Thursday, June 29, 2006


I think I need to get a suet feeder. This morning there was a red-bellied woodpecker sitting on the deck and pecking away at the seed I had out. First off, a wood pecker sitting on a horizontal surface looks silly. And pecking away almost sideways to pick up the seed was even sillier.

But obviously, the suet needs of woodpeckers in my neighborhood are not being met. And that needs to change. Which means a suet cake feeder. The ants will just love me.

My hostas loved all the rain and are blooming. The one little nasturtium has put up a reddish-orange flower, which I haven't been able to photograph well. I'll keep trying. But in the meantime, here are some garden shots from last week, before the rain started. First up is my rearranged birdbath garden.

And the newly extended hosta garden, sans the purple beebalm I just planted.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sorry Agnes

Well, records are broken and evening showers still plague the area. Had another creek in the parking lot this afternoon. Anyway, in DC, it is the wettest June on record, which beats Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Not to mention, our 30% (nearly six inch) deficit turned into a 32% (over six inch) surplus. Good for the water table, but bad for flooding.

In the midst of all this, I visited my mom last weekend for her birthday. It went swimmingly, although, they did have a power outage when she woke up on her birthday. While there, I hijacked some grown beebalm plants. My seedlings just aren't growing up. The fun part was that I dug them up in the rain, and then planted them in the rain. My poor yard is so soggy, that when I lifted up a shovelfull of dirt, the hole was filled with water. It is probably still the same today.

But still, I don't think we have to worry about wildfires from fireworks this weekend. Do you?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Soggy Weekend

Well, on the tail end of last week's heat, came a humid weekend. 100% humidity weekend. Water falling from the skies weekend. A weekend so damp and drenching, that even a Florida Hurricane blog commented on it. My little rain gauge overflowed, which means more than nine inches of water fell this weekend. Silly me didn't empty it before last night's big storm, so I don't know precisely how much rain fell.

We did not get any flooding in our little development, but the flood plane was hard at work as always. The best part about the soggy ground, is how easily the dandelions are pulled out. I mean grab the leaves and the whole root comes out easily.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Summer

Happy Summer Solstice!

It's been summer here for a couple days. Temperatures are in the low 90s and there is no breeze to speak of here. Which is why my front lawn is starting to look like a jungle. It's too hot to mow. Although, it is now looking like a brightly colored jungle, since the neighborhood kids seem to have had a waterballoon fight outside my place and there are lots of bits of rubber laying about. I need to go out and pick that up.

The petunias are not happy on the deck. I can't figure out if it is the intense sun, or the dirt just drains too quickly. Two of the seedlings have bit the dust. Everything else seems good. My hydrangea is blooming away and so is the amaryllis. I think those blooms are finally dying, but the display has been nice.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Roaming About

Well, it's a beautiful day, that is probably going to hit the 90s temperature-wise. However, the sun is way too bright to take pictures. I'll get some of the new garden arrangements soon. It's hard to keep track in the mind.

Last night, I planted seedlings while Zeppe roamed about. Several petunias were added by the bird bath and the new garden by the hostas. Some dwarf morning glories and a few more sunflowers and butterfly weeds were added to the bird bath garden. I also stuck a few more beebalm seedlings in with the primroses beside the shed. Two more beebalms were placed in the extended hosta bed.

Then I attacked the weeds. I've been smothering grass by the fence with the cable with grass clippings for awhile now. But some of the grass and dandelions right at the fence think of it as mulch. So, I took my trusty trowel and proceeded to dig them out. It was amazing the shear amount of earthworms and pill bugs and spiders roaming around in that mulchy verge. You rarely think of earthworms as being above ground creatures, but there they were. Makes me glad I was wearing my gardening gloves. Those spiders did not look happy at being disturbed.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Peony Sins

Forgive me, Peony, for I have moved you. My peonies which were absent-mindedly planted in the shade are less than two feet tall. Not at all the height a normal herbacious peony should be. Since I feared that the rhisome would not be able to store up enough energy to get through the winter, I moved them out of season, so there would be time to establish themselves. As it turned out, the poor things had not really established root systems. Which is not good.

Two plants were placed in the new garden, and the other four were moved to the opposite side of the birdbath garden. They will actually get sun there. While I was moving them, I spotted two milkweed seedlings which had bounced back after whatever had gotten them. I took those seedlings out to put the peonies in. Then, I moved the birdbath to where the peonies had been, since the birds don't need sun to bathe. The milkweed seedlings went where the bird bath had been.

I hope my peonies forgive me and establish roots.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Now in Bloom

I've got quite a few things in bloom now. The lamium, the primroses, the clover, the dandelions and a few volunteer johnny-jump-ups in the front yard. I'll dig up the johnny-jump-ups this week before I mow the lawn and then put them someplace a little safer. My amaryllis opened up. It's getting a beating outside, but that doesn't seem to have dimmed its spirits.

The lantana are blooming as well. Only one cutting made it over the winter and through repotting. It is the white one.

