About Us

Marsanne Petty
I enjoy writing, reading, photography, history, investigating old structures and trying not to get arrested by entering said structures. I write for Skirt and for Ehow. I can be contacted at mapetty@gmail.com.

Melody Lee
I like to garden and wow people with my artistic interpretations of how flowers should be arranged. I also write for Ehow and Garden Guides. I can be contacted at annlees@gmail.com.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June Foliage Follow Up

I'm featuring some variegated plants for Foliage Follow Up hosted by Pam at Digging ...

such as this Variegated Ginger - not sure what kind, it was a passalong plant.

This Tricolor St. John's Wort survived the terrible winter with no problems.

One of the caladiums in a bulk package from a box store.

This nameless hydrangea has variegated leaves and flowers.

I know these leaves aren't variegated, but I had to show off the beautiful stems of this black-stemmed hydrangea - another passalong plant.

Check out more fabulous foliage at Digging.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I'm joining Carol and the gang at May Dreams Gardens

for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

with some cheerful June blooms ...

First is the lovely Lady in Red Hydrangea,

followed by Forever and Ever Peppermint Hydrangea,

a happy sunflower,

a bright Butterfly Gladioli,

some Shasta Daisies, Chaste Tree blooms,

and an Irish Eyes Rudbeckia and a fuzzy Stoke's Aster.
I'll check out what's blooming in your garden at May Dreams Gardens!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Green World

Today - actually tonight at 11:59 - is the deadline for the
April Picture This Contest on Gardening Gone Wild.
Nothing like waiting till the last minute, huh?

Rob Cardillo, the judge this month, has chosen the theme "Green World"
and he wants bloggers to spotlight "green's infinite range of personalities".
As a professional photographer for major gardening publications, businesses
and landscapers, he is definitely familiar with green worlds and their personalities.
I wasn't planning on entering this month because I couldn't find just the right picture.

The stems of the fallen blooms on the Silverbell Tree (Halesia sp.) look like
tiny arms reaching out to the world - but this wasn't what I was looking for.

The male flowers of the Podocarpus bush hold a

world of new plants, but it still wasn't right.

Then I saw the new buds on the Oakleaf Hydrangea

and knew I had found my entry! I don't think I have really noticed them before

at this stage - tiny worlds ready to burst forth into a whirlwind of white blooms.

Hope you enjoyed my green worlds. Stop by Gardening Gone Wild and

check out all the other fascinating green worlds.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April Foliage Follow-Up

There is a lot of new growth in the garden
but I just chose a few pictures for Foliage Follow-Up.
So much is coming up and getting new growth and blooming,
that it is hard to keep up with it all.

I love the way the center of Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium) looks
when the new fronds begin growing.

I'm not sure what the blue succulent is,

but I'm pretty sure the green one is Coral Reef Sedum.

The Golden Barberry (Berberis aurea) must have liked

the cold winter - it is brighter and fuller than usual.

I use Tri-Color St. John's Wort as filler in my perennial beds.

This one is low-growing and spreads slowly.

I need to thin out the Parrot's Feather in the pond
or the poor goldfish won't have anywhere to swim.

Hope you enjoyed this sampler of foliage from my garden.
Check out the foliage in other gardens at Digging with Pam.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April GBBD

I didn’t realize how hard it is to keep up with a blog. I don’t seem to have any time or energy left after gardening and doing things with my daughters and grandsons. Oh yeah, I do some house cleaning and cooking too, when I can’t get out of it.

Anyway, with being busy, having an icky virus and some family problems, I haven’t managed to actually write any blogs lately. At least not online, although I have done plenty in my head while in the garden or otherwise occupied.

But I made it for April Gardener Bloggers’ Bloom Day hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Here are some pics of blooms that have come and gone, and what is blooming now.

The wind has already blown away the dainty blooms of the Siverbell Tree (Halesia). The blooms on the Yoshino Cherry Tree are gone too - this was the first year it was full of blooms; there usually are only a dozen or so.

