Sunday, July 24, 2011
Pots in BloomMy pots of zinnias and california poppy bloomin' their heads off on the back deck!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
The front garden is popping!The transplanted zinnias are doing great! During June I had also sowed into flats seeds of balsam, candula, snapdragons and mexican sunflower. When they were large enough they were transplanted into the garden and are healthy and growing. I also added to the garden direct sowed cosmos seeds and they sprung up in no time. I also sowed morning glory and shasta daisy seeds into their own INDIVIDUAL pots and they are doing fine.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Looky! Looky! Morning Glory & MoonflowerMixed color Morning glory & moonflower(alba) that were transplanted to the base of my front deck railing. They are in CRAPPY dirt and climbing up on broken twigs for the time being. Going to replace the twigs with fishing line. It's early August, and I don't even know if they will bloom before frost. Well, it's an experiment anyway. Even if I don't see flowers, if the railing gets covered with viney leaves I'll be happy :)
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
MIxed Color Morning Glory & Moonflower in yellow pot on back deckAnother experiment. Read the above. The difference is these seeds were direct sowed into a pot filled with GOOD potting soil mix. And they have a cute little trelise to climb on. Don't know if they will bloom, but just viney leaves would be fine :)
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Look who came to visit?Mama and her two babies came around 5:30. They were in the front of the house. Mama hit the bird feeder first, and then came up to the front porch for the bread I had for her. The babies didn't eat any. They are soooo cute!!!!!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
This morning feels different ...I stood on the front porch this morning sipping my coffee. It's breezy and warm, but there is a difference in the air. It almost feels like an early Fall morning. And the light is subtly different too.
I observed 3 humming birds swooping back and forth near a feeder, almost like an airial ballet. The tall zinnias in the front garden swayed softly in the breeze. I felt ... contented.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Enjoying the View ...I haven't been doing much in the garden in the last few days. Just deadheading, staking plants, and cutting zinnias to bring in the house. I have a pretty bouquet of them in a vase on my kitchen table.
Attached is a photo of my front garden.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Rain ... Rain ... RainIt's been raining all day. It is supposed to rain ALL week -- except for Wednesday, maybe. Well, it's good for the garden.
Deer came through again, either last night or early this morning. I know it was deer because the bird feeder was empty and the top of the feeder was crooked. The feeder hangs to low ... have to fix that.
They nipped off about 6 zinnia buds. I HOPE they don't come back throughout the week and eat ALL my zinnias! I thought they were not supposed to be fond of zinnias.
I am still buying packets of seeds (for winter sowing) when I can find them. The gardening stuff is being moved out for winter stuff. I saw snow blowers today in Sears.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I am going to make some changes next year ...I have been looking at the forums for Beginner Flowers & Beginner Gardening Questions just about every day. It really is helpful reading how other gardeners deal with their gardening experiences. What I have realized is how much the amount of sun and shade can affect a garden.
In the Spring my flower beds in the front of the house were getting a lot more sun than they are now. Once the trees had fully leafed out I began noticing that some plants had become more shaded and weren't as happy as they had been.
Tall flowering zinnias (3 1/2 feet tall or so) fill the back of my border and they seem to be doing ok, but I noticed the flower heads are not very large for Calif. Giants. Then moving from the back toward the middle of the bed comes a row of perennials including Astilbe and Bleeding Hearts (which are still green and still producing new growth), along with some daylilies, coneflowers, and Shasta daisies which are doing fine. Right now the only perennials blooming are the coneflower (one store bought plant) and a few shastas. In regard to the perennials, since it is their first year in the garden, I really have to wait and see how they do next year. They will no doubt be a lot larger.
In front of the perennials, from the middle towards the front, I planted some annual red salvia (store bought plants) that have gotten taller and fuller and look good. And then edging the very front of the bed I had planted white alyssum which had been direct sowed. I have cut the alyssum back twice already this season. I originally planted them too thickly and they got wild looking. They looked much better after they had been thinned out some and given a haircut.
Dispered throughout the middle of the bed are a few calendula, snapdragons, and cosmos that had all been started in small starter pots on the back deck then transplanted when they had 2 sets of true leaves. The calendula are setting buds, but seem a little leggy and floppy. The snapdragons are still small and spindly, and the cosmos (shorter variety 3-4 feet tall, threw out the seed pkg.) are about 6-7 inches tall and leafy. I think the bed is too shady and too moist for the snaps and cosmos. Maybe the calendula too.
So, because it is much sunnier in the back of the house pretty much from noon on, I think I will be planting more SUN LOVING annuals and perennials in flower pots on the back deck next year.
