From commentor Gelfling545:
Since you were short of garden pictures I thought I’d add one of mine now that my WNY garden is FINALLY starting to pick up a bit in spots.
And a question, from commentor Scuffletuffle:
I have a lovely plant that has appeared in my yard and is thriving. I think it migrated from a neighbor’s house, but don’t know what it is. I’m hoping one of the BJ gardeners can enlighten me.
Some variety of spiderwort, maybe?
Here north of Boston, my garden’s still a mess, but now it’s a hopeful mess — root pouches full of new tomato plants and roses, flats of annuals waiting to be transplanted into various containers & beds, and gardening clutter (soil mix, fertilizers, stakes, tools) scattered from hither to yon. It would be so much nicer if I had the energy to put in more than an hour or two every not-raining day, but at least I feel like I’m making progress!
How are things in your gardens this week?
Gelfling545: Beautiful mix of textures. I love it.
Scuffletuffle: Yes, Spiderwort. Grows wild around here and the roadsides are everywhere sprinkled purple with it just now.
Dealing with insomnia the past couple nights. Didn’t even fight it tonite. Just got up at 2:43. Sta outside for about an hour. Beautiful out there. A little warm for my taste but the humidity is way down so I was able to see the MIlky Way in all it’s glory. Whip-or-wills are competing with the barred owls for who can make the most noise. Crickets too. Seems like everything wants to get laid.
Driving down the road the other day I saw a really strange hump in the middle of the road. I thought “Is that a box turtle?” It kinda looked like one half way up on it’s side. Slowed down to get a good look… It was 2 box turtles gettin’ it on right on the yellow line, just a humpin’ away… “Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick…” Randy little fwckers. I left them be. On the yellow line they should be OK and I didn’t want to engage in any coitus interruptus.
The garden is all in except for the 2nd planting of corn. Getting harder and harder to find any that hasn’t been polluted by GMO’d pollen. My eggplant already looks like death, the flea beetles are just that bad. I think next year I may skip the eggplant altogether. Meanwhile, pyrethrin plus a planting of arugula, maybe I can save them. My potatoes have some brown rust on them, not sure what is up with that. Everything else looks good, especially the weeds. That will be my job today: Weeding, some last bit of mulching.
We got pounded by rain Friday night and it washed a great deal of the crushed granite form between the bricks in our new path. I’ve seen a granite that had an adhesive in it but it’s really expensive and has mixed reviews.
@raven:After a lot of blood, sweat, and work, rain comes and washes it away. Sucks when that happens.
@OzarkHillbilly: I did border all the bricks with treated 2×4’s so it’s not that bad. That garden is located in a tough place below a pretty steep slope so it’s gonna happen. This was a real frog choker.
Gelfling, Your flower garden is beautiful.
My front beds are cleaned up. I still have to buy a few more plants to replace the gardenias that died over the winter but that can wait. Now I have to weed and mulch the back yard. The vegies are growing. I planted sweet potatoes, beans, peas and have arugula and spinach ready to eat.
@raven: Late Friday afternoon, there was a violent storm that came through. My driveway was covered with branches. Yesterday I noticed that several branches were snapped in the back yard, including an oak limb that is about thirty feet high. The odd thing though is one of my gutter shield guards is up in a tree about twenty five feet high. I live in a ranch house so, something picked it up and tossed it. It’s a cedar tree so it is going to stay there. I’m calling it garden art.
The joys of climate change: my Lavenders are flowering three weeks before mid winter.
@raven: Well good. My drive channels the rain and I have tried several things to stop it from washing out. Always does to some extent at least. Finally convinced the wife that she just has to deal with it and every couple years bring in a new load of gravel. It’s not too bad, but one does need to hold onto your coffee till the top of the drive if you expect to have any for the morning commute.
@JPL: Yea, there were a number of trees down in our hood.
Anne Laurie, we must be related. I’m making slow progress too, but we went from cold wet weather to hot and humid too fast for me. I’m able to do an hour or so in the morning before it’s too hot (and sunny, I burn); and another hour or so in the evening after 7. Not as much energy after a long day though.
The bugs this year are vicious, and so are the chipmunks. I weed-whacked part of my yellow azalea two days ago, brought the damaged piece in immediately to try to root it, and yesterday when I went to put a tree collar around the remnant found a gopher hole where my azalea used to be. This is the second time I tried to grow that variety, and the second abject failure.