The pink Lorapetalum is still going strong. I have one white Lorapetalum, but the picture didn't come out very clear.

Fringetree or Old Man's Beard (Chionanthus virginicus) grows in the woods in this area. I love its spring time decorations.

I bought this native azalea several years ago in Georgia, but I lost the tag (of course), so I don't know its name.

Lousiana Irises also grow wild in the ditches here. I have them planted in several areas of the garden.

The blooms on the Hartlage Wine Sweetshrub (Calycanthus) are a gorgeous deep red color. It seems like they are blooming early this year.

I added this picture just for Dave of The Home Garden. I have had this creeping phlox for more than 20 years. I got it from my husband's grandmother, who called it "thrift". I still do sometimes.

Be sure to check back soon – I hope to have more articles posted today or tomorrow. And don’t forget to visit Carol for more April blooms from bloggers around the world.

Monday, March 15, 2010

March GBBD

The plants know it is almost spring and are showing out for
March Gardener Bloggers Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.
Here's some my first spring blooms.

Japanese Magnolia 'Jane' is in full glory.

Japanese Magnolia 'Rosea' is a new addition and is just starting to bloom.

Red Buckeye

And, of course, the daffodils. Stormy the cat is checking them out too.

Other plants that are blooming:
Creeping Phlox

Be sure to stop by May Dreams Gardens to see what else is blooming.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Five Things

Dave at The Home Garden asked us to talk about 5 garden projects we want to do this year. The assignment is due today, and I am almost late as usual. The next assignment is to write about garden chores we have been putting off. Guess I’ll have to list blogging as one of those.

Let’s start with an easy project – the new Japanese Maples. I snagged these two Tamukeyama (Coral Bark) maples at the end of the season last year for $10 a piece. Yep, you read that right. They were in the sun, stressed, and one had been dumped out of the pot and lost half the soil, so the manager let me have them cheap.
I planted them in partial sun with a dwarf gardenia that never grows and hardly ever blooms. I started planting a ring of ‘Citronelle’ Coral Bells and ‘Red October’ Hostas, but I ran out of plants. I think that is what they are, since I didn’t label them and my plant labels are all jumbled together. (Note: add organizing labels to things I have been putting off)
I want to finish the ring of Coral Bells and Hostas and edge the bed with some river rock to match the nearby bed of ferns. That should be easy.

We have been growing a few veggies in pots, but I decided I wanted a raised bed this year. We were going to buy the lumber to build one, but the power company offered us the old pole they replaced in our yard and another one. Of course, we said yes, and Michael used the chain saw to cut short pieces for the ends. (The pole in our yard was at least 26 years old and the other one looked older, so I don’t think there is any danger of creosote poisoning)
We bought a trailer load of potting soil mixed with mushroom compost and filled up the veggie bed. We even have enough for a strawberry bed – that’s the third project. Again, we have been growing strawberries in pots but there are so many now, I think we need a bed. Too bad we can’t get some more poles – guess, we will have to buy the lumber this time.

This is the Japanese Garden, an ongoing project. Of course, I want to plant more Japanese Maples, but the main project is the bed on either side of the screen at the back of the garden. I can’t decide what to plant there – each bed is about 8 feet long and 3 feet wide.
I bet you are wondering why there is a bed there. Because a pile of plywood lay there and killed the grass. Since the grass was dead anyway, I decided to plant something I wanted there. But I can’t decide what I want. Any suggestions?

We started this project last summer. There were huge azaleas growing around this tree and a tree at the other end of this bed. They blocked the view of the Japanese Garden, which is to the right of this shot. So, they had to go. You can see them piled up behind the tree.
Wow, what a difference it made! I felt like I had gotten rid of a black hole. Let’s face it, azaleas are pretty when they are blooming, but they are just big blobs the rest of the year.
I had started a Yellow Garden in front of the azaleas to lighten them up but it didn’t really work. Now I have extended the bed around the trees where the azaleas were and I am slowly adding more plants. I want to add some low growing shrubs with yellow or gold foliage for structure, because almost everything in the bed is a perennial right now.

