Saturday, 14 September 2019

Late Summer

Six on Saturday is a weekly gardeners' hashtag hosted by Mr P.  To join the fun, check out the action both on his blog & on Twitter.

Even the pigeons know Mizzy BunnyButt's a terrible hunter.

Though temps haven't gone below 9C this week, neighbourhood trees've begun to turn, which starts me worrying about pumpkins making it to Halloween.

However, there're a few other things of interest in the garden this week.

1.  Sacred bamboo.

Despite the 9C lows, one morning the sacred bamboo was covered with an off-white patina.  Close inspection showed it to be not frost, but a heavy dew.

I was delighted to see flower buds.  Its first year with us, I assumed it wouldn't bloom at all.  Hopefully they'll open before there's frost.  Next year, berries.

2.  Tough guy Actaea.

This guy's perplexed me.  When the shady border turned out to be not-so-shady, this was the only plant that didn't go crispy, including 2 other actaeas.  So it got left behind during the mid-season move to the shady front garden.

And it's done fine.

3.  Bird feeder plant.

Both this plant (below) & the gangly grass behind the actaea (above) came out of the bird feeder, & got spared by my curiosity.  While the one above served its purpose, never to be repeated, I like the one below, much like the miniature ragwort growing under the bird feeder (shown in the first photo) that I mow around.

Now that the seeds are changing colour, I'm even more enamoured.

4.  Blanket flower.

When I broke out my seed cache this spring, there were some 6 year old blanket flower seeds amongst them, so what the heck, right?  Only one germinated but it was healthy enough to get ignored.

Until the woodwardia moved from the not-so-shady border to the front garden with the rest of the shade lovers.  Woody was in an elephant planter but, as there are hordes of marauding students around here, I didn't want to risk the elephant out front.

Taking over from Woody, the blanket flower has some big shoes to fill, but looks like it'll manage.

5.  Random canna.

I planted way too many plants with the canna lilies this year, so everything's had to find their own little space.

This one's a gymnast.  Love all those curlicues.

6.  Oregano update.

A few weeks ago, I saw Oregano Amethyst Falls during a search for another plant, & bought 2 (as well as the original lusted-for plant).  The oregano started blooming on arrival & though it hasn't hit full stride yet, o what a beginning.

The first flowers were lighter, & now are this deep pink.  The hops-ish bits of the flower (to use the scientific term) seem to grow out of each other, getting a longer & longer chain that gets more & more pink as it grows.

Against that gray/green foliage, it's something else.  And promises to be even more so.

Pigeons're gone, Mizzy BB. Come inside for some Dreamies.

That's this week's selection.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Season Change

Six On Saturday is a weekly gardener's hashtag hosted by The Propagator.  Be sure to both drop by his blog & check out Twitter for links from all over the world.

As the days get shorter, my M.E. gets more evident.  It's been 2 weeks since I've had energy to read SoS blogs & I really miss keeping up with you all.

Here's hoping this week'll be different, just in case y'all've done something scandalous that I might wanna try myself.

In the meantime, can you believe this spider captured a honey bee?  I'm feeling like Eve when Cain went after Abel.

So let's do this thang.

1.  No good deed goes unpunished.

Last week, Mlle DoodleFace & a visiting dog took full advantage of our back garden, smashing a few plants in their glee.  I very kindly brought in some broken sunflowers & what does one do?

Vomits in the kitchen.

2.  Calendula.

Also last week, some volunteer cosmos sulphureus showed up in the flowerbed.  This week's volunteer . . .

. . . Calendula Snow Princess, with a verbena adornment.

3.  Cucumbers!

When we were growing up, a large pickling crock would get hauled outa the basement in late summer, take up residence in the kitchen.  Although my younger brother could fit inside this crock, my mother pickled her cukes in it.  I don't remember which kind, as she made both dill & sweet pickles. 

Mmm, mmm, those pickles were fine, but my favourites were Grandma's horseradish dills.  O. Morgan (as she signed our birthday cards) was the only person I ever knew to make horseradish dills, so a singular treat from a singular woman.  A treat I'll never taste again.

Keeping with family tradition, I killed my first cucumber plant this year & the 2nd one's been a slow producer, giving us maybe 2/week.

Just when I think the vine's done, though, I find another itty bitty cuke flexing its spines.

4.  Zinnia.

About the time my zinnia Queen Red Lime were starting to go gang busters, I read that a second sowing at that very moment would keep them blooming into October.  I needed more seed for that, so got 2 other types.

The tall, spindly Red Spiders are covered in buds, but the flowers are small, about the size of a 20p coin (smaller'n a nickel in the US).  I hadn't expected them to be that tiny, but the flowers are fascinating, all squiggly & weird.

Peaches & Cream are as robust as the Queen.

Got a bit of alpha-omega going on here.

5.  Room with a view.

I garden in about 10 minute spurts in order to fool the M.E. into believing we're resting.  My current big project would've taken me an afternoon only a few years ago, but I've spent the last coupla weeks moving plants from what I'd thought'd be the shady border (but isn't) into the front garden, which is partially shady but small.