** I had planted some zinnias in pots and kept them on the back deck and they looked good and have done well.**
Next year I think I will plant snaps, gallardia, shorter zinnas (in the back and MAYBE the front) and mexican sunflowers (shorter variety) and gloriosa daisies. I already have a MG and MF combo in a pot on the back deck and they are happily twinning up the trelis there. So I will definately plant those again. I am also going to try some Calif Poppies too since I really like them. I just have to remember to add some sand to the planting medium for them since they like things on the DRY side.
I plan to winter sow seeds in Jan/Feb. 2012, so I will be looking more carefully at all my options for both front and back gardens later this year. I have a lot of seed packets of different flowers to choose from. I have a feeling I will be replacing things in the front garden bed with more shade loving plants.
So, as I see it, I will have two MAIN goals for next year.
One will be to restructure my front gardens to allow for the expected growth of the perennials planted this Spring and to plant more shade tolerant annuals.
Number two goal is to plant the more sun loving perennials and annuals in flowerpots on my back deck. AND ONLY IN FLOWERPOTS ON THE BACK DECK. I have to resist the urge to plant all over the backyard!!!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Irene Blew In ...Well, Hurricane Irene (Cat 1) came roaring up the East coast this past weekend. The Carolinas got hammered, New Jersey got flooded in many areas, and PA got a good wallop too! Philly got a lot of wind damage and heavy rain. Up here in the Poconos we got a lot of rain and wind all day Sunday, but it began to pull out by Monday. We did not suffer any real damage, thank the Lord. Yet, there were a lot of power outages all around us. Schools have been closed both Monday and today, but I don't know if there will be school tomorrow. It happens to be the beginning of the new school year besides.
Well, I am still cutting my zinnias and bringing them in. The plants are looking ragged now. I think I will take what flowers I can from the pots growing on the back deck and then discard the plants.The poppies look half dead too.
Since I have been cutting the zinnias in the front garden, the garden now looks more uniform in size. My balsam are blooming, so far pink and purple. My calendula buds are starting to show color too. Unfortunately, I have only ONE cosmos with buds. :( I will post a pic for all when they are ALL flowering.
A few days before the hurricane, I took the 3 Oriental Poppies which had been growing in a flowerpot all summer (somehow they had survived the previous winter as small seedlings that had sprouted in the pot) and planted them in the middle of my front garden. They did not bloom this past Spring (supposed to bloom their 2nd year according to things I read) but they were sturdy little plants with healthy leaves which did die back some in the heat of the Summer.
By the beginning of August I had noticed that the leaves had begun growing again. By the end of the month they looked good and I figured it was time to dig them up and transplant them to their permanent home. Leaving a lot of dirt around the roots so as not to disturb them too much I moved them to the front garden. Since they SURVIVED a hurricane I'm hoping they will survive the winter. I plan on doing a leaf mulch on my perennials after first hard frost.
I am still buying flower pots (nice ones on sale) when I find a bargain. I am also still collecting plastic containers for winter/early spring sowing.
This morning it was CHILLY. As the day wore on it got warm. It felt like a typical early Fall day. Cool nights and mornings and warm days I think are going to be the norm from now on. I am not ready ... yet :(
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
First Day of School August 31, 2011Well, the school bus came this morning .. 2 days later than was originally scheduled. Hurricane Irene had quite an impact!
Little warmer today than yesterday, but nice.
Took a couple of photos. Balsam Impatiens, Calendula budding, and my one lonely cosmos. First one is pink balsam
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Labor Day has come and gone ...Labor Day weekend was pretty nice weather wise. A little humid, but not rainy. My sister-in-law, neice and nephew got to my house late Thursday nite to spend the holiday weekend with me and Bill. My sister-in-law, Julie, LOVES to go shopping, so we hit the Crossings Outlets on Friday morning. Good thing, cause it was somewhat crowded but at least you could walk around without being stampeded. The kids, Tim 15 and Brianna 9, still had some school clothes shopping to do (they were not starting school til the 6th) and we walked and walked and walked ..... Shopping is NOT my favorite pastime, but I gritted my teeth and tagged along. They did buy some things after what seemed like HOURS. We had pizza that night and just vegged.
On Saturday hubby Bill was off and we all went out and hit some yard sales ( We all love looking at junk). We grabbed McDonalds for lunch, and later had dinner out (Chinese Buffet). Later in the evening we made some popcorn and watched some DVDS. Dinner for the Shmucks (very stupid) and I Am Number 4 - a scifi kind of thing. That one was better than the Shmucks. Not great, but better.
Sunday was kind of a weird day. We all slept late and really didn't get moving til way after 12. We totally skipped breakfast ... and had an early BIG lunch. From the freezer, I took the trays of meatballs, sausage, and chicken wings that I had cooked ahead of time and popped them in the oven. Then I made some spaghetti to go with it, added a salad and bread and we were good to go!!! My stepson and his fiancee came over and joined us.
