Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Rain by William Henry Davies

I hear leaves drinking rain;
I hear rich leaves on top
Giving the poor beneath
Drop after drop;
'Tis a sweet noise to hear
These green leaves drinking near.

And when the Sun comes out,
After this Rain shall stop,
A wondrous Light will fill
Each dark, round drop;
I hope the Sun shines bright;
'Twill be a lovely sight.

Monday, April 27, 2009


My task this evening was to spread some more Moss Out! on the lawn. I made peace with the spreader, so to speak, and filled it only 1/2 full. That way the thing kept working until all of the granuales were dispersed. I have found that loading a whole bag of anything in it, causes spreader to malfuntion and then I resort to hand/broadcasting. Also did 3 sprayers full of WeedBGone on my front parking strip. I hope this works!

Another perspective on "upkeep" is what keeps the tulips standing up when they are past their prime?
Look closely at the stems and you see a plant with whorls or a swirl of leaves. This is called cleavers and it has little velcro type grips all up and down it's stem; it wraps around and through the stand of tulips and daffodils and helps them stand upright at this time of their season. Cleavers grows all over in the shadows and underbrush in my neighborhood.

Here is a pairing - first blossom and on it's last legs. Both are pink tulip. Perhaps even the same one.
Weather today - in the mid-50s. Mostly cloudy, but dry. Until after sunset when it started to rain some.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Endings and Beginnings

Endings ... compost or the making thereof. I've been working on this pile since December - just before the freezing weather. The pile was to the top of the black compost barrel at the beginning. Weekly, I add my veggie scraps, egg shells and coffee grounds. This pile started with a layering of straw, bagged manure, autumn leaves, green laurel leaves, grass clippings. For the longest time, it appeared that the pile was a pretty good refrigerator, as the food scraps, e.g. grapes, looked well preserved. Now, with the weather warmed up a bit, decomposition is in action.

I turn the pile every 10-14 days. I lift up and off the black plastic barrel, move it over and then pitchfork the pile back in. The top has holes in it to let the rain in, to keep the pile moist. There is a bit of science that goes into compost piles.

Beginnings .... Here are the plants I bought yesterday at the sale. We will come back to these pots in a month or so to see how they have progressed.

And here is the sentinel, keeping watch over the patch of grass seed I planted today. The pile of walnuts and leaves from the tree in the tulip patch had been here over winter. I have been putting a sack a week into the garbage (can't put these into the compost). Finally finished that off today. Spread some seed, and dusted over with a mix of potting soil and peat. I hope it works!

Weather: cloudy most of day and in the 50s until about 4pm. Sun came out and got up to low 60s. No rain or sprinkles today.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Garden Sale

OSU Master Gardener's Sale today at the County Fairgrounds. Lots of starts for sale. I came home with a wave red petunia, blue trailing lobelia, yellow gerbera daisy, a gazonia (?) the likes of which I do not know - it is only a green leaf righ now, blossoms later. I liked the variety of tomatoes they had , but it's too early for me to mess with tomtoes - I think we have another frost or two in store for us.

Weather: cool. Mid-50s. Mostly cloudy today. Breezy. Sprinkled some. Yesterday they said 20% chance of rain today, and made it sound like it was going to be warm and sunnier. Not.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Test

I sent this post via email - and wanted to see what it looked like. Today 70 F. Sunny. Perfect!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cherry Tree

Here is my Lambert Cherry tree in backyard. All blossomed out. It popped open last weekend. The tree could use some pruning, but will deal with that in another season. The cherries are delicious. As they say on internet: A sweet cherry variety that's large, round and a deep ruby red. The flesh is sweet, firm and meaty. A superior cherry for out-of-hand eating as well as cooking.

I get what the birds leave for me. The best place for the bird feeders is in this tree, so whaddya gonna do? I think will be July before the birds and I see the cherries, though.

History of the Lambert Cherry: A third black cherry important to the Salem region was developed after the Lewelling orchards were sold to Joseph Hamilton Lambert in 1857. Mr. Lambert developed the "Lambert" which he introduced in 1870. Royal Annes, Bings, Lamberts, and Black Republicans were the most important varieties in the early Oregon orchards. Due to a lack of fruit canneries in Oregon, cherries from these early orchards were marketed fresh. Ok, so my Lambert Cherry was planted (in 1979) in my yard of home that was built in 1878, just 8 years after the introduction of the first Lambert Cherry.

During this week, the weather has gotten up to 80 F and was just like a summer day! But, now it is 52 F. Had several downpours on the way home from work. This morning there was frost on the windshield. I brought the sunflower seedlings inside for the day (there are 5 of them peeking thru now).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rascal on Sidewalk

You have to look closely, but there are more yellow danelion heads today than yesterday. But, the good news is that a bunch are looking a bit peak-ed.

As long as we are looking at the front yard, I am beginning to toy with the idea of planting a low hedge along the sidewalk that goes from front porch along the foundation area to the Spirea on the right. Hedge would not be against the house; it would be planted in the are that is on the lawnside of the walk. Low, meaning about 12-16 inches, 24 inches tall at the most.