The key is making sure those 10 minutes are well planned, so I'm not caught out having to stop at a point that'll cause plant murder.  For this project, I do a lot of pondering about placement during my breaks.  Since my bedroom is at the front of the house, I do some of that pondering when I'm allegedly taking it easy.

This actually gives me a better sense, than standing in front of the beds does, of how much room I have, though I don't really know why that is.  Alas, this photo also shows me how many plants are still waiting for my attention.

One of my neighbours keeps offering to help, but I just hiss at her.

6.  Chocolate daisy.

These seeds were flouted as growing into wondrous 12" plants covered with yellow flowers that smell like chocolate.  Though healthy enough, by mid-summer, they were half the expected size with no buds.  Deciding they must be biennials, I kept a disinterested eye on them, lest villain slug venture near.

Look what happened behind my back.

One flower on one plant, & what an interestingly creepy looking flower. 

I dutifully got down on my knees to sample the scent, dressed in my shorty nightgown for the benefit of my neighbours who had sex in their window this week while I was watering plants.

It smells more of honey, though there's a faint chocolate whiff.  Perhaps in a day or so, the scent'll be stronger.

That's it for this week.  Thanks for stopping by - don't be shy about leaving a comment.

See you next time!

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Colour Over Content

Six on Saturday is a weekly update from gardeners all over the world, hosted by The Propagator

We've got a friend's young dog visiting us for a few days & it's non-stop entertainment, watching him with Mlle DoodleFace.  I'm exhausted in the most wonderful way.

There's plenty of updates in the garden this week, but I've energy for only a few words & several photos.


1.  Pumpkin in a hammock.

2.  Good year for glads.

3.  Self seeded cosmos.

4.  Not a dierama.

5.  Canna thru salvia leaves.

6.  Castor & tithonia, best mates.

Thanks for dropping by.  Hope to chat again real soon.

Now back to supervising the chaos.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

5 Hurrays & A Big BooHissBoo

Six on Saturday is a weekly get together of gardeners all over the world.  Be sure to drop by The Propagator for links & guidelines.

Not sure when it happened, but I've gone from wondering if my mid-winter gardening plans were madness, to seeing the results.

There'll be tweaking next year (who knew tithonia was such a brute?  What, everyone?  Really?)  Even so, most of the plants have done a mighty fine job.

But there's always that one.

1.  Sweet corn.

Last year was the first time I bought corn plants rather than start from seed.  About a third of the plants died early on, so there was a scramble to replace them, in order to maintain their block planting.  The replacements never caught up, & produced poorly.  Despite that & a drought year, we had some cracking cobs.  Nothing like fresh sweet corn.

Ever the optimist, I bought plants again this year, ordering a double batch just in case some died.  They arrived a month later than promised, which meant the companion pumpkin plants were well ahead of them.  I figured this could be managed w/trimming a pumpkin leaf here & there.

Within a week, all but 9 of 44 plants died.

I always hand pollinate corn just to give things a boost, so 9 stalks is better'n none.  We're now down to 6, but we've got tassles!

Unfortunately, none of the stalks have silk. There'll be no corn this year.  Next year, I'm going back to seed.

2.  Maters.

On a happier note, we've got maters - 6 different types courtesy of a seed kit given to me for Christmas.  I'm the only one here who eats them, but last year I fell so hard for the rosella cherry tomatoes, the non-mater-eating gift giver thought this would be a very good thing 6 times over.

We shall see.  These are Black Russians, which I've yet to taste.  They're a dark cherry tomato, so it's gonna be a while before I do.

In fact, the only ones ripe enough to eat are the rosellas, & they're just as good this year as last.

I've started pruning the new growth & flowers so we're not left w/a bunch of green tomatoes come the first frost.

3.  Pumpkins

The pumpkins've produced well, too, so they've been getting vines & flowers pruned.

Prompting one to make a break for it.

4.  Scottish flame flower.

After 5 years failing to propagate one of my own, I bought a tropaeolum speciosum this spring.  Once the heat came upon us, it looked poorly, so I moved its pot to the shady front garden.  It thrived so well, I decided to sink it.

So Flame Flower slides easily out of its pot, but before I can drop the empty pot & put my hand under its roots, a good third of the compost breaks off & takes an equal amount of root w/it.  I'd never seen anything like that in my life (which has been quite sheltered, I do admit).  I'd read they didn't like to be moved & now I know why. 

The corn-plant optimist in me figured w/2 thirds of its roots intact, I should still plant it.  It died completely back in a few days.  Optimism doesn't die as easily, so I left it where it was.

The phoenix rises.

5.  Saxifrage & orphan pot.

This saxifrage got left behind by a previous tenant, I don't know how many gardens ago.  I've never bought a hanging basket in my life, so this poor thing's been living here for all those long years.  It's been a good performer, knocking out a mass of pink flowers earlier in the year.  It used to cover all the soil but sadly, it's had enough of me taking it for granted.

