treeskin: (Default)
Picked my first medlar today. My little tree had 3 this year, out of the half dozen it set. (I think the deer sampled the rest.) It probably needed a few more days of cold, which we're lacking the fall, but it was close to the custardy texture I've read about, and the applesauce flavor was developing. By's comment was "tasty enough, if you could get enough of the to do something." They're not big fruit....the one we sampled was a little bigger than a golf ball. And they have 5 big hard seeds, about the size and shape of a large dry kernel of field corn.

I'll wait and try the other two fruits after they've hard more chilling. They're interesting if nothing else, and a decorative small tree. I may plant another one, just for that.

Let's see....what's blooming this week? I know, it's December. But I've seen dandelions and some sheltered sprigs of daisy fleebane still in bloom. There are a couple of echinaceas still trying to bloom, tucked into the shelter of their fluffy basal leaves. And, last week, I found a sprig of Knautia macedonica in rosy bloom.

In the greenhouse, most of the ornamentals are blooming. Petunias, snaps, black-flowered vinca. The pineapple sage is almost done, but still showy, and my oldest rosemary is blooming so hard the branches look gray until you get up close. Still waiting on the lemon tree to bloom. Its buds are fat and promising, and I'm daydreaming of picking lemons next summer.
treeskin: (Default)
* 4 'Minos' hyacinth, which is a dark purple
* 25 'Oriental Beauty' Dutch iris, which is an amber/orange/rose/purple iris, hard to describe, but oh-so-lovely in spring

Both purchased at Lowes, and both planted in the new beds at the east end of the garden.

Bulb planting will be complicated this season, because I dug oodles of daffs and lilies (colors/varieties unknown) at D's last month, and I can't remember where they all ended up. Except that the places that look like obvious spots for daffs and lilies are most likely already planted. Silly hobbit.

Children permitting, this morning shall also include moving my 'Twilight Prairiblue' baptisia, and the big clump of scullcap, because they're too big for their spots.
treeskin: (Default) hot, dusty, and perilously dry. The cracks in my yard are wide enough that the kids are starting to trip over them, and most of the flowers have stopped blooming from heat stress. I'm still watering, but just part of the garden, the new trees and shrubs, new perennials, or places where I want to dig and do earthwork soon.

If you're curious about the technical specifics of the drought, go here:

And download the July 17 State Drought Report. It's scary reading. The map of the counties that are already federally declared agricultural disaster areas is on page 2; the map of drought conditions is on page 5. The discussion of the state of public water supplies, and the reservoirs that feed a lot of the towns out here, begins on page 6.

It's anxiety-inducing.

My mom lives in central Kansas. Out there, they've given up on the soybean crop, and are cutting the stunted corn crop to make cattle feed. (It's not good feed, but it will keep them from. Starving, for a while.) A friend's parents live and farm in southwest Kansas; they've sold off their cattle because their water supply was running out, and their pastures were too dry to graze livestock.

A climatologist being interviewed on public radio this week said that this may be a multi-year drought in much of the Midwest and Great Plains. From reduced snowpack in the Rockies to low water flows in rivers to "dramaticly falling levels" in the Ogalala Aquifer, the outlook is alarming.

The take-away message from all this is be careful. Watch how much water you use. Think about ways to conserve, or harvest rain.
treeskin: (Default)
It was 95 degrees when we came outside this morning, at 930am. The forecast is for 107 this afternoon. Bleh.

Haven't had any rain for a month, maybe more, I can't remember exactly. Of course, haven't had to mow in that long, so it's not all bad.

By rigged a drip irrigation system to all the arborvitaes I planted a few weeks ago, and to the peach trees. That's cut a lot off the time I spend hand watering. I'm down to just watering pots and new things, plus topping up the kids' pool.

The kids and I have been coming out in the morning, and we play and putter in the garden until it's too hot, and go back in. We made it until noon yesterday, but probably won't today. The Miss spends the whole time splashing in the pool like a bird, which is very funny.

The garden already has that middle-of-summer cooked look. Most of the daylilies and daisies are done. Most of the color now comes from annuals (zinnias and petunias), patches of purple perilla I leave for filler, and queen anne's lace. The garden phlox and scullcap are trying to bloom, but they're not on my watering list, and they're actually wilting.

If it cools off like they say it's going to, I need to cut back a bunch of the bloomed-out stuff, so it doesn't seed everywhere.

