Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
The sunflowers that I put in The Back Bed aren't doing well at all. I just put in some perennial petunias. It needs something there. Since that's about the only thing that wants to live around here, then that's what it will be!
Weeds, weeds, weeds. Where do they all come from?? I did more pulling. I guess I was on a mission. My left foot has now gone kaphlooey. I just got the right one back in commission, and now the left one doesn't work. I decided to force myself to walk correctly, and the pain that shot up from the Achilles, dropped me to my knees! I just couldn't work in the Garden Garden like I had planned. Too much walking. At least I could stand pretty well in one place and pull weeds. At the end of the day while I was porch-sitting and enjoying the birds, I decided to transplant some of the perennial petunias over by the inukshuk where I had put the serrisas to root. I did mention that the serissas burned up there. Not a good idea. I also put some in one of the strawberry pots because the ones I had in there weren't doing well. One pot did and the other didn't. I did notice that I had what looked to be one tiny chive. I'm going to try in The New Daffodil Bed with more chives. I'm not having much luck.
I clipped both of my sun coleus back, and now I'm trying to root them. Then I'll put them back in the pot with the others so that I'll have a big pot full to enjoy on the porch.
Even with fresh nectar in the hummer feeders, I saw not one bird. I did get to enjoy the bluebirds a bit, though.
May is done, but I am not. I intend to do something great today.
The weatherman got it wrong. It was supposed to be cloudy and really cool, but the sun was out by 9:30, and it wasn't that cool. I started digging up some of those petunias to give away and those throwback basil plants, too. They are all over the place this year. I don't know why they don't reseed in other folks' gardens like they do in mine. Of course, they are never where I want them to be, so I have to transplant some. A friend came by to look at my gardens. She brought me an article about the good toads in the garden. I told her that I'd read it later. As we were touring the yard, we came upon a mess around The Rock Garden. "Gee, I wonder what happened here?" she asked. I gave her an earful about the sweet little toady frogs. "Oh. Now I see why you complain." I had jooged out one of their tunnels and repacked it. They dug it out twice the size and made a huge mess!! They are evil, I tell you! EVIL! Then we went over to her place, and I had to tell her what plants she had bought and where to put them. She had her impatiens out by the pool that receives no shade whatsoever all day long. We had a good time discussing all kinds of things about plants. I told her about Garden Guides, but she will be starting a new job soon and probably won't have much time to play with us.
I put three of the sunflowers that the squirrel had pulled up the other day in the backyard, but they weren't looking too well by the late afternoon. See, it wasn't cool enough! Hubby had put in the milk jugs for watering the tomatoes, but of course, he didn't do it the way that it was supposed to be done even after I had showed him the pictures and discussed it. You'll probably see us on Divorce Court. I donned my summer perfume and trudged to the Garden Garden with my trusty trowel. I dug out holes beside the tomatoes and re-planted the jugs. Then I scraped up the pine straw from last years' crops and spread that around everything as best I could. He and Son had them out there bare with no cover. No wonder they don't do well. Nothing to hold in the moisture. Everywhere that I gathered the old pine straw was nice and wet, so that must mean that mulch works. I toted out some water and watered them since it seemed that the ground was awfully dry while I was digging the holes. I think that I now know which one is my Roma. I discovered the labels discarded on the ground, so I deduced that if the label was near one of the plants that they belonged together. I stuck those in the ground as well. I might go back out today and see if I can pull together more of the straw and spread more out around the plants so that the roots will be encouraged to grow better.
I did some porch-sitting after all that and was blessed with close-up visits by the bluebirds. I've never had them come up to the porch before. I also got to watch them bathe. I had my binocs so that I could have a close-up view of their antics. A hummer came by and just "sniffed" at the feeder, and then flew off. I can't figure out why they aren't drinking. I just made a fresh batch and will wash and refill the feeders again. It was a glorious afternoon bird-watching and a wonderful day teaching someone who wants to learn about plants.
After I finished working on the lawn in the back, I came around to the front to rest my back the other day. I saw some activity on the "new" bluebird box. We've had it up there for two years, but they always preferred the old one. I thought it was the chickadees again, or either it was the woodpecker that had been pecking at it, but lo and behold, it was a pair of bluebirds. No more work for me for a while! I got my binocs and watched as she worked on building her nest, and he would catch a bug and feed it to her.
I ran inside and got some dryer lint, but so far I haven't seen any birds working on it. I believe that this pair is here to stay.
