Today in the garden, I...

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

A good place to start if you are building an iris garden is with winners of the Dykes Medal, the highest medal in iris growing. Here is a list of the winners up to a certain point.
http://www.irises.org/pdf/dykesmedalwinners.pdf
The list doesn't show the latest winner Starwoman , the first Intermediate Bearded to ever win the Dykes medal.

For you, Dahlia, be careful which you choose. I recommend you order from Chuck Chapman -- whose url I have sent you previously-- because he is in Canada and he knows what grows for you up there. He is very into testing for cold weather durability.

Well, that is probably more than you wanted to know, but just ignore the boring parts.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Aren't they pretty? I am ecstatic about them every year. I was always into tomatoes and other exotic veggies until I learned about iris. I still grow tomatoes and exotic veggies, but I am in love with irises, now.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Jurassic Park was worth waiting to see!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Glad you liked it. That was the first time it had bloomed for me. I got it at the local Iris Society Rhizome Sale 2 years ago.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Gorgeous! I await my time, for iris.

Paj, erysimum is a risk actually. I bought it because it is something that can really take full sun which is really what I have back there! But apparently it is one deer like to eat. So far they have not found mine tho.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Oops! I can plant it inside my walls. Deer don't come inside the walls. I learned yesterday that deer won't eat peonies. That was very good news! Rabbits or gophers either. I will be planting more peonies in the future -- after the roses -- which deer love, thorns and all, but roses are already purchased.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Yes, I hope to acquire peonies somewhere along the way. I love them anyhow and t hat is a real plus.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

And here is Crowned Heads which opened today. Everything here is covered with raindrops which is okay with me.

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Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

And here is Ecstatic Echo which also just opened today.

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Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I posted about my rose moving project on the rose thread. I thought this would be a good place to post about my shrub pruning project. This past March I decided it was time to prune back the snowball viburnum that was trying to eat my front porch.
Here are the pics: left to right - before, after, blooming.

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Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Very nice progress report. What is the little white flower in the front in picture 3. Looks kind of like an iris but the flowers don't. Maybe it is just that the detail isn't there in such a small picture.
Very cute Denver style house!

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

It's actually a branch of the snowball viburnum that's hanging low (from the weight of the blossoms) right in front of the purple iris that's blooming there. It's not the best picture I've ever taken.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Here is a pic of our little pond that I cleaned the other day...

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Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I too am so looking forward to Kyla's perceivings. Paj I am already eyeing up some 'lawning' for a new iris bed ^_^ Denver Jude sigh, that's gorgeous.

Today in the garden I busted butt. The planting out of the greenhouse has commenced. 8 hours of planting, planting, moving, dividing, planting, planting, weed here and there, here and there, (whew!) then planting, planting, planting and oh ya then more planting. A DEAR from the Canadian Forum sent me some mini and small hostas which luvly postal dude (who thankfully replaced pyscho postal dude) delivered into my hands soooooo more planting, planting, planting. Oh BTW did I mention I planted alot today?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Oh sigh. I wonder if the weather transporter can be converted into a pond transporter.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

LOL! It's days like these I'm even more thankful for DH... he has taken it upon himself to personally dig up every weed in the yard... a yard which includes RV spaces with patios, each of which has persistent and nasty weeds surrounding it. He doesn't think I do a good enough job weeding (hooray!!!!) so he does it.

Little pond from the "up" side...

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Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Oh, that pond. YUM! And the blue table is splendid.

Today in the garden I thought and enjoyed and waited til another day to do much else.

I went to a friend's house for some Biodynamic Cranial work (a very very still and peaceful body work that is almost not body work, quite calming) and when I came home and walked up on the deck I was almost shocked at how much there is there! Not too much, but gosh, where did all that come from?????? ;-)

In the back though, I wonder, it looks like the ants might actually be eating my littlest seedlings. I know I watched them once topple some tall grasses on their mound, but this is not their mound! What to do about that I have no idea but I may have to not direct sow stuff too much.

The morning glory that had bravely sprouted back there, is no more. But there are some growing up here in a cowpot that are waiting for me to put them out there, which I will do next week. The one columbine with buds, the buds are getting eated. Darn it. It will just have to be prolific, is all, I do not do garden battle.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

p.s to my previous post: that's because weeding is my least favorite gardening chore... I'm happier pulling sludge, debris, and God nows what else out of the pond (and doing almost any other garden task) than weeding. Here is our new raised bed in the shade garden, complete and planted, but not much showing yet... consider this a "during" picture...

