Thursday, September 21, 2017

September 21, 2017

The unexpected heat continues to ravage the gardens. I got one blue/purple St. Brigid anemone (seen above) but it quickly withered. My Einstein dahlia that has some kind of scale or fungus is getting worse, but at least it's not spreading to any other bushes. The Gingeroo is producing smaller and smaller pompom dahlias. I put the strawberries outside - I got a few berries off them, but they got little webs of some kind of bug and the berries in my living room window were pale and didn't look good. I got a few more good berries off one and the chipmunk at the substandard ones. Still getting a few raspberries now and then. I've been watering in the evening, which isn't the best, but it's when I have time. It's in the 90s during the day. Ugh.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

September 9, 2017

The chipmunk has taken to sitting on my windowsill in the morning glory vines, eating morning glory flowers and other small tidbits. They better be tidbits. If she's eating my bulbs she's in trouble! My dahlias aren't putting up a very good show - I don't think I watered them enough earlier in the summer and I should have pinched them back. The mysterious daisy things I planted look awesome though. Even if I can't remember what they are. I need to divide the chives and refill the pond.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Fall/spring garden plan

I'm buying bulbs now so there needs to be a PLAN.

Four o'clock garden
  • No more clematis. I will try a gold flame honeysuckle in the hummingbird feeder pot, or maybe a Lonicera. Meanwhile, I'm going to let the four o'clocks reseed themselves and I also have a lot of four o'clock seeds left that I can add to this area. In the spring I'm pretty sure I'll need to clean and restock the pond. I would be surprised if the goldfish lived through the winter, as well as the other plants since I'm pretty sure the pot will freeze. I want to try a water lily next year. If the pond plants come back, there might not be space. If they don't, I really only want to replace the little viny ones that look kind of like little water lily leaves. I might have to buy a new pump as well.
  • I'm going to plant daffodils in the space behind the pond and scattered around the area. They're supposed to spread.
Monet Garden
  • If the crocus come back, fine. I am going to try not to stress about them getting nipped off. I'll need to ask my landlord's wife if she wants her bamboo inside for the winter - I've been keeping it on the wall for her. The peas will be done of course.
  • I'm going to pull out all the nasturtiums and morning glories, dig the beds, then plant the bulbs.
  • There will be several stands of tulips - I'm going to put green wire baskets around them. I'm buying
    • La Courtine (single late)
    • Johann Strauss Kaufmannia
    • and a mixed bag of Triumph
  • I'm also going to plant more Dutch iris (blue diamond) and try some Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow)
  • Then I'm going to edge everything in daffodils.
  • There are anemone, crocus, hyacinth, and muscarii (which have never bloomed) but if they come back fine, if not, not.
  • Once I've planted everything reasonably deeply, I'm going to add several more bags of dirt, then put down the wire (so I'll have to mark out where it's going) then throw all the vines back onto it as cover for the winter.
Herb and Flower Garden
  • I want to make sure I get viola - plants or seeds, as well as pansies and johnny jump-ups, for the pots next year. I would think the mint will probably come back. I'll need to buy more aristotle basil (it doesn't sprout from seed) and a new miniature rose.
    • I bought seeds for the spring
      • Johnny jump-up
      • Moulin Rouge pansies

  • For the fall, the calla bulbs will come inside. They can be packed in a box - they don't care about getting dry.
  • The chives really need to be divided. I'll have to figure out where to put the extras.
  • The black-eyed Susan vine doesn't grow particularly well from seed - I'll clean out the pots and use them to start indoor plants and then buy a couple for next year.
  • This will be a good opportunity to straighten the cement wall.
Dahlia forest
  • I am going to try to winter the dahlias inside again - this time I need to get something to pack them in because they dried out badly last year. I will start them inside again.
  • Ok, I bought more dahlias from Swan Island
    • September Morn
    • Awe Shucks
    • Teddy
  • I'm going to branch out from the zinnias. This year those pots will have
    • Tithonia (Mexican sunflower)
    • Osteospermum (need to buy - still looking for the ones that change shades)
    • Raspberry lemonade zinnia
    • Double take cosmos
    • California poppy (mixed sunset)
    • Strawflower (tall mixed)
Indoor garden
  • Trying to get the amaryllis to reflower sounds like a LOT of work. I think I will move it outside for a couple months to cool it off, then repot it and see what happens. The squirrels better not eat it!
  • My tuberose never did bloom, but it's still growing. I guess I'll just wait. I'll keep the strawberries going as long as they're alive.
  • I'll get more paperwhites from the nursery later this winter.
  • I might try some chives indoors this year, although they haven't done well for me in the past.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 31, 2017

The weather has turned chilly and the dahlias seem to be mostly enjoying it. The zinnias are wilting a bit though. I got one glorious St. Brigid's anemone and then something bit off the other buds and SLEPT on the patch! I put wire around it. My gingeroo dahlia bloomed and I have lots more buds coming. Hopefully the cool weather doesn't put them off. I watered the pots a bit and sprayed some liquid fence on the anemones.

