Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Since Blogger forced me to convert this blog to their new system a few days ago, nothing is working right -- the template won't display correctly (even though it's one of Blogger's own classic standard ones!) and the archives are no longer available to anyone visiting the page.
I have therefore moved this blog to a new home on LiveJournal:
Diary of a Gardening Goddess (at LiveJournal)
If Blogger ever gets its act together, I'll resume posting here, but until then, my gardening blog will be located at the above link.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Harvested peaches today from the little tree that grew from a tossed pit in the front yard. Immediately ate two of the fruit -- ohhhhhhhhhh sooooooooooo scrumptious!!!
I had to do the harvesting today since there will be the remnants of a hurricane coming through starting tonight, with high winds and several inches of rain over the next few days predicted. Any fruit I left on the tree would fall and be smashed and spoiled, if the racoons and opossums don't eat the fallen fruit first.
I'd rather it be in MY tummy than a critter's!
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
The Canadian Gem lilac I planted several years ago by the front entrance has finally begun to bloom. The flowers are lighter in color than the President Grevy lilacs by the gate and the scent is less intense, but that may be because it is the first time it has bloomed.
Other flowers currently in bloom -- peonies, roses, lily-of-the-valley.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
It's rained 54.88 inches since I last posted a rainfall total in July of 2005.
Time to reset the gauge history!
Monday, December 12, 2005
Planted some more of my bargain bulbs today, since it was relatively warm and the ground is not yet frozen.
Planted Zurel and Purissima (aka White Emperor) tulips and Blue Pearl crocus along the side of the driveway near the Garden of the Gods, between the two pear trees. The ground around the Bosc pear tree where I'd planted the other bulbs a few days ago looked dug up and I found some bulbs scattered around, so I'm afraid my planting might have been raided by either squirels, racoons or both types of pesky varmints. Daffodils are supposed to taste bad, so I'm hoping that they survived the raid, but I think I'll be having a lot fewer tulips and other flowers than originally anticipated. Grump!!!
I planted Mount Hood daffodils and both Don Quichotte and Mondiale tulips along the strip of land between the driveway and the front walkway. I tried to plant the tulips deeply and put daffodil bulbs in the same holes as some of the tulips -- with luck, that might discourage the squirrels and/or racoons from digging up that planting of bulbs.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
It's snowing now -- the first snowfall of Winter 2005-2006. 2-4 inches is expected for here, but it looks right now from my window as though we've already gotten 2 inches and the snow is expected to continue until around noon. If I'm lucky, as the day warms up it might turn into rain and wash away the snow so I won't have to shovel.
It's supposed to get colder for the next few days, then warm up again. I hope that the ground won't be frozen by then so I can plant the remaining bulbs I'd bought. If it is, I'll have to store them in the basement and try to plant them in the spring -- if I'm lucky, they might bloom then, otherwise I'll have to wait until the following spring to enjoy the fruits of my labors.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Planted some bulbs today. I'd bought them on Wednesday when a local nursery was having a clearance sale -- all bulbs were $1 per bag, regardless of how many bulbs were in the bag. There were several "value sized" bags I bought, containing 18-32 bulbs (depending on what they were), and LOTS of "normal" bags with 5-20 bulbs each -- fewer for things like daffodils, more for small bulbs like crocus -- most bags I bought had 8 bulbs though, since I got a TON of tulips.
I did a planting of tulips, crocus and daffodils in front (i.e. just north) of the Bosc pear, surrounding the Royal Heritage hellebore I'd planted there a few days ago. I planted Menton, Queen of the Night, Lilac Wonder and Claudia tulips, Pickwick crocus, Pink Whispers daffodils and snowdrops. I'd planned on planting more tulips, crocus and daffodils there, but it was very chilly, windy and cloudy and dusk came sooner than I thought it would. I'll try to plant the rest of the bulbs I bought in the next few days, before the ground freezes -- I'm hoping the weather will be cooperative, but snow is in the forecast . . .
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Today was unusually warm for November -- an unseasonably mild 63 -- so I took advantage of it to putter around outside.
