Monday, May 20, 2013

Marvelous May

 This is a Persicaria Bistorta 'Superba' that grows in the back garden border under the western red cedar.  It is said to be invasive but mine has taken many years to get to this size.  I suppose competing with the tree roots keeps it in check.  I really like how it looks.  The flowers last a long time too.  When there gets to be more of them I will be able to use them in bouquets for our dinner table.
 I have been tweaking a few more photos from the CanAm meet last year.  I am loading them to my megashot account where I keep the car stuff.  I might have about one third of the photos finished.  This one was taken out behind the Air Museum  shooting over a runway and back to the mountains. 
 I was playing with layer masking to change the back ground of this Orchid  photo that I took at the orchid show and sale.  Not a great job, and it took ages to try to get the masking done properly.  I must review tutorials on how to get this done.
This is the background that was in the photo, except that I tried to take out a winners ribbon and some of the winning plant, out of the top left corner.  Not a great job of cloning, as the bottom left corner does not look right.

I have had a couple of very good days out in the garden to get quite a lot of things done.  I removed the daylillies  that were by the neighbors sidewalk/garbage cans.  I put about 12 bags of the plants out at the curb for people to take away for free.  There are only 4 bags left.  Its good to see them go to people who appreciate the plants.  I put the left over daylillies around the garden:  some in the woodland, a couple by the bamboo, one in the rose bed. I had left some under the deck and planted them under there.  I also had a piece of the white rhodo that had rooted and I put it under the deck as well.  Some time ago I had moved a little hebe under there and it is in bloom.  So, now I know that I can get more of that wonderful plant around the garden too.  I started cutting out the straggly bush with the white berries.  It is spreading all over that corner and needs to be taken out entirely.  I cleaned up that whole border along that side of the house.  I will eventually get the area under the deck done.  It is currently growing moss and ferns, and a few other shade loving plants.  It is starting to look pretty good.  I will make a sitting area under there and add more evergreen plants to fill out the privacy screen.   I want the sitting area to have a view of the pond, so I may have to move a delphinium out of the vista.
I was losing a lot of water from the pond and thought it might have been from the waterfall.  So, I put a piece of pond liner down the waterfall and rebuilt it by moving the rocks around.  I have put the moss back on top of the rocks that cover the edges of the liner.  It looks really good now and needs pictures taken.  There does not seem to have been water loss overnight.  The moss might wick some of the water out but it should not be very much.
The spring bulbs are mostly finished blooming.  The rhodos, azaleas, lilac, wisteria, some irises, lupine and others are in bloom.  The plants I got for the newly made over part of the vegetable patch into the cutting garden are all surviving.  This gardening is a very rewarding hobby. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

May vistas

 Looking towards the bench from the top grass path, over the hebe, and little front rockery.  The view looks pretty good with the cedars trimmed down a bit and the top leveled. 
 This is just a short vista.  :-) of the alliums, saxifragia, smoke bush, backed by the California lilac.
 The vista from the top grass path past the cement vase, the cement david, past the star magnolia.
 The vista of the little rockery at the front from the bench area.
This is the magnolia tree in a ray of sunlight.  It is hdr.  Before I downsized it for the web, I was comparing the size of the file to the size of the 3 bracketed shots  The end product after the hdr merge is 8.40 mb and the total of the 3 bracket shots is 12.29.  Plus if I do more processing after the hdr merge I will have an even larger file, supposedly with even more data. 

We have had showers off and on today, so I managed to get the laundry finished and a bit of work  done for the poetry page of my old web page.  I really must get more albums done this year. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hedging and pruning

