Six on Saturday – Six on the Fly – July 6, 2019

It’s hot and muggy. I was out by 6 a.m. using muriatic acid to clean up the motar repair job I did on the front brick walk. It looks pretty good, if I do say so. Another job off the “to do” list for this summer. I was in the house by 8 after patrolling flower beds for baby maple trees and picking up sticks that those glorious old maples throw down every time the wind blows.

Here are my quick six this morning.

  1. Diminutive hostas around a seating area are in bloom. They proliferate like crazy and need to be thinned. My dad made these Adirondack chairs for my first house in 1965. They have been mended with screws and Bondo and the original cedar painted, but they still offer a quiet place to watch the garden.

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2. I found this box turtle in the drive and put him in a flower bed where I hope he/she will snack on slugs. When I showed the picture to my husband he asked, “What are the letters painted on the shell?” They are just normal box turtle markings but I did think the same thing when I picked it up.

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3. The zuchinni plant in a big pot succumbed to borers. It went in the trash this morning. I thought I could outwit the borers by using a pot. Every year I say I’m giving up on squash and every year I try again. An  example of “hope over experience” but I’m pretty sure there is some stupidity involved.

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4. The packet of striped zinnias seeds that I planted has now put out a pink and white bloom. Another seed saver flower.

5. A yoga pal brought bags of elephant ear tubers to class one morning. I threw some in a big landscape pot and they are thriving in the shade of a big maple.

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6.  A view along the side of the garage. The hosta in the foreground needs to be divided as do many in the garden. A chore for fall when the humidity is lower. The monarda are still giving a pop of color although the leaves are getting mildewed.

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That’s my quick six for this week, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. I learn something every week from the participating gardeners. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in. #lovemygarden

Six on Saturday – Hot, Hot, Hot – June 29, 2019

Summer temperatures are finally here. In the mid-nineties most days. No rain for a week but I’m not complaining…yet. I’ve been pressure washing the house a side a day with the  loan of equipment from my neighbor. I’m wet by the time I finish, but with the heat I don’t mind. There’s lots of color in the garden this time of year and I enjoy my early morning walk to check on everything. Saw the first Japanese beetle last week so will start carrying a container of soapy water on my walks around the garden to drown them in.  Easier than squishing the beetles.

  1. This clematis just keeps blooming when the others have stopped.  I lost the tag for this one when the lattice was replace but I thought it was Arabella. When I googled clematis Arabella it said it was non-vining. This doesn’t get very tall but I have tucked it into the lattice and it seems happy. I’m sticking with Arabella.

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2. The Vitex tree (aka Chaste tree) at the end of the driveway is now in full bloom. I didn’t get around to cutting it back this spring so it is now taller than I want it to be. It blooms on new wood so will need to be trimmed aggressively next spring.

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3. I planted a packet of zinnia seeds that I found in my seed box. This first bloom has wonky petals but I love the color.  Some other zinnias I planted from seed are too tall and get floppy. Next year I’ll pay more attention to plant height but I will certainly save seed from this beauty.

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4. Getting more sun with last year’s removal of a river birch has benefited this clump of purple coneflower.

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5. I have shasta daisies several places in the garden. They are descendents of a clump at the house when we moved here 13 years ago. There wasn’t much here. The daisies were planted in a small circle in the middle of the backyard ringed with a variety of odd stones the family must have brought home from trips.

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6. Coreopsis Moonbeam spreads and I now have it multiple places in the garden and in some pots. If sheared back by a third, it will bloom again late summer and fall. Wikipedia tells me: “Coreopsis verticillata is a North American species of tickseed in the sunflower family.” I am a sucker for anything with yellow flowers. I love the pop in shaded parts of my garden.

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That’s six from my hot summer garden. #lovemygarden. The SoS meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

Six on Saturday – Hello Summer – June 22, 2019

We’ve been having intermitent rains so the lawn and gardens are lush. The weekend is predicted to be dry so we may get the grass mowed. Here are my six on the second day of summer.

