Six on Saturday: June 2, 2018

Here are my Six on Saturday. There’s no over arching theme this week. Some of the photos were taken on days when we had a couple of hours of no rain. Everything is sodden and the mosquitos are breeding like crazy. That makes it difficult to work outside unless you are covered in bug spray and don’t mind being in the mud. I’ve never seen such a wet spring.

  1. An Eastern garter snake was sunning itself on the woodpile behind my shed. Unlike most snakes, garter snakes do not lay eggs. Females give birth to a litter of 10 to 40 live young in summer. The young are five to nine inches long at birth. I haven’t seen any babies.  These snakes feed during the day on earthworms, millipedes, spiders, insects, salamanders, small fish, frogs and toads. I don’t suppose this snake is up for baby bunnies. I wish some black snakes would move in.

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2. I don’t have a strawberry bed any more. The slugs, squirrels and birds finally won that garden war. These  beautiful berries came from the local Farmers Market last Saturday. Eight quarts were turned into jam to enjoy and give away and we feasted several nights on strawberry shortcake. It has been so wet that I thought we might not have any strawberries this year.

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3. Hyacinth vines are beginning to climb on supports made of electrical conduit placed over rebar stakes in the ground. Notice the hosta in the pot on the lower right. Lots of baby maple seedlings have sprouted. They are everywhere. Sigh!

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4. The Macrantha azaleas are blooming: Macrantha Red Orange and Macrantha Rose. The flowers are hose in hose and are easily layered by pegging a low branch to the ground. I prefer the Rose to the Red Orange. They are side by side in one section of my garden. I really should move the Red Orange to another spot or put a white azalea in between which would involve moving both of these plants to make room. Moving one plant to another area seems the better idea. If it ever stops raining…

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5.  We are eating kale, lettuce, radishes and arugula from the veggie beds. I always have problems with Green Cabbage worms but very little damage at this point. I need to start dusting with diatomaceous earth. I meant to get a summer row cover over the plants, but didn’t get around to it in time. I’ve been seeing the little white butterflies, but no worms yet.

The sugar snap peas are beginning to climb the trellis. I have planted bush beans several times now with only a few plants coming up. I think perhaps the soil has been so wet the bean seeds rotted. I wondered if the seeds I had (from last year) were viable, but I got germination when I put some on a wet paper towel in a small zip lock bag. I stuck them in the garden this morning.

A few rose campions germinated in one of the raised beds. I’ll pull them out before they seed. I do love the gray green foliage and that magenta flower. I brought seeds from our old house twelve years ago when we moved to St. Michaels. The volunteers are easy to see and pull from unwanted places.

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6.  I saw a hummingbird at the hanging basket of fuscia yesterday so I moved the humming bird feeder next to it. In two weeks I’d only seen two hummers at the feeder. Maybe I put it out too late. The thing the feeder is hanging under is something that keeps the ants out of the feeder. Before I had this gizmo the ants would clog up the feeding holes. This morningI saw a hummer at the feeder while I was standing at the kitchen sink. I think moving the feeder was a good idea.

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

 

 

23 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: June 2, 2018

    • I scattered seeds in other places. Some consider Lychnis invasive but I love the color and foliage. It’s easy to spot and pull if it’s in an unwanted location.

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  1. Hummingbirds in the garden?! I can’t imagine how incredible that must be. All looks lovely. We have a fuchsia that looks very similar to yours. It’s not in flower yet though.

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    • I have now seen four visits with no consistency as to when. Others have multiple hummingbirds at their feeders. I tried a feeder last year but never saw a hummer although I would occasionally see them in the flower beds. It’s quite exciting.

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  2. I’m fond of Rose Campion, too; in fact, I’m just about to plant one. Like so many other things in the garden, it will need a watchful eye. Sorry about your strawberries. Mine are doing alright, but the raspberries failed so badly that I dug them out and planted beans. If it isn’t one thing it’s two.

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    • or three or four… The beans I started inside in a plastic bag and put in the garden have shot up unlike the seeds I planted in the bed — twice! I’m going to take out some early spinach and try this bean trick again.

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  3. Snakes and hummingbirds… Jealous. :~)) I sympathise with you about the maple seedlings. I have an ash tree at the bottom of the garden that gives many, many seedlings and it’s a real nuisance, isn’t it? Especially when they grow under a shrub or somewhere else that you don’t notice them until you practically need heavy machinery to get them out.

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  4. A great combination of garden elements in your Six this week, Mala. Keep at it with the beans, as I had a similar rotting issue one year in the wet soil. Sometimes we’re impatient. So glad you’re having luck with hummingbirds. This area is a haven for hummers and they drain my two feeders every single week. In fact, making more sugar water is on today’s list!

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    • My friends have the same experience of having their feeders drained. I am replacing the sugar water every week so it doesn’t go bad. I think I just need to keep at it and get the feeders out earlier next year.

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  5. What are hyacinth bean for? I took some from a job site, but I have no idea what to do with them. Since they were not planted, they may not be viable next year. (I suppose I could still plant them.)

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    • Hyacinth beans have a purple flower and then a purple pod which is lovely. They are easy maintenance and cover the supports by end of summer. The seeds last a long time but are not edible. These originally came from a friend who always started some for me in the spring. She died several years ago and I keep her in my garden by saving seeds every year. Apparently pods are edible but I have never tried to eat them. I pick some pods in the fall and throw them in a shallow container and let them dry out for the next spring.

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      • I sort of know what they are, I just have not found a use for them. Although the pods are edible, there are so many better beans to grow. I think they are pretty, and that is about all.

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  6. I had similar issues with direct sown beans last year. In the end I concluded ( with no real evidence either way) that the snails and slugs were just anything them down as they came out the ground. I always sow inside now and plant out when 6 inches or more tall. Seems to help. The lychnis does show up in funny places. It is a very effective spreader. I think if i left it to its own devices i would have an entire lawn of baby lychnis plants.

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    • I wonder if the slugs ate them as they sprouted. I just braved the elements in my bathrobe and went out to check on the sprouted ones I’d stuck in the ground 5 days ago. They are up several inches. When I put them in the ground they were just sprouting.

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    • It has purple flowers and beautiful shiny purple pods. Apparently pods are edible but I’ve never tried them. I just grow it becuase its pretty, climbs like crazy and the original plants came from a friend who has since passes away. I save the seeds every year to remember her in my garden. I’ll keep posting occasional photos.

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