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Tangled Branches: Cultivated

happenings in and around my zone 6b gardens in northern Virginia and in central Virginia

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Wildlife: Just chased a fox out of the back yard. I saw something that I thought was the neighbor's cat, and so I opened the patio door to look menacing (that's usually all it takes to chase the cat away). To my surprise, the "cat" was a fox. It was about the same color and size as the neighbor's big yellow tabby. Just like the cat does, it ran away when it saw me looking at it.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Weather: you guess

Wildlife: Saw a pileated woodpecker in the back yard this afternoon. I have seen them further out in the woods by the creek in back, but never this close to the house. It is a large bird - a little smaller than the crows around here. This was the best picture I could get.

It came back just a few minutes ago even closer to the house, but flew away before I could get a picture.
And right now I am looking at a rabbit in just about the same place where the woodpecker was in the picture. They (rabbits) haven't been too destructive this year.

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Sunday, May 25, 2003

Weather: looks like it rained overnight, but we did see the sun for just a few minutes yesterday. Check out the forecast.

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Saturday, May 24, 2003

Weather: still overcast; we are supposed to see the sun by tomorrow; our last nice day was Tuesday

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Friday, May 23, 2003

Weather: rained from about 10 am to 2:30 pm today so far; yesterday it didn't rain much - just overcast and cold

Wildlife: I think we have a coyote. We have seen it 3 times over the last few weeks - always in the afternoon. I thought it was a fox, but they are not usually out and about during the day, and it also seems too big to be a fox. Will try to get a picture one of these times. Maybe it will eat the neighbor's cat!

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Thursday, May 22, 2003

Weather: rained all day yesterday from about 6:30 am to 5:00 pm

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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Weather: finally had a nice day yesterday, and a gardening marathon. Supposed to start raining again very soon and continue through the weekend.

Planting: Potted up a hanging basket out of odds and ends - coleus, couple of plectranthus, sweet potato vine, couple of Torenia seedlings, and a morning glory for good measure. Put it up where the glass bird feeder was. Potted 2 big planters with Cosmos, Cleome and Morning Glory seedlings. Moved a Sedum 'Autumn Joy' from a pot to the back border. Planted some mint in front of the 2 rosemaries by the concrete blocks (started mint from a piece from the grocery store). Planted Bishop's Weed (Aegopodium) in back by the only surviving dogwood seedling from a few years ago. Planted Spoon Mum 'Matchsticks' in front to replace the 'Hot Salsa' Mums that died over the winter (they were too short anyway). Planted Selaginella uncinata in the most recent lasagna bed (it was looking very unhappy in the pot it arrived in).

Weeding and Pruning: Lots! Trimmed back the honeysuckle from this side of the neighbor's fence. Pulled up all the Virginia Creeper I could find (tree guy believes this to be poison ivy - easier to pull it up than to argue and it tends to take over anyway - didn't do anything with the poison ivy yet). Pruned lower branches from a few oak trees for more light for the plants underneath. Pruned a few small branches from the neighbor's horrible Bradford Pear so I can at least walk under it. Cut the flower stalks off some of the Lambs' Ears and tried to remove the grass that has grown up in it. Hand trimmed the grass around the peonies and dianthus (where the grass is growing into the dianthus).

In bloom: Peonies - Krinkled White and Karen Gray; Siberian Iris (yellow & white, and deep blue), Hemerocallis flava, Tradescantia, Baptisia, various Dianthus, Saponaria, Amsonia, Pansies, Violas, some kind of Viburnum (arrowwood? wild).
Almost finished: Veronica, Bleeding Hearts, Tiarella, Scilla campanulata, Heuchera.
Almost in bloom: Roses, Clematis, Aruncus, Astilbe.
Rhododendrons are going to bloom this year for the first time!

It's raining again.....

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Monday, May 19, 2003

Seeds: moved Bio-Domes outside again (to stay this time?)

Bugs: noticed a termite swarm in back coming from one of the logs around the perennial beds. This is the second one I have seen like that this year - those logs have got to go.

Birds: filled the bird feeders again. Reminder - don't buy Lyric Finch Food ever again. It had some kind of Brassica seed in it which the birds wouldn't eat and now it is sprouting everywhere.

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Weather: very foggy this morning, but the sun is finally breaking through - first time since last Thursday

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Sunday, May 18, 2003

Weather: rain, rain, rain; started raining Thursday late afternoon and we haven't seen the sun since....

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Thursday, May 15, 2003

Pruning: had 3 more pine trees cut down, and also the Prunus mume that died over the winter; pruned the 2 largest Viburnum burkwoodii, the 2 Rosemaries that weren't done previously and a couple of small oak trees (one got broken in today's pine removal and the other I wanted to remove the lower branches).

Chores: weeded in back; fertilized potted plants and petunia/nicotiana/torenia flat and morning glory/cleome/cosmos flat with 20-20-20 water soluble fertilizer (free from Parks with Bio-Domes)

In bloom: Peony 'Krinkled White', dark blue Siberian Iris, Baptisia, Veronica, Amsonia, various Dianthus, Saponaria

Planting: found that of the 2 banana plants stored in the garage over the winter only one had a single semi-healthy-looking stem, so planted that out in a large pot outside.

Weather: just now getting a thunderstorm, but had nice weather yesterday and today (up til now).

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Friday, May 09, 2003

Seeds: Cleome has finally sprouted

Weather: rain and thunder around noon

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Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Weather: cool and gray both yesterday and today, with a little rain yesterday.

Birds: decided to keep the Nuttery feeder up for the summer, and maybe the glass feeder too; filled both with sunflower/thistle seed; probably asking for squirrel trouble with the glass feeder with sunflower seed in it, but we'll see how it goes.

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Monday, May 05, 2003

Azaleas: found several good web pages about the hybridizer who created the azaleas I have planted in back. Amazing what you can find on the Internet.

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Sunday, May 04, 2003

Seeds: Coriander is up in the cold frame; still no germination on Cleome, which is a very easy plant to grow so don't know why germination is so slow.

Weather: bit of rain yesterday morning, but then sunny; today was mostly sunny and cool

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Friday, May 02, 2003

Planting: made another lasagna bed this afternoon - transplanted into it: Hosta 'Gold Standard', Miscanthus 'Morning Light', Lamiastrum; also moved Hosta 'Gold Standard' and Lamiastrum to lasagna bed made last fall; also transplanted Lysimachia from Bluestone Perennials to that bed.

Chores: cleaned up some of the leaves along the south fence with the new leaf vacuum - seems to jam less than the old vacuum, but still doesn't handle sticks very well.

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Thursday, May 01, 2003

Azaleas: Found the tag to the magenta azalea in back - its name is Herbert; bought them from Musser Forests when I bought a big order of tree and shrub seedlings to try to create more of a screen in back (when neighbor started cutting down trees).

Seeds: Dill is up in the cold frame; red onions starting to sprout too.

Weather: Some light rain overnight, but now warm, sunny and humid.

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