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 – Dragging in the Garden – July 20, 2019

It’s been really hot. Temps in the high 90’s and today predicted to be 100 with a heat index of 115 Farenheit. And no rain in sight so I am dragging hoses around the yard trying to keep my gardens watered until we get some rain.

  1. I must admit I was tempted to take a seat on the bench this morning and cool off.IMG_9194

2.  Rudbeckia are blooming — and taking over this bed. In the fall I need to seriously thin this patch.

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3. Limelight hydrangea with an Arabella clematis that just keeps blooming.

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4. The hoops removed from rotted half wine barrels have been repurposed into a sculpture perched on the stump of a clump of river birch removed last year. The heaps of chips are from the huge load we got a week ago. They were not great chips as they had alot of leaves in them. Next time I’ll remember to get them earlier in the season before the trees leaf out.

I got them all moved around the yard but didn’t have the energy to spread them.  But we can pull the car closer to the garage now.  I can do a little spreading early each morning. The photo was post watering.

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5. I moved this crepe myrtle to another part of the yard several years ago. Apparently I didn’t get all the roots as it is now putting on a show with the other crepe myrtles that have begun blooming. Once established crepe myrtles don’t seem to mind the hot humid weather on the Eastern Shore.

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6. A baby pumpkin. Why do I keep doing planting squash that just provide a banquet for borers? There is probably a therapy group for people like me. Borers Anonymous anyone?

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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 – 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 – 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.

 

 

 

 

Write on Wednesday – Why Watching Nova Makes Me Feel Like a Cockroach – February 20, 2019

Nova programs evoke strong responses in me. This week the husband and I have been watching a program about rockets.  I’d probably rather watch a cooking show, but when it comes to rockets the power of the human brain is awe inspiring. I can comprehend how someone, at some point in history, invented the wheel. But the engineering and sheer hubris in inventing something that goes into space is mind boggling. And I love seeing women in those rooms of engineering geeks.

A year ago I posted after watching a Nova episode titled Black Hole Apocalypse.

Here’s the log line from the PBS website: “Black holes are the most enigmatic and exotic objects in the universe. They’re also the most powerful, with gravity so strong it can trap light. And they’re destructive, swallowing entire planets, even giant stars. Anything that falls into them vanishes…gone forever.”

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I love Nova programs, but sometimes I feel like a dog listening to a human. Blah, blah, blah, Ginger. Blah, Fetch, blah. Especially the programs that are based on higher math. Math was never my strong suit. At Goucher College I was allowed to take an astronomy class instead of college algebra to fulfill the math requirement. Enough said! Note: I’ve never quite forgiven Goucher for taking away 27 semester hours of art credits when I transferred there from University of Maryland.

But this Nova program really made me aware of how many galaxies and stars and planets there are in the universe. Billions, trillions, way too many to count if we could see far enough. Our planet is an insignificant speck of dust among millions/billions of others. And it occurred to me that we are pretty much the cockroaches of the universe.  Somewhere out there another Mala Burt is writing the same book I’m working on. We think we’re special, but almost certainly are not. Note that I have enough ego to hold out some hope.

Alexander Pope said it best in his poem An Essay on Man.

“Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is, but always to be blessed: The soul, uneasy and confined from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.”

Pope probably wouldn’t have written that poem if he’d been able to watch Black Hole Apocalypse. Despite Nova, I have enough hope to be thinking about  starting seeds for my always optimistic and hopeful garden. But that’s another post.