In a Vase on Monday: Zinnias

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018
Zinnias and buddleja, aka butterfly bush

My offering for this In a Vase on Monday post is small but cheerful.

The vase is an old pharmacy bottle that was dug up in Florida. The decades spent in the earth imparted a milky patina to the aqua glass. I found it at Dogwoods in Clayton, Georgia, over the 4th of July weekend. Now on to the flowers.

Profusion double-bloom zinnias (3 blooms on right): I purchased this petite variety at Shoppe in Forest Park. I love this shop’s urban location in a charming old bungalow. It’s built into a terraced hillside, so you meander up a shady hillside as you peruse the outdoor tables of plants.

Dwarf zinnia: This one’s the bright orange bloom on the left. I planted a seed packet of these, but unfortunately I was careless and let all but two seedlings get zapped by the sun. So this guy is a survivor!

Giant zinnia: It’s not in the vase because I couldn’t bear to cut the first bloom, but I wanted to share it. I planted giant zinnias from seed last year, and they reseeded themselves this year – what a nice surprise! I’m not sure of the exact variety (maybe California giants), but they get as tall as me!

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018
Giant zinnia

You’ll notice that a couple the zinnia blooms in my vase show signs of age. Someone once told me that zinnias go by the nickname old maids. I’ve always like that. Zinnia’s are still pretty and attract plenty of pollinators long after they’ve earned a few age spots.

Buddleja (also spelled Buddleia): To finish off the arrangment, I snipped a stem from my Buddleja, commonly known as butterfly bush. I previously posted a vase with Buddleja here.

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A common buckeye butterfly visiting the Buddleja bush last September.

Thanks to Cathy and her blog, Rambling in the Garden, for hosting the IAVOM meme. She has a vase of moody blues and purples today. Please give her a visit, and don’t forget to check out the comments following her post to see offerings from gardeners around the world.

Also, a bit of good news. My friend Kara invited me to share on her blog, Inspired Southerner, so you can catch my garden posts there too.

In a Vase on Monday: Big, Beautiful Lily

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018
Asiatic lily, hummingbird mint, dusty miller, sedum and creeping Jenny

This spring, I planted a bargain variety pack of shade bulbs and roots. The big, beautiful Asiatic lily in this vase is the summer payoff.

It’s the only flower so far, but perennials can take a couple of years to put on a show. (And I probably could have taken more care in preparing the soil before planting.) Now, for the rest.

Creeping Jenny

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018

I love creeping Jenny and the dimension it brings to vases. It’s easy to dig up and transplant, and it comes back every year. From late spring to the first killing freeze of winter, it cascades over our terrace walls and softens the edges of the austere concrete blocks.

“Apache Sunset” hummingbird mint (Agastache rupestris)

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018

I’m pleased with how big and bountiful this perennial has become in its second year in my garden. Hummingbird mint is said to attract hummingbirds, but I haven’t exactly been watching for them. It’s hot as Hades outside, and we’ve had monsoon-like rains.

Dusty miller

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018

Dusty miller is one of those plants that’s so ubiquitous in gardens (at least in the Southeastern U.S. where I live) that it’s easy to dismiss. But I must give credit where credit is due. It’s a hardy perennial, and the white, waxy foliage really highlights the lily.

Sedum

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018

The sedum is a “passalong” from my dad. I wish I knew the variety. Like the creeping Jenny, it’s a perennial saving grace for the concrete block terraces. Planted in the openings along the top, it propagates easily and comes back every year.

Vase and props

I inherited the vintage glass creamer (the vase) from my aunt. It could be a family piece, or perhaps she scouted a deal for 25 cents at a flea market, as she was so good at doing. For the photo, I added a vintage brass finial and a small woodblock painting by Moni Hill, which my sister bought for me at the Main Street Gallery in Clayton, Georgia. There’s a quote on the side of the painting, too.

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018

Thanks to Cathy and her blog, Rambling in the Garden, for hosting the IAVOM meme. She has a sunny vase of zinnias, inula, calendula and drawf sunflower today. Please give her a visit.

 

In a Vase on Monday: North Georgia Mountains

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018

Today I’m posting from my family home on Pinnacle Mountain, just outside the quaint town of Clayton, Georgia.

It’s a sisters’ long weekend, and we’re about to head out to lunch, so I’ll make this quick!

The vase is the bottom part of a covered glass dish purchased at a nearby flea market. I’ve filled it with:

  • Berries—perhaps young wild blackberries
  • Daylilies
  • Pine branches
  • Queen Anne’s lace
  • Roses

To the either side of the vase, I placed:

  • Bark—covered with lichen and moss
  • Mountain laurel branch—dead, covered with lichen and moss
  • Rhododendron—foliage and bud
  • Rocks found on various family hikes

Thanks to Cathy and her blog, Rambling in the Garden, for hosting the IAVOM meme. It’s helped me connect to other garden bloggers and makes blogging much more enjoyable. Be sure to visit her post today (she has a nice rustic vase featuring Allium christophii) and the comments section to see what other gardeners around the world have put in a vase on Monday.

