Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Year of Firsts - Clematis

Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest. ~Douglas William Jerrold, about Australia, A Land of Plenty

This clematis , I lost the name but it looks like "Nelly Moser", was planted in the spring of 2006, that same year and 2007 it had around 2 or 3 blooms for the entire season. Now look at it! This is it's first year of such prolific blooms.

Last fall and spring 2007 I planted several other clematis none of which I have any blooms yet:
1 - Unknown of white variety
I think the bishop's weed helped as clematis like their roots shaded. Last year I dug up rocks out of this bed. The rocks were on top of landscaping fabric so I removed it as well, and surprise! the bishop's weed popped up.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Year of Firsts

For over 10 years I lived in a small housing addition with a very small yard, almost non-existent yard. Due to the limited space most of my gardening was done with containers, including some veggies in containers and annuals here and there around the foundation.

In October of 2005 I moved to the current home I'm living in and boy what a difference. Located in a rural small town where everybody knows you by name, seriously. I love the community and the "warm welcome" mentality of the local folks that accepted us as new neighbors. For my daughter the schools are great , with small class rooms and high learning achievements and accomplishments from staff and students. What I love the most though is the quiet surroundings, beautiful nature, things I see on a daily basis that I didn't living in the city and of course more gardening ground to work with. Located on an acre lot, the home didn't have much in the way of landscaping or plant life on the property when I moved in.

So this is where I begin "A Year of Firsts" , of all things planted and this year being the first that most have bloomed or grown enough to see a difference in my landscape.

Some things I may remember or have details, some I don't , but I will have pictures to document the progress in my little corner of the world.

Some pictures of some annuals in some of my containers: dianthus, osteospermum, begonia

Black Bird - Part 2

Here are some pictures of the little black birds and the plants they attacked!

The picture to the left is part of the new 40 foot long flower bed I created this year and of course it has all new plants in it.

Also shown here is 'baby blanket' rose next to the rock our black bird is sitting on.

Planted here are:

2 varigated weigela
2 butterfly bush
2 'ebb tide' rose
2 'mountain music' rose
3 'blueberry sundae' daylily
1 'baby blanket rose' (pictured here by the bird and rock)
1 'chocolate flower' Berlandiera lyrata
1 Callirhoe involucrata 'poppy mallow'
1 Ratibida columnifera 'Mexican Hat'
1 Penstemon pinifolius 'Mersea Yellow'

And to fill in I planted various annuals such as purple fountain grass, ornamental sweet potato vine.

The good news is Warren cleaned out the mini barn and finished it. He didn't find any nests with eggs in them, luckily. But there were nests and the birds were trying awfully hard to get in there , poor little things.

Below is a picture of the barn in process of cleaning out, we still have to paint and finish up some trim on it.

As you can see there is also room around the barn for some new flower beds! That will be my fall project.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Go Away Little Black Bird

No rabbits here! I was wrong in my previous post.

I am having some serious problems with a pair of mating black birds. They have taken up residence in our unfinished mini-barn. I have been nagging Warren about finishing it so all these birds will take residence elsewhere. He says he needs help finishing it so by golly I WILL VOLUNTEER!! I'll climb on the roof ANYTHING to save my garden! And this is what happened:

Sunday morning I was sitting outside on the patio sipping my coffee watching all the birds. It was such a beautiful day and you could here all the chirp, chirping and even a gobble, gobble from the wild turkey that have been spotted close by. I'm thoroughly enjoying the peace and quiet as I was home alone hee -hee ahh such a great day!

I noticed a blackbird on the roof of our mini barn squawking flapping his wings. Hmmm I'm curious so I watch him for a while, next thing you know he swoops down into my newly planted flower bed and starts pecking at the plants. I see foliage flying up in the air,.... arghhh! I walk, more like run over there and sure enough snipped right off is the foliage of my ornamental sweet potato vine, rose buds on the ground snipped right below the bud, chocolate flower no foliage at all! What the...???? My flower bed I just created this year and JUST finished planting the day before!

I stand there and look up at the roof of the mini barn and there he is just strutting along the roof. I get a little closer ... and he swoops down on ME. This is not good, must be a nest inside the barn, probably with eggs or little baby blackbirds. What to do? I researched on the Internet and came across this site and read some of this; put up a scarecrow, hmm that won't do, he wasn't afraid of me, dogs and cats... hmm I have those too and he's still here; alternative food sources... plenty of that in the feeder on the other side of the house, I see him there all of the time gorging himself! I don't know what to do I guess I may have to resort to row covers, maybe some decoy owls, at least until my plants get their roots established or grow bigger. Oh and of course I'm still nagging Warren about finishing the barn, he's not speaking to me right now. HA!

