Welcome to 2014, the second half!


September 2014 to the end of the year has been moved to:

September through December 2014




August 30, 2014


The new look on the deck! Normally, the copper urns with flowers will be at the back rail, but they are currently being used to hold the corners of the carpet down! LOL The adorable little sign was a gift from Mom. And, of course, those are the pots I painted a little bit ago. (They are being used to block the view of the many empty pots behind them! But, don't tell anyone! LOL)












Close-ups:





























August 29, 2014


UPDATE on Echinopsis!


Since it was still pretty decent outside, I decided to go ahead and replant Echinopsis. I wanted to get a look at her roots to see if they were still healthy, too.


Echinopsis and her brood in the old pot.






















Pulled the new babies off first. Many had already started to grow new roots.




















Then, I uprooted last years babies.






















I turned the pot over on it's side and learned that Echinopsis had become somewhat rootbound in her pot. The roots still look good, a little yellow. And, she was actually about 6" taller than I thought she was! LOL She measures 3' 10", about 8" was buried in the pot. I would guess that she weighs about 30 lbs without her pot and dirt.


I also found a near petrified whole peanut in the cactus dirt! LOL






















So, with the 1.5 bags of cactus dirt I had and what was in the old pot, she was moved to the new larger and straight-sided pot. I also put two pieces of rebar at her side between spines and used wire around those (and her) and tied the wire off on one of the handles to help her stand up straight. Then I added her many babies in the new pot.

























And, then I moved the family back into their outdoor house. I'm done! LOL

























Earlier the same day:

Oh boy! What a treat! It was nice and cool out this morning and pretty much stayed that way the entire 4.5 hours I was working outside! Gotta love it! I was happy to see that cloud cover to keep things cool! Sick to death of hot days and warm nights.

So, first things first.


I loaded up another barrel of yard trash from the Ivy and Holly mess. Two more barrels and that part of my many messes should be gone! YAY!!


















Then, I started with the deadheading and trimming of various flowers.


The Coneflowers in the front, that were rather wild and flopping around, have tons of new flowers forming so I didn't feel too bad about cutting off the old dead stuff. But I did loosely tie up what is there so it's not quite as floppy. Then, I trimmed back the Columbine. I shall have much Columbine next year because black seeds went all over! LOL And, the red Dahlia got plucked a bit, too.


















I had to cut off more of my California Lilac. So, it is missing its whole front now. Wish I knew what it's problem is. I thought after I sprayed it that it killed whatever bug it had, but apparently not. But, on the brighter side, what is left looks healthy!


















After I cut off more of the CA Lilac, I saw this Dahlia growing under it and getting ready to bloom!


















The second Coneflower section also got a trim. It didn't have near as many new flowers coming on, only a few actually. So, maybe being that tightly together is not what it likes! haha


















Tied up a few things, too.


Garnet Brocade, loosely tied up.

















Tied the Cosmos up loosely too. I wanted to get it off my Tomato plants.















Red and Purple Fuchsia. I didn't do anything to it, just think it's pretty! LOL




















All that being done, I decided to pull out the short arbor that was a "go through" for the boys (and a holder of Christmas lights.. tee hee) and put in the tall arbor that I just bought. So I put the new one together, pulled the old one out and then wrapped my lights around the new "go through"... now I can "go through", too! LOL



















I re-repurposed the old shortened arbor and moved it to where the Passion Flower vines started growing again. Now there are vines coming over it from both sides. Hopefully, now they will stop strangling everything else around them!















Before I quit for the day outside, I was checking out plants in general and had noticed that several frogs were off their pedestals... rodents, no doubt, are responsible for that. But, I was a bit concerned when I saw one of my largest statues had been knocked off her stump! I don't want to see what was big enough to knock it off! Hope it was squirrels playing in the area! So, I put everything back where it belonged and gathered up tools and came in for lunch.




















August 28, 2014


First thing morning, I looked out and there were several Gold Finches in the garden. One was getting a drink, two were eating seeds and at least two were assaulting my purple Cosmos plant! Then a Flicker stopped in to eat some suet. From the rear of the yard a Scrub Jay came swooping down to get a bite and then it saw the Flicker and just kept right on going until the Flicker left! Was pretty funny.













Later this afternoon when I went out to water I did some looking around. The Coreopsis is all bloomed out again.





















More Petunia's have bloomed and whatever that other purple flower is.





















More Gazinia's bloomed. They don't last very long. I think they close up every night and bloom again when morning comes. The Portulaca is still blooming, in different colors every time I look at them!





















Lots of color from the Dahlia's, Mum's, Dianthus and Black Eyed Susan vines.


























And, this Mum is hiding under the California Lilac.





















Red Dahlia just keeps on giving! The two pink and white Fuchsia's are still doing well also.





















This is the Tomato plant jungle. I could see several tomatoes forming.





















And, the birds Sunflower Jungle.


























Then, I noticed this scraggly looking cornplant has an ear forming on it. LOL


























But, this was the real shocker for the night! On the tall corn plant that I have been waiting to eat one of those ears smothered in butter... dang thing is growing an ear of corn outside of the husk! LOL





















And, lastly, that same tall plant has an ear of corn forming way down next to the roots! Maybe I don't want to eat any corn off this odd plant! LOL


























August 25, 2014


Got too hot for working outside, so in order to delay having to do housework, I am going to add some pictures here, first! LOL


Finally got the fabric laid and the rubber mulch on it. I need to get more and add a new layer to last years wood mulch. But, at least this part is done.


















