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 – 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 – Spots of Color – April 6, 2019

We’ve had some dry days. More rain predicted for this weekend so yesterday I got out to do some garden chores — cutting back the grasses and red twig dogwood. I managed to get the grass debris into bags with the husband’s help on Friday, but the dogwood cuttings are waiting to be picked up.

  1. The camellia is in bloom. The blossoms don’t last long, but by the time the show is over, other things are in bloom. I try to keep this one from getting too big. Anyone have suggestions for trimming camellias?

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2. The daffodils are open. Still lots of cleaning up to do in the beds but there is something to enjoy while I’m on my knees. I don’t know where the bulbs of the daffodils on the right came from but the clumps increase quickly and I now have them many places in the yard.

3. Clematis are leafing out and I think I see a bud on the Montana clematis on the right. The one on the left is Jackmani. I took a slip from one my father planted when I married and have brought it with me to every house (and husband) since.

4. Garden clean-up has begun. The ground has dried out enough that I was able to get the red twig dogwoods cut back. The bed still looks a mess because I haven’t raked it. Dead leaves sat in water all winter in that area. I’ll root some of the cuttings and plant more in this area. I was late getting the grasses but back but couldn’t get into the beds before now.

5. I need to plant new hyacinth bulbs next fall. The ones I have no longer produce many flowers, but they are a welcome surprise in the garden this time of year.

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6. I need suggestions about how to care for these yuccas. I see the one in the front could be divided. All I’ve done with the others is try to get out the dead leaves that are on the bottom. They all bloom. Thus far they have been afforded benign neglect.

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That’s my Six on Saturday, photos of my garden as it comes alive after what seemed like a longer and certainly a wetter winter than usual.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 – Spring Has Arrived – March 16, 2017

Thunderstorms were predicted for Friday afternoon. It’s now 5:00 and I suppose we could still get some rain, but I’m hoping not. I walked around the garden in my Sloggers because the standing water is gone. Things are still very muddy, but the garden is coming alive. A neighbor’s tree was full of noisy grackles, but I didn’t mind. It was over 70 degrees and I was outside without a coat, hat and gloves.

On the Eastern Shore March 17th is the day the ospreys return to their nests. We’re all watching.

  1. Daffodils are blooming — the tiny Tete a Tetes and another somewhat larger daffodil. In another part of the yard a different variety has some opening blooms.

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2. The hellebores are stunning, even if you have to get on your knees to really see them. Lots of babies coming up. Does anyone know… do they cross pollinate? If it stays dry, I can get into that bed and clear out the winter damaged leaves. The epimedium next to the hellebores needs to be sheared. This bed was shady before we took out the river birch. I’ll be interested to see how everything does with more sun. The crepe myrtles should give them some shade.

3.  In another section of the garden the stump of the river birch clump is waiting for me to make the metal hoop sculpture to sit on top. One of the SoSers suggested I include one one of the big leaf castings in the sculpture. I’ll post a photo when I get it finished. I thought it interesting that the river birch stump is weeping. I know it will sprout up again.

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4. Nearby a bird house is waiting for occupants. I found it at a garage sale for a quarter. I need to measure the hole to see what kind of birds might use it.

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5. In a window box of herbs the tarragon looked dead but when I poked around I found green shoots.

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6. My azaleas are full of buds but I won’t know if the buds were cold blasted for another two months.

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That’s my Six on Saturday, photos this week of my waterlogged garden coming alive. 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 – Lean In – January 5, 2019

A statistic last week indicated we have had over 70″ of rain this year, double the usual amount. No wonder we feel inundated. Many local farmers have lost their winter wheat crop as seeds rotted in the ground. Last spring some planted corn three times.

For us home gardeners the rain is a big inconvenience. Lots of leaves still on ground that’s too wet to work on, and piles of tree trash that gets deposited on the lawn with every big blow. But although I have been a gardener for more years than I like to admit, it continues to amaze me that life in the garden goes on. You just have to put on your wading boots and lean in.

  1. Other SoS gardeners have been showing blooming hellebores. I thought I checked last week and didn’t see anything. Obviously I didn’t lean in far enough. I only saw buds on one plant this morning and I haven’t kept records in the past, but buds the size of Christmas tree lights (not the little ones) are impressive for January 5.

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2. Raindrops in the early morning decorated a small leafed maple.

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3. In one of my raised beds at home I had transplanted some beet seedlings from my Community garden bed last summer. They never did a thing but I didn’t pull them when fall clean-up was delayed by wet weather. They are showing growth among the fallen leaves. I wonder if I will actually get beet roots in the spring. img_8104

4. Fennel doesn’t surrender to the weather and tends to self seed which can be a problem. This is in a raised bed. I’ll keep it because the Black Swallowtail butterflies pupated on the stalks last year and the foliage is a tasty addition to winter salads. I can see some rabbit damage.

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5. Even the dried heads of hydrangea Limelight are beautiful in the early morning mist.

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6. In an effort to organize seeds this winter I purchased some half priced Christmas storage. The seeds won’t care that the boxes are red and green. With lidded containers I’ll be able to get the seed box off my work surface.

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That’s my Six on Saturday, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. There’s always something interesting in the garden if you just stop to look and lean in. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

Six on Saturday – Inside and Out – December 17, 2018

We’ve had hard freezes every night, but inside our little rancher it’s cozy at 68 degrees. We light a fire in the fireplace about five o’clock which keeps us toasty through the evening. Outside there are still things to be cut back. The ground is not quite frozen and more rain is expected this weekend with slightly warmer day time temperatures. The leaves that have blown around plants in the beds may just stay as a thermal blanket until spring. I don’t mind the messy look.

  1. Inside an anthurium is blooming.  The red/orange, heart-shaped flower of Anthuriums is really a spathe or a waxy, modified leaf flaring out from the base of a fleshy spike (spadix) where the tiny real flowers grow.  The spadix, a.k.a.: nose, tail or inflorescence is the actual anthurium flower; it is where the stamen (male part of the flower) and stigma (female part of the flower) are to be found. The stamen and stigma can only be seen with magnifying glasses and appear as tiny bumps on the spadix.

2. Before we had a frost, I cut some pieces of a bright neon green coleus and stuck it in a vase. It has developed excellent roots. I plan to pot them so I don’t have to repurchase in the spring.

3. Outside there is cutting back and cleaning up to be done. I’ll leave the heads of the miscanthus for later, but will cut back the soldago in the foreground.

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4. This fall I was able to get three Osmanthus ‘Goshiki’ half price and planted them in the revised bed where the avocado sculpture now resides in place of the river birch. I like the pop of pale yellow/white against the green. Once they get bigger, I can use some cuttings in holiday decorations.

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5. And I planted three white groundcover roses (Blossom Blanket) in the same area. They are small but I’m going to leave the leaves as insulation over the winter.

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6. The herb window box hasn’t frozen yet. I am still cooking with fresh chives, thyme. parsley, tarragon and sage.

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That’s my six for this week, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. I learn something every week from the participating gardeners and from verifying information about my photos. This week it was about the true flowers on anthuriums. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.