About 6 that night we all decided to go to GDS state fair in Gouldsboro (except for my stepson, Will ... he was tired and had decided to go home). So Julie, the kids, Krissy (Will's fiancee), Bill and I walked around, ate some crappy food there, and left about 9. (The Fair was meh ... not as good as past years.) We got back to the house and everybody wanted to do their own thing. Bill was tired (hadn't slept well the nite before), the kids wanted to fool around with with their IPADS ... SO, that left Julie, Krissy and me to our own devices??????
In 15 minutes the 3 of us were at Mt Airy Resort and Casino (practically in my backyard) hee hee ....
I donated $40 to Mt Airy
Krissy donated $30
and Julie ... WON $100 !!! How DARE she !!!!! Just kidding! :))
We got home before midnight.
The next morning (Monday) Julie and the kids got on the road about 6 AM and were back in Long Island, NY in less than 3 hours! Record time! If they had left later they would have been stuck in horrendous traffic for 4 to 5 hours !!!
All in all, it was an enjoyable weekend.
AND IT HAS BEEN RAINING EVER SINCE !!!!!!
Friday, September 9, 2011
The Sun ... Maybe ... Sorta ?There is this bright thing in the sky this morning, I believe it's called the SUN. I'd better whisper or I might scare it away ....
Everything is just so ... WET. We had a pond form in a low area at the front of our property due to all the rain we have had. I look at it and think it would be so pretty if some rocks were rimmed around it ... add some plants, some cute little yard ornaments, a pump system, lights, higher electric bills. I had better stop now. Sigh
We do have upcoming projects in the next month or so. We will be getting some Fill Dirt to grade out low spots, some more grading stone for the driveway, have to straighten out the garage a little more, and finish off with some general yard cleanup.
We have been talking about replacing two windows in the front of the house as well as the front door. If not this Fall, we will do it in the Spring.
Back to gardening ...
I had a morning glory growing outside in a pot that I decided to take into the house about 2 weeks ago. It's looking kinda sad. I don't think it's getting enough light. If it croaks I will replace it with some spider plant babies I have growing in water. I also have some Mexican sunflowers(sundance) growing in a pot on my deck. I had started them late and I think I will take them in the house if they don't bloom before the first frost hits. I also have a begonia and lemon tyme growing outside in conch shells that I plan to take inside soon. I have to clean them up and check for bugs first.
Soon I will be buying some daffodil bulbs for planting. I want to grow some inside and outside. Before I plant any outside I will clean out the flowerbeds first. I just hope the damn squirrels leave them alone after I plant them. I don't want to use wire mesh or chicken wire to cover the plantings. I am going try rubbing them with chili powder before planting and then sprinkling more chili powder on top of the dirt. The squirrels are CUTE, but such a PAIN!!
A little later today I think I will go out and do a little weeding and hose off the decks. They are just full of leaves!
Friday, September 16, 2011
Chilly this morning ...It was in the low 40's this morning. It is supposed to be cool right through the weekend. I kinda like it.
Well, I went out a few days ago and bought some Daffodil and crocus bulbs I also have a small package of anenome (windflowers) I had bought at the Pepperidge Farm outlet at the Crossings. Strange place to sell flower bulbs ...? Anyway, in a week in a week or two I am going to layer most of the bulbs in 2 large pots and keep them in the garage for the winter. Hopefully I will see TIPS coming up Feb/March. I am also going to try planting the remainder of the bulbs out in my garden. I hope the squirrels leave them ALONE!!!!
As far as my garden ... well, the front garden has a lot of bare spots now. Pretty much the zinnias are all done, and with nothing to fill the empty spaces, the Balsam look EXCEPTIONALLY tall. The flowers are pretty, but the tall stalky look of the plants makes them look like a grove of palm trees. The alyssum and red salvia planted in the front of the garden still look good though. I also have a few orange cosmos blooming now too. Wish more would have come up :(
I bought 3 potted mums in Shoprite about a week ago (still in their pots) and have them lining the front of the border. They are really pretty. A rust colored one on each end ... and and an orange with a rust colored center in the middle. They add a nice touch of Fall color.
I don't plan on doing much to the garden and pots on the deck until probably early October. Then I will pull out all the ratty looking annuals, clean up the perennials, and put markers in the ground so I can find the perennials again when they start coming up in the spring. A layer of leaf mulch on top and then let Winter come and do her thing! Then after Christmas .... WINTER SOWING!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Starting some projects ...It's not much, but it's a start. I sat down this evening and began writing on plastic forks with a permanent black marker. Why am I writing on plastic forks you might ask? Well, they are going to be the plant markers in my garden. Got to find the bleeding hearts and astilbe SOMEHOW next Spring! In past years I used wooden popsicle sticks, but they faded and usually got broken. I'm hoping plastic will hold up better. I still have plenty of plastic forks leftover for winter sowing, too. I still have to figure out how I will put those in the WS containers.
