Friday, October 31, 2008

Heidi and the Teasing Squirrel

I got through my indecisiveness got some bulbs planted yesterday!  I put in a couple kinds of alliums, some pink flowering, and some purple drumsticks, Angelique tulips (pink), Dutch Irises, and a few blue chiondoxas.  I had already planted some Lycoris Squamigeras.  I wasn't going to plant any bulbs at all, because I didn't want to have the battle of the dying foliage, but I decided I wanted some, and hoped my annuals that reseed will fill in around them.  I had read you should plant in groups, but was thinking if they were in a curving row, it may be easier to fill in the bare spots.  I didn't like the look of what I was doing, and it seemed like they were taking up more space than if I just clumped them.  Well, I did a combination.  I put the drumsticks in 3 curving rows, all at the back, and clumped everything else.  

As I was agonizing over the bulbs, and putting them here and there, all of a sudden, I realized there were 2 squirrels behind me, about 2 or 3 feet away!  As soon as they were discovered, they ran off.  Then, this one looked right at Heidi and me and came into the side yard.  It waited, as usual, until Heidi started running toward it, then scampered onto the shed and into the back yard.  Heidi always crouches like this, watching the silly things, deciding when to make her move.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Aftermath (pics taken today)

Today, as I was pulling the plants that could not handle the 20s it got down to a couple nights ago, the urge to get my camera overtook me, and I ended up getting sidetracked taking more squirrel pics, and then my son and grandson came over.  My buckets are still outside, and more plants need to be pulled.  We had fun, though, and my son took some pics of us, since my husband will take one or two, and then put the camera down.  He seems to be doing a good job handling things with his wife out of town for her job.  She'll be back tomorrow.

Some plants look better than others.  I can't remember the name of this sweet potato vine (the darker leaves) that seems to be a perennial, unless it's reseeding every year.  It grows very fast in the spring, and I always cut it back as it reaches the top of the pole so it will branch out.  The Clematis Fruticosa, 'Mongolian Gold' has been growing with it for at least 6 years.

Some of the perennials, such as this foxglove are still green.

There are still a few seed heads on the clematis from the first picture.

I like the color on this helenium.  The leaves were green before the freeze.

These pansies were planted early spring.  About half of my pansies did not make it through the heat, but I'm glad these, and some in the back yard did!

These nasturtiums were planted the first week of June, and were finally starting to bloom.

The pentas is finished, but still kind of pretty.  The yarrow is looking good.

This purple datura will be pulled tomorrow.

I will finish cleaning up tomorrow, and plant bulbs.   Some of them were purchased from a neighbor's daughter for her dance class fundraiser.  They were delivered today, and look good.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Dreaded Frost

I took these this morning, when it was about 25 degrees.  
It took me awhile to warm up after I came in. 

 Here's a strawflower I purchased in a hanging basket and planted in a tub. I forgot to show this,  I think bracteantha, when I posted photos of strawflowers.  It dried out a time or two, and after a big flush of flowers, did not bloom as consistently as the others.

I've been eating my kale, but not keeping up with it.  This frost is supposed to be good for it.

This volunteer hollyhock is in the lawn, next to the garbage cans and driveway.  
It should bloom next year.

This is a perennial of some kind I moved from a bed that was too shady for it.  It may be a bell or balloon flower of some kind.  


Catmint, Walker's Low, I think:

The last two are perennial geraniums.

We are supposed to have some nice weather the rest of the week.  
It will be good for cleaning up the annuals and the rest of the pots.

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Where are we going to eat tonight, Mom?"

Our DIL is in Atlanta for a few days for work.  I have the week off for fall break at the school I'm a para at.  I picked up GS from daycare today, and had him and DS and DD over for supper.  When the food was almost ready, I heard the query from my son (in the dining room we put in a bedroom), wondering about the planned location for the meal.  Oops!  I forgot to take the plants off the table!  It got down to 32 last night, and tonight is supposed to get down to the lower 20s.

I need to move some plants from the garden window to other places to make room for my herbs.  Instead of doing that today, I had some errands I needed to run, and added a stop to one of my favorite used bookstores, and I guess my purchases ended up on the table as well.  I bought Cold Climate Gardening, by Rebecca Atwater Briccetti, because there's a blog by that name, Old Roses, by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix, because I would like to try growing a couple roses if they don't require chemicals, and Practical Science for Gardeners, by Mary Pratt, because I want to understand botanical names better, and also because there is some useful looking information in it.  It looks like several rosemary plants, and an angel wing begonia.  

I'm not sure where I'll find a home for this mint geranium, but it sure does smell good!

I think I'm going to need to trim this angel wing begonia soon.

When we had this garden window put in a few years ago, I thought it was going to be bigger than what it was, and we were told we would be able to keep our original trim.  We didn't find out they weren't keeping it until the work started.  We still haven't stained the trim.  It's on the east side of the house.  We were also told it wouldn't increase the heat bill, but not that it would make the room cold.  Knowing all those things, I would have chosen triple instead of double glass.  I was worried about the sun not coming through to the plants, but now I get concerned because it gets down to the lower 50s in the window when it's very cold outside.

