Saturday, December 9, 2017

December 9, 2017

Indoor garden. My chives are just NOT working out. After some investigation, I think they're too dry and getting too much sun, unbelievable as it sounds. The basil is still doing ok, although I haven't risked picking any. So I rearranged things a little. I still have issues with the mites on the fuschia, even though I put it in the bathtub and soaked it with spray for a day. My new amaryllis hasn't sprouted yet, but the paper whites are blooming well. I just haven't figured out what's up with the tuberose yet.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

November 11, 2017

The pond is frozen and the pansies died in the last frost. I belatedly put out the burlap and towels to cover the berries and honeysuckle. I left one calla in the ground - we'll see if it comes back next year. The layers of mulch and bone meal seem to have discouraged the squirrels - they've done some random digging, but they haven't (as far as I've seen) discovered any bulbs yet. I've refilled the birdfeeders several times and ordered more seed - the squirrels have been exploring them but haven't gotten in. I mostly have nuthatches, chickadees, and finches. I did add a ball with suet chunks but nobody has discovered it yet, which is surprising since the squirrels usually get to it first thing.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

October 21, 2017

It was 75 today. I can't believe it. However, the weather report said the cold front is finally coming tomorrow, along with rain, so I had to finish the garden TODAY.

I cleaned out the rest of the four o'clocks, weeded, planted all my bulk tulips in rows, put down a layer of bone meal, then another layer of dirt, then a layer of mulch, then sluggo.

Then I dug out the end section past the new location for the pond. It was quite a bit of work because the ground cover was heavy there. I put in three rows of fancy tulips - tall in the back, medium in the middle, and shorter in the front. Bone meal, dirt, mulch, sluggo, and these I surrounded with wire and threw some more wire on top. I dumped the rest of the liquid fence around this. I also mulched the honeysuckle, hoping it survives to next year.

I bit the bullet and pulled out the nasturtiums, weeded more ground cover, put daffodils over the main part of the garden, iris and glory of the snow in the corner with the anemones (I've never gotten iris other than reticulata to grow, but there's always a first time). Then bone meal, a little extra dirt, mulch, and dumped back the nasturtium tangle as groundcover.

I dug in the new hose holder thingy I got but was unable to get the old hose off. I took out the rest of the dahlia and calla bulbs and packed them in peat. I cut back the raspberry and added mulch to that and the other berry pots. Also refilled the birdfeeder.

Sara contributed more mulch, bone meal, and peat moss for packing the bulbs. By the time I finished all this (I started at 10 and took a break for a couple hours to go get lunch with Sara around 1) it was past six and getting dark. I put out the last of the mulch, hauled the peat moss, wheelbarrow, packed bulbs in boxes, and tools down to the basement. Then I vacuumed up the dirt I'd tracked in.

Finally, time to wash off the dirt! Aaaaand, remember that I didn't finish putting sluggo down in the Monet garden and left it outside. Decided I didn't care. I am DONE.
My landlord didn't say I COULDN'T keep my wheelbarrow here... and I had to put the peat moss somewhere... this is right at the bottom of the stairs, so convenient.

bulbs and stuff - this is not my basement space, I was moved in with my upstairs neighbor when some renovations were being done and never got my space back. But I'm going to take over another neighbor's space and then I'll have to move everything again!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

October 13, 2017

I had a half-day off from work, so I went straight out to the garden in the morning and worked for about 3 hours. I was hot, sweaty, and very, very dirty when I was finished but I got a LOT of work done! The plants I had ordered came as well, which was fortuitous.

First I laid down mulch and moved the pond. Thus making the surprising discovery that the fish is...gone. Not dead (although I assume it is) but MISSING. I think someone went fishing... I wonder who has been eating the food for the past few weeks? Anyways, I only paid a couple bucks at the bait shop for it. I haven't decided what I'm going to do next year - it will all depend on if the water plants live or not and if I can rig up a better pump. I planted a honeysuckle and added more dirt and bone meal. I also took the hummingbird feeder inside, since only wasps were using it.

