Friday, December 30, 2011

February in December

My neighbor's forsythia thinks it is February already.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Timely Amaryllis

My parents brought me an Amaryllis kit at Thanksgiving.  We potted it up, and noticed the box gave an estimated 6 weeks to bloom.

This one seemed to like its growing conditions, and this morning, exactly four weeks after planting, the first bloom started to open.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 2011 Blooms

  A warm December means I have more blooms than usual.

In the upper garden, some black-eyed Susans have persisted all fall and into winter

My Sunsprite rose seems to have survived its very late (like last week) transplanting.

 The strawberries don't seem to know they can't possibly make fruit in December.
Around front, the white rose is blooming, too.
Not everything is out of cycle.  The berries are right on time!  Holly:
And my one remaining Nandina.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 2011 Compost (not Blooms)

I'm sure something was blooming on Bloom Day, but I didn't take any pictures.  I did spread some of my lovely yard waste compost over part of my veggie garden.

I made this!  (ok, my yard's organisms did, but I enabled!)


Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 2011 Blooms

 Here's some of what's blooming in mid-October:
Mom's mums

Morning Glory
Lespedeza thunbergii 'Gibraltar'
I planted the bush clover (Lespedeza) last fall on a whim.  It really took off this year, growing about 4ft high.  It is a little spindly, but I think it will fill out over the next few years.  I love all the little magenta flowers it has produced this year.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How (Not) to Stake a Tree

My very bendy redbud tree got a little unwanted help in straightening today:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Digging Up Daffodils

In the spring, I had lots of daffodil foliage, but not enough flowers.  I had an idea that the bulbs might have gotten too crowded, so I thought I should divide them.  I'd planned to do some in the spring and some in the fall, and compare the results next year.

But there were so many other things that had to be done in the spring, so the daffs were ignored.  Today I finally dug up some of them (the ones in memorable locations, that is).  Boy, were they crowded!
A shovel-ful of bulbs

Bulbs on the ground

200 bulbs of varying sizes
 I replanted the bulbs in various spots in the yard.  When I ran out of room, I brought the remaining (tiny) bulbs to my parents' new house and planted them along the front walk.  It will be a few years before my folks actually move there, so those bulblets will have some time to grow.

Since my bulbs had already done their growing for the year in their cramped quarters, I don't expect increased flowering next year.  But with plenty of room now to grow big bulbs, I'm eagerly anticipating spring 2013!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Another Nandina Says Goodbye

Earlier this year, I replaced one of the nandina in the side yard with a hydrangea.  Now, I've acquired a doublefile viburnum to replace the second nandina.
Doublefile Viburnum

 Before I could plant it, I had to remove the offending shrub:
Overgrown Nandina
 First I whacked it back, then dug out the stump.

The viburnum in its new home:

I've long admired my neighbor's viburnum, and now I have my own.  I hope it grows as big and beautiful as Elizabeth's!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 2011 Blooms

Here's what's blooming, on the 15th of September: The melampodium I planted in the spring took a while to get going this summer. But they just keep getting better and better. I hope I can collect some seeds for next year.

Self-seeded morning glories light up the driveway fence

The yard is full of signs of impending autumn. The sedum are flowering, a light pink for now

The mistflower make a sea of blue

'Fireworks' solidago are just starting to pop

Variegated liriope are pretty in purple

Willow-leaf helianthus are sun-shiny yellow. These grow so tall and get floppy. This year, I finally remembered to try cutting them back in June. So this year they are shorter and floppy.

And the Boltonia asteroides are also flopping - all over the baptisia

That's all 'til next month!

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 2011 Blooms - Surprises

August has become a month of surprises! Here are some in the garden:

Larkspur I was so excited that the larkspur I planted last year finally bloomed in June. But I was really surprised to see repeat blooms in August!

Cosmos Last year I started some cosmos from seed, and planted them in the lower front bed, where they did absolutely nothing. Oh, well, not much likes that scorching hot space. So I was quite surprised to see one cosmos plant growing - and blooming - this summer. How did this annual, that never flowered last year, so never made seeds, come back and flower this year? So pretty.
Picotee Cosmos

Lycoris I wasn't surprised by my surprise lilies this year. Or so I thought. But I wasn't expecting a second round of blooms, from later-sprouting flower stalks. Got me!

Also blooming this August: Zinnia, Crape Myrtle, and Four O'Clocks.
Crape Myrtle
self-seeded Four O'Clocks

That's all I have to show for August.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sneak Some Zucchini Here

According to, today, Aug 8, is "Sneak Some Zucchini onto your Neighbor's Porch" Day.

Apparently, by the second week of August, most zucchini growers are so sick of the stuff they must resort to underhanded techniques to rid themselves of the excess. Well, you successful zucchini growers are welcome to leave all your unwanted squash on my porch, no sneakiness necessary.

This porch needs zucchini!

Why? Because my squash plants fell victim to the squash vine borers this year, same as last year. I started with four plants, pulled out the worst two about a month ago, and thought the remaining two might be able to make a go of it. They produced flowers, but had no energy left to actually make squash. They were just trying to stay alive. The plants (leaves) looked healthy, until one looked closer at the stems to see: emptiness.

A few days ago I went out to pull the remaining two squash plants. When I got to the garden I saw this:
New sprouts at the base of the plant, presumably below the borer damage. Smart plants! (But why didn't they do this a month ago?) So I cut off the plants above the new growth. We'll see what happens.

There's already a male flower bud on one of the new plants, but I'm a long way from squash. So leave some zucchini on my porch, would ya?

Update:  my reborn zucchini went kaput.  And no one left any squash on my porch.  Boo.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Nearly every year my "Surprise Lilies" (Lycoris, "Naked Ladies", etc.) really do surprise me. The leave die off in the spring, but the flower stalks don't emerge until July. Mine are planted on the side of the house I visit the least often, so I often miss their emergence. This year I was still mulching in July (bad me!), so I saw them coming.

Friday, July 22, 2011


I braved the midday, record-setting heat to harvest a few veggies. Some cukes, the first of my beans, and one Sungold tomato.

The tomato went straight from vine to mouth, so no picture. It was tasty. I steamed the beans for a late lunch. The cukes will go in salads and tzatziki.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


My veggie garden hasn't produced much this summer, but I have had a few cucumbers.

I planted three varieties this year: Marketmore (my tried-and-true) and Poinsett, both of which I started form seed; and one plant I got in a swap this spring. It was labeled white something-or-other, and I was instrigued that if might be white-skinned.

I picked the first two cucumbers last week. The "white" one is the larger, and the other is Poinsett. I picked a Marketmore a few days later, but no picture.

They are all yummy. I'd say it was a waste to plant the extra non-white cucumber, but that one vine is larger than all the others combined. I think it may be the one to keep me in cukes through the summer.

Friday, July 15, 2011

July 2011 Blooms - The Front Walk

Rudbeckia steal the show in the summer. Along my front walk, five varieties are blooming today.

Annual rudbeckia:

Perennial Rudbeckia:
Goldsturm, I think

Rudbecki triloba

Rudbeckia 'Henry Eilers'

Keeping them company, some other annuals I started from seed this year. I'm not very good with annuals, so these have been scrawny and slow to bloom. But, finally, I have:


And here's the whole thing:

For more July blooms, head on over to May Dreams Gardens, where Carol hosts Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.