Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What I'm Learning & The Garden

Before I wrote this post, I thought of all the things I wanted to talk about. Hours later, I don't remember. It's been a beautiful summer although very hot. My plans were to spend mornings in the yard having breakfast, listening to birds sing and wiping sweat  after drinking steaming coffee. Followed by dinner in the evening swatting mosquitoes . Didn't happen because the weather has been brutal and most of my days when not out at appointments or running errands were spent inside enjoying the cool air. Thank God for air conditioning.

What did people do before air conditioning? Children seem to be resilient and the heat didn't seem to affect me either as  a child visiting my grandmother's homes in Georgia and Alabama where there was no cool respite indoors. Actually I spent mornings inside until I felt the gnats wouldn't bother me. Then I joined my siblings outside running, catching lizards, fireflies and doing things that children do, in my grandmother's sandy yard filled with beautiful blooming trees, shrubs, and flowers. 

I remember what I wanted to talk about. Sometimes I can be my worst critic expecting to spend any free time outside of work cleaning, shopping, and doing home repairs. When things don't get done I feel that I let myself down. Working for a school district, I'm on vacation all summer. For others vacation usually means traveling and rest but for me it means getting my to do list accomplished before school starts. Why would I feel guilty for resting, just resting? Can't imagine why doing something every moment of the day seems normal to me. 

Maybe it was being a single mother and years spent raising my daughter or just the transition from childhood, to school, and then being an adult fully responsible for myself. School was my job until the age of 17. After that, college and a full-time job. Being a parent is a busy job and many mothers have 2, one outside the home and the second one when we get home. I'm no longer raising my daughter but when I'm not working my priorities are still house chores including laundry, sweeping, mopping, waxing, putting fresh sheets on the bed, minor repairs, grocery shopping, and on and on. I actually make time for gardening; when.

When I turned 50, I said I would give some words of wisdom. As my 53rd birthday approaches, I've decided that life is short; especially after 50 unless you plan to live another 50 years. No one knows. I've decided that enjoying and participating in other things that bring me joy are more important than things being perfect, everything in order and in it's place. Nothing and no one is perfect. If the laundry doesn't get done, there's another day. My plans for my next year of life include resting more, enjoying nature, listening to the birds sing, and enjoying the freedom and wisdom that only age can give you. 

Felt bad and watered outside today. 

Not the prettiest container this year but that's okay. I really didn't feel like doing anything. Miss the ornamental sweet potato vine. I did plant cascading plants and something to hang down but they didn't do well this year and I wasn't replacing anything. My coleus from seed did well although it doesn't look like the type of seed I ordered.

My geranium seedlings are still surviving.

Arborvitae has gotten so full that the annuals are reaching outwards instead of upwards in search of space and light. Don't know what to do with them. I thought of giving it a trim but not sure. Actually I'd like something else in the center that will allow more room for annuals.

Dwarf zinnias do so well. This small patch hasn't gotten powdery mildew this summer yet.

Bees love the veronica and don't bother me when I tidy up the flower bed.

Something's eating this set of zinnias.
I was going to pull up this plant because I didn't recognize it but remembered it's the baptisia I cut to the ground when it looked dead.
Obedient plant loaded with black seeds. Think I'm late because the pods are open and many of the seeds have probably dropped to the ground or been eaten. I'll try to shake some out.
The problem spot. Bee balm is surviving but the white celosia planted didn't do well. I cut it to the ground. It's still time before fall to see if it makes it.
The dahlias from Swan Island all came up but they haven't thrived or bloomed yet.

Bees love the ornamental onion also. 

I wonder if the mondara seeds were in the purple blooms or in the heads left.
Gloriosa Lily got taller than my small trellis, curled to the side and kept growing. I'll have to remember to dig up the tuber in fall.
Dahlia has not bloomed.
Poor anemone. It's still alive but doesn't like the heat at all, or sun. I'll move it if it services fall and winter.

Celosia and one dahlia that didn't do well at all. I'll cut and clean that up.
On the porch. Geraniums grown from seedlings, dwarf lemon, lime, orange, banana,  asparagus fern, and hibiscus. The dwarf fruit tree looked dead but they don't give up. Lets see what they do under lights this winter.
These geraniums from seeds have not bloomed yet. The pots on the step have been blooming for a while.
The ivy leaf geraniums started from seed took 9 months to bloom. They were fertilized with bloom boost but that didn't help. Can't wait to see the color.

Banana has done the best of the dwarf fruit from Gurney's.
Shrubs are 50% off at Home depot. This is L.A Dreamin Hydrangea. According to the tag it like morning sun and afternoon shade. Matures in landscape or container. It can bloom in shades of blue, pink, and anything in between.No pruning needed. Keep old wood buds on plant. Planting instructions are also on label.

I bought this one also. Allegedly good for containers. I tried this last season with no success over winter outside. They'll go in the ground in the yard with some smaller florist ones to see if they can survive. Echinacea is also for the yard. I'll try it in another spot and see how it does. Philly is expecting another heat wave. I put them in the yard and watered them well until I get time to plant them. 
That rose was beautiful until now. Time for Sluggo. Slugs and snails have been eating my plants.

Surprised  anything is living with little watering except periodic rain. I'm learning that I'm a spring gardener. When heat arrives, no watering or tending to.
Containers look horrible. Oh well. Twenty seventeen is another year. No more annuals in 2016 except pansies and mums.
Calibrachoa will bloom in the shade but it's leggy. Make better choices next spring.
Not pleased to show that but no more annuals this year.
Strawberries still blooming.
Lemon cucumbers. Only 2 the whole summer. I'm going to pull these when the 2 cucumbers ripen.The vine has developed powdery mildew and other things.
Pumpkin blooms. Where is the pumpkin. Normally it's attached.
Getting lots of tomatoes.
Pumpkin vines are healthy.
Dwarf sunflowers weren't getting bigger inside so I put them in the yard. What did I learn. Direct sow them. I probably won't get 1 to maturity.

This is being eaten also. Shiso from my neighbor last summer. I think it's shiso.

I have many things to clean up out here that won't get done till probably fall. Can't keep raccoons out of my fern. Don't know why. At night they come in the yard. I look at them from the window and they look at me.

My helper.

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