Monday, September 24, 2007

Summer Weather Lingers On

It was a beautiful last weekend of summer. The warm temperatures are going to stick around for most of this week too, although the nights are the typical autumn coolness. In fact, when I was out canoeing on Saturday, the early trees were starting to turn at the lake.

The garden is stuck between a sense of urgency to get it all accomplished before winter sets in, and not wanting to get it done too early so that everything sprouts and is killed. Still some of the clean up can get done.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jacket Weather

Autumn seems to have arrived a weekend early this year. I had to pull in all of my tropicals that were on the deck Saturday. It's been dipping down into the 40s at night. Monday morning I broke out the light weight jacket. No frost advisories yet, so that is good.

I've been slowly working on the weeds in my gardens. Granted, I wouldn't have had this problem if I had a better ground cover in the one bed. I need to plant earlier next year, so they can establish better, before the heat and slugs do them in.

Oh, another thing that I like and wouldn't do in my garden -- daliahs. I just don't want to dig up bulbs ever fall to replant the next summer.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Not In My Garden

Blackswamp Girl introduced a challenge to write about plants we like when we see them elsewhere, but never really want to put in our personal gardens. Normally, I don't do memes, but it is an interesting theme, and no tagging of other people!

1) Roses. I like roses. My mom has always had roses. But honestly, the care and upkeep required for most roses is beyond me. Especially pest control. I know there are easier roses out there, but I certainly don't want to play the game of finding which ones these are for my location.

2) Wisteria. Now, this is a plant I love and adore. I'd love to have it in my garden, except that it is a demolitions expert. It gets big and heavy and will pull down flimsy support, like your house. I certainly don't have the will to build something robust enough, especially when I rent.

3) Honeysuckle. I love the smell and it hearkens back to childhood, but I don't want to navigate the field of invasives and non-natives. If I'm going to have thugs, they're going to be native thugs. That and I don't have room for bushes.

4) Lantana. This is actually a plant I've had in the garden, but I lost patience with it. It has to be overwintered in my region and it is a pain in the house. It lived in a perpetual state of dying, and that smell when I went to deadhead it was terrible. Petunias and million bells fill the niche on the deck better and just need regular watering.

Honorary Mention (since it was here when I moved in)

5) Hosta. Sure, they look nice and cover lots of space, but I'd rather plant coral bells if I have the shade. They just look too big in my garden. And removing all those spent flower stalks is a pain. Besides, the big ones under my deck get plenty of sun and are hogging the space that a butterfly bush could be using....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Busted Rain Days

So, Gabrielle passed the DC metro by, preferring to concentrate all her fire on the Carolina coast, and then ride off into the sunrise. (Well, she turned East, at least.) And that is totally my fault. See, I planned on Gabby watering my plants this weekend while I was out of town. *sigh* They all bounced back, but it was a browning experience. :(

While I was away, I finished my 9/11 Memorial Quilt, titled "Blood, Smoke and Dust". I like it. The folks in at work liked it.

And the back so you can see the quilting.

Not the best pictures. The red is a little more uniform. I'll try again tomorrow for better. I've lost the light tonight and interior lights don't cut it. (As you can see.)

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Yesterday while I was walking to the car, my eyes fell upon the dead pine trees lining the walk. It isn't really their fault, since the added walkway involved massive clearing with heavy construction equipment. But I was eyeing them with trepidation all the same. Not because I mind dead trees creating environment for the wildlife, but rather because there's a system that will turn tropical and pelt the coast with some rain this weekend. Trees like that tend to come down in storms, that have a tropical pedigree around here.

And yet, while I was worrying about the weather, I heard a bird calling insistantly. I scanned the dead trees and finally spotted a flicker feeding. And I suddenly felt better about the trees.

There is also a golden (chrysanthe)mum now gracing my deck. I am weak at the grocery store, especially when they are fragrant.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Always When I'm Late

Aside from last week's big push to clean up, I've been distracted from the garden by another big push. A quilt to finish. Specifically my 9/11 memorial quilt. Now, admittedly, it has taken a bit long, but I did complete another quilt and have worked on two other tops in the years since 2001. But I am so close to finishing it this year for the anniversary. So, I've been racing ahead. Although, I think this is the last time I quilt with a quarter of an inch separation between the lines of stitches.

Now, with that in mind, we come to Saturday. As I'm finishing up my drink before heading out the door for Labor Day weekend fun times. Running late as it so happens as well. When by chance, I look out the screen door and see a hummingbird fly past. And land on the feeder. And take a drink. From the empty feeder that needs cleaned. She flew off seeking nectar that was actually there. But what is there to do when the first hummingbird of the year is spotted on an empty feeder, but to take time out to clean and refill the feeder?

I wouldn't feel too bad, there are two other feeders on the neighbor's deck, but my first sighting of the year. *sigh*