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I totally missed last #GBBD, and I was going to skip this month as well, but I’ll just share one pic.
I’ve noticed signs of fall popping up more and more often. Yellow leaves on the ground, and mums that I stopped pinching back too early already working on blooming (oops). And I actually find myself wishing for fall. It’s been such a hot and miserable summer (we’ve been in a drought for most of it, then we’ll drown in rain for a few days, then back to drought), that I’ve already given up on all of my hanging baskets and most of my annuals. They just look terrible. Thankfully I put a soaker hose in my new raised beds, otherwise they’d be in the same sad state. Things are blooming – rudbeckia, helenium, and gaillardia mostly. But nothing looks great.
This year’s gardening lesson learned? I get way too much sun to use coconut coir baskets. In fact, I may give up on hanging baskets almost entirely next year. If I was home and could water them 2x a day, it would be one thing. But I’m not and I can’t. The baskets I was excited about in the front of the house look the best, but they still look nothing like I’d hoped they would in my head. I am considering buying some hang-a-pot hangers and just doing larger terra cotta pots on the deck posts. I want to see how they work anyway, since I’m looking for an inconspicuous way to hang some small flower pots on the sides of my kitchen cabinets by the sink/window, so I can overwinter some herbs.
Also, next year I’m going to forgo small pots outdoors for the same reason. I just get too much sun, and they take too much to keep up on the watering. Those pots will be for indoors only (…if only I had the room to use them all indoors!). Luckily, it’s good timing to buy large pots at good prices. A local nursery here has all of their large glazed pots at 50-75% off right now, and I got a large, cobalt blue one last week: originally $69.99, I got it for $12. I should have also bought a large white one they had, but I resisted because it had a crack and was a bit more expensive. I think I’m going to go back next week once the bills are paid though, and see what else I can find.
I was thinking about getting some of those small pyramid-shaped trellises for the front of the house, since I may not use the hanging baskets. I was planning on planting some annual vines on them – cypress vine, black-eyed susan vine, etc. I have a height issue that I was using the shepherd’s hooks to correct. Underneath each of the hooks is a euonymous that will EVENTUALLY give some height to the area. But not for a while. As it gets bigger I’ll relocate the daylilies surrounding it. I had planned on scoring some of the trellises from JoAnne’s Fabrics. This time of year they always have their gardening stuff 70% off, and you can get some great deals on trellises and pots. Unfortunately when I went yesterday, I saw I’d missed my chance. There was almost nothing left. Oh well. So what do you think? If I can find them, would that look nice?
Also, an official Bloom Day announcement! I finally bit the bullet and purchased my domain name. I’ll be working in the coming weeks (months?) in my spare time on launching this blog on self-hosted WordPress, with a brand-spanking new theme and I’ve customized myself (can anyone suggest a good, basic, 3-column WordPress theme? Having a hell of a time finding one!). I’ve already set up http://www.jennahsgarden.com to redirect to here, so if you’d like, you can update your bookmarks now. You may see less frequent posting here until I get the new blog up and running.
Happy bloom day, everyone!
I totally missed the July bloom day! Oops. I kind of missed June’s as well. It was a crazy week last week. Hubby and I had gone on a trip to WVA to stay in a friend’s family cabin for the weekend. We had a great time. But I woke up around 3:00AM Monday morning with a lovely bout of what was clearly…food poisoning! Hubby’s started around 6AM. I had to call out sick from work (note: food poisoning in two people is EXTRA FUN when you only have one bathroom!).
I’ve had some things I’ve had to deal with lately that have meant a lot of days off work. Having already taken a one week vacation in May and having already scheduled another in September, that all adds up to me having to take some unpaid leave days this year. So I tried to make up as much time as I could during the week (I made up about a half a day) so I wouldn’t have to take as much leave. PLUS my parents are at the beach this week, so I had to feed and care for their plants and cats on the way home from work. PLUS it was my aunt’s birthday so I had to take her gift to her, AND it was my dad’s birthday ON bloom day! So I didn’t even realize I’d missed it until yesterday. (There are literally about 10 family and friend birthdays in July. Add in June, too, and it gets a little crazy.)
So here are some late bloom day pics for ya.
This balloon flower is in a pot right now because it didn’t work where I had plunked it last year. It might find a home in the shadier rain barrel garden, which accidentally has kind of a purple/blue theme.
Went outside yesterday evening and snapped some quick pics after the rain. Here’s a taste of what’s blooming in my yard for bloom day. As always (even when I don’t mention it), thanks to May Dreams Gardens for hosting. All the vegetables are blooming. I’ve already gotten some beans and my first tomato is almost ready. The rest all have green tomatoes and are well on their way. My ground cherry is also doing well and I should be able to harvest some red cherry and sweet banana peppers soon, with the others following not far behind. All of my curcubits have bloomed, including my mystery ‘came with the compost’ one, but I don’t really see any sign of fruit yet.
