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Ruth's garden is on its own

Gardens & Books

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12wonderY
Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 9:53am Top

I've been having such fun reading your garden journals, I have to chime in. However, I'm not actively gardening - not enough time and energy, with everything else. I spent hours and hours working in my yard decades ago, though, and I still get to enjoy the fruits. There used to be much more variety, but over time, some things just petered out and other things kinda took over.
My pictures this year will look a lot like last year.
I've got an album at Webshots, (which you can reach just by clicking on the pictures posted here) so I'll only post an ocassional picture here, if there is something to point out.

My ancient water maple tree gave up the ghost last year, and here is the corner


You'll notice that I didn't replace the tree, but have several volunteers vying for the honor. The tallest is a wild cherry which doesn't produce fruit, but grows fast. The one I'm rooting for is the maple at 1 o'clock from the overturned bucket. It came up last year, so I expect great things from it this year.

2Rozax
May 11, 2012, 5:37pm Top

Wow! It's a regular battle royale back there! I look forward to seeing who wins!

3fuzzi
May 11, 2012, 7:24pm Top

Yippee! Ruth's added her own thread!

I'm going to have to look up 'water maple tree'...I've never heard of that.

4fuzzi
May 11, 2012, 7:29pm Top

Aha, I found some information!

The silver maple (Acer saccharinum)—also called creek maple, river maple, silverleaf maple, soft maple, water maple, or white maple—is a species of maple native to eastern North America in the eastern United States and Canada. It is one of the most common trees in the United States.

Ya learn sumthin' new ev'ry day...

52wonderY
May 13, 2012, 8:50pm Top

I do admire volunteer plants and have a hard time telling things they have no business in my yard. Trees that tend to invite themselves -
Walnut - which always get dug out.
Holly - It's just such a nice plant, I try to offer them new homes.
Dogwood - my neighbor had a fabulous deep pink dogwood that died a couple years ago. I keep hoping that the sprouts I'm allowing to keep growing will turn out to be daughters.
Oak - My bane recently. Another neighbor's tree throws millions of acorns which sprout throughout my lawn and beds.
Crategus - Thorny and hard to eradicate.
There's one tree which has volunteered several places and I don't know what it is. Maybe apple? I've ignored it because I can always cut it out if it annoys me. I need to discover what it is because it has overtaken a birch tree. It's got an entry in the contest above.

6qebo
May 14, 2012, 7:43am Top

I'm enjoying the battle of the volunteers!

7fuzzi
May 14, 2012, 8:16am Top

LOL!

Where would we be without volunteers? :D

8tiffin
May 15, 2012, 8:54pm Top

I love oaks but not the one on my neighbour's property: last tree to lose its leaves, after I've done the garden cleanup, so every Spring I have to clean up a bazillion oak leaves from my borders.

9SqueakyChu
Edited: May 15, 2012, 9:35pm Top

Eek! I have a volunteer red oak and was thinking of transplanting it into a corner of my yard. I was so excited to find it. I think it came from acorns I brought from DC to feed the squirrels in my backyard.

I have a feeling that my neighbors might not like that tree. What do you think?

I was hoping to plant it to provide even more acorns for squirrels. My husband says not to worry about it and plant the tree anyway. Our yard is so small that it will have to go in one corner so that the tree will eventually overhang three other yards.

I know that these trees get humongous...but that won't be for another 300 years. I'll be long gone by then. :)

10tiffin
May 15, 2012, 9:35pm Top

Well, they grow slowly. If they don't have flower beds on the other side, you should be ok. It also depends which way the prevailing winds blow. I'm in the lee of them so the oak leaves are everywhere, including all around our front door.

11SqueakyChu
May 15, 2012, 9:37pm Top

My gut feeling says to transplant the tree. I am so upset by all of the construction in my city and so many trees being hacked off and cut down. This is a reaction formation to that, I know.

