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 – Summer Garden – July 27, 2019

We are having a short respite from the extremely hot temperatures, but the rain that deluged most of the east coast on Tuesday mostly bypassed us. The gardens are dry and I am still on hose duty.  We are puppy sitting this week for a friend and loving every minute. Boca (a teacup Pomeranian) is “helping” me in the garden in the mornings.

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2.  This is what the ground looks like in the garden.

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3.  The tomatoes like the heat. In an effort to outwit the squirrels, I’m bringing them into the garage to finish ripening. Every morning I find the ones that need to be used and either make a pot of sauce or cut them up and freeze them.

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4.  A chore I need to get done: These pretty sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)   will self-seed like crazy if I don’t cut them back. They are lovely filler in arrangements or just by themselves in a vase.

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5.  When this Schubertii allium dried, the stalk was hollow so I stuck it on a bamboo stake. Even my raised beds with drip irrigation are pathetic in this heat. The beans are not doing well.

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6. Borrowed landscape. A spectacular crepe myrtle two doors down. But it has been too hot to be outside to enjoy it except in the early morning.

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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 – 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 – 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.