Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Daffodils ~
 I really can't even remember when I realized how much I like daffodils. It must have been when I was a little girl walking around both of my grandmothers gardens. Both of them enjoyed daffodils.
 Each year, I add more than 100 daffodil bulbs to the garden here in Big Stone Gap.
 This year, I was a little late in planting some of them. They are all coming up now!
 The first year we moved here, a friend gave me a tub of daffodils her brother had dug out of his yard. It took two full years for these King Alfred daffodils to bloom. They now line the entire front of the house.
                Each area of the yard has its own daffodil garden. These are in the iris garden.
                                      Just a few close ups of some of the different varieties....
                                       A soft touch of peachy pink
                                                                  These smell heavenly.

                 N ear the woods
                                         Oldest and sweetest of all the flowers

 These border the woods. Bunnies, deers, moles, and voles do not like daffodils. One year a critter had dug up a daffodil, took a bite and left the rest.

Outside the greenhouse

If you look closely, you can see a little bug under the petal of the top daffodil.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rabbit Damage ~
 What does a bottle of Texas Pete Hot Sauce have to do with rabbits? Well, here's the story told from my perspective as a gardener. I noticed that day lilies had been nibbled on.
 Last year it was the hosta. I did an Internet search and found out it was rabbit damage. Though none of the sites I explored showed photos of the damage, I thought, I will take pictures. Then the rain came and the snow. Today after the snow melted I went down the hillside to the two areas the rabbits have been eating.
I decided to take action when they started on the iris. These are old fashioned iris dug from the mountains of Lee County. Not something that I am going to take lightly.
 This shows a bit more rabbit damage up close. Rabbits have been seen in this part of the yard as long as we have lived here. Here's the recipe for rabbit repellent. Take one tablespoon of hot Pete sauce or your sauce of choice and mix it into one gallon of warm almost hot water. I then filled a spray bottle with the repellent. It rained up a storm that night with the wind whippety tucking in the hollows. Rained all day Saturday followed by snow and today the sun has come out. I will be out early evening with the rabbit spray.
 Moss is growing all over the yard. It is always interesting to me to see how it changes over the seasons.
 The rain has brought out all the wild violets. They are in the back of the house not the front. As with violets, they spread everywhere filling up every nook and cranny.
Each year, I plant hundreds of daffodils all over the yard. Along the front of the house, I planted these four years ago. This week, they will all be in bloom. Just in time for the Open Studio on Saturday.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Inspired by Spring ~
The first day of spring I was inspire by the colors of blues, purples, and  greens. This is the back of a fused glass dragonfly piece. It is actually standing up so you can see the soft lavender of the glass.  

A purple jewel tone thin iridescent Bullseye glass I placed against the dragonfly mold from Delphi Glass. I learned a lesson from this. Place the clear glass on top of the iridescent to enjoy the rainbow effect of all the purples. It is always fascinating to me to see what happens when glass comes our of the kiln.

These glass beads were lying on the beading board. I kept thinking about them. It took several hours and lots of trial and error to create this piece. I used silver wire for the larger beads to give the piece some strength. Then I used a beading wire for the nine strands of glass beads. I crimped and  crimp bead covered each of the nine strands using silver plated jump rings to connect the five pieces. It is finished with a hammered sterling silver clasp. I wore it for several days, something I learned to do before I sell a piece to see how it flows and to make sure all the jump rings are tightly closed.

 These beauties are all over the yard. I planted about six dozen in early March. They will come up in late May. These are in the front of the house, the first daffodils planted. All of these are the early spring variety. The smells are just amazing.
 Wild grape hyacinths roam down the side of  our mountain yard. They began popping up on Friday. We had a little bit of rain and they are beginning to flow. I try to be careful not to step on them as they are tiny.
                                                    Wild hyacinths popping up all over.
 It was a bit starling to find this lilac and one holly were the only plantings in our yard. It is now surrounded by iris, daffodils, and soon to be planted annuals.
 The same day the forysthia budded out, the wild violets showed their faces. These are all over the yard.
Between the two buildings on the property, Ray had put the compost. I created a garden in front of this stump. The garden lies next to the woods. The critters certainly have enjoyed digging under the space. One spring, a turtle laid her eggs here. They did not hatch,
For Valentines Day, we gave each other this garden bench. I had been looking for several years and found this on Overstock. Ray assembled it and set it into place yesterday at the back of the yard. It gives a new perspective to our gardens and a place to rest while gardening.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Snowdrops ~

 I discovered snowdrops when I came to the mountains many years ago. A neighbor has them growing down the bank of her home. Hers are just now breaking ground showing their leaves. I saw these under all the snow we had last week. It is hard to wait when you know there are flowers blooming in your yard.
 If ever there is a faery flower, snow drops are definitely a fae delight. They are so very tiny, delicate with their green lace cap, but hardy like their flower cousins the crocus.
 The many critters that live under our mountain home including moles, voles, and others do not like the snowdrop bulbs. The snowdrop in front has just barely broken through the ground. The other is showing her white bud.
 These two are next to a mound created by one of our burrowing critters. They burrowed up half a flat of pansies earlier in the winter.
                        I thought I'd show you just how tiny the snowdrop is by holding it between my fingers.

Just a bit down the mountain, I noticed the daffodils are coming up. Can you see the bud? According to                                     Shelly or was it Keats, "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?"