Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kale Starts

I bought some kale starts about 10 days ago, and wasn't able to plant them until today. They look a bit whoozy and limp. Gave them some fish fertilizer and will hope for the best!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


The newest addition to the garden. It was windy today, and it was twirling when I took the picture. But, with digital point and shoot, it's hard to get it to show this motion.

Added 9/4/10 - the wind is blowing a bit this evening.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Buzz Off!

The water didn't work on th bees. I ended up with a spray from the Farm Store that says it would shoot a 20 ft stream. Last night, I sprayed and aimed towards the hole from the sidewalk. The spray piled up like a bunch of whipped cream on top of the hole. Left it.

Read the fine print - it says to spray all of the can into the hole. Hmmm. You'd have to be right on top of the hole to make that happen.

This morning by the light of the full moon, I got closer, and sprayed more into the hole, but still piled up like whipped cream. Left it.

Came home from work, and so far ... no bees!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Remember when I had all that gopher activity? Well, no gophers this year, but a group of bees have invaded. Ground bees. I think they are squatting in an old gopher tunnel. I looked at them through my binoculars - they appear to be yellow jackets. If they were honey bees, I'd leave them alone.

I planted a yellow jacket trap nearby. It's definitely in use, now.

I tried watering the hole for 20 minutes last night, and again this morning before it was light. Didn't do a thing to deter them.

Tonight I am getting out the poinsonous spray.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Asian Lillies

When you don't accidentally mow them down when they first appear like weeds, these lillies blossom into quite a sight. These are the lillies I bought at the Yard and Garden show in Feb of 2009. Last year I had one stalk that survived the mowing incident. These year I have 3 stalks.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bandon Memories

This year during the family trip to Bandon, I decided to stop in at the 101 Plants'n'Things Nursery (on Hwy 101) to see what they were selling. I saw several plants that I didn't have, and that I hadn't seen at the local nursery back home. So, I bought some and made a couple of containers when I got home. Now, I'll think of our time at Bandon when I see these in the garden.

Left side, a maroon ice geranium, bee balm, a blue flower and red flower - names escape me. Right side, double flower geranium, a maple flower plant, and allysum to fill out the pots.

The weather has finally perked up some - today was 70s, sunny mostly.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

June Rain

We've had the wettest May in 10 years, and June might be next! Stormy last night; off and on rain today. Downpour at 6pm. It was in the 60s, but wet, wet, wet.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Seed pods

Read that I should cut the seed pods off of daffodils and tulips, after the blossom has withered. This directs the energy to the bulb, instead of making good seeds.

I didn't realize that these flowers had seed pods! But, here is a daffodil seed pod that met up with my current pruning activity.

Weather was mid-70s, sunny - perfect! Next day it rained.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Columbine Purple

Columbine flowers. From 0 inches around December to 3-4ft high right now.

Something new about the flower, I found: The ‘columbine’ holds yet another significance- in pantomime, a ‘columbine’ refers to the sweetheart of Harlequin. The flower was once called "lion's herb", because it was believed those great felines ate it. As a consequence, people believed that by merely rubbing their hands with it, they became more courageous and daring.

Weather today is mid-60s, sunny. Calm.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Daffodil Orange

A late bloomer - or perhaps this one is actually on time and since the others were so very early? I like the orange, two tone nature of this'n. Seen after a light rain.

Another daffodil experiment are these 2 containers that I planted on New Years Day 2010.

The blooming of these bulbs started about 5 days ago. They are making quite a show. Now I will leave them in the container til next year and see what happens. I might plant something on top, so the container stays in use during the year.

Weather today - light mist am, but this afternoon, sunny and mid 60s. Beautiful!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Squirrely behavior

Finally caught in the act! I have had this squirrel feeder up for months. At first, no action, the peanuts were left undisturbed. The idea is that the squirrel lift up the lid and grab a nut and the blue jays lose out.

I would come home and find, not the lid, but the plastic window on the front lifted up, peanuts raided. I wasn't sure if the birds were the culprits or the squirrels.