Then I hauled pots and dirt back and forth. I ended up with 3 pots that still have things in them (I planted more pansies) in the herb and flower garden and two partially cleared stretches along the house that have mint and chives. Yes, I know mint spreads and is invasive. I am pitting it against the invasive ground elder. Mint is a LOT easier to pull up if it gets out of hand! It still looks very messy - I am planning to smooth out the whole area, shift around the bricks to go under the pots instead of as a wall, and mulch over the area heavily. I also have to dig in the hose holder, but there are rocks down there that I can't get it past.

I made good headway on clearing out the dahlia forest and expanded the berry plot. I planted my blackberry and added bone meal (supposedly this keeps squirrels off. We shall see...) took a couple more dahlias and calla lilies to the basement, and basically cleaned up pots and wire and so on. Right now there are a lot of empty or partially empty pots and the hose under the picnic bench, but it's not like anybody uses it anyways. I'm storing a lot of my wire enclosures behind the little shed.

Later that night I discovered my fuschia, which I had transplanted indoors, had acquired those little white mites. Sigh. I took it outside, sprayed it, and I'll bring it in Sunday when the temps are supposed to drop. It rained most of Friday afternoon and is supposed to keep raining so maybe that will wash it clean.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October 10, 2017

I got a start on the Four o'clock garden. I pulled out a bunch of the four o'clocks off to the side (and accidentally grabbed a wasp in the process. Ouch!). I also tossed the old pond pump. Then it started raining and I decided I was done, also my vacation ends today.

I have a crazy few days at work, then Friday morning off - it's supposed to be warm and cloudy so I'll hopefully finish the four o'clock garden then. Also, the rest of my plants should be here.

  • Empty and clean the pond
  • Mulch and reset the pond to the left
  • Shift the honeysuckle/hummingbird pot over (this requires delicacy b/c it's attached to a shepherd's hook)
  • Rake away some of the mulch, plant tulips, add dirt and mulch (some online gardeners have suggested bone meal keeps squirrels away.)
  • Sprinkle sluggo
If Sunday is nice I'll do more then, but right now they're projecting thunderstorms....

October 9, 2017

With the help of my friend Sara, I bought four bags of mulch, four bags of dirt, two more big pots, a hose holder, and a wheelbarrow.

I moved things around a little in the dahlia forest to create a smaller section (next to my neighbor's little shed) to create a space for my berries and tomato. The raspberry will be transplanted into a bigger pot in the spring, I have a blackberry ordered, and I shifted most of the strawberry plants into a pot. Whether or not they'll come back next spring, we'll have to wait and see. I'll also buy a tomato in the spring.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fall/Spring Garden Plan

Well, we are not having a normal fall. This will come as no surprise to anyone with half a brain in their head, but it's still frustrating. It's October and the temps are still in the high 70s - we may hit 80 tomorrow. So, plans for the garden are going to change a bit.

