Monday, April 30, 2012

Messy, Messy, Messy

It's fun to show you the beautiful flowers and growing vegetables at Garden on Sherlock Street.  Sometimes, I show you the dying plants too.  But, there's another occurrence which I have not photographed until this past weekend.  It's the mess of creating container plantings.  Saturday evening, I planted a lot of containers.  Beautiful photos of them will come soon with notes about what I planted.  I didn't finish my plantings until after the sun had gone down.  I was working by the patio lights.  These photos were taken with a flash to light the mess.

Here's the general collection of stuff used to get everything settled.

I added to my collection of little containers from starter plants.

The new watering can was pressed into service.

I started out wearing gloves, but they soon found themselves sitting on the glider while I just got my hands dirty.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spring Bloomers And More In The Side Garden

There are so many plants blooming at Garden on Sherlock Street I can barely keep up documenting them all in the blog.

The alliums are just getting going in the front bed.

The peony plant is about to burst.
This is Karl Red.

I shared a shot of the side garden in my last post.  Here are some close ups.

The wild snapdragon or toadflax is making beautiful yellow blooms.

This bee was getting deep into the wild snapdragon blooms.

The dame's rocket is just doing so well this spring, I had to get a photo of the sea of dame's rocket in the side garden.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Quick Pass Through The Garden

The dame's rocket and irises are looking very good in the side garden too.  There is even a little wild snapdragon blooming (yellow spikes).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dividing The Spider Plant

This is my humongous spider plant.  Well, it's several spider plants in one container.  My mom gave me a start from her spider plant when my wonderful husband and I moved into our first home after getting married almost 19 years ago.  I have repotted it numerous times adding some starts from the spider plant to fill in the container, but I have never divided it.  This is the largest container I want to keep it in.  So, it is time to divide the spider plant.  I've been putting it off as long as possible, but it is obviously root bound as it dries out quickly.

The roots are also pushing the soil up and over the container's edge which means there is usually potting soil on the floor of the living room.

Here she is all stretched out on the patio.

I slid off the container and found this tangle of roots.

The roots have even shaped themselves into the feet that give the container some clearance in the drip pan.

I used a square shovel to divide the spider plant in half.

Then, I used the shovel to divide one half in half.

I put half back into the original container with some nice new potting soil, and I put the other two pieces into temporary containers as I want to add them to some hanging baskets for the patio this summer.

Here's the largest spider plant back on its stand in the living room.

The other two pieces are waiting with the overwintered plants to go into patio containers.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Name That Iris

All the spring bloomers are doing great this year including the irises which are just getting started here.

All the irises at Garden on Sherlock Street were given to me by friends or found here when we moved in (we found one variety of iris which we rescued from under a layer of rock a previous homeowner had used along the back of the house).

I've been browsing blogs and reading the names of irises trying to match mine.  I'm just never certain about the coloring to know if they're the same.

If you think you know the names of the irises below, please leave me a comment with the name.

Iris #1
I got this iris from our amazing gardening neighbor.
Currently referred to as "purple and white."

Iris #2
I got this iris from a friend who was thinning out a bed.
Currently referred to as "yellow and purple."

Iris #3
This is the iris we rescued from the layer of rock when we moved here.
Currently referred to as "rescued iris."

If you think you know the "proper" names, feel free to leave the name in a comment.  Thank you!

There will be more "Name That Iris" games in the near future.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Special, Single Soponaria

Each spring, the saponaria ocymoides gets covered in sweet little pink blooms.

I really do nothing for this plant.  It is pretty happy where it is planted.

I ordered another one a few years back, but it wasn't the same.  It looked like a distant cousin of saponaria ocymoides. It had bigger leaves, fewer and bigger blooms.  Then, after a couple of years, it died.  I have tried cuttings of this plant with no luck.  It does not self seed.  There is only one stem in all those flowers.  It's not really spreading.  I can't dig up a piece and try it somewhere else.

I guess some plants are special and a garden will have only one.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Purple Row

If you checked out the April 2012 tour of Garden on Sherlock Street, you probably saw the purple flowers scattered about in the back garden.  They are dame's rocket.  It self seeds easily.  I let it find little places to sprout, and leave it up through the seed stage because the house finches are so fun to watch when they eat the seeds.

Along the patio, I do pull out the dame's rockets beyond a row at the edge.  It's one of the few things in the garden that I grow in a row.  I do this mostly because I need the rest of the bed off the patio to have space for other plants.

The first monarch butterfly I've seen this year was attacking the dame's rocket blooms.

Friday, April 20, 2012

First Harvest

This year's first harvest from the vegetable garden is the Speckled Trout lettuce.

I am very happy with how well the seeds sprouted and grew.

I harvested enough for my wonderful husband and I to enjoy salads with our supper Friday night.