But on a happy note, my peony that came back from the dead is just as pretty as I hoped it would be, and my rhododendron bloomed for the first time ever.
After the grueling cold winter with greater amounts of snow this year, it’s great to see the greenery and fell the current warmth here in WNY. The front beds are done. The back beds have to be worked on slowly since I am recuperating from a work related accident.
I have been at this house for many years. I once planted a good example of a truck farm when the nest was full. I am surprised to see trees, bushes and flowers appear when I did not plant them. An example is a mulberry tree growing tall next to my front part of the deck. I have let it grow since I noticed the birds love the fruit. It’s the mystery of this growth and others I do not understand. Anyone have an explanation for it?
Which teh Google informs me is the same as “spiderwort”.
@OzarkHillbilly: It sounds like they were taking the Beatles’ suggestion to the max: “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road.”
Not much to report from my sector in South Florida. The landlord came by and trimmed all the trees and shrubs around the house and suddenly I have light in my home office and bedroom. The hibiscus bushes and trees are in perpetual bloom but lack of rain has turned the lawn to granola in places. Since I let nature do the watering, it knows how to recover, and this time of year is the rainy season.
A couple of weeks ago I took my Pontiac wagon to a car show at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and won for the Best Antique from the ’80’s. The prize was a dendrobium orchid, which is now a fine ornament in my kitchen.
You know, I could have sworn I could hear music playing and now that you mention it, it was the Beatles…
No violent storms here; no rain at all, in fact. We were hoping for thunderstorms and an inch of rain tomorrow but the forecast has been revised to scattered showers and a quarter inch. Ho hum. Hoses already out as it hasn’t rained in about 2 weeks.
We have about 3/4 of the veggies planted, so it could be worse, what with all the interruptions this spring. I’m hoping to get out and weed this morning. It’s getting dry enough that we have to water a bed before we can weed it, which I always resent.
Spinach is flowering so I will pull and freeze it today; lettuce is going strong; peas are flowering and tomatoes are looking nicely settled in and ready to start growing.
I got my my garden in and in the grand scheme of where I live just a little thing. The only place I’ve lived other then here, rural IL, was in DC. We didn’t have gardens there :). People have gardens here that fucking blow my mind. On my daily run I an stunned by a few of them. Need to slow down take a few pics to share. It is stunning.
We’ve got this vine called a “Rangoon Creeper,” which sounds like a Bela Lugosi movie. It’s busting out all over the place:
It has the most wonderful scent. Also, hubby harvested the last of the eggplants this week and made hummus and baba ganoush. It’s fabulous.
And off topic, today is my 2nd anniversary of quitting smoking. Yay me!
Last of the eggplants, wow! Our are currently 2 inches tall. And Yay you! indeed.
@Betty Cracker: YAY you indeedy. I smoked for 36 years. Tried time after time to quit. My last year plus I smoked only 4 cigs a day and just could not give them up. Chantix finally got me over the top 4 years ago and while I have real and permanent damage, I feel so much better than I would have if I hadn’t quit.
@OzarkHillbilly: Hooray for you too, fellow quitter! When I quit, I was disappointed at first because I didn’t notice any dramatic health improvements, but I stopped hacking in the morning, and when I take my dogs for a long walk, I come home breathing like a normal person instead of huffing and puffing. It’s subtle, but it’s definitely a big improvement.
I started when I was 15, and stopped when I was 46 or 47. It was a sonofabitch to quit – I used nicotine gum. Thing is, I liked smoking, primarily because I wasn’t a heavy smoker, generally half a pack or less a day, unless I was drinking. Never smoked in the house, at my desk or in the car, either. Unlike other former smokers, I don’t get that feeling of revulsion when I smell other people’s cigs.
A happy thing. I don’t have kids myself. Close with my niece. She is 5. She started playing tennis the other day. Loved it. It was mentioned to her that her uncle has “mad game.” I can do things with a tennis ball that will blow your mind! Since she was born I wanted to give her a racket or a golf club. I felt it wasn’t something I should do. Figure it out for herself.
Me too, though I finally got tired of looking at the mess and put a lot of it away last night.
Anne Laurie, thanks for the recommendation for the root pouches. They’re great–so much cheaper than what I had been using. I used them in my kid’s garden and she loved them…because they all match. (Don’t usually do her garden, but … toddler + new baby + husband taking medical school boards…figured a little help wouldn’t go amiss.) (oh hey, maybe that’s why mine is taking so long this year!)
