Seedling Update

It was with skepticism that I started 48 little pots of seed.  My track record with seed-starting is dismal…

February 9, 2017

This year’s experiments:  basil, bell and sweet banana pepper, cilantro, broccoli, german chamomile, red mums, and marigolds, 4 dozen little seeds of hope.  We’ll see…

After 2 weeks, the cilantro, broccoli and several of the banana peppers had bolted up, too leggy to last.  I held back 6 bell peppers and 2 bananas that were not quite as spindly, but I don’t think they’re going to make it…

I currently have 4 of the basil, 4 marigolds, and a full 12! of the mums.

>sigh<     They all seem to be kind of stuck now, not growing.   They have 1 more week before we take a holiday, so they’d better pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get going…

In the meantime, I planted some succulents in my wardian case.  I bought a small basket stuffed with different varieties and pulled them apart…

Outside, my forsythia, magnolia, and quince are all blooming, so I’m sad that temps are now plunging back to the 20’s.  Hubby says it’s too much work to throw sheets over the quince, but I have some buckets for the peonies that have budded already.  Everything else is close enough to the house to avoid problems.

Mother Nature is capricious gal…but she starts seeds a lot better than I do…

Peace

 

Wanna be startin’ somethin’

I’m a glutton for punishment.  I simply Must try starting seeds…  This season of gray, gloom, and cold cries out for some seedlings to brighten a corner and I have mightily tried to figure out how.  Unfortunately, in all the dozens of seeds I have started over the years, only a handful have survived until planting (see Here ).  Still, I just must try.

This year’s experiments:  basil, bell and sweet banana pepper, cilantro, broccoli, german chamomile, red mums, and marigolds, 4 dozens little seeds of hope.  We’ll see…

One thing I’m certain about:  the annual Orchid Escape at Mesker Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Amazonia, will be blooming!  We set up this Wednesday and Thursday, with the kick-off party on Friday, 2/10.  I’ll be out there nearly every week-end, so if you’re trying to avoid me, go during the week…   Seriously, if you’re local, take a day to stroll and sit with the plants and birds.  Every year it is spectacular.  I’ll share pictures as soon as I can, but it would be better to see you there!

Orchids are not difficult to grow—easier than starting seeds!–so I’m having a go at a phalaenopsis in the music room…

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Peace, Love, and Flowers

7/4: the rainy edition

It’s hard to feel festive in this prolonged downpour…  We were going to watch tonight’s fireworks with the Jrs. down at the Museum, but not…

Here’s my garden-version of fireworks…

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I love scarlet Bee balm, aka bergamot, monarda, or Oswego tea.  I’ve grown it in various gardens and always ended up ripping it out because of it will take over a space pretty quickly.  It is leggy and always falls during a rain, has a tendency to mold, but the scent is glorious and the leaves make a lovely Earl-Gray-Like tea.  Last year I planted one in a pot and it did all right, so I overwintered it.  This year…well, it has taken over the pot like ivy.  I hate that the bees and hummers can’t get to it, but I really have no place outside for it.  Today, though, I was glad it hadn’t gotten swamped…

I don’t want to talk about it, but I’m scheduled for a colonoscopy on Wednesday, so I can’t eat anything with skin or seeds.   That dietary restriction includes my lovely, First Tomato of the Season.

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I had to harvest it before it split from all the rain…  I’m afraid to even slice it up for Casey—I might accidentally have a bite…   Surely it will be even better Wednesday evening.

The garden has no complaints about the rain…

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Rainy days are a gift to a reader, so I won’t complain either!   Happy 4th, friends!

Snappy Shots

The West Front Flower Patch…

The Edible Garden…

No rain has helped us to keep the gardens hydrated through these hot, muggy days, so that’s been my major accomplishment for the week.   Our local Shriner Fest started Wednesday and I’ve been distracted by the Air Show and my Favorite–Ultimate Air Dogs.  After I do some lavender-trimming and day lily dead-heading, I’m heading back down to the Riverfront for More!!!

Enjoy your day and drink water, drink water, drink water..!

Excerpts from the Garden Journal

I keep–or try to keep–a written journal of each gardening year, especially for marking my planting and harvest times.  I also try to keep track of what worked, what didn’t, and just how much work it took to get it to work!!!   I usually start out strong, chronicling my seed-starting and planting precisely, then trail off once I’ve gotten to the just maintenance part.  Last night I caught up with my journal after a 2-week hiatus.

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6/15/16—

I did it again—neglected my garden journal.

Everything has grown like crazy–temps summer-like and humid.

Front porch:  wicker planter and houseplants out 6/13.  Fountain is cool.

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Hydrangeas —  cut back to clear window 6/12  and now rain has front blooms on the ground.  Need to cut them all back.  Blooms cut from back are drying on front porch.  Laid soaker hose.

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North Garden —  added daisies, pruned and trimmed, put riprap around edge, added soaker hose.

