Thursday, July 28, 2005
Frantic weeding
I have spent the last two nights pulling weeds. What a job. Tonight I finished the weeding and did all the trim, leaving the cut grass laying on top of the lawn so I can mow tomorrow and mulch it all in. It only took me three years to figure out that if I do the trim before the mowing I don't have to rake. Duh! Anyways it already looks good so by the time I mow it will be good for the long weekend.

Added to my gardens in the back are solar lights which were on sale at Zellers, which is a Canadian version of K Mart, they were 4 for $19.00 a savings of $10.00 so I got 8. I like them however not enough to pay $29. for four. I went out last night to move my sprinker and they were all on which surprised me because the box said they had to be in the sun for eight hours. But what the heck they looked cool. I am going to go out in a few minutes and see if I can get a photo to post.

On my list of things to do this weekend is to cut the dead flowers off the daisy, cut back the sweet peas, do general deadheading. And after all that I will finish making the bows for my sisters wedding so that I can give them to her to look after.
"May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers"
Planted by crazygramma at 9:07 PM 2 comments
 
Sunday, July 24, 2005
And yet more digging
I am insane! This morning we went out to get the rose bushes from my friend who has them all over inside her chicken coop. That was quite a chore there were chickens everywhere and a low netting over the top. I am 5'8" so stooped over I was trying to dig these up without maiming a chicken or getting the handle of the shovel caught in the overhead net. Finally I got about 6 bushes and headed for home. They are in a couple of pails of water and hopefully I can get them planted tomorrow.

I also went to my favorite nursery and purchased some perennials for the side of the house. I got Small's beard-tongue ( pentemon smalli),Torchlight blanket flower ( gaillardia fackelschein), Threadleaf coreopsis ( coerepsis verticilllata moonbeam),pincshion flower, feverfew. Don't get excited I did not all of a sudden learn all the names I have the tabs in front of me. I did manage to plant some but I needed to come in to clean up, eat and do some laundry.

My Black beauty lily and the Lilium arena have both opened so here are the pictures.



The Black Beauty, not what I expected but gorgeous never the less.


And the White Lilium Arena.

Now the only lily I need to seek out is the Casa Blanca because vanilla is my absolute favorite scent, expect for bread baking.

There is so much in bloom right now I cannot even begin to list everything. My sweet peas and hollyhock have both taken a beating from the high winds, I think I am going to have take down most of the sweetpeas and I am hoping I can stake the hollyhock. And joy the sunflower has some new flowers. I am really glad that I planted some yellow flowers arounf in the gardens it seems to bring out the pinks, purples and reds in the other flowers.

Well thats all for now I am going to go and finish watering the front and then kick back with a couple of gardening magazines I just got.
"May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers"
Planted by crazygramma at 7:51 PM 5 comments
 
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I can't decide
I can't decide what I like the most about my gardens in the evenings.

The stillness of it, when all that can be heard are a few crickets and the odd bird. Silence is not totally there yet as the night starts settling in however the mowers and such have been put away. The only gardening sounds to be heard are the gentle swishing noises from sprinklers. People are still working a bit as evindenced from the water peaking over the top of fences at varoius heights and directions, but it is a quiet labor of love.

It could also be the change of the colors in the gardens that so intrique me. The color of the black eyed susan toned down with the descent of the sun so that it is now a different more subdued shade of orange with the black centers being more prominant. Plants with yellow flowers such as the mountain flower and pansies, as well as the yellow roses with their orange tinge, the pinks, reds and purples all take on a sharper tone, and all stand out against the dusty millers,white allysem and baby's breath.

AND THE SCENTS! I cannot tell where one begins or ends the air in the yard is so perfumed, but not overly. I can pick up the scent from the Nicotina and lilies, and as I walk around moving the sprinkler there are some scents that are just there and do not seem to have any source of origin.

