Month: October 2011

For the Love of Birds… wild bird ‘Bed and Breakfast’ garden


I LOVE birds.  I love feeding them, housing them in my landscape, and watching them as I tend the garden.  I guess my garden has become a haven for my feathered friends since it offers them an assortment of food, water, and shelter . Over the years, I have collected quite a variety of bird feeders and birdhouses; many given to me as gifts. Here are a few photo’s  of the ‘Bed and Breakfast‘ opportunities my garden has to offer my many feathered friends  ……

This birdhouse has housed many birds over the years; the cypress vine embracing it attracts lots of hummingbirds in the summer.

 My trio of bird feeders/birdhouse attracts a variety of birds to my garden, such as: chickadees, golden finches, woodpeckers, cardinals, blue jays, and doves,  just to name a few. The bird seed I normally use to feed my birds are:  black oil sunflower, nyjer, safflower (due to all the squirrels) and suet. Finches are especially fond of nyjer seed . Woodpeckers, titmice and jays like to feed on suet.

A Christmas gift from my niece last year..a birdhouse covered in bird seed!

Bird feeders will help you attract wild birds to your property but make sure to provide a consistent supply of birdseed in a quality bird feeder.

Also, be sure to clean your feeders to protect the birds and yourself. They should be cleaned periodically to remove old seed so that disease organisms do not kill the very birds you are trying to feed.


My window bird feeder (attached via suction cups) allows me to view my birds up close…maybe I’ll get lucky and get a close-up photo of my birds one day!


One of my more unusual feeding stations….a small bird feeder in my succulent basket container!

My Suet Feeder  provides a protein filled snack for some of my smaller birds and woodpeckers.

Another way of feeding birds is by offering and planting foods they would find in nature, and that starts with bird friendly plants such as berries from holly bushes and left- over flower seed heads. Also, a consistent supply of clean water for drinking and bathing via a birdbath,  fountain ,etc. is needed to maintain a bird-friendly habitat.

Bird feeders and birdhouses add a liveliness to my garden; after all, our feathered friends need a regular place to dine and live…….so why not start your own wild bird “Bed and Breakfast” in your garden?

  I did.




For tips on feeding your wild birds check out these links:























Autumn Charmer- “Hillside Sheffield” Chrysanthemum


For a splendid splash of color in your autumn landscape you need to try Chrysanthemum ‘Hillside Sheffield’. On autumn days you’ll love the beautiful mounds of its single,daisy-like flowers in peachy apricot with a rich golden yellow center.

This Chrysanthemum graces my garden with blooms starting the 1st week of  October until frost in my Zone 7b garden. Typically grows 2-3′ tall with a slightly smaller spread. I pinch them in summer (June) to keep the the stems more compact. Does best in full sun , however, in my southern climate it appreciates some afternoon shade, in rich well drained soil.

Anyone who sees this mum flower in my fall garden loves it and immediately wants it in their landscape.  So go ahead, add some “autumn charm” to your fall garden.



Colorful Pumpkins in my garden….

Pumpkins are ideal for autumn decor in your garden.  With so many colors to choose from;  white, blue, green, striped, peach, red and “traditional” orange, they bring a sense of fun and uniqueness to my garden.  I just finished decorating my porch and some of my fall containers with pumpkins,  here’s a peek…













With hardly any effort at all you can give your garden a fall “facelift”. So have some fun and experiment with all the colorful pumpkins!
















” Orange Blossoms” in my garden


Lantana "Miss Huff' is a magnet for bee's and butterflies in my garden.


"Amber" Flower Carpet Rose with lantana.


Floribunda "VaVoom" (Weeks Rose) ,beautiful orange color. 3'-4' H


Orange area of my garden; Lantana "Miss Huff", Zinna "Zowie, and Floribunda "Vavoom".



Zinna "Zowie"


Lantana “Miss Huff” blooms from late spring until frost.  It’s color combination of orange, pink, and yellow blends well with my Amber flower carpet roses. “Miss Huff” is a hardy lantana in my Zone 7b garden surviving many of my winters. As you can see in the photo’s, it gets quite large reaching 3′-5′ easily. I love how it attracts the butterflies!