Butterfly/Bird garden (east) —  Lovely!  Added a flat dish hummingbird feeder and hung all 3 from trellis.  Read an article that said this may discourage bully-hummers, but..?  Planted honeysuckle at N end of trellis—hoping to train it to cover top.  Added soaker hose.

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Daylilies —  Huge (will need to be divided this year).  Not sure I appreciate them enough for the work of constant deadheading the slimy blooms.

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Pineapple Sage –okay.  Holly — good.  Soaker hose to all .

West (front) garden.  Saw a mom goldfinch land on a coneflower, shadowed by her young’un.  She tried another and decided finally on a large, more open bloom down the way.  Baby followed and she showed him how to munch the seeds from the flower, then flew up to a branch to watch proudly as he/she fed like a pro.    Black-eyed Susan vine growing like a weed and the Moonflower Vine is Alive!!!

Edibles— I do believe I’ll have ripe tomatoes by the 4th of July!  Almost lost the bush zucchini, but I covered a broken spot with dirt and it looks like it’s surviving.  fingers crossed.  3 of the ca wonder peppers look crappy, others okay.

It has rained the last 2 days and today’s high is predicted to be 97 degrees!!!   Sounds extremely sticky, so I’m glad the pool is up now.   Olivia and I are headed over to Henderson for lunch and to check out the Handy Blues Fest.

Stay cool, wherever you are!

Garden Photo Log

Just a taste of what’s happening in the gardens here at Sonnystone…

It’s all good…  play in the dirt

Catching up with the gardens…

It seems like I have been gardening for months with nothing to show for it.  Well, actually, I have been gardening for months.   I planted spinach, lettuce, sugar peas, arugula back in March, covering them several times as the temps dipped.  In fact, this Spring has been pretty sucky, staying cold until a couple of weeks ago!  We enjoyed a couple of nice salads, and replanted that area with green beans.  The peas are still coming on–sweet Oregon Sugar Pods II–

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We were teased with warmer temps for a spell in April, and I divided daisies and pruned, started planting containers, and buying edibles.  I ended up having to re-pot the better boys and finally put them out on May 2.  We still had some lower temps!, but now that Spring has seriously sprung, they are fine.  I always have a problem with bell peppers, so I bought up a dozen of them and I’ve babied them along until planting them just last Saturday.  We put up the poles and the beans are planted, and if you can see, there are 3 squash mounds under them.  I’m trying the bush zucchini this year (as well as my old faithful yellow straight-neck) and I have no idea what to expect.

That, and several rows of bush beans over in the corner, is it for the in-ground garden, but I potted up a whopping 16 basil plants, oregano, sage, lemon balm, a cherry red husky, and cilantro.

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There are some edibles out on the front porch, too (mint, nasturtium, rosemary, lemon verbena), but it’s mostly flowers–petunias, gerbera daisies, vinca…  We bought the water fountain at a rummage sale last year, and I’m loving the sound of the water flowing.  Some creeping jenny and a water hyacinth are in there, too.  I used an old cd-rack as a trellis for the lemon verbena–it likes to grow wonky and it fits the curves…

 

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…and coleus for the shadiest part.DSC_0008

Check out my nasturtium…

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The front flower garden got straightened up, and I added some hollyhocks and a black-eyed susan vine to the mix…

The East side of the house is a bird-haven, and they love it.  I did add a climbing yellow rose bush behind the birdbath…

Last year I had a huge pineapple sage shrub on the corner and it crowded its neighbors, so I removed it and planted another butterfly bush.  We pulled down an ivy trellis and put up a picket gate.  Until the b-bush grows, I’ve got some coreopsis in there…

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The geraniums for the washtubs were some of the first I planted this year, and they are going strong.  The daylilies are starting to come in bloom, too…

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I think I’ve taken you all around the house, now.  You can see what I’ve been up to…well, don’t forget there have been 5 vacation/trips interspersed amongst the planting time!!!

6 tomato plants–3 better boys, 1 cherry husky, 1 sweet cherry 100, 1 roma

2 yellow straight-neck squash

1 zucchini bush squash

12 bell peppers–4 cal wonders, 4 red, 4 big bertha

pole beans, bush beans

tarragon

16 basil

1 sage

1 oregano

1 lemon balm

1 chocolate mint, 1 peppermint

1 lemon verbena

16 petunias

8 vinca

12 geranium

3 coleus

1 nasturtium

2 gerbera daisies

1 black-eyed susan vine

2 hollyhocks

3 coreopsis

2 butterfly bushes

1 rosemary

1 climbing yellow rose

  The deer ate the plants in my urn, so I’m replacing them with red grass.

I have 12 marigolds for I-don’t-know-where—-yet.

Planting is my favorite…

We’ll be home now until mid-July when I fly out to bring the NYC girls home.  Looks like we’ll be eating well this summer!