September 05, 2009
The Japanese Beetles have been devastating the roses and whatever else takes their fancy (blackberry bushes that were loaded are stripped - I hope at least the bear and birds got some, we certainly didn't get any). So I was much surprised when I saw this by the patio:
This is supposed to be Distant Drums, but the coloring isn't quite right. Maybe it needs some "aging" before the yellowish highlights show up.
Glad I got a picture before the munching starts though!
July 12, 2009
Can't Give It Away
Last weekend, WS was doing a project in TAFKATFTS (the area formerly known as the fruit tree slope), and I had to get a bunch of phlox out of the way. The phlox has spread to a line of about 5 feet wide, from where it was originally planted (3rd picture down - and that is last year's pic). So, I pulled and cut of overgrowth for quite some time.
I placed the phlox (no soil) into large plastic pots, of which I have dozens from various plant buys. I gave four of those to the neighbor across the street, I planted two of them in other areas of the yard and I sent Cop Car two (15 pounds worth in those two pots - okay, subtract a bit for the box, but you get the idea).
I have been keeping the pots in the shade, and keeping them moist (Mother Nature did that for me most of last week), and they are still nice and green. Yesterday, I borrowed a table from the neighbor, and placed the remaining 5 pots on it next to the road:
Not a single taker. I have never put anything at the side of the road (usable stuff goes to the swap shop), but heard that it always works - not this time. Fortunately, Karen came by last night and took two off my hands for her daughter. The rest sat out in the rain last night and the signs and instructions are probably total messes that no one can read. I guess worse comes to worse, I can bury them out in the mulch pile out in the woods (where they won't root).
On a different note, I got blooms from a rose I picked up earlier this year, and which has been sitting in the planter on the railing by the front door. It gets enough rain there to keep watered, but not so much that it ruins the blooms (as the rain has done to most of the roses):
My fingers show how small the blooms are - well, only if you know how small they are. So, for those that don't posses that particular knowledge, the blooms are about 1.5" in diameter. And all the blooms in that picture, are off one spray - it is loaded with sprays over the entire (small) plant.
And this isn't quite a garden picture, but this was in the sky on Friday evening:
The clouds are supposed to lift this morning, and we should have another beautiful day.
May 27, 2009
New Rose Round Up
Last spring and fall I got several own root roses, from a couple of iternet nurseries. I potted them up and then late in the fall I sunk the pots into the ground in the vegetable garden to overwinter. This spring, once the ground thawed (early to mid April), I pulled the potted roses up and set them on the deck until I was ready to plant them.
Many of them did well, although a couple were unimpressive. Here is a list and how they fared thru the winter
- Portlandia - a climber, rated good
- Westerland - a climber, rated good
- Robert Clements - rated acceptable
- Louise Clements - rated good
- Distant Drums - rated great (and is newly planted by the porch)
- Fragrant Masterpiece - poor, there has been no sign of life even at this point (5/26/09)
- Star of the Nile - rated great. This one was good to zone 6, or zone 5 with protection. Obviously it liked the straw I used to buffer it from the elements.
- Dupuy Jamain - a thornless rose, rated good
- Barn Dance - which has sparse thorns, rated acceptable, turned crispy and seems to be dying at this point (5/26/09)
- Blush Hip - an Alba, rated as excellent (newly planted)
- Excellenz Von Shubert - a climber, rated at great (newly planted)
- Mary Rose - An Austin rose that is shade tolerant, rated as excellant (newly planted)
- Yolanda d'Aragon - Old Garden Rose (OGR) rated as excellant (newly planted)
- Lady of the Mist - rated as great
- Foolish Pleasure - a large mini, rated as acceptable but has since put on an energetic burst of growth that is truly amazing and makes me think more highly of it.
- Pearlie Mae - rated as great (newly planted)
- The Impressionist - a climber, rated at great
- Jeri Jennings - named after a highly regarded rosarian, is shade tolerant and rated as excellant (newly planted)
- Autumn Sunset - rated as acceptable,
- Oshun - rated as poor and there is no sign of life at this point (5/26/09). The website did say zone 6 or 5 with protection. I figured being covered with straw would protect it enough - guess not.
Keep in mind that I bought all on the information that they were at least good for zone 5 and were considered very hardy. The rating system is completely subjective and the ratings given when I pulled the pots from the ground. Any that have since seemed to change (either for the good or the bad), have been noted. Here are the rating definitions:
- Poor - No sign of growth or leaves at all
- Acceptable - some signs of growth, with only a couple of leaves
- Good - a good candidate for survival, will need a couple more weeks in the pot before transplanting
- Great - Very strong growth; lots of new leaves and would have no hesitation in transplanting at that time.
- Excellant - Very strong growth; lots of new leaves, new shoots and tip growth. Probably could have been transplanted weeks ago.
It seems that I may have 2-3 casualties but it could be worse, almost all grafted roses that I have planted or kept potted have given up the ghost (silly me, tried to beat the odds).
May 02, 2009
Rainbows At Home
And speaking of roses, I scored a couple of Rainbow Knock Out roses at the local Shaws. These, unlike the red ones that I have, have a light scent to them.
Hu, walked into the store intending to buy $6 worth of pork chops (in honor of Swine, H1N1, The-Other-White-Meat, It's all Bush's Fault, whatever else it's being called, flu), and walked out with some roses I have been coveting for a couple of years.
Searching for a Rose
Recieved an email yesterday from someone who was looking for a Softee rose. She must have run across a post from years ago listing some of the roses I had ordered.
It seems that Softee cannot be found on the market anymore. However, by doing a little research on HelpMeFind, I determined that Softee was now called "Jefferson" and could be found at several reputable online retailers. I emailed my findings from the searcher, wishing her luck.
This morning, I found in my email:
Success! I sent an e-mail to Angel Gardens to determine whether their
"Jefferson Rose" was indeed Softee - and it turns out that her mother
plant was indeed bought as Softee.
Thanks again for the information, and for your kind response to my
You are welcome searcher - and thank you for letting me know that the findings of my research were correct, but also that you appreciated my efforts (little as they were).
Enjoy your new rose!
August 31, 2008
Guardians of the Deck and Garden
I got some roses from Heirloom Roses the other day (actually ordered a while ago but slated for late August delivery). They do an excellent job protecting the plants in the shipping container. I was outside unwrapping them from their shipping cradle, when I noticed a cat in the discarded papers:
Fuzzy, like probably every cat that I've known (with the exception of Tory), seems to have a penchant for newspaper paper.
Last weekend I was picking goodies from the vegetable garden when I came across two guardians:
I think froggy was actually looking to make a meal of above spider (well, maybe not - they were about the same size), but I scared him off and had to chase him down for a picture. If he hadn't of jumped while I was taking the picture of the spider, I never would have known he was there.
June 14, 2008
First Rose Flush of 2008
I was so excited the other day when I got out to check out the flower gardens - there is so much in bloom! I was especially delighted with the roses.
Without further ado, let's get to the Rose pictures:
From the deck planters, where there are potted up roses that I recieved this year, comes Excellenze Von Schubert, a Polyantha rose. This bunch is off the end of one tiny little branch (the plant is only 12-16" tall). The blooms are on the small side, but are fragrant. When the plant grows up, it is going to be stunning covered with its flowers and probably have a power house of a fragrance that will announce itself well before getting close to the shrub.
Armide, and Alba rose, was planted last year but I have never seen it bloom (it is a once bloomer). I was hesitant to get any once bloomers, but it looks like this one is a winner. The shrub has already grown to about 2 feet tall/wide and is covered with buds. I believe it is supposed to bloom for several weeks, then the show is over. It looks like it should be worth it though!
Many other roses are setting buds so will be opening soon. I can't believe how many made it thru the winter. I have found a few that either did not survive, or are very sickly looking even now so may not make it thru the summer. I will supply a list later, when I am positive about the results. But for the most part, I have been pleasantly surprised!