12SqueakyChu
May 15, 2012, 9:38pm Top

I don't do much with fallen leaves, other than just rake them into my compost pile. It doesn't bother me if I don't get all of them either as they will just dry up and provide food for my lawn, I figure.

13tiffin
May 15, 2012, 9:50pm Top

Aha, it's different in the city. I'm in the country, surrounded by trees. And I do mean surrounded. At 4 p.m. our house is in total shade.

14SqueakyChu
May 15, 2012, 9:55pm Top

You're so lucky to have all those trees!

15fuzzi
May 16, 2012, 8:44am Top

At 4pm it is hot here, so I would welcome shade at that time. :)

Plant the tree! You can always cut it down if it doesn't work out (sorry, SqueakyChu).

16SqueakyChu
Edited: May 16, 2012, 9:41am Top

The red oak tree is already growing int he ground (near my front door!). It just needs to be either yanked out or transplanted. I think I'll just have my husband transplant it.

My younger son, years ago, planted a tulip poplar (a Maryland native plant) in our backyard. This is what it looks like in the fall...



17fuzzi
May 16, 2012, 12:30pm Top

Ah, look at all those leaves....for the compost pile...:drool drool:

:D

18qebo
May 16, 2012, 12:51pm Top

9: I think it came from acorns I brought from DC to feed the squirrels in my backyard.
That's so cool! I'd cavalierly say don't worry about the neighbors, but I worry about mine...

192wonderY
May 18, 2012, 11:53am Top

I've been way out of commission this week, battling allergies - I think it's oak pollen which has aggrevated my sinuses this year. I normally work 4 ten hour days to allow three days for a real life. I started that schedule when my boss moved the office 45 miles away and the commute adds 2 hours to my work day. (GRRRR!!!) So instead of 5 long hour days, I've got 4 even longer days.
Anyway, I've been in a meds induced fog, struggling to be clear enough to drive. So I've only been able to enjoy my yard in glimpses.

I'm hoping the roses are still at peak tomorrow when I'll have time to go and say hello to them. I need to dig some up and invite them to KY.

My daughters are coming to celebrate my birthday. I want just the two of them, because that never happens anymore. I'm planning to make fresh lemonade and sit with them in the gardens.

20tiffin
May 18, 2012, 11:58am Top

2wonderY, do you have a birthday this weekend? So do I! Also have allergies. Pah. Sucks to be allergic to things you love, like trees.

212wonderY
May 18, 2012, 12:02pm Top

Happy Birthday to you, tiffin! I turn 58 next week.

Last year I had no problems and I was attributing it to eating local honey. But it was KY local, not WV where I spend half my time.

22tiffin
May 18, 2012, 12:11pm Top

You're just a young 'un. Many happy returns! Once the mossies and blackflies come out, I wear a bug hat and am covered head to toe. Somehow the screen on the bug hat helps--a filter? And I always shower when I come in from a big stint in the garden, which helps as well. By June we're out of the pollen season for a while--until the farmers start haying. Och weel...

23fuzzi
May 18, 2012, 12:22pm Top

Ruth, sorry to hear about your allergies: I've had them all my life. If I'm going to be in the yard/gardens much then I take an antihistamine before I start. I also take a shower afterwards and throw my clothes in the wash, to reduce my exposure to stuff that might make me sick.

But it's worth it, to see the flowers...

242wonderY
May 21, 2012, 9:39am Top

Well, the whole crew came. It's not really that many, but the 4 grands generally demand everyone's attention. But they were SO GOOD! We filled a pew at church, and they do know how to behave during that hour. Church had a picnic afterwards, so they were happily fed and occupied for lunch. When we made it back to my house, they were happy to just hang out on the swings and a hammock and a bouncy horse, while the grown-ups enjoyed our own company. It was a picture perfect day. The 4 year old, Ellie, is most interested in what's growing. She and I made some beautiful arrangements with roses and everlasting peas, which are the perennial version of sweet peas, but don't have an odor.