So there you have 5 – I didn’t even tell you about adding more grasses and perennials to the Grass Garden along the fence, or making a Chocolate and Caramel Garden, or planting trees and shrubs that stand wet feet in the back yard, or …. Well, you know how it is. So what are you planning to do this year? Tells us your plans and leave a link for Dave at The Home Garden.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Magic and Whimsy in the Garden

Dave at The Home Garden has been thinking about
what makes a garden magical and he has asked his fellow bloggers for
their thoughts. I immediately knew the answer for me, but it took a
long time to get it into words. Hope you enjoy it!

When I started
gardening I made long narrow L-shaped flowerbeds on either side of
the driveway and the parking area. I filled them with flowers and
shrubs I liked with no particular plan or design. The flowers were
pretty but the design was – well, it was boring, there was no magic.
So I made changes – big changes. I made the bed on one side of the
driveway into a large square garden with a pond in one corner. And I
made the other side into a larger garden with a patio and another
pond in the middle. Notice the difference – I got rid of the
flowerbeds and developed gardens with a basic plan (subject to change
at any time).

I bought this statue of a dancing girl because it reminded me
of my daughters. She is currently dancing in the Hydrangea Garden.
Then I discovered garden ornaments – the magic of birdhouses, gazing
spheres and other things. I had collected knick-knacks for the house
for years until I got tired of dusting them. When you put knick-knacks
outside,the dust is part of the charm.
Then I began creating one-of-kind garden art from thrift store and yard
sale finds. Soon I had a jumble of items amidst the plants and I didn’t
really like the way it looked, but I didn’t want to get rid of anything.
There was no magic, just a mess. I needed a plan.

Who would expect to find a shiny gazing ball in the crotch of a tree?

One day I saw some pictures of some theme gardens in a magazine. And I
realized that I could create theme gardens based on my garden art. So
the square garden by the driveway became the Dragon Garden with a dragon
overlooking the pond. The other side of the driveway is divided into
five gardens separated by paths, each with its own theme.
The magic was back!

My husband made these flowers out of old horseshoes to go Dragon Garden,because its color theme is brown.

Five gardens separated by paths line this side of the driveway and parking area. One garden encircles a patio complete with table and chairs. Another garden contains a small pond with a waterfall, a bamboo fountain and spitting turtle.

I love plants – their texture and shape of the foliage and flowers and
berries and bark. But I am a gardener and lots of other people
don’t really understand my fascination with plants.
But they are enchanted by the hidden treasures in my garden, such as …

a spangly blue ball hanging from a hook …

a giraffe taking a break next to some hydrangeas …

buckets of sedums in my grandsons’ old wagon …

a basket full of mosaic balls …

an old-fashioned water pump and kettle planted with sedums …

and a monkey playing in the Tropical Garden

To me, the magic of a garden is anything that causes someone to smile –
a plant or garden art or a child discoveringhidden treasures.
What do you think?

The Tropical Garden even has a beachside café.

Thanks, Dave, for the chance to show the magic and whimsy in my garden.

Be sure to visit The Home Garden for more magic in the garden.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February Foliage Follow-up

This is my first time participating in Foliage Follow-up.
It has made me look at my garden in a whole new way –
focusing on interesting foliage, instead of looking for flowers.

Spinach and lettuce for the new veggie bed Michael just built for me.

This Resurrection Fern may have to learn how to come back to life

after drowning too, if it keeps raining here.

Coral Reef Sedum growing on a stump.

The squirrels have been piling up the hickory nut shells and husks

since the weather has gotten cold.

I think theses are the seeds on the Japanese Fatsia (Fatsia aralia).

Has anybody tried planting them to see if they would grow?

I am thinking about trying it.

I call this “Bob’s grass” because my cousin, Bob, gave it to me

and he didn’t know the name of it. I think it is a Miscanthus.

It is gorgeous all year, but especially in the winter.

You can just see the buds on the Japanese Magnolia

in the background on the right.

You can see more fabulous foliage at Foliage Follow-up by visiting Pam at Digging.