Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Never Too Early

Philly continues to be engulfed in summer heat. I spent over five hours in the yard today getting rid of things I normally save for doing at the end of the season. This is an early start for me, and by October maybe raking and bagging leaves will the largest chore left in the yard not including bulb planting in November. While waiting on my bath to get ready after leaving the yard, I looked out the window inspecting some of what I'd done today. A refreshing breeze had started to blow rustling tree leaves. Reminds me of fall but not yet. We still have a few weeks. It would have been nice to have this breeze while I was in the yard. 

Today I focused on emptying containers of potting soil that wasn't used this or last summer. I stacked the pots for now until I decide what to do with them and see if I'll use them next season. Several containers of purchased perennials from last season that died finally went in the trash. I rushed to get things ready as this is our trash pick up day. I made it and bags won't have to sit around until next week. I now have a small space for something else next summer. My plan, a large container for sunflowers near the vegetables in the spot that gets the most sun in the yard. I actually planted some seeds today in a container to see what they do. Sunflowers can be planted in the summer for fall but I'm late doing it. They may not do anything as they require lots of sun but I'll see what happens. While digging holes for new plants I located the peony I planted in spring. They look healthy but didn't break ground this summer. Maybe next spring after getting more established. I'm glad I didn't chop them up while digging.

I planted 2 hydrangea, 1 black eyed Susan, and 1 coneflower. I have to find a space for the hosta and coreopsis. Today was warm but not as hot as yesterday. Planting in extreme heat is not recommended and I really didn't go out to plant but to clean up, but I just kept going. I made sure to water each hole before planting and the plants in the yard all got a good soaking with my watering wand purchased yesterday. My aunt recommend I get a sprinkler which I did but the watering wand also said, "take me home." Both were inexpensive. My yard has been a buffet for insects with good appetites this summer. All the hosta have holes, foliage of most plants has been nibbled from the rose bush which was doing so well to all the coleus. My small container of sweet potatoes have also been discovered. I cut down the tomatoes several weeks ago but didn't pull them up. I now have new plants that don't look diseased. I wonder what they'll do by frost? The 20 cent packs of cabbage and lettuce were planted. Lets see if I can get some seedlings.

I love hydrangea and I'm taking a chance buying another one because the ones in the planters have powdery mildew. Although the leaves are damaged on them I hope it doesn't kill the whole plant.
This one has some spots but I still bought it.
Time to get started. My sorry chives. They obviously like sun and have done nothing for the second summer.
That's my chicken wire to cover my bulbs. I saved it from last year. I need to pull up these weeks. I did get to that.
I emptied 4 containers including a cracked clay pot that was beautiful but broke in the winter. I hope to get some type of planter for sunflower seeds in the space next summer.
Those are my sweet potato potato plants. It needs to be weeded before weeds take over.
Part of today's project. Cut down the peony and plant hydrangea and some other perennials.
I'm still working on my brick border.
The peony is sprawling open and the stems have weakened. It also has powdery mildew on the stems but it hasn't reached the foliage yet. I won't miss it. I've wondered if cutting the foliage keeps the plant from forming blooms next year and if the plant uses the foliage to store energy next year like bulbs? It's coming down anyway. Hopefully if I give the area around it a good fertilizing in the fall and spring, it'll have blooms in the spring. There were no blooms this season.
I did good. Now I'll put down some mulch and probably sit some plants here till next spring.
Those bags are last years leaves from the yard; hopefully now leaf mold. The bags are now almost flat. I'm afraid to open them. I think I'll have someone open them for me by fall so I can see what it looks like now and put it in my flower beds. Maybe this years leaves will go in my basement so this area can be clean for next season and I can do something with it. A gardening vendor once had a small greenhouse that would have fit perfectly in this space. I wasn't able to find it when I looked for it again.
That space is better with everything not being used moved.
Peony cut but left enough so I know where not to plant.
Coneflower and  peony planted.

Black eyed Susan planted. That all green plant to the left is actually a canna. I planted it late so it may not do much this year. They're supposed to be hardy in my zone. They are for my neighbors who have them. Maybe mine will come back next year.
That's a small florist hydrangea. Supposedly they're only for  the bloom and then to throw out. It's living, I couldn't throw it out.
Sure hope that coneflower returns. I gave another one to my sister. She came over and demanded one. When we went back for more they were sold out.
Hydrangea planted.

Strawberries ran into the next container. I guess I'm supposed to cut off the runner now that it's rooted.
My strawberries are still alive but not as robust as they were. I guess they know fall is almost here.
Tomatoes are really hardy. Don't pull up the root and they come back. Maybe a tomato by fall?

Everything in the yard isn't doing well. Heat, slugs, and humidity did this.
Insects ate this up. I wanted to cut off the leaves but why do that when they'll just eat new leaves.
Remember how beautiful this was. Do I just cut off all the leaves? The shade in my yard even with some limbs cut is not good for many plants.
It finally got mildew. I cut off those leaves.

A little fresh water for the bird bath. I have yet to see any bird drinking or frolicking in it.
Elephant ear won't give up. Now I know it likes moisture. It won't be large like last year.
They're doing well in the clay pots but I don't know about surviving winter in them. I've got to find a place for them they're my favorite.

You see those weeks. In a place they shouldn't be. That's for another day. No rest for the gardener.
Put down some mulch. Maybe it would have helped if put out earlier in spring. Next year is a new season.
I wondered why this started dying the day after I got it. I had a hard time getting this root bound black eyed Susan out the pot. I cut half of the bottom off and untangled some roots before planting it.
I emptied these containers. 

I'm going to plant that hosta when some of the annuals start to die in the fall and it's some space.

I still have a whole lot of shade. The area near the vegetables and a small part of the flower bed have the only sun. It used to be even darker in the yard like night during daylight. I think I'll keep some shade because it would be brutally hot with not shade.

That's the blackberry. No berries my first year but it grew like a weed.
My new water wand. I love it. 

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