Autumn Garden Journal #1

Since Casey retired we’ve expanded our bird-feeding operation quite a bit.  We’d had our feeders on the east side and really couldn’t watch the birds from there.  When we moved one of them around to the south, I was inspired to bring  all the feeders out where we could sit in the dining room–which has full windows to the east– and watch the birds empty them from our rockers.

At nearly the same time as this vision occurred I bought Sharon Sorenson’s book, “Planting Native to Attract Birds to Your Yard” and it seemed to be a sign that I should plant around the feeders with natives.  You’d be surprised what’s Not native and I already owned a few…  My Jane Magnolias are not native, meaning the birds don’t actually get nutrients from them, but they love to use the branches to perch and use it in all seasons to take their turns at the feeders.  Daisies are another non-native that I am over-run with, but I moved them to the Rose and the North Garden.

Sticking with her recommendations about new buys, I bought a maple-leaf viburnum and planted near the back.  Unfortunately, it had a sudden attack by viburnum beetles in August.  We caught it pretty early and put it in a large pot and babied it, so I think it will be all right.

I also picked up some black-eyed Susans (rudbeckia) and purple coneflower (echinacea), two of my long-standing favorites, though I killed quite a few Susans when I didn’t divide them for a decade or so.  Because I had no place to plant them permanently at the time, we crammed them together around the bird-feeders.

And so the time came to make my vision manifest.  I drew it up on graph paper and got Casey’s approval.  Then I brought out the bricks and used them to mark out my ideas.

I dug up the poor susans and coneflowers  and called in my Muscle.

It all came together like this…

It’s a work-in-progress, to be continued, but my Original Goal has been accomplished…

The view from the dining room should entertain us year-round…

Just in time, we have some rain!! It will take a lot to make up for the drought we’ve experienced, but it’s a start…

 

Keep on Growing…

 

 

2014 in the Sonnystone Gardens

Just a picture post…  I thought that would be easier, but I find I’m unable to edit what pictures I add to such a large gallery…  I’ve tried 3 times to no avail.  So there’s another lesson:  sometimes you don’t get a do-over.

But sometimes, you do…  I’ve got plans for 2015…

Mostly photos…some words…

The rain has been relentless;  even today it’s threatening to start some precip through the white clouds…  Time to stroll through the garden and see what is blooming and fruiting…

Even in the rain, I’ve been out grabbing a handful of the raspberries…sweet…

Not sure what’s going on with the blueberries.  We bought a pair of 2 kinds in order to fertilize or whatever… they look like verry different plants…

I got a lot of pictures of green tomatoes…

when suddenly red popped up…

My original intention was to take pictures of the daylilies, though.  I always get sidetracked by the edibles…All of the sunflowers amongst the daylilies were planted by the birds…  One of our winter feeders is placed directly over the spot where they are flourishing..

sowing and feeding

Puh-leeze, let this be the last icey-snowy day for the season…am I asking so much?  Lucky for us, I had the fixin’s for some jambalaya and muffulettas before the storm, so we’re inside warm and fat, getting fatter for Mardi Gras.  Outside, we moved the birdfeeders under the porch so they wouldn’t ice over.   We feed dozens of birds, a number that has increased as word got out amongst the feathery-types that there’s a buffet here.

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The wisteria desperately needs to be cut, but it provides such shelter for the birds, that we’re not sure just how much we should try to prune…

With hope in my heart, sort of, I started seeds last night…  I cleared out a closet upstairs and made it into a darkroom for germinating.  We added another grow-light, too.  If this doesn’t work, I really will give up…

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Casey worked last night, but cleared the snow from the ice in the driveway before he went to sleep.  He says the roads are still icey, so me and the birds will spend the day eating…  Hope your feeder is full…stay safe and warm.

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Whilst enjoying the unexpected 5-day vacay, I snapped some portraits of some feathered friends.

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The birdfeeders froze after the icey snow, so we brought them into the shed and thawed them.    We spend a few bucks on the seed for these guys, but they offer hours of distraction.

2-hour delay, but I’m back to work today!!

Vernal Equinox, 2013

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Spring, 2013.  Today  we will be seeing 12hours and 8 minutes of daylight;  Sonnystone sunrise was at 6:53am and sunset is scheduled for 7:01pm.  The weatherman has predicted a mix of sunshine and clouds…

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I researched this whole equinox and it is waywayway over my head…here’s from wikipedia:

“At the equinox, the Sun is at one of two opposite points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator (i.e. declination 0) and ecliptic intersect.”

Then they give the formula, but I’m just shaking my head and wondering who actually figured all this stuff out?  and glad they did…

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However impressive the astronomy may be,  it is currently 28 degrees here at The Acres and I’m trying not to be tooo grumpy that our predicted high is 37 (20 degrees below average).    Last year the warm started early and I had hoped it was a trend…

The budding shrubs and flowers bloom away without any hesitation, warm or cold; the birds have started their flight to their nesting homes without checking the weather channel.   Those signs are as sure as the astrophysics and something I can understand.

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So the seasons change…the wheel turns…  (but hurry on out, Winter, and let Spring in!!)

turkeys and true leaves…

Whilst walking through the house, I glanced out the window-seat window and came face to face with a turkey…!  By the time I grabbed the camera, he had moseyed away…

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Good size bird…but young…

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I thought he was gone, but  a while later she showed up again out back019 just under the window…looking very dignified, I think…

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I am proud to announce that my sweet bell pepper seedlings

Have True Leaves!!!

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See them there, teenytinylittle, sprouting up…  Do you comprehend the meaning of this???

They’re Going to Live!!

I think I’ll be able to save 2-3 tomatoes, too, but I’m not sure for how long…

In the meantime, I started the basil all over again and put it upstairs in the total complete darkness, except when I show up to check things every other day or so.    I also started some flowers:  2 kinds of marigolds, dahlia, foxglove, delphinium, and nasturtium.   Trying to grow seedlings seems to be a little like cooking rice:  let it cook and don’t keep checking under the lid…

Hope you had a nice St. Patrick’s Day!