How Does My Garden Grow?

Ever So Slowly.

 

The weather is not being at all cooperative this spring, if you could call it that. It can’t make up its mind if it wants to hang on to winter a bit longer or jump right on over to summer. I have been trying to get out and do a little bit each day that the weather is nice.
I finally got around to raking out the flowerbed around the deck. There were lots of leaves. The upper ones were dry but as I got lower in the pile closer to the ground it was very moist. Even some small puddles of water.

 

It also disturbed quite a few of the leaf litter dwellers. I saw black beetles scurry away, an inch long brown centipede squiggle away, and about three young wolf spiders ran up the deck wall. Earthworms were also present. I tried to cover them with some soil so they could find their way back underground before they dried out or the birds found them.
When I was starting to rake out around the deck I managed to break the claw rake. It had broken last year but David was able to fix it with super glue. The metal “nail” that held the claw to the handle rusted out this time. I just threw the claw part on this stand. I took out the wooden handle by the shed steps and replaced it with the plastic covered handle from the just broken claw rake. I put the old wooden handle next to the burn barrel. David said the other day that he was needing a new longer stick for stirring the trash as he burns it.

 

David  bought me this cute little leaf rake to replace the claw rake. It worked well getting into the smaller spaces. I was also able to rake out the soil after I had turned it with a shovel.

 

I pulled all the dead marigold plants out of the junk pile bed on one of my outside days.

I was expecting to find an iris plant there, but I think the gophers found it before the ground froze.

There was now sign of it.

 

The Junk Pile Bed and removed marigold plants.

 

The irises are coming up in the corner of the shed flower bed.

They are also coming up in the bed under the south bedroom window.

The Irises in the corner of shed flowerbed.

 

 

I have been bringing Sully out with me each day too. He is glad to be able to find more available grass to munch. He also has a spot in the lawn that he just sits and smells and drools all over. I can’t tell what is there that is of such interest. I don’t see any catnip in the spot, so there must be some other plant that catches his fancy.

 

 

Now that I have raked the flower bed I have uncovered some catnip.

 

 

The rest of the photos showing the raking of the deck flowerbed.

 

 

Sully surveys my work. He finds a clump of grass to nibble. Then he finds his way under the steps. There is no catnip under the steps yet but he did find this tree sapling to nuzzle and drool on.

 

 

When I finished raking for the day, I decided to just sit on the deck step and enjoy the sunshine on my face. As I looked up at the sky I saw a small black spot in the tree at the far end of the driveway. It was the neighbor’s kitty. I call her Little Blackie because I don’t know her actual name. She is a climber she has startled David and I both when we come outside and she is on our roof. I had to talk her over to the deck area one day so that she could jump down onto the shed roof then onto the deck to get down. One day she startled Dave when she jumped from the roof onto the swamp cooler in the back yard. If she had been in one of the trees over the roof of either trailer this day I would not have been to concerned, but this tree just hangs over the driveway and I didn’t want her to fall from that high up. I decide to walk over to the tree and talk her down. She was a very good listener. She followed my instructions and got safely to the ground. She thanked me by rubbing on my legs, let me give her a couple of pets, and then laying in front of me rolling around. I walked back over to the steps and she found a shady spot to lay in the driveway like nothing even happened. Sully watched it all laying in his comfy, grassy, lawn. He kept an eye on Little Blackie after she laid down in the driveway too.

 

 

Friday I turned a small patch of soil in the deck flowerbed and raked it out with my new rake.
I was able to do a bit of indoor gardening today. I transplanted the four best looking sweet peppers into pots. I then got some green bell peppers started in an egg crate.

The Transplanting.

 

 

That is where I stand in the yardening this week. We are supposed to get some more of that white fluffy stuff again, starting Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday afternoon. We could get around 6 inches. I don’t think it will actually accumulate since the ground is still pretty warm so hopefully it does a lot of melting. So you see the weather is taking another turn back towards winter. I really wish it would stop doing that.

 

 

 

 

 

Another Flying Visitor

This One Likes to Flutterby the Cosmos

 

I large orange and black butterfly has been making visits to the cosmos. The first time I saw it I had just gotten out of the truck after coming home from town. It was fluttering around my head then flew off into the sky. I saw it again a couple of mornings later it was making its way over to the flowers around the deck, but I did not have my camera with me that day either.

The next day when I went out to water I made sure to have my camera with me so I could get a picture of it . Well I finally got a few shots of the butterfly on the flowers. It seemed to prefer the cosmos as a landing platform. I got two nice clear photos and two a bit blurry photos. I never was able to get an open wing shot though. As soon as it would land it closed up its wings. The butterfly had a stalker too. A bumble bee kept following it from flower to flower. They kept trying to push each other around. It made me chuckle.