We both agreed it is a keeper.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Green Tour

The garden continues to fill with green each day.  There are pops of color as each spring flowering shrub or bulb takes its turn to show off; but green is the main color and it is welcome.  After last summer's heat, the garden was pretty much brown right through winter except for one blizzard and a couple of snow dustings.  Now:  green, green, green.  I took these photos Monday with clouds giving me a nice filter for the photos.  No rain but good photographing light.  The tour is one post back or look for Tour Garden on Sherlock Street in the right hand column.  Enjoy!

April Tour 2012

Front Garden


Back Garden

Side Garden

Vegetable Garden



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bring On Those April Showers

The last average frost here is April 28.  I am holding myself back from planting tender plants that wouldn't survive a frost because our weather is weird.  We could still get a little freeze.  We should not, however, get cold enough to freeze anything solid which would break hoses, etc.  So, the rain barrels are set up and ready to capture those April showers.

I have details about my rain barrels on this post.

The rain gauge is also in service once again so watch for the rain gauge/barrel reports.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Beautiful Bridal Wreath

Rain Gauge/Barrel Report For 2012

2012 04 17          set up rain barrels
2012 04 17          put out rain gauge
2012 04 27          .60"          2 barrels
2012 05 03          barrels are empty
2012 05 26          .60"          2 barrels
2012 06 01          .90           1 1/2 barrels [clog in downspout]
2012 06 10          barrels are empty
2012 06 15          .55"          3 barrels FULL
2012 06 16          .22"          3 barrels FULL
2012 06 24          barrels are empty
2012 07 01          .05"          1/2 barrel
2012 07 01          barrels are empty
2012 07 08          .02"          1/4 barrel
2012 07 10          barrels are empty
2012 08 01          .05"          1/2 barrel
2012 08 02          barrels are empty
2012 08 03          .03"          1/3 barrel
2012 08 03          barrels are empty
2012 08 14          .60"          2 1/3 barrels
2012 08 24          1.00"        3 barrels FULL
2012 08 25          2.00"        3 barrels FULL
2012 08 26          .12"          3 barrels FULL
2012 09 07          .30"         2 1/3 barrels
2012 09 16          .60"         2 1/2 barrels
2012 09 26          .15"         2 1/2 barrels
2012 10 01          .10"         2 1/2 barrels
2012 10 09          took in rain gauge
2012 10 23          stored rain barrels for winter

*each rain barrel can hold 75 gallons of water.
**I am continually using water from the rain barrels.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

GonSS Finds There's No Place Like Home

We've read each other's blogs, commented on posts, emailed tons of notes and mailed plants and seeds.  Saturday, we met in person!

My wonderful husband and I packed the car Saturday morning for a road trip to visit new friends.

Melanie shares her garden and family adventures in her blog, "There's No Place Like Home."  Check it out for inspiration and enjoyment.  The gardens, the pond, the family.  There is always something going on.

A warm welcome, a delicious lunch, a windy garden tour (wind will not stop gardeners from seeing what's growing), a plant swap, a tornado warning for the area (yes, we spent time together in the tornado shelter until the threat passed), a few photos after the storm (but still windy) and hours of conversation with new friends.

Gardeners are generous people.  What they share beyond the plants, the seeds and the advice is friendship which reaches beyond their garden.

Thanks for everything Melanie.  Here's to more garden visits.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mulch And More

My wonderful husband and I have had today on the calendar as a vacation day from our places of employment for quite some time.  I have no trouble planning a vacation day and figuring out what to do with it when the day arrives.

On this Friday, we...slept in...had a leisurely bike ride...enjoyed lunch at a new to us diner...visited with a friend we haven't seen in awhile...and got mulch.

Our city has a free mulch pile.  Much like the free compost I've posted about, this is a you load, you haul operation.  The city chips tree limbs into the pile and so do commercial tree trimmers.  Plus, after Christmas, a local utility company encourages citizens to drop off their real Christmas trees for addition to the mulch pile.  I try to find areas in the pile with the chipped Christmas trees.

We filled the eight foot bed of our pickup to the brim with mulch and put every bit of it in the garden.  Don't these paths look good with fresh mulch?

We need a little more, but that will be for another day.

Time to rest for the whole weekend is ahead of us still and we have plans!!!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Small Strawberry Crop

Last summer's heat and drought took a toll on the strawberry plants.  All the plants which remain are in this photo.  Plus some bachelor buttons.

It may be a small crop but I'll bet it's a sweet crop.
Keeping with the 'everything is early this spring's mantra, the strawberry plants are blooming!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

More Autumn Joy Sedum

The Autumn Joy sedum cuttings I started in the house have nice roots.  It is time for them to return to the garden.

OK.  I want each of you to grow big and beautiful like the sedum below?

You can see the area I want the Autumn Joy sedum to fill.  Those tiny tufts of green are the cuttings.

Grow, grow, grow!