I have a new garden nook to contemplate filling. At the east end of the old pine row, right next to where I'd had my garden altar for years. Took out an amur honeysuckle and some other scrubby stuff, planted a couple rose of sharon and a dwarf kolkwitzia to make a "wall" for this garden room, and tucked in a couple new daylilies and some perennial dianthus. Dyes, U've hit the Lowe's clearance table again. Hooray for cheap plants!)

I'd like this area to actually match and look intentional, more than other parts of my garden do. It's got blue and white flowers on one side, which match the rose of sharon and complement the kolkwitzia. The yellow and red daylilies on the south side, I'll move this fall. The new daylilies are melon and pink, easy to put other things with. Beyond that, it's 8x10', and it's empty. I'd like to carpet the "walking" part of the area with thyme, either lemon scented or rose scented. I'll have to buy the lemon thyme, or make cuttings of the rose, which I'd like to do anyway (before the mother-of-thyme eats it). And other fragrant plants, and a bench or small seat, just enough to invite a person to come in and be quiet for a little while.
treeskin: (Default)
We are solidly into daisy season this week, and the daylilies starting. It's my favorite part of summer, warm but not unreasonabbly so, that burst of color before the heat dries everything up until September.

Geeking about daisies )

Todays bloomers:
* echinaceas in various shades
* white shastas
* some dayllies, golden yellow, a pale orange, a couple of purples, a dark red one, and one tiny pale gold seedling that's blooming for the first time, "Little Grapette" (dwarf dark purple), "Prarie Blue Eyes" (lavender with a darker eye), "Pardon Me" (scarlet, very showy), and my favorite, an unnamed seedling with a spidery shape and the best fragrance
* oenothera "Sunset", which is red in the bud but golden yellow when open
* purple liatris, with one white one to come in a few days
* lady bells (Adenophora spp), purple
* ballon flower (Platycodon) in blue
* the first of the queen anne's lace
* Verbena bonariensis, which will go all season if I water it
* yarrows in lavender and melony orange and white
* lavender
* some of the thymes
* mountain mints, except for the tall one (and I've several funny, obviously cross-bred plants in these patches too), white and lavender
* Salvia farinacea
* Asiatic lilies, mostly red and gold and white today; there were pinks and pastels last week
* petunias
* the pale pink snaps that The Miss picked out
* annual dianthus in their second flush, white with red centers
* lynchnis "First Blush", which is normal white with a flush of pink at the center, but is just white in this heat, over silvery white foliage
* lamb's ear
* zinnias and marigolds are just getting started
* the perennial sweet pea that D gave me, not fragrant, but much more durable, in a bright pink cheery way
* believe it or not, morning gloires, already, purple and red ones

I am waiting anxiously for a patch of (I think) tiger lilies to bloom. They showed up in a flower bed by surprise, probably came home from work in a pot of recycled soil that I dumped there, and I've been watching them for 5 seasons.
treeskin: (Default)
I need to be more regular about this, I know. Busy. Not interesting busy, just busy.

The yard has moved solidly into daisy season. Golden coreopsis, echinaceas (mostly purple, but a few commercial and in-my-yard hybrids), shastas. Still have a few anemonellas blooming, and the early daylilies are starting. The 'Sunset' evening primrose is in full blaze, and various Asiatic and Oriental lilies are going strong.

Also have mealy sage (S farinacea) in a couple shades of blue, lamb's ear, about half of the lavender, white penstemons (with showy dark foliage), and Verbena bonairiensis that's a full 5' tall this year. Most of the iris are done, just a few violet louisiana types and one Japanese iris left. The Japanese iris is from D, and it's called 'First Light of MorningK, white with delicate purple feathering around the edges, very classy.

The native prairie rose is blooming frothy pink down in the ditch, and 'Nearly Wild' (in back) is still throwing it's first flush, almost the same shade. Best bloom I've ever had off 'Nearly Wild'. The New Jersey tea is almost done blooming; it had a good show this year too.

I've planted a bunch of annuals, but most aren't doing much yet, except the petunias. One hot pink from last year, that ended up in my giant pot of sweet marjoram*, and all the various pink ones in The Miss's flower bed. A handful of dianthus are still going, but they're about done now that it's getting hot. They'll be back in fall. Nasturtiums are just starting. I've tucked zinnias and cosmos all over the place, wherever I had an empty spot, so The Miss will have her bouquets this summer. And I've got a 3' tall oleander sitting in my birdbath, in full bloom, which makes a great show for the yard.
treeskin: (Default)
What's blooming this week?

