Monday, September 28, 2009

Miscellaneous Monday

I've been busy recently with work being done on the house (insulation, check, just in time for cooler weather!), followed by a much needed vacation (when I wasn't going through the still need to do to the house list or the job hunting list) to Cape Cod. Today I took a stroll around the garden to see what's been going on recently. Here it is.

My pineapple sage has got buds. I'm not sure if it will bloom before it gets killed back by cold weather. This Salvia will be an annual in my climate so if I don't get a good fall bloom out of it I probably won't plant it again (although the foliage smells good).

I found this Contorted Filbert (Corylus avellana, also known at Harry Lauder's Walking Stick) on sale really cheap at a local nursery. I'm taking a chance. It was terribly pot bound and I spent over half an hour disentangling the root ball. I'm not thrilled with the result - I couldn't get it truly disentangled - so we'll see if it makes it long term. Still it's an interesting plant and was 1/3 what I'd have to pay for the same plant come spring so it's worth the risk.

Looks like the previous owner (or his landscaper) planted fall crocus. That's good. That means I don't have to buy any.

This is an odd growth on my climbing rose, Don Juan. I checked and it is coming from above the graft. I'm not sure if I should leave it or prune it off - is this a sign that's it's settled in and really starting to grow or a sport that I won't want. I'm going to have to do some research.

My potted lilies have surprised me with a repeat bloom. I'm planning to put these in the ground next month when bulb planting time arrives.

Fall is definitely starting. I came home to leaves all over the driveway and the yard. I'll be collecting the leaves up and using them as compost (I'll shred them first) or mowing them in situ - where they fell - as fertilizer for the grass. That's all the fertilizer my grass gets.

I'm still getting tomatoes (yippee!) on my cherry, grape and Roma plants. I didn't have as much luck with standard type tomatoes this year. I expect I'll be able to harvest tomatoes until the plants are killed off for the year. Yum.

I have some (hopefully) perennial violas planted at the base of my chimney where there is a very narrow patch of dirt. The violas looked good until August, when they died back in the heat, so I decided I could interplant with annual pansies. I hope the violas come back next year but if they don't this is a good spot for rotating annuals.

Fall is spider season. Spiders may be present year round but in the fall their numbers are higher, especially among the larger varieties. Combine that with the fact that people tend to be outside a lot and you get lots of people-spider encounters.

I haven't seen any orb weaver spiders in my garden but I did find these two. Hopefully by discontinuing the previous homeowners use of pesticides I'll attract some orb weavers.

My Blue something Hollies (Blue Girl? Blue Princess?) already have good berry loads but are getting one more bloom in before winter. I'm trying to figure out how to keep these shrubs but still do maintenance to the house - the leaking hose bib, a new paint job, replacing rotting wood near the leaking hose bib. Last winter the berries above the show disappeared early and every time we had a significant melt the birds would mob the bushes to get at the newly exposed berries.

My Aster oblongifolis is still in the early stages of blooming. Look at all the buds still to open. I love the exuberance of this plant, as well as how late in the year it will bloom.

OK. So this Greater Yellowlegs wasn't in my yard. I saw her on Cape Cod. Bird (including this one) are migrating through our area right now so it's a good time to be bird watching. You never know what you'll see. Look closely, she's got a fish.


  1. Hello,

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  2. I know this is nearly a year old, but I figured I'd tell you just in case you hadn't figured it out for sure. Absolutely DO NOT cut that new deep red cane growing out of the Don Juan. That's just how he likes to do it for some reason. I always get at least one, maybe two strong/thick/tall new canes like that one each season. I made the mistake of cutting one off the first time I saw it because it just didn't look normal. Also it had come right out of the root ball, and at the time I didn't realize that was exactly what I wanted it to do. Usually it happens sometime after the first big display of blooms when there are only a few sporadic blooms on the whole bush. Hope it worked out in the end! Will

  3. Hi, William. I didn't cut the cane back - I waited to see what the flowers looked like. Good thing I did! Thanks for the (belated) advice.