Showing posts with label daylilies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label daylilies. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spring has sprung! I say that with all confidence, despite the likelihood of a couple more snow storms (this is Wisconsin, after all). This was my temp Saturday morning though.......the sky was clear too, and showing off another halo around the sun........it was even warm enough to open the windows and let in some fresh air. This made the cats very happy of course, adding a scent dimension to their birdwatching.But look at all the snow that remains!Pretty deep still, too........but it's not stopping some bulbs from showing themselves.........they seem to pop up the second the snow is away... ....of course the ones next to the house along the southern foundation are ahead. This one is really exciting....
....Arum dracunculus that I just planted last year! I can't wait to see this thing, although I'm not so sure about the smell of the bloom ("putrid" to attract insects for pollination).
The river is opening up, too........there's a lot of noise associated with breaking ice, sounds like glass breaking or even a large building groaning and rumbling sometimes.......fun to watch the big chunks float by.....(yea, I take a lot of breaks for ice watch, duck watch, etc. :) More life in the wooded areas of the yard, too...
...even this shady area is melting nicely.......but as the snow melts away, I see this white fuzz all over the place.What is this stuff? It looks webby...winter spiders?! As I clear brush that had been under the snow, I see some of it on this stick...hmmm. I'm betting it's a mycelium run of some kind, because in the areas where snow melted and the sun has been shining awhile, this webby stuff is dried up and barely visible. Funny to think of "fungus" under the snow.
More macro fun...I love to investigate this stuff close-up....

....it's like some tiny little garden that I didn't have to plant! Colorful, too.
Ah, and look at these nice fat buds on the birches...leaves are comin'! Uh oh! I think my poor old prickly pear cactus is done-for! Oh well, I want to re-do my cactus area anyway, so I guess it won't need to be potted up during excavation.
More decomposition...this stump has been a nice "plant stand" for about 8 years, but I think this will be the last. (Now if I wanted the stump to disappear it would take a stick of dynamite or something! ;-)
Cleaned up the potted stuff that over-wintered along the house. Daylilies have been especially susceptible to rotting in pots this time of year if I'm not diligent....




....signs of life from these helenium refugees, too. I'll find them a permanent home this year.
Alas, poor musa basjoo looks very unhappy surrounded by snow. This hardy banana is supposed to be able to take it though, so we'll see...
...sedum 'Purple Emperor' is coming up, so time to clear the leaves away so it doesn't rot. I did the same for my bearded irises, removing debris and exposing their "shoulders" (roots/tubers), and it was just in time-some were rotting! Ooops!
More signs of life....



...but not here yet! I keep hoping this stump will turn into the oyster mushroom farm that I want it to be....

....but no sign of the tasty fungus yet. Even though it's been 16 months since initial innoculation with spore plugs, I'm not too worried. This is a large stump, and the local mushroom experts at Field and Forest Products (where I got the spore from) said it can take three years or more for the mycelium to run and produce mushrooms. Hey, if nothing else I have a large, funny-looking stump to lean my trellis against.
More cleanup, this time the foliage from a nice big peony....
....quite a haul to feed my composters (I filled this container five times).
I got excited to see my hepatica americana greening up, but when I cleared the leaves away, the ground was frozen underneath. Oh well, all in good time....

....in the meantime, bulbs are doing their thing...
...even these late-planted daylilies are beginning to rally...
.....this one is in the back of the wagon, not protected from the weather very well, yet greening up all the same!
Okay, time to call it a day and crack open a brew! I just love the variety of conifers that make up my skyline (way better than a skyscraper, IMO!).

Time for the first fire of the season! Despite the lack of drama, it's really fun....
....hey! Remember this guy? Heh, that's right..."It's only a flesh wound".....
.....are you a "fire mixer" too? Every campfire has one...that annoying person who cannot leave the fire alone for five minutes without re-arranging it...yea, that's me.... ...hey! Even my solar stuff is lighting up as the "glacier" recedes....



.....now for some TV and then to bed, while visions of peonies dance in my head...yay spring!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Never too late for another project...okay, this was two weeks ago, but anyway...this wheelbarrow has been full of potted, "homeless" daylilies all summer........but something happened on the way to the summer spot-oops! (I transported the pots inside this decorative but not very functional wheelbarrow)...rats! So why not just leave it here as a large planter?The only problem with that is this gap underneath....sure won't help anything winter over, I'm betting......so why not stuff it with pony manure? Came up short, but I should be okay if I get more and finish before too long.Now to plant it up....but the slats may allow too much soil to escape..........how about using some of this rolled burlap? Then I see how open the weave is...damn! Somehow, I thought this was a tight-weave burlap like a feed sack...*sigh*...oh well.So roll the dice and just plant it up, already! I put a couple "sacraficial plants" in the back, in case they don't make it...these are 'Stella D'Oro" and an old-fashioned orange, both of which I have plenty more of. Okay! Now I do a little dance, say a little prayer, and hope they all come back!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly....way back in July, Colleen had a fun post about the merits of imperfection in the garden. At long last, I have come up with my own contribution. First, the good: pollinators! Everywhere, all summer, and a wider variety than ever this year. Like this one-nice pattern, and unlike any bee I can recall seeing in the past. Also good is my hosta/woodland plant garden. And although it's only the size of a city-dweller's "hell strip", it contains both my ladyslipper orchids, five hostas, two types of trillium, a jack-in-the-pulpit, trailing arbitus, hepatica, and three ferns! I have plans to re-vamp this next spring with a better assortment of hostas, too.


This hosta garden is coming along too...but it would be better if the deer would stop munching on it! The tree canopy was severely altered last fall, so there isn't as much shade anymore. But the hostas don't seem to mind, and the shrubs I have here can grow better and bring the shade back.This is good too-herps! Between not mowing my yard and not using insecticides, I've managed to host quite a menagerie of reptiles and amphibians... ....all of them are welcome in my yard, and very pretty....
.....plus, they are a terrific army against any bad bugs that may come around!Also good-berries! This year, I got my first berries from my currants (this is "Red Lake")........gooseberries (this is "Pixwell")..........and more currants ("Ben Lomond"). But the best part is that I got all of these bushes as bare-root specimens from Gurney's just last year! Stellar performance, especially considering my cold winters and drought this summer....gonna get me more of these!Also good (Heh...can you tell from this post that I'm an optimist/pollyanna?) is when bushes get big enough for the birds to appreciate as cover. When I plant things, of course I expect them to grow.... ....but I always feel a little surprised and proud when things grow large enough for the birds to perch in. Feels like real progress, you know?
Okay, now for the bad.... I have absolutely no idea what this is. Really. This is bad for me, because I need to know. It gets about 2 feet tall, spreads by runners underground, gets these tubular yellow flowers in spring....
....pretty little flowers...and that's it. I've never seen fruit of any kind, but then it is a favorite browse for deer. Anybody have any guesses?This is bad, too....my Norfolk Island Pine is throwing a fit in the screen house this year! It has always done well in here, most years it drops just a few needles getting accustomed to being outside, then a few when it goes back in. But this is an all-out tantrum!
Another for the bad category-spotted knapweed. Although it looks rather pretty, it releases a toxin that kills nearby plants. Spreads like a fiend, too....I spend lots of time uprooting these all over my yard so they won't go to seed. I have fewer than last year, but eradicating them without chemicals is quite time-consuming. (Worth it for me to keep things organic, though!)Also bad-this is my prickly pear cactus that I brought from my mom's place in 1999, and it's the same size it was when I first planted it!! *Sigh*...I plan to re-do this area next spring, adding more rocks and sand with larger granules, since my sand is kind of fine and holds a bit too much water. I do see these flourishing in this climate, so I know it can be done!

Bad, and frustrating! I was anxiously awaiting a bloom from this moonflower when a frost was forecasted. So I covered the plant, and this is what happened to the bud! Rats!
Bad again are my composters...as you can tell from the spider web, there's lots of "hot composting action" going on....


...in here, too. Oh well, this plant will get a rude awakening when it becomes a "green layer" inside the bin!

Bad deer! Bad, bad, naughty and wrong!
Also bad is the mysterious malaise this daylily is suffering. I don't know what's going on, and it did bloom (not as much as usual), then promptly began looking bad and died back. I hope it returns!
And now for the ugly....this spot is too shady for this lamium, which gives me a perfect excuse to buy some small and mini hostas to put here!
This area is a work in progress without much progress. Next year there will be rocks and a cowboy boot planted with various sedums (rather cliche', but I like it).
This plant has a lot of damn gall....(sorry, I had to do it).....I don't know if these are harmful, but definately ugly!
Ugly also are the cages I have to use to keep the deer away. Ordinarily I can remove them once the plant is big enough to fend for itself, but the young-uns need protection!
Ugly are the weeds....this thyme, "Elfin" is fighting back hard, but I really need to assist ASAP!
This area is ugly as well, but the morning glory is helping!

Last ugly is my unmown lawn. I like it, but most folks don't appreciate it. One day this will all be all sedge, and that will help. But in the meantime, it has a look that "only a mother could love". Me and Mother Nature, that is!