Cleaned up another pile and a half of the ivy etal. Looking nice in there. Luke popped in for a photo op! LOL


















The birds sunflowers are getting very tall. I can't see some of the feeder stations any more!


















Grapes are getting purple, but I think the weather has been bad for them. They have some brown spots, the leaves have brown spots and some curling. Might not be very tasty this year.


















The Gazinia and Portulaca seem perfectly happy with warm and dry weather. There is some invasive weed that keeps getting in there. Soon as I pull it out it starts growing more. grrrrr


















Purple petunia has made a good come-back. I can't remember what the other purple flower is. Both seem to be happy, though.


















I wasn't sure that the Purple and Red Fuchsia from Mom's was going to pull through, but it now has tons of flowers on it. Looks pretty.


















August 23, 2014


Fully bloomed! Pretty!
























Very nice!


















Picked 2 cukes this morning!
















August 22, 2014


Still waiting!!! LOL




















Update 10:57pm:


Finally!


















I put some glow in the dark stickers on the big planter... we'll see if they really do!
















Update 10:57pm:


no glow!


















August 21, 2014


Echinopsis Eyresii is showing more pink... I think it might bloom again tonight. This is the 3rd or 4th time this year!






















August 19, 2014


Echinopsis Eyresii is getting ready. She's showing some pink again!


















Newest Frog


















August 18, 2014


Got the Honeysuckle moved. But there are still roots I couldn't get out in the old spot, so, I will likely have another grow there, too.


















Pretty pink weed!


















Found another Portulaca growing!


















August 17, 2014


Started off the day with a hot cup of coffee in my new cup that David brought me from his trip to Boston.





















This is my new mushroom for the garden.


























Dug a hole and pulled out weed roots from where Art E Choke used to dwell. I decided the larger blueberry was going to live in there.

























































Honeysuckle is going to get moved in the morning from here....





















to here:





















Butterfly Bush (the one with the shovel in front of it) is going to get moved from here...
























to here, but not sure if I will get that done tomorrow or not since part of it is still blooming. Maybe wait for a few more weeks.


























Echinopsis is looking very fine. She has about 2 dozen babies growing on her and 3 of the five fuzzy things are going to bloom. I think 2 of them died.










This is the planter intended for Echinopsis but I'm not sure if I will transplant her this year. Might have to wait until next Spring. Once she is in it, I won't be able to get her in the house over the Winter months and I need to build her a good greenhouse to leave her outside. I was going to paint it Lavendar but that spray can felt mostly empty, so she gets Lagoon blue instead!





















August 16, 2014


Picked up some more spray paint on the way home today. I have to say that the "Citrus Green" Krylon paint was not impressive in color or application. I much prefer the Rustoleum paints.
But, I got all the originally green and black planters dressed in new colors and ready for re-use as planters or pedestals for planters (or frogs - tee hee).





















Lots of Sparrows stopped in for dinner tonight!





















August 15, 2014













Black-eyed Susan vines are hanging in there!
























Gold Finches, Scrub Jays, Crows, Flickers, and lots of little birds visited today. I think they were also glad that the temps have cooled even if it is still humid. I saw a crow taking a bath in Cody's wading pool today, too.




















I started cleaning up that mess of plant pots and then decided, in the middle of cleaning, to paint a white planter. I started the 2nd one, but ran out of copper paint before I got done. So only this one is finished.
























I had put this set of shelves on the "haul away" pile, but then I took it back because it is just the right height for spraying pots and frogs... so I decided to keep it for awhile longer instead of buying something new that would end up covered in paint. So, I painted some more plant pots. The one on the lower right got the end of the 3 colors I had. LOL
























And, no, I did not get around to finishing cleaning up the planters mess! But, it does look better. tee hee






August 14, 2014


First thing I did today was refill the yard trash barrel. Looking good under those trees! It would be a nice place for a summer hammock... well, if not for the rats and squirrels... oh, and bird poop no doubt! LOL




















Started looking around to see how things were doing with all the icky weather we've been having. First thing I noticed is the squirrels knocked the antlers off one of my lighted deer. Stinkers.




















Birdseed is growing well!




















Sunflowers too!
























My two Early Girl tomatoes got red, so I picked them! All the tomato plants are doing much better since I used some of those "poke in the ground" fertilizer sticks for each one.
























Cukes are looking much better now. Several blossoms and there is a tomato plant growing in the middle of them! LOL




















Grapes are showing some damage... hope its not bugs.




















Rhubarb is still doing very well!




















I sprayed some Sevin for bugs on my poor California Lilac, hope it helps. Couldn't actually see any bugs, but, just in case... you know!




















Passion Flower vine is doing nicely. It and the Black-Eyed Susan vines appear to be living in harmony so far.
























Passion Flower seems to be coming up all over the place! This one I will pull out.




















Honeysuckle managed to bloom!




















Garnet Brocade is outdoing itself from last year!


















Elsewhere in the gardens: Brick-red Mums, Fuchsia and red Dahlia, Magenta Dahlia, Mauve Mum, Purple Petunia and Zinnia's. I can't remember what the small purple flowers are that are with the Petunia's but they have had a rebirth! The Zinnia's are doing very well but I need to deadhead them.


















































Ugh! Got to get this planter mess under control. I am not buying anything in a pot for a long time! LOL There's some of the older ones and the broken one that will go on the trash pile waiting further removal.


