Last year, one of my new pots didn't suit anything & so suffered the indignity of acting as a tray to carry small potted plants from A to B.

Now the 2 are happily brought together.

6.  Verbena hastata.

My name is Lora & I don't regret buying this plant.  Not one single bit.  But if there is blame, it's because Mr P featured his hastata several weeks ago.  In case I didn't take the bait, a few other SoSers've shown theirs as well.

These 3 photos are all of the same plant, but taken from different angles to show it w/flowers that provide a white complement, are in its own colour spectrum, or its opposite on the colour wheel.

Achillea Pearl, a few out of focus verbena bonareinsis, & some sedum buds (left background).

More bonareinsis, the same sedum, & a zinnia that promises hastata will look good w/the sedum when it blooms.

Achillea Pearl in the background, cousin bonareinsis, & calendula.  I adore this plant.

And that's me done talking.

Thanks so much for dropping by.  As always, I'd be tickled hastata pink to hear your comments.

See you next time!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

From Last Week, Comes This.

It's Six On Saturday time - a weekly opportunity sponsored by The Propagator for gardeners to share our stuff & stick our noses into stuff from other gardens all over the world.

A few of my Sixes this week relate to last week.  Some relate to many weeks before.  That's a garden for you.

So let's do this thang.

1.  Wind damage.

Last week, I posted shots of the garden before the Big Wind.  There were no losses here from the storm, just battered petals & leaves.  However, after the storm, any light brush against the pale yellow sunflowers broke the side flowers off at the main stem.  Which meant they came inside.

Here's a close up of those beautiful faces.

I've never had sunflowers so intolerant of being touched.  As this is their first year w/me, I'm not sure if that fragility is a feature of the type or comes from the wind.  What says the SoS gang?

2.  Anemone & plum.

The anemones were one of the few flowers growing in the back garden when we moved here.  A few weeks ago, they started to open, one here, one there, but now they're a brilliantly white flash mob. 

The plum sustained some wind battering to its leaves, but the anemones were unscathed.

3.  The SoS Curse.

SoS-ers've introduced me to a lot of the plants now growing in my garden.  Last week, Jim Stephens featured a New Zealand fuchsia that I absolutely fell in love with.  In the process of researching & price comparing & trying to talk myself out of buying yet another plant, I found this.

On eBay, of all places.  Oregano Amethyst Falls.  Its flowers are similar to what hops produce, with pink blooms in chartreuse bracts.  Although ornamental, the leaves can be used in cooking.  The cooks in my house aren't going to be told that.

Now, about that fuchsia, eBay Guy has one of those, too.

4.  Speaking of hops (& brambles).

You might remember this past spring, I decided to embrace a bramble invasion from next door rather than tackle it in the moment.  Not only did said bramble grow uglier'n sin, but it produced no flowers.  Meanwhile, its parent plant waves over the top of the fence at us, flaunting scads of fruit, which the birds are pretty happy about.

Assuming the berries might grow on last year's growth (& not bothering to look it up), our bramble got a reprieve until next year, but very early on, I planted a hops next to it to cover the ugly.  I actually like the contrast between the 2 greens, so haven't a clue what'll happen if the bramble gives no fruit next year.

5.  Creeping Jenny.

Another weird idea plan from spring was to beautify the Doodle Pool.  I'd seen a photo of Creeping Jenny in a floating planter, Jenny creeping across the water.  I put a bit in the bamboo Bug & Crittur Life Raft & started hoping.

It's begun to head in the right direction.  If it gets there before first frost, I'll post a photo.

When I first saw this photo, I thought the little brown dot in the bulrushes was a flower bud, but it's a seed pod from some nearby tree.  Bummer.

6.  Baby Groot.

This little guy germinated in my hot press 6 years ago.  It lost arms to the Beast from the East, so subsequent new growth made me wildly happy.  I was still concerned that, for a 6 year old Monkey Puzzle, it was on the small side.

It wasn't due for a repot, but for whatever reason - probably because he looked sad & nothing to do w/recently watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - I decided to repot Groot this week.

Lo & behold, poor Groot's roots were in a 9cm biodegradable pot which hadn't degraded (like those below).  A selling point of the pots was that, in a few years, it'd be gone.  It didn't click in my brain that living in a 9cm pot for a 'few years' (6, in this case) was never going to work for a growing tree.

The pot walls'd thinned, so I was able to pry them off without damaging Groot.  Now his little toes're free.

This is the 2nd plant this year whose suffering originated below the surface, the first being the Crooked Cherry choked by a rogue valerian (both doing nicely since their separation).  I'm quite hesitant to go underground in my search for plant health, but I see that hesitation now as a mistake.  I also will never again sink a biodegradable pot.

And that's all she wrote - this fat lady has sung, so the show's over.

I really appreciate you stopping by & love when you leave a comment behind.

See you next time!