Everyday now there is more color change in the leaves. There are also quite a bit of leaves falling already, too. I love the Fall, but it also makes me feel a little SAD at the same time. By the time November rolls around, everything looks gray and brown and BARE. But I KNOW there is COLOR and LIFE to be found ... all you have to do is look hard for it.
I plan to continue feeding the birds through the winter. The CARDINALS are just so pretty to look at! And the CHICKADEES are so cute and friendly. The deer will continue to come. They eat the seed that falls from the feeder and wait for the stale bread I save for them. The squirrels, too, I'm sure will be around. I'm also thinking about making some pinecone feeders for the birds this winter. Smear them with peanut butter, roll them in seed, and tack them to a tree trunk OR tie a string around them and hang from a branch.
I love my wildlife. What can I say ...
Monday, September 26, 2011
It just occurred to me ?61 degrees - partly cloudy, humid - currently 8:14 am. Mostly sunny 60 - 76 degree range expected today.
I woke up early today, about 6 am, and the wheels began turning.
I started my Blog in Spring 2011 with the intention of documenting my gardening experiences for the year 2011. Fine, been doing that ... BUT I forgot to add temperature ranges! Duh! Living in the mountains of northeast PA, we can have EXTREMES, to say the least. From today on I will list the temperature range and conditons for each day. SEE ABOVE. I will also go back and edit past posts to add weather info as best remembered. When I wrote things down in a paper journal I usually would write daily temps and conditions. It was an excellent reference guide for gardening from year to year.
Oh, well, got a bit of a project ahead of me.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Crazy Day ...69 degrees partly cloudy at 4:30 pm. Low tonight of 60. Pretty much looking like showers for the rest of the week. And cooler for the weekend.
Hit the garden this morning. Cut down all the balsam. I don't know if I will be planting them next year. They are TOO BIG for my front garden. They need to be in a shady spot where there is plenty of room. I'll probably winter sow some and see if I can find a place for them next year.
We have a new addition to the family. A 5 month old white, gray, and black male kitten. My neighbors are moving to Atlanta in 2 days and offered us SPONGE BOB. My neighbor's brother begrudgingly was going to take the kitten .... But we had been thinking about getting a kitten for a while now and things just sort of fell into place. BOB is cute, playful and in need of a home. We also have a 12 year old female cat, Dixie, and once she gets used to him, will probably enjoy his company. There's been some mild hissing and growling, but they tolerate each other at a ... distance. Dixie is still QUEEN of the castle.
I just started a mini compost pile. I had a very large old plastic flower pot that Bill drilled holes in for me, and I have been filling it with discards from my gardens, dried leaves, egg shells and coffee grounds. I have the pot right off my back deck. Curious to see how things turn out with it. I wanted to start very SMALL since this is my first attempt. I'll keep adding to it and turning it over.
I still have to clean up my spot in the garage to store my pots, tools, and other gardening stuff away. Most of my stuff is STILL on the back deck. It's just that's it's been so warm and humid I haven't felt like doing it. I'd better get my butt in gear though. Yikes! It's almost October! There have been years we have had snow by mid October!!!!
It seems Bob just joined me at the computer. Looky ...
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Blah ....Cloudy and cool. 53 degrees at 7:52 pm. Low of 49 degrees expected overnight.
Not feeling too good. Have had an alternately runny or stuffy nose for 4 or 5 days now. Feeling a little pressure in my ears too. Feeling just plain tired.
My neighbors across the street left for Georgia today ... permanently. It's always sad saying "goodbye". In addition to the kitten we have taken in (they asked us if we would take "Bob" and we did) we also took a few things they were leaving behind - with their permission. Rakes, shovels, flowerpots, old milk can, and some plants are now in the yard or garage. My hubby and I wish them well.
House projects are still continuing. Got some new sensor lights for the front and back of the house. We bought a leaf blower, and plan on getting a delivery of some fill dirt soon to grade the low spots around the property.
Just a little more cleaning up of the front flower bed left to do. Still have to rinse out and then store all the flower pots and seed trays. *** reminder - need BLEACH. Have to plant my bulbs, too. I'm hoping to do some of these things this weekend. The rain is pretty much ended and it is supposed to be nice for awhile. Cool but nice. So cool as a matter of fact that I heard the dreaded four letter word! Snow .... flurries Saturday night. Take off the shorts and put on the longjohns!!!
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