It looks like 3 of the 5 fuzzy things will bloom. Those three have gotten a little bigger since I last looked at them. But two are turning dark and haven't grown any so those are probably not going to do a thing.


















August 12, 2014


A bunch of these yellow birds showed up today in the gardens. I forget what they are called but I had them last year a few different times too.




















There were 4 Stellar's Jays having lunch and taking baths, too!




















Scrub Jay was waiting for the Stellar's Jays to leave. As soon as they did, he unfluffed his feathers and swooped in! LOL




















August 8, 2014


Just a few pictures from the garden. While I was working out there I happened to look at the base of the giant cornstalk. Don't remember ever seeing anything quite like it. It's like it had/has two sets of roots!


Kinda weird looking!




















Flicker stopped by for a snack.




















I dug up and moved my poor scrawny purple Widows Tears and put it over by the Spiderwort (it's cousin) and the Garnet Brocade. The Garnet Brocade, a Fall blooming plant... seems to be blooming early.




















Frogs! LOL




















August 7, 2014
I went outside around mid-morning to load up the yard trash barrel with one of my piles of Ivy and Holly branches. The boys, of course, came out to help since it was cool out... about 63 deg and sunny.


Luke wanted to finish his breakfast, so he brought his bowl with him. Cody opted to roll and squirm in the dirt. Some help! LOL




















After I loaded the barrel, I set out lunch for the rats in those bait stations.




















Then I pulled one of the soaker hoses out of the garden and replaced it with a different kind. Now, the ones that like and want water should get plenty and the ones that prefer a more dry existence won't get as much. (I hope! LOL)




















After redoing the watering "system", I put new food out for birds and squirrels, cleaned the birdbaths and refilled those... Luke watched for rat movement! LOL I did see one rat and one field mouse while I was out there. I hope they enjoy their lunch back at the rat holes. I just don't want to watch them die, breaks my heart and I feel sorry for them... yeah, I know... I'm nuts! LOL




















A Stellars Jay stopped by to find a snack. I don't get them real often, but the come in occasionally.




















Everywhere I went in the gardens, I pulled weeds and grass. The mouse I saw was in the section with the most grass where California Lilac, Delphinium, several Dahlia's, several Mums, and some Dianthus are. (I took the picture after I had already pulled out most of what I was going to).


















So I pulled weeds/grass from that area. I didn't get it all cleaned out but it is much better and you can see the flowers a bit better. It was getting hot out and my middle-aged body was getting tired of all that back breaking weeding I'd been doing.


































Rhubarb appears to be very happy in its new clay home! Had 5 new leaves growing already!




















Trimmed up the purple petunia plant as best I could. There are flowers growing at the ends of what look like dead "branches". So, as long as it wants to keep living, I will just let it do its thing!




















I forgot what kind of Lily this is that Mom gave me. The 2nd one didn't grow, but this one is about 8" tall. I wonder if it will bloom before Winter gets here!




















Decided I should haul all the empty pots out of the garden path. I forgot that I broke one! Oops! Cheap stuff... I just got that one earlier this year.




















Put up a small hummingbird feeder on the deck. They hardly ever go to the big one where the big birds are. So I brought that one in and put a medium sized one out there instead. But, I think I will move the medium one over to the gated arch by the Hummingbird Vine.


















Fixed the last of my garden lights that could be fixed, so everything out there should work tonight! I have quite a collection of non-working, not fixable, lights though. Maybe I will paint the small ones in bright colors and use them as path markers! Tee Hee!







August 4, 2014


Well, I headed outside around 10am to start pulling out Ivy and do some minor trimming on the Holly tree. Couple hours at the most I figured.


This was the first thing I saw when I walked out! LOL Not a normal sight. The kitty is on my neighbors roof! LOL


















This was the second thing I saw when I walked out!


















So, I moved the rotten lumber that had been under the trees and while pulling Ivy I intended to look for rat holes. (There were several so I filled them all in and will wait to see which ones open up again so I can put poison in the hole for them to feed on).


















By noon, Cody was getting too hot, even though we were in the shade. So he took a dip in his pool! LOL


















Luke was being a big help... he was watching for rats! LOL


















Ivy root


















Stump in the center of the Holly bush/tree























At 215pm, I had the Ivy pulled out, Holly cut back (and then some), area raked, 6 piles (so far) to get rid of... I'm tired. LOL
There is still more to pull out, maybe one more pile worth. Each pile is about what will fit in the yard trash barrel.
I had taken some bottled water out with me, actually it was bottled ice. But that worked out pretty well because with all that pulling and cutting, I could use the ice on my neck and shoulders while I was waiting for more to melt to drink!
















I did notice that my neighbor is growing a crop of Japanese Knotweed that I warned him to poison to kill it. It is very invasive and if you don't pour poison down the inside of the stalk, it will take over in no time. He didn't listen... which would explain why I am once again finding it in my yard!





















Two more Portulaca bloomed. Pretty!


























And this will be part of my view for the next couple months until I can get rid of it all.





















August 3, 2014


I got a later start than I intended, but still got a few things done before heat set in.

