Saturday, July 30, 2005

Temperature: 90F (ish)
Weather Conditions: Sunny and hot

What a long hot day! I went outside this morning with the full intention of spending the weekend catching up on my gardening chores and I did! I have spent ALL day pulling weeds and generally tidying up after the neglect of the past few weeks! Needless to say that now my back and shoulders are VERY sore!!!

I also managed to edge a couple of my beds with "pound-able edging" brought at Lowe's. I've been meaning to do this for ages so that I can give the front of these beds better definition, looks good and does the job

I finally managed to get my "Don Juan" Climbing Rose in the ground between mine and my neighbours driveway. It was hard going though as I'm sure that when the house was built 20 years ago all the sand and stones were channelled into this small area so I had to dig the sand / clay out, separate out as many of the stones as possible and mix in some "Rose Garden Soil". The Rose went in the hole fairly easy and I back filled with this improved soil mix, I am DEFINITELY gonna have to get some good compost etc. into the soil to improve it further but for now it has a good start. All I need now is a trellis for the Rose to climb!

I forgot to mention a few days ago that my "Silk Road" Lily has finally opened into all its glory, the smell is AMAZING!

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Friday, July 29, 2005

Bargains of the Week!

Temperature: ??
Weather Conditions: Sunny and for a change NOT HUMID!

Well, I told you that I'm not allowed into Nurseries or Garden Centre's without "adult supervision", all I went into Lowes for was some Rose Garden Soil so that I could plant my "Don Juan" Climbing Rose this weekend! I picked up the soil but unfortunately the stack was right next to the discounted plant rack, I begged myself not to look but it was like there was an invisible force dragging me over. The rack was mostly filled with dried up Marigolds and Oriental Lily's that had finished blooming. HOWEVER, being the bargain shopper that I am I part the foliage and came across a gallon sized "Limerock Ruby" Coreopsis ($3) that was a little dried out, had finished blooming and was COVERED in seed pods. These have all now been snipped off into a paper baggie to dry further and then they will be distributed in various "seed swaps" this Fall. A little further to the right on the shelf below was a very dried out gallon sized "Cuprea" Scotch Heather ($1), half of it is brown and looks dead but I reckon with proper planting and watering it should bounce back nicely

These "finds" off course put me in the mood for more bargain shopping, I was headed for Walmart anyway for coffee and birdseed, however the unfortunate thing is that my favourite nursery is just before it! I pulled in to the parking lot telling myself that I was only going to look because I hadn't been there in ages as they are more expensive. YEAH RIGHT!!!! I walked out of there with Lemon Balm & Hyssop ($1 each) & two, 3 gallon, pink Bee Balms ($3 each)!!!!

OK, so having just completed a search off all my new plants I discover that the Coreopsis should really be considered a tender perennial at best, many sources even say it is only an annual! This is a bit frustrating as the colour looks awesome and would go well in my back garden. I did read however that a few people had managed to over winter it by either bring it inside, placing a Clouche over it for the winter or mulching HEAVILY! I will give it a try, if it dies that's fine cos' it only cost me $3

Monday, July 25, 2005

Falling Behind!

I seem to be falling further and further behind since starting work, oh how I wish I could go back to being a lady of leisure and play in my gardens all day! Since my Immigration status has been finalised I have had to start working to help my husband keep me in the lifestyle I have become accustomed to! This off course means that a number of things have been pushed to the sidelines a little while my new schedule becomes the norm, this not only includes my diligent weeding sessions but also my journal / blog writing and my own personal website. I'm finding it all quite frustrating!

Anyhow, why is it that if you let things slip a little then all hell breaks lose?! My gardens are starting to look quite over run with weeds and I need to do some serious deadheading! I'm thinking of letting most things go to seed at this early point so that I don't have to keep up with things as much, but then I sacrifice any repeat blooming that could happen

Things are quite exciting though as I have had continuous blooms now for a couple of months, my "Plains" Coreopsis and Black Eyed Susan's are just outdoing themselves and really holding the front garden together. Add into this mix the Hollyhocks, Geraniums and Marigolds and things look pretty good. I have had an added bonus in the last couple of days as my "Caravan" Lily which was ordered this past Spring from Wayside Gardens is the first of the collection to start blooming, it smells heavenly and the fragrance just floats around on the breeze. My "Silk Road" Lily will also start blooming in the next few days, apparently that one is SUPER fragrant so I can't wait

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"Caravan" Lily

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Saturday, July 16th

Temperature: ??
Weather Conditions: Overcast and Humid

We've had LOADS of rain recently which is quite surprising since almost every other gardener I speak to seems to be in the middle of a drought, I guess I should thank the rain God or something! I am thankful for it though as this is my first season in these gardens and I have had encouragement watching things bloom, I'm not sure I could have coped seeing all my plants under stress in their very first year!