Perhaps a english boxwood or winter gem boxwood?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dandy Defiance

The saying is "we be here when you be gone." Ususally thats for employees in offices suffering from a new manager or some such. But, I think the weeds in my yard have been adhering to this saying for a long time. So, sprayed with Weed-b-gone. Used the concentrate - 1/4 cup to 1.5 gallons in the hand pump sprayer. After the application, they are standing as tall as ever. Hmmm...

On a positive note, against all odds - here are the sunflower sprouts. Today, they are green and poking up!

Finally, I am hopeful that my attempt to 'root' some Daphne will take hold (no pun intended). The instructions out of the Western Garden Book, said to clip some small branches, dip in root hormone and place in a growing medium of mostly sand, keep moist. This is another new thing for me to try. The root hormone is a white powder, comes in a small plastic bottle. The pot contains about 40% soil/peat/chips and 60% sand. You poke holes in the medium with pencil such that after dipping branch in r.hormone, insert into the hole in the medium, so that none of the powder will come off. Tamp the medium around the hole. Water. I have about 6 starts (or attempts) in this pot. I haven't found out what to do to find out if roots are really growing.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bee Buzz

In the olden days, I was co-owner of a beehive.Still have the white coveralls, pith helmet, netting and smoker. Got a smidgin of honey out of the deal, but buying it at the Salem Wednesday Market is a whole lot easier!

Now, the honey bees are dying out - colony collapse disorder. And the scientists and beekeepers know not why. So there is a push to plant flowers that attract bees. There is also the Great Sunflower Project - they will send you sunflower seeds, you grow and at a certain time each month watch the sunflowers for 30 minutes and count the bees and then report.

I planted my free Sunflower Lemon Queen seeds this week. First time I have ever grown them, let alone from seed. Already, one is actually beginning to sprout! Got the Bi-Mart pots on sale. My plan is to put the sunflowers 2-3 to a pot and place them in the sunshine, outside my kitchen window. It gets all of the afternoon sun.

About July or August, imagine these sunflowers along this bank of windows. And if all else fails, there is the Haagen Dazs Save The Bees program! Click the link - make a bee happy!

Tip Toe

Images from my bulb gallery. Favorite?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Egads! Egans!

First warm day of Spring. No, make that first warm day of 2009! It got up past 70! Sunny and mild.

Discovered Egans Garden Center today - what a spread! I might have over done my purchase ... but the sun was so inspiring. Me and about 50 other people out there!! Things I bought that I haven't had before: a geranium (moonlight red), blue lithodora, laguna blue lobelia, rasberry blast supertunia, nemesia serengeti yellow, and 2 Earliglow strawberries to supplement my RiteAid berries. I bought a bunch of other plants, too, came home and potted up several containers. I also am trying out 2 small baskets with cocomat liners - haven't done this before.

Early Spring

April 13 - Monday - I took the day off work and planned to find inspiration in the garden/yard and spend the day so. The weather challenged my motivation. Windy, cold, and multiple deluges of storming rains. But, I finally got going with it.

Here is the set up. I get out the wheelbarrow, and ‘measure’ with a big pot equal parts potting soil, peat moss and small bark chips. Put a few Soil Crystals in for moisture retention. Mix it up. Put some in a pot. But leave enough room for the plant to go in, and room to lay some bark chips on top to mulch the pot. This is a new for me – haven’t done either of these things before – measuring, mixing in peat moss and chips, and mulching the top. So far the plants like it, and when watering, I don’t loose soil off the top.

Went to Lowe's, Wilco Farm Store and Kraemers and in between showers wandered thru their plant offerings. Came back with enough flowers for 2 pots, and decided to branch out into some veggies in containers (fennel, celery and chard). Have no idea what will come of this experiment. Also went to Joann's and bought strawberry pot 50% off; which meant I had to get some strawberries too. These came from RiteAid - not a bustling garden center, but cheap. Another experiment - I've not grown strawberries this way before.

March In Garden

A little backtracking to get this blog started.

March 7, 2009 .... I planted the two blueberry plants I got at the Yard, Patio and Garden Show in March. One is a Brigitta Blueberry and the other one is a Sunshine Blue Blueberry.

First looked up containers for blueberries on internet – I wanted to put them in square wooden 16x16 containers, but ended up with 18x18 plastic ones; green. Watched a YouTube on how to plant them in containers – so I then bought peat moss, potting soil and small barkdust chips and used 1/3 each. What I didn’t find at the store was the cottonseed meal, feather meal and some other fertilizer type stuff. Oh well, will see how they do. Drilled holes in the bottom of the containers first, and I put in some of the extra red rock gravel that I have around here.

I also spread the Scott’s Turf Builder with Moss control (front yard) and Moss Out for Lawns (backyard). Both have quite a bit of moss growing in them. My spreader is cheesy and stops spreading half-way thru so I did the rest by hand. I am letting Mother Nature water it in.

Weather: cold, windy. In the low 40s and the wind chill was significant. Cloudy. Rained a bit around 4pm, but not much. They say it will snow tomorrow.