In The Garden

Since I came home from my quilt show a week ago, I’ve spent more time working in the garden. It seems like there’s a lot of catching up to do… my new drip watering system has made the weeds very happy :/ Here’s some photos of what’s happening. These are plants that seem to be enjoying the cooler weather we’ve been having.

The front flower bed. We’ve enlarged this bed a bit, and when winter comes, we will add more soil to it. When we first put it in, it wasn’t raised very much, and so there’s not that much good soil in there. This is what I see when i drive up to my house, and I enjoy seeing all the color.

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I got a tuberous begonia, which mostly enjoys a cooler coastal weather. But since I got it in September, it has actually bloomed a bit for me.

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This bed is past its prime, but like I said, the cooler weather has given some ย of the flowers renewed vigor. Especially that one volunteer nasturtium.

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Here’s the salvia with the rudbeckia(?). They’re a little crowded now, but they will both do so well next year.

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I mentioned that this hydrangea turned green when it was past its prime, but then a month later the blooms turned pink. This bush is very rangy, but the flowers are so beautiful and last for so long, its worth it.

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I got another dwarf flowering maple (abutilon). I love these crinkly blooms.

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And here’s the zinnias, which you can see are crowding that rudbeckia. So very cheerful, and these blooms last a long time too!

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And that’s the garden report for another week. Have a happy and safe weekend.

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And Back to our Regularly Scheduled Program

Here is a big long picture-heavy post to catch you up on the garden and the chickens! The garden hasn’t exactly suffered this year (since we put in a watering system,) but it hasn’t had my full attention either. Next year will be a better year in the garden. Here’s what’s blooming this week.

The Zinnias are finally starting to grow and bloom more. Behind them is the gaillardia, blue salvia, and a geranium.

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A nice mandevillia vine. MLG built me a little trellis for it to grow on. They are not frost hardy so it will be an annual. Most of the plants I buy are either six-packs, or a gallon sized plant for $7.50. To me that is a nice price for a summer’s worth of blooms.

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This is a new plant for me. It looks like I plopped a bouquet in the garden. It is a rudebekia Prairie Sun. Huge yellow flowers. Its supposed to be a perennial, and I thought it would look nice between the wild pink rose and the small blue perennial (don’t know the name but the bees love it.)

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Here it is in context:

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Liriope. I have several of these, and several were transplanted this year. This one is doing the best of all of them.

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And now for the chicken report! I was glad that I had the chickens to amuse and distract me after my surgery. I loved going out and sitting and watching them in the late afternoon. Chickens are attracted to anything red, and I think they have a sweet tooth too, so they really love watermelon. Since they are still so young, I am careful to not give them too much fruit. Do you see who is in the very center of that picture? BABY!! She is doing so well. Goes in and out with the big girls, and doesn’t let anyone pick on her. She knows to just stay out of the way.

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Buff Orpington, with a Dominique behind her:

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New Hampshire Red:

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And here is Baby in action. She seems to know how to get exactly what she wants. She looks the situation over, and chooses the path of least resistance.

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Speckled Sussex. I am still a little hopeful that this is a hen that just has a rooster-like appearance.

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This IS a rooster, darn it! Both of the polish chicks turned into roosters.

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These are the Delaware chickens. I really like their delicate lacy black neck feathers. They seem to be very peaceful chickens.

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All the chickens take turns sitting on/standing on/laying in these pots.

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Pretty sure this guy will turn into a rooster. He always comes and stands by the fence right where I am sitting on the other side. I started calling him Buddy. If I keep a rooster, this will be the one.

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Can’t you tell by Baby’s stance that she is saying, “I’m cool. What’s that over there?” I am so happy with all the forward movement she’s made by herself. I’ve even seen her get up on a lower shelf to roost the past few nights.

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And now you are all caught up with the chickens. Today I stopped at a nursery and got a few more plants to fill in a few places in the garden. What can I say? I like pink. These are snapdragons, a Pentas, and dianthus–small, but has a definite carnation smell!

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And a Vinca–three colors in one pot!

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And that’s the garden report for this week.