Why I decided that I didn't like the first natural area that I created a few years ago, I don't know, but I did. I wanted to clear out the rest of the area and straw it all the way to the sidewalk. I started pulling the junk. There was every kind of weed imaginable in there with every kind of crap grass there is. After I had pulled a bucket load, I turned around and saw just how large of an area it was. Oh, my. This will be impossible. I was ready to give up on this foolish idea. Yesterday morning I set my jaw and wrapped my pulling finger with a bandaid, got two big buckets and went at it again. It was cool, and I was covered with OFF!. I started seeing some progress, so I really started pulling. We got a little shower, so I did get to take a break. All I had left to do was one three-foot section of nothing but crabgrass. Yikes. I was persistent, and after using about five bandaids, I got it done and totally strawed! The only thing left in that area are volunteer perennial petunias. I left them, but I think that I'm going to get them out of there, too. I gave the neighbors little girl a handful to plant. She was thrilled with that. I think today will be a day of rest. I'm so sore, I probably couldn't pull up a single blade of grass.
I managed to play in the yard yesterday. We got most of the wind debris picked up. Hubby never did hang my hummer feeder. I guess he feels like what's the use. I came across two snakes in my wanderings. One by the fig bush and the other by the Great Wall of Willie. I didn't say anything to Hubby about it because he'd want to shoot them. I figured maybe they'll eat some of these toady frogs! I just stepped away and let them leave on their own accord.
I put some of my plants back out on the porch. The house looks funny without them. I tried to be creative! I just hope that they don't blow over. Will the wind ever stop? A breeze is fine, but I'm tired of those strong gusts.
It was almost noon before I got to the yards, but I did finally get out there to finish de-grassing the natural area where Hubby had left a foot-wide strip all the way down the side. I piddled around and cleaned up a few beds that were a little messy from all the winds. I pulled a bunch more clover weed from the backyard. I'll probably never get it all done, but at least it looks nice from the back patio looking toward the gardens (The Rock Garden, Aunt Winnie's Garden, The Cement Garden). I found a whole bunch of baby columbines growing outside the box. I wish that I could let them get a bit bigger, but if I wait around, I fear they will get weedwhacked to the ground. I would love to transplant them all. The ones in The Old Gourd Garden bloomed for weeks and weeks. I'd love to have more out there. What a site that would be next spring. I'm real disappointed with my chives in the tops of the strawberry jars. Not a sign of green. I don't know why they didn't sprout. I've never had trouble with chives before. Perhaps I'll try them somewhere else and then transplant. That is if those seeds are viable. They were from last summer's crop, so I don't see why they wouldn't be. I was thinking about re-seeding the strawberry jars and then putting plastic bowl covers over them. Maybe that would force them to sprout. I might try that as well as planting seeds elsewhere for insurance.Rain is in the forecast, but I don't trust it. Today is our scheduled day to legally water due to water restrictions. I don't know what to do. Should I? Shouldn't I? I may just keep my eye on the weather reports and see if it looks like it will blanket the whole area. If it looks spotty, I may just sprinkle a bit to be on the safe side. Otherwise, I'll be toting water again!
Well, lawwzeee! We did get 2/10ths inches of rain from that sprinkle the other day. Better than nothing. With the wind blowing 40 miles an hour, I wasn't really enjoying the great outdoors yesterday, so I didn't do too much work. Son came by, but he wasn't feeling up to par, so we didn't do anything of importance. He did point out that out tomato plants were turning yellow. They were just fine before the rains. I suspect that it was Hubby's planting techniques that I won't even discuss, or I would cuss. They did move out the block from the inukshuk, but that was about it. Son brought me more of the Hairy Wandering Jew, so I'll need to plant that around here and there. I only wanted a sprig, but he brought a whole pot full. I asked him about my plectranthus in his solarium that he was supposedly wintering for me. He got this sick look on his face and admitted that he hadn't been taking care of it. It may be there or it may be dead. Oh, well. What can you do?
Hubby decided that he would de-grass one of my natural areas; something that I had been putting off doing while I played with my flowers. Oh, boy, I think. That will look great. Well, I guess he didn't realize that the natural area goes all the way to the Japanese walk. He left a band of grass about a foot wide and I don't know how long! He just got out the patches in the middle of it all. I went behind him later and got about half of that done. My back pooped out on me! I'll work on it again today. I won't even mention the skeeter and chigger bites. I CAN'T seem to remember to put on OFF! I'm out of the habit. Maybe it won't be as windy today as it has been, and I can get outside and enjoy myself.