We’re on our way to Hatteras Island, NC as this Bloom Day is posting. I snapped a few pics today (Friday) before packing up and future posted this for bloom day. Just a taste of what’s blooming in the garden. I didn’t get any shots of the bean blooms or lots of other things. And my camera is still doing the weird thing where it flips the image the wrong way, so these aren’t as great as I want them to be. Might be time for a new camera 😦
I was going to post a bunch of pics of the new raised beds, then I realized it’s time for bloom day. What with all the work on the veggie beds, I haven’t been taking many pics of blooms. The candy-striped creeping phlox is blooming, the pansies are blooming again, the primrose pictured in last week’s Wordless Wednesday, and there is one crocus that has bloomed so far. I don’t even have a good pic of that, but one is below (it kinda got smushed with all the rain the past few days, too). Still waiting on daffodils and tulips.
And now…the raised beds! Hubby did most of the work while I was at work last week, and he even took pics. Here are the specs:
-2×10 boards of pressure treated lumber (we did our research – it’s safe.)
-Just to be extra safe, we lined each one with heavy plastic on the inside
-4 beds that are each 8ftx4ft
-paths in between will be 2ft wide with a bit of wiggle room – we’ll put stepping stones and some gravel in there
(See BEFORE from another view here.)
While hubby was digging the rest of the holes (we had to re-level everything etc – we are feeling super old and sore right now), I decided to rake up the “side garden.” At first I was just going to toss the leaves into the woods (our composter was full), but then I thought hey, they’re already partially rotted. Why don’t I toss them into the bottom of the raised beds to add a little something before we get the dirt and compost? So I did. Brilliant!
Now all we have to do is schedule the topsoil and compost delivery (we thought we could pick it up, but the trailer we were going to borrow isn’t nearly big enough), buy rocks and stepping stones for the paths, and PLANT! Should be able to get all that done in the next week or two. One of these beds is probably about the same size as my old/other veggie garden (which I will maybe use for herbs now? Undecided…)- so I’m getting a LOT more space!
And later on, we took apart the composter and emptied it and I put that compost on top of the old veggie garden (didn’t take any pics). It was mostly potting soil, and I need to break things up smaller when putting them in from now on (I made a pile off to the side that I’ll use for larger stuff). But there is some other goodness in there – partially broken down eggshells, and I couldn’t see hardly any identifiable pieces of food, and lots when in over the summer so that means it all broke down. This year I vow to be better at composting!
Thanks to twitter, I was reminded that it’s bloom day! And thanks to my hubby, I have a bloom. Inside. Because the outside it still soggy and covered with snow. There may be a pansy bloom or two under there, but I’m not trudging through the snow to check.
When he went to Lowe’s to buy stuff to hang my lights in the seed shelf, he picked me up two plants. That phalaenopsis orchid is my second. He also got me one year before last that is still alive, but I haven’t gotten it to bloom again. I think I don’t fertilize it enough. I’m thinking about repotting it into a smaller pot because I also think it’s overpotted. Then mybe both orchids can live on that plant stand in the office. For right now, it’s on top of the giant old-school style TV we never watch in the office.
When he called me at work to tell me what he’d gotten for the seed shelf, he also said he’s gotten me a rescue plant. I think all of us plant people are suckers for a cheapo rescue plant at Lowe’s or somewhere, and my hubby was a sucker for this one because of the cool factor.
That’s right…a pineapple! It’s about the size of the palm of my hand. Apparently it needs high light and low water (but don’t let it dry out). I’m keeping it on top of the entertainment center in the living room (highest light place we have available) until the summer, when I’ll probably put it outside. I feel like I must be the envy of all the other gardeners. Anyone else have a PINEAPPLE PLANT? I mean, really. (If you live somewhere cool, you don’t count and I hate you.) Props to hubby.
Of course the addition of the pineapple caused massive reorganization and shuffling of all the houseplants. I’m going to take the one dracaenea to work because it doesn’t seem thrilled where it is, and my one dracaenea margerita at work is super happy. I moved some other stuff to the fridge, moved my fave “flower pot” pot to the living room, and ended up with this. (Also, I’ve decided I’m not a huge fan of peace lilies. Meh. But I have 3 of them sooo…)
Fun fact: That silver bowl is actually a trophy (you can’t see the engraving). My grandfather was a champion ring jouster and I have several of his trophies. Unfortunately in my teensy house I don’t really have anywhere to display them, but this one is out. The colorful glass in there is an ornament my BFF sent from Hawaii.
I also decided to repot my jade into the pot the recently deceased rescue orchid one occupied. I think it turned out cute. (How do I make it have more branches? Or will it do that by itself?) I still can’t believe this thing started out as like one leaf that my aunt gave me when it fell off her giant jade plant when I was over there. Craziness.