It is just a very nice night out and if I had a tent I would put it up smack in the middle of the gardens and enjoy the scents all evening. My guess is that it is times like this that makes all the work and worry worthwhile. I am sure I am not the only person to feel this way but I must admit this is the first year that I am really enjoying my gardens, and having other people share their highs, lows and ideas sure is making this a great summer passion for me.




Show no dirt, keep planting!
"May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers"
Planted by crazygramma at 9:25 PM 7 comments
 
Monday, July 18, 2005
More Pictures and ideas
In response to Zoey here is a picture of the Musk Mellow, it looks pretty much average however the scent is musk and of course these are supposed to self-seed. I'll let you know whether or not they do in the spring.



Also Zoey my plan for the side of the house is to plant all along the both the fence and the side of the house, I just kind of got more going along the fence line first for some reason. I have planted a hardy heavy traffic tolerant woolly thyme in the grass which is suppose to spread killing the grass along the way, it looks pretty lazy to me as there is still a lot of grass and not much spreading. As for the path I am still undecided about using pavers or stepping stones. I did find a web sight that gave directions for making stepping stones, but I already have too much on the go. There are two climbing roses on the arch a red and a white one and in front of each I have planted lavender and behind them Russian sage, my goal is to have a very romantic arch which leads up a path planted with all kinds of different flowers, in fact I hope to transplant some of my excess plants from the back in order to get the area jump started so to speak. I guess we think a lot along the same lines and I am sure the pathway will have a curve as I can't seem to get any straight lines in the gardens no matter how hard I try. You are right about doing a section at a time when I first thought about this I was totally overwhelmed, now however I am putting in the main plants I want and then I will use a lot of seeds, and don't worry there will be lots of pictures.

Here is a picture of the Red Hot lily that opened today.



And a couple of shots of an area I planted this year in the back which is starting to take hold and I noticed there are a few plants with buds on them.





I mowed the yard after work tonight, did the trimming and some weed pulling the results are good and now the watering is being done so that everything will continue to grow.

Speaking of growing my little grandson Zayden is now two months old and is weighing in at 14lbs. Here is a picture of him taken today.




Isn't he just starting to look like a little butterball? And note he has on Vancouver Canucks outfit (that's our hockey team in BC).
"May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers"
Planted by crazygramma at 8:02 PM 7 comments
 
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Pictures and lilies
I went on a mission yesterday to find a Casa Blanca Lily. The nursery I went to has sold out of them however when I advised them what I was looking for she was great. I have come home with a very fragrant Kissproof which I can smell in the front yard from where it is planted, I did get a white Lilium Arena which is also fragrant but not as strong and another one Red Hot which is also fragrant. The best part is they were on sale for $5.99 each. I am going to go get more of the Kissproof and put one under the bedroom window which is also by my deck and a couple more by the front arch.



Kissproof


The white Arena is planted next to it and the red hot on the other side.

Also I have my first flower on the Nastrium.



I have all kinds of things that I would like to do today but it is so hot that I am going to go to the nursery and then go outside later in the day. I am on a roll I managed to clean up the area around the front arch and tonight I am going to transplant some marigolds and maybe some alyssum.

Here is a shot of my disgrace corner by my shed.




Later in the day
I am back from the nursery where I purchased four more lilies, three Kissproof and a Black Beauty, I am giving one of the Kissproof to my friend I know she will really enjoy it. Also I got two Alpine Asters one purple with a yellow center and the other is pink with a yellow center, these I planted in front of the three lilies and I will divide them at a later date once they take off, they are a little sad looking and such a bargain $2.00 each. Along with all these I got two Musk Mellow plants and put them in the ground one on each side of the front arch. Yesterday I purchased 12 white saliva for $2.00 and two other plants that were $.50 each and just marked annuals, these also were put in around the two rose bushes and 4 or 5 of the saliva along the front fence that I managed to get nailed together so it should not blow down again.

I am thrilled that I have finally started to work on this side of the house with a vengeance and now that perennials are all going on clearance I can scooped them up and plant them and fill in the areas as I go.

Here is a picture of how it is starting to look.