I have plants here and there in the house and garage.  I need to stay home tomorrow and find better places for them.  Some will go in the egress window well.  I also need to clean out the garage so I can put my car in there.  I also need to clean and organize the shelf in my kitchen where I have potatoes, onions, garlic, and the like. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Still Speaking of Wildlife

What is that, hiding in the shadow?

It's one of the many rabbits in our area, looking up to see what I'm doing.

It is going back to eating, not minding that I just walked around to the other side of the yard to get the side of it that does not have the sun shining on it.  After one too many steps closer to it, it did scamper off.  I wonder what it was eating in the grass?  I'll have to go out and look. 

Speaking of Wildlife

I took these pics from inside the door.  Here's one of "my" squirrels grooming, it looks like.

Oh, it looks startled, now, and is trying to decide what to do.

"Oh, well, it's just her and her silly camera."

It must be clean now.

"Time to go.."

and do some digging!"

Here is a shier one, friend or relative of the one on the porch.  This one stayed further away, even though I was inside.  I didn't get the shot of the two of them running away from what they were doing all of a sudden, to have a game of rough and tumble, then dash up the tree.

Speaking of Wildlife...

Saturday's Sweet Potato Harvest

This photo was taken 8/4/08.  The sweet potato plant is on the right in the silver wash tub. 

I forgot to take a pic of the plant before starting to pull, so I tossed the plant back up and took one.  I gently pulled up the potatoes I could, then used a hand trowel to loosen the soil before pulling the others out by hand.

I had already taken two nice sized sweet potatoes out, but the harvest is smaller than last year. I had 3 vines in the tub this year.  I can't remember how many I put in last year, so maybe that was the difference.  I'll probably go ahead and plant more next year, though, because all you have to do is water them.  They don't require attention planted this way.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Orange Hawkweed, Circle Bed Before New Bed

I looked for some photos taken I'm not sure how long ago, of a nice sized garter snake sunning on a twig in the compost pile.  I couldn't find them, but came across two photos taken 5/28/08.  This one is the orange hawkweed I thought looked similar in leaf to the weed of the neighbors' in a previous post.  You can see a little plant, to the mid left, getting ready to spread.  Directly to the left, is a wallflower not blooming yet.

Here is the circle bed that became part of the new bed, which was put behind it, up to about 3 feet from the bushes by the house.  The poppy, rose and amsonia were moved.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wildlife in the City

I would love to live on acres in the country, but since I don't, I enjoy looking at pics of others. My corner garden is full of life, though, too. We have squirrels, which drive our dog and me nuts, rabbits, which I'm not thrilled about, either, birds, lots of butterflies, bees, wasps, and other insects, garter snakes, and this summer and fall, have a family of opossums living under our deck. People have said to get rid of them, because they are mean, but we've not had problems, other than our dog not wanting to come in at night when she's onto their scent or has seen them. Our next door neighbor says she has opossums under her deck, too, so maybe they are the same ones, and we are sharing them.

We have a neighbor who feeds the squirrels, but they like to bring the food to our yard to eat it. Maybe it's just the squirrels who live in our tree, and they bring it here so they don't have to share with the other squirrels in the neighborhood. They know Heidi's boundaries, and will tease her and then run away. They are just too tame for me, and I don't like it when they stay put and look me in the eye as I am getting closer to them. Here are some pics of the latest food from the neighbor that was brought here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What is your gardening style?

I posted this link in the Cottage Garden Forum, but thought I'd try it here, too.  It's something I read a couple years ago, and decided I am a collector, but also a nature lover.  

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sidetracked Some More-by Neighbors' Weeds

I've been noticing that whatever is taking over our neighbors' yard that is behind/next to my veggie garden is starting to grow in my compost pile.  It's one of those jobs that doesn't take long to do, but is easy to put off.  While out, my neighbor was, too, and I asked her if she knows what it is.  She said her DH had taken some to a store, and asked, but she didn't remember what they called it.  They gave him some kind of weed killer that they are also going to use on their creeping Charlie.  I told her I'd leave the plants growing along the fence, but then changed my mind, because those roots go into my garden, and I really don't want that stuff leaching in.

Do you recognize this plant?  I don't remember if it blooms.

Here's a closer view.

Here it is, on the neighbors' side of the fence.  My FIL put railroad ties along the fence when he lived here, and they are past the point of needing to be replaced.  I imagine I will be pulling the stuff out from here, and the compost again.  I was going to turn the compost and bury the remaining roots, but I'm thinking that may be a mistake.  If the roots aren't killed, I could have the plant all over the yard, wherever I put my compost.  At least where it is, I can keep after it.

At first, I was thinking the neighbors' plant could be related to orange hawkweed, which can also be invasive.  A friend gave me this, and I'm keeping it confined to this area, and pulling it out when it goes out of its alloted space.

Here's where I got sidetracked from the other gardening, such as spreading of compost (from the non-invaded pile).  I went ahead and pulled all the weeds along the neighbors' side of the fence so they wouldn't decide to put the herbicide all along my garden.

We need to get something else to put along here.  Any suggestions?  I don't want to make mowing harder for the neighbor.  There are a few cement blocks along the area of the compost pile, so we could just put more along the fence.  It won't be pretty, but should look better than this.