Six on Saturday – Blessed Rain – October 19, 2019

We had rain this week — and wind. It brought down a lot of trash from the silver maples, but I am not complaining. We were desperate for moisture. More rain forecast for tomorrow, but after several months of drought some of my evergreens may not make it through the winter.

This afternoon I will pull up the cucumber that hasn’t stopped giving. I took the last bag of cukes to Sherry, who cuts my hair, and whose Serendipity Salon is next to the St. Michaels Community Garden where the steroidal cuke grew. I’m pulling up the spaghetti squash plants as well. This morning I saw a single potential squash the size of my thumbnail, but it’s too late in the season for it to mature. The plant only had male blossoms for the first six weeks. Anybody have any ideas why? Last year seeds planted at the same time in late August produced a bumper crop of a dozen good sized squash.

But first, something pretty.

  1. Physostegia virginiana, the obedient plant, obedience or false dragonhead, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family. I thought I had pulled all of this out, but there is a small clump. It needs to be transplanted.

IMG_9592

2. I think this is a chamomile cultivar but it doesn’t look like the button center photos I pulled up on the internet. It’s another plant someone gave me. It has small white flowers which are still blooming.

IMG_9587

3. Despite all the watering I did, drought distressed plants now litter my garden. I suspect some will need to be replaced next spring.

IMG_9582

4. The red twigged dogwood leaves are beginning to show some color and the twigs are turning red.

5.  Most of my large grasses were cut back a couple of weeks ago so I could divide them. I knew I would lose the seed heads, but I couldn’t wait to do that job later. One clump along the fence didn’t get cut and is showing plumage. It looks as soft as a cozy, warm sweater.

IMG_9590

6. Seed heads on the Echinacea, a group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family.  Commonly called coneflowers, I have not had much luck with them. This clump is now getting more sun since I took out the river birch, so I will plant some of these seeds nearby and see what happens.

IMG_9577

That’s my Six on Saturday, photos in my garden once a week, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in. #lovemygarden

 

Six on Saturday – Still No Rain – October 12, 2019

Still no rain.  We are now over two months without precipitation. Our quarterly town water bill arrived. Almost $300, but I am hoping most shrubs, etc. will survive as well as the emerging areas that I seeded when we removed the raised beds. Despite what the weather people call a “moderate” drought, there are still things to see in the garden among the desiccated foliage . Several people have wondered how I can still have flowers in the garden. I tell them daily watering and close-up photography.

Here are my six on this fall Saturday.

  1. The flower heads on the Autumn Joy sedums are fading but the Sheffield mums behind them are just beginning to open.

IMG_9557

2. We finished a big job on the side of the house prior to my first cataract surgery last Wednesday. The procedure went extremely well. Second eye in two weeks. This side of the house had four straggly spireas and overgrown iris beds. My first plan was to only remove the iris, but as I worked I decided to take out the spireas as well. They never did well in that spot and had been inherited from the previous home owner.

I dug everything out and transplanted clumps of epimedium which I am watering daily.  The soil is so dry that it really isn’t conducive to transplanting, but I needed to get things done before my eyes were being worked on.

Today we laid down landscape cloth and covered it with pine nuggets. When we have a heavy rain, this bed splashes soil onto the siding. I am hoping to eliminate that problem.

IMG_9566

3. The short iris are now in full bloom, just as the goldenrod is fading.

IMG_9559

4.  My one cucumber plant at the St. Michaels Community Garden is continuing to produce. There is a row of garlic chives by this plant which has been covered with bees since it bloomed. I’m wondering if that’s why I’ve had so may cukes. The spaghetti squash plants are flowering but only with male flowers. I don’t think there will be any squash this year. Last year I had enough from a fall planting to see me through the winter.

IMG_9530

5. These are the garlic chive blooms. They need to be divided next spring, but should be cut back this fall before they seed. If If don’t get that done, the babies will be a nuisance in the area between the raised beds.

IMG_9529

6. Also in the community garden are some beautiful peppers in a neighbor’s bed. They remind me of bells.

IMG_9537

That’s my Six on this dry Saturday. 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 – Rain, Please – September 21, 2019

Still dry here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I have been continuing to move plants although digging is more like jack hammering concrete. Even with constant watering there will be plant loss.

In my community garden bed one cucumber plant has been outdoing itself. I pick this many or more at least once a week. My yoga class takes them home, I take them to the salon where I get my hair cut and make lots of cuke and onion salad for myself. My husband doesn’t like cucumbers and I can only eat so many. The tag that came with this plant is still there so I will know what kind to get next year.

IMG_9453

2. The tall New England asters are beginning to bloom. They will be gorgeous with the goldenrod planted next to them.

IMG_9471

3. Seed pods on the native milkweed are bursting with seeds.

IMG_9469

4.  In the same area of my garden Verbena bonariensis loves the miserable soil. Someone posted last week that this verbena didn’t do well for them. Their soil might be too good. And these have done well despite no rain for two months. Only an occasional sprinkler on them.

IMG_9470

5. I have some carrots in my community garden bed. One of them is going to seed, but it is really pretty.

IMG_9452

6. It’s been in the high fifties at night. Our first fire of the season is only weeks away.

IMG_9477

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 – 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.

IMG_9143

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.

IMG_9111

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.

IMG_9069

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.

IMG_9145

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.

IMG_9147

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 – Hot, Hot, Hot – June 29, 2019

Summer temperatures are finally here. In the mid-nineties most days. No rain for a week but I’m not complaining…yet. I’ve been pressure washing the house a side a day with the  loan of equipment from my neighbor. I’m wet by the time I finish, but with the heat I don’t mind. There’s lots of color in the garden this time of year and I enjoy my early morning walk to check on everything. Saw the first Japanese beetle last week so will start carrying a container of soapy water on my walks around the garden to drown them in.  Easier than squishing the beetles.

  1. This clematis just keeps blooming when the others have stopped.  I lost the tag for this one when the lattice was replace but I thought it was Arabella. When I googled clematis Arabella it said it was non-vining. This doesn’t get very tall but I have tucked it into the lattice and it seems happy. I’m sticking with Arabella.

IMG_9079

2. The Vitex tree (aka Chaste tree) at the end of the driveway is now in full bloom. I didn’t get around to cutting it back this spring so it is now taller than I want it to be. It blooms on new wood so will need to be trimmed aggressively next spring.

IMG_9108

3. I planted a packet of zinnia seeds that I found in my seed box. This first bloom has wonky petals but I love the color.  Some other zinnias I planted from seed are too tall and get floppy. Next year I’ll pay more attention to plant height but I will certainly save seed from this beauty.

IMG_9100

4. Getting more sun with last year’s removal of a river birch has benefited this clump of purple coneflower.

IMG_9084

5. I have shasta daisies several places in the garden. They are descendents of a clump at the house when we moved here 13 years ago. There wasn’t much here. The daisies were planted in a small circle in the middle of the backyard ringed with a variety of odd stones the family must have brought home from trips.

IMG_9083

6. Coreopsis Moonbeam spreads and I now have it multiple places in the garden and in some pots. If sheared back by a third, it will bloom again late summer and fall. Wikipedia tells me: “Coreopsis verticillata is a North American species of tickseed in the sunflower family.” I am a sucker for anything with yellow flowers. I love the pop in shaded parts of my garden.

IMG_9097

That’s six from my hot summer garden. #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 – 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.