I know this is not a great photo but hopefully you can get an idea of what I am trying to do.

My Lambert Closse rose bush is unable to support it's blooms so I had to cut them all off this morning, however I do have a nice bouquet, I should of cut some baby's breath too now that I think of it.
"May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers"
Planted by crazygramma at 2:37 PM 4 comments
 
Thursday, July 14, 2005
The Return of Screaming Muscles
Yikes one would think that by now my muscles would be used to the labors of yard work. Not a chance. Here it is 5:30 am and I had to get out of bed because of the soreness in my legs, back and hands.

Last night I came home from work and had a quick bite of dinner and out to my yard I went. I spent 3 1/2 hours out there cutting grass, trimming, watering, dead heading and pulling weeds. The tough part came with the weeding I think as this was not weeding in the flower beds, I have a gravel driveway which it seems overnight was becoming covered in weeds. It really didn't look like a big job and I figured that I would pull the big ones only, since my dog kept getting tangle on them. These did not come out by a mere good tug though, I had to go and get a hand trowel and dig down in order to get them out. I used the hand trowel as opposed to the spade figuring it would be easier on my back since I could sit and do this. Wrong. This is probably just as bad or maybe worse since I ended up doing a lot of stretching,digging and pulling. Near the end off this chore my hands were cramping up, however I now was on a mission so I kept working until I got them all. I must admit the driveway now looks awesome and I have resolved to get those weeds as they come up instead of waiting as long as I did this year. By the time I finished all this it was 9:30 so I then came in and took a hot shower which I am sure helped with the sore muscles or I would of been stiffer this morning. Notice I blame this all on hard work and not the fact that age might be a part of it.

On the flower side of things the black-eyed Susan are in full bloom so the back corner of my garden near the gate looks like something other than a black hole, the baby's breath has bloomed at the same time as my rose bushes. And joy oh joy the white climbing rose in the front has opened and the red one on the other side of the arch is going to bloom as well.



The first blooms on the white climbing rose bush.




The promising bud on the red climbing rose.



Yellow roses and baby's breath in bloom.



The happily blooming Black-eyed Susan cheering up a corner.



Echinea (don't know how to spell that) I think among my sweet peas and the Russian sage peeking through.

All in all things are starting to look good although the baby's breath and rose combo are not quite the way I envisioned, but maybe next year when the rose bushes are a little more mature and with a thicker planting of baby's breath it will look better. I think maybe the area around the rose bushes just needs to be filled in more and I did put in a low growing wildflower mixture that of course has not appeared yet so that may help. I was unsure of how tall or wide the baby's breath grew so I planted sparingly but now I can re-plant them next spring thicker.

In the meantime enjoy your gardens and keep looking in between the weeds for the unexpected flowers.
"May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers"
Planted by crazygramma at 5:34 AM 3 comments
 
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
God & Gardens
Here is a joke I had emailed to me today, it is not offensive and I thought about all my garden blog buddies when I read it.


GOD: Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.

ST. FRANCIS: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sodworms. It's sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it -- sometimes twice a week.

GOD: They cut it? Do they then bail it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS: No, Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.

GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS: You aren't going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn leaves fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.

ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD: No fooling? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

GOD: And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD: Enough. I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

ST. CATHERINE: "Dumb and Dumber," Lord. It's a really stupid movie about....

GOD: Never mind. I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.
"May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers"
Planted by crazygramma at 6:32 PM 4 comments
 
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Late Night Garden Visit
I convinced my other half to come into the back garden area on Friday night for a look at the garden. This was around 8:pm and the night was just staring to creep in but still light enough to enjoy the flowers. I ended up pulling out a couple of old blankets to spread on the ground to sit on. This turned into a 3 hour sit down amongst the flower beds where we just relaxed and talked.

This has got to be one of the best times that I have taken to enjoy the fruits of my labor. The evening was cool and quiet and the slight breeze caused the night air to be pleasantly perfumed by the flowers. And although there were some clouds the stars still managed to shine through.