  1. The monarda is in bloom. This one was called Raspberry Wine. It is prone to mildew but I love the color of the blooms.

2.  I experimented with agapantha last winter. Some were in the ground and some were in a pot outside. The potted plant froze to mush and went into the compost. The plants in the ground froze to the ground but came back and I have three stalks getting ready to bloom.

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3. My self-seeding cleomes are beginning to bloom in a garden in front of the house. Some are still growing in the gravel drive next to this bed and may get transplanted if I find the time. The volunteers required thinning and moving some to bare areas. I love that these come back every year.

4.  Some vegetables in large pots are thriving. Several baby zuchinnis are visible as are Tiren paste tomatoes — a new variety I raised from seed. I have one whole bed at the local community garden devoted to tomatoes. Last year’s crop was a bust so I am hoping for a better yield this year. I always lose my zuchinni’s to borers so maybe the plant in a pot will fare better.

5. I have seven pots of red twig dogwoods growing roots for fall planting in my “wet” garden. They had been rooting in water since I cut the dogwoods back in March.

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6. A flowering stalk on a Bottlebrush Buckeye. This one is going to be planted in my friend and writing partner’s garden. It will colonize and I have no room for it.

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That’s my six on this first Saturday of the summer. #lovemygarden. The SoS meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.  I learn something every week from the gardeners who participate.

Six on Saturday – Quick Pics – June 15, 2019

I’m in a hurry this morning, so here are six quick pictures from the garden. It’s been cooler than normal for June and no rain for the last few days so great to be out in the garden. But first a trip to the hardware store for more bags of potting soil. The redtwig dogwoods I’ve had rooting in a bucket for months are ready to be potted.

  1. Several of my daylilies are beginning to bloom.

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2. The hostas are sending up blooming stalks. This is from some variety with huge leaves, but I have no idea what its name is. I had to stoop to get the bloom which was under a leaf.

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3. A clump of butterfly weed. Lots of baby seedlings coming up around it. This photo was from yesterday afternoon and the sun was on the blooms which is why some of them look yellow.

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4. Bell flowers come back every year. This campanula was given to me by a friend and I don’t know the cultivar.

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5. Staking this sweet hollyhock is on the list of gardening chores for today. It was all in bud last week.

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6. The day lilies I call ditch lilies are blooming. A favorite of mine, they often grow in the ditches on the sides of roads. Others call them tiger lilies.

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That’s my quick pics for today. #lovemygarden. The SoS meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

Six on Saturday – The Promise of Buds – June 8, 2019

The first flush of spring blooms are waning, but when I walked through the garden early this morning I noticed many perennials covered with buds. Another week or two and the early summer blooms will be at their peak.

  1. A (soon to be) red zinna. They make great cut flowers.

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2.  This monarda has raspberry colored flowers. It will be in bloom soon.

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3.  This is a yellow day lily. My Stella d’oro are already flowering as well as a burgundy red day lily, but the yellow one is a little later.

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4.   This coneflower is tucked in among some other plants that now get more sun because I removed a river birch. This one seems happy. I’ll see if it likes more sun.

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5.  Someone gave me this lily but I don’t know what kind it is. It has large yellow orange flowers.

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6. I have no success with hollyhocks. They never flower before I lose them to rust. This one volunteered in one of my raised beds last year.  I almost pulled it out last fall but am glad I didn’t. The pink flowers are a surprise and no hint of rust as yet.

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That’s my Six on Saturday, photos this week of buds in my garden. The SoS meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

 

 

 

Six on Saturday – A Glorious Garden – May 25, 2019

I’ve never seen the KnockOut roses or my Jackmani clematis so full of blooms. It seems just weeks ago I was despairing about the garden. The only note of despair at this point it the germination of all those damned maple helicopters. Oh, and the mosquitoes have arrived. But as I sit on my little garden stool, pulling maple seedlings, I have lovely things to look at.