Today as I was taking photos of the daffodils from afar, the squirrel thought he was alone, and demonstrated what he knows how to do! After he raised the window,
he grabbed a nut, and ran back up the tree to sit on a limb chewing his snack. Then a blue jay showed up and pecked up a nut and flew away. The lid is being propped up by that clear plastic, raised, window.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store
Two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

Musharish-Ud-Din Sadi
13th century Persian Poet

The Grape Hyacinth flower (Muscari) is part of the Liliaceae (Lily Family); it is native to Greece and the Middle East and can be found around the Mediterranean Sea from Spain all the way round to Morocco.

Weather sunny, mid-60s.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Failure to Success

Last year I bought a Columbine "Leprechaun Gold" (aquilegia vulgaris), which was flowering at the time. Planted it in a container and never saw another blossom. I thought: buy no more.

The foliage took off and I forgot what the plant was. I really liked the marbled leaves and they added great interest and color to the container. Winter comes, plants die back til this week. It has perked back up, spreading the foliage. I got to wondering what it was, and realized - this is the "failed" Columbine. Failure no more. I'll get more just for the leaves!

Researching about the plant, I discovered this: "COLUMBINE comes from the Latin columba, meaning "dove." The scientific name of aquilegia suggests is derived from aquila, an eagle.

An association has been formed to make this the national flower of the United States, as the rose is the flower of England and the lily of France, for its common name sug- gests Columbus and Columbia, its botanical name associates it with the bird of freedom, it can be raised from seed in almost any of our gardens, and it is native to nearly all of our States.

Weather today - sunny - 65 F.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Turkey & Tulips

When in Turkey last year, I learned that tulips came from there before arriving in Holland. Here is some more information found about this subject.

"Tulips are an everlasting symbol of Istanbul and Turkey, not the familiar varieties with rounded incurving petals seen in northern Europe and North America, but with pointed outward directed petals in the shape of daggers or needles. This stylized tulip decorates the mall between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia and emphasizes these features, representing an entire period of Turkish history as well as an on-going love affair between the city and the tulip. Today in Istanbul there is said to be one tulip for every one of its 12 million inhabitants. The fuselage of Turkish Airlines planes carries a logo of a tulip as well. Millions of dollars ( even more in lira) have been spent on plantings all over Istanbul with a tulip festival annually.

Wild-growing tulips in Iran and Eastern Turkey were imported to Istanbul before the 15th C but were heavily cultivated in gardens and flowerbox settings in Istanbul as well as depicted in art and craft. From here came the spread of tulipmania to Western Europe and Holland in particular in the 1630's. The English word tulip is derived from the Turkish word for helmet, to which the flower bears a vague resemblance.

Tulip gardening was a hobby of the rich and powerful in Turkey, considered both relaxing and spiritual, and especially favored by the sultans and grand viziers. Surprisingly, even though tulips extended west from Istanbul, the tulipmania of the 1630's in northern Europe did not occur in Turkey until the so-called "Tulip Period" in the early 18th C. Sultan Ahmet III among others was obsessed with gardens, tulips, and garden parties driving bulb prices to insane levels. Others with great interest included Admiral Mustafa Pasa who invented over 40 new tulip breeds.

The Tulip Period was one of relative peace for Turkey with an emphasis on art, culture, and architecture with a Baroque orientation derived from contact with the remainder of Europe. Crushing defeats in European battles late in this timespan brought increasing unrest and outrage against the excesses of the ruling classes and the government stepped in to control the tulip trade, ending the Tulip Period and royal foolishness. Tulips gradually disappeared from Istanbul life, only to be reborn in the last few years."
Info courtesy of the internet:
"THE CITY OF TULIPS" a Istanbul Travel Page by nicolaitan

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In Anticipation of Spring

The first day of spring is one thing,
and the first spring day is another.
The difference between them is
sometimes as great as a month.
Henry Van Dyke (1852–1933)

Our spring has come early. Edging up to near 60, sunny and it's mid-March! I noticed the tulips beginning to open up today. Much earlier than last year.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Daffodil name arrived in the English language around the 1500's. The old name for daffodil was Affodyle, Affodyle means that which cometh early.

