Sunday, May 29, 2016

Birds in the garden and new plants in Mid April

 Robin feeding its new babies
 Windows 10 photo editor on the house finch
 House finch edited in Photoshop
 A wren
Each of these birds was at the top of the pin oak that at this time was just opening its leaves.  There has been quite a lot of birds in my garden this spring.  I have heard others singing and have been unable to capture them.  The long zoom on my Canon SX60 lets me zoom all the way to the top of this pin oak.  I crop the photos to get the subject closer.
 A fig on April 18.  I think this fig crop will be early this year.
 A lettuce that survived the winter.  This plant is now tall and hopefully going to seed.
 A few of the new plants from Cannors nursery and from the plant show and sale.  The yellow peony tree on the right has perished in the bright sun we had recently.  It was one of the Plant show and sale items, so perhaps it was not really properly rooted to be a sale item.  It tipped over several times in the transport home.
 The two heliotropes from Cannors nursery were very fragrant in the deck planters.  I have now cut off the blooms and hope they will continue to grow and show more flowers
This tiny geum should have been left in its pot, but I planted it out to the 'cutting garden'.  I don't think it survived.  Perhaps I can find a more robust Geum rivale, in purple, some time.  They are very good plants when they get established in the garden.

For the last few days I have been stressed out about Microsoft forcing me to 'update' to Windows 10.  I could not get my printer to work from the computer, and I lost a couple of other programs I used regularly.  I suppose I could have recovered them with the help of my techie.  I so resented this forcing me to go to Windows 10.  Today I found a way to recover my old Windows.  I have to find out how to turn off that automatic updating in Windows.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Swallowtail butterflies in my garden on May 22 and May 24

 I saw this swallowtail butterfly feeding on my rhodo on May 22nd.

 On May 24 this swallowtail was feeding.  I believe the one from the 22nd is an Anise and the larger one on the 24th was a western tiger swallowtail.
Both butterflies fed on the lighter colored rhodo, on the left in the photo.  Neither one of them was interested in the other rhodos in my garden.

Well, I have accidentally updated to Windows 10.  Have to get used to it, I suppose.  Hope this works

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Around the Garden on April 18th

 The apple tree in full bloom.
 the best St. Bridget Anemone in the dark.
 Another light/dark image.  This is the newly added aubretia in a ray of sunlight on the waterfall, with the mermaid observing the light.
 The stepping stones through the moss  from the primula bed going under the deck.
 Tulips were putting on a good show.  Too bad I did not get a good photo.
 The double pink primulas.
Trying to do an artistic shadows image of the tulip on white.

Friday, May 20, 2016

April 9th, the rock and alpine plant show and sale

 Kalmiopsis leachiana is a plant that is native to our area.  I have one growing in the little sundial circle. It is a very well behaved plant, is evergreen and blooms profusely.
 I do not know what this one is, but it looks very nice.
 Last year I planted a gentian in the little rockery in the back garden and it bloomed and survived the winter.

 A lovely lewisia.  I should find one for the lewisia  collection that is in the little rockery in the back garden
 Another native plant.  I have transplanted one that I have in a pot, into the mass garden area.  The volunteer tree that was in its pot will mark the spot where it should be up and blooming again next spring.
One of the trough gardens at the show.  It was a good show, and I came away with a few native plant purchases and a couple others. Hopefully they will all survive.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Around the Garden on April 8th, Part #9

 On April 8th the apple tree was in full bloom.  We now have a good crop of apples showing.  Pat pruned this fruit tree last year and there were very few apples.  This year will be an abundant crop.  My fruit trees do produce heavily every second year.
 There is going to be a good harvest of strawberries this year, also.  I must get to them before the birds get them.
 The rhubarb was looking promising, but it has now faded.  The shoots did not develop beyond the skinny, spindly stage.  I have never seen rhubarb that preforms as poorly as does mine.  It must need to develop a better root system.  I have not harvested any of it this year.  We will need to get rhubarb from the market if we are going to have that strawberry and rhubarb pie this year.
 The little rockery beside the strawberry patch is growing quite nicely.  The daphne is in bloom in the phote.  Behind the daphne are the strawberries and rhubarb.  The black pots in the background contain the new milkweed shoots I received from Dave 2 years ago.
 The scleronthus uniflorus, that looks like a moss, is spreading quite nicely on the gravel.
 The back corner of the garden shows the herb patch, some of the tall bearded iris, and a small cedar.  Behind the cedar there is one of the neighbors fences in the red color and the other one in the diamond shaped pattern.  It makes an interesting mix of patterns and colors.  The tall herb is the rosemary that I should clip back soon.  The sage is to the left of the rosemary and some of the oregano on lower left of the photo.  There is a lovely clematis twining around the herbs and climbing up the big cedar hedge, all in a dark wine color.  Its a very interesting hidden corner of my garden.
This is the big milkweed plant in a big black pot.  According to Dave, these milkweeds will take 3 years to become established.  This shoot is now tall with bluish felty leaves.  I have another one in another big pot that is still tiny.  I had germinated quite a few of the seeds he sent to me, and transplanted them directly to the garden in various spots.  I hope I have some more of them growing.  They are slow to start in the spring.  The monarch butterflies need this particular kind of milkweed for the larvae to feed upon.  The adults can feed on other nectar flowers.  I purchased an Asclepias tuberosa milkweed plant from Cannor nursery two years ago and it is growing in the cutting garden now also.  It also is slow to show in the Spring.  This is a good site that shows how to start milkweed plants:   On June 17th there is a discussion and demonstration on monarch butterflies at the Royal B.C. Museum, where I hope I can get more plants or seeds.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Around the Garden, April 8th, Part #8