Not much in yard work or gardening was done over the weekend except for a bit of weed pulling and watering. I have taken a picture though of the small garden I started this year. Here is a picture of before.




Here is the after picture taken this morning, it has filled out not too badly with the alyssum and dusty millers along the border. In the center is a purple iris that may or may not be moved, snapdragons, some pansies and petunias, I did plant some Canterbury bells in there but I am not sure if they are coming up or if the seedlings breaking through are some of a seed mixture planted called a Bridal mixture which was to produce a variety of pale pink and purple flowers are starting.




And yes my yard does have a slope to it so when mowing back there I consider it equivalent doing 20 pushups or more.

Also I am still waiting for the two rose bushes in the front to bloom. Here are a couple of pictures of buds in waiting.



The Climbing White Dawn ( almost there but not quite)



The Climbing Dublin Bay.

As you can see I wasn't kidding about doing a bit of weeding over the weekend.
I am thinking of taking some of the alyssum from the garden shown above and transplanting them by these two rose bushes and maybe some pansies just to get this area sharpened up for the rest of the summer. The lavender is doing fine but I want to have some flowers going this year around that area. Patience is not one of my virtues when it comes to my garden.

And a final picture of my pink miniature rose in bloom in the front garden.




A big thank you to oldroses who identified my daughter's hanging basket. Rachel has advised that after putting it in the shade it has survived.

And finally good thoughts to snappy during these hard times over in England.
"May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers"
Planted by crazygramma at 7:48 AM 2 comments
 
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Weeding Seeding and Seeing
I took my usual walk outside this evening to check out the hen & chicks. My curiosity is killing me I am getting ansty to see the blooms, however they are still holding back, possibly for a solid day of sun before they open. The black-eye susans are really starting to bloom, the purple balloon flower has three more buds waiting to make the grand entrance, poppies are coming along but have a long ways to go before they bloom, the rose bushes are all blooming again since I cut off the dead blossoms, baby's breath and alyssum etc etc. All in all the whole area seems to of changed since my stroll around last night.

Of course there was some weeding done, I think I have it under control for now as long as I get out there for about an hour a day and pull them as they surface.

And the seeding, BIG SIGH if you have been following my garden season you will remember that I have a galzilion types of seeds. So tonight I planted, planted and planted a whack of them around the back garden, some are annuals, others perennials and stills other biennials so we will watch and see. If none of the annuals grow this year I will at least have some interesting surprises next year. Tomorrow night no matter what the weather I am going to clear more area along the side of my house and spend Saturday planted ever last seed up both the side of the house and the fence, also I am going to plant the begonias that were given to me. Even if it kills me.
"May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers"
Planted by crazygramma at 8:16 PM 3 comments
 
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Under the weeds
After reading Oldroses' comment of the surprises under the big honking weeds I decided that I should show a couple of the ones I found tonight.

Here is what I believe is a Malva and this has come back from last year. I love it when it gets really big and is in full bloom. A friends mother gave me the seeds for this plant about two years ago and I came across them last summer and just stuck them in the ground to see if they would grow. Wow they just took right off.



And this little gem in my front garden was totally buried along with the other miniature rose bush and a bunch of Johnny jump-ups. There are lots of blooms on the rose ready to go, this is the one I felt was not going to survive but maybe the big weed gave it enough coolness to help it along.



One of the pink rose buds.



I am still waiting for the hen & chicks to bloom as well as the two rose bushes in the front. The roses should bloom at the same time I think judging by the look of the buds on each of them. There is a red rose bush on one side of the arch and a white rose bush on the other side, both are climbers but of course they haven't reached that point yet as they only went into the ground this year. Just seeing them develop leaves had me excited but now they are both going to bloom as well. I am looking forward to next year when the lavender and the Russian Sage have grown around that area some more and it starts to fill in. Stay tuned for photos of the roses and the hen & chicks.

Many thanks to Sabine who questioned my logic of just using Flicker and being limited on my uploads. I had began wondering about it myself so I am now using the Blog Image upload. So look out world you may get sick of my pictures.

