Tangled Branches: Cultivated
happenings in and around my zone 6b gardens in northern Virginia and in central Virginia
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Weather: 3 gorgeous days in a row - coolish, sunny, and low humidity - we just don't get much weather like this in the summertime.
Garden Tasks: moved some oat grass to the woods, mostly to give the Hostas some more room.
Planted Calycanthus floridus 'Athens' behind the previously mentioned Hostas. Wanted this close to the house because it smells so nice when it blooms.
Got out the copper sprinkler for the first time today - I don't think I used it at all last year either - but I decided it would look good casually watering some of the my newly planted shrubs.
Birds: saw a hummingbird yesterday around the 'Navajo Bright Red' salvia again - of all the "hummingbird" plants I bought this year that one seems to be the only one they really like
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Weather: nice day today after an afternoon of light rain yesterday
Planting: Since yesterday was the day I had planned to garden, I planted in the rain. Not that much rain really, just enough to make the top layer of dirt into mud. I moved one volunteer cedar tree next to the spirea bush that looks like it is dying. I thought the spirea was suffering either from ants at its roots or the lawn service getting too ambitious with the herbicide earlier in the spring. I didn't find any ants, so I am going with the herbicide theory. I had a similar problem on the other side of the house one year (last year?) but not as bad, and the shrub grew out of it. I'm moving all my sun-loving plants away from this area (north side by the neighbors' fence) because it is getting too shady there. I moved 2 ancient (10+ years?) sage plants over by the 2 remaining rosemaries. They should be happy together, liking the same conditions. I'm trying out a new planting technique - kind of a blend of lasagna gardening and double-digging. I added a lot of leaves and grass clippings to the soil and then mulched fairly thickly with more leaves and grass clippings.
Garden Chores: did a lot of weeding in conjunction with the planting above
Birds: saw a hummingbird twice over the weekend, but not again since then. Once it was investigating the Gartenmeister fuchsia (didn't spend much time there), and once it was by the Navajo Red salvia (spent a lot of time there).
Friday, June 18, 2004
Weather: clouding up again, and I hear thunder. I think it has rained just about every afternoon this week.
Garden chores: none today; none yesterday
Squirrels: @#$%!!!! Now they think my hanging basket planted with hummingbird-attracting flowers is a bird feeder. I looked out this afternoon to see a squirrel sitting in the middle of the hanging basket munching on a Cuphea llavea. I was going to take a picture, but as soon as I opened the patio door, he ran up a tree with flowers hanging out of his mouth.
Birds: just after I wrote my post on Wednesday, a hummingbird came by and spent some time at one of the salvias. Haven't seen one since, but I haven't been outside much either.
Rabbits: I looked at enature.com for info about rabbit domiciles, and I learned that they make nests exactly like what I found in the middle of my Oenothera patch. So I guess I will leave it alone for a few weeks, even though I really don't want any more rabbits as garden visitors.
Butterflies: think I just saw a Great Spangled Fritillary, but have to brush up on my butterfly ID skills.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Weather: pouring down rain after being cloudy, hot and sticky all day.
Garden chores: I'm finally back in the garden after a break of several weeks. Lots to catch up - some of the pokeweeds in back were a good 3 feet tall. DH claims that he will weed the beds in front of the house if I will remove the poison ivy first, so I did my part today, and a bit extra. Then deadheaded the lambs' ears and Artemisia 'Valerie Finnis'. Then the lawn service showed up and sprayed quite a lot of herbicide around, so I abandoned my plan to work on the flower borders, and instead weeded in the woods. Only got a tiny fraction done, but it's a start. Lots of poison ivy seedlings back there too.
Critters: was trying to pull up the Oenothera-that-took-over-the-world in back by the air conditioner and noticed a clump of grass clippings in the middle of the thick patch of plants. A closer look revealed a clump of soft fur (loose) in the middle of the grass clippings. And a closer look revealed a twitching pink nose in the center of the fur, down in the ground. No idea which critter this is, except that I have seen a chipmunk in that vicinity, and I saw a rabbit soon after I was investigating the nest/burrow. I thought it didn't look like a big enough hole for a rabbit, but I think they can squeeze in some pretty small places. And it looked a lot like a pink bunny nose that I saw. Whatever it is, it can't stay there. I'm going to clear out all the Oenothera.
Weather: rain has now stopped and the sun is shining.