November 17, 2007
Start of Late Fall Pics
These are probably the last of the flower pics for this year. This is a mystery rose, that was supposed to be Absolutely, but was obviously mis-marked (Absolutely is a yellow blend - the company did replace it). I was amazed that it bloomed after we had had frost for several nights:
Well, if there are no more flower pics, then I guess I have to entertain you with bird pics. First Here is a titmouse:
Then there is a goldfinch and a woodpecker. I am only using this picture as it came out the best for the goldfinch (my other goldfinch pic is a bit blurry):
A better one of the woodpecker (I am unsure if this is a Downey or if it is a juvenal Hairy - it sure seems to be a juvenal):
I haven't gotten any good pictures of White Breasted or Red Breasted Nuthatches, but one day I will get one to sit still for a nanosecond and snap a shot!
November 10, 2007
Last of Film Rose Pics
I finally got the last of the film developed and came out with a couple of good rose pictures.
The first two pics are of Chicago Peace. I find it interesting that one of the blooms is split almost directly down the middle; one 1/2 with normal coloring and 1/2 cream:
The next picture is of Moondance. This rose really outdid itself as a first year plant; sending out blooms galore. This picture will look odd until you realize I was laying on my back because the blooms were so heavy they weighed down the cane until it almost reached the ground (the ground being the driveway which is about 2 feet lower than ground level of the rose). All the blooms are off of one stem, which after this picture was taken was immediatly cut and put in a vase. There are buds you can't see in the picture, so this one stem gave me over a week of blooms:
I can't wait until next year to see what these plants can do!
August 19, 2007
Hodge-Podge of Doings
I picked the first tomatoes of the season on Friday. None of them were truly ripe, but I wasn't going to wait for chipmunks to do any taste-testing. I also picked 3 green peppers. Wow, that is an increase of approximately 10001% over what I have picked in previous years (remember, I had already picked a couple last week).
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I spent yesterday in flea-fighting mode. Prince got a fleabath and dip (he went for a run earlier in the day and got muddy). Missy got a good brushing (she is shedding horribly, then got some of the stuff you put on their backs. After Prince dried off, he also got the same stuff. The whole house got sprayed too (cats and dogs were out and Birdie was locked away in the back room.)
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Birdie probably thought he was being punished. The back room is still full of boxes of books and other stuff from the den. The only place to put Birdie's cage was on the floor, so he couldn't even look out the windows.
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I am slowly working on getting things put to rights in the den. I cleaned out the front bedroom Friday night (some of which was plant stuff - it got put in the lean-to) so that work-outs can be done in more than a 4 square ft area. I also got one box of books placed in the new book case. I started on another box, but the a lot of series got split up, so I have to find the mates to the books before they can be put away. Oh yeah, in my copious free time I will be doing that.
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Friday I signed up for two classes; Circuit Analysis and Elementary Functions (a math class that is a co-requisite). I will be at class from 5:30 until 10:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays starting the week of Labor Day (Monday class doesn't start till the next week) until December 19. I am still unsure how I am going to get all the tomatoes canned while taking classes, but I am sure I will find a way.
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Yesterday the local Agway had shrubs and trees on sale for 30% off. I got some Viburnums to replace a couple of plants I ripped out last weekend from the shrub garden I put in last year. Those shrubs were not really liking the part shade, so I put them in pots and will figure out what to do with them next year. Perennials were at 20% off (which I had been waiting for) so I got a bunch of hostas to place in an area that WS is working on. They will probably also be overwintered in their pots. Hey, and the Agway Manager gave me 40% off the shrubs and 30% off the hostas instead of the posted discounts (we practically support an employee so he gives us discounts on darn near everything anyway).
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I got 3 more roses planted late yesterday afternoon; Oklahoma, Honor and Soaring Spirits were placed in their permanent homes. I only have two more full-sized roses to get in the ground. I also have several minis, a climber and two rugosas to plant, but I am getting there.
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And that folks, is pretty much all the exciting new I have for this week.