 This lovely little hebe is covered with blooms.  It is at the top of the inner front garden.
 The cedar hedge at the front of the house.  I had Davey Tree guys take this hedge down to about 10 - 12 feet and shear the sides.  It should grow back in on the top and become thicker on the sides over the years.
 I trim my boxwood hedges with my little electric hedge trimmer.  Its easy to do and takes very little time.  This is now a great view from our front entry of the neighbor's garbage cans.  They were pulling branches off the tall photinia bush and destroyed the privacy screen.  So, Davey Tree guys took the poor plant out.  I still have the simplicity rose in that spot, closer to my house.  I was thinking of taking out the rose and adding a new photinia closer to my house so that it does not grow over the property line.  The red leaves look good in that corner.  Now that the photinia is gone I get glare off the windshields of the several cars they keep in their parking lot driveway.  This glare is right into my front window for most of the day.  After reading about Photenia hedges  I may just go with the 3 little yew tree cuttings that I hope will be rooting over the summer.  The yews grow pretty fast also and do not need pruning as the ones I have stay quite thin but make a very good screen.  I can always get new little trees also.   I will measure the space and see how many I need and how far from their sidewalk/garbage cans I need to plant them, and how far apart each tree needs to be.  Hopefully I will be able to keep the rose where it is, if I use the yews.  In this photo you see the grand vista to the neighbor's truck across the street.  This neighbor across the street has trees on their property, whereas the ones beside me do not have a tree on their place.
 This is a shot of the sidewalk and the cedar trees, the camillia, and rhodos that are cut back beyond the property line beside their taj mahal.  They complained about having to clean up the 'tree shit' off this sidewalk that they dump bleach on and wash it into my flower bed and on down to the river across the road that just happens to be posted as fish habitat.  And we wonder why the salmon and frogs are disappearing.  The cedars by my back deck are no longer a privacy screen.  The grandkids destroyed the bottom of it years ago when they used it as a backing to block the pucks they were shooting at the hockey goal net they had set up in front of the cedars.  Of course they were crawling through the trees to retrieve the pucks and balls and broke all the branches off.  I should have planted blackberries in there for their edification.  Now they needed their side of these cedars sheared off at the property line and a few feet of the top lopped off so that the tree shit was not getting into their eaves troughs.  The privacy screen is very thin at the top and non-existent  at the bottom.  Right next to this 'non-eixistent' privacy screen, they have wedged a plastic table and chairs beneath their back steps and about 5 feet from the property line where they sit and smoke, and cough and spit into my 'non-existent' privacy hedge.  From this vantage point they can look up the skirts of anyone  going up the steps to my back deck.  Lovely bunch --- may they live a thousand years.

 I had the Davey tree guy take off the limbs that were pointing towards the my house, from the liquid amber tree.  He did a good job all over the property at what I considered a reasonable cost.  He had to negotiate accesses through the neighbor's property too.  They asked him to take off a branch of the plum tree in the front, that appeared to hang over their driveway and interfere (NOT) with the van... which they never park in their front parking lot anyway.  He showed me the damage on the limb of that he removed:  it was a horrible mess.  And he said that was the only reason he took the limb off.  The guy should be a diplomat!  :-)
Here he is in the bucket that he maneuvered between my front window and the front tree --- a mere 15 or so feet -- to trim back the branches to the trunk.  It looks much better now than the job I did with my long pole pruner.  So this tree should be good for the foreseeable future.   We should still get the shade in the Summer, light in the Winter and great color display in the Fall.  The tree is just now starting to leaf out, and the little rock/alpine plants beneath it are mostly finished blooming.

They also removed the sides and top to about 20 feet high of the cedars at the back of the vegetable patch in the back garden.  They did the neighbor's side of these cedars last year.  There are big cut branches showing, but they should grow in again over time.  I have been trimming back the bottom of these cedars as high as I can reach to make them into a hedge.  Now I should get more light into the  garden and the water/rain should fall onto the vegetable patch.  There were great tree limbs to come down, so I told them the plants down there were expendable.  The rhubarb was crushed, and some of the irises, and glads that were starting to poke up. Nothing serious.  I gathered the rhubarb cut it and froze it.  Yesterday I made a pie with it and some bought strawberries.
I moved the rhubarb to below the strawberries, where I hope it will get more light and have fewer tree roots to contend with.  I have started to make a cutting garden out of the other half of the vegetable patch.    I put in a dahlia, 8 more glads, a veronica, a delphinium, a hollyhock and an echinea.  There is a lovely white columbine that has self seeded in there now.  I have the 3 yews in big black pots to set roots hopefully.  It was very hot for 4 days after hedging and pruning was done, so I was watering, especially at the back.  It was cooler yesterday and we had about half inch of rain over night.  It is cloudy and cooler today.
I moved the orange trees out to the back patio, potted up and fed the 4 I decided to keep and put 3 out at the front with a sign saying free orange trees.  They were gone in short order.  The ones on the back patio are looking good and healthy.  The tomatoe plants got a bit of frost, but are growing new little leaves, so I think they will be good.
I have managed to get the front rectangle weeded, as well as the strip in front of it weeded also.  The crocuses leaves are browning so I will be able to mow that grass soon, too.  The little spirea at the front is finished blooming and so is the plum tree.  Perhaps in a year or two, I will have Davey Tree guys back to prune the fruit trees.  So, I have just one side of that front to weed, now, and I should be finished there for a while.  There are always weeds though.
I had 6 new fish for the pond that were on top of the water for a few days.  Then I saw 2 older, bigger ones also.  One of the new ones died, but the rest survived... so I have at least 7 fish in there, although I haven't seen them for a few days.  The fish in the deck tub is growing .. must be 4 - 5 inches long now. 
The lilac is in bloom at the back and the tree peony at the front, both of which are fragrant and lovely.