I took down some of my garden decorations and will be storing them away until next spring. I also planted a Royal Heritage strain Helleborus orientalis that I had bought in the spring but never planted. When the summer's heat and dryness came, I thought it had died in its pot, but saw that it was in fact still alive after the cooler temperatures and abundant rain of this fall revived it. It's a very pretty white with burgundy spots in the center of each petal and I'm hoping it will thrive where I planted it -- it's immediately to the north of the Bosc pear tree and just south of where the driveway concrete starts, right by the entrance to the Garden of the Gods and the slate patio I created there. With luck it will not only thrive but also spread into a colony there, all alike. That would be quite a sight, since this particular plant's flowers were quite white, not the usual shade of pale green that many so-called white Hellebores are.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Rainfall from the beginning of April to today = 8.58 inches
Flowers currently in bloom -- orange daylilies and yellow, red and orange Asiatic lilies -- the front yard is ablaze with them!
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Harvested my cherries today -- Star Stella and Bing varieties. Not a lot of cherries though, since the trees are pretty small, but at least now the Bing trees are producing -- I'd been worrying that they never would, since they are several years old. They are a dwarf variety that is supposedly self-fertile, according to Miller Nurseries, but I planted the Star Stella fairly nearby, just in case, since normally Bing cherries need a pollinator. The Star Stella is definitely self-fruitful though, since it has given me cherries for several years now. (This is the first year the Bing trees produced anything except lots of flowers.)
I think my pears are taking a rest this year -- there was a LOT of blossom drop, due no doubt to the earlier dankness of this spring, and I don't see ANY fruit on either of the pear trees. It's possible it's still too small for me to notice, but I have a feeling I won't be biting into any juicy, home-grown organic Bosc or Kieffer pears this year . . . (The Rouge d'Anjou is still WAY too young to produce fruit -- it hasn't even blossomed yet . . . )
Flowers currently in bloom -- orange daylilies, a few white peonies and red roses and looooooots of white hydrangeas.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
I recently bought some very cool solar lights -- they have a color-changing LED that cycles from blue to red to green and back to blue. I got them at a discount store -- I wish I could get more, but I bought all they had, after visiting several locations. There are 2 types -- one has a clear crackle-ball and the other a clear dragonfly. It took a few days for them to build up their initial charge in full sunlight, but now that they are fully charged, they can recharge even in partial sun, unlike most other solar lights.
I also have a few new floating solar lights I picked up from the same store -- 2 blue & 1 clear. For now they, like the other lights, are adorning the Garden of the Gods on the north side of my house, by the little patio I created there. I really enjoy watching the statues of Pomona and Vertumnus being illuminated in a constantly-changing wash of color.
Today I also bought a few more strings of mirrors plus beads to hang around the Garden of the Gods. These ones were a set in the 4 elemental colors of yellow, red, blue and green, so I hung them near the appropriate pentacle candle holder. I also bought a string of colored glass and beads that was in all the shades of the rainbow and hung that near the entrance to the Garden of the Gods. Best of all, these decorations were all half-price!!
Flowers currently in bloom -- white and pink peonies, red and deep pink roses and white hydrangeas.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Expanded the little patio underneath the pear trees by lugging more slates there and fiddling with the positions of the stones somewhat. It had seemed a wee bit small before with all the furniture added -- I'd added a swivel rocker to the collection about a week and a half ago, along with some matching side tables and folding chairs for when folks come by to visit -- but it's more roomy now. Some of the furniture, like the folding chairs, is out only on an as-needed basis, so that helps too.
I also spent part of the day hanging various things from the branches of the trees there. I'd already put out some hanging tealight holders that are shaped like fireflies a while back, as well as a metal sign in the shape of a beehive (with bumblebee!) that says "Blessed Bee Our Hive" and some hanging bead and mirror strings. Today I added 4 pentacle-shaped candleholders in yellow, clear, pink and blue and hung them in the corresponding elemental area -- North got the white one, for ice, since no green star-shaped holder was available, but otherwise the color correspondences are (fairly) traditional. (Pink is a shade of red, after all . . . )
After admiring my handiwork, I took some time off to enjoy the rather warm and humid day from the comfort of my folding hammock and dozed underneath the canopy of pear leaves, covered in a living purr-y blanket of kitties.
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Plants currently in bloom -- lily of the valley, spiderwort, purple rhododendron and the short yellow iris I call "the bumblebee" because of it's coloring.
I can see the fruit ripening on my apricot and cherry trees. I had a lot of bud-drop from the plums, peaches and pears unfortunately, probably because of all the cold, dank weather we've had this spring, so I'm not sure how good a crop I'll get of these fruits this year. The weeping mulberry seems to be a relatively happy camper, though, and has quite a lot of fruit for its size (less than 5 foot at present) and the mulberries are rapidly turning from green to reddish, so I expect to be able to munch on them sometime soon.