* most of the bearded iris
* the copper-red louisiana iris whose name I can never remember (it's something crossed with I fulva, and resembles it, but it's bigger and blooms more), and the blue-violet species iris that D gave me, that I'm also forgetting this year
* the last of the Iris psuedoacorus
* siberian iris 'Caesar's Brother', and 'Gay Butterflies' (both dark blue, but Butterflies is daintier)
* anemonellas, still
* lemon lily, Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus
* roses, wild and otherwise -- two shades of red rugosa in the ditch, the last of Harrison's Yellow, Nearly Wild in the back garden, the white wild rose climbing the maple on the garden fence
* the first daisies-- tickseed coreopsis and the a few echinaceas
* kniphofia (red hot poker plant)
* the last poofy white peonies
* Allium moly, the little yellow ones
* all three shades of tradenscantia (and the pastel blue one looks passing odd next to the copper red iris, I gotta do something about that someday)
* cinquefoil
* strawbwerries
* coriander/cilantro
* sage
* lavender is starting
* orange balsam thyme (white) and caraway thyme (purple)
* lots of dianthus (including all the ones I got at Lowe's on clearance last summer), and a few sprigs of 'Sooty' sweet william (which is black)
* Verbena bonairiensis, verbena-on-a-stick, some of which is 4' tall already
* petunias in several bright shades
* penstemon (white flowers, seedling of 'Husker Red')
* one of the nativ yellow baptisias whose botanical name keeps slipping my mind
* two pots of blue and white violas, tucked under a rosemary
* a 4' tall pot of oleander, bright pink

I've planted out a bunch of annuals this week. Cosmos, mized zinnias, some marigolds, and some mixed annuals, hopefully enough to keep The Miss in bouquets without emptying the garden. I added a new-to-me perennial to the bed under the deck.....I found this grand campanula at Family Tree last week, 'Purple Sensation'. It looks like cherry bells, but the bells are fully 2" long, and shiny dark purple.

D gave me a variegated lacebark elm for my birthday this year; it needs a bigger pot until I can get its spot ready. Mom gave me red sempervivums this birthday, 'Red Sunset', which are very pretty, and she managed to find a variey I didn't already have.

We decided to not put out a wading pool for the kiddos this year (too much work to keep filled and clean, and too much on the water bill), so we've got that chunk of yard fenced off for a little while. The grass seed we put down a week ago is starting to look like grass, and we topped it off with some clover seed this morning. Hopefully this morning's rain gets that going.

My next garden project is to move the asparagus out of the flowr bed and into the south end of the veggie garden. I cleared a big space last week, and put down three bales of wheat straw for mulch, I just need for the ground to dry out a bit.

After that, I've got elephant ears and cannas to plant, and an oleader to repot. The fig and rosemarys can wait one more year. And the rest of the annuals to plant, of course.
treeskin: (Default)
Not much; I've already hit the lull between early spring bulbs and spring-blooming perennials. But I do have:

* fothergilla
* the last few daffs, all N jonquilla simplex
* a few early alliums (dark pirple, small globes on a knee-high stem)
* a dark blue camassia, and a pale blue one
* English bluebells, in the front yard
* strawberries!
* violets
* last year's dianthus, pinks and reds and white
* the tradescantia that was blooming a couple weeks ago, plus a darker purple on that started today

The buds on the peonies are big and fat already, and the tall bearded iris are starting to baptisias are shwoing color in their buds, and the amsonia will be open in a day or so.

I am finding things that I thought I'd lost, last fall. Cascading oregano, 3 of the 5 pieces D gave me; mint-balm, Elsholtzia spp (a floral-citrus-minty herb that looks a bit like an agastache); native maypops ( passionflower).

Plus, I found three seedling of the white-flowered weeping peach under the tree today (yay, because I'd given up on trying to start them). And I've decided that the mystery seedling i n the pot with the sand plums are most likely to be more sand plums. Hooray!

I have a yellow-flowered miniature rose to plant, when I settle on a spot. It's a mini flower, on a largish bush for a mini. I'm too lazy to chase down its tag right now, but it looks and smells like a tiny Graham Thomas rose, and that makes me very happy.

I've added my first poisonour plant back into the garden since having the kids, Digitalis obscura, which is orange and exotic-looking. It goes in the dry-soil bed near the white horehound, which is equally xeric. And a new dawrf iris in an odd blue color with them.
treeskin: (Default)
If I were a more organized gardener, I would have labelled that pot when I stuck seeds in it a couple years ago, and I certainly would not have come back later and put something else in on top. But I'm not, so now I have myster seedlings in the pot where I've been trying to start sandplums (which germinate slow, hence keeping the pot for a couple years). Mystery seedlings with compound leaves, I think, so maybe wisteria? I'd had a notion once of getting some seedlings off my vine and then grafting the proven bloomer onto a seedling rootstock.

