My Virtual Garden Cat especially for my sisters and daughter

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Check out my cool garden blog Wordle. Wordle is a Java applet that allows you to create a "word cloud" from text already in your blog, in your account, or simply by typing, or pasting in any text you want. After your Wordle is generated, you can click on the button "Open in Window." This allows you to print your Wordle, or Save it to the online gallery. If you want to save it, or post it to your blog, you will have to go through a few more steps. I used Jing, a free download, to capture the image and save it. This program only allows you to save your image as a PNG image file. Blogger lets you upload the PNG to your Blogspot account. Check it out! It is a lot of fun to create, and you have color choices too.

Monday, July 21, 2008

2008 Delaware County Master Gardener Bus Tour

What a great weekend of discovering two new gardens in North Western Ohio. Our bus trip started from the center of Delaware, Ohio and headed Northwest to the Toledo Botanical Gardens. Were we in for a treat! We had a docent-led tour that was wonderful. The park is divided into many gardens. Since I especially like perennial and cottage gardens, those were big hits for me. The number of plants and design of the the beds gave me some great ideas. The colors were spectacular! Everything was so well marked including the trees. My husband is the tree person. He "graduated" from Master Gardener Tree School last year. I am so proud of my tree man! The Joe-Pye Weed, Phlox, and daylilies were beautiful. The stone wall in the cottage garden is amazing. I wish I had thought to catagorize my pictures by each garden that we visited in the park, but I was just taking it all in. What a gem for Toledo and admission is free!

Here are some pictures of our memorable visit:
Master Gardeners enjoying a hot summer morning at the Toledo Botanical Gardens.

Glass sculpture in the garden
Glass Blower at work

After our tour, we got back on the bus and headed for Hoen's Greenhouse and Garden Center in Holland, Ohio. I had only been to Holland, Michigan before, so another adventure for me. Upon arrival, we were greated by the owners and then let loose to shop. Yeah, shop. There were a lot of wide-eyed Master Gardeners armed with carts. We timed our trip just right. There was a big sale going on and what Master Gardener can resist that. The carts were lined up at the register as our shopping trip came to a close. We bought four Edelweiss, a begonia, two Datura, and an ornamental pepper. What a great nursery!
Well back on the bus to Schedel Arboretum and Gardens. We needed a rest after our shopping frenzy. Walking through the main gate was only a tease for what was ahead. It is like a Disney experience for a gardener--magical. The gardens are located in Elmore, Ohio. Another new experience for us.

The entry gardens are planted taking into consideration plants, color, and design. We were told that the distance from each plant is measured to insure uniformity. There are many levels to these gardens. The lowland garden allows for growing plants and trees that usually do well in a different zone than the upland garden. There are twenty-five varieties of Japanese Maples throughout. We saw pine trees, a Cucumber Magnolia, an Umbrella Magnolia, Cutleaf Beech, Japanese Katsura, Bald Cypress and many more including bamboo. My husband was in tree heaven. The sound of water over a cascading wall, takes you to the magnificant Japanese Garden below. Oh, and there are many bridges over the water too. You are truly taken to a magical place in this garden. We had lunch at the gardens and then a docent tour led my a local Master Gardener. She was awesome! All of us learned so much about the gardens as we enjoyed our time, though brief, at Schedel.

Master Gardeners taking in the view from ground levelA great lower level view

A mature grove of Dawn Redwoods

A view of some of their Bonsai collection.

We said goodbye to Schedel. What a great garden! We know that we will be back to visit both of these gardens in the future.

Our next stop was Northbranch Nursery in Pemberville, Ohio. They were having a sale on hydrangeas, and what a wonderful selection they had. I have never seen such huge and healthy hydrangeas. They were selling them 2 for 1. I did not buy any, but the Master Gardeners went crazy. The bus was filled with beautiful hydrangeas. I bought a Crocosmia and a Euphorbia First Blush.

Well, our annual MG bus trip was coming to an end. We boarded the bus for Delaware, Ohio and off went a lot of tired, but happy Master Gardeners. The belly of the bus was full of plants.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Weekend of Wonderful Daylilies

What a great weekend! My husband and I spent two days last weekend enjoying wonderful daylilies at two great venues. First, we spent a day in the Hocking Hills at the Lilyfest in Rockbridge, Ohio. This was the sixteenth year for this wonderful festival. Last year was the first year that we attended and we will not miss another one. The grounds of this property consist of three acres of gardens, sculptures, and ponds. The gardens were in full bloom with daylilies everywhere. The masses of daylilies in bloom, in the well designed beds, spread out over this property were breathtaking. My only wish was that there were labels identifying the daylilies. I saw so many that just amazed me. The colors and flower sizes called out to us "take my picture," and that is exactly what we did. We strolled the gardens while listening to music, sipped on lemonade from Annie's Cheesecake, purchased daylilies from Flowers of the Good Earth, one of the many garden related vendors at the festival. We also purchesed a big metal fly from Dave and Tammy Anders. I found a spot for it right away in one of my garden beds. We also purchased a butterfly house from Larry Neff. Yes, a butterfly house! It is a place for butterflies to rest and stay safe from predators. I knew just where I wanted to put it, and it is waiting for the butterflies in my garden bed right now. Well my words can't really describe the beauty of this festival, so here are some of the many pictures we took that day.

My Butterfly House
Oh yes, my garden fly!

The next day, we were off to the Daylily Walk at MarLee Farms in Centerburg, Ohio. A friend of ours, from our Master Gardener Group, and her husband operate this Daylily and Hosta farm. Twice a year, it is open to the public for a Hosta Walk in June, and a Daylily Walk in July. Designer, Asiatic, and Oriental Lilies line the property with many beds scattered throughout. The Millers have more than 600 varieties of hostas and a more daylilies than I could count. There are over two acres of gardens to enjoy and lots of hostas, daylilies, and perennials that you can also purchase. Well, what would a trip to a fantastic daylily haven be without a few souvenir plants to take home. I had fun shopping and enjoyed the walk through the gardens too! A storm was approaching, so we did not write down names of the flowers, but if you would like to know the name of any of them, let me know and I will ask Lee. I know that I will be sharing picture of our new daylilies as they bloom in later posts. Here are a few pictures from our day.

We ended our day with a downpour and a beautiful rainbow over the farm.