That first year, it can be hard to convince yourself it is really worth it. By the end of year 2 I could definitely tell the difference. Year 3? No comparison, worlds better.
@Botsplainer: The only thing I feel is the aching desire for another cig. I don’t think I will ever get over that.
big ole hound
From the East Bay of SF yesterday. We and neighbors picked 41 pounds of Bing cherries off our one “dwarf” tree. Amazing harvest with no sprays or crap of any sort. Maybe the dry spring had something to do with the unusual bounty plus we had a lot of bees back in March when the flowers were out. Bees seem to be attracted our lavender bushes.
I have a friend who had tried to stop smoking several times; 2/3 years ago she had a mild heart attack and quit cold. She misses it but feels better and would rather not have another, more severe heart attack. Me — I never tried smoking. Never cared for the smell of cigarettes. My bad thing is fried food and chocolate.
@HRA: You already cited the answer in your post – the birds. Suckers LUV mulberries and will poop out the seeds everywhere. I’ve got at least a half dozen trees I’ve put off cutting that are now going to need the chainsaw. Mulberry burns good, and it’s pretty rot resistant, so you’ve got that going for you. But the fruits make a mess whether or not they’ve passed through a bird, and the stains are hard to remove.
The id of True Conservatism, on display at Free Republic since 1996, this time showing sneering contempt of the climbers and guides from Alpine Ascents International who died on Rainier.
Hell, even two of the most loathesome racists on FR were disgusted (wardaddy and Godebert) with the commentary, which says a lot.
I’m genuinely angry at Obama for being so lazy about setting up death panels for cranky old fat white Christian conservatives. You just know that these are the same stupid fuckers running around armed to the teeth to drop in the post office or the donut shop, “just in case”, as if their lives are actually more worthwhile to society than the lives of armed thugs they may encounter.
I’d argue that that your average thieving thug is more capable of redemption and appropriate social behavior that an old white Christian conservative.
big ole hound
@HRA: Bird droppings. They eat the fruit or pods and poop out pre fertilized seeds into your good soil. I have a couple of japanese maples that sprung up like that and are now eight feet tall. They are from a tree I planted twenty years ago.
@Botsplainer: I wonder how many FR regulars’ last words were “Hey everybody! Watch this!”
My quit was 2008 or 2009. Lost that “gotta have it” feeling by 2011.
Something tells me, none of them ever looked in the mirror and said, “What a stupid thing to live for.”
@Poopyman: OTOH, I’ve got a line of walnut saplings about 25 feet from the garage. The mama tree is on the opposite side of the garage and looming over it. The ripe nuts dropped onto the garage roof and got up a head of steam, but they all came to rest the same distance from the garage. Different propagation strategies for different trees. I’m keeping the walnuts, though.
That’s it…thank you everyone.
@Poopyman: You might change your mind if the roots get into the foundation and crack it. Happened at my parents and they had to cut the tree down, then get the foundation stabilized with piers, and it still moved around. Depending on moisture in the ground, doors would close or not.
@OzarkHillbilly: Ooooppps, just reread your post, 25 feet should be far enuf. Sorry…. ;-)
Very few, as that would imply some sense of adventure, albeit misguided. The closest I can recall was matsuidon (Don Matthews), who ambushed and murdered a young black Ohio cop for having the audacity to pull him over for a traffic violation; he went down in a hail of gunfire. His postings were a bunch of sovereign citizen bullshit of the Cliven Bundy variety. Robinson scrubbed those, as well as a lot of the arguments that followed his death.
Then there was the guy who posted as Mark Costanzo, who sent out fake anthrax letters to media figures and members of Congress. He didn’t die, but I suppose that was an adventurous act. There were other small acts, and some guy who brought guns and Molotov cocktails to counter a peace protest. That might have been adventurous.
No, most of the time, they wheeze out their last hateful breaths while in the throes of emphysema, or due to complications of morbid obesity and diabetes. Some others expire in nursing homes, unloved and unattended, the evil government having propped up the nasty carcasses for 20 years courtesy of completely nonsocialist Medicare and nonsocialist Social Security.