This message was edited May 22, 2009 8:30 PM

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Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Here is the doggy topiary. Hopefully the baby wire vines will fill it in. I planted his wire vines yesterday in the big pot you see him sitting on. Being ever so clever, I thought I would fill up the bottom 6 - 8" with packing styrofoam peanuts for drainage and to reduce the amount of soil needed, as well as not add to the weight. Went out today, and found that the entire dog and soil had dropped about 6 inches! Here is your challenge: why did the soil level, plants, and dog drop so low, and how do you re-plant 4 individual wire vines attached to a form with hair pins without tearing the vines to bits. Remember, the soil has to go beneath them, to raise up the topiary. And they are fragile babies. There is your challenge... let's see your solutions. Then I'll tell you mine!

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Woooops, forgot the picture!

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Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Today in my garden, I mossed and planted two other topiaries, both turtles. Here is one... DH isn't convinced that they look like turtles...

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Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Kylalu, maybe you need some ant traps or other form of "treatment"... I think diotenasious earth is one organic form of treatment, some forums have said spray dawn detergent mixed with water on them for a few days. Anywhoo... I wish you luck! And your Biodynamic Cranial work sounds yummy, it almost sounds like a very good hair washing at the salon, LOL!

Here is my beautiful inherited white clematis blooming it's heart out!

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Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

beautiful clematis!

I spent the morning tilling up the hard, compacted, weed choked side yard and raked up all the debris into a row mound so we can get rid of it. This weekend, if it's not pouring rain and if my hubby and I can get the debris moved, I will till it again, grade it for proper drainage (it is currently sloped _toward_ both our house and the neighbors house) and _finally_ plant all the allegheny viburnums I bought at the DBG plant sale. I have a lot to get into the ground.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Oh sigh on that beauty white Brenda. Today I planted and planted and planted and organized a dahlia nursery for speedy pick up by other dahliaholics.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

One of my iris society members is also a dahlia nut. She plants dahlias from seed and keeps however many she wants and gives the rest to all her buddies in the iris society! I think planting dahlias from seed is very cool At least I think she plants them from seed. They are very small in the early, early spring when she gives them away. Now writing this I wonder if she buys bulbs in bulk and shares? Don't know. I guess I better ask her.
I have now bought some small dahlias for my large pots in front of the house -- as I have done for years. I saved the tubers last year but lost them and didn't get them indoors and they froze. I found them this spring. I feel so guilty! It won't happen again.
I haven't done much gardening for a week, but I plan to start in earnest, tomorrow.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Well, don't take this wrong, but I did not intend to have dahlias this year; however, two got sent to me, and they got stuck in the huge-io pots with the glads, and they are Coming Up Big Time now. I feel like there is etheric brass band music for their emergence or something, fanfare of royal trumpets like, they have such a presence and that's only the first leaves and stem.

haha the dahlias are the brass section -- French horns! -- the glads are the woodwinds -- clarinets probably -- and the other little things in those pots are flutes and piccolos. ;-) Oh, the morning glory is the violin probably, and the one I ripped its cotyledons off trying to remove the seed case is *doing fine* to my great amazement and gratitude!

Today I planted only the woolly thyme I got for the bald spot, and the two veronicas. Then later on I went and moved one of the veronicas because it seemed if I did not the ants would groom it into nothingness. Too close to their domain I reckon. I am wondering what gnarly rock gardeny thing I could put in that spot that they would give up on, it does need a little something. But it has to be little. That veronica would have been perfect but it just was not gnarly enough.

So searching for something little but gnarly.

Paj, is there a miniature Iris with thorns? LOL!




This message was edited May 23, 2009 8:35 PM

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Sorry, kyla, I have never heard of a miniature iris with thorns. Perhaps what you need is a small cactus, like the claret cup. Those are in bloom right now, here, gnarly but beautiful.

Glad to hear that your dahlias are starting to grow. Sometimes life gives us opportunities we didn't plan on. Hope you enjoy them!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

How luvly that you were gifted dahlias! I like that person alot!

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Me too! ;-)

Santa Fe, NM

Dahlias do have a lot of presence. Today in the garden, between rain showers, I cut my lemon balm back. Then I washed the cuttings, dried them in the salad spinner, and put them in nylon net hammocks in the studio to dry for tea. Later, D.H. and I got the water feature going! There are 3 hammocks like this. I sort of swing them around and fluff them up to make sure the air circulates. I like to pick the lemon balm before the bugs get at it.