I have had some nice blooms recently though including the Garden Phlox & Purple Coneflowers which I dug from my neighbours garden, Marigolds, Black Eyed Susan's & Mexican Hats. A walk through my gardens today has reveal a few more things that are blooming or that are on the cusp, like my "red" (!) Hollyhocks and Purple Liatris (Gayfeather), Hosta & Catnip

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My little purple Butterfly Bush that I brought at Walmart back in March has gotten quite a bit bigger and is actually about to put out small blooms, which I didn't think would happen this year. I brought it as a short stick with a couple of leaves on it and the whole thing looked rather unimpressive, four months later it has grown a lot although it is still relatively small compared to what it will end up looking like. I am really enjoying watching this plant grow, it feels like my own baby!

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I am also getting excited because I have noticed a few buds starting to appear on a few of my other plants, most notably my "Don Juan" Climbing Rose which I brought at Walmart (looking half dead I might add!) for the grand old price of $3.50!!! I am actually AMAZED to see buds on this little shrub since I didn't expect any until next year at the very earliest, I might actually get a bloom or few out of it this year?!

I also have a number of Asiatic / Oriental Lily's that are about to burst open in bloom and its a race to see which one will be first! My money is on the one named "Caravan" although the "Silk Road" Lily in the back garden is giving it a run for its money! I can't wait to see and smell them when they are finally blooming. My "Casa Blanca" Lily's are a little disappointing in this there first year one hasn't developed a bud and another has been eaten by one of the wild Rabbits or Deer. I have one left in my big giant blue container so I'm hoping that at least that one blooms. The other Lily which was part of that Wayside Gardens collection is the "Formosa" Lily which is reported to grow to almost 10ft!!! Well mine is no where near this size but then this is only its first year so I have high hopes for it in the future

Lastly, I am also starting to get flowers buds on my Naturiums, Wild Rose and Sweetpea

For some reason the Mosquito's have started to come out in force over the past week or so as I now have so many bites on me I look like one huge bump! I don't know what happened, two weeks ago you would have one land on you from time to time but this past week if I step outside I just get swarmed by them!!! It must be all the rain and moisture (humidity) we have around at the moment, a new batch of larvae must have hatched

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Attack of the Japanese Beetles!

Well, my garden seems to be disappearing more and more with every passing day! I think the Japanese Beetles are to blame but I can't say for sure as I NEVER see the damn things, all I see is the destruction that they are leaving behind. If I could find the little B@#$!&%D's I would quite happily drown them in my little jar of soapy water but they keep alluding me! All my Hollyhocks are quickly turning to lace. My Alaska Daisy's out front are all but stubs in the ground. The Creeping Jenny out front is receding. The "Wild" miniature Rose I rescued is nothing but stems, although it is starting to show a lot of new growth. As for my prized Pineapple Sage which took me so long to find, it is VERY quickly disappearing, so much so that I think I might bring it inside!!!

I am proud to say though that I rescued a few plants on Sunday evening from my neighbours abandoned flower bed which she said I could "rape & pilage"!!! I came away with Purple Coneflowers and what has been identified as Garden Phlox

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Purple Coneflower

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Garden Phlox

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sunday, July 10th

Temperature: ??
Weather Conditions: Sunny

I seem to be doing a lot of deadheading at the moment! The Coreopsis Bi-colour "Plain's" the I have an abundance of in my front sun-bed just always seems to have more and more spent blooms on it! I've come to the conclusion though that the reason it is so tall (about 4 -5ft!) is because it had to fight for the sunshine and so became "leggy". It does look good though with this wave of yellow / burgundy flowers everywhere. I'm gonna have to move them in the Fall though to spread them out a bit and put them in a spot that will suit their normal 3ft (ish) height

Spent a lot off time today re-potting and planting things. Back in March we were involved in a volunteer project to help upgrade a ladies home, fix the roof, put up siding, paint, put a new ceiling in the bedroom etc... Anyway, she works at a county nursery and they were going to through out a whole bunch of plants, she offered them to us! Well, Thursday night I picked up Marigolds, Snapdragons, Geraniums, Impatiens and a Moon Plant. The Marigolds are all now planted in the front of my sun-bed out front, the Impatiens are in a nice ceramic bowl which sits in the shaded area outside my front door. The Moon Plant I have moved into a larger pot as I'm not to sure where I want to put it permanently, I may just keep it in successively large pots!

I discovered a couple of plants flowering in the bed my neighbour said I could adopt! This afternoon I have transplanted a couple of Purple Coneflower clumps, both of which are now located in my back sun-bed. I also transplanted another plant which I'm not sure what it is yet, I'm sure it'll come to me sooner or later and probably with the help of all my various online friends! All transplants were looking a bit droopy this evening but I'm sure they'll bouce back in the next couple of days, especially if I give them plenty of water

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Wednesday, July 6th

WOW!

It feels like I haven't written anything in AGES! It has been non-stop though since we got back from the mountain house on Monday afternoon

We pulled up into the driveway and I immediately noticed that my front full-sun flower bed looked TERRIBLE! Why is it that you let things slip for a couple of days and all of a sudden everything is a mess?!! We must have had driving rain or strong winds because most of my plants were now growing horizontally, I spent the rest of the afternoon placing stakes in the ground and tying all the plants together. Then of course the following day we had a major afternoon downpour (thunder, lightening, the works) and everything has fallen over again!

Then of course there is the deadheading and weeding!.....Needless to say, I think after three days I am finally caught up again!