According to Chinese legend, the daffodil is a symbol of good fortune. The daffodil is used as a symbol of the Chinese New Year and if a daffodil blooms in your garden on Chinese New Year’s Day, your house will have good fortune for the entire year.

Daffodil's are the floral symbol from the Cancer Society, standing for love, hope through the joy of sunshine.

I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vale and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
host of golden daffodils:
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
by William Wordsworth

For an online analysis of the poem, click here.

For example, it says: The theme of the poem 'Daffodils' is a collection of human emotions inspired by nature that we may have neglected due to our busy lives. The daffodils imply rebirth, a new beginning for human beings, blessed with the grace of nature. The arrival of daffodils in the month of March is welcome and an enjoyable time to appreciate them!

Weather today - sunny, upper 50s.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ladybug, Ladybug

A ladybug on a hellebore or Christmas Rose / Lenten Rose. I bought the Hellebore at the Yard, Garden and Patio show. I was happy to see the ladybug!

From another website - Myths About Ladybugs In Culture

Forget about the stork! In Switzerland, children are sometimes told that they are brought to their parents by a ladybug. Good luck.

In Britain, farmers expect bountiful crops when many ladybugs are sighted in spring. In many cultures, the ladybug is seen as a symbol of good luck. Some even say that if you hold a ladybug in your hand and make a wish, the direction that the ladybug flies off to is the direction where your good fortune will come from.

In Belgium, it is believed that if a ladybug lands on a young woman’s hand, she’ll be married in a year. In Norway, there is a myth that if a man and a woman see a ladybug at the same time, they’ll fall in love.

A gift from the Gods. In Norse legend, the ladybug came to earth riding a lightning bolt. And in some Asian cultures, it is believed that the ladybug is blessed by God and understands human language.

Weather - this winter has been very mild - El Nino. In the 50s. Last 2 days beautiful, like spring, dry.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hens & Chicks and...

At the Yard, Garden and Patio show this year, I bought some sedums, and sempervivum or hens and chicks. I thought I would try some out in a container and see how they do. At Goodwill, I bought a ceramic bowl from an old crock pot. Drilled some drainage holes; and then covered the bottom with tops from recycled plastic food containers with holes (drainage) before putting in the dirt and the plants. My inspector general Xena Warrior Princess is on the job here.

Origin of the Latin Name for Hens and Chicks:
The word for the genus, Sempervivum, is Latin for "always live," i.e., evergreen. So far, so good. But when you discover that the word for the species, tectorum, means "on roofs" in Latin, you may start scratching your head. What does this evergreen perennial have to do with roofs?
Well, it turns out that hens and chicks, which are indigenous to Europe, were traditionally planted in thatched roofs. European folklore held that they were supposed to provide protection against lightning-induced fires, due to the plants' association with two gods of lightning: Thor and Zeus (Jupiter). In this case, folklore is justified, in the sense that succulents such as hens and chicks are fire-resistant and would perhaps slow down the spread of fire through thatch.

First Daffodils

They are coming out! The first daffodil in the yard was spotted today. Others are celebrating their first ones too, all over the world. Last year, the first blooms arrived first week in March.

Weather is beautiful for February, still winter, 60 F. and sunny today. El Nino.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spring Tease

While they have the blizzard of the century back east, we had sun and warmth. Things are emerging.

Turning the compost, I saw worms - big'ns and little wrigglers. This is good!! Last year I had to buy some live fishing bait and dump it in there. This year they showed up on their own.

My 'bamboo' is showing pink tips at ground level. By April, it will be 4 ft tall or more.

The naturalized daffodils that have been around for decades are about ready to pop.

The flowering quince is the first to bloom.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything
is accomplished.”
Lao Tzu

Violets already!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Bulb Experiments 2010

Planted some daffodil bulbs in the gray containers. 2-3 levels of bulbs, but all daffodils. In one I added winter hardy pansies on top. I hope the bulbs bloom, and can move around the pansies!

Here are the red galvanized planters - I put in a black plastic liner made from garbage bag, first. These planters I did up with the crocus bulbs, and mini-tulips. Also, found the bulbs from last year's experiment, and added those to the mix too. The white planter has 4 big daffodil bulbs. I hope it's deep enough.