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018

Thanks for stopping by! Please come again.

In the Garden with Rachel: Daylilies and Hydrangeas

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog 2018

To properly represent late May blooms in Alabama on this blog, I visited my friend Rachel a couple of weeks ago. She grows daylilies and hydrangeas, which I don’t have in my own yard.

As I made the hour drive from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa, I was worried the weather wasn’t going to cooperate. But after a short storm, the skies cleared for a lovely evening of wine, appetizers and catching up on the patio.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog 2018

I timed my visit to catch the hydrangeas at their peak. Aren’t they gorgeous? I love how some pink shows through the blue in the blooms below.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog 2018

The mass a daylilies sweeping along the curve of the patio was an unexpected bonus to my trip. Rachel shared that when they moved in, the daylilies were scattered about the yard. They dug them up and replanted them en masse for a grand statement.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog 2018
This is Roper, a cocker spaniel. He was in constant motion during my visit, but Rachel plied him with treats so I could capture him in portrait.

A single bright red-orange lily stands out among the others. This was a gift from Rachel’s late mother-in-law. When they moved, they dug it up and took it with them to their new home.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog 2018

Next, we headed to the circle garden, which is divided into quadrants. (Roper came along to help.)

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog 2018There the lilies are divided into groups based on bloom time. This beauty was showing off, raindrops and all.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog 2018

I hope you enjoyed this visit to Rachel’s garden as much as I did. Please stop by again soon! Tomorrow, I’ll post for In a Vase on Monday from the mountains of Clayton, Georgia.

In a Vase on Monday: Succulents

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden 2018I’m in between summer and spring blooming seasons, so today’s In A Vase on Monday post is a pot of succulents.

This week I wrote a story about succulents for a local digital media outlet called Bham Now. The research for that story flowed over into real life, and brought me a great deal of tiny garden joy. This stoneware planter, a $2 estate-sale find, did not make the article, but I’m sharing it with you now.

Ripple jade

The tall plant in the center is ripple jade (Crassula arborescens subsp. undulatifolia). I thought it was a steal for $3.95 at Oak Street Garden Shop in Birmingham, Alabama. Something about the shape and watery green color of the leaves is mesmerizing.

Oak Street Garden Shop maintains a community pollinator garden outside its shop in Crestline Village. (Nothing to do with succulents, of course, but I had to include it.) The owner tells me that goldfinches feast there in the morning, in addition to the bees and butterflies who visit all day.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden 2018
Black-eyed Susans are the stars of this pollinator garden in June. Seedlings of zinnias and cosmos are popping up among the fading larkspur and bachelor buttons, which are going to seed.
Peperomia prostrata

The plant spilling over the side to the back-right is Peperomia prostrata. I bought a tiny pot for $5.95 at the same shop, and I divided it among three different planters.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden 2018

Single-leaf propagations

The two tiniest plants in my pot of succulents are the result of single-leaf propagation. I don’t know the names of the specific varieties, unfortunately. These baby succulents are 8 months old, starting from the date I snapped off the parent leaves.

 

Propagated cuttings

The remaining two plants in the stoneware planter are propagated cuttings (I do not have a record of the plants’ names). Below is one of the original plants, which is in bloom at the moment.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden 2018

Thanks to Cathy and her blog, Rambling in the Garden, for hosting the IAVOM meme. Check out her lovely offering today of sweet peas, cosmos and grasses, and visit the comments section to see what other gardeners around the world have put in a vase on Monday.

Walk in Avondale Park: a Great Blue Heron Takes Flight

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog, Avondale Park, Birmingham, Alabama, blue heron

A great blue heron is a fairly common sight at Avondale Park, a 40-acre public park in Birmingham, Alabama.

There are tasty little fish for a heron to eat in the spring water-fed pond. A small island at the pond’s center provides a human-free respite in this urban park. The natural spring has attracted locals and travelers to the area since pre-Civil War days (and Native Americans long before that).

Birmingham, Alabama, Avondale Park
Vintage postcard showing Avondale Park c. 1911 via Bhamwiki

In the 1930s, the city added a stone amphitheater designed by landscape architect Rubee Pearse. The spring flows from the depths of a cave, but unfortunately for any spelunkers out there, the city’s 1930s improvements included blocking the cave entrance. In 2012, the park installed baseball diamonds and restrooms along with other renovations. 

After a recent lunch at Avondale’s Taco Morro Loco (so good!), a friend and I took a stroll around the pond. There were lots of ducks and one solitary blue heron. I approached him slowly, snapping photos with each step. Then he took off.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog, Avondale Park, Birmingham, Alabama, blue heron

Check out the water trail as he lifts himself from the water.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog, Avondale Park, Birmingham, Alabama, blue heronJust one more big lift…

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog, Avondale Park, Birmingham, Alabama, blue heron

And then he sails. How beautiful nature is.