We had overnight rain so I will be spending some time this morning pulling maple trees out of the garden. We has a beautiful maple in the back yard and in 20 years here we always have a few seedlings to yank in the spring. This year is nut thought, I am not exaggerating when I say thousands. There are places where you can’t see lawn just a patch of two leaf maple trees. The flower gardens are overrun. The daffs and tulips have finished, the blue bells have peaked & will be gone soon.
you left out the “hold my beer” part
We have just eaten the last of the fresh asparagus. Biggest harvest we’ve ever had! We ate more asparagus the last few weeks than anyone ever, I think. But, damn, the fresh from the garden just before I roast or grill or steam it variety is simply addictive and just ruins my taste for any other asparagus, even that from the farmer’s market. We’ve also got some delicious spring onions that are to die for.
So far, the tomatoes are about ready to go in, the banana peppers are in, as are the zucchini. John hasn’t picked up the sweet peppers yet, so that is yet to come. Don’t know what else he has up his sleeve, so I’m just going to be surprised.
As for our flowers, the rose garden was decimated by the crazy winter cold this year. Never saw anything quite like it. The peony bush seems to have come through okay, though. And the rhododendrons are blooming better than I’ve ever seen them.
As for the fruits, the berry bushes were cut back last fall and seem to be getting good new growth. Haven’t checked the peach trees, but the apple and pear trees look lovely.
And for all those who were dissing Dave Grohl in last night’s thread, kiss my ass. I love the Foos and Everlong might be my favorite song of all time.
The pond is finally settling down after the titanic effort to replace the liner 2 weeks ago. Now I have my nephew working at pulling out English ivy which I have been trying to kill for 40 years + or -. If anyone has a secret method that does not involve spreading rock salt over the ground I’d love to hear it.
@Poopyman: As long as you’re not trying to grow anything else there, they’ll make great nuts and good wood (for carving or furniture, as long as you don’t nail shit to ’em). If you’re trying to grow anything else nearby, forget it–they’re allelopathic, I believe, like Norway maples (which are also invasive).
(Although surely there are some things that will grow near them, as is true for most things–no garlic near peas or beans, but tomatoes do well…)
Finally, finally, finally finished my retaining wall then dug down a foot or so to break up the so-called ‘soil’ – a blonde rock-like substance with no discernible organic material. Over the course of the last few weekends: I marched into the local nursery and announced I knew squat about how to fix the soil and a nice gentlemen directed me to the amendments and compost he personally uses. With the writhlings’ help we got it all spread out, then went back to the nursery and picked out candy watermelon, jack o’ lantern pumpkins, japanese cucumber, green and orange peppers, beefsteak tomatoes, red onions and three varieties of potatoes plus one test plant each of asparagus and peanut. Woohoo!
Some of my previous better work on FR. I guess I never was as wingnutty as I thought.
@gelfling545: Pull out what you can and cover it with cardboard. It takes a while but you should be able to finish digging it out. Sprays normally don’t work on ivy because of the coating on their leaves. That’s all I know.
also, thank you for sending Anne your beautiful picture
@HRA: As others have said, birds are very good at pooping out mulberry trees. Squirrels are good at planting trees and bushes too; they forget sometimes where they buried their treats in the fall.
Also, keep in mind that mulberries are yummy for humans too. They’re not as flavorful as raspberries but they’re juicy and sweet and very good right off the tree. When my son was younger and going to summer day camp at the local park, he’d stop at the mulberry tree at the end of the alley on his way home and stuff his face. He wouldn’t eat as many snacks when he got home because he’d already have snacked on fresh fruit. Win-win.
We had a black walnut tree at a previous house. Processing the nuts was crazy – time consuming, messy, difficult. But it was oh so worth it.
If a regular walnut is anything like the black version current is exactly right – nothing grows around them. As for the wood should that day ever come you may have a hard time finding someone who will take the job. The highway department bought our place & I wanted that black walnut but could not find a place that would take an urban tree to process.
Gin & Tonic
@OzarkHillbilly: The only thing I feel is the aching desire for another cig. I don’t think I will ever get over that.
After a couple of decades those cravings get to a minimum.
@scuffletuffle: What’s the yellow ground cover? Is that creeping Jenny? Also, what’s the (mostly) yellow plant? I think I have one in a beautiful pink color, but I have never seen it in yellow. Would love to know what it is.
My own favourite Foo Fighters song is Walking After You. It was the love theme, kind of, for the first X-Files movie back in 1998.
@Glidwrith: To get a start on next year, Google “lasagna gardening”.
