Thursday, August 23, 2007

Summer Bummer

It is hot. Really hot. I can hardly spend 20 minutes outside. And if the heat dosen't get you, the swarming mosquitoes will. So it basically means that t he weeds won. It has been a year long fight, but they have taken over. They are creeping up between the cracks in the concrete walk and popping up from the lantana. My bird bath is not level and keeps falling over, squishing the salvia and butterfly bush below. Caterpillars are munching on my oleander and demolished my passion vine. Every time I go out into the yard, all I see are problems.
It is about this time every year I have my summer bummer. It is just too easy do other things than garden right now. My daughter is starting school, I am on a new diet (which sucks up an astounding amount of time and mental energy), and my job is busy for football season. I didn’t even mention actually watching college football which will soon take up even more of my Saturdays soon. Go Noles! Normally, I would start obsessing about Halloween: “We’ll have a huge party and invite the whole block. We’ll dress up as the wierdos that we are and try to get candy and beers. We’ll have a haunted house!! Kids will come from everywhere just to see our house! It will be the greatest . . .” After that I’m out of commission in the garden until after Christmas. This year, I think the blog will keep more focused, force me to walk into the garden and keep regular tabs on it. And since I’m embarrassed to take pictures of dead plants, I’ll have to make the effort to keep them alive. But it is hot outside . . .

Friday, August 17, 2007

Attack of the Sweet Potato Vine!

It is getting a bit out of control.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Today's Blooms

It is blazin' hot. Yeah, I know. It's hot here and in the rest of the country. Everything is stressed and looking less than stellar. The only things happy are the gingers and cannas. The butterfly ginger is putting on a beautiful show. Just when I think a bud has spent all of its delicate flowers, more come out the next morning.

The cannas are coming up and surprising me with their colors. The garden changes weekly. This one bloomed with a definite red tone. Not what I was hoping for, but pretty. Besides, who can resist a beautiful flower with a bug on it? It is like the paintings by the Dutch artists who paint vases of flowers just crawling with insects. I love them!

A Lot Can Change in 8 Months

I have often lamented over the fact that I have not taken very many "before" pictures. I don't know - for some reason it didn't seem that important to take pictures of our compost pile. Go figure. Well, it was fun today to come across a picture of what the corner garden looked like before I planted anything. It was our compost bin. The banana in the front was a castaway. It was originally in the pool garden, but didn't grow. The banana I replaced it with didn't grow either, I think it was in a bad spot. But this banana grew:

Not a bad after, huh? I think I did an okay job. (I'm glad my neighbor cleaned his roof - yuck.)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

New Plant in Front Yard Garden Bed

So. . . how do you my new white irises?
I understand they thrive on neglect.

Green Thumb Sunday

Green Thumb Sunday

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

A Garden Fairy

Do you know how some people can't see a stray or abused dog with out stopping the car and adopting it on the spot? I think I might be like that with plants. I see neglected plants and it hurts me a little. Usually, I resist the urge to clear out random neglected beds out of sheer laziness, but I've been known to pull a few weeds during a break at work. This one got to me though. This bed is located outside my daughter's daycare center, so I've been parking next to it for years. It doesn't look like much, but I happen to know there are beautiful white irises in there, irises that bloom and flourish with no fuss or work. What? You don’t see any irises? Trust me, they are there. I’m pretty sure the ladies that run the daycare don’t know they are in there either.
Of course, this last season, it did not bloom much. It is no wonder. The plants desperately needed to be divided and the weeds are choking them out. So, today I broke down and started weeding. Out of the goodness my own heart – I swear. It was simply for the benefit of these beautiful irises, irises that desperately needed to be divided. Honest.
So after some ant bites, a blister on my finger, and long battle with a hideous weed with very sharp thorns, this the result:
Actually it was pretty fun. I didn’t get every weed, and I only divided two of the largest clumps, but I think I made a pretty big difference. I didn’t tell the daycare I was doing this. By telling them I thought it might obligate me in some way. I also thought they might think I was totally insane. I mean, who goes around weeding random beds? Let them think they’ve been hit by a garden fairy.

Did I mention that those irises needed dividing?

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