Monday, July 30, 2007

Steamy Outdoors

Well, after a couple days of feeling like the bathroom after you just got out of the shower, we finally received some rain. Not much rain, not near enough rain, but nothing to snear at either. Showers are still working their way through the area, there is hope for a little more at least.

At this point, I need a little bit more, before I feel comfortable mowing my back yard. There's something disturbing when you can see where you walked a couple days ago. I would like to keep the grass/clover ecosystem healthy back there. Good for the bees. Otherwise, I'd probably risk killing it by stress.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hydrangea Blues

My hydranea is doing beautifully. Even with the late frost that burned some of the tips. The only problem is that I don't know if I can repeat this feat next year. Why?

Because it is a lovely mix of pink, purple and blue flowers. Now, I prefer the blue ones, they coordinate better with my house. I just adore the purpleness of the flowers. And the pink are pretty too.

But because the colors are dependent on soil pH, this kind of transitional state is hard to accomplish, let alone maintain. The soil tends towards base. And I prefer acidic colors. I got around this by putting my Christmas tree needles around the base of the hydrangea last winter. But who knows what it will look like next year.

Oh, and a brief rant, work seems to have decided that the photo sharing sites take too much bandwidth now. :/ I can't look at picture gallaries online anymore. *cries* How am I supposed to get through the work day?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Washed Out

No, not the garden. I wish there had been some rain this weekend, though. Earth is starting to crack where the mulch isn't covering it. No, all my light colored flowers get washed out. I finally had a good mix of clouds and sun, but they are still a little faded.

First, the lone purplish beebalm.

It happens to be in a light pink clump that looks like this.

Hostas are so faintly purple, they're practically white.

The shed might be washed out, but the black-eyed susans are going strong.

However, no washed out colors over by the orange butterfly weed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Peony Progress

First, the black eyed susans are bursting into bloom. The leaves are a little ragged from all the munching bugs, but not too bad. More butterfly weed is popping up. The Monarch butterflies still haven't discovered this small stand.

My peonies are putting up new leaf stalks. Since this isn't normal peony behavior, I'm going to assume that is where the energy normally used to bloom went. The two main culprits are the ones that were looking the worst for wear. So, it is good to see them with more leaves. And since I am going to be renting this Little Blue House for at least another year, I'll get to see them bloom next year! And add more!

Monday, July 16, 2007


I caught sight of the black and white cat this morning. On my deck of all places. I'm pretty sure it is somebody's outdoor cat, becaus it has been around for at least two years. It is fleshy enough that someone is feeding it. But this is the first time I've spotted it in my yard. I can't say I'm happy to see it checking out the bird feeder.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fluorescent Pain

So, a couple weeks ago the fluorescent bulb in my aquarium burned out. Pain in the butt getting for a full spectrum bulb that size, much less how much they cost. But safely gotten and changed, and now I read the fine print on the box "Do not dispose of in trash". Huh?

While it has been sitting there waiting for me to figure out what to do with it, I heard a snippet on the radio. Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which we all know is pretty bad for the environment, especially my buddy the Chesapeake Bay. Even those "environmentally friendly" compact fluorescents. Yikes!

So, what does good ol' Mont Co have to help us safely dispose of such things? They recommend,
"Fluorescent bulbs and tubes -- including compact fluorescent bulbs -- from your home should be taken to one of our Household Hazardous Waste collection sites. However, if this is not practical, you may dispose of these bulbs and tubes in your normal household trash."
??? The trash? Throw mercury into the landfill. Wow. Burn electricity or bury mercury. Oh, wait, they do recommend wrapping the bulb in paper so it will be contained if the bulb breaks. Silly me, what was I concerned about? :(

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Hose

Well, I watered my garden. Not because of any need of water. Despite it being dry, it hasn't been that dry. Besides which, I grow hardy flowers that just need a little protection from an overly abundant slug popluation. A little drought won't affect them.

No, I watered them because I had the hose out. Why did I have the hose out? Because I needed to wash the salt water off of my canoe. :) Whoo-hoo! I had my little Pack out on the Bay! That was really fun while I was out there. I've been in pain ever since from the extreme workout. There was so much chop to compensate for. But I loved it.

However, between the sore muscles and the heat index around 100 degrees, I've been enjoying my flowers from inside this week. At least the hydrangea is right by the door...

Friday, July 06, 2007


So, I totally intended to post some photos of my yard. I really did. I took the photos, I even managed to download them to my computer (after a couple hours had passed). Except, I took them when the sun was clearly from the wrong direction and completely washed them out. That is when they were in focus. D'oh! Now, normally, I'd just go back out and take some more, except by then it had started to rain. And by the time I'd notice it was not raining, it would start by the time I got down the stairs. *sigh*

But other than that, we've been getting little storm cells drifting through on a regular basis the past two evenings. Not really enough rain to do anything, than make it steamy.

Monday, July 02, 2007


My next round of flowers has finally started. It turns out that I have the pink variety of beebalm. Which is odd, since I dug red and purple clumps out of my parents yard. Still, a very pretty color set against the hosta blooms. And the bees aren't complaining.

Unfortunately, my butterfly weed is bright orange. Normally, I wouldn't care (although I prefer the yellow variety that I collected seeds from) but I have bright fushia million bells right in front of it! Yikes! But I guess I can live with it. After all, I was worried that the million bells were doomed after the snails got them. I should be happy for a come back.