The Garden Worm blog Digging up the best dirt on gardening!

August 30, 2014

Best of summer 2014

Filed under: Birdwatching,Creatures,Flowers,Grasses,Our gardens,Summer — Judy @ 3:47 pm

A photo essay of some wonderful plants this summer.

The first one is of my ‘fried egg’ peony – a single type of herbaceous peony. The lighting sort of makes it look like a Georgia O’Keeffe painting, doesn’t it?

White peony

An unknown variety of clematis with huge purple blue flowers. Could be a ‘Jackmanii’ with the reddish ribs, but the anthers are also red. Similar to ‘Ramona’ but darker.

Purple clematis

This is Liatris ‘Kobold’ with mauve flowers blooming from the top down. Bees love it!

Liatris 'Kobold'

The daylilies were floriferous this year. The red one is ‘Chicago Apache’ and the dusky pink one is ‘Catherine Woodbury.’

Hemerocallis 'Chicago Apache'

Hemerocallis 'Catherine Woodbury'

We had lots of hummingbirds flitting around all summer long, but this one decided he wanted to stop and rest for a bit. Lucky me!


Red bee balm sparklers!

Bee balm

Ornamental grasses are a great addition to the garden, and this brown grass, Carex ‘Toffee Twist,’ goes with everything.

Carex 'Toffee Twist'

We had lots of these little guys running around – we call them all ‘Harvey!’ They love to perch on the rock wall or on top of the stair railing where they can survey everything.


Roses, of course! These are dark pink ‘Cuyahoga’ and red ‘Double Knock-out.’


More wildlife – notice the big green-eyed fly on the bright yellow-gold coneflower? It’s a type of horse/deer fly called Stonemyia isabellina, a flower feeding non-biting species.


Heading into fall now. Time to clean up the gardens a bit.

August 1, 2014

Outdoor Tour

Filed under: Our gardens,Shows and Tours,Summer — Judy @ 10:58 am

After getting all the clients taken care of, we finally got a chance to tackle our own home. We are pretty much caught up with edging, mulching, and weeding around here and things are looking fairly good. Click the link below to view the pictures.

birdhouseOutdoor Tour 2014

July 17, 2014

Birdwatching: Great Blue Heron

Filed under: Birdwatching,Summer — Judy @ 5:09 pm

What fun today! Lots of summer sounds – kerplonk! reeee! buzzzz! – and we saw a Great Blue Heron swoop down and land near the edge of the pond while we were working there.

Great Blue Heron

We know that there are huge koi and such in these shallow waters because we have seen them jumping and swimming around when the water is clear. And even though the water was murky today, obviously, he did too. There are lots of bullfrogs in the reeds too. It was fun to see him carefully picking each foot up and stretching it out a bit before putting it down again. Either he didn’t want to get his feet dirty or else he was in stealth mode.

Great Blue Heron

And his neck – how he folds it up or stretches it out! Very fun to watch! BTW the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has some live bird cams and, in the spring, they have a Great Blue Heron nest watch. It is fascinating to see the Mom and Dad fluff up the nest (that is, if you can fluff up a nest with sharp, pointy sticks), lay and take care of the eggs, and then see the eggs hatch and babies eventually fledge. Nature drama at its finest!

More about the cams here and FAQs about the Cornell Herons nest here.

June 26, 2014

Colorful Containers

Filed under: Containers,Spring,Summer — Judy @ 10:28 pm

Some of the fun part of what we do is planting containers for folks. Every spring we make the rounds of so many garden centers finding the best looking plants. There are the tried and true plants, the new cultivars, thrillers, fillers, and spillers and we need to select hundreds every year to fill all those containers. The deck, where we store them until they get used, is crammed full three or four times every year.

Plants on deck

We start out the planting season in mid-April with some ceramic bowls stuffed with colorful pansies and Johnny jump-ups. There is still the possibility of snow and freezing temperatures until mid-May and these plants are troopers! Their sweet smell and cheery faces are always welcome and hold up well until the weather gets downright hot.



Once the weather stabilizes, we get busy filling all the containers. What plants go in which containers always depends on the environmental situation. Is it a hot spot, a shady spot? Will the plants get watered faithfully or have an irrigation line tapped in, or will they be left mostly to their own devices – never a good situation! Some plants are so tough (more…)

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