I do have one rooted sucker on my wisteria this season, and hopes that another chunk will root soon. I need to dig the first one, and find my list of people who wanted starts off my vine.

What's blooming this week? Lots of things are done, or nearly so, but I still have:
* wisteria (nearly done)
* Granny Smith apple (Cortland is done already)
* a few daffs, Tripartite and jonquilla simplex and Geranium
* a few last muscari
* annual dianthus (planted last year, and it survived the winter)
* fothergilla (which looks like someone tipped a nondescript shrub in white puffballs, rather silly, but they were free)
* lilacs in the front yard, nearly done
* dwarf iris, one reddish violet and one nearly black, bluish violet
* alehoof and ajuga
* one of the violet-flowered tradscantias from D's yard, a month early
* the last couple blossoms on D's Clematis scottii, which is a native, bush clematis
* cypress spurge, which blooms bright charteuse
* strawberries! And the wild strawberries are setting already
* the rosebush I'm babysitting for a friend will bloom tomorrow or the next day, and I'm contemplating stealing a cutting or two before it goes home.

I have tender, tiger striped shoots of variegated Solomon's seal up, that weren't there yesterday. Nice to know that survived being moved in the heat last September. The rhubarb I planted last summer is doing well, so we can start harvesting it next year.

I need to find homes for the peony I got at Big Lots this winter. Got the lilies planted already, but my planned place for peonies is full of stuff for when D gets moved, and I don't want to get them mixed up. And the alliums....I know I had something planned for those, but I'LL BE DAMNED IF i can remember it now.

I have several pots of root cuttings off the bayberry bushes, and I have ideas for those, but their "spot" will need some prepping before I can start landscaping it.

So far, I have added only a few annuals to the garden, because I just don't trust the weather. But Saturday, The Miss picked out pastel pink snapdragons, hot pink petunias, and magenta dianthus for her part of the garden.
treeskin: (Default)
I'm having trouble making time to sit down and update regularly, and I really need to, if only to keep my garden notes current. It's the usual problem, rather busy, but not anything particularly interesting or noteworthy.

The Miss threw up all over her bed this morning, so she's home with me while The Boy went to school. This didn't go over well. She spent most of an hour standing in her room with her backpack on, wailing because the bus left without her. This put a kink in my plans to cut down weedy trees and poison stumps today; maybe tomorrow.

Anyway, what's blooming?
* late-season daffs--Tripartite, Thalia, Lintie, Geranium, Rip Van Winkle, the antique one from the farm, and jonquilla simplex has already started. (Lintie and N jonquilla simplex are usually my last to bloom, and I often have those at the end of May or first few days in June.)
* some heat-tolerant mid-season daffs--Erlicheer, Yellow Cheerfulness, Avalon, Carlton, and Salome
* muscari
* redbud
* white-flowered weeping peach
* Jane magnolia (dark pink)
* wild gooseberries
* buffalo currant (aka clove currant, a native species)
* wisteria
* Clematis scottii, which I'm babysitting for D, until she gets a new place and moves her garden. It's a bush clematic, native, with big pale blue bell-shaped flowers.

I think the chunk of native passionflower that D gave me last summer survived, so I have hopes of maypops this summer. And I just found the first sprigs of Kentucky Colonel spearmint (which is more tender than other mints, and doesn't always overwinter), about 2' from where I remember planting it. But it does that. As long as I've got it, that's the important part.

I need to figure out where to move my asparagus to; they're eating the flowerbed they're in. And I need to do that quickly, before it's hot enough to really stress them when I move them.

I dug the heliopsis out of the bed by the deck this morning and moved one chunk to the front yard, under the maple, and the other piece to the bed at the south side of the driveway. And dug up a BUNCH of seedlings of the durn stuff; my neighbor can use them to fill in her flower beds along her fence.

Four of the el cheapo rhubarb plants from Walmart came back, so By will have rhubarb for stuff in a couple years. I need to dig out my notes on where I planted the peonies and lilies from the bargain rack last year; I think I've found most of them. And I need to find homes for the bulbs that I got at Big Lots this winter.....a dozen or so alliums, a couple yellow lilies, and two pink peonies.
treeskin: (Default)
Daffs, mostly, since March 1. Starting with Carlon (yellow trumpter), Ice Follies (ivory trumpet with a flared, pale yellow cup), February Gold (dwarf yellow trumpet). Now I've got bunches blooming that are from mixes, or I've forgotten their names, but glorious on a cool morning. Jetfire (dawrf with reflexed yellow petals and a long orange cup) is blooming in the front yard, and I need to divide it when it's done. Salome just opened yesterdaym it's white and orangey this year, and probably won't be cool enough for it to age into its almost-pink shade.

