Sunday, August 14, 2011

Madly gardening in August

I took these photos the other day, in the bright sunshine.  I really should know better.  They were fairly easy to correct in the RAW converter in Adobe Photoshop.  The David Austin Rose at the top is a wonderful color and very fragrant.  The orange double day lily is something I have had for years.  This particular one is on Parmar's side of the house... not that they would appreciate it.  It grows like crazy so I have been able to divide it and move pieces of it to different areas of the garden.  The oriental lily is something new.  I have finally got lilies to grow!  It takes getting them up out my clay soil.  So this one is in the little rockery in the front garden.  I also have an orange one (not my favourite color) that was a gift from the Grants one year when they stayed at our place.

On Thursday, I was out for two hours in the morning and for 3 in the afternoon.  I cleaned up around the beds near the holly tree.  This involved picking prickly holly leaves out the flowers and grass.  Also weeded, of course and dead headed the campanulas.  The area is looking so much better, now, with all the dried perennial stuff cleaned out, and the jasmine shrubs pruned and cleaned up.  I hope its not too late to be pruning stuff.  In the afternoon, I dug out the front part of the woodland garden next to the water tub.  I took out the lemon balm, and the big leafted perennial.  (Can't remember its name).  Then I dug a hole for the butterfly bush.  It is in front of a small cedar and beside the water tub.  I left 2 of the big leafted perennial plants at the back by the cedar.  They will spread again, no doubt.  The tritoma is behind this  five square foot area also.  Actually the area is probably more than 5 feet deep. I watered the new hole generously and then brought the butterfly bush and transplanted it.  Then covered the area with more of the left over 'mulch' from the Virginia creeper bed renovations.  Watered this all in very generously again.  The butterfly bush is in bloom and is a lovely dark red/purple much like the color of the David Austin Rose above that I love.  There is nothing in front of the butterfly bush yet.  I might like to have something that stays green in winter.  I will wait on this, to see if I have the lemon balm, blue bells and other 'weeds' taken out of there.  Mulching is a good deterrent for the blue bells, and most other things.  But the mulch has to be pretty thick.  I may need cedar bark in the Fall.  Some tulips or daffodils would be nice to have in the front there.  Nothing that will spread into the trilliums, though.  Next, in this woodland area, I need to remove the big herb thing that grows behind the irises. I want to add some lychnis chalcedonia, or maltese cross to this spot.  This plant is a vivid red and blooms in July.  It needs good drainage.  The soil in this area is surprisingly good.  I must have added tons of peat moss when I first made these beds 20 years ago.

I spent Friday morning getting photos and planning a few things.  I thought I needed more flat stones for the path in the back garden.  Since Pat wanted to go to Slegg lumber to get some stuff, I begged his help to get some round stepping stones.  This is a really good idea, as it is very opportune to get the round stepping stones, and the bottom part of this path is made with round stepping stones.  The bottom part of the path has Sicilian mint filling in around the stones.  It looks really great, and the fragrance is wonderful. Now that I have the 7 new stones, I will renovate the top part of this path adding the round stepping stones, and putting down news paper to block weeds from growing.  I will need to find some clay to cover the newspaper.  I guess I could liberate this from under the deck.  This will free up some flat rocks for use elsewhere, should i need them.  I can always use these rocks, it seems.  After Slegg Lumber, we went to Canadian Tire and bought my new desk, in a box.  It needs to be put together.  Today, we started it, and it is looking pretty good for a very inexpensive 41 inch desk. It has 3 drawers and a keyboard shelf.  The front has 2 doors that close over the drawers and all.  Really quite nice. I am going to use this to make an "L" shape out of my computer area.  I will keep my new monitor and my old printer on it.  I will be able to use this new wide screen with the HD stuff for watching movies.  I may even learn how to watch TV on it, if I can find the time for this.  I have a few movies that I have saved from my Limewire days, and I find I can also watch movies in parts on you tube.  With this hd card and new screen set to its proper resolution I should have another time consuming pass time.  Man!  nothin' like being retired!

Since Saturdays are my watering days, I spent 3 hours this evening moving the little sprinkler around to get all the areas in the front watered.  Between moving the sprinkler around I did more dead heading and weeding.  In the morning, I ran the big sprinkler at the back on the vegetable garden and the apple tree area.  I will need to set up the sprinkler that shoots in a long narrow line to do the woodland area around the old garage, and the strip along the driveway.  It takes time to do this, but the plants seem to appreciate the effort.  I can see where mulching is going to be just what is needed in places to keep the weeds down and conserve moisture in the summer.  I like the self seeding plants in the woodland area, though, so I may leave the back corner without mulch, but clean up the thistles and lemon balm and other weeds.  So, I have a few things to do out there!  All this is good exercise and I am on track for my weight loss  as per my doctors orders.  .. 3 lbs in a month... seemed easy ... but just not that easy after all.  The exercises in the morning and all the gardening is working, along with less starchy stuff, and no more jelly beans or chips.  I certainly feel a lot better, already.  If I can keep this up, I should be down the 3 lbs., plus and well on my way to the 15 lbs. loss.  I want to take off even more than that, too.  This has to happen over time and with sticking to the diet and exercises.  Think new wardrobe, hair and everything!  :-)
This is a Lychnis Chaledocia, or Maltese Cross.  My Mom used to grow a great big patch of these.  Very nice flowers.  I have a plant in the front garden that is slowly spreading.  With the natural leaf fall I think I need to add more nitrogen to this area that is constantly covered in dried leaves or the freshly fallen ones in the Autumn.   Next year I should look into getting a bag of this 30 - 30 - 30 fertilizer, perhaps.  The vegetable garden could sure use it too.  John and Isabel grew the most fantastic vegetable gardens where ever they lived.  They used lots of good natural fertilizers as well the commercial kind.  Of course, there is no substitute for regular attention to watering and weeding too.

While trying to get my photos together for my "June" album on the gardening page of my old web page, this Maltese Cross was one of the photos I chose to use.  I could not, for the life of me, remember the name of the plant.  I tried to google it as red flowers, but did not find it.  Finally, I remembered the Maltese Cross common name.  While trying to look up the name, I would often see Daves Garden mentioned under the names of the google images I was seeing.  I thought this Dave must be one hell of a gardener to have all those photos showing on google searches!  Well, of course it is a gardeners website, with forums and people can load their flower photos to the forums or their 'journal'.  So, I joined, to brag my Maltese Cross  name search.  There are all kinds of forums.  But most of them are for subscribers only.  Ok,... this might be good when I have more time, if ever... at the moment, I can use google to find things like this, instead of paying the $20.00 to ask a question in the forums once every 5 years.  But, it does look like an interesting place and fun to participate with other gardeners.  It is out of California, of course.  I do hope to get back to it, sometime.  Gardening, travel, photography, computer stuff, reading and just generally living seem to more than filling my days. 

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