“Planting Roses Makes Common Scents”


Climbing "Cecile Brunner" nicknamed the "sweetheart rose", makes a spectacular display over an arbor in my garden.


“Planting Roses Makes Common Scents”….. so make the time to plant one. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing these last few weeks in my garden. Luckily, since I live in Zone 7b, I don’t have to wait till spring to plant my roses even though I’m sure I will find more to plant once spring arrives. This year I’ve planted several Climbing roses, Hybrid Musk’s, and a few Floribundas.  The roses I selected needed to be tolerant of my hot and humid summers, as to keep any diseases down to a minimum, since I’m not an advocate of spraying my roses. Some of the roses I’ve planted are Antique Roses.  Antique roses seem to be tougher and are more disease resistant than some of the modern roses. Also, keeping my roses well fertilized with organic fertilizer during their growing season and pruning when needed seems to  keep them pretty happy. However, I do have my challenges;  living in a heavily deer populated area, I’ve learned that in order to grow ALOT of roses, I’m having to grow them vertically and apply “stinky smelling” deer repellant regularly.  Oh, the things we will do for the splendor of the rose….

Climbing Tea Noisette "Madame Alfred Carriere" (1879). This climber blooms it's head off in my garden. It opens with large pink blossoms then changing to creamy white. 15'-20'.


My favorite red climber is "Don Juan". Fragrant blossoms are deep velvety red and a perfect rose for cutting. It's a prolific bloomer in my garden. 8'-12'.
Old climbing Tea rose "Sombreuil (1856), has fragrant creamy white blossoms full of petals. One of the most "romantic" climbing roses in my garden. 8'-12'.


Some of the Climbing roses I planted this year:

      • Rev d”Or– Noisette (1869).Vigorous. Flowers are golden yellow,with pale yellow edges and apricot petal backs . One of the best climbing roses for warm climates.. Repeat bloomer. 12′-15′.
      • Compassion – Modern climber. Fragrant delicate pink buds open to apricot and fade to butter yellow.  Repeat bloomer. 8′-12′
      • Golden Gate– (Kordes) . Golden yellow changing to pure yellow,citrus fragrance, repeat bloomer. 8′-10′
      • Sally Holmes– Modern climber. Large clusters of peachy buds open to “hydrangea-like” creamy white blooms. Repeat bloomer. 6′-8′ (small climber).
      • Evelyn– David Austin rose.  Large cupped apricot blooms with a strong fragrance. 6′-8′ (short climber) Good pillar rose.
      • Moonlight-( Kordes)Fragrant, semi-double apricot buds turning yellow with edges fading to pink. Repeat Bloomer. 8′-10′.
      • Veilchenblau– Multiflora Rambler (1909). Nearly thornless, highly fragrant rambler with large clusters of cupped semi-double violet blooms. Tolerates partial shade. 9′-12′. (Climbing) No repeat bloom.


My Shrub Rose selections:

  • Belinda– Hybrid Musk (1936). Deep pink blossoms with yellow stamens and white centers. Repeat blooming.4’x6′ (shrub). Makes an excellent short climbing rose in hot climates.
  • Buff Beauty-Hybrid Musk (1939). Beautiful rose with clusters of double blossoms that begin as buff yellow and mature to apricot. Repeat blooming. 4′-6′ (shrub/small climber).
  • Lavender Lassie– Kordes(1959). Hybrid Musk. Large trusses of fragrant,semi double blossoms that leans more to the lilac side of pink. Repeat bloomer. 6′-8′ )shrub/low climber).
  • Moonlight-Hybrid Musk (1913). Its buds are cream colored and open to soft yellow to white flowers. Repeat blooming. 6′-8′ shrub/pillar rose.


"Sombreuil" against my chimney wall.


There are so many different ways I use roses in my garden; growing them over arches and pillars, in beds and borders, against walls, on railings, as hedges, and in containers. With just a little care they add beauty, grace and charm to my garden.   Planting roses does make “common scents”. Hope you find that to be the case in your garden and that you take the time to plant one. I promise you’ll be glad you did.  Happy Planting!