About Mala Burt

Mala Burt writes fiction and non-fiction, screen and stage plays.

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.

IMG_9068

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.

IMG_9066

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.

IMG_9057

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.

IMG_9035

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.

IMG_9048

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.

IMG_9050

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

IMG_9033

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

IMG_9010

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.

IMG_9007

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.

IMG_8971

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

IMG_8968

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.

IMG_8954

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.

IMG_8965

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

IMG_8959

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.

IMG_8943

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.

IMG_8864

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.

IMG_8870

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.

IMG_8868

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.

GonzagaGrad

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.

IMG_8812

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.

IMG_8814

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.

IMG_8821

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

IMG_8822

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.

IMG_8816

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.

 

 

 

 

Six on Saturday – In Every Corner – May 11, 2019

There’s something happening in every corner of my garden. The window boxes in the front have been planted and the drip irrigation placed in the boxes. The drip system in the back in my raised beds and the gardens around them has a geyser, but an oops plug should fix it. We’ve had more rain so I am still in my chicken boots walking around. The  roses are beginning to bloom.

  1. The Golden Showers rose that I planted two years ago has multiple blooms this year. I love the closeup photo.

2. The straw bale now has the baby volunteer potatoes inserted into it. There is a turn off valve before the part of the drip system that used to go into my purple wheelbarrow. I may need to tweak this as the wheelbarrow is history. But for now it’s been so wet, I don’t have that part of the irrigation system turned on.

IMG_8726

3. Last year the cornflowers I grew from seed last year didn’t do much. Just a couple of blooms. This year the plants are full of buds and this is the first open flower. In another week or two that part of one of my raised beds will be spectacular.

IMG_8738

4. A white peony… the roots given to me by a friend. I don’t know the name. This year I managed to get support around it early so the blooms didn’t end up on the ground. The azalea in the left foreground is Rosebud. If I was an artist I would try to paint one or these peonies as a watercolor. The gray tones against the cream are gorgeous.

IMG_8733

5. Last weekend’s rain filled the Jan Kirsch avocado. Just beyond it and in the foreground are Martha Hitchcock azaleas. My favorite. I lost three large Martha Hitchcocks in another area of the garden this winter. I think it was just too wet. These plants are in a drier area. However, this year that’s a relative term.

6. In another corner of the garden the hardy orchid, Bletilla Striata, is just coming into bloom, a compliment to the clematis Abilene. The black pot on the left has hyacinth beans planted in it. They have not germinated so I will try again. The pot is near one of the supports on which the hyacinth bean vines climb.

IMG_8749

That’s my Six on Saturday. There is something happening in every corner of my garden at this time of the year. This 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 – Making Progress – May 4, 2019

It hit 85 degrees Farenheit on Thursday.  Those kind of temperatures mean I am in the garden in the morning after my yoga class, long pants tucked into my socks to deter deer ticks and a hat to keep the sun off my face. I’m inside by 10.

  1. One of the new trellises by the shed is now twined with a Zephirine Drouhin climbing rose.  This is its third year and it’s finally taking off. It’s hard to see but there are lots of buds. The brand new trellis has been planted with Carolina Jessamine, a climbing yellow jasmine. Both will take some years to cover the trellises, but I was glad to find the jasmine at The Village Market in St. Michaels and get them in the ground. I had to use my Root Slayer shovel to dig the holes as this is close to the river birches we took out last fall and I ran into lots of roots. I am hoping the neighbor’s boat goes in the water soon.

2. I try to give my neighbors a good view. The Major Wheeler honeysuckle is blooming facing their yard not mine. I have to confess that was not the original plan.

3. The ninebark is beginning to bloom. It’s the only dark leafed shrubs I have. They are not my favorite and this one always blended into the shadows of the river birch. It is much more visible now.

IMG_8693

4. Clematis Abilene is covered with open blooms this week.

5. The Roseum Elegans rhododendron survived the winter and is showing off. Some winters I lose most of the buds. After eleven years this is now a decent sized shrub on one corner of the house.

6. Finally a bit of garden housekeeping. The husband helped me add some hose extensions to the drip irrigation system. The timers need to be removed in the winter when we shut the system down and then replaced in the spring. What we really needed were better hose bibs but I had a piece of hose I’d been saving for someday staking a tree and it was enough to cut up and do the three extensions. $36 at the hardware store for the fittings. We had to soften the hose in a pot of boiling water to get the fittings into the hose, but we didn’t have to call a plumber.

That’s my Six on Saturday. There are still more housekeeping chores but we are making progress. This meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.