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.