And finally, my hydrangea is opening up. Still a lovely blue, but I think I'll have to amend the soil this year. It seems to be tending towards pink.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Less Lawn, More Weeds

I enlarged one of the hosta beds under the deck, to make mowing a bit easier. So, I ripped sod up. I transported that sod, to a low spot under the rainspout. It was heavy work with the shovel. Then after improving the soil, I plopped in two lily tuffs, that my dad had given me. I plan to place one or two of my peonies into this space, and then sticking in a couple beebalm seedlings.

My back and calf muscles are still complaining about the heavy lifting. On the not so heavy lifting front, I potted up some of my petunia seedlings. Since I find myself with a wealth of petunia seedlings, I over planted the pot a bit. I can always thin it out later, or transfer them to a different pot.

I've been getting a good bit of rain, more than is falling at the airports, but then again, my neighborhood always gets more rain, so we're still running low. But it is encouraging everything to bloom!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Quick Trim

Yesterday, between the raindrops, I mowed my back yard. That clover grows thick! And I used the trimmings to mulch around one of the heather plants and the edge of the iris bed. I'm trying to enlarge it slightly. Then I trimmed the holly bush out front. It was looking great, but it was attacking anyone who ventured near the mailbox. Mostly new growth had to come off. And I cleaned up some of the downed daffodil leaves and weeds in the front bed.

I also planted a large pot with petunia seedlings. My lantana is starting to bloom, finally.

And it turns out that I had not one, but two flower stalks on my amarylis. Unfortunately, I discovered this because one of the storms last night broke it off. Boooo! But, the one that survived is going to bloom in the next couple of days. Yea!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Previous Tenants

Well, it's been a rough week precipitation-wise. Oh, the beautiful sunny days are a real pleasure, but we're almost at a six inch rain deficit. They are starting to talk about D-R-A-U-G-H-T. Yuck! And then we hear about poor New England getting hit with a highly unseasonable storm that drenches them yet again. :(

But the sunshine is good for taking pictures. Here are two of the plants that are blooming in my yard at the moment. First is this groundcover under the rhododendrons. I should know the name of the groundcover, but it is escaping me at the moment.

Then out by the shed are these yellow flowers, which I just don't know the name to.

While I was photographing the yellow flowers, I notice something black under one of the leaves. It was a little moth. Someone has since identified it as a grape leaffolder moth. The photo does not do it justice. There was also bright blue lines on the wings. The weird thing is I just had a little grape vine sprout by my front step.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

And Today -- Pictures

The transplanted grass and clover is still green, so that's a good thing.

A picture of my newly planted iris. They are the short ones with the leaves yellowing from spending over a week in the house in a butter tub. Don't ask.

And a picture of them in bloom in my father's yard:

While I had my camera out, I took a picture of my hydrangea flower buds. It is getting ready to bloom! Isn't that cool?

While photograping my hydrangea, I noticed a tiny preying mantis on one of the buds. Isn't the little bug-muncher cute?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Mighty Clover

I got out in my garden last night. I enlarged the iris patch to add the six Tennesee iris that my dad gave me. We had gotten them over a decade ago from the uncle I had just visited. My mom got them on her previous visit when he was still in Tennessee. An heirloom of sorts.

While I was digging up the grass for the iris, I set aside a couple clumps with clover in them. After planting the iris, I took the grass out front and planted it in my front yard. The front yard is pretty scraggly, so I thought a transplant might help. Or at least some clover might take. We'll see how it goes. Then again, I'm moving it from full sun to partial shade.

I also got some pictures of the beach we visited in Florida on my photobucket account, finally. It is the John A. MacArthur State Park in West Palm Beach.

Monday, June 05, 2006


It was a beautiful, cool weekend, but I spent it inside watching a marathon of Serenity and Firefly capped off with X3. I'm so bad.

But the cool weather trend will continue for the next couple of days, so I will get outside to work on my yard. I need to enlarge my iris bed and plant some Tennesee Iris I got from my father.

And I need to relocate my peonies. I should have paid more attention before I planted them. They don't get near enough sun. They are very stunted and lost all the flower buds. I know I should really wait until they go dormant to relocate them, but I don't think that they will get enough energy to set buds for next year where they are, so move them now and hope for the best.

Friday, June 02, 2006


A broken AC has made it harder to get my pictures resized and posted than I thought. There was another interruption last night, as a line of very strong thunderstorms swept the area. It was so strong, I kept getting power fluctuations. Which convinced me that working on the computer wasn't the best thing in the world.

So, after I logged off, I went to watch the storm, which arrived within minutes. It looked like the first thirty seconds was pea-sized hail, but it melted so quickly, I'm not sure I actually saw it. (Moved from upstairs window to deck window to check and it wasn't there.)

There were at least three stunning lightning strikes nearby, and several waves of pouring rain. The only window that was open, was the one in the screen door, since that's the only one with a roof over it. Still, a glorious storm.

Which unfortunately, left behind a sauna this morning and lots of fog. :/