Also have hyacinths in magenta, dark blue, lavender, white, and pale yellow. Eagerly awaiting the blooms on Gypsy Queen, which is a wonderful orange shade, and later than most of the hyacinths.

No muscari yet, and I suspect I missed some of my other small bulbs, because the season started so early, and I just wasn't watching for them.

The plum tree is nearly done blooming, and snowing tiny white petals all over the yard. The Bradford pear just opened today; it won't last long in the 80-degree days we're having.the magnolia will be next, and it's promising a grand show this year.

I've only managed to clean out one of the water gardens so far, and I'm finding myself in the odd position of having to throw away water lilies. I'm trying to make sure I keep one of each kind. **crosses fingers**

It looks like most of the things I brought over from D's garden last fall survived, so we'll be able to stock a garden for her as soon as she figures out what she's doing.

I'm still debating the veggie garden this season. Despite the recent rains, we're a couple years into a moderately severe drought, and I'm tempted to clean the garden out, pile it deep with hay, and let it lie fallow. We'll see. I do have 8 flats of seeds sprouting in the grrenhouse, all flowers for my yard and for D. Two flats just of zinnias, for The Miss's bouquets this summer. I have *such* a spoiled child.
treeskin: (Default)
I failed my saving throw versus child's wheedling at the store, and came homme with two pots of pansies and a 1-gal pot of violas. Now The Miss has flowers in the yard again, and she is very cheerful about that.

In my defense, they were all on clearance. And I left the $5 clearance roses behind.

I also came home with a dozen each "D. Wilden" and "Orangery" daffodils. "D. Wilden" is all yellow, and double, which will make The Miss happy. Those are planted along the south end of the new bed, just east of (and partially under) the weeping peach. "Orangery" has a white corolla and an amber-orange split cup (sometimes sold as a butterfly daffodil). That bunch is planted at the north west corner of the new bed, in three clumps along the path that leads past my outdoor altar.

I am contemplating more daffodils in that part of the garden. And maybe more of the yummy orangy "Gypsy Queen" hyacinths.
treeskin: (Default)
I know, it's almost half past October, but the weather's been *fine* aside from the drought, and the garden is still alive and kicking.

* Michaelmass daisies, in pink (nearly done) and a cheerful and enduring lavender. Don't know who gave me the lavender ones, but those things are bulletproof.
* a last few sprigs of Queen Anne's lace.
* zinnias in scarlet, rose, pink, lavender, yellow, ivory, orange, peach.
* tall plumed celosia, orangey red and magenta and two delicate shades of yellow, from seed I've been saving and sowing for years. I started out with McNitt's mix and Temple Bells Orange, and they've blended.
* Verbena bonariensis, verbena on a stick, a smoky lavender that will bloom until hard frost.
* a couple of red cannas, which didn't do so well this year, just too dry.
* Salvia azurea, a native fall-blooming perennial with long spires of dark sky blue.
* Autumn Joy sedum, a sort of rusty rose color
* Cuphea miniata, with snapdragonish spikes of dark pink and rose and lavender. This started out as "Summer Medley MixL, and I've been saving seed off it for years. I seem to be losing the lighter shades, which is a shame, but the flowers are still big and plentiful, and it's another tough-as-nails annual.
* morning glories, in three shades of dark purple, red, and the occasional white. These are the self-sown seedlings of 6 named types I used to grow; I'm letting them do their thing now. Mostly I'm getting dark purple ones that resemble Grandpa Ott's morning glory, and that's okay, because it's bloomed steadily since August with no input from me.

I've got a ton of things that need doing, starting with watering all the stuff I moved from D's, but it's almost time to head to the driveway and meet the school bus. All the responsible adult things can let me soak up the warm sun for a few more minutes.
treeskin: (Default)
Quick trip to the doctor yesterday; The Miss needed her ears checked, and a pre-preschool physical, and The Boy just needed his ears checked.

The Miss has grown an inch since April, and is now 40" tall and still 36 lb. The Boy has grown 3" i. Height, 4 shoe sizes, and 2 lbs since April, and is now 38", size 9T shoe, and 35 lbs. That would be a size ahead of his sister in shoes, already.

Doc looked at The Boy's build, and recent growth rate, and told me to start buying clothes in a range of sizes, 'cuz I'm gonna need him. Yikes.

