Peonies in Bloom Part 2

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

This is the second part of “Peonies in Bloom”! I could have stayed all day at the Swenson Gardens to photograph all the beautiful blooms.Who knew they came in so many varieties? The color combinations are just spectacular! The best thing about these peonies is that they don’t flop! Yes, they stay upright even when in bloom! The varieties marked “landscape” have foliage that looks great all summer long. Their website is full of helpful information about everything to know about planting them in each zone. They list colors, varieties, bloom-time, and show each flower opening up!

I learned that they don’t need a lot of water. They are not like perennials and annuals where they need to be watered often. Simply let the rains water them. They do need 8 hours of sun, however, so they don’t do well in shady areas.

Be sure to check out Peonies in Bloom part 1 for some hints about growing these beauties!

On with the show…..

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Peonies in Bloom  Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Have you ever seen a yellow one?

Peonies in Bloom part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

One thing about growing peonies is that you become an instant flower arranger! There’s not a bad way to put a bunch together! These new varieties don’t get ants all over them so feel free to bring them in the house to enjoy!

Don’t these pictures make you want to plant some in your garden? I am not compensated in any way for this post. I just think Swenson Gardens grow and cultivate the very best. This fall,  I will be planting some in my garden that don’t flop!

Thanks for stopping by to look!

Phyllis

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Peonies in Bloom Part 1

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

These “Peonies in Bloom” are absolutely breathtaking! My sister’s friend invited us to come out to  the Swenson Gardens and tour the peonies at their peak! If you happen to be in the area of Howard Lake, Minnesota during late May or early June, you can tour these amazing fields, too! Live too far away? Tour their website!

Peonies in Bloom  grandparentsplus.com

My peonies have never been impressive. They bloom a little, but the blooms bend the branches over and touch the ground. The peonies at Swenson Gardens, stand straight and tall. The “no-staking” plant- blooms never touch the ground. They are spectacular in color and variety! On their site, they show each variety along with complete information about that plant. Swenson Gardens are the largest organic, chemical-free growers in the United States.

Here are a few of the things I learned….

  • They need a minimum of 8 hours of sun
  • Don’t water peonies. Let the rain do it!
  • Buy only a bare root plant. Don’t buy potted!
  • Don’t cut the blooms for 3 years. At 3 years, cut only 1/3 of the blooms. At 4-5 years, cut only 2/3’s.
  • Don’t plant one where a peony was before.

Did you know these tips?

 

Here’s Part 1 Tour …

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom  Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom  Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

Which one was your favorite? I have a hard time choosing as they are all so beautiful! More to come in Part 2!

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

 

Their website is beautiful and informative. Go to Swenson Gardens to find your favorites. They are wonderful people, too!  (I ‘m not compensated for this post. I’m just a huge fan!)

Hope you enjoyed Part 1!

Phyllis

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Miniature Garden Inspiration

Miniature Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

Creating a Miniature Garden (sometimes called a Fairy Garden) has become very popular today. It’s history, however, is over 100 years old! There’s an interesting history on fairy gardening which gives all the information on how and where it started.

Today, a miniature garden may contain fairies or just be a miniature scene where perhaps a fairy or gnome might visit. They are imaginative and fun to create. As you will see, any container can be used for a miniature garden. Scenes vary from elaborate to very simple.  The inspiration found on these sites will give you lots of ideas to create your own so let your imagination go wild and have fun! Click on the links found below the picture for more ideas and information for your inspiration.

 

Fairy Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

myfairygardens

This is one of several ideas on the site below…..

Fairy Garden Inspiration   grandparentsplus.com

minigardener

 

  Fairy Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

enmicocinahoy

 

 

This is a tub turned on its side!

Fairy Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

Found on etsy

 

This next site shows how to make houses from various items. Great video tutorials!

Fairy Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

http://www.sharonojala.com

This garden is just a sample of many found on this website.

Fairy Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

minigardener

A miniature terrarium garden….

Miniature Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

ourfairfieldhomeandgarden.com

 

Miniature Garden Inspiration   grandparentsplus.com

Wholesalefairygardens.com

Use tiny lights to make your miniature garden glow at night!

Miniature Garden Inspiration   grandparentsplus.com

livedan330.com

It doesn’t take a large container to make one like this…

Miniature Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

ourfairfieldhomeandgarden.com

Here’s an idea for an old drawer…..

Miniature Garden Inspiration grandparentsplus.com

wholesalefairygardens.com

A miniature winter garden…..

Miniature Garden Inspiration   grandparentsplus.com

primexgardencenter

Miniature Garden Inspiration   grandparentsplus.com

fleamarketgardening

Miniature Garden Inspiration   grandparentsplus.com

fairygardening

Miniature Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

fairygardening

This next idea is from New Zealand! Fairy Gardens are worldwide.

Miniature Garden Inspiration  grandparentplus.com

elowezil.blogspot

Here’s my version ….

Miniature Fairy Garden grandparentsplus.com

grandparentsplus.com

Are you ready to make one of your own? Which container will you use?

Each one will be unique and very cute!

Have fun!

Phyllis

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Miniature Fairy Garden

Miniature Fairy Garden

I’ve always admired tiny, miniature fairy gardens, but never tried to make one myself. With our busy schedules, I didn’t want to be tied down with keeping it alive with real little plants that dry out quickly. Also, I wanted this on my covered  front porch where no rain gets at it. By making a miniature fairy garden in a planter, it gives you options to move it where you like and by using artificial plantings, it makes it worry-free!

You can invest big money in these little miniature gardens. They don’t come at a “miniature price”! I already had the planter so invested in the cheapest resin house I could find. Keep the cost down even further by making a little house from a bird house.

