Thursday, March 31, 2011

Returning to a Near Tragedy

About two weeks ago I went out of town to visit family for the weekend. Nice short trip. While I was gone we had another very crazy rainstorm according to everyone at home.  Mom even told me she had brought some plants inside because they were getting drenched. Even though the weather was warm and perfect where I was, I was kind of envious not to be around for the rain.

When we arrived home last Monday almost the first thing I did was fawn over how well my recent transplants in the front had done -

calendula Zeolights and a mystery larkspur from trade

yarrow along the front strip, and a nasturtium that came up out of nowhere

the yarrow are already sending up new shoots!

Then I went to the backyard to check on my Green Babies and the water level in the rain gauge - 

over two inches!
(in our area that's how much we might get in an entire year)

Then in my ridiculously happy state I turned around and nearly fell over when I saw the babies - 


I was not prepared for that. See, the youngest seedlings are all on a recently completed craft shelf under an east facing overhang. It's the perfect spot to get all the sun they need, stay out of the worst heat of the day, and stay protected from weather and overnight chill. Well, apparently not so perfect if it's raining with an easterly wind :/ The next thirty minutes were spent draining all the trays and checking on every baby.

When I was a bit calmer mom came and reminded me about the plants she had moved inside. I had totally forgotten about that and rushed in -

 Felis catus "Lead the Way" insisted on showing me the miracle

It was very relieving to find the rest on my Green Children safe and sound. And very surprised. See, mom likes all the different flower varieties I've gotten growing in the front yard after decades of only rose bushes, Shasta daisies and cosmos. But she finds it annoying that I start so many seeds indoors and spend so much time fussing over the Green Babies that we can't possibly have enough room for. It is a freaking miracle, a momentary grace of the garden spirits if you will, that she noticed, cared enough, and went to the trouble of bringing them inside. If she hadn't I would have had to restart all those weeks old plants, some nearly ready to go to the rental, our front yard, and my container garden.

In fact despite the crazy weather there was only one loss -

 my desert bluebell, the wind stripped all the flowers and nearly all the foliage

All the other container plantings were doing great, especially my successful black pansy -

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bloom Day March 2011

And here they are! First the front yard's bounty:

dad's sunny euryops

and his white roses are starting to wake up

his shaggy white daisies

a new Coleonema compacta I couldn't pass up for my mom

purple statice that is taking over its flower bed like nobody's business

California poppies Mission Bells
(I try to grow a different color poppy for mom and naturally it's only the orange of the color blend that I get)

a new sweet lavender

perennial candytuft
y'know last year I didn't think much of these guys but I find I like them winding through other plants

pink geraniums

And now my purty edibles:

snap peas

and again

mmm...strawberry Fragola Quattro Stagioni

radish Watermelon
the edible root part is as big as my fist right now!

bunching onion
hehe, my army buddy was all excited when he saw this one until he touched it and said "awuh, it's soft I thought it'd be pointy" :(

my first lemon Pink Lemonade blossom!
never much cared for variegated leaves but these are growing on me...

And my personal ornamentals in my container garden:

a new geranium, eventually to go into the front for mom

Iceland poppies and lobelia Crystal Palace

red ranunculus

peachy-red ranunculus
(camera never captures this hue quite right)

a pansy Bewitched and some failed viola Amber Jewels

another of my fail pansy Bewitched

alyssum Tiny Tim and lobelia Crystal Palace

my endearing bluebells :)

 alyssum Oriental Nights

a successful viola Amber Jewels!

And finally my nasties, they have somehow sunk their roots into my heart and have quickly becoming a highly favored plant:
nasturtium Tall Single

an Alaska (it looks like a fairy hat!) with some lobelia Cambridge Blue

another Alask, it was my most "moundy"one until I had to prune it from an aphid attack :/
and my most favorite nasty <3
it's an Alaska that started vining instead of mounding, it's 4 feet long and I love how it hugs the turquoise pot!

this little fellow is my "red sheep" it's growing on the same vine as the yellow nasties in the above pic

how could anyone not like these cheery little fellows?!

And to think, little more than a year ago nasturtiums weren't even on my radar...

Happy Bloom Day all!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Peanut Shells...

Some days I swear my dad just wants to see what new thing he can do to screw with my brain. Lately it's been with peanut shells.

Most everybody's heard the story of how long George Washington Carver proposed using peanuts as a cover crop to re-vigorize agricultural soil. My dad took it to heart. Growing up I was very accustomed to him sprinkling his peanut shells in the rose beds after a snack. There hadn't been so much of that since we re-did the yard and dad was temporarily restricted in what nuts he was allowed to eat. But now he can eat all the peanuts he pleases again he's even got a 2 pound bag on the dinning room table to prove it :9 And he's gotten more inventive about where he sprinkles them...

...there's the traditional rose bed location...

...and my potted blue butterfly bush as well.

See at first I was frustrated while it was very cold over the winter he often just threw them in the trash. Then I trained him to put them in the bucket I used every morning to pick whatever's ready to eat so I could dump it into my compost bin first. That lasted a nice month. Now it's warmer and it seems if he doesn't immediately see my garden trimmings bucket he just finds somewhere 'good enough' for them...

...including an empty pot I haven't gotten to re-planting yet...
(3 feet away from the garden trimmings bucket)

...and an empty bin we usually toss from the garage recyclables into...
(2 feet from the garden trimmings bucket) heliotrope...

... the broken pots I save to crush into drainage gravel...

 ...and atop the bin I store my finished compost in...
(5 feet from the compost bin and yes he knows where it is!)

*sigh* well, if my dad doesn't make me a little crazy - he would find something much more frustrating to do...

Mary's Gardening Calendar