Friday, June 25, 2010

Break from the heat

It has been very, very hot lately, so to sit here this morning in the cool, with the windows open, is a treat. Not for long though, there are many things to do while the weather is so energizing. I didn't do any weeding, dead heading, etc for the last few days, watering was about all I could manage. And then then only when absolutely necessary.
Oh, I did plant some more pumpkin seedlings, as the squirrels through out most of the first batch. I started them in a new spot, in the back, where the yard was all dug up for our septic problem last month. Plenty of room there! The soil, as it used to be a lawn, is more or less just fill. So starting from scratch, I dug a hole for each peat pot I planted, adding some compost, a handfull of dead leaves, and after backfilling I topped each off with some peat moss.
That was how I turned the front into a good garden, bit by bit supplementing the soil with organic stuff. Works like a charm, over time. The leaves, and some vegetable peelings, break down into nice friable soil. Easy to plant, and the plants thrive.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cleaning the Gutters/Compost Harvest

What a miserable task, so I procrastinated, as usual. But really, it didn't take long, and all that mess is actually perfect for the compost heap, as it is half rotted already. I love it when I get a reward for doing what I have to do anyway.

My composting is very simple. I don't use a bin, but keep a pile in a quiet corner of the yard. This is also available from a window, so I can easily add my vegetable peelings, eggshells, tea bags etc, all year long. I add the soil from flower pots at the end of the season, Starbucks is very obliging with free bags of coffee grounds, and all in all I can always get a few shovels full when I need them. It just needs to be turned occasionally.

I usually add some chopped up dead leaves to my containers, too. This has the advantage of filling up space, which conserves potting soil, as well as enriching and conditioning the soil. Try it, easy and effective.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Now

The first zinnia is now blooming, and I found tiny Cypress Vine seedlings in their home around the pool fence. These are signs of true summer, and when I spotted them the other day, I was thrilled. I could hardly wait to tell my friend Leni about them. But that won't happen. She told me she'd be up in the afternoon, I waited to tell her until I could show her. But she never came, and never will again. Rest in peace, my friend.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


So the steady rain of the last few hours has stopped, and the sun is struggling through. Which makes it a good growing day, everything nice and wet, then warmth and sun following.

I'm planting some of my latest hypertufa pots this afternoon, I'm doing a batch for shade. I have Persian Shield, tiny palm trees, this fabulous purple spilling plant (whose name I don't know), and I'm sure I'll find lots of other stuff out there to add. It will be nice to sit on the cool patio under my porch and enjoy a miniature landscape. I have some beach rocks for decoration, can't wait to get started. Pictures next time!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Plants for Shade

My shade containers are finally coming together. Much more low maintenance, as they don't dry out too quickly. With a little planning you can have plenty of color, too.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rainy day, time to thin the zinnias

My zinnia seeds are finally popping up, in the garden, and in the whiskey barrels. Of course, even though I tried to space them properly when I planted them, rain and wind and probably squirrels muddled them about. Now they are in clusters, which will fight each other for space. Today will be perfect for gently pulling them out and separating them. The trauma will be eased by the lack of hot sunlight, and the rain. In a few short weeks, they'll have shot up and started to bloom, can't wait.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Me vs. the Squirrels, Part 2

This morning I opened my front door to find an odd sort of debris on the walk, which I realized had come from the gutters. The squirrels must have gone foraging there for seeds and what not. I was briefly tempted to line peanuts up all along the gutters, but the little @#$% have become so bold, I don't want to encourage them to be too near the house. I'd like them to be 200 ft. from the house at all times. At least!