@Schlemizel: There are plenty of urban foresters around now, plus I have a guy who’s just set up his own antique-but-refurbished sawmill. Having said that, those juglans nigras are going to be for someone else 50+ years down the road, fsm willing. I turned 60 today.
I wondered at first if lasagna gardening had anything to do with this.
@Amir Khalid: I wondered at first if lasagna gardening meant growing all the veggies that typically go into lasagna – tomatoes, onions, etc. Then I googled.
Feel free to point and laugh.
Our first garden out here in the SW desert is finally picking up steam – converted the previous owner’s dog run (!!) and planted a ton of tomatoes, bunch of different peppers, eggplant. rattlesnake beans and some melons. Melons have runners all over the place and of course, the first set of tomatoes will be ready when I leave for a business trip and the better half gets back from his.
I’m guessing he’ll have polished them all off by the time I return. Figures.
Had to drag my ass out there to work on it at 5:30 this morning – 100+ weather just arrived this past week.
@Amir Khalid: That’s silly. Everyone knows spaghetti is a root crop.
J R in WV
Here in SW West Virginia most of the early spring flowers are over, and the summer ferns have emerged. We’re finally getting a few big shitaki mushrooms on the oak logs we plugged with the shitake spawn last year. The swamp iris is blooming, they’re brilliant yellow around a tiny wet spot by the driveway. If I remember to take a picture I’ll send one in for next week.
The blue spiderwort is in full bloom right now, it’s an inrteresting plant, the flowers close up after dark, only to reopen once the sun hits them the next day. Lots of recently planted stuff is coming up this year, after the hard winter you never know what to expect.
The maidenhair ferns have come up – they are native here, but evidently tasty to herbivores, so we planted little clumps around in the nearby woods.
The honeysuckle has bloomed – it’s an invasive vine that can choke out trees and woody bushes like dogwood. The Mrs has a personal vendetta with the invasives and roots them out everywhere she can. But there’s one bush on a little sapling behind the house on a nearly vertical hillside, not reachable. The scent from these vines wafts downwind across the front door and steps, and smacks you in the nose evenings when you come home. So sweet! Almost glad she can’t reach this one little clump.
Our big (8×10 or so) pond seems to have had the liner spring a leak, so one big chore to dig into this summer is to dig all the leaf litter out, pull the liner, and replace it with something to hold the water and throw it down the gutter by the front steps, away from the foundation. I can justify the frog pond because of the rainy weather spring just across from the front door. This will be a horrifically hard dirty job. Muddy.
The residents in affected neighborhoods in San Diego were very well informed about all the road closures, etc. today for the 17th Annual Rock ‘n Roll Marathon. What I didn’t anticipate as a newcomer to Hillcrest: the actual Rock ‘n Roll. At 120 decibels. At 6:15 am.
On the gardening front, we were having a real problem with little flies infesting some of our indoor plants. I started with cleaning some of the smoother-leaved ones with diluted soapy water, and then moved as many, esp. the tomato and the poha onto the balcony so it was easier for good insects to find the pests. Finally we picked up a container of lady bugs. 3 days later, the pests are nearly wiped out.
It looks like we can count on getting 5-6 hours of sun per day May-July, maybe 3-4 hrs in April and August, so for those months, we’ll be keeping as many plants as possible on the balcony. Fall and winter are going to be a real challenge though.
We’ve harvested the first tomatoes on the Stupice. They were tasty but very small, and I’m thinking of moving it to a larger container. And we’re still wrestling with what kind of plant stands will allow us to maximize plant space on the balcony and the west windows.
@WaterGirl: Big yellow thing should be a Heuchera (coral bells) of some sort — gazillions coming out recently. Heucherella (Heuchera x Tiarella) a possability, good plants all of them, from the one’s I have the pleasue to play with. links to images should really clear it up, I just went with the texty easy ones.
@Poopyman: Happy Birthday! And many happy returns of the day.
I feel ya, I’m planting a lot of stuff I doubt I’ll see the full benefit from. Think of it as a pay forward.
@scav: Coral bells. Thank you!
@OzarkHillbilly: I dust the eggplant leaves with a handful of ash from the barbecue while they are young and tasty. That does an admirable job of chasing away the flea beatles and the price is right.
@Stella B.: Would that work for squash beetles?
…kind of like Kool-Aid, to my nose.
That’s Lamium, or “dead nettle”.