I recently purchased a few pre-made hanging baskets -- pink and white fuschia and deep purple verbena -- for the front mini-porch. Ordinarily I might have made the baskets myself, but I couldn't find the fuschia and verbena I liked in flats, just in these larger, pre-made baskets, so I caved and bought them. They look very nice though, and are in keeping with this year's color scheme -- the verbena in particular looks lovely!
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Celebrated Beltane by planting things -- big surprise, that . . .
I planted some "Red King Humbert" cannas in the plugged planters on the front terrace -- those hold water when their plugs are in, becoming mini-water gardens. In past years I've planted lotuses there, but the nice ones are expensive -- about $50/root -- and I have trouble getting them to survive the winter in the pots. I tried planting some lotus roots from the Asian grocery store near me, but they never grew -- just turned into compost . . . Maybe I'll have better luck with the cannas, which are MUCH cheaper -- I might add some black taro to the pots too, when I see them available in the local garden centers . . .
I also started to put annuals in the (regular) planters I have placed between the plugged planters, which prevent the regular planters from falling off the terrace when it's windy, due to the weight of the water in them. This year's front terrace color scheme is red and white -- I might throw in some pink or yellow later on, but so far it's just red, red and MORE red.
I planted some red geraniums with red and red-and-white petunias planted in between, so they can trail over the sides of the planters and contrast nicely with the white terrace wall. The varieties of petunias planted were "Red Dreams", "Fire Frost" and "Ultra Red Star" -- the last is my favorite though. No white ones since there's more than enough white with the terrace wall, thank you very much!
I didn't finish doing all the planters today -- only about a third of them -- so the rest will be done some other NON-RAINY day. (Yes, it did indeed rain again today -- 0.16 inches, by my rain gauge.)
I also put out a new solar toy -- a spotlight, with a nice bright white LED light. I have the spot trained on the Green Man plaque I have hanging from the chimney bricks. It's not a very bright spotlight, since I have it on a small table by the terrace wall opposite the plaque, but the distance spreads out the spot a bit and gives the Green Man a subtle glow. If I find some translucent green plastic I might put that over the light, so the spot will turn green, unless I find some OTHER solar spotlight that happens to come with a green light already. I have seen amber LED solar lights for the garden, but so far no green ones. Hopefully the translucent green plastic won't dim the spotlight too much -- if it does, then the Green Man will have to have a white glow to him, not a green one.
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Drip, drip, drip -- another rainy day . . .
We've had 4.8 inches of rain since the first of April, according to my rain gauge.
I can't WAIT to see those May flowers . . .
Friday, April 29, 2005
Put some salmon-pink gerbera into some nice ceramic pots I'd bought a while ago and then tied those pots to the front mini-porch posts, between the half-pots of pansies already tied there, so that now those posts look as though they are completely surrounded by flowers.
Then I put some dark purplish "Black Dragon" coleus into some small galvanized metal pots I'd bought yesterday and put those pots (plus the trays) onto the windowsills flanking the front door. I'd tried putting impatiens there in prior years, but they didn't do well. With coleus, there will still be color there even if the light level there is only so-so for blooming plants. The metal pots will be an improvement over the ceramic ones I'd used in the past, since they won't break if they fall, nor will they be damaged by winter freezes.
The apricots, plums, nectarines and peaches have finished blooming, as have the hyacinths. The grape hyacinths have started to bloom, as have the tulips and the pink dogwood. The forsythia, cup magnolia, cherries and pears are all still in bloom, although the Bosc pear just started yesterday -- I'm guessing the cold, damp spring we've had so far is the reason everything is blooming so late this year -- more rain is expected for tomorrow also. Sigh.
Monday, April 25, 2005
Today was another dank day, with on and off rain, so I couldn't do a lot in the garden in terms of planting, so I did a few other things instead.
I took some old slates that had been around the backyard since half-way to forever and used them to create a partially-paved area underneath the dogwood, peach and Bosc pear trees, where I have the metal glider. I plan to put plants between the stones -- most likely something from the "Stepables" line of foot-traffic-friendly small plants, or perhaps something like sweet alyssum . . .