We've gone 5 days without naps now, and I think I'm going to give it up. The Boy sleeps beeter at night, without all the fighting to keep him in bed. But I'll sure miss my little eat-lunch-and-do-chores break in the afternoon.

By got more done on the shed poles are in the right places, and standing straight up, and he's getting the new floor joists set up. He's vexed at how long it's taking, but we both know he'll be much happier in the long run if he takes the time to fix everything Salvage Guy buggered. And that mess is almost done, so it should go quick from here.

By hit the clearance section of Walmart's lawn and garden last night, ans scored a truckload of bagged topsoil and pine bark mulch for $20. Hooray for cheap garden supplies! The topsoil is slated to fill in my raised beds, that have settled the past two years and are now only half full. Any leftovers will go to topdress parts of the flower beds. The mulch will go as a soil amendment in the raised beds, and then actually as mulch in other spots.

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping I got enough of the root on a rare native milkweed that I dug and moved yesterday. An antelope milkweed, spring blooming, with large heads of green flowersm it had some up in the middle of what will soon be the front porch of my shed. I managed to get about a foot of the knobby taproot, I just didn't realize that species would go that deep.

So, lots to do. Finish sanding the wood banding on the trunk (might get that done this morning), do soil and mulch things, pull weeds and move some daylilies....and chase the kids, do laundry, clean the kitchen, gather trash......
treeskin: (Default)
Someone 'splain to me why The Boy only wants a cuddle outside when he's wet, muddy, and covered in stick-tights.

Allergies and the humidity chased us in this morning. It's almost rained a few times, barely enough to settle the dust, but not enough to be really useful. Something out there is pollinating, or sending out spores, or something, because The Boy and I have itchy throats and sinuses and ears. Claritin just isn't keeping up today.

Speaking of The Boy, he found a tin of Altoids while I was out getting a package from the mailman, and is crunching happily. Too late to take them away now...the box is empty, and I don't want him putting the already-slurped ones back. Ewww.

What's blooming today? Not much. Some queen anne's lace, verbena-on-a-stick, a few echinacea left, zinnias in red and rose and orange and ivory, black-eyed susans, balloon flower, all the mountain mints, and a couple of late daylilies. "Autumn MinaretL daylily is blooming early for that variety, because of the heat and drought, but it's reached its full height of 5' tall this year. Must remember to put supports around it before the stems get tall next year.

The Boy just put the empty altoid tin back in my project bag, thinking I hadn't noticed. little sneak.
treeskin: (Default)
The heat finally broke, it's held at around 88 today. Thank the gods. My garden looks burnt and crispy, and most of the things that were blooming when we left are withered now. Makes getting The Miss's morning bouquet more difficult--most of what's still blooming are things I want to save for seed.

Everything being so dry did make mowing go quick this morning. Dusty, but quick.

I need to take wire cutters out to the garden tomorrow morning, so I can cut hand-holes in the tomato cages and start picking tomatoes. We picked the first armenian cukes a couple days ago; I think the heat is slowing them down.

Had a tree come down day before yesterday. A 6" caliper, 25' (ish) mulberry, nothing special, just weird that something bent it over and broke the trunk enough that it stayed there. It was on my list of "maybe remove", and now it's on the "definitely remove" list. I cut enough of the canopy off to get at the flowerbeds underneath and water; the rest will have to wait for weekend and a chainsaw.

Grandma had an "incident" a couple days ago. Her home health nurse (who checks her weekly as part of her assisted living facility care) noticed she had a sinus problem and tried to admit her to the hospital. When Mom got down there, the nurse and Grandma's doctor needed a referee. Doc said he knew about the problem, gave Grandma something a little stronger than the OTC meds she was taking, declared her basically well (for her age and condition), and sent her home. Mom says Doc and the nurse don't get along, haven't since the guy moved in (he's foriegn, you know), and this isn't the first time the nurse has pulled one of these stunts with Grandma. Mom's pissed because the nurse got Grandma all riled up, which reqired some effort to soothe over.