I got the hummers feeders washed and refilled although I don't know why I bother. I haven't seen a hummer in days and days and days. Later in the late afternoon, I decided to pull some more clover weed in the back yard. I heard the gentle drops of rain. Yippee. The problem was, it wasn't enough to even wet my back, so I kept pulling. I got a full bucket load of them out. It's starting to look better and better. Rain is in the forecast, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
What a day! I am a blessed and happy woman. I think that this was the best Mother's Day ever. It was wonderful being with all my son, daughter, and family. Guess what I got? All flowers! I suppose everyone had the same idea. I now have more lantana and vincas. I got cockscomb, and marigolds. And glory be, I even got a gorgeous Asiatic lily. I have ALWAYS wanted one. I can't wait to plant, plant, plant. When we got to the Captain's Galley there was a sign: Free Carnation for Mothers. We were almost finished with our wonderful seafood, but no carnation. Hubby saw other ladies with theirs, so he saw a waitress that we knew. He asked her why we didn't get any. She apologized and got two. There were three mother's there. I don't think anyone believed that my daughter was the mother of that strapping young man sitting across from her. I think that made her feel good, but she wanted her flower, too. They gave it to her albeit a little reluctantly.
Daughter and I enjoyed going through more old pictures. Then we toured the yard. Grandson was out collecting these huge rocks. He built a small wall around the little fig bush. It now sort of looks like an inukshuk. The next time he comes, it'll probably be a larger wall. Anyway it's interesting yard art. So far the wind isn't blowing, but it'll probably start up as soon as the sun shines. Even if if does, it will still be a glorious day.
All I did was piddle around in the yard. I re-strawed The Cement Garden. It was looking poorly. I stomped down mole hills in there and collapsed toady-frog holes that I had jooged up the last time I worked in there! I took out two big quartz rocks that seemed to be tempting the toadies to enjoy for their home. I moved them to The New Daffodil Bed for the border. Hubby was cleaning up behind one of the outhouses. I only have a half a bale of straw left, and I could sure use some more. Maybe on the next chicken feed run. I pulled a whole bunch of clover weed from around the walkways. I got carried away and pulled a lot of it out of the lawn around the back patio. It sure does look better. Hand pulling does take a while, but I hate using those chemicals. I was working again in the late afternoon, but this time I got two skeeters before they got me! It was a good day. Today will be another good one because it's raining now, and it's Mother's Day. So far we have gotten 3/10ths. My younguns will be taking us to my favorite place (finally), Captain's Galley. I shall eat my fill of seafood and then some. Let it rain and pass the tartar sauce!
I finally tackled the corner of The Poison Garden after we got home from our run-around-town morning. (I did purchase two coleus plants. They are both Sunlovers. One is sort of chartreuse and the other is red velvet.) I had a heck of a time getting the St. John's wort and zoysia out of that section. I had already done a bunch yesterday, but I cleaned out as much as I could. Then I started on another section. I got most of it out of there. I had to take many breaks because there is no shade there whatsoever. I couldn't see what I was doing half the time due to the sweat running in my eyes. I tried working later after Hubby gave it up for the day, but it was still hot, or I was just pooped slam out and dragging. I couldn't do another thing. I got a bit of it strawed, but I'll have to go back at it later. We are getting a light sprinkle now. I do hope that it will rain like forty hecks! Everything is soooo dry! We're under water restrictions, so if anything gets water I have to tote it, and I've got lots of beds to water!
I didn't plant the coleus in the yard as I had planned. I decided to put them in this big pot that I have on the porch. That way we can see them better and enjoy them more. We bought two more small flags. Hubby said that he didn't mind buying them, but he sure would like to know where I'd put them a(We have flags all over the porch). I have this pottery, I guess you'd call it a rooting jar, that a friend gave me. I have about 8 little flags in it. My idea was to put them in the holes that were left. The stick that it's on is just a tad too big to fit the hole, so I put them in the top hole. They are a bit floppy, but it's cute. Perhaps I'll get a pic.
There is so much that I want to do. The spirit is willing, but the back and arms are so weak today. I still haven't "planted" my cute little seed card. I want to put it in The Poison Garden. It would be the perfect place for wildflowers. I want to transplant some other things into there as well. Oh, well. Maybe I'll get a chance to do more since it's cloudy and cooler.
I had another great day in the yard yesterday afternoon. I blue watered some of my plants. I sure can't get around to them all in one day, that's for sure. I hit the gardenias with some Mir-Acid, too. The weeds were getting high around The New Daffodil bed, so I decided that I could pull those. Would you believe that I had a teeny-tiny iris blooming in there? It doesn't look real. I loved it. What a wonderful Sunday surprise. Mostly hubby and I just took it easy. My daughter will be coming bright and early this morning, and we're heading to see my mom. We hope to go through some old pictures, chat, get the red hot poker plus a few other things, and just be together. It ought to be fun. Hubby and son will do their thing together. Son will probably be able to fix the chain saw. I hate not being here when they cut it. I hope that they will understand my instructions, or I may come home to butterfly bushes down to the ground. Oh, I hope not.