I have pictures of this bird and the damage he did, but of course my pc is not cooperating with me and I am having trouble uploading.

My previous week of peace and serenity has gone to the opposite this week. Hopefully the weekend will bring better days.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Back to the grind

This is the scene outside my window at work. Of course this picture was taken a week ago and now the tulip blooms are gone.

I've been on a vacation of sorts. Didn't even turn on my computer last week!

I've been planting, planting and more planting, and a little shopping here and there. (probably too much $$ spent) ah well so it goes.

My marigolds, cosmos and nasturtium's that I direct sowed outdoors are sprouting. The plants I started indoors, well let's just say it was a 50/50 survival rate on those, the sweetpeas did the best.

I took several cuttings from my lavender plant last week, so I'm hoping they will root. I dipped the cutting in root hormone and put them in a pot of clean play sand that is moist but not wet. Hopefully I will get some new plants out of some of them.

I took several pictures last week, but have not loaded them onto the computer. I'm still in lazy mode right now and not feeling very creative today.

Hope all is well in your garden!!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Iris First Year Bloom

There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. ~Chinese Proverb
It's been raining here for the last couple of days but I did manage to take a walk through my garden in between the downpours. I wasn't expecting to see anthing new blooming. I walk around the corner of the house and ** gasp** I see an Iris standing tall. I planted this last fall and have been anxiously anticipating it's first year of blooms.

The other plant in there with purple blooms was given to me 2 years ago, I have no idea what it is. Do you? I know I didn't get a very good picture of it.
Before the rain we did manage to get everything planted for the veggie garden. So now we wait.

Not much to show but dirt, lol. Hopefully after all the rain and the sun shines again I will see some sprouts.

My little helper planted some of the marigolds and naustriums in front of the young shrubs along the fence line.

She's just like her mommy .. loves to dig in the dirt!Next week I 'm off work, woo-hoo. I plan on spending some quality time with my little helper, the garden and visit with family. So to all you mothers out there have a Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Veggie Garden

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. - Marcel Proust

<------ Veggie Garden area 2008

Warren tilled the garden last Tuesday. I wish I took a picture of the tiller contraption he put together. He had the stand up tiller attached to the back of the riding lawn mower, of course this made it easier to till since it's hard for him to walk or stand due to his leg (He was in a motorcycle accident in 2004 and lost his left leg and has back problems to name a few).

He was so excited telling me all the details of how he welded and put it all together. I half listened to the mechanics of it all, I know I'm bad, but I don't know anything about that stuff, nor am I interested in learning. Of course you know I had to look interested, I am very, very grateful, bless is heart.

This is what we planted on May 3rd and 4th, 2008. (Some of the pictures are my own some were found on flicker photo sharing.)

Watermelon (sugar baby)

Kentucky Wonder (bush bean)

Tomato (early girl, big boy)

Summer Squash (Zucchini)

Sweet Corn (Bi-color: Butter & Sugar)
My little helper and I planted some marigold seed as a companion plant along the front of the shrubs and perennials , as you can see in the first picture above of the garden area. It is before the last frost date for my area, but it is only a few days early and the local farmers have been out planting so I will follow their lead, after all they are the experts right?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Weekend Walk Through.

Just a few pictures from this lovely first weekend of May 2008.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Oh, Those Pesky Wabbits!

I mentioned to a fellow garden blogger that I didn't have any problems with rabbits. Well no such luck now!
I think I've been cursed from reading blogs from those of you that have rabbit problems! Ok just kidding, I will cast no blame.
Yesterday evening I was taking a walk around my garden and I noticed that one of my containers on the barn porch looked bare. Sure enough the sweet potato vine leaves are gone! I have, or should I say, had the vine planted with an elephant ear bulb in a container. This container is 24" tall. The pesky rabbit had to stand on his hind legs to get to it! What's the deal! Is there a shortage of plants to munch on around the house NO! I have a field behind my house full of munchies!

Is there a reproductive explosion going on? There are twice as many dandelions, moles and now rabbits! I hope this isn't a sign of more pests to come this gardening season.