Friday, August 25, 2017

August 25, 2017

I feel very productive today. I finally cleaned the pond (the goldfish did not appreciate this). There were 2 snails left. There were also some interesting sort of clear bubbles on the trailing water plants. I saw a spider with a mostly white and black body and spindly legs and several bees and yellowjackets. I put in a pond tab and fed the goldfish. I'm not sure it appreciated this either. I didn't get all the algae off the rocks, sides of the pond, and pump - is the pump still working? I'm not sure. The fish seems to be getting enough oxygen and taking care of any mosquito larvae, so I'm going to call it good.

I finally saw bumblebees! I have been missing the bumbles this year.

I planted the things that I thought were callas but now I don't think they are which I pulled up from the dahlia pot in front of the pond. I also watered things. I scrubbed clean the birdfeeder and will be putting out new seed and trying a new hummingbird feeder.

I ate a couple ripe raspberries and my one ripe strawberry. Tiny but sweet!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23, 2017

One of the plants I stuck in a bare spot in the pansies might bloom soon. Of course I have forgotten what it is. I swear someday I'm going to remember to write these things down...

I think the goldfish ate all the snails. The pond is extremely mucky! I am determined to clean it out this weekend.

I have an anemone almost ready to bloom!

I don't have any bees this year and I've only seen one hummingbird, before most of the flowers opened. Just not a year for them? Found a better spot elsewhere? Effect of my aphid spray? I only used it once. Liquid Fence? It shouldn't matter to the bees and hummingbirds though? I don't know.

I watered pretty thoroughly.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

August 20, 2017

Hot and muggy. Yech. I'm working on organizing my garden tools and pots in the basement. I watered the dahlia forest a little and brought the strawberries inside - I'll pollinate them by hand because I'm never going to get a strawberry if they are outside! I might not get any inside either, but at least the critters won't eat them!

Argh, bugs in my birdfeed AGAIN. Moths this time. I tossed the container and am investing in a new one, as well as some new birdseed.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August 16, 2017

Something is eating my dahlia flowers. They're sheared off all around on some blossoms. I would suspect Japanese beetles, but I haven't seen any! Last year they were very obvious. Weird. It rained this evening, nice soaking showers. I have lots of nasturtium flowers now. Still need to clean the pond badly.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 13, 2017

Everything blooming pretty well. A new dahlia opened - now I have two that are white with purple tips (one is tips, one is centers), purple pompoms, and little orange pompoms. I'm hoping to see blooms from the last three, as they all have buds, but I don't know. I keep finding purple petals on the lawn but can't figure out where they're coming from which is driving me crazy!

The tomato remains spindly - next year it's going to have a bigger pot. The raspberry is still yellowed. Why? I don't know. Maybe it needs a bigger pot too? If we ever cut down that dying pine tree in the corner I could maybe put in a raised bed just for raspberries and tomatoes. It's a nice thought. The zinnias are blooming enthusiastically and the alyssum is a snowy carpet.

The pond is not clean. The snails have disappeared (did the goldfish eat them?) but I haven't figured out how to clean it out. There are more four o'clocks sprouting. I staked the mini gladiolas, deadheaded some pansies, and cursed the chipmunk for digging MORE holes in my basil and pansy pots. The nasturtiums are starting to bloom. I also restacked the bricks and got the basil/mini rose pot to be level. Finally! It was driving me crazy.

The hummingbird feeder hasn't got much interest, that I've noticed anyways. I had a flock of female house finches at the bird feeder today (which needs to be cleaned).

I watered around noon today, then went out later and cut flowers and sprayed liquid fence on a couple spots the chipmunk has been digging.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

August 8, 2017

A few days ago I found dahlia petals all over the lawn. Never figured out where they came from though. All my plump green strawberries are gone. Dang it. I watered. I think I need to figure out a way to clean out the pond. Not sure how though. The nasturtium finally bloomed and so did the mint. New peas are sprouting and the four o'clocks I reseeded.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August 2, 2017

I bought a goldfish for $1.50 at a bait shop. It's not dead yet... I also bought two bags of mulch and a couple more stepping stones. I put the stones on top of existing stones that were sinking into the ground. One bag of mulch around the birdfeeder and four o'clocks, one where the hose is. I also unclogged the birdfeeder. The hot pink four o'clocks are blooming and of course I left my camera somewhere.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August 1, 2017

Planted the nasturtium seeds that have been soaking. Refilled the pond. Watered. It's hot. Possibility of thunderstorms later on, but I doubt it.