I got the Zinnia planted...





















and, the new (red) Phygelius.





















I noticed that one of the Portulaca was starting to bloom....





















A couple hours later, when I finished with moving frogs around and weeding,it had opened quite a bit more.





















Frogs got put up on the painted planters that I painted the other day, using them as "pedestals". Some got moved to different areas and now, I can see them again! Did plenty of weeding where I was working, but there is still more to be done. It's never ending. Sigh.
















Luke will generally stay with me when I am outside. I allowed him in the gardens with me today. Cody usually doesn't stay outside with me once it starts getting over 75 deg. Poor guy, with all that thick down he has, he just gets too hot. But, if I'm in the kitchen.... Cody's my man! He doesn't leave my side! LOL


And Luke is just soooooo much help (NOT). LOL


















One of the branches on my tree, the lowest one, is dead. It is one of the many that the homeowner must have cut off when he was building his shed. Looks like another branch is dead too. And it looks like one of the trees back there is diseased.
















So, I was going to move some lumber out of my way to pile it up in a different place pending further removal, that's why I noticed the Fir tree being cut. Anyhow, instead of moving the lumber, I decided to plant my Rhubarb plant in the ground and get it out of the very large planter.

First, I cut the existing stalks off and put them in the house. It was quite an armload of Rhubarb.



























Then, I had to dig a huge hole in the place where the planter had sat. And, get the plant out of the planter. It was pretty rootbound in there. But, it got done and it got planted and watered, so I hope it will still do well in its new space.





















Doesn't look like much after I took the giant leaves off the stalks! LOL But there really is quite a bit. I will chop and freeze it for later use.





















Red Dahlia must have heard me whining that it wasn't as big this year as it was last year. It has doubled, or more, in size! LOL





















I need to cut the dead stuff off this poor purple Petunia. I thought it was dying off, but the flowers keep coming on! So I guess I will spruce it up a bit. LOL





















And the birds' sunflowers that they planted are growing well!





















August 2, 2014


Just a few pictures. I bought a new Solar Frog today. He's pretty cute, I think.
















I painted these pots last night and I am going to use them in the gardens to put my frogs on so I can maybe see the frogs! lol


Pretty!


















While at Home Depot with Mom, she got herself a new hanging basket of pretty Petunia's and I got myself a red Phygelius. It's whole name is Phygelius x Rectus; Cape Fuchsia "Funfare". It will live by the Phygelius Snow Queen in the garden.



























Since Mom was replacing this hanging basket of Zinnia's, which was beautiful for quite awhile, I decided to bring it home. I will trim it up tonight, plant it in the garden somewhere in the morning, and see if it perks up again!





















Zinnia update, 800pm
I took the Zinnia outside to start cutting away all the dead stuff. I didn't have much hope for the poor thing, but as I started trimming, I noticed that there were new leaves growing where dead leaves were, there were lots of buds, and just new growth in general - once a person got past the dead stuff! I decided to only take out the dead flowers and the stems that were completely dried out. I left the stems that were still green even if they had dried leaves on the stem because I hope maybe new leaves will grow and I don't know if it would make a difference if I pull that dead stuff off... so it stays! Watered it good tonight when I was done and will plant tomorrow in the ground.

Trimmed up:





















New Growth:



































August 1, 2014


Just a few pictures from this morning after the storms went through. At least it is cool outside for now. But as the clouds are disappearing, it is getting quickly towards the 80's. Ick.

The two Cherry Bushes seem to have snapped back from their earlier bug infestation:
















A tangerine colored Dahlia has bloomed, with many more in bud.

Pretty!


















Honeysuckle appears to have survived it's severe cutting I gave it and is now growing pretty quickly.























Phygelius and Cosmos keep blooming. I really like that Cosmos, it's bright and cheerful.














The bigger orange Dahlia needed some deadheading so I went ahead and did that. The Coneflower, with the slight breeze that was blowing, kept tapping me on the head! So, when I stood up, this was my view and the next flower away from my head. Those bumblebees were really lethargic, maybe they were just waking up because it was starting to get warmer.














Echinopsis has 5 furry things on it, hopefully, they will all flower.























July 29, 2014


I'll show you the prettiest picture first! The self-seeded Portulaca that I planted out in the garden, has bloomed one bloom with others getting ready. It is a much bigger flower than what bloomed when they were in pots.. so this is pretty cool!














Okay, now on to the more mundane stuff! LOL


It gets hot in the kitchen and dining room where the boys usually are, so, I decided to try to put a small fan in that window to vent the hot air. I thought I had a piece of wood that would fit on top of the fan, but nada. Didn't want to go out again and want the option of turning the fan around at night, so I did what I could. Not beautiful, but very functional.



























Until about 3pm when the sun gets to the front of the house, it stays pretty cool outside thanks to the large trees that I cuss in the Fall! LOL So, when I was home I put the large fan in front of that window to help push the cooler air towards the kitchen/dining. I tried to fit it in the window opening, but I just couldn't get it to fit in there! LOL























The system was working really well and it was quite comfortable. It kept the inside about 12 degrees cooler than the outside was. Very nice.

I fixed my baby deer the other day and put it outside with the other two. I don't have a picture of that right now.

