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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Harvesting Lavender

In the back garden I have a small planting of lavender.


 There are two varieties. 
The taller plant is Lavandula, angustifolia 'Buena Vista.'
The shorter plant is Lavandula, intermedia 'Grosso.'


I am harvesting the Lavandula, intermedia 'Grosso.'
I am not an expert lavender harvester, but I've read that you want to harvest it before the blooms are completely open, and harvest when the humidity is low to avoid mildewing .


I used rubber bands to hold the bundles.


I slipped the rubber bands onto a wooden dowel and balanced the dowel on the plant stand in the family room which is cool and dry.  The newspaper below the lavender will catch any blooms that fall off.


When the lavender is dry, I will pull off the blooms to use in sachets.

I did this last year and made two small sachets for the guest room closets.  Those sachets still smell wonderful.
The plants have increased in size.  I'm looking forward to getting more lavender blooms this year. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No Dill For Me

I let dill self seed at Garden on Sherlock Street.  I pull it out of the vegetable beds, but leave it in the flower beds, around the trash area, in the cracks of the sidewalk, etc.

We don't really eat any of the dill.  It's for the swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.

I'm looking forward to beautiful butterflies!


 




Monday, June 27, 2011

Moon Flower Love

The moon flower plant is looking healthy and producing many blooms.


I just love the little points on the edge of the flowers.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Squash Bug Hunter Returns

According to blogger stats, my post entitled, "Squash Bug Hunter" is the most viewed at Garden on Sherlock Street.

Well, it is once again squash bug season.  I am on the hunt.

I venture into squash bug habitat armed with a piece of duct tape rolled sticky side out.


The tape is perfect for picking up squash bug eggs.



It also does a good job picking up squash bug babies.



After a day of hunting, I unroll the tape...


...fold the tape over onto itself and press it together.


My wonderful husband is good at squash bug hunting too.


We hand pick the adults who like to hide at the base of the plants, but don't like to be wet.  We pour water at the base of the plant and grab them when they head for higher ground.


While my WH will just squeeze the squash bugs between his fingers (yuk), I prefer stomping on them.



By the way, when you squish a squash bug, it STINKS!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Many Container Plantings

I have a lot of containers.  Here's a quick tour of the plantings.

Bacopa in the top three tiers of the flower tower and purple hyacinth bean plants in the bottom container.


Hanging baskets with petunias and vinca vine starts, a large container of a wave petunia and a container of purple fountain grass.


Two containers with Martha Washington geraniums.


The pansies looking kind of leggy and wind blown.


Gomphrena.


A container of various sweet potato vines.  (I also took cuttings from these plants and have starts of sweet potato vine tucked in the shrub borders and flower beds--free plants).


Two buckets of red petunias.




Purple basil from my friend Melanie.  I like the contrast with the wicker basket.


Purple fountain grass.


The water container with hornwort and snails.  All my fish died.  :-(

An asparagus fern by the house, caladiums in the rectangular container and a cacti in front.


A large ice plant to the right, geraniums in the oval container (the sweet peas I planted in there did not sprout), some vinca in the bucket, a small container of Jacob's coat and some rosemary I'm trying to start from seed.


Some geraniums in the small containers, nicotina seeds in the black container (starting to worry they're not coming) and a mix of flowers in the big tub including a sweet potato vine start, some dianthus, a Jacob's coat, some ice plant, purple elephant ears and a large allium stalk.  I cut the allium stalk off after it bloomed in the front garden to give the bulb more energy, but I couldn't just toss it.  I stuck it in here to enjoy for a while.  You can only see the bottom of the sphere at the top of the photo.


Ice plant, ivy geranium, an amaryllis, some weak looking impatiens, some more geraniums (reds and whites) and in the trash cans---Jacob's coat, verbena and ice plant.


Hanging baskets with petunias, rose moss and calibrocha.


Baskets with asparagus fern, ivy geraniums and rose moss.  These were suppose to hang from a shepperd's hook by the back patio, but ended up being too heavy for the hook.


I also have a mother-in-law's tongue, an aloe vera and the angel wing begonia in containers outside.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Red Cardinal Climber

A friend gave me seeds for red cardinal climber.  I created a teepee out of bamboo stakes and planted a circle of the seeds.  Many of the seeds sprouted.


The vines are also starting to climb!

There's Life In There

I like to take cuttings from my angel wing begonia houseplant and start new plants during the summer.  They start really well on our front porch.  This year, I put cuttings out there right before a busy weekend.  We left town on a very hot Sunday returning late that night.  I went to work that Monday (another hot, dry day) and when I returned home, the angel wing begonia cuttings looked dead.  I quickly poured water on them and hoped for the best.


This weekend, I spotted a new leaf forming.


All is well.

Friday, June 17, 2011

One...

...very lonely larkspur...


...living under the daisies!


He's the only larkspur in the front garden.
He's purple.  He can stay.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pea Success

This year, I planted peas on the berm along a sidewalk in the back garden.  I had to replant some after they were killed by an insane wind this spring.  As you can see, they're looking good.


I've been picking peas for over a week and there are more to come.



This is a small representation of the shelling types.

I planted:
edible pod: sugar bon 
   shelling types: little marvel (dwarf)
   snow peas: melting sugar

All have been good and are likely to be planted at Garden on Sherlock Street again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hopefully, Green Beans

This is only my second year trying to grow green beans.
Last year, I planted them in the new compost rich raised vegetable bed where they burned up and died.
This year, I planted them in the older raised vegetable bed.
The beans got off to a good start, but our insane wind this spring and a frost did some damage.


Some plants look nice.


Some plants are struggling.


A few completely died.  But, I have way more than last year.