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31, 2017

I transplanted the calla that was conjoined with a dahlia. I hope they both survive. Actually, now I'm not 100% sure that IS a calla. It's awfully reedy. I added dirt to several places and planted my three new plants. I also watered and asked the landscaper if he could aim the grass clippings away from the pond.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 30, 2017

I weeded around the four o'clocks, transplanted the one that keeps getting jumped on, and put in more four o'clock seeds. I moved the wire enclosure around my anemones and mini gladiolus to this spot.

I threw some extra forget-me-not seeds I had into the clematis/four o'clock pot. I also planted new peas. These are FOR the chipmunks so they won't eat my other stuff!

I moved the strawberries to the wall by my pots - as long as I remember to move them if it rains (the roof drains right there) it will be fine. Although I don't know if the chipmunks and squirrels will actually let me eat any of the strawberries....

I put in more nasturtium seeds to soak, watered, and put down a layer of sluggo and liquid fence. It was getting hot and I was accumulating mosquito bites, so I figured that was enough. (yes, I did get rid of the weed pile).

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Garden to-do list

Garden to-do list

  • Weed farthest four o'clock
  • What's eating four o'clock in clematis pot? Remove wire so I can weed and put in smaller cages
  • Remove wire and cage from the one under the bird feeder. It is dead.
  • Weed four o'clocks
  • Add more water to pot
  • Add dirt to calla in corner
  • Remove bulb wire and plant more nasturtiums.
  • Find a better home for the strawberries
  • Weed anemones and put in smaller wire cage
  • add dirt to callas. cut back gnawed on leaves
  • clean out pansies, deadhead, plant extra flowers
  • cut back mint
  • What if i put wire to stand on under the hose?
  • clean out and weed dahlias
  • transplant calla to a separate pot
  • move both callas in together
  • transplant...tomato? to new pot?
  • add dirt to Adam's fruit pots

Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 27, 2017

I checked the garden after dark tonight. Something must be eating things. I only saw 3 slugs by the garden pots though. A lot of spiders, which must be eating something....

I already need to water one dahlia again and add more water to the pond.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 26, 2017

Hot and muggy. It still hasn't rained. I found one raspberry the squirrel missed - there are lots of buds at the ends of the branches, so hopefully he won't get those! Strawberries are budding too. The pond smells a bit mucky, but the snails are working hard. I think I probably do need a better mini pump though I can't figure out how I'd get one to work.

I pulled more ground elder around the four o'clocks - some are budding, although they have been heavily chewed and are not as bushy as last year. I weeded the clematis/four o'clock pot a little. Why don't the squirrels and rabbits ever eat weeds?

Weeded more ground elder from the big plot. More from the section of pots. Found out why a sprig of ground elder was coming up in my calla pot - it had sneaked a runner in through the bottom! Deadheaded some pansies and pulled some of the dead chives stalks.

Weeded some of the dahlias, the purple one has a lot of buds and I think another is ready to bloom with a new color! Hopefully nothing happens before I get my flower! Watered some of the dahlias and tomatoes. Added some more mosquito bites to my already vast collection.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 25, 2017

The alternating hot and cool weather and torrential rain and dry spells are not improving the look of the garden. I need to weed, I need to add dirt to spots, I need to cut many, many, many chewed-up leaves and the squirrel has eaten all the raspberries. There are also holes in pots where the chipmunk (probably) has been digging although the liquid fence stuff does not seem to have deterred the baby rabbits at all.

I went back and forth on watering today - it might rain tonight or tomorrow, or it might not. Either way, the pots in the back need watering - it might be too late for the black-eyed susan vine already - so I went ahead and watered. Heavily in the back, sparingly in the front. Some pots are not draining well.

And, in the space of about an hour, one of the squirrel ripped off a blooming zinnia and a couple buds. I know it was a squirrel b/c rabbits can't reach that high and chipmunks (so far as I have seen) either eat or store what they take.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 23, 2017

I went outside to pour some water on the black-eyed susan vine (it's back against the wall so it doesn't get rain). There were several little showers earlier. It was definitely a day for wildlife. I saw...

A hummingbird visiting the dahlia forest (without result since there are only a few tiny zinnias open and dahlia buds). I don't know why it didn't just fly over and use the hummingbird feeder.

Lots of robins wandering around and goldfinches using the dahlia stems as perches.

The chipmunk selecting green tomatoes, settling down on a brick wall to partially eat them, and then storing them in the ground elder. This explains the lack of tomatoes at a lower level on the plant.

The squirrel selecting raspberries for a treat. This also explains the smaller number of raspberries compared to other people I've been talking to.

I put down another layer of Liquid Fence (which I suspect doesn't really deter the chipmunks and squirrels) on the tomato, raspberry, and some of the dahlias that are more open. Also the fenced bulbs in the Monet garden.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 20, 2017

Hot and muggy. It rained last night, heavily but briefly.

