Six on Saturday – Last Rain Was August 7 – September 28, 2019

While I was in my garden this morning, my neighbor came over to ask if I needed some Joe Pye weed plants. I said yes having dug most of mine out several years ago in a fit of who knows what. And regretted it ever since. The large clump she is dividing originally came from me. I just love that.

As we were chatting, my neighbor said that the last rain we had was on August 7. She works for a landscaper so her boss should know.

This weekend’s chore was cutting back the large clumps of grasses and dividing them. Not the right time to cut them back and not optimal dividing weather because it is so dry. But it needs to be done. I am having cataract surgery in early October. The right eye and then two weeks later the left. I am told I shouldn’t lift, bend, or be anyplace dusty for several weeks after each procedure. The first surgery is Oct 9 so I figure I will be out of the garden for about six weeks. By that time it will be colder, so I need to get some of these things done.

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Another clump was dug and divided yesterday. Division took the husband hefting an ax. I dug the hole and put buckets of water in it and left it over night. The section I was replanting went into a large plastic busing tray of water and so the root ball could soak all the way through. It was replanted this morning.

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2. Pink Muhly grass in a container is blooming. This was originally three plants which were in an area that one year got too much water. I dug them out and put them in a container. They really need to be in the ground but I’m just not sure where to put them.

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3. The section of the grass where I added soil and seed is coming along. There seem to be some bare patches I’ll need to shake more seeds on. The large area where we removed the raised beds was seeded two weeks after this section. It is now hinting green.

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4. Leaves are beginning to come down from the maples and I am seeing some fall color on this chokeberry. I took the photo after having the sprinkler on in that area, hence the drops of water.

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5. The asters against the goldenrod are a treat for the eye.

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6. A knockout rose in the front of the house is supposed to be all pink. I suppose the pink must be grafted on root stock that has red blooms.

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That’s my Six on Saturday. We are now officially in fall. The meme was started by The Propagator, 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 – Rain, Please – September 21, 2019

Still dry here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I have been continuing to move plants although digging is more like jack hammering concrete. Even with constant watering there will be plant loss.

In my community garden bed one cucumber plant has been outdoing itself. I pick this many or more at least once a week. My yoga class takes them home, I take them to the salon where I get my hair cut and make lots of cuke and onion salad for myself. My husband doesn’t like cucumbers and I can only eat so many. The tag that came with this plant is still there so I will know what kind to get next year.

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2. The tall New England asters are beginning to bloom. They will be gorgeous with the goldenrod planted next to them.

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3. Seed pods on the native milkweed are bursting with seeds.

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4.  In the same area of my garden Verbena bonariensis loves the miserable soil. Someone posted last week that this verbena didn’t do well for them. Their soil might be too good. And these have done well despite no rain for two months. Only an occasional sprinkler on them.

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5. I have some carrots in my community garden bed. One of them is going to seed, but it is really pretty.

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6. It’s been in the high fifties at night. Our first fire of the season is only weeks away.

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That’s my Six on Saturday as we head toward fall. The meme was started by The Propagator, 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 – September 14, 2019 – Wildlife among the Flowers

I often wonder if women gardeners have an unconscious link to paleolithic times when women were the food gatherers and constantly scanned the landscape for edibles. I always seem to be looking down when I wander my gardens. And this week I found a baby box turtle in the grass at the edge of a garden bed. I’ve seen lots of box turtles over the years but never a baby. I carefully put it back in a section of the garden with dense foliage to give it cover from birds.

We have had no rain for weeks. I am still hauling the hoses around.

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2.  I scrubbed out the Jan Kirsch avocado and emptied those two bags of soil. Actually I just dumped the soil. At least I’m not looking at the plastic bags any more. While taking photos this morning I noticed a tree limb on one of the big maples that seems to be hanging lower over our neighbors yard. It may need to be taken down before it falls down.

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3.  Geraniums on the deck seem to know cold weather is coming. They are putting on a show.

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4. Solidago (goldenrod) is just coming into bloom. I have no idea which cultivar this is. I’m sure the original plant came from a Green Thumb sale at the Woman’s Club of St. Michaels.

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5.  The neon green of Solomon Seal is vibrant against the epimedium. Transplanting the Solomon Seal is still on the to-do list.

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6.  The space where the raised beds were is now ready for seeding. I plan to water the area for several days before broadcasting seed. The soil is just too dry at this point to support grass seedlings. I have moved quite a few azaleas and divided hostas. There are still things in pots that may go in the ground or on the compost heap. My goal is to make the garden less maintenance intensive.

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That’s my Six on Saturday as we head toward fall. The meme was started by The Propagator, 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 – Garden Chores – September 7, 2019

I had hoped for some of the rain bands from Hurricane Dorian to give us much needed rain, but only a sprinkle came to our neighborhood. I count my blessings, however, as the news of the destruction in the Bahamas is horrific. How do you begin life again with only the clothes on your back?

My romantic suspense novel manuscript went to the proofer on September 1 and she has begun. I will have it back by the end of the month. Next step is to finally decide on the title so I can assign an ISBN and work with Laura Ambler on cover designs.

Work in the garden continues as we get the area where the raised beds were ready for seeding. Digging the beds was a project. They were full of tree roots. Then I humped barrow loads of soil to low spots in the lawn and other areas of the garden that could use some extra soil.  My husband thought the wood from the beds might be used in the fireplace, but decided it was too dirty. Good decision, Roger! It will go out, a little at a time, in the trash. 

2. Sedum Autumn Joy is showing color. In the foreground is a neon pink sedum. In front of the black bench are two bags of soil that were supposed to be put under the flagstones under the bench. A year later I still haven’t managed to get that job done. Embarrassing! And scrubbing out the avocado with bleach is on the list, too.

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3. Cutting back a shrub in my backyard us on the list but this gorgeous spider will delay the job. “The spider species Argiope aurantia is commonly known as the yellow garden spider, black and yellow garden spider, golden garden spider, writing spider, zigzag spider, corn spider, or McKinley spider. It is common to the contiguous United States, Hawaii, southern Canada, Mexico, and Central America.” I think the zigzag must refer to the unusual part of the web.

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4.  Hyacinth beans are still blooming and producing seeds. These are from plants given to me by a friend who died several years ago. I think of her often when I am in my garden.  They won’t get cut back until after the first frost.

5. Another big chore on the list is to divide the grasses. You can see they are bare in the middle although they looked fine until recently.

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6.  A black swallowtail caterpillar. This photo was taken before I dug out the bronze fennel in one of the raised beds scheduled for demo. I carefully took the caterpillar to a clump of milkweed.

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That’s my Six on Saturday chore list as we head toward fall. There are lots of chores on the list for this week The meme was started by The Propagator, 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