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Tangled Branches: Cultivated

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

Monday, June 30, 2003

Weather: no rain to speak of for a while now - sunny, warm and humid instead. I see that the National Hurricane Center is predicting we are going to see the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill, but they never get it right 3 days ahead of time.

Chores: finally got out and weeded and deadheaded for about an hour this morning. Lots more to do, but didn't want to spend all day on it. I may have to start a crochet blog....

In bloom: the daylilies have all started to bloom, except for one variety. Also newly in bloom is "Black Knight" buddleia, but haven't seen a single butterfly on it.

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Thursday, June 26, 2003

Weather: sunny & hot predicted for today - think I will try to get outside this morning and get some things done before it gets too hot. There was an article in this morning's NY Times Home & Garden section by Ken Druse, which was basically a long complaint abou the weather. At the end it sounded like he paraphrased from my favorite gardening book - The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek - by saying "The gardener's ideal, you see, is to have one inch of gentle rain a week - half on Tuesday, half on Thursday - between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m." Capek wrote that gardeners would pray, "O Lord, grant that in some way it may rain every day, say from about midnight until three o'clock in the morning, but, you see, it must be gentle and warm so that it can soak in ..." Great minds think alike?

Decor: also from the NY Times this morning, I am now thinking of doing up the outside of the house something like this so the neighbors will have something to look at.


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Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Weather: looks like another sunny warm day, as was yesterday.

Pruning: lots of tree cutting/pruning going on. We had 3 more pine trees cut down on Saturday; the next door neighbor is now getting all his pine trees cut down, and Chain Saw Charlie (who started it all) was out last night pruning some more branches on the few remaining trees he has so we can get a good clear view of their deck and house. Sheesh, I was just starting to be happy with the trees and shrubs I planted in back to cover up the view - now they have to grow about 10 more feet.

In bloom: Daylilies will be starting to bloom any time now; shasta daisies and butterfly weed (Asclepias) are now looking very nice.

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Monday, June 23, 2003

Weather: finally some warm sunny weather - it got well into the 80s today.

But no gardening today due to trying to catch up with the assignments for a crochet class. Just now caught up to where I should have been last night.

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Friday, June 20, 2003

Weather: Garden Blog has been rained out the last few days. After very heavy rain overnight on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I walked out in the backyard Thursday around noon and found pools of standing water everywhere, even in places where it normally drains well. More rain expected today, and it is now very dark and gray.

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Monday, June 16, 2003

Weather: cloudy and cool all day, but no rain (that is coming tomorrow). I don't think it rained yesterday either, but did rain a bit Saturday afternoon.

Planting: transplanted some more seedlings - basils, petunias, nicotiana, and torenia. Discarded the leftover basil seedlings - may start some more in a few weeks for fall plants. Transplanted into larger pots some coleus saved over the winter. The coleus seedlings started this spring are still small - have to start those earlier next year. Started another lasagna bed in back where there is a bare spot - lost some chrysanthemums over the winter there. Didn't finish due to the arrival of the UPS truck with my new Maru Dai (Japanese braiding stand). If the weather doesn't improve, I think I'll have lots of time to do braiding instead of gardening.

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Saturday, June 14, 2003

Wildlife: the critter was back. I got pictures this time - blurry, I know, I know.
   

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Weather: thunderstorms Thursday afternoon; then very humid all day Friday with a bit of rain around 6:30 pm. Same sort of thing is expected for today and, depending on who you ask, into the foreseeable future.

Wildlife: saw the fox/coyote thing again this morning just before 6 am. It was digging at something back in the woods. I hope it is going after mice - I prefer wild dogs to snakes. I noticed some fairly large holes freshly dug up in back earlier in the week, but I thought maybe the squirrels were just being extra industrious.
We also have a sparrow with a very pretty song. I don't know if it is a song sparrow or not. I found a web site with good recordings of bird songs, but what I have here doesn't sound exactly the same as the song sparrow there.

