Six on Saturday – Where There’s a Will… – October 13, 2018

It is 55 degrees outside this morning and the furnace is running. Just a couple of dasy ago it was in the mid 80’s. I think fall is finally here although we are still waiting for the trees to show color.

Today there are five photos from my garden and one from Friday’s tour of a nearby commercial cucumber farm.

  1. I thought we would have to hire a crew of studly men to move the Jan Kirsh avocado sculpture, but my husband and I accomplished the feat in forty-five minutes with a mover’s dolly. I had been watching the track of Hurricane Michael and knew that if we got significant rain it would be weeks or months until we had an opportunity to move this heavy concrete sculpture. When it was installed the artist brought a crew of three men. Kirsh now makes these avocados out of resin so they are not so heavy. On the left, still wrapped for winter is the avocado sitting in the mud last May. On the right is the new location.

 

We’d originally installed it in the garden with the best view from the deck. But that is the garden that is increasingly full of water after heavy rains. And eight years later the sculpture had subsided and the red twig dogwood I planted as a backdrop had encroached. It needed to be moved.

I thought I knew where I wanted it to go, but after removing the river birch several weeks ago that open spot seemed perfect. It is a little higher and doesn’t stay soggy. The spot was thirty feet from where the sculpture had been placed and I was resigned to paying a crew to move it.

However, my mind is always in problem solving mode. I realized if we could get the avocado off the base and on to a mover’s dolly we might be able to pull it across the lawn. And on Tuesday morning we had a window. We’d had no rain for a week. The main piece of sculpture was gently rocked off the base onto a bag of unopened potting soil. We didn’t want to break it. We then moved the base and the large piece of bluestone the sculpture sat on to the new location. The avocado was trickier since it had one end that was heavier than the other. We padded the dolly, and levered the avocado on. My husband pulled and I steadied. And we were able to reasemble it in the new location. Yay for septuagenarians!

2. The heavy rains on Thursday night, the remnants of Hurricane Michael, filled the avocado. Before we have freezing temperatures I’ll need to empty it and wrap it for winter. The rain and wind brought down alot of branches from the silver maples. Lawn clean-up is in my future.

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3. I went out on Wednesday to take some photos before the predicted rain and saw at least six Monarch butterflies. They liked the remaining zinnias.

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4. Monarchs liked the tall asters, too.

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5.  A post-it note on a kitchen cupboard had been reminding me of a garden task. I wanted to put some small ferns in the area where the Naked Lady lilies come up so I would remember where they are. I’d flagged the area when the foliage died down and finally got  the ferns planted. I managed to damage some bulbs in the process. Oh, well. I don’t know where these ferns came from but they handle quite a bit of sun, don’t get too tall, but spread nicely.

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6. On Friday I traveled with a garden group to see a local cucumber farming operation which has two enormous greenhouses where they grow seedless English cucumbers. The flowers don’t need to be fertilized to produce fruit. The greenhouses were previously used to grow cut flowers but when the recession hit, people stopped buying cut flowers and the farmers had to find a new crop. These long cukes have very fragile skin and must be hand picked as do the grapes on another part of this farm. Commercial farming is hard work and expensive. This greenhouse is on a farm which has been in the same  family for five generations.

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That’s my six for this week, a 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 – Dog Days of Summer -August 11, 2018

Hot and humid  dog days here. Typical Eastern Shore summer weather. Occasional thunder storms may bring rain or just spectacular lightening in the night sky.  The garden work never ends. A load of mulching chips is now in the driveway. We will start moving it a few loads at a time in the cool of the mornings. It’s hard to believe that September is just around the corner.

Here are my six on Saturday, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

  1. Naked ladies (Belladonna Amaryllis) – I can never remember where this clump of bulbs is, but in August they appear and bloom. This year I found a stray one and moved it to its sisters. Google tells me that there is foliage that disappears before the flowers appear, but I don’t remember seeing that. I’ll put some flags by this clump so I can plant something low around them to hide the stems. These ladies do look undressed.

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2. I saved some seeds from zinnias in a Community Garden bed (not mine) last fall. This is my reward.

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3. The liriope (Liriope muscari) is beginning to bloom although it is becoming something of a nuisance as seedlings are appearing in the gravel drive.

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4. Tomatoes continue in my Community Garden bed. When I picked this morning I realized the strange yellow/white tomatoes were from the Shah plants I started. I tasted one and wasn’t seduced. I’ll throw them into the sauce pot but I wouldn’t can a kettle of just white tomatoes as I suspect they don’t have as much acid as the red ones. The chewed tomatoes were on a plant at home. Squirrels! The eggplant in a pot keeps producing.

5.  A fresh flush of ferns in an area where they all died back when we didn’t have any rain for six weeks. The hosta is a Francis Williams. Still no significant slug damage on the hostas this year which is miraculous considering how wet it has been in between the weeks of no rain. Might it be those fireplace ashes I spread around the hosta? The ashes have not deterred deer in another section, however.

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6. This is an early morning  photo of St. Michaels harbor, a ten minute walk from my house. On the right is the Maritime Museum, a world class facility that is keeping Chesapeake Bay history and waterman culture alive as well as rescuing and rebuilding some of the boats used by the watermen. Every time I go I am astounded that our little town has this jewel. A friend of mine is in charge of the gardens at the museum. He has recreated gardens from different time periods, including what would have been a typical garden at the small home of a freed slave. I’ll take some photos and share them.

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That’s my six for this Saturday. I hope you’ve enjoyed what I have to share in my garden on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.