Also I want to let everyone know that we are not just a bunch compulsive garden photo freaks after all. I was reading an article that advises pictures should be taken of your garden in bloom so that in the spring/early summer you can refer back to them if you are unsure whether or not the plant is an old favorite or a big weed. So you see we are all doing the correct thing here we just didn't know it. The only problem with this theory for me is that I will most likely forget to refer back to my photos and still have to play the wait and see game as I have just done with the Balloon Flower.

It is so nice outside half sunny/half cloudy with a cool breeze so I was out there pulling weeds again. The baby's breath has also started to bloom (about 4 blooms) and as I was weeding in that area I decided that I will find the garden book which gave instructions for taking cuttings from the lavender bush and starting new plants, I will then plant them between the three rose bushes in the back to grow and take their place there after the baby's breath has died away. If I recall it is easy to do and it is worth a try.

Out of all the alyssum I planted I have only one purple plant and it is not even where it should be.

Now here is a comment that was directed at me by a client today when my co-worker and I were talking about my flowers. She told me I should be planting something useful like vegetables. I wanted to tell her flowers are useful because they make most people smile.
"May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers"
Planted by crazygramma at 7:16 PM 5 comments
 
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Garden Chat
I have just taken my nightly stroll through my gardens and of course pulled a few weeds and snapped a few more photos. It is not sunny or raining the weather seems to be trying to make up it's mind what to do. In either case I could be out doing one of a hundred different little jobs but instead I decided to post a blog and some pictures.

It is so quiet outside when the weather is uncertain, no lawn mowers or weed whackers going, it's as if everyone has decided not to start a job they may not be able to finish. Myself I think I will take my little dog and a cup of coffee outside and just enjoy the quiet when I finish this.

These are just random photos in no particular order. The new blooms are on the Black eyed susans, and my balloon flower, some of the portulacas, and various other plants.



Blue Balloon Flower


Garden view july 5,2005 008

Black eyed Susan

Garden view july 5,2005 009

Garden view july 5,2005 010

Garden view july 4,2005 011

My bugle boy which was a birthday present, and hidden under all those sweet peas is my Russian sage, along the front of this I planted alyssum which is just starting to grow.

Just a few photos and now I am going to go and relax outside for a bit and take in the cool air and scents from the flowers.
"May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers"
Planted by crazygramma at 6:43 PM 4 comments
 
Monday, July 04, 2005
Pictures?
As promised here are some pictures of my garden, also as stated I suck at taking pictures but I have picked a few that may give an idea of how my gardens are doing.

This is the main Arch which I am trying to have used as the main gateway into the back yard. In the back ground center in the arch is an Apricot tree.

Garden view july 4,2005 013

As you go right this is the garden which is now on its third year so it is a little more established.

Garden view july 4,2005 002


Notice the Hollyhock in the background it is in full glory now, I put this in late last summer it was a transplant from a neighbor's garden, she gave me two but only one made it. Also the rooster in with the hens & chicks is still teasing me with a promise of bloom.

Here is a view as you now walk around on the path that is being worked on very slowly, this does not look like much at the moment however there are wildflower and other plants making their way through and hopefully they will come up this summer.

Garden view july 4,2005 003

The corner where I planted the sunflower and poppies coming through with weeds as well.

Garden view july 4,2005 005

The dusty miller has bloomed and they really remind me of tiny yellow daisies and did not do much for me they remind me of a weed but what the heck maybe once it really opens up I will enjoy it more. This is what it looks like.

Garden view july 1,2005 007

I have been busy trying to keep up with the grass cutting and the weeding it seems this grand mixture of rain and sun has everything growing like crazy. While I was out there tonight I found little green caterpillars on a lot of plants. Out came the can of bug spray!

And joy the baby's breath has buds waiting to burst open and the black eyed susans are showing the first yellow petals. I LOVE FLOWERS!
"May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers"
Planted by crazygramma at 8:06 PM 7 comments
 
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