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)
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!
Picked 2 cukes this morning!
August 22, 2014
Still waiting!!! LOL
I put some glow in the dark stickers on the big planter... we'll see if they really do!
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!
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....
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!
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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):