 

Chicken and Garden Report

Baby goes outside! One day I looked out my window (whenever I am near the studio or kitchen window I always look out to see what’s going on in the chicken yard.) I was SO SURPRISED and excited to see Baby out in the yard. She seemed to be enjoying herself, running here and there with her little hitch, checking out the greens I had thrown out there, and mixing in with the big girls. So far she has not gotten picked on–you know, the pecking order. I have a feeling she will know to just stay out of the way. She also has a couple of “friends” who seem to stick close by. And of course, she didn’t know to go back into the house at night. It was so cute–one of the buff orpingtons had settled down next to her in the yard. Anyway, got them back inside and all was well. I think it was maybe a little overwhelming, because she hasn’t gone back outside since then…

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Another day I looked outside and there was something very large and brown standing on top of the bird netting that MLG had put across the top of the chicken yard. I ran outside–it was a HUGE hawk, who was not at all afraid of me, and was bouncing up and down on the netting to try to get in! I was SOOOO glad that I had had MLG put that netting in place. He did a very secure job. If I had done it myself, it might have been much easier for Mr. Hawk to get inside! He hasn’t been back since then, so fingers crossed that he thinks its a lost cause.

Here is the view of the garden that I enjoy when I sit on my fake patio.

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The volunteer petunias have returned, although a much smaller batch of them. along with some weeds…

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Phlox.

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Most of the oriental lilies came back. I had kind of forgotten about them, so that was a nice surprise.

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Mr. Bougainvillea is doing very well, and I love having it.

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Close-up. Aren’t those little white centers a beautiful detail?

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The Jackson Perkins rose that I complained about last year. It is doing very well, and I do love the color and the smell of it.

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The hydrangeas are doing well, but I’m a little stumped as to why the flower clusters are so small.

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This is that rose that is grown on its own root stock. Its kind of wild and crazy. I think it might need a little fence support behind it next year. Lots of little blooms.

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And that’s the garden and report and chicken update for this week.

 

Garden Party

The weather has cooled a bit, and the garden is starting to perk up. Here’s what’s blooming this morning.

This front bed is doing well. In the back, against the stones, is some new columbine. They won’t bloom this year, but they should look nice next spring. In the center is a baby’s breath. I got it to replace the carnations that used to be there. I love baby’s breath, and I am glad that it seems to be doing well. At the top of the picture you can see the rose of sharon blooming. They are so tall, in spite of me cutting them back almost to the ground last fall.

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The rose of sharon is nothing spectacular, but it is pretty to see them up so high waving in the breeze. Below the phlox is starting to bloom.

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I got a new gaillardia. This is a color I don’t usually choose, but I thought it would look pretty with the blue salvia growing behind it (when they start growing ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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I thought the bougainvillea was not going to make it for a ย bit, but then it started blooming and growing. Happy happy happy ๐Ÿ™‚

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The daisies are doing well after their traumatic move last year.

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Okay. Hollyhocks. I have some thoughts. I grew these from seeds. I got three or four plants. It takes 2 years for them to bloom. And then they got “rust” in the spring. I cut off all the affected leaves. This one plant is spectacular. But I don’t think I’ll be growing too many hollyhocks in the future.

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The hydrangeas are still just starting to bloom. These were three of the very first plants that I had MLG plant for me. They were half dead in their containers, so it is nice to see them thriving now.

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And that’s the garden report for this week. I’ll be back tomorrow with the chicken report ๐Ÿ™‚

Summertime!

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Glory be! Its HOT here! I just spent a couple of hours in the garden weeding and checking the watering system, and fixing the timer. Fun times. And here are my words of wisdom for you this week:

Growing old is not for the faint of heart.

And that’s all I got to say about that.

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When its so hot its hard to work up any enthusiasm for going to the nursery, much less actually buying plants and bringing them home to try and keep them alive. So right now I’m more focused on garden equipment LOL. I got a new hose THAT IS AMAZING. I got so tired of the Costco “kinkless” hoses constantly kinking. So I asked Sallye at the garden center if she would order me a good hose. She ordered me the same hose that they use at their nursery, a Gilmore Super Duty Flexogen. It was expensive, but so worth it for the lack of frustrating kinks. And Sallye says it really lasts a long time.

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The chicks are growing quickly in this heat. First I opened up the whole house to them. And then I turned their lamp off when it started getting so hot. They are almost fully feathered now, and look more like tiny bedraggled adult chickens. I watch them closely for signs of rooster behavior (I ordered all hens, but they don’t guarantee 100% accuracy.)

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That one that I claimed was a Rhode Island Red rooster the first week? That is my new best friend. So I’m hoping against hope that he is a hen ๐Ÿ™‚ He comes running to the door when I open it, and enjoys hopping up on my hand and getting an aerial view of everything.

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They are fascinated by anything shiny, which I guess includes light spots.

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I was proud that I figured out how to build them a lower perch. And I found scraps of wood to make little steps for their ramp. They would climb up the ramp halfway and then slide back down.

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Of course, its always fun to find a higher spot to roost on…

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And they still do the same thing–“oh look, there’s something fascinating here, come look! come look!”

