Saturday, April 29, 2017

Thought It Was Summer

It's warm and tropical feeling outside. Could have fooled me. Thought summer had arrived. I'm sure plants loved the heavy rain last night. I did part of what I planned this morning but only removed one shrub. After all the twisting, pulling, and tugging, the other will have to wait till I have something to put in that spot. The root growth was amazing almost like tree branches below the soil. When balloon flower breaks ground they'll be pleased to actually have room to grow.

Will miss the tulips. They were beautiful. In a few more days their blooms will be done.
To be removed today and transplanted in the yard.

Replaced with switch grass, carex, heuchera, blue eyed grass, and Helen Von Stein lambs ears and topped off with compost. Soil in this bed is rich and very loose already. I like grass and sedges for their variety and variegation. They'll also provide interest in winter.

Better leave this shrub, and periwinkle that's traveled from my neighbor's flower bed to mine for another day unless I want a sciatica repeat. Periwinkle is pretty but it's invasive and I don't want a ground cover. It twined it's way throughout the flower bed. Lifted a bag of compost from my car this morning. A no, no. Said I wouldn't do it but I did. I had to have it this morning.

This is why I wanted the broom plant. The flowers are beautiful in spring. It's scented not sweet like I like blooms but that's okay. If it gets huge, that's okay, the more blooms in coming springs. It's also evergreen in my region 7.

She's a pretty hosta surviving amongst unwanted ivy and periwinkle. I'll take care of that next weekend. Digging in the dirt outside is done for today. On to getting cleaned up, breakfast, and the pet store for cat food for my Callie. The best part, seeing the cats available for adoption.

Friday, April 28, 2017


Can't believe I actually did something today in the yard. It's that time when spring bulbs are past their prime and blooms drop making a mushy mess. If I actually do what my sister and I talked about yesterday, there will be no bulb planting in the ground in fall. I love the bulbs and they're beautiful but it's labor intensive to plant, remove them, and try to create a flower bed that I find pleasing to my eyes and will do well till fall. Hopefull I can find reasonable priced perennials that can fill in the bed and when spring comes, the flower bed will be ready for the season without all the work. Good plan but all plans are subject to change. So far I haven't ordered any yet but have to soon to get the 75% discount. Bulbs in container are an option because the ones this spring did beautifully. This way they're not occupying all the space and I'm left with almost nothing in the bed when they're done.

Today I cut the little grass mostly weeds. Started removing tops of bulbs past bloom, planted the broccoli and kale, planted flowering fern tubers, and one canna bulb. A coworker of my brother gave me a bag of canna bulbs. Last year it was a 5 gallon bucket of them that I gave to my sister. She shared with neighbors and many houses on her street had canna last summer.  

The containers will be empty until I decide and want to spend for something to go in both containers once the bulbs are pulled. Still have the raggedy arborvitae removed from out front but I don't like the way they look. Won't throw them out. Recycle plants and move them around I tell myself.

Amazing how such beautiful bulbs can end the season. That's the part I don't like.

Too many kale seedlings in that little pot. Next year I don't think I'll direct sow. Seedlings in the yard are far behind those I sowed inside. These should be ready to eat.

Don't know if they're beets or Swiss chard.

I covered the strawberries in the hope I'll get to eat some. They're lots of berries in 3 containers. Living someplace different with a large plot and space to plant fruit would be nice. I've found that you can eat lots of home grown berries without the space. That's nice. A large peach tree grown from a seedling by my mother did once occupy a place in the yard. The first year it produced we had tons of peaches but the tree had to be cut because neighbors don't always like fruit in their yards. The tree grew and grew and in a few years it was almost as tall as the house until I had my brother cut down the tree. No more fruit trees in the yard but a dwarf container lemon, lime, or orange would be nice. I did have all 3 until this past winter when I put them in a sunny spot in my daughter's window. Bad decision. They were still small but not dead. They are now. I'm going to make a gardener out of her eventually, hopefully.

Critters have been digging in the carrots.