 A newer primula growing by the stepping stones by the pond.
 The lovely double mauve primula that grows next to the new blue one, above
 This is a small tuberous oxalis.  It is not at all as vigorous as most clover plants.  Nice foliage and pretty blossoms.  It grows next to the trunk of the plum tree by the pond.
 The dry stream with its new pieces of wood for edging under the deck and two hepaticas in this part of the moss garden.  The moss needs more encouragement.
 The lily of the valley shrub that grows next to the stone path that is the entry to the water/Japanese/moss garden area.  Butchart gardens moss is very very luxuriant.
I moved this miniature pine tree out of the little rockery and into the area where I removed the tall blue spruce, that out grew its space.  This is the new area of where I hope the moss grows to cover the ground under the shrubs.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bull frogs in my garden pond

I noticed what I thought was a juvenile bull frog in my garden pond about April 7th.  I sent an email to the person on the contact list of the B.C. Frog Watch site:
I was redirected to forward my email to:   I dithered on sending the email as I was hoping the frog was a green frog, and I might keep it in my pond.  The green frog is also an imported frog in our area.  The bull frogs are an invasive species, and are taking over the habitat of  our native frogs.
Then on May 1st, I noticed another frog in my garden pond.  By May 10th they were growing and maybe even multiplying.  Yesterday, I sent an email about the frogs to Kerri Davis.  I hope she can  inform me on how to catch the frogs and how they relocate these frogs.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Around the garden, April 8th, part #7

 The Japanese cut leaf maple
 A view of the maple on its mound of moss in the moss garden with the pond in the background.
 I purchased 3 rock garden willows a few years ago at the Rock and Alpine show and sale.  Until last year I had them in pots.  I transplanted this one by the pond.  I had a  huge ball of roots.  I stretched the roots out to reach into the pond, and covered them with soil and rocks.   I believe willows like a lot of water.  I think this is the Salix helvetica.  It has lovely pussy willows in the spring followed by the silvery leaves with almost golden bark.  I will start to prune it  into a nice shape in the Spring  after it has been dormant for the winter.  
 A closer view of the Salix helvetica.  I had to mound it up a bit to keep the root ball at the right level to stretch over the pond liner and into the pond.
 This is the Salix Boyd's pendula variety.  I have put it into this tall pot so that it can hang over the sides.  I had the hole in the pot plugged up, but it was drowning when we had heavy winter rains, so now I try to keep the plant well watered and the hole plugged up again, so that it gets enough water in our dry summers.  I am trying to prune it so that it hangs down over the sides in a nice shape.
The other little willow is now planted by the pond also.  (no picture at this time, as it has just produced its leaves recently)It is the choice Salix boydii.  It grows to a size of 8 x 10 inches.  It seems to grow into a bonsai shape.  I tried to stretch its roots into the water of the pond, also, but they broke off.  It has survived the winter and seems to be happy enough where it is. I keep it well watered and hope its roots extend over the edge into the water, now.
 Water hawthorn and a fish.
 The marsh marigold in bloom.
 Another shot of one of the fish.  I think I have 3 gold fish that are about 4 - 5 inches long.  I added 4 little 3 inch shubunkins recently.  I have 2 bull frogs in my pond.  I do hope they don't eat my fish.  I need to get in touch with the B.C. Frog Watch to find out what I should do with them to get them out of my pond.
 Close up of the water hawthorn bloom.  This is a very good plant in my water garden.
An overview of the pond.