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And that’s how it goes around here. I am (literally) limping towards the finish line. I guess that’s a good thing. Because if it didn’t hurt to walk, I would probably back out of the knee surgery. They moved my pre-op appointment up a week. It will be good to get more answers to some of my questions.

 

This Week in the Garden

 

Well, lets start out with the biggest change in the garden this week–the new drip/watering system! After MLG installed it, I played with the settings, and got them all set to go off in the three different areas of the garden at 8 am each morning. So each morning I scamper out to stare at the little mini-sprinklers and see how they are doing. It will take a little time for me to learn just how much water each area needs. I have already found a few places that need more sprinklers.

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The foxgloves are just crazy big and tall and wonderful this year. In the past I have had to stake them up, but I haven’t done a thing with these. They seem to be holding their own.

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A close-up of their wonderful coloration:

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The new old iris!

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These pincushion flowers are doing well. I have a reader to thank for telling me to mulch them over the winter. All three plants made it through and are doing so much better than last year.

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This is the rose I got from J&P last year (that I complained about so much.) It seems to be very healthy and growing well. It smells delicious, and is pink. What more could I want?

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The Grocery Outlet roses (paid $3-5 for them.)

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These campanula are small but make a big impact with their big volume of blooms! I have them in several places in the garden.

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So. Last year I bought a nice little compact plant at the nursery with pretty pink blooms. But it was about done blooming and that was it. This year, in the same place, this multitude of single stems grew up. I really was not sure whether they were the same plant or maybe some weed. Turns out they were, and I am going to get a ton of blooms from them, if the buds are any indication. They are Mexican Evening Primrose. Hmmm. Just read up on them–can be aggressively invasive. They will fit right in with the violets and the fairy impatiens ๐Ÿ™‚ Snapdragons in the background.

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This is the rose I got last summer in a four inch pot. Its on its own rootstock, not like most roses. I took this picture so you can see the multitude of blooms that it will have. Also, you can see some of Noah’s hair there…

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Back to the other side of the garden–this is the same rose that I showed at the beginning of the post, but now at the end of its bloom–still beautiful.

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And a last shot of the foxglove flower bed.

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The garden is good for getting me outside a bit every day, and getting in quite a bit of functional exercise. This morning I swept and then washed down ALL of the stone paths. And that’s the garden report for this week!

P.S. My baby chicks have been shipped!! I will be back soon with a different kind of report :))

Garden Stuff

A few days after I shared the pictures of the beautiful blooms of the flowering cherry, I went out for a walk, and this is what I saw:

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Fleeting beauty, that’s what plants are.

In the background you can see those tall money plants. I had eight of them planted in various areas in the garden. I could see all their “money” seed pods starting to grow. And I could see why they would spread everywhere and why some people considered them a weed. I did not want a whole garden full of money plants. When I bought the seeds, the seed packet did not make them look five feet tall. And I did not like them well enough to keep them. So one day last week, I went out and uprooted ALL of them. They were blocking the view of some of the plants I really wanted to see. ย I re-planted three of them outside the garden, in the forest, and if they grow there, fine. I will have a whole forest full of flowers in a couple of years. More deer food ๐Ÿ™‚

These plants are so pretty! Lime green leaves with deep brilliant purple blooms. They seem to do well without a lot of sunlight. Sorry, I can’t remember the name.

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I am working on replenishing the shade garden. And for some reason, Noah has chosen to dig large holes here. So this is my attempt to deter him. You can see the little half-stomped heuchera there. I have a hard enough time with heucheras without Noah stomping on them. I got a couple of “Kong” coleus at the nursery because they were colorful. And that fern there–I’ve got high hopes for it. Its a maidenhair fern, but its from Australia, and its hardy to -9 degrees! and of course I had to get some of my favorite corsican mint. I don’t think I’ve ever planted it here–we’ll see how it does. Those spiky things growing there are, I think, the mini calla lilies that I planted last year.

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And lookie!!! The foxgloves have started to bloom. And can you see the surprise bloom in front of them?? Its an iris that I planted about four years ago that’s never bloomed. I was going to dig it up and throw it away last year, but decided to give it one last chance. I can hardly wait to see what color it is–its been so long I can’t remember what I bought.

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Yesterday I took a quick trip to the bay area to see my mom. I managed to fit in a very quick stop at my favorite Livermore nursery, Alden Lane. Just a beautiful place to explore.

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Iย only bought one plant for myself–one more addition for the shade garden. Its called a Jacob’s Ladder, and evidently its supposed to have some nice blooms. I bought it because I like the foliage.

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I am keeping busy, moving plants and other heavy garden things. Endless weeding continues. Lots of functional exercise going on! Hopefully I’ll have more to show you in a week or two.