I got a picture of a plant to identify, but I have no time this morning. I will never hear the end of it if I'm not dressed and ready to hit the road.
Oh, what a GREAT time we had yesterday! After I got all the linens washed and replaced, we went to a friend's house. We explored her landscaping efforts. I was so thrilled at how well everything looked. She has two gorgeous azaleas that are packed with blooms. I want to get cuttings, but I fear they might be Formosas (if that's the right word--the big kind). How exciting it was to see her lantana with little green specks! She thought they were dead as a doornail. She had a huge variety of about every kind imaginable two years ago. She lost two last year, and we thought that she has lost all EXCEPT two this year, but I believe what was left is returning. I inspected mine when I got home and there appears to be a speck on the one that I thought was a goner. It could be a weed coming up there, but I suspect it might be some life in the old gal.
We were going to do the chainsaw thing again on the butterfly bushes. We got it to crank, it wouldn't do that the other day, but would you believe the chain wouldn't move? I believe that the butterfly bush has some kind of magical power and won't allow us to cut it! It was hot as blazes while we were doing that. I didn't want to plant my new things in that heat, but soon after, it became cloudy and the wind picked up. It got really cool, so I decided that it was a good time to plant, especially if we were going to get some rain to settle in the new stuff. It took forever, but I got it done. I planted 3 lantana, two caladiums and two six-packs of vincas. No rain this morning and none in sight. I used up all my captured rainwater.
I don't know what I'll do today, but I may play in the yard a bit if it is conducive. I just won't break my back! Mostly I'll just enjoy.
After I did laundry and a teeny-tiny bit of housework, I set out and did what I promised myself that I would do. First, I filled the hole where I got the hydrangea and re-strawed it. Then I started on the strawberry jar. What to put in it? I decided to put ice plant. It can take the heat. I went to The Poison Garden and dug up pieces that were growing amongst the thrift and St. John's wort that's gone crazy. I had to wrestle them out because the grass has gotten in that spot, too. That's where I'm going to dig everything out, rework the soil and start over. I finally got the strawberry jar planted. I seeded the top with my chives seeds. I put some in the other one, too, where I had the garlic chives last year.
Next, my darling hubby was looking for something to do, so he re-staked the eucalyptus that wants to bend over my chair at The Thinking bench. He had some kind of gray PCV. He said that's what Mike used to run the electricity to the chicken pens. After he got that done, I asked him if he had more of that. He sure did. We staked up that jasmine in The Rock Garden. You know, the one that I "dug" up. Well, she back and with a vengeance. Why fight her? We got that done, but of course, I spied more weeds in there. Wasn't it just day before yesterday that I weeded it?
Now, to the job that I didn't want to do. I had to de-leaf the St. John's wort patch on the side of the car-porch. What a mess. I hate that job. No telling what kind of critters are in there. It took forever, but the chickens sure did like it. The leaves are about 2 feet deep. I'm not really done, but I just couldn't bend over again. I'll tidy it up more later.
I happened to spy the pink flowering almond that Mike got for me. It looked TERRIBLE. I had it in the shade by the potting shed, but she ain't happy. I think that he had it in that terrible Miracle-Gro soil. OK. That decided it. I started digging up another section of the new daffodil bed. That ain't easy! Hard as a rock, filled with rocks. I finally got it dug up and mixed in plenty of compost. Who wouldn't want to live there? I got her watered in. Then I spied my two pots on either side of the walkway to the back outhouse. Nothing was coming back. I decided to get some perennial petunias from The Patio Garden in front. There are a bunch coming up, and since it has rained, they were easy to pull up. I put about 5 in each pot. I hope they will grow there. That will be so pretty with the hot pink petunias tumbling down.
After that, it was just sit back and enjoy. That didn't last long because I decided to pull as much of that clover looking thing around the back patio. Where the heck did all of it come from? It's taking over the place. If it's not one kind of weed, it's another.
All in all, it was a productive day.
