Monday, October 14, 2013

In the Yard-Monday

A little more done. Table and chairs put away until Spring. Planted 3 pansies, 3 black eyed Susan's, a shasta daisy, and a shrub. I didn't get to plant garlic yet, maybe by the weekend. This will be my first time. Although it's October, gardens in Philly are still mostly green. Trees have been dropping leaves but I have yet to see a beautiful tree adorned for Fall. Most of the fallen leaves are brown. The Norway maples that hang over my yard are still green and have dropped hundred if not thousands of seed pods. I have read that trees require certain conditions for the leaves to change colors. It seems to me we had those conditions in Philly with many cool days this year. The weather was such a variety of temperatures and conditions this year. While planting perennials I dug up a lot of bulbs from last Fall. I thought I had taken most of them up after the foliage died. I will plant more, but after seeing the bulbs coming up in my container I will wait until November maybe even December to plant them. I planted late last Winter and they did fine. The ground was not frozen when I planted them.

The yard is small. I would love a full sun yard where I could grow some other flowers that require at least 6 hours of sun. Well I don't have a full sun yard. It's more of a mix of dappled shade and one area of almost full sun next to my house. I plant any vegetables here in containers. This is what I love about gardening. You can try anything. Sometimes plants can tolerate a little shade. I love black eyed Susan's and I have read that they can tolerate some shade but prefer and bloom best in full sun. Next year I will find out if they can live in the conditions in my yard. Shasta and montauk daisies prefer full sun but I planted them in partial shade. I took the montauk daises from the front of the house several years ago. They were beautiful in the Fall but they took over the small flower bed. They really need to be cut back or they won't grow up right. When I planted them in the yard they didn't do well but it didn't bother me. I really should locate a spot in the yard for them that gets more sun but when I was planting today I didn't move them. Lets see what the shasta daisies and black eyed Susan's do.

I have dry shade and I took a risk this Spring planting astible. They shrivled up in the heat. I saw some remnants of them when I was digging today. I read a suggestion about digging a hole and lining it then putting in the astible and this will help keep in moisture the plant likes. Other moisture loving plants may also benefit from this. If more come back in the Spring I will think of doing this then. I planted several this past Spring. I feel better that I have done something to prepare for Winter. One year I didn't do anything including not even rake the leave up. I regretted this when Spring came although many leaves in the flower bed composted over the Winter and it did wonders for my soil. After the leaves fall and are raked up I will top off the flower beds with manure and humus. The Fairmount Park Commission in Philly does provide free compost but I don't know that I will get there to get any. I try to add some type of ammendment every Fall to improve my clay soil and it has improved. I really need to do a soil test so I know what to add for the type of plants I have. I have a soil kit but have not used it yet. I would love to add the ashes from the wood I burn but I need to know if the soil needs it.

Another beautiful day. I don't know if I've seen these type of clouds before?
The view from the window.

Not completely cleaned up buy I will leave the broccoli and calendula seedlings and see if they will make it till Spring. I will plant garlic my favorite.
The nasturtium has a nerve. I planted this in the Spring as a companion plant to the cucumbers. I even soaked and nicked the seeds and when does it show up? I planted more than one seed but this is the only one to show it's face.
Closer view of broccoli and calendula.
The pansy may just sit. I dug and there were daffodils. After digging into them I don't know what they will do in the Spring.

I like the spider plant and will add it again next year. It has a lot of babies but I really don't want to take them into the house.
Canna will grow in shade but may not bloom. This one did not although I did plant it late. They are hardy to my zone so I'll see what it does next year if it makes it through the Winter.
I will remove the ceramic planters before it gets too cold so they don't crack.

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