Monday, August 3, 2015

Pond in the late summer

Water Lettuce and Water Hyacinth is out of control as usual for the hot weather. I found a  large glass bowl and placed several on the table  as a centerpiece. Been removing a lot of it to the compost heap and it still keeps coming. That is Joe Pye weed arching over the water and it attracts lots of bees and butterflies but its a bit of a nuisance this time of year. When it rains it nearly touches the water.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Late Summer

Nice basket combo this year, Dragon wing begonia, potato vine and bacopa
Boston Fern...I wish they grew inside this well

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Potting Cabinet

Looking for the perfect piece to use as storage on the covered patio to store all the garden implements that get out of hand we found this cabinet at At Home. Not the nicest piece of furniture but great for this purpose. With a few baskets inside, it keeps all my gloves, pruners and Spray bottles neat and out of sight as well as the fish food and other things. Should stay pretty dry all summer and need a cover in the winter. Probably needs a bit of paint in some green color to make it a little more outdoorsy?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Growing season

Happy Hydrangea

Happy fishes growing like weeds

ice plant going crazy this year

Friday, June 19, 2015

Progessive show

This pot is doing well despite the frequent foraging by squirrels and foraging for God knows what.

Miniature Lillium Asiatics

The first Coneflower blooms with more mini Asiatics

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Thermacell Convert

Its only been 2 evenings of sitting outside but you would think there are no insects out. I bought a Thermacell form Cabela's as Walmart was out. They are in the camping section and come in a variety of colors so I got a pink camo one cause it was cheaper. I'll never change.

So you load a butane cartridge up and place a blue pad on the little plate. Turn it on and hit the starter. It puts out a little heat, dissipates whatever is impregnated in the pad and presto, no bugs. I mean none not even a fly! I am in love with the outdoors again!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Mosquito invasion

It's been a long wet spring and early summer so the mosquitoes have been out in force. It makes sitting in the yard unpleasant to say the least but what are you to do? I almost hate the spray on products as much as the bites. We do use a Lemon Eucalyptus product from Cutter that at least smells OK but I did a little research on natural products that might help.

I was surprised to find that Lemon Balm, a noxious weed in our yard is actually great for mosquito repelling. I am sorry I sprayed so much of it out now but it is hard to kill and I did notice it is staging a comeback. Lavender seems to be a popular repellent also and I can get on board with that.

Cabela's sells a  little device ThermaCell that operates on a butane cartridge that appears o work also. I may have to stop and pick one up today.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Love your yard

Have I told you how much I LOVE being in the yard despite the new rush of buzzing insects that have apparently arrived?  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. It is so tranquil and quiet in our neighborhood with most of our residents being our age and the occasional grandchild can be heard squealing but for the most part, just peace. We have new neighbors directly behind us and I was so excited to not see a swing set being set up! I know that is selfish but the unbroken silence nearly every weekend is like heaven on earth. we have literally made the back yard a haven. Softly tumbling water, greenery abounds and the occasion spot of flowering color. Read, nap or dine we do it all back here.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hosta inventory

Big boy this is Blue Angel and he is massive this year. I believe Earth Angel is beside getting crowded out a bit

Another large species Winter Snow

Picked for the bright leaves to brighten up this darker spot

Another large hosta might be Drinking Gourd?

Blue Angel with Liguilaria

Assorted unamed as of yet specimens


A view from the other direction

Late afternoon sun on the falls

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Veggies are in and up....

We had a lot of great tomatoes and zucchini last year so this year we repeated all, added a few more and a friend gave us a few cabbage and zucchini also. I had planted several rows of zucchini, acorn squash and cucumbers. We have not had a lot of luck with cukes in the past but maybe this year will be different. Brenda bought several sunflower varieties for cut flowers but so far I am not seeing them emerge just yet.

This week promised to have a bit more sun so maybe that will nudge things along. Our peonies have not yet bloomed fully and the pond lilies are sluggish mostly from the lack of sunshine I am  sure. all of the hostas have taken off and the Mezoo Red is gaining momentum but it likes it hot and sunny too.

The pots of gladiolas have stalled just a bit with the last cold front moving through but they will gain some this week also with a healthy dose of sunshine.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pond Love

You have to love the sound of water splashing and the sight of all kinds of wildlife creeping about and drinking from the running water. Birds, squirrels and flying insects of all sorts.

These photos were taken the last few years as our pond transitions into maturity. I always complain in the early spring about starting her up. Mucking out the sludge (which super starts my compost ) and repairing winters ravage. There is always the melancholy of losing a plant or two and a fish or two. I stopped obsessing over fish after a mink or ferret  cleaned out my 6 year old Koi and now I only purchase feeder goldfish which get surprisingly as the season progresses.

Last year I took pity on them and rounded them up to a tank in the garage where they fared very well but were happy to be back in the pond a few weeks ago. While I bought all of these fish as feeders, there are quite a few fancy goldfish in the mix with long fantails and fins. They are much more responsive this year and swim up readily to be fed a few fish flakes.

 All in all, once established, the pond pretty much is it's own ecosystem. I rarely intervene after the water clears and the fish and plants keep algae to a minimum and you can see clear to the bottom most days.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hosta Heaven

A few weekends ago we went to the Flying Frog Hosta farm in Indianola Iowa. Great little out of the way spot to pick up a few hostas that we have been looking for. We were in Des Moines to visit friends and took a road trip to the farm.

As we keep adding to our collection we find more and more places and less shady places that the hosta seem to thrive in. Both Mouse Ears and Blue Angel above are partial sun and shade and do very well. We probably should divide Mouse Ears now as he is getting too large for his space. We just love the large leaves and color on the Blue Angel and we have an Earth Angel too with a more variegated leaf.

Fork you Rabbits!

Sounds nasty doesn't it but what these rabbits are doing to my new plants is obscene. I have cover most everything but the best idea I saw (if it actually works) is to use forks, tines up, as a barrier for the hungry beasts. So far so good. The neighbors think we are a bit odd but hey, that's my money going to feed the wildlife so...all's fair.

Oh yes even the squirrels are in on the feast so my pots got forked also.