Four o'clock garden

  • I'm going to shift the pond to the left of the hummingbird pot. Next spring I will try a water lily bulb and probably will need a new fish. I'm also going to purchase a new pump - I think I can run a cord through the air-conditioner which has holes in it.
  • I've purchased a honeysuckle plant for the pot and I'm going to remove the four o'clocks from the pot and dedicate it slowly to the honeysuckle. I will probably need to add some fertilizer.
  • I'm going to plant tulips in this area, which will be easier to mark and protect, so I'll need to weed, add dirt, and mulch. I'll also keep the four o'clocks and let them reseed themselves (hopefully).
    • Purchased
      • lonicera, scentsation (honeysuckle)
      • tulips - la courtine, johann strauss kaufmannia, triumph, darwin
    • Shopping list
      • pump
      • dirt, mulch
    • Spring shopping list
      • water lily
      • fish
    • Fall To Do
      • Clean and shift pond
      • Empty, fertilize, and plant honeysuckle
      • Add dirt, plant tulips, wire, add mulch
Monet Garden
  • Any bulbs that come back, fine. The big calla in the corner will go in the basement for the winter, if it ever dies back (or gets its leaves eaten). I need to ask my landlord's wife is she wants her bamboo back inside for the winter.
  • I will wait until the nasturtiums die back - although that might take until December at this rate! And then plant daffodils. I'm going to fill in the small front section by the steps, which currently has anemones, with some more dutch iris and glory of the snow.
  • I've got some more nasturtiums and morning glory seeds - the nasturtiums will cover the main bulk of the garden, the morning glories vine up the two trellises
  • There's also a small pot that holds peas. It will need more dirt in the spring.
  • I'd like to redo the wall, but the thought of hauling more stones home, a few at a time, is exhausting.
    • Purchased
      • Blue diamond Dutch iris
      • Glory of the snow (chionodoxa)
      • Peach melba nasturtium (seeds)
      • Carnivale de Venezia morning glories
    • Shopping list
      • dirt, mulch
    • Spring to do
      • swear at squirrels, keep morning glory from taking over
    • Fall to do
      • return bamboo, store calla inside
      • clean out bed
      • plant daffodils
      • plant smaller section of bulbs (add more dirt, fertilizer, and wire fence)
      • straighten wall (use mulch)
      • add mulch and cover with vines
Herb and flower garden
  • Since the weather is so odd, I'm going to add some more pansies. I tried to divide the chives, but it didn't go so well. I bought some more seeds for this area and I'm going to move all the herbs over to the long area to the right, which is currently covered with invasive ground elder.
  • I'll need to clean out and resettle all the pots which are uneven and it drives me crazy. The callas aren't ready to come in yet - when they are I'll store them in the basement. I'm going to get hose storage and in the spring I'll start working on cleaning out the elder and planting herbs - and tithonia at the corner of the house, where I dumped a bunch of old dirt and the sort-of-divided chives.
  • In the spring I'll do mostly pansies in the pots, miniature rose, some more aristotle basil, and I think I'll put the callas into the bigger pots. I'll also scatter some alyssum around.
    • Purchased
      • Johnny-jump up (seeds)
      • Moulin Rouge pansies (seeds)
      • Sorbet denim jump-up viola
      • Sorbet red blotch viola
      • Tithonia (Mexican sunflower) (seeds)
    • Shopping list
      • wheelbarrow, pitchfork, hose storage
      • dirt, mulch
    • Spring to do
      • to purchase
        • black-eyed susan vine
        • miniature rose
        • thyme, mint, chives
      • plant seeds in pots
      • swear at squirrels for digging up pots
      • dig up more ground elder and mulch
      • plant herbs and prepare for the Battle of the Invasives
    • Fall to do
      • Plant additional pansies
      • Shift and resettle pots
      • Straighten wall
      • Dig out ground elder
Dahlia forest
  • Some of the dahlias are getting close to ready to come inside. I have peat moss ready for them this year and I'm going to try to see how many I can get to come back next year. Except...I might start running out of room! In fact, I KNOW I will be running out of room with the new ones that I've purchased and if they divide! I also have a lot of new flower seeds I want to try. Plus tomatoes, blackberries, and raspberries. Hmm. I currently have: Kasasagi, amber queen, Einstein (I think - it got some kind of fungus over it), Firepot? and a couple different variations of pink/purple and white. 
  • I think I will see if I can put the raspberries, blackberries, and tomatoes over by my neighbor's little shed (she keeps her walker in there). The picnic bench is in the way, but I will see if my landlord objects if I move it.
    • Purchased
      • September morn (dahlia)
      • Awe shucks (dahlia)
      • Teddy (dahlia)
      • Raspberry lemonade zinnia (seeds)
      • Double take cosmos (seeds)
      • California poppy (mixed sunset) (seeds)
      • Strawflower (tall mixed) (seeds)
      • prime-ark traveler, blackberry
    • Shopping list
      • 2 large pots
      • dirt
      • tomato cages
    • Spring to do
      • purchase gazania, tomato
      • transplant raspberry into large pot
      • plant seeds and dahlias (bone meal)