Haven't heard how Nephew is doing. He's home from the hospital, but that's all we know *crosses fingers*

By found an old UFO in the closet the other day. He'd started stitching Teresa Wentzler's LPeacock Tapestry" years ago, but not gotten far. All the threads and pattern are together in a bag, the fabric's on a scroll frame. If I didn't have so many things going right now, I'd dive in, because I love that design. Maybe that'll be my winter project. Or maybe he'll pick up stitching again.
treeskin: (Default)
Things the kids have learned this week:
* A big bouncy ball makes a very satisfying splash in the wading pool.
* Going down the slide backwards is more fun when Mom is watching, because she freaks out.
* If you balance just right, you can jump out of a moving swing and land on your feet. Mom freaks out about that, too.
* A good coat of sidewalk chalk improves the sliding speed on the slide.
* Climbing into Momma's lap freshly wet from the pool makes her squeak.
* The cats don't want to read the Disney Princess coloring book, even if you put it under their noses.
* Wet sidewalk chalk sticks to chairs better.
* Momma has no sense of humor about rearranging her sewing box, even though it was a lot more colorful when we were done.
* Wind-up cars don't run in the pool.

In other news, the garden is blooming well despite the heat. Daisies and daylilies are in full sail, queen Anne's lace is going strong, along with threadleaf mountain mint, lavender, oregano, agastache, liatris, cannas, petunias, and the first bright zinnias. (Incidently, the autocorrect on my phone wants to turn "zinnias" into "submissions". Theories about that are left as an exercise for the reader.)

I am still knitting on a head scarf, but hope to be done with that today, and I need to whip up a flowered pin for on of the hats I made last week, then that set of projects will be done. Am making fair headway on my big cross stitch piece, the Green Goddess, maybe 10% done. Enough that it's starting to look like something, anyway.

Am tempted to drop everything and knock out a couple of temari this weekend. The temari list is doing a colors of Wimbledon challenge: using a white, black, or navy base, stitch whatever design you want in the colors of the bouquets the ladies are carrying. Which means a couple shades of purple, lime green, and something else. It's one of those "out of your comfort zone" projects, and sounds like fun.

Not sure how much headway we'll make on the house this weekend; it's supposed to be terribly hot for a few more days. Not like the 102 it hit yesterday, but up there. At least it's hot enough the gate's stopped growing.
treeskin: (Default)
In no particular order.....

Rain day yesterday. Not the whole day, but my allergies (aThe Boy nd The Boy's) needed a day inside. The kids went a little crazy, spending the whole day inside. They're mellower today, for the outside time. The Boy has had extra swing time, and The Miss has an extra large bouquet.

By's folks called to ask us if we'd planned for "in flight entertainment" for the kids on our trip next month. We'd been working on it (trying to figure out how to make one of our nooks play movies for them), but they offered to send us a portable dvd player. Much simpler, problem solved.

D is supposed to be coming over sometime today to get the plants I've been watching for her, which will simplify things for me. If she doesn't make it, I'll take them over to her tomorrow.

If D takes her flats of tomatoes, I think I can make spaces for the random seedlings, between the space in the rhubarb patch, and the space in the vegetable garden. I may have to put poison out there...I seem to be getting moles, or voles, tunnaling around the bottom of the garden. Which would explain why some of the squashes didn't sprout.

What's blooming today? Less than there might be, since The Miss has been on her "fresh bouquet every day" kick. I've gotta plant more flowers, to keep up with her.
* purple coneflower, all over the garden (thank goodness there's lots, it's one of her favorites)
* shasta daisies, both short and tall
* the last of the tickseed coreopsis
* the first black-eyed-susans (if you're sensing a daisy theme, you'd be correct)
* lavender
* yarrows in white, lavender, a bright rosy-purple, peach, red, pinks
* verbena-on-a-stick
* "Mesa Yellow" gaillardia (more daisies!)
* "Nearly Wild" rose
* ladybells
* showy milkweed
* the last few anemonellas...I'm amazed they've lasted this long
* annual pinks, and lavender china pinks
* oregano
* the first of the queen annes lace
* leadplant, Amorpha canadensis, which is a prairie shrub native to central Ks, and one of my favs
* daylilies-- "Stella d'Oro", "Happy Returns" (dwarf, clear yellow), "Black-Eyed Stella" D dwarf yellow with dark red eye), that unnamed orange-red bicolor, and one of the very dark red ones I got on clearance last year
* asiatic lilies, dark red, light pink (that one's a big clump this year), light orange
* petunias in pinks and purples
* purple globe amaranth
* a few little orange french marigolds
* the last of the tradescantia, the pale blue kind
* Salvia farinacea
* wood betony
* two little geraniums that I got for a quarter each, and planted with a red coelus and hot pink petunias (it works better than it sounds, its a fairly bluish red), and have unfortunately turned out to be bright scarlet, which doesn't match the rest of the pot at all
* mother-of-thyme, pale lavender, which the bees like so much
* the first of the mountain mints, threadleaf and the creeping kind, both white and fragrant

In the front yard, I've got mixed daylilies, a small patch of lavender-flowered monarda (the one whose foliage smells like rose geranium), and some daisies. I don't water the front, so it's not as lush.
treeskin: (Default)
The kids were coopertive this morning, so I got in an hour's worth of push-mowing. All of the play yard, around the garage and veggie garden, under the north side of the pines, and around some of the piles of lumber in back.