Dead Nettle in bloom still waiting to be planted.

I should be eating broccoli and Swiss chard by now but not when you don't plant starts on time.

I hope the flowering fern tubers on the bottom do as well as the other planted fern.

The bleeding heart is small this year but it's early.

Plans for tomorrow. Tear up the flower bed out front to remove 3 shrubs, and a hosta that will go in the yard. Then plant some new perennials. A change is welcome. See you tomorrow. If I haven't killed my joints I'll head to the yard in the rain on Sunday. That's the plan although plans can change.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Planting Day

If I could have only one flower it probably would be white daisies whether mum, gerbera, African, or the unlimited number of beautiful plants. The weather is beautiful day, not too cool or warm, and a beautiful blue sky. Birds singing and last night and this morning my daughter and I heard an owl. I've heard it before but thought I was imagining it. It's definitely an owl. This morning I looked on the National Audubon Society web site and listened to sounds of birds of North America and think I found our owl. Based on what I heard it may be the Eastern screech owl. It's supposed to be small the size of a robin. It would be nice to spot it in the trees. Last night it sounded to be in my tree out front, and this morning in larger trees in the yard. There could be more than one. It's nice to live in the city and still be able to enjoy nature.
Lilies for containers and to go in the ground out back.

The small section of painting left will have to wait. A whole week of painting caused my sciatica to flair up. I made it to work last week though but next week will be a challenge. The emergency room may be an option. My daughter will tell the doctor it's my fault because I'm always doing something. That's what she did last time. You know I have to garden and do my home repairs but I'll have to make some changes in how I do things. I had a whole week off. Had to do something. Have you ever had sciatica? There is no pain like nerve pain even childbirth. You definitely don't want it. Today is planting day and hopefully I get to pot up my tomato and pepper seedlings, and start on summer bulbs especially the lilies that already sprouted. I can sit and do this, no lifting.

Hosta for the yard. They're a lot in one container so I'll separate them, and some vinca.

My primrose is still living even with temperatures heating up. It smells wonderful.

My work area for the day. Yet to be started, new cushions for the porch.

While transplanting tomatoes on the porch I saw soil flying out front. Transplanted another broom plant into my sidewalk container and took back the dying grass. Squirrels came digging not fooled by something freshly planted. I keep my cayenne pepper handy and so far during the winter and spring they haven't been digging as much as usual. Although they still ate some bulbs. Some for me to enjoy, and some for them.

My patio tomatoes did well and are nice and sturdy although fungus gnats killed other seedlings. No support needs hopefully since they only grow 12-18 inches tall. They'll stay on the porch until I have room for them out back. One will stay on the porch and hopefully make it all summer and overwinter indoor for tomatoes during the winter.

I line the bottom of pots with paper towel so soil doesn't drain out. This works for me. Today I decided to cut it into circles so it fits perfectly in the bottom. After lugging pea grave to cover the top of the soil it dawned on me to cover the top with landscape fabric that I already have and insert plants through the top. I've seen fabric used by those who do raised beds and garden in rows for some seedlings. It warms up the soil and also protects against some insects. Plants can still be watered and drain through the fabric.

These paper towels were meant for me.

Eat dessert. They surely thought of me!

Tomatoes can be transplanted deeper  than I'm planting them up to the leaves. It supposedly helps them to be more anchored by root development on the stems. They're patio tomatoes, I think determinate and they should be okay.

Would require too many pebbles and I don't think they sell horticultural grit in the United States. Probably could get some on line but smaller pea gravel will do. Bet they can't lay eggs in that.

I tried vermiculite to cover seedlings in the hope that fungus gnats didn't like it but the type that was available wasn't course enough. Then sand. That didn't work. I saw gnats. So the idea of the weed block came to mind.

Ribbon was easier.

I have too many peppers. They'll have to wait till another day to be covered so they went into a plastic bag with a little ventilation until I get to cover them. Time to soak in a hot tub so I can make it to work tomorrow. Happy gardening.