After lugging and arranging the slates, I rested for a bit on the glider then put the matching metal table I'd bought yesterday on the newly-paved area. It's the perfect height for me to use if I'm sitting in the glider -- excellent for eating al fresco meals!
Then I lugged more stuff -- this time some edging bricks a neighbor had given me a while ago when he was re-doing his garden. It turned out that what I had was just exactly enough to edge all along where this section of garden meets the driveway, so that where I just paved, as well as the to-be-planted section of the northwest garden, now has a nice brick edging. How lucky!!!
I was also lucky in that I seem to have exactly the right amount of new planters for the front mini-porch railings, which is a good thing, since I bought them at a discount/closeout store where they no longer seem to be available. They match the half-pot and other planters I already have on the mini-porch. I had to figure out what would be the most harmonious arrangement of the two different sizes, but I finally got them all to fit together perfectly, with no wasted space and every planter being used.
Now I just have to hope it gets warm enough -- and STAYS warm enough -- for me to fill my new planters with all the posies I've bought . . .
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Planted a few more seeds during a break in the weekend sogginess -- lettuce and spinach, both in the same area where I'd planted yesterday's vegetables. I used part of a seed tape of "Black-seeded Simpson" loose-leaf lettuce and planted a few seeds of "Bloomsdale Long-standing" spinach.
This spring has been very cold so far, with the exception of a few very warm days, so much so that the peaches and nectarines and the winter pear are just now starting to bloom and neither the Bosc pear nor the quinces nor the dogwood have bloomed yet -- they are all just now starting to put out a few leaves. The garden should be full of flowers by now, but it isn't -- it's really rather dreary, except for the forsythia. Even the two cup magnolias in the front yard are barely beginning to bud . . .
Given the dankness, I'm hesitant to plant more than a small sampling of seeds in my garden so far, since the weather might be too chilly for them. I did want to at least start a few plants though, which is why I did some planting yesterday -- especially of the vegetables which generally prefer to grow in cooler temperatures, such as lettuce, peas and spinach. I just hope the seeds sprout and grow, not rot in the ground or keel over from the cold. We'll be having quite a few nights in the low 40s for the next few days, so I can't even make planters of flowers yet without worrying that the petunias and impatiens will catch cold and croak. Some plants I've even brought inside until it warms up a bit more, since I don't want to go to the bother and expense of replacing them once they've been put into planters with other flowers.
Friday, April 22, 2005
Celebrated Earth Day by planting lots of seeds.
I planted some vegetables in the strip of land north of the driveway -- sugar snap peas along the chainlink fence and a staggered double row of corn, bush string beans and bush butternut squash, all three types of seeds planted together in the same hole. For both the peas and beans I added soil inoculant to the holes/furrow. (Varieties were "Sugar Snap" snap pea, "Early and Often" sweet corn, "Burpee's Stringless Green Pod" bush bean and "Burpee's Butterbush" butternut squash.)
After planting the veggies, I planted flowers -- looooots of flowers . . .
I planted a few cardinal climber vine and red "Scarlett O'Hara" morning glory seeds along part of the same section of chainlink fence where I planted the snap peas, to add some color to the area. Then I planted some lunaria (AKA "money plant") in two places -- some underneath the winter pear tree and some near the seedless grape by the garage. While I was by the garage, I also planted a few seeds of "Tea-time Rose" four o'clocks, "Daydream" cosmos, "Ruby Flax" viscaria and several varieties of sunflower. The varieties were "Mammoth", "Lemon Chiffon", "Chianti Hybrid" (which is a burgundy-red) and "Sunshine" -- which I also planted at the front of the house, at the west end of the front garden, amidst the sprouting peonies and daylilies. (I didn't plant "Sunshine" there though, as it was getting dark by then. Another day perhaps . . . )
I also got a chance to use my new purchases -- these really nifty seed packet holders I bought at Target. Some are undecorated while others have small painted metal flowers or vegetables on them with the word "flowers" or "vegetables" written below. I thought they were a great idea and bought quite a few, since they are galvanized metal and will last for many growing seasons. This way I know EXACTLY which variety I planted somewhere, instead of having to remember (or refer here) -- at least as long as I finished off the packet of seeds, that is . . .
Monday, April 18, 2005
The apricot trees are in full bloom and my plums have started to flower. The forsythia and hyacinths are also still blossoming.
The air around the house smells WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!