Not at all exciting, I know, but it counts as progress.

Replanted some of the hills of squash out in the garden, because the first planting hadn't done anything. So now, instead of horn of plenty yellow crookneck, there's more winter squashes, zucchini, and pumpkins. I'm hoping I left room for a few sweet potato vines. The slips I took a few days ago are almost rooted enough to plant out. Definitely going to buy plants next year; getting sweet potatoes to grow enough for cuttings took forever, and really cut into my growing season.

Did get the rest of my tomato cages set up and planted, which makes 10 plants. Mostly Early Girl, pllus Brown Berry, Matts Wild Cherry, and a random seedling that's probably the wild cherry. I'm staring at 2 flats of tomato seedlings, and wondering if D is going to get back in time to plant them, or if I should stuff them in the ground and be done, and where I'm going to find/make that space. I can probably squeeze 3 more in where the others are, without blocking the greenhouse door or the compost bin, and maybe 5 up with the rhubarb, there's a lot of space there. Which is 8, out of the 40 or so that need planting, plus the pot of random seedlings*. Maybe I'll start putting the old flimsy tomato cages in open spots in my flowerbeds. Not varmit-proof, but they'd be in the ground and have a chance to do something.

I tried taking wisteria cuttings again this year, and they've failed again. Very frustrating.

I'm hoping for a calm evening this week, so I can get out to the back corner or our land with another tank of roundup. The first batch made a dent in the Great Poison Ivy Forest, but it's goi ng to take regular applications the rest of the summer to kill it off permanently.

By spent some quality time this weekend prepping to finish the siding on the east side of the house. The bathroom window that Salvage Guy installed will have to be taken out and redone...the frame is out of square, by a lot. And it wasn't done right to begin with, which I'm sure doesn't help the crooked part, or the leaks every tim.e it rains hard part. Grrrrr. Anyway, with the fiddly stuff done now, he can get the rest done in the evening a little at a time. At least as far as that damn window.

* I found a bowl of seed packets in the garage last month. Mostly moldly, all old, so I tossed them in an old pot of soil to see if anything sprouted. The tomatoes did, lushly, so I've got 50 or so mixed seedlings. Naturally, I didn't expect much germination, so I didn't label a thing.
treeskin: (Default)
So far today, I have:
* watered new seedlings and transplants
* cleaned kids' pool
* hoed veggie garden and some bad spots in flower beds

Next up, planting tomatoes.

I have figured out what I want to do with the climbing rose I've had in a pot for the last three years. (It's a cutting from one on the farm where Mom grew up.) I want to take all the horizontal branches off the dead pine at the far east end of the row, leaving just the trunk and some short stubs, and twine this rose bush up what's left. Which will (a) get that dead pine out of the wat, and (b) give me a wonderful rose-covered pillar by my altar. Maybe twine other vines up it too, clematis and such......

Speaking of flowers, what's blooming today?
* trandscantia, despite the heat
* Stella daylilies, and that little dark orange and gold bicolor
* wisteria
* petunias
* dianthus, despite the heat
* the "family" climbing rose, in its pot (pink, double, very small flowers)
* "Mesa Yellow" gaillardia, bright gold daisies
* tickseed coreopsis, more golden daises (yes, it is a theme)
* purple coneflower, and the yellow form (E. paradoxa, more golden daisies)
* the first very tall white shasta daisies
* the first Verbena bonariensis
* "Sunset Boulevard" oenothera, bright yellow, but not a daisy :D
* marigolds (ones that The Miss hasn't destroyed trying to pick flowers)
* allium "Hair" ...go google it, it's a very odd thing
* wild quinine, which is white and pale green
* "Red Dazzler" and "Black Gamecock" irises, and Iris musselmanica
* wood betony
* yarrows in white, lavender, pink, red
* lady bells, Adenophora, spikes of big purple bells
* cherry bells (must remember to not let those go to seed)
* "Nearly Wild" rose

* in the front yard, wild prairie rose and mexican evening primrose, both pale pink, and a few red rugosa roses

There will be true lilies next, and more daylilies, and queen anne's lace, and liatris.


treeskin: (Default)

April 2017

2345 678


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags