in Chel’s garden : March, 2015

from the garden

a view of the end of the lanai…

Because the sun is direct and the weather is warm, the garden is very, very happy.

from the garden

white petunias

from the garden

bromeliad

The plants love the direct, hot sun and the ocassional rain. For some reason a good spring shower makes the plants happier than hose water. It’s like they haven’t been watered in 400 years, even though they get a good soaking every other day from the hose.  But after a spring rain? It’s something else. Of course, *too* much rain – that weird green fungus on top of the soil, which is definitely not good.

from the garden

chester, hoping for catnip

Chester also likes being out there. I have a lot of catnip growing so he loves that.

from the garden

chester, helping out

He also likes to hang out while I’m gardening, as long as the hose isn’t on. Then he runs away like crazy.

from the garden

white geraniums

The geranium seeds that I planted in fall have finally grown into full-sized plants and are blooming. The interesting thing is that I forgot which seeds I put in which planters (I’m so bad about using plant markers…) so every day I sort of run out there to see which geranium blossomed and what color it is.

from the garden

red geranium

I know red geraniums are, like, Gardening 101, but this is the first time I’ve gotten a red geranium from seed to seedling and then actually grow and bloom.

from the garden

coleus

from the garden

coleus

The coleus seedlings turned into plants and they are beautiful- I love the colors. The local nurseries carry coleus, but it’s always the same three varieties so this year I just ordered a bunch of seed varieties and hoped they would be as nice as the catalog photos. I really do love coleus… something about them. I just need to remember to keep them trimmed because when they get tall, they get like stalks with leaves only on the tops.

from the garden

succulents

Succulents in the shade. I kept them in the shade all winter and they seem to love it. I don’t understand that, but I think the cooler air might be drier, so they are less moist and that makes them happier than being in the bright sun but being damp all the time. It’s very humid here…

from the garden

petunia

from the garden

more petunias…

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even more petunias (love these blotched flowers…)

from the garden

petunias, again

from the garden

a lot of petunias

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purple petunia

Of course, there are the petunias…

from the garden

passiflora

I just placed a few orders with Park, Burpbee, and Garden Harvest for a few new seeds. I got some teddy sunflowers for the summer and some odds and ends flower seeds- more petunia, of course.

I also ordered two different varieties of tomato seeds (Salsa and Juliet), since the tomato plants we got from Home Depot last fall barely produce and the tomatoes are not particularly good.

from the garden

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I also ordered a few live plants, which I rarely do anymore. I rarely buy plants at all, to be honest. Anyway, I’m going to give a hydrangea another try, this time in the shade. I also got an Appleblossom Geranium, which I had a few years ago and LOVED LOVED LOVED but it got over-wet during the following summer and perished- now I know to bring them under the roofline as soon as the weather changes. I also got a Lantana (Peach Bandana, I think?) and something else which I can’t remember so I guess it will be a surprise when I get the box.

I’m excited for them to arrive, but as soon as they do I ned to get on my game and get them repotted and in their spots. So I need to get ready for that.

from the garden

double petunia (orchid mist)

Thank you for checking out my little garden 🙂

 

We’re Back! Spring Update from Texas!

Phew, it’s been awhile! Chel and I both needed the break and I’m finally feeling like doing some gardening again. It’s a little overwhelming because I definitely don’t have the time I used to dedicate to the yard so I’m having to just let Chris handle a lot of it…well, most of it. But, I’m getting back into it, slowly. Now that the baby is bigger he’s going outside with us more which allows me the stints I need to get some stuff done in the garden.

Chel and I will be posting here twice a month for the foreseeable future. We’re both busy right now and while I might be happy to get back into gardening now Chel will actually be slowing down a bit as it heats up in Florida here soon. Please drop a comment here and let us know how your garden has been doing!

hiatus!

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Sprout is going on a small hiatus until later this fall. Misti’s getting ready for her baby’s arrival, and I (Chel) am riding out the summer. We’ll be back in a few months with some brand new adventures and ideas to share. Have a happy late summer and early fall!

Trying To Enjoy Summer

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But it’s hard when you are 35 weeks pregnant, the temps are hitting the high 90s or 100* daily, and the humidity is out of control. Oh, and you have massive cankles and swollen feet that makes standing uncomfortable.

And yet there’s a zillion weeds to pull and squash vine borers to battle.

At least this view is pretty.

soggy days…

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I was going to go out and snap some photos of the garden on Tuesday, then on Wednesday, then on Thursday, and then on Friday, and then this morning, but it’s been storming every single morning. It seems like the storms have switched from mid-late afternoon to morning, which throws my gardening schedule up in the air. I did very little this week except run out in the rain and do what was absolutely necessary. Everything is sort of soggy and very smelly.

A few weeks ago I talked about moving all the geraniums across the lanai, and I did that. And I repotted a bunch of them that were super soggy. But they’re still struggling, so I’m just going to have to wait and see and maybe keep shifting them around. I got some new petunia seeds and threw them into some pots and soil I had around the potting bench and oddly enough they are sprouting and growing. It’s weird how much they seem to like the summer down here. Even after a downpour and a few days of grey skies, they bounce right back. I’m just happy to have something with color and bloom right now. It really cheers me up to have that little bit of color in the garden when normally there isn’t much.

The coleus seeds I planted a week or so ago germinated, but then disappeared, so I guess the last few days of rain was just too much. I guess I’ll have to hold off until another “dry spot” to try again, but at this rate that may be October (not exaggerating).

I guess all I can do at this point is just keep on keeping on. And maybe try to enjoy the break from watering. But as much as watering can drive me crazy, it’s a good opportunity to really see what’s going on with every plant, and do organic pest control. The mist and/or flat setting on the hose does a better job at blasting pests than any pest control product I have tried, but right now I can’t do it because the plants are *so* wet that adding anymore moisture to them would do damage. I need to find some sort of air blaster, perhaps.

 

Happy Blooms

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Tithonia

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Passiflora ‘incense’

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Copper rain lily

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Clematis texensis

Over the last week I pretty much retreated inside every evening, turning my back on the garden somewhat. Of course that’s coming back to bite me in the form of some weeding that needs to be done, but not seeing the garden every day let’s me find little surprise blooms like the ones above.

I guess this week it’ll be back to weeding.

plumeria

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When I started gardening a few years ago, it was sort of like a mad scientist’s lab. I pretty much planted anything and everything, despite zone issues, soil and hydration requirements, sun vs. shade, etc. I had no idea what I was doing, so I did whatever I wanted.

That first summer was a doozy. Most of what I had planted and babied through the Florida winter died pretty quickly after the summer storm season got underway. And the idea of fussing with delicate little flowers that were meant to be grown in the Northwest started to wear on me.

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I don’t regret all that experimenting- I discovered that I could do a lot more in my garden than what people assume can be done with a bunch of containers and some soil and a hose. I could successfully plant and grow MANY plants that were not supposed to do well in Florida. I could coax annuals through several years instead of several months simply by paying close attention to the way the light changed, and what the plant needed. I “mashed up” lots of different plants in the same containers and created my own little oasis, literally from scratch.

Over the years, I have found myself gravitating towards more tropical, year-round flowers. Last year I received a few plumeria cuttings for my birthday, and they didn’t do too well since I planted them . But I managed to get three of them to stay alive over the winter, and early this spring they finally started to really take root, grow, and start to flower.

My first plumeria bloomed a few months ago.

Then, this week, another bloomed.

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And another one shot up buds. I have no idea what color it is since I didn’t label the cuttings when I planted them (of course…) and lost track of which color was in which pot. So it might be yellow, might be red, might be another pink, might be white. We’ll see.

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I am just thrilled that I finally have more of a year-round garden, and even though the watering has sort of been taken care of thanks to the rainy weather, there’s still lots to do and see out there…

Summer in the Veg Garden

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While the heat and humidity has become oppressive of late, the vegetable garden is hanging in there. Leeks and garlic were pulled recently leaving some open spots for planting watermelon and pumpkins. The tomatoes are also hanging in there, ripening whatever fruit that is left on their vines. It is far too late—and hot—for any flowers to be pollinated these days. Another month and we’ll be chopping the tomato vines up for the compost pile.

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A month ago or so I started various beans an squash plants along the new perimeter bed. They are all doing fantastically well and I can only hope we get some fruits off of the acorn, spaghetti, and butternut squashes. I also planted cushaw squash that I’m looking forward to harvesting if we get fruit. I first found out about this type of squash at the farmer’s market last year. I had saved seeds from an unknown ‘gourd’ that I’d gotten the previous Fall, 2012, for decorating for autumn. I’d labeled the bag of seeds ‘green and white gourd’ only to get a name put to it by one of the vendors last summer at the farmers market. The taste is wonderful and the squash can be made into breads, soups, baked and eaten…it is quite versatile.