Oh, mercy. What didn't I do yesterday? It was a glorious day. I dead-headed the iris, pulled weeds, and transplanted a hydrangea from The Old Gourd Garden, which has never bloomed, to The Hibiscus Garden. I got it watered in and strawed. I pruned the rosemary in the front and then pruned the one in the back by the chicken pens. Both of those jobs took forever. I found an oxalis blooming out in the front yard. That's exactly why Mom hates them, but I think they are so sweet. Besides the iris, they are making a wonderful show right now. Talk about pretty in pink. I dug that little baby up and planted it in The Quarter Round where the huge one was undermined by the toads and the mole and died. Yeah, I know. You can't kill an oxalis, but evidently the toady tunnels and mole mess can.
Speaking of iris. The stems that I cut and put in the house were going by. I carefully cut off those huge blooms, leaving the big buds. This morning when we got up, the buds had opened, and I had a vase of gorgeous new iris. It was as if the iris fairy had come in during the night and touched them with a magic wand. What fun!
I watered my new seeds and new plantings again. Oh, here's another example of true love. John said that he was going tote water to the tomatoes and fig tree in the garden. Later it hit me. Oh, no. I'll bet he used the 2 big pails of rainwater that I had captured for my flowers. I went to the back and checked. Ah, they were still there. He must have used the spigot. That's true love again.
I had made a roast in the oven so that I wouldn't have to stop what I was doing in the yard. My, my it was tender. I had some petite carrots that I bought. Oh, how I would love to grow my own carrots, but the soil around here is so heavy. Maybe I can figure out a way to make me a carrot patch. I just want the little tiny babies. I adore them.
I tried to plant the golden creeping jenny, but where I wanted to put it, there was no space. I finally decided over by the St. John's wort on the side of the house. I'll have to ponder where I can put the rest of it. Right now I have it in a holding area.
Today I need to fill in the huge hole where I took the hydrangea and restraw that area. I still haven't put anything in that strawberry jar that we rescued from The Poison Garden. I must get myself together and get outside.
Oh, and I won't mention beating hubby in the gin game when he had scored 149.
Since I hadn't done any yardwork, I didn't have anything to say on the 30th.
Happy May the Oncest! I had a great time in the gardens yesterday, though. I had three iris flop over in The Poison Garden after the rains. I cut them and put them in a vase. I noticed that there were a lot of buds on them. Shoot! No wonder they fell over. The blossoms were huge! Almost 6 inches from top tip to bottom. They were heavy! The fragrance was amazing. What a lovely perfume they had. I talked with Mom and she said to go out and deadhead all the ones that were going by and the other buds would open up. I did that and was amazed at how many different colors I have and how many more buds there are. It pays to get up-close and personal.
My zephirine roses on the porch have burst out. I picked a few of them and floated them in a crystal bowl. Now you talk about perfuming the room. With the iris and the roses in the same room, it was glorious.
Hubby cut me three scraps of chicken wire. I put one around the morning glories beside The Patio Garden, which I could not get to climb the pole. I put another around the autumn clemetis in The Old Gourd Garden. It has already started to ramble and won't climb its support. Then I pulled up about six morning glories that were no where near their pole and transplanted them in The Rock Garden beside a jasmine that is just starting up its pole. I put the chicken wire around them both. I do hope that gets them started in the right direction, and I can get all those vines where I want them this year. Last year they did their own thing; it wasn't a pretty sight.
My cosmos seeds are coming up already. They must have really liked the rain that we got. No sign of the others. The weeds in The Patio Garden evidently liked the rain, too. I pulled a small bucket load of them. You really have to be diligent after a good rain because before you know it, the creeping jenny will have crept! I'll have to start pulling that next.
No sign of my lantana coming back, either. Maybe we can go to the feed and seed and see if Mr. William has any more unusual ones. We were twenty dollars under the weekly grocery budget, and I told dear hubby that it was twenty dollars that I could put toward plants. We didn't even look at the plants at Walmart. The wind was blowing and it was quite chilly when we were there. Yeah, again. I didn't want him standing around in that. As we were driving off, I saw a sign that read Bedding Plants-$1.00. I would have loved to have seen what they had on sale. I love to get a bang for my buck!
The evening primroses are blooming like crazy in The Back Forty. They look so pretty with the pink azalea.
I had to refill all three thistle socks again. I'm almost out of seed already. The birds were still picking at them, but there was not one seed left in any of them. I cleaned all three hummer feeders and put in fresh nectar. I haven't seen a hummer in about three days. Where in the world are they? A friend told me a couple of years ago that if you had them and suddenly you weren't seeing them anymore that they were nesting and eating insects, not drinking nectar. I hope that's true.
One sad note. Hubby found a dead goldfinch out by the chicken pens when he went to feed them this morning. I wonder what could have happened to it?
Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.