 

I took to the internets to identify the butterfly. I was pretty sure it was a monarch,but wanted to make sure. I was correct and it was female.
Maybe next year my milkweed plants from the library will be established for other monarchs visiting my flower gardens. 😀

I Think I Know What Some of My Wildflowers Are Now

And New Flower Photos for The Week Ending September 15, 2018

 

David bought some more boxes of the wildflower mix so I was able to get the names of the flowers in it. I had to take to the internets to find the common names as the scientific names were given on the box.

These are  Calendula Officinalis -pot marigolds .

 

These little yellow and orange ones are Coreopsis Tinctoria – golden tickseed.

 

The ones I was calling impatiens were actually a poppy variety.

The smaller ones are Papaver Rhoeas – common, rose, corn field, flander’s or red poppy.

 

The larger poppies are Eschscholzia californica– california poppy.

 

These are Rudbeckia Hirta – black-eyed Susan which are in the sunflower family.

 

This late bloomer was Cynoglussum Amabile – Chinese forget-me-not or hound’s-tongue.

 

The other late bloomer was Delphinium Consolida – forking,rocket or field larkspur.

 

I had no problem identifying the cosmos or the bachelor buttons. The tiny white flowers you see in a lot of the photos turned out to be baby’s breath.

 

The new flower photos for the week ending September 15, 2018.

Rinse and Repeat

 

We have had a couple of days of good rain again followed by some warm days. So you can not even tell that I had weeded the junk pile flowerbed, cucumbers, yellow squash, or the peppers. It looked just like this again.

 

My plan for today was to water everything with some Miracle Grow but I had to do some weeding again just to find where the peppers were. I began in the junk pile marigold bed I wet it down with a bit of plain water. I don’t think I have mentioned before that of all the gladiolus bulbs I planted only the previous years came up. So out of over 100 bulbs only a little over 20 came up. I planted them, watered them, and then we had four days of rain. You are only supposed to water them when you first plant and not do it again until you see them break the soil. So the bulbs just got water-logged and rotted away. I also may have planted some of them too shallow so the rain washed the soil off the tops of them and then they got water-logged and rotted. I tried to blame the gophers at first but when none came up in any of the beds I changed my tune. Also I did find some squishy rotted bulbs when I was doing weeding. So that is why that is just the junk pile marigold bed. Oh, and the impatiens did not come up on the west end of the house either. I don’t know what their problem was. They are a shade liking flower and it is pretty shady there.

So anyway I watered the junk pile bed, weeded it and then watered it with coffee ground water. I have a bucket that I put the coffee grounds in, I rinsed it out and poured the water on the marigolds. I then weeded the cucumbers and the squash hills. I did the peppers next, you could hardly see my little guy in the corner, I planted him even though he didn’t have his 5 leaves yet. He is hanging in there though.

Now that everything was weeded. I got the rake and loosened up the soil around all the peppers so the Miracle Grow water would have a better chance of soaking down to the roots of the plants. I also loosened the soil on the hills. So with green watering can in hand everyone got a nice good drink.

Moonflowers

NIGHT BLOOMERS!

I bought these moonflower seeds on clearance last fall. I had never heard of them or never seen them to the best of my knowledge. The reason I bought them is while walking to the park several times last summer with Kay and Marty we would pass this one yard that had these huge flowers that looked a lot like morning glories. I mean the flowers were as big as my hand. I thought these moonflowers might be them. I read the package and discovered that they bloom at sunset, so they could not have been the flowers we passed in that yard. I got them anyway because they looked a lot like morning glories and they would vine to 12 to 15 feet tall and so the flowers would be big too.

I did a little research on them this morning, there is not much info about them. One thing I learned was that they are poisonous especially the seeds. If I remember correctly, so are morning glories. They are pretty drought resistant which will be good for my area. I am also planning to transplant them under the west and south bedroom windows which get quite hot because the sun reflecting off the aluminum siding.

They are supposed to be very fragrant too. I am thinking these will bring the humming-bird moths around. I have seen one on occasion since I have now started planting flowers. I bet the butterflies out and about in the early evenings may even enjoy them.

One other thing  I learned was that you should soak the seeds in warm water over night before planting. I did this as it was a tip on the back of the package. I started them off in these peat pots and some potting soil. So now we will wait and see if they will sprout.

So my fellow gardeners, have you any advice or experience with these giants of the flower garden?

Oh, here is another question for you, do you have another species of night bloomers in your flower garden?