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Thursday, June 12, 2003

Weather: we had a big thunderstorm last night around 8:30 pm. A couple of plants in pots fell over, but no big trees or branches. One casualty was a flat of green onions, which was sitting on top of a pot containing a Meyer lemon plant. The whole thing fell off the concrete blocks on which it was sitting. The Meyer lemon tree has a tiny lemon on it (surprise #1) and it didn't get knocked off when the plant fell over (surprise #2). Now I think I may actually get a ripe lemon from it. Looks like another storm is approaching now, and we are under a severe thunderstorm watch.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Weather: warmer today, but mostly cloudy; a few drops of rain around noon

Shopping: went to Betty's Azalea Ranch and Merrifield Garden Center. At Betty's, bought some Hawaiian Sunlight landscape stone, some potting soil that should have grains of gold in it for what I paid for it, a "Sweet Caroline Light Green" sweet potato vine, and an old favorite - Corsican mint (Mentha requienii). I had Corsican mint for years, but it finally died out. The fragrance is so nice that I used to just run my hand over it so I could smell it. Anyway, now there is a new line of branded packaging for plants (like the Wave Petunias and Proven Winners annuals). The new one is Jeepers Creepers - just tiny groundcover-type plants. They are selling my old favorite Corsican mint in a spiffy package - big labels, custom pots, nice point-of-sale displays, etc. etc.
At Merrifield Garden Center, bought a couple of lobelias for a hanging basket, a lotus vine, and another branded plant, Toffee Twist sedge from Proven Winners.

Planting: Potted up a hanging basket with a Persian shield (saved from last year), 2 lobelias (one blue and one blue and white) and the Sweet Caroline sweet potato vine. Removed the pansies from the planters by the front door and put in some Nicotiana "Domino Antique Shades" (grown from seed) and split the Toffee Twist Carex into 2 (all they had was big pots). Planted the Corsican mint between the rosemaries and the concrete block edging. Planted the lotus vine in the same planter as the struggling (but not dead yet) banana. Filled in some Cleome and Morning Glories in the planters where they were drowned and chilled by all the bad weather we had.

Hardscaping: Put down the gravel bought at Betty's to top off what was already between the steps and the driveway and had enough left to start on the other side of the steps. This is similar to the gravel that I bought last year, but the individual stones are bigger. I am hoping that it will not be discontinued, but they didn't seem to have very much of it.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Weather: another nice day; the lawn got mowed, but that's about it as far as gardening today.

In bloom: wanted to get some pictures of the rhododendrons before the flowers fade. Daylilies are starting to show flower buds - lots of early summer flowers will be out soon.
"

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Monday, June 09, 2003

Weather: Nice day today (and finally warm), but the ground is still too wet to do much outside.

Chores: Pulled a few weeds.

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Saturday, June 07, 2003

Weather: Rained most of the day today. We had 2 nice days Thursday and Friday, but didn't get any gardening done.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Weather: raining again since about noon, but now looks like it is brightening up

Yesterday's notes:
Chores: pulled weeds, deadheaded peonies and Siberian irises

Planting: transplanted seedlings to pots - Cinnamon basil, Genovese basil, Siam Queen basil, Lime basil, Armenian basil, dill, and coriander

In bloom: Sedums, Artemisia 'Valerie Finnis', Tradescantia, small Dianthus, Sage, Clematis, Roses, Rhododendron 'Rosebay', Astilbes, Aruncus, Tiarella, pink Oenothera, Hemerocallis flava

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Monday, June 02, 2003

Weather: supposed to be a nice day today, but rain is forecast for tomorrow and Wednesday, so it looks like I will do some gardening today.

In bloom: arrived home yesterday to find Astilbes, Aruncus and Rhododendrons in full bloom. Haven't been outside to scrutinize everything yet, but it appears that all the plants survivied my vacation.

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