I also fixed the Dragonfly garden ornament that a friend gave my Mom.
Unfortunately, with Mom's small area and with the ornament going in a circle, there was no good place to put it at her house, so we put it at my house! On really sunny days, that sucker goes crazy going in circles! But, unfortunately, it broke off. So, I got it back on, and it does work again, but I can't get the wire tight enough to hold it in one position so sometimes it looks like it's having a seizure!























Went out to feed the birds and squirrels and make sure their baths were full of water. I have two feeders for the squirrels that hang in the trees with sunflower seeds in them. One is a Halloween guy and the other is a Snowman. The Halloween one, those little stinkers managed to pry his hat off and get some of the seeds out that way!
















Normally, when I let the bird/squirrel seeds grow, the seed grows like this one with a tassel of seed.... It's about 2' tall.



























But one of the corn seeds actually grew very tall, about 7'now, and has 3 ears of corn growing on it! LOL



























Elsewhere around the garden... the Moth Mullien weed/herb that I brought down from the farm tried very hard to produce some yellow flowers, but didn't quite make it or they die off in the late part of the day.. no idea! LOL























Red Dahlia in the front bloomed. Yellow Mum in the back bloomed and it has TONS of buds. It will be pretty spectacular if they all bloom at once.














Little Red and Purple Fuchsia has a bloom coming on and the Passion Flower is now growing again where I originally had it... apparently it is a traveler! I have 3 Passion flower vines now in different areas!

















July 28, 2014


Last night, I put the two ferns and mystery weed from the farm into a container with some dirt.


























This morning, the weed was looking quite pretty!























After identifying the weed as a Verbascum blattaria aka/Moth Mullein (an herb and weed), I planted it with the white Yarrow since neither requires a lot of water to survive. But, like yesterday, as soon as I touched it, the flowers started falling off! That's one odd plant! But I like it! :)



























When I returned from running a couple errands, I planted the ferns under the Fir tree with the fern Debbie gave me some years ago and fenced them in to protect them from the boys laying on them.























And, their shower works quite well! LOL So, I gave them all a good drink of water and they should be fine during all this heat we're getting. (The reason the ferns get an overhead shower is for a few reasons.... 1. The hose is not in my way when I mow the yard, 2. Ferns seem to like to be misted, and 3. Luke can't reach the nozzle and fight with the water coming out... which he likes to do).























There was more to do outside, of course, (isn't there always?), but it was 95, in the shade, and that is just too hot for this person.

I did notice that the empty seeds I piled up pending further removal to the yard trash on Wednesday has started growing... so I guess it wasn't all empty seed! LOL



























The Phygelius Snow Queen, with the off-white blossoms, has bloomed again! Weird year with several of my plants! Normally, it blooms once and it's done till the next year. This is the third time this Spring/Summer that is has bloomed.























Oddly enough, someone was eating peanuts on a leaf of my Rhubarb plant... or at least hiding its nuts in there! LOL



























And, last but not least, there is an ear of corn growing on the corn stalk planted by the birds or a squirrel. Normally, they just tassel out and the tassels are small bird seeds!































July 24, 2014


I am totally amazed that my Echinopsis Eyriesii has bloomed again! This is the third time and she bloomed during the day while I was at work instead of at night when she's supposed to!

















July 22, 2014


Delphinium is really droopy after the rain we got last night and this morning. Hopefully it will perk back up when the sun comes out again.























Northern Flicker, male, was grabbing a bite to eat.


You lookin' at me??




















I think this is a female Northern Flicker. At least, from the pictures I looked at, it would appear that is what it is. Don't know why her head feathers were so fluffed up!
UPDATE: 07/24/14, Cousin Gary tells me this is a juvenile Northern Flicker.























Fuchsia is loving life!




























Couple of Scrub Jays came to visit today too. The first one turned its head just as I snapped the photo.... shy, I guess! LOL

















July 21, 2014


I was mostly goofing off this morning taking a few pictures and a short movie.























She should bloom in a couple nights.


















This plant that I found growing in a bag of used (by me) plant soil is very confusing. I still have no idea what it is. I brought it in this morning to give it a good drink of water and drain in the sink. When I came back an hour later, the leaves had folded up! Like a Prayer Plant, but it's not a Prayer Plant. So, I put it back in the sun and the leaves opened up again. Wish I knew what it is! LOL

















And here is a very short movie of two Flickers this morning (it has music):








July 20, 2014


First, my favorite picture of the day:





















I wanted to get some water over to the fern without having to stand there and water it... yeah, lazy, I know! ha Tried putting a small sprinkler over there on the ground, but Luke kept pulling it out and making a mess... so, had to think of something else. Overhead? Yes, that might work! So I got two Lamb's hooks with solar lights on top and I had a wand type sprinkler... so I laid the hose on the lamb's hooks and then strapped the wand to the tree branch! This is not the finished product because I haven't finished it yet. This is my "proto" idea to see if it would work okay and it did. Drives the dog crazy, but there is nothing he can do about it! LOL

















The Fuchsia's are opening. The bigger one is looking very pretty. The small one managed one bloom so far, but that is better than last year. It had trouble growing because it was being crowded by bigger flowers that used to be there. So, I'm glad it is making the effort, anyway, this year since I moved the other flowers!

