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I really need to do some weeding along the paths in the vegetable garden but the most troublesome spots involve Bermuda grass which is not easy to kill ‘organically’ or to pull up by hand. Dousing it in straight vinegar only knocks it back for awhile.

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In all, the vegetable garden looks good. The peppers haven’t produced but I think they aren’t getting enough sun.

What edibles are you growing these days?

summertime blahs

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Despite the blue skies in the photo above, the weather here in Southwest Florida has been DREADFUL this week.

I always tell people that “summer” is our version of “winter” because it’s a whole lot of extreme temperatures (very hot, as opposed to cold, but some of the plants are just as sensitive to it), dark skies (there was maybe one hour of sunshine this week, but then a storm rolled right in and took it away :/ ), and moisture- just BUCKETS of rain.

And it seems to be continuing.

It’s sort of weird for me to see all of my friends’ garden photos on Facebook and blogs because it surprises me that their gardens are *still* producing beautiful blooms and veggies, but then I realize that they are all in the peak of their gardening season.

My tall tomato plant is now down to just a few branches, but it’s hanging in there. It flowers and makes a few tomatoes. My goal with it is to get it to hang on until October, so when the water cools down and brightens up, it will be ready to grow quickly and put out fruit. The summer before last I managed to keep a smaller tomato plant going through the summer and when fall came it went bananas. It just grew and fruited like crazy, right off the bat.

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I’m also starting to consider starting a *summer* garden. My poor geraniums (I have about twenty planters full) are all soggy and turning yellow, so I’m thinking about pulling their planters back behind the roofline, trimming the plants down to *just* enough that they make it through the summer, and putting pots with petunias in their place. Petunias do great here in summer (upon research I found out that they like the warm, soggy weather quite a bit!) and I like to grow them. There are a ton of interesting varieties. And, most importantly, they only last about three months, so when they finish up, it’ll be time to put the geraniums back out. Same with sunflowers… and I’m sure there are other flowers I don’t even know about that are similar.

The only thing keeping me from doing this is that I wonder if I really want to add ten or twenty more planters to my garden, even if it is just seasonal. It will make for extra work and that’s a major factor since I only have a bit of time in the mornings to garden now that the weather is so volatile (lightning strikes are no joke here in Southwest Florida, especially when you live on the water). I have to give it some thought. This year I have a lot more daily maintenance in the garden than previous years because most of the plants I have are good for this zone, and they are hanging on for the summer. But I HATE “blank spots” in the garden, and what I hate even more is a row of planters with half-alive plants in them, drooping in sadness.

I don’t know. I know this is a tough part of the year for me in all areas- I’m a big fan of sunshine and blue skies and breezes and being able to go outside whenever I feel like it, and so the dreary weather really is a challenge for me. I’m thankful that things continue to put on a show in the garden (like the hibiscus at the top of this post… it’s got a bunch of buds on it at the moment, which makes me so grateful- something to look forward to!) but I really do miss having decent weather to garden in.

Tomato Season

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Arkansas Traveler and Kellogg’s Breakfast

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Ground Cherries

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Blue Beauty

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Black Plum

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Black Plum

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Arkansas Traveler

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Tomato sauce!

It’s been a decent tomato season here, though I still feel like we were behind. My brother had a bountiful harvest and put away jars and jars of tomatoes. So far I put away 3 quarts of blanched and peeled tomatoes—not counting the fourth that I had but shattered in the canner—and then the tomato sauce you see above. I ended up freezing these like A Way to Garden recomended. I wasn’t interested in pressure canning over the weekend, though I am fairly certain we’ve water bath canned tomato sauce in the past. Now we’re at a point that whatever is ripening on the vine will be what we harvest as we’re now into the hot days of summer and we’ll likely not get new fruit setting.

Maybe next winter will be milder and we can get our tomatoes in the ground in March instead of April and get a longer harvest out of the tomatoes.

gardening and creativity

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After a very slow week in the garden in which I basically spent all my time poking around, yanking mushrooms, repotting plants with drenched soil, and pruning away dead leaves (oh, summer- you can be brutal on the poor plants!) I read this and it reminded me again why I garden:

Gardening is a creative act, yet a different experience than art-making. It’s a kind of collaboration with nature, where the gardener and nature can meet each other halfway.” – Justin Richel

It’s from a book called “Creative Block: Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas. Advice and Projects from 50 Successful Artists” and it’s not the first time I have read about full-time artists and writers turning to gardening for a creative escape from life in the studio. Apparently, gardening is a very common passion of creative people.

I think there’s something about the collaborative nature of it- you do your part, Mother Nature does hers, and what literally grows from that collaboration is really kind of magical.

I get so much from being in the garden every day, even when I’m just keeping things going and it doesn’t feel like much is happening, like in the summer months. It’s being part of something much bigger than myself, in a way. And that relieves a lot of pressure.

Gardening is one of the few things I do where I’m not subconsciously worried about what the outcome may be or how it looks to other people or if it will be successful on a broader scale. Very few people see my garden (it’s on the back of my house, inside a screened in lanai). Almost no one benefits from it. But it’s a fairly big, grand thing (100 containers and always growing, which *is* pretty big for a container garden on a little patch of pavers) and more than 1,000 hours of my life and energy and time and love and pure passion.

Even when the chips are down (ie summer), it still makes me happier than a lot of other things in life, and more often than not, it makes me happier than making art, which is a HUGE thing to realize. I think because there’s no pressure involved in it, no one else to please or try and appeal to. It’s just me and the dirt and the plants and the seeds. I put in my time and energy and the next day I come out and something new is there to greet me.

It’s a pretty rewarding and fair exchange, when you think about it. Very little in a creative life is like that- usually you toil away at many things and maybe, if you are lucky, something “hits” and it does well. But in the garden… if you toil away, it’s almost ALWAYS “hits”. Where else can you find odds like that in a creative life?

Good Gardening Reads | Early July Edition

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Seed Giveaway!

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Back in the day, oh 5 or 6 years ago, I tried selling some of my tomato seeds on Etsy. I sold some here and there, mostly enough for me to buy something I wanted on Etsy or another plant. It was nothing of note and never went anywhere. Of course I stopped selling seeds when we left Florida and went hiking, but I’ve carried some of these pre-made seed packets around for the last 4 or 5 years. I’ve been meaning to go through them for awhile and do a seed giveaway and have finally gotten around to it. Since tomato seeds are one of the types of seeds that generally have a longer viability I don’t feel bad giving some of these away. Does that mean all of them will germinate? Probably not, so I’m not guaranteeing anything. These are *free*, y’all! I just don’t need 8 packets each of various tomato seeds lying around. I kept enough for myself to try in future years and sorted what I had into five piles. The piles aren’t all the same since I didn’t have an equal number of seed packets for each variety I had. I also had a few other types of seeds that I’m tossing in that will hopefully germinate too.

What do you need to do to get free seeds? Well, be one of the first five commenters who says that they’ve love to try the seeds out! That’s it! Oh, and leave your email address so I can get in contact with you to get your mailing addresss. I’ll be sending them out in a small bubble envelope so that they’ll survive the post office processing…*and* unfortunately this is only open to continential United States residents. If you qualify for wanting to try some old-ish free seeds and live in the lower 48, well then you can participate!

Some of the seed varieties include: Amazon chocolate tomato, pineapple bicolor tomato, stump of the world tomato, Fantome du Laos tomato, Granny Smith hybrid tomato (yeah, I sometimes save hybrid seeds just to see how they come out later), stick tomato, schmmeig striped hollow tomato, reisentomate tomato…to name a few.

Enjoy!

snapshots from around the garden – June, 2014

We had a huge thunderstorm yesterday afternoon and so I didn’t have to water the plants this morning. I used the time to walk around the lanai and take some photos of the garden.

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View from the far side of the lanai…

 

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Canna about to bloom. Love love love the blossoms on these plants.

 

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Making my way towards the back of the garden.

 

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Seedlings! (Petunia and Sunflower)

 

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Disco Belle Hibiscus about to bloom again…

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The coleus, cactus, ivy, and shrimp plants all seem to enjoy summer…

 

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The broccoli, which has been growing FOREVER, but has yet to actually blossom. It’s been about nine months since I planted these. They seem happy enough, just not interested in doing anything but making leaves and growing even bigger.

Good Gardening Reads | Late June Edition

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Milkweed Bugs

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I can’t remember where we picked up our Asclepias curassivica, aka: scarlet milkweed, but it has thrived in our flower bed this spring. I didn’t even realize it had set seed pods until a week or so ago. As I went over to inspecgt the open seed pods I noticed that the plant was crawling with milkweed bugs. We had them on our milkweed in Florida and I never bothered to do anything about them, especially since A. curassivica since the plants seemed to be fairly tolerant of the bugs and never really had any set backs. I don’t think I’ll be doing anything about them now, either.

Somewhere buried under a profusion of scarlet sage, Salvia coccinea, is the native Asclepias tuberosa, the yellow milkweed. It died back over the winter and had started coming back but the salvia has taken over and I may have to thin out the salvia around the milkweed so it can thrive. I haven’t seen any monarchs in the garden this year, but I’ve not been paying as close attention as I probably should be. Now that is is summer I’m in ‘keep the weeds under control’ mode!

We plant on adding more native species to our collection later this fall. Many milkweeds require stratification, an exposure to a certain number of chill hours, in order to germinate. Therefore we’ll be getting seeds this fall and spreading them out so they can chill throughout the winter. Another option would be to put them in the freezer or fridge (depending on temperature requirements) and then attempt to germinate them.

Do you grow any milkweed?

Panaeolus Foenisecii, Toxicodendron Radicans, and Rosa Madame A. Meilland

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It appears as if my main role in the garden this summer will be removing mushrooms from the containers. This week I removed about 200 mushrooms (and I’m actually not exaggerating) from my various planters/pots/containers. Some of them pop up just after the rain, but sometimes I’ll just go out there when it’s been dry and there will be a big batch of them hiding under a plant, like they instantly popped up.

It’s kinda gross. But also a bit fascinating. The mushrooms are a nuisance, for sure, but I’m really tempted to seek out a guide and identify and catalog them all (carefully), if there is such a thing as identifying pest mushrooms in the garden. There are so many different kinds and colors and sizes! I don’t know why they both repel and interest me, but something about them is very otherworldly…

And I can safely say that I have never removed as many mushrooms any years past as I have in the past few days. Seriously. I hope this isn’t a negative sign for the summer ahead. Yikes.

In other not-so-fun gardening news, I got hit by poison ivy this week. Or, I got hit by *something* that made my skin go crazy.

In one of the large planters on the side of the house, where my Penta are growing (part of a little butterfly/hummingbird garden I have going), this mysterious tall and thin plant popped up out of nowhere. Since the planters are outside and not under the screen of the lanai, I ocassionally get a weed and I know exactly what they all look like. But this was something I hadn’t seen before. Because I have actually gotten a few cool things via a plant showing up in one of my planters (like a white Penta- I only planted red and pink- some vinca, etc.), I let The Mystery Plant grow for a few days, seeing what it would do.

I finally decided to yank The Mystery Plant on Wednesday morning, because it looked weedy. It was tall and narrow, and had light green serrated, ruffly leaves. Of course, I had to examine it after I pulled it, but seeing nothing of interest, I discarded it in the garden trash. Right after that, I went swimming and showered and went about my day.

A few hours later, my skin started itching like crazy- not a mosquito bite itch, but more like a deep burning itch. And my eyes were bothering me. I didn’t put two and two together until the middle of the night where in itchy frustration I grabbed my iPhone and typed in “rash” and “reaction” and the first thing that came up was poison ivy. Duh.

I’m not sure if it was actually poison ivy- I spent a lot of time googling different irritant plants this afternoon and nothing really looked like what I picked. But whatever it was, I had a reaction to it. And I learned a lesson- no more messing about with mysterious weeds until I know what they are for sure. Never thought I would get poison ivy from a container garden but I guess anything is possible.

In HAPPY garden news, my rose bush gave me another beautiful flower this week. It’s in a weird place and has never been the healthiest plant so the fact that it gives me roses at all is a cause for celebration.

We got the rose at Home Depot (it was kind of an impulse purchase- it was on an endcap and the only one of its kind), came home, put it in the ground, and it languished for months. It finally shriveled into nothing, so Tom  dug it up, trimmed the dead stuff off, cut a huge portion of the root system away, and we re-planted it in a fairly large planter. It was literally a brown stump so I figured it was a goner. However, a few weeks later, there were little green bumps on the stump. And it slowly regrew into a tiny narrow bush. Every so often when it’s looking rough, I cut it way back and it comes right back. It just grows into a little narrow column, which is fine. I’m happy it grows at all. I guess I just consider it a “rescue” kinda plant. I give it love and water and don’t expect much, and every so often it surprises me with a perfect flower to clip and bring inside and enjoy for several days.

The rose kinda makes up for the poison ivy thing. I guess it’s all part of life in a garden.

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Death of a Sassafras

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About two weeks ago we noticed this sassafrass tree wilting. First it was a few leaves and then one day it was completely wilted. Typically an upland tree, we really didn’t think it was a water related issue especially since we’d had 7 inches of rain the week before. I went ahead and gave it a drink anyway as did Chris a few days later. Unfortunately, and we figured as we were doing it, it was a moot thing to do since the tree is toast. The only idea we have for what went wrong is that the moles we have in our yard disturbed the roots. Otherwise we have no clue what happened. It really sucks as there had been a lot of growth since we planted it last year. Then it was about a foot or so tall and as you can see it has grown by leaps and bounds, particularly over this last spring. I was hoping for it to reach the top of the cage by the end of the summer.

In less depressing news, there’s a new gardening podcast to listen to: What’cha Growin’? from Gayla at You Grow Girl. So far I’ve loved every single episode but my favorites have been episodes 2, 4, & 5. Give it a listen!

summer seed order

This past week Park Seed was wrapping up its annual “Spring into Summer” sale, and since quantities were dwindling, and I have a few holes in my garden (ie empty pots and extra potting soil), I went ahead and placed a small seed order. Here’s what I got (images courtesy of Park Seed):

The one thing I really wanted was another Mallow Hibiscus. The Disco Belle that I grew from seed continues to amaze me, so I wanted to try another one. I got the Luna Pink Swirl Rose seeds.

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I have a big empty planter in the back corner of the garden and decided I wanted to fill it with a dwarf sunflower mix. I have a lot of seeds from my previous sunflowers, but they are all from full-size sunflowers and the germination rate has not been so great, so I decided to just go ahead and get a dwarf mix, ready-to-go. Park offers a mix called “Solar Babies” and I figure I can just throw a little handful into the container and be surprised a few weeks from now.

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Petunias. They are one of the only non-tropical flowering plants I have had luck with in the summer.

I recently planted a bunch of them, but for some reason PASSIFLORA grew, instead. It was likely contaminated potting soil (I’m big on recycling potting soil) but it was a little odd how the Passiflora grew in EXACTLY the little divots I made in the soil for the Petunia seed.

So, due to the Petunia/Passiflora fiasco, I ordered three packs of Petunia seeds to try again: Celebrity Chiffon, Merlin Blue Morn, and Ultra Crimson Star.

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Then I saw these weird Coleus seeds (Black Dragon) on sale for $1 and bought a pack. I have a little shady nook next to my pre-existing coleus and I’m super excited to try these out. Plus, they are so odd looking! I haven’t seen anything like this in any of the local nurseries or coleus seed mixes I have tried.

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Then I saw these Arizona Apricot Gaillardia seeds and decided to give them a try, as well. They look sunny and bright.

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Finally, I checked the Canna seeds and found they had a new variety available that I haven’t tried- Salmon Canna. So I got a pack of those seeds.

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Yay! I’m excited to plant some new seeds (it feels like forever since I have planted seeds) and see what comes up. I’ll keep you posted!

Herb Bed/Perimeter Bed Update

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The herb and perimeter beds are proving to go slower than we wanted, mostly because I can’t help as much as I would like, being pregnant as I am currently. It really makes me feel guilty watching Chris do all of the work. However, he’s done an excellent job with the digging and my dad, who was visiting a few weekends ago, assisted Chris one evening with some dirt work. As you see here we’ve put in chunks of wood and limbs from around the yard as well as leaves. We’re doing a modified hugelkultur for these beds, but instead of building up like typical hugelkultur we’re going down. In addition to the wood and leaves we’re mixing in the garden soil we bought for both the flower beds and the vegetable beds, what’s left of it anyway, and then Chris wants to get a load of compost in the back of his pickup to put in as well.

Progress on the beds was halted when we had about 7″ of rain within the span of a few days. Due to the location of our vegetable garden and despite us bringing in some dirt to raise that area up a bit, the area still floods when heavy downpours ensue. The garden usually doesn’t flood during a normal rain event, but after several days of rain we had a lot of water in portions of the garden. So, we took time off from working out there to let everything dry out.

I will be very, very happy when this bed is done. It would have gone much faster if I could have been helping all of these weeks, but there’s minimal things I can do when I can’t dig out dirt and haul heavy wheelbarrow loads full of dirt.

Hopefully sometime mid-summer the beds will be done and we can plant in them!