The pond is overflowing and I adjusted the pump to empty it a little. One of the basil plants is squished. I deadheaded johnny-jump-ups and pansies. I need to shift pots etc. so they're not in the line of the eaves if it's going to keep raining heavily.

I cut dahlias - in addition to the purple-tipped ones that I restarted from last year I have a dark purple one that's blooming. Unfortunately I've forgotten what it's called. I have a really bad habit of not noting what flowers I order. I think it's a Diva or Einstein?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 19, 2017

Took a morning walk through the garden to see what needs doing. Maybe this weekend I'll get up early.
  • Everything needs to be weeded, especially around the four o'clocks.
  • I need to get some minnows for the pond (ok, I don't NEED to, but I want to) and try duct taping the solar panel a little more firmly.
  • I need to refresh the peas - pull out the old ones and replant new ones.
  • Deadhead the pansies and other flowers (chives? replant?)
  • Deadhead and weed the dahlias - I should probably remove the calla lily that somehow entwined itself around a dahlia
I came home in the evening and it was even hotter and super humid. Mom watered the garden a little, especially the strawberries. The chipmunk selected and devoured ANOTHER bulb. After much travail, I managed to mix some more liquid fence and applied it (again). I think I possibly have a chipmunk with no sense of smell and it is meant for rabbits and deer... I also refilled the hummingbird feeder and noticed one of my four o'clock stems had been snapped off. I might have done it myself when weeding, but it's more likely to have been a squirrel jumping on it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 18, 2017

Something dug a hole in the tomatoes and the one dahlia that has come under attack before. I sprayed them both again with the deer/rabbit spray. Moving the strawberries outside has got at least one blooming - we'll see if any fruit results. I deadheaded some pansies and found out that the weird lumps in the calla lily flowers are seed pods (which sound like WAY too much work to plant).

It's hot and muggy and several things need watering, but it's supposed to storm tonight, so I'll wait a little longer.

Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017

The bulbs I dumped the dirt on top of - the chipmunk has figured out how to climb into the fence, collect herself a bulb, and then hang out eating it. Apparently they have no objection to daffodil bulbs. I sprayed more liquid fence over it and yelled at the chipmunk.

I went to Rotary Gardens last weekend and noticed that I'm not the only person who's nasturtiums are a bit weak. Also, they had a Japanese beetle infestation.

I still need to dig the corner calla in deeper, spread more dirt over the areas uncovered by the rain, and water the strawberries, which I moved outside to get pollinated. But it's supposed to rain soon so I probably won't bother.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

July 15, 2017

After last week's torrential rains the garden is mostly doing well. A lot of bunnies have been hopping around and I think they are the ones to blame for the major damage done to my biggest calla lily leaves and the poor four o'clocks. The bulbs were washed right out of the ground - I just dumped a bunch of dirt on top of them, although the one calla in the corner is still exposed. I found 2 Japanese beetles in the dahlia flowers and gave them a soapy death. Something is eating the peas, but it's ok because I'm not really eating them. I've seen a few leafhoppers on the dahlias but the soapy stuff got rid of the aphids.

I sprayed again for rabbits and deer, since the heavy rains must have worn everything off before.

In the evening I put more mosquito bits in the pond, pulled a few weeds, and gathered a handful of raspberries. What are the big lumps that form in the calla lilies after the flowers turn green?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Garden progress

Zinnias look good. I suppose I should thin them out....nah

This dahlia is still recovering from getting too wet. Alyssum is sprouting up at the bottom.

This dahlia got a friend - calla lilies. I have no idea how. It also got aphids, but I think I got rid of them.

A dahlia flower! No aphids! This is one from last year that I resprouted. Looks lovely!

A lot of the dahlias are still pretty puny. The tomato is also small and sad. Maybe a bigger pot next year? Definitely a bigger pot for the raspberries.

Basil is growing well!

I can't decide if I should pull up the chives and start over, or what. They're rather spindly, but they regrow themselves so....

I think whatever was eating the morning glories is full.

My anemones sprouted! and my mini gladiolas! and a morning glory that I didn't want!

Finally got a good covering of nasturtiums going

Pond needs some more water. I'm still thinking about adding some minnows. Snails still seem happy though!

Something is still chowing down on my four o'clocks

Monday, July 3, 2017

Pests part 2

AUGHHHHH!!!! these were not there yesterday i swear!! what are they? the whole stem is covered in them! Do i chop off the flower and burn it? wipe them off with a wet rag? spray vigorously with water? WHAT ARE THEY???

What is eating my raspberry leaves? Why is the bush half yellow? I want my japanese beetles back! at least I could see those and pick them off easily!

The tomato is not thriving

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Garden pests?

Fireflies don't eat plants. So who is devouring my morning glories?? (and everything else)