A new Dahlia popped out. And the Cosmos is doing well, but it's so bright! LOL Delphinium spikes continue to blossom more each day. Coneflowers are full of honey and bumblebees. Life is good.







































July 18, 2014


Oh boy! What a day I've had. Actually most of it wasn't bad at all. Ran some errands in the cool of the morning and then went outside to swap/add some hoses to the garden.
Of course it was getting hot by the time I got home, but not as hot as last week, so I decided I best just get out there and get some more stuff done.
This little cuke plant already had a blossom and I hadn't even gotten around to planting it yet. So that was going to be one of the day's tasks... plant the cuke!





















Since I was changing the watering to all soaker hose, everything that was in a pot had to be moved to the ground. But before things could be moved to the ground, some weeding would have to happen.
I looked around and saw only me in the area... so I quickly figured out that I would have to handle the situation. :)

First I thought I could plant the scraggly viola's over by the Hens and Chicks, but as I was pulling some weeds, I realized that the Hen was kicking the chicks out of the nest and they were rooting in... so I didn't bother them any further.




















Poor little Viola's were starting to look pretty sad, so I moved those first to near the Hens and Chicks.





















Next the little Filbert tree got planted over by the Oriental Lily.





















I tried to get this Columbine out of the brick is was growing in... it won't come out! It must be rooted through all the way into the ground below that brick. I was going to move it, but I guess it can just stay put! LOL





















Next on the list, transplant the two other tomatoes and both cuke plants. So I set about doing that, after I adjusted my hoses. Got both tomato plants in and went to go get a drink from my soda, it was hot out there. Unfortunately, I tripped on the hose and fell down into the bird garden. Sigh. Skinned my knee and jarred various joints that are now very unhappy. :( Yes, both dogs came to see if I was okay... or to see if I was playing... oh hell, at least they showed up! LOL





















Took a short break and then got the cuke plants into the ground.

























By now I am hot, tired, dirty, and injured. Oh, and not really happy either. LOL
All that was left for this effort was to hook the other soaker hose up to the existing one and feed it through to the plants in the front boxes. That took more effort than I was interested in giving, but it got done. The last thing to do was move the Portulaca to ground space and hope it keeps growing. Finally got that done, there was quite a bit of it!





















That being accomplished, I beckoned the boys and they happily left the garden to go inside. Closed the gates, gathered up my stuff, turned the water on and hobbled inside.

I turned to close the slider door and there were several scrub jays that had descended on the birdseed! I didn't see any crows today.





















Okay, thats it for today. I am done and done in... and I believe the Bud Light is on!






July 17, 2014


Another pretty and cool morning out! My top priority for the day was cleaning up the seed messes that were starting to grow in the bird garden. It's not the birds making the huge messes... it's those squirrels! They try to get out the sunflower seeds and kick everything else out to the ground. Jerks! LOL

So, I'm out there working away at shoveling and sweeping up seeds and spent sunflower shells... yes, I said I was sweeping!

But I kept getting this feeling I was being watched.....


Finally I saw them...


and they were being so quiet!













So, I ignored the feeling, thereafter. LOL

In addition to cleaning up the seeds/shells, I also did some trimming on some bushes. I like the canopy over head that they create, but there were tons of shoots at the bottom that were taking over my area... so I cut them off! Teach them to encroach!LOL

I did leave some over hanging because on those occasions I let the boys in there with me, they seek protection from the heat and sun in there.













I dug a hole and "planted" the birdbath (the black one) that broke off its bottom pedestal a few months ago. I hope it will stay in place, I filled the hole with gravel around the stem. BTW, that ground is really really hard at this time of the year! LOL
I also moved my deer further back and removed the baby deer that lays down. He wasn't lighting up and now I know why.... it has a broken wire... so I need to restring lights on him.





















Sat down on the "bench" I use for filling feeders. It was so nice back there. Still nicely shaded. The sound of birds chirping away in soft tones. Some came to eat or get a drink. And I just enjoyed the view from the back. The picture doesn't actually do the view justice.





















Then, it occurred to me that with that many birds above me... I might get an unpleasant surprise! LOL
So I went in the house to get some lunch instead of hanging out under the tree!
On my way to the gate, a rat ran out across my path...nearly over my feet! It was a pretty big one, but not as big as the Willard that moved into my house several years ago.
After dining, I grabbed the weed eater and tried to do some edging on the bird path and some cleaning of the brick path on the side. What a messy job that was! LOL I was too tired at the end of my day to wash down the two paths... it wasn't essential anyway.
I also put out another tub of water for the crows to bath in... maybe they will stop using Cody's wading pool for a bird bath now.













I decided that I needed to swap around some hoses and maybe fix it so the fern would have its own hose and small sprinkler. It did end up getting watered today, but the "system" is not quite right yet. I had a big audience for the event...and they were quite vocal this time.....





















Luke did his part to help me too... by undoing what I was trying to do so he could "eat" the sprinkler... sigh *rolling eyes*





















I had had enough fun for the day and started hauling various tools, etc, back to the house. Decided not to wash the paths and just call it a day. I did notice that Delphinium had many stalks blooming now....


























and when I looked down I noticed a small yellow Viola had popped up! I had a yellow Viola there last year that grew huge from a volunteer viola at Mom's house... but I had moved it and it got swallowed up by clover and I think it got too wet and drowned... and here was this little darlin' growing in the original spot! Bless it's little viola heart!





















Also noticed earlier that a few purple Petunia's were growing on the plant Mom and I gave up for dead from the first round of hot temps! I had planted it here, "just in case" it wanted to live... can't remember what the small purple clusters are.