FEBRUARY 15: “In February in the New of the Moon, sow borage, coriander, marjoram, radish, rosemary, and sorrel.”—Gervase Markham, The English Housewife, 1683
[I have rosemary evergreen outside, and I will be sowing borage, coriander/cilantro, and radish this year—but not for a few weeks yet!]
Also, the FEBRUARY 14 entry tells us “some herbal aphrodisiacs are cyclamen, lettuce, pansies, periwinkle, bay, marigolds, thyme, wormwood, marjoram, coriander, clove, cinnamon, ginger, lavender, rose, borage, rocket, garden cress, artichokes, parsley, carrot, dill, anise, and chervil.” I propose you cover yourself in all of them and see what your sig-o does.
Not a whole lot to show here for bloom day. Normally in this area, it doesn’t *really* get cold until February/March. And when it does stay cold, it generally hovers around freezing, but won’t dip below for more than a few days at a time. Well not this year! It’s already snowed a measurable amount three times and we just finally got above freezing for a bit today. So that means everything outside is frozen. The pansies are limp and sad looking, and need a good cutting back and some warm weather before they do anything. So that makes me even more happy that I brought in this pelagorium/false geranium to overwinter this year. And it bloomed!
This (long) weekend, hubby and I are taking a trip up (well, left) to Luray, VA to stay in a nice cabin in the woods. We’ll soak in the hot tub and make s’mores. I was actually *supposed* to be a friend’s date at a party, and I even bought an adorable 70’s themed dress for it (it’s a 70’s theme party), but then everyone sorta forgot the dates and they ended up the same weekend. Lame! And I feel bad. But I will definitely enjoy a much-needed weekend away with the hubby. I doubt there will be any blooms in the mountains, either, but I’m sure I’ll have some nature-y pics to share when I get back. Have a great weekend, everyone!
JANUARY 14: If you are single greet the first new moon after New Year’s by standing astride the bars of the garden gate and saying, “All haul to the Moon/Hail to thee/I prithee good moon reveal to me/This night who my wife [husband] must be.”—John Aubrey, Miscellanies, 1695
JANUARY 15: “Thy garden twifallow, ‘stroy hemlock and mallow.”—Thomas Tusser, 1557
Well, this Bloom Day post won’t win any photography contests. We’ve had hard frost, rain, then 50° days. Crazy weather. And today I was taking these pics in the cold and mostly in the dark, so they’re either dark looking (bc I used the flash) or blurry (bc I didn’t use the flash but it was too dark so the exposure took forEVer). Oh well.
I’ll post all the bloomers in a gallery, but basically I’ve got the “annual” dianthus in strawberry daquiri and scarlet still looking OK. The carnation dianthus are no longer blooming, but I love the foliage on them because it’s basically evergreen, so it gives my “triangle garden” something in the winter. The lovely nasturtium is gone, now just a big viney thing of frost-droopy leaves. The gaillardia is still trying to bloom, and I hope the small plants that have grown from seeds I strategically left in the garden all year make it to next year – more gaillardia would be great. The helenium still has blooms, but they’re just leftovers and I think it’s done from the frosts. The hollies that came with the house and that I wish I had transplanted to beside the steps are laden with holly berries, one of my favorite wintertime things.
The pansies and violets are of course still going strong, and hopefully they’ll continue to give me some color till springtime. I like my hanging baskets of violets in the front of the house but I think next year I’ll pick a solid bright color instead of a gorgeous yellow/blue/purple medley that looks lovely up close but gets lost from the road. I actually thought of that when buying them, but I liked them SO much I ignored my common sense. Oh well!
First off, thanks for hosting, May Dreams Gardens! A week makes a big difference. Last Saturday it was just under 70° and I spent the day outside planting blubs and my hubby cut up the leaves in the yard. But it poured all last week (thanks to the remnants of a hurricane) so now it’s cold, muggy, and gross outside—oh and the ground is covered in leaves again.
The above shot was taken after we mowed. But because of all the digusting weather, we couldn’t have our shed delivered (hopefully next week – it’s going where the white square of rocks is) and it pretty much looks like the below pic again…even though this pic was taken right BEFORE we mowed last weekend. sigh.
Some of the below shots are from last weekend, some are from today. All the same stuff is still in bloom, it is just much soggier this week.
Happy bloom day, everyone! This is when it starts to get interesting. I’ll probably still have blooms in December (we usually don’t get really cold until January or so), but they’ll surely be fewer and scragglier.
It’s been raining since Thursday! ughhh. On Thursday/Bloom Day, I actually had to take a (rainy, and cold) trip to Baltimore for work. So I never got around to doing a post, but I did take some pics that day when I got home. And…it’s STILL raining on Sunday.
I really like how some of these turned out – the rain makes everything look different. The mums look like candy to me.