope the other bulbs will flower too.

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Next up is a “mother of pearl” poppy.  These were absolutely amazing.  Each one was unique, some papery white, others flecked with blush red, and a few were the most beautiful combination I’ve seen, like this.:

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Selecting a shot for an example wasn’t easy.  Here was 2nd place:

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More examples:

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And some more, because I simply couldn’t leave them out:

A hard act to follow, but a few of another poppy variety grew too.  “Black swan.”:

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I adore the poppies, but they are very delicate.  Each time I watched with anticipation as a strange bud would rise up and open to reveal the surprising hues, or lack of them, crinkled inside of it for so long.  Then, if I was lucky, I could admire the bloom for a day.  Too often rain would cut even that time short…  Or my husband would accidentally decapitate the prized flower with his quad-copter escapades.  😦  In any case, the beauty of poppies is meant to be appreciated mindful of their ephemeral existence.

The “black cat” petunia plants were one of my favourites too.  I tried to keep them alive inside for the winter, but alas no.  I’ll be ordering many more for sure!!  They did grow wonderfully all summer and spilled over the baskets and pots with numerous black, velvety blossoms.  I can’t wait for more.

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And next?  The “eyeliner” lilies.  These were lovely and grew very well.

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This year I hope to order some very dark red calla lilies, because I really enjoyed these, which I found at Home Depot and don’t recall the name for, and how long they remain in bloom.  IMG_0022

Rather late in the spring I picked up some black hollyhocks.  They are another winner to be purchased again.

I was very pleased with the “black Charm” lilies from Home Depot.  I’ll likely buy more at some point.  They were generally a deeper red than these photos show.

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Along the way, I picked up other plants that fit with my goth scheme.  The lily bulbs are to bloom this year.  A few of the others aren’t said to overwinter in NY, but I believe they are going to since they appear nearly alive and happy even in February thanks to global warming.  I apologise for not recalling the names except that one is sweet potato vine (which I do expect to replace) and “black diamond” crepe myrtle.  It was on clearance in October, and I read online not to plant those late, but thankfully it was ridiculously warm until New Year anyway.

Next up are some shots of one of the lovely day lilies my aunt and uncle brought us on July 4th.  This one is called “noble lord.”

Lastly I have “delft blue” love in a mist.

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Here are some shots that show a more comprehensive view:

Also, I don’t know what this plant is, but it was here and fits in nicely too:

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