Lastly, Ms Echinopsis is showing more gratitude! Yet another blossom this year is going to happen! But it is shorter than the others were... at least so far. On the close up picture... those little bumps that look like they have cotton on them.. those are what become blossoms and she is just loaded with them! Maybe I will have a bumper crop of blooms!! *keeping fingers crossed*













Okay, that's it for today... go back to what you were doing! :)







July 15, 2014


It was nice out this morning, clouded but cool temp for working outside. So I did. First thing I noticed was the noisy Crow meeting going on on the back overhead wires.





















Got the Orange and Yellow Black-Eyed Susan vines planted, but they are not a hardy plant, so I have no great expectations that they will flourish.

























While I was pulling weeds/grass preparing a space to plant the BES vines, I noticed this other vine growing at the corner. I think it is a Passion Flower vine but that isn't where I had planted one! ha The big one died off and didn't come back this year but it appears it left a baby for me! Yay!





















So, I weeded all the grass out of the Tomato area, (previously and next season, the Grape Hyacinth area), and planted the rest of the baby tomato plants.





















Between the Cosmos getting so high and thick, the Rhubarb getting big, and the birdbath... the poor little cuke I put back there isn't getting much light any more, I guess I will have to find another place for it. When I planted it, the cosmos was barely there.

























And this giant mass of green appears to be Sweet William... I'll let it grow and see what happens.





















July 13, 2014


I was messing around with my photo program... pretty neat. I made a panorama from pictures this morning from the skylight.
But first, this is what the backyard was in April 2012:
















And this is the panorama from this morning:






















Closer look at the garden:






















July 11, 2014


Well, here we are again at my website so I can bore you to tears with more flower pictures! LOL

I have to show you my favorite one from today's selection first.










Of course, while I was outside working around, the boys were out there too. And, darned if PANG didn't send some more planes out. I didn't see them this time, but they were pretty loud. Not as ear-breaking as yesterday though! LOL Cody WALKED into the house this time! LMAO He came back out 30 minutes later, so I guess it wasn't as traumatic this time for him! LOL I like watching the PANG planes/jets take off but they go so fast that you don't see them for long!

I went out to feed the wildlife and decided to move one of the bird feeder poles and cut back part of the bush with the pink flowers on it and a little of the Maple tree. Those low hanging limbs were making it very easy for the squirrels to get into the birdseed and scatter it all around. So I did that and right after I left a Flicker came to dine on the suet that is out. That store suet lasts a long time because the birds aren't crazy about it! LOL I need to make some of mine so the feathered friends will be happy again.


























Fuchsia is just starting to bloom. Poor little Beard Tongue is still putting out flowers, but nothing like last year.














Most of the Viola's are doing well, but two pots of them died off. And look at the flowering groundcover! It's almost totally engulfed the stump now and is heading towards the grass! Pretty!














Red Dahlia isn't as tall this year, but she is still prolific with her flowers!














Sparkler Allium was actually looking pretty in the garden now that there is so much of it blooming... but it just isn't very photogenic. Lots of Mums are blooming. Most aren't very big but they should be next year!




























Since I revamped my watering system, I decided to move a couple of things to the side that will get the sprinkler instead of the soaker since they are still in pots. So, the Sunflower and the scraggly Tomato plant got moved. Imagine my surprise to see that the tomato plant has two tomatoes growing! The corn plant that the birds planted, as you can see, is doing very well! LOL


















The Delphinium has about 5 stalks (shock!!) and they each have a ton of blossoms getting ready to bloom. The Daylily's... well, I just think they're pretty so I took their picture! LOL


















I still have some stuff to plant. Like these Gazinia's I got the other day. Thought about putting them in the blank spot by the Red Dahlia, but then I remembered I put some bulbs in there. Besides the Gazinia colors would clash with the red Dahlia and the Purple Fuchsia! LOL














And, these veggie plants and the Black-Eyed Susan vines need to get planted too. Maybe later this afternoon or in the morning when it's cooler out!

























300PM... Later that same day, I decided to go ahead and pull grass and weeds out and put the Gazinia over between the Lambs Ear and the Sweet William.


After I pulled an endless supply of grass and clover with yellow flowers, I cut back the spent blooms from the Sweet William. OMG!! It threw hundreds of seeds out when I was trimming it! LOL There should be no shortage of Sweet William next season!


















Then, I planted the Gazinia plants. I also found several bulbs that I had planted there and forgot that I did, so there will be other stuff coming up because some of the bulbs had roots and starts of stems.














While I was pulling clover and other weeds out, I noticed that this lily was growing that Mom gave me. There should be two of them but I don't see a "start" from the other one.






















And, the last picture for today.... A good picture of the Sparkler Allium! LOL Complete with 3 or 4 bees gathering pollen!





















July 10, 2014


While the boys and I were out investigating in the garden to see what was going on with flowers.... PANG (Portland Air National Guard) decided to go play in the sky. Sigh. Boy they're loud when they take off! Not really sure what they were, maybe F-15 fighters? Well, Cody was outside as I mentioned, and he took off on a dead run into the house and hid under the table panting himself crazy. Arrgghh!

I haven't decided for sure where I am going to put the Black Eyed Susan vines or the Gazinia, but they were too pretty to pass up!