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Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

What a great idea. And then do you use it for tea? I have lots of lemon balm. Could use some suggestions of what to do with it.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Today in the garden, I got the lawnmower going for this year. My grass was about 2 ft. high because I have been gone for most of May and DH is not the yard type. Has probably never mown a lawn in his life. This is always the hardest part thing I do every year. I have learned to start the lawnmower in the spring by dumping out any old gas left in the tank from the previous year. Who knew that gasoline goes bad? Then I use DH's socket set to remove the spark plug. If it is dirty I buy a new one. If not I spray ether in the hole, quickly put the spark plug back in its socket and push the little rubber button that pumps gasoline into the carburetor manually. Then I pull the cord. This time it started the first time. Yippee and I began mowing my jungle.
This is definitely a rite of spring for me. After that mowing my teeny weeny long is no big deal. But I am not an internal combustion person, if I can help it. I must now go through a similar process for the weed whacker and my brand new chipper shredder. Life is one eternal lesson, believe me. Mine is in the internal combustion engine.
But my iris are blooming magnificently. Will post new pictures tomorrow. Those of you who wanted iris, do dmail me and let me know. I will soon start digging them, now that I know which iris is which.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Good job, Paj! My DH struggled with our lawnmower when we had to start cutting the grass this year (not a job we had in AZ, lol!)... then eventually got it going. As you say, gas goes bad, spark plugs need cleaning or changing. Yet, I am glad that is not my job, I have enough jobs already!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I wish my DH were willing and able in this department but in his family it was not done!

Santa Fe, NM

I use the lemon balm for tea. I have also used it in baths. Sort of like being in a giant tea cup, I suppose.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Oh, I could sure use being in a giant tea cup of lemon balm. I ache all over.

I started the day planting nine tomato plants in the ground, which does not sound so bad except they are huge so I basically dug about a 16 foot long trench so I could lay as much of the stems down in the ground as possible to make a big root ball fast. Big root balls make great tomato factories.

Then add soil amendments, microbes, food for the microbes, fill the trench, steadying the plant stems upright as I worked. Get them going up their nylon strings, removing suckers as needed. Forgot to mention as I removed these plants from their pots I immersed the root ball in a bucket of water with vitamin b and algoflash (for minerals) so it was completely saturated before delicately positioning the long and breakable plant in place. After all that, the plants still manage to be thigh to waist high on me, even with stems buried. Oh, and replaced the mulch too.

Then I finished a painting, Decided to plant my five tubs, big flower pot, and raised stone planting bed by the porch. This is big enough project for a day, like the nine tomato plants, as far as my sore body is concerned. But the guy with back hoe who was supposed to be here days ago finally showed up on twenty minutes notice.

I directed the clay soil to be dumped on my outer east ring of the big round garden, as that part of the big round holds water as well as a sieve and drives me crazy all summer. This will fix it. Had him smooth out a part of the northwest corner of the spare lot that needed it.

But, between the two loads of clay soil he brought in the bucket of the back hoe, I hastily moved 6 wheelbarrow loads of grass clippings that were in the way. I moved those into the big triangle garden, which still remains an appalling wreck.

Then I nearly finished the tubs and stone bed before I ran out of light. A few alyssum and lobelia to go and it is done. So am I!

I don't even want to think about leveling and distributing the clay soil in the big round with a shovel, or the remaining 40 plus tomato plants that desperately need to be in the ground too.

Santa Fe, NM

I could send you some dried lemon balm but it wouldn't get there in time for your current aches! With all the rain we've been getting it might take awhile. I threw out several jars of dried herbs from 2007 today. I didn't dry any herbs in 2008 except lemon verbena. Usually, I dry lavender but took last year off from that, too. Looks like I will have a fair amount to dry this year. It is just barely starting to bloom now. We are supposed to have rain every day for the forseeable future and it is only getting up in the 60's for a high so that may slow things down. Sounds like you had a very productive day, Mulch! Oh, and I also took over 100 pictures today. Threw out only about 25, so I know I need to throw out some more!

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Mulch, wow, what a productive day! I am tired just reading it, but I am also tired from all I did (which had nothing to do with the garden)... lots of cleaning and maintenance work on the motorhome. Anywhooooo, I'd love to see pictures of your progress!

Roybird, can't wait to see your pics!

Brenda

Santa Fe, NM

Brenda, I made a new thread for water features so you can see what I've been up to. Post some of your pond there, too! I saw some of your pics but I forget which thread they were on. I love water stuff!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Pictures of your beds would be nice, Mulch - if you have time to do that with doing 2 days' projects in 1.

Hope you at least have a self-propelled mower Pajarito.

I'll have to add Lemon Balm to my herb list.

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