Yesterday I transplanted the cleome seedlings that were coming up in the gravel driveway. Some years the mother plants are more behaved and most of the seedlings are in the flower bed and just require thinning. By the time I got to the end of the bed the ones I transplanted at the beginning were looking wilty. It was windy which didn’t help but I reminded myself that these particular transplants always look terrible and then catch on and do fine.

Here are my six.

  1. The yellow mullein that I raised from seed a year ago is blooming. These are a biennal and were worth the wait. I am hoping for some self-seeding behavior. The interior of the flower looks like an insect with its nose in the flower and its legs hanging out the back.

2. In a nearby bed a lone hollyhock (also raised from seed) is getting ready to bloom. The rust that seems to overtake any hollyhock I have ever tried to grow is still at bay. Last year a sister of this hollyhock succumbed before it ever developed buds. I am hoping for blooms on this plant before that happens. And just next to it the rose campion are opening up. I always have a few of these in the garden as they self-seed. The original seeds were brought from my Harford County garden twelve years ago and are a favorite of mine. I love the grey-green foliage and the magenta flowers.

3.  The sundrops I also brought from my Harford county garden are just starting to bloom. They don’t last long, but are a welcome bright spot in the spring garden. Here’s what google said about them: “Oenothera fruticosa, commonly called sundrops or southern sundrop, is an erect, day-flowering member of the evening primrose family. This native typically grows 15-30” tall and produces terminal clusters of bright yellow four-petaled flowers on stems clad with lanceolate green leaves.” I didn’t know they were in the evening primrose family. I learned something.

4.  The Jackmani clematis has never had this many blooms and buds before. I wish I knew why so I could make it happen again next summer.

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5. I always forget about these alliums. I don’t remember what cultivar they are, but they provide some spiky interest after the Martha Hitchcock azalea has finished flowering. This photo reminds me that I need to thin the epimedium and the hellebores in this bed. The benefit of everything smashed together is fewer maple seedlings.

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6.  And finally more KnockOut roses with a lavender in front of the pink one. I don’t know who developed these roses but I am a huge fan. They are trouble free and bloom until frost. No lovely rose fragrance, but maybe the rosarians are working on that.

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This is the time of year when I love walking through my garden in the early evening with a glass of wine. I am so happy to share my Six on Saturday with all the readers of this meme, started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

Six on Saturday – Pot Pourri – May 18, 2019

This week’s SoS pot pourri are not all from my garden.

Last weekend the husband and I were in Spokane, Washington for the graduation of our granddaughter from Gonzaga University.  We were so proud as Ellen graduated Magna cum laude. All of our four children were there to celebrate. They live in different parts of the states so it’s unusual to get them all in the same place at once. It made the weekend even more special.

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2.  It’s strawberry time in Maryland. But it’s been so wet I wondered if I would be able to get berries to make jam. I snagged a flat of these beauties on Thursday. Some have already been made into jam and some will top shortcake. Any leftovers (doubtful) will go in the freezer. Local strawberries are such a treat we eat them at least twice a day for the time they are available.

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3. My tomato bed at the community garden was planted two weeks ago. These are Amish Paste and Tiren (a new to me Italian plum tomato). I put down a paper that is supposed to degrade by the end of the growing season. This is the first time I have used this product and will be interested to see how it does. Anything to keep the weeds at bay.

This morning I planted a slicing cucumber at the front of the bed. The photo was taken before I did that.

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4. The rose on the new trellis by the shed is very happy. This is the third year for this rose which was a bare root planting.

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5. Yellow false indigo does well in a sunny spot in the garden.

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6. The Knock Out roses along the driveway are in bloom. They have become a favorite as they bloom until we have a hard frost and require very little care. I cut them back in March and then again mid-summer to keep them from getting too tall.

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That’s my Six on Saturday for this week. This meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.