Any container works, you just need to scale the house and accessories according to the container size. The planter I used measures 16 inches in diameter. The little cabin is 6 inches wide and about 5 1/2 inches tall.

First, I filled a planter with dirt and covered it with artificial sheet moss.

Miniature Fairy Garden   grandparentsplus.com

Next, I added some artificial succulents that I already had.  Using small pieces of artificial greenery works, too. I even used some greenery from my Christmas bin.

Miniature Fairy Garden  grandparentsplus.com

Get as elaborate as you like, but don’t over do it. Keep the theme going whether it is rustic, cottage, gnome, fairy, beach or woods. Let the accessories add interest, but not clutter. Sometimes less is more! Some very inexpensive additions are moss-covered rocks and small pebbles from Dollar Tree. I placed one blue glass bead in the well to resemble water.

Miniature Fairy Garden   grandparenstplus.com

This is a wonderful project for kids to help design with you. The possibilities are unlimited. A miniature garden can be in a wine glass, punch bowl, compote dish, bird-cage or whatever you choose.

Miniature Fairy Garden   grandparentsplus.com

In my miniature fairy garden, the house is hollow so I can put an LED light in it at night! Kinda fun! Are you inspired to try one?

Thanks for stopping by,

Phyllis

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Hummingbirds – Amazing Acrobats

I have a passion for hummingbirds. At home, in my flower garden, I have many feeders and enjoy the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds that come and visit. This past winter, we spent some time in Arizona where many varieties of Hummingbirds live or migrate through in the Spring. While visiting the Madera Canyon near Tucson, I was able to photograph many of God’s beauties. I hope you enjoy this pictorial view of these amazing creatures. How could you not believe in a Divine Creator after seeing these amazing, colorful acrobats in the air?

Hummingbirds- Amazing Acrobats grandparentsplus.com

 

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

Hummingbirds, especially the males, are very aggressive and defend their territories of flower patches and feeders.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

Hummingbirds- Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

Their metabolism is very high. Each minute, while at rest, their heart beats 600 times while taking 250-300 breaths. While flying, their heart beats increase to 1,260 times a minute. They also have the largest heart of any animal in relation to their body size.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

Hummingbirds’ feathers have only have shades of brown, rufous (rusty color) and black pigment. It is the tiny prism-like structures in the feather that reflect the light and produce the different iridescent colors.

Male and Female Broad-billed

Hummingbirds-Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

 

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

 Anna

  Hummingbirds  - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

A male hummingbird needs to eat about 60 times a day.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

Hummingbirds breast muscles are powerful and make up about 30% of their body. These muscles, which control the wings, enable them to do somersaults, fly backward, straight up, down, and sideways. They are able to maneuver so quickly because they do not just flap their wings up and down, but move them in a circular motion. They can change direction in an instant! This is why they are so hard to photograph!

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

The female builds the nest, lays two eggs, and raises the young birds by herself. The baby birds are raisin-like when born, but quickly transform and leave the nest in about three weeks.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

 

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats grandparentsplus.com

 

 

 Roufus Hummingbird

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

This Roufus was coming in for a landing and then quickly made a 180 and flew away! These tiny birds make the longest migration with some heading to Alaska for the summer and then to central Mexico in the winter – a distance of over 2,000 miles!

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

A Roufus with a Broad-Billed

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

 Broad-Tailed

This one makes an unusual sound when they fly due to their tail feather structure.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

Magnificent

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

Hummingbird - Amazing Acrobats grandparentsplus.com

 This Magnificent is a much larger hummingbird than most species. The colors reflected are mainly green and brown. The colors will vary depending on the reflection of the sun on their feathers.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

Two hummers staking claim to a feeder. Which one will win?

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats grandparentsplus.com

Researches have found that hummingbirds have great memories and often return to the same flower patches each year. I can attest to this finding as my hummingbirds will come back in the Spring and if the nectar is not out and ready for them, they will fly to a window and flutter there so I see them. They also do this if a feeder happens to be empty.

Black-Chinned

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats- grandparentsplus.com

Only when the sun hits their chin, do you see this beautiful purple marking.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

You can even see his little tongue all ready to get the nectar!

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

 

Costa

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

This Costa was not very cooperative and wouldn’t face the sun. The dark patch under his beak glows iridescent purple when in the sunlight.

No one could identify this little hummer! It may be a juvenile which makes it hard to determine.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

Hummingbirds mainly eat the nectar from flowers, but they also need protein. They get it by eating small insects on plants and catching them in the air.

Now, what’s not to love about these acrobats? I can’t wait until they come back to my garden!

Do you get many hummingbird varieties? Which one is your favorite?

 

Hummingbirds- Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

 Hope you enjoyed learning more about these amazing acrobats!

Thanks for stopping by,

Phyllis

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Gazing Ball in a Container Garden

Ready to do some planting? Consider a gazing ball for something different within your container gardens. Often you see a gazing ball in the middle of a garden as a focal point. It usually stands alone on a pedestal. A different approach to using a gazing ball is to place it as a focal point in your container gardens or pots! Why not? It reflects the colors of the plants around it and makes a great accent.

Gazing Ball in a Container Garden

I looked for a gazing ball that was a bit mirror-like so that it didn’t set the tone for the colors, but would reflect them. By placing a tall cup in the middle of a large planting pot, the ball is secure and stays in place. Plant low trailing plants around it. If they get too big, just keep trimming them back. I used two different trailing vines that contrast in color and texture. I placed it among a grouping of several taller pots. I liked the way it looks, don’t you?

Just another way of mixing something different in your plantings!

Gazing Ball in a Container Garden

Happy Gardening!

Phyllis

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