Daylily's are doing exceptional this year, as is the Coreopsis














Going to pick blueberries in the morning. Yum! Trumpet Vine is nicely decorated now and the white and the purple Butterfly Bushes are blooming.














Cosmos and Sunflower














Delphinium has bloomed again and the Yarrow is in full bloom




















All the pots with Portulaca growing, still has it growing, but boy is that stuff slow! I wonder if it will even get blossoms this year! And the Cone Flowers are standing tall and proud.




















I noticed that two of the fuschia's are starting to bloom but I couldn't get a good picture of them. Maybe tomorrow after I do some weeding they will be more photogenic! ha








July 8, 2014


Echinopsis was fully bloomed this morning. Very pretty flowers she makes!














The Cosmos opened and the Sunflower the birds planted bloomed, too!



















I have had a ton of Crows lately! They sure make a mess out front on the sidewalk! Several Scrubjays and Flickers have stopped in too.








































July 7, 2014


I decided that today was the day I would replace the indoor/outdoor carpet in the dining area where the boys sleep. They need carpet or rugs to get traction to get up since they both have a bum leg now. So, being sick to death of the multiple rugs in that room...














I bought a new indoor/outdoor rug that would cover all the floor to the kitchen area, so I could get rid of the old rug and the two runner rugs. When I got home, I moved everything, cleaned everything, and put the new carpet down. Then, I moved everything back so I could finish laying down the carpet.
I actually tried to rearrange things in this room, but it can only be the way it is, so everything went back to where it was and I called it good! LOL











































And, that is how I spent the afternoon! LOL


Late tonight, Echinopsis bloomed.























July 6, 2014


Just a few flower pictures.


I was so surprised when I saw this blooming. Luke had trampled everything in that section pretty badly so I didn't expect any flowers. I think this is a Burgandy Mum that Mom had given me.

















Echinopsis is going to grace me with another blossom very soon!

















This section is getting pretty crowded! I can barely see most of my frogs any more! LOL

















Bees are buzzing about the Cone Flowers! Saw a couple Hummingbirds checking them out too.

















Coreopsis has lots of flowers now.

















Red Dahlia is going strong.

















More of the Sparkler Allium bloomed but I'm just not fond of them.






















July 3, 2014


First thing I noticed when I got home... Luke was rooting around in the front flower bed. He squashed a bunch of Dahlia's and Mum's. Stinker.




















Creopsis (left) and Spiderwort (right) started bloming!














Oriental Lily (left) and Phygelius Snow Queen (right) have outdone themselves!














Later that same day....

I happened to look outside as I was wandering into the dining room and saw this Crow convention! (More showed up after I took the shot)




















The squirrel was busy eating. I had just put out fresh food, suet and water for everyone. Many many little birds, a Scrub Jay, and a Gilded Flicker stopped in for a bite too!




















I decided before I take off for a few days to the farm, that I would plant the Petunia that Mom gave me because she got a new plant and also the "seed stones". Well, before I could plant, I had to weed, which I hate... but I did it anyhow. Those seed stones are kinda weird things. I thought half of them had not grown anything... but when I scooped them out of the pot they were in... there was green plants growing on the underneath side. So, we will see what happens.




















I had to tie up one group of yellow Day Lily's and the white Spiderwort because they were just falling all over the place and in the way.




















The Blue Berries are getting blue! I ate the ones that were nice and dark! Yum!




















Coneflowers are standing tall and pretty.




















Cosmos are growing well.




















Oriental Lily is still pretty and really loaded with blossoms!




















Trumpet vine had several hummingbirds checking it out.
























My three groundcovers are doing well and seem to have taken hold... especially that purple one. The picture doesn't do it justice.














July 2, 2014


Checked on Echinopsis when I got home. She is going to bless me with another flower in the next few days. :)




















Lots of pretty colors in this patch!






















I decided to see how it looks from the skylight!














July 1, 2014


July is starting out very warm out. It was 99 degrees today! I hope this is not going to be the trend for the summer!

I decided to go ahead and put the awning back up to keep some heat off of the slider tomorrow. It did help last year to keep it cooler in the dining area where the boys lay around all day.





















I had wrapped some battery operated butterfly lights around the wood, I will need to take those off, but not today.
























The bushes that I cut down to the nubbins earlier have all started growing and growing quickly! I am going to do my best to keep them about 4.5 feet tall so they don't get away from me again.
























Going to have to fence off the fern I moved. I caught the boys laying on it. sigh. But, first, I'm going to bring a couple more down from the farm to plant in the area.





















I bought a new frog today, too! Isn't he cute? LOL I guess he is a gangsta frog... thought he was a hippie when I bought him! LOL
























Spirea (on the Left)is looking quite lovely. The bees really like that one!
The Oriental Lily (on the right) has another bloom and looks like several more getting ready to burst!














Sedium Garnet Brocade (on the left) is just starting to open its flowers. It grew much heartier than I thought it was going to! The Coreopsis (on the right) is getting ready to bloom, too. It's a beautiful yellow and brown flower, one of my favorites.














And, lastly, this is my Spiderwort plant. It is of the same family as the Widow's Tears, but it has an icky name! LOL It already bloomed once this year and then it got bigger and is starting to sport some new white flowers and there are tons of them getting ready to bloom! It's that tangled looking green mass in the center of the picture. LOL






















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