Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Carrots Are Coming

In a way, I'd almost forgotten about the carrots.  Once they sprout and prove they are there, they're pretty quiet.  I kept them watered and weeded.  The other day, I was packing our lunches when I realized I didn't have any more raw veggies in the refrigerator.  I went out to check on the kohlrabis and realized, I hadn't checked the carrots!  Look at these beauties.  They are Torro Hybrid (Nantes Type). 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Five Little Things

There are little changes in the garden everyday.  Not everything is dramatic.  It all comes together to create an environment.  Here are a few little things I've noticed lately...

1.  The spring blooming flowers are done in this bed.  As the bachelor button, dame's rocket and love-in-a-mist plants dry and form seeds, I'll remove them leaving space for the four o'clocks which are waiting for their show time.

2.  The bouncing betties are starting to bloom.  These flowers are pure white, but I often see shades of pink as well.

3.  These little alliums are blooming.  They are Allium sphaerocephalon (Drumstick Onion).  We have them scattered throughout this bed.  I planted some snow-in-summer this spring to fill in around their stems.

4.  The wave petunias in hanging baskets along the front walk are really getting full.

5.  This firefly decided to take a nap on the fountain in our water garden container.  I didn't turn on the fountain until he left.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hostas Big And Small

These are the resident hostas at Garden on Sherlock Street.

They are Hosta "Blue Eyes.'  A dwarf variety.  Right now, they're in full bloom.  I have them planted along some stepping stones off our front porch to a water faucet hence the hose in the photo.

What I can't figure out is why some of them are big and full and others are small and puny.  See the little ones between two full sized ones and the really little ones on the left side of the photo?  They should all have the same soil, the same light and the same amount of water.  This is early morning light on them.  They spend a lot of the day in shade.  You might see an allium bloom going to seed on the right side of the first photo also.  I've decided it's time to replant the giant allium bulbs this fall.  I let them go to seed because I think the drying spheres look kinda cool.  This fall, I may just dig all of this up and replant everyone to see if that helps with the hosta height misconfiguration.

This post is property of

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Spindly Bunch

Dame's Rocket is beautiful in the spring.  Such pretty clusters of purple flowers like lilacs.  Mine reseed easily.  However, after the blooms are gone, they look like this.

Most of the dame's rocket in my garden are mixed in with other plants so the spindlyness isn't as obvious but this patch around one of the clothes line poles has only dame's rocket. 

I'm letting the seeds form.  Each little spine contains seeds.  The house finches like to eat them right off the stalk.  I know it's time to cut down the dame's rocket when I find the house finches feasting.  I just cut them off at the ground and lay the stalks down where I want dame's rocket to grow again.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Blooming Caladium

I recently posted about my caladiums.  How it's all about the leaves.  Then, what do I find?  A bloom!  I'm not sure I've ever had a caladium bloom for me before.  I must have them in a good spot.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Squash Bug Hunter

It took me a few years to realize I needed to be proactive to control the annual squash bug invasion. I couldn't wait until I found a dead squash plant. That was too late.

This is a squash bug.

I started the daily squash bug hunt early this year. Missing a day here and there won't be the death of the squash plants, but I look over the squash plants really well the next time I'm hunting squash bugs. The adult squash bugs like to hang out in the mulch near the base of the squash plants. They don't like to get wet. I pour water around the base of the squash plants to chase the squash bugs out. Then, I grab them,

put them on a hard surface (sorry the camera lens cover got in the photo)

and step on them!

Splat! A squashed squash bug! Perfect!

My wonderful husband enjoys helping me catch the adult squash bugs when there are a lot of them. He will squish them in his fingers. Yuck. Squash bugs stink when you squish them.

I also check under the leaves of the squash plants for eggs and baby squash bugs.

Using a piece of duct tape rolled onto itself to make a tube, I "pick up" the eggs and baby squash bugs.

The squash bug babies start out as green dots with black legs and antennae. They look like a cartoon bug. They turn gray as they grow. I don't have a lot of baby squash bugs to show you because I've been keeping up with the eggs!!!

Now that I say that, there will probably be a explosion of baby squash bugs. I never find all the eggs or squash bugs.  By hunting squash bugs on a regular basis, I keep the population down enough that my squash plants survive. There is precious produce forming on the squash plants.

Once I've checked over all the squash plants (no, I don't look at EVERY leaf when the plants get big), I unroll the tape,

fold it over onto itself

and firmly press the tape together.

Squish! After that, I just throw the tape in the trash bin

Another day hunting squash bugs complete!

This post is property of

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Feet

These are not my working garden shoes.  I wear something I can lace tight when I'm digging, raking, mowing, etc.  Also, I wear socks when I'm pounding my feet a lot.
These shoes live by the patio door.  I slip them on when I'm stepping out to put something in the composter, checking the rain gauge or cutting flowers for the dinner table.  They are cheery.  My last pair were green with white daisies.  These are yellow with red lady bugs!

By the way, the first photo also shows the creeping thyme which grows around limestone stepping stones we have off one side of the patio.  It's looking pretty good.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Getting Ridiculous

It was cute when I posted about the little sunflowers that had seeded themselves in a crack between our patio and the rain barrels behind the garage.  Now, the sunflowers are nearly four feet tall.  I never imagined they'd survive to get this big.  It must be all the rain we've been getting.  It's interesting walking past them.  It is the straightest row of anything I've ever had in the garden!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Onions On The Patio

The onions have been pulled.  The red onions didn't perform very well at all.  The yellow onions vary in size.  Not bad though for my first year growing onions.  They are out on the patio drying.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Behind Those Walls

Early Friday morning, my wonderful husband and I hit the road for an extended weekend.  We put on some miles for family gatherings, time with friends and stops at interesting locations.  On my list of places to visit for several years:  Kansas State University Gardens.  It has a history back to 1877.  The current location, with grand plans for the future, was established in 1989.  The backdrop for the gardens is an old barn which houses the visitor center and an insect zoo.  We passed on the insect zoo because of time as we had more places and people to see on our trip.  Aren't the little ant sculptures on the wall awesome?

There are a lot of sculptures in the gardens.

A wildcat with kittens playing on the rocks below.

A man on a bench with a butterfly on his finger.

A turkey.

A girl with a book.

There is an outdoor room with benches enclosed by vines.  It was a nice shady spot to rest as Friday was sunny, windy and hot!  Not the best weather to visit a garden but it was when we could get there.

There were many plants as one would expect.  Here are some of our favorites...

Cutleaf Sumac

Golden St. John's Wort

Butterfly Weed


Echinacea with butterfly.

I missed the tag for this plant but it had velvety leaves with purple spikes of flowers.

My WH got a photo of me checking out the leaves.  My nice white shoulders were quite pink by the end of the day as I was a little slow putting on the sunscreen. Too excited to finally get to these gardens I guess.

An Asian lily.

Gooseneck Loosestrife
I so want some of this in my garden.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

another hydrangea

There are numerous daylilies.

The rose garden is being renovated.

There is a Victorian style conservatory which was built in 1907 in a different location on the KSU campus.  It was moved to its current location and is in need of some renovation, but the curved glass and Victoria style are still beautiful.  There are rows of irises on this side of the conservatory.

It was a great visit.