My camera battery needs charged, and I've lost the charger. No one else brought out a camera. So it's all preserved in my head - and my heart.

25tiffin
May 21, 2012, 9:47am Top

This was your birthday celebration, right? My lads and Himself took me out for a lovely dinner. Just having my family around me was the best gift of all--sounds like you feel the same way.

262wonderY
May 21, 2012, 10:58am Top

Yes. It was perfection.

27fuzzi
May 21, 2012, 6:56pm Top

Sounds wonderful, Ruth. :)

282wonderY
May 24, 2012, 11:41am Top

I cheated on the tree replacement competition. I came across a taller Maple sapling, and I believe it is a Red Maple. It was trying to grow in pine needle trash on my lower patio and so it was easy to pull up, and it really seems to appreciate the real soil and water it's being offered.

I also had an ancient apple tree rot through the trunk enough to lose it's top a few years ago. I left the partial trunk, and it's been vigorous enough to keep producing suckers, but I let a wild grapevine mass over the whole thing. I was going to chop out the grapevine and let the tree free, but we noticed that the grapevine is producing lots of potential grapes this season. So I'm going to wait. The apple tree (Which is so ancient and venerable that many random people in town remember it from their childhoods. My children were practically raised under it. It had always been the backyard focus....

Ode to an Apple Tree

Spring has well begun once we see your snowy petals fill our vision every year.
We know the work of gathering your windfalls each mowing day,
But too, allow the wasps their drunken orgies in their cups.
The meals and friendly gatherings celebrated under your welcoming boughs
Still fill our hearts' eyes.
Laden with green fruit throughout the season,
You ne'er but once struck visitor - and we agreed with your exception!

Young and old have lazed and read and played seated 'neath you;
And daring perches found aloft, to see yon distant new horizons
And dreamy slings and swings for contemplation, you have borne.

When you sighed and laid you down,
We sadly gathered up the wood, to burn at campside fires;
And eagerly were glad to see
Your roots throw up new vigorous life.
A daughter stands now at roots' end,
Soon taking on the 'ternal task
Of friendly shelter -Thank you, dear tree!

Wow! I had no idea I was so sentimental.

292wonderY
May 29, 2012, 7:56am Top

Scrabbling in the undergrowth to pull more oak seedlings, my hand found a poison ivy volunteer. I've got a great big blister now between fingers. I'm amazed at the elasticity of the skin.

I still haven't found my camera battery charger. The yellow loosestrife is doin' its thang at the moment.

This borrowed photo looks a lot like my patches:

30SqueakyChu
May 29, 2012, 8:26am Top

My yellow loostrife used to be so pretty, but the day lilies have all but battered the life out of it. That's why I'll be going after the day lilies with a vengenace this year! Grrr!!

31tiffin
May 29, 2012, 9:00am Top

Dang! about the poison ivy.

32fuzzi
May 29, 2012, 6:59pm Top

Beautiful picture, even if it isn't technically your own flowers.

BTW, I break out like crazy with exposure to poison ivy, too. My doctor told me to take an antihistamine before I break out, if I suspect I have been exposed to poison ivy. It keeps me from having blisters 'pop out' all over my wrists and hands.

It's an allergy.

332wonderY
Edited: Apr 21, 8:19am Top

I got back to West Virginia and took a walk around before it began sprinkling. Hydrangeas and Perennial Peas are doing best now.

Color and size are best viewed from the porch-




34tiffin
Jun 12, 2012, 12:01pm Top

Oh those hydrangeas are just beautiful. Never in a million years could I grow ones like that.

352wonderY
Jun 12, 2012, 12:20pm Top

Sure you can. It only takes about a decade to get good, mature and reliable clumps. You have to baby them along until then, but that just means clipping dead wood in the spring as the leaves emerge and making sure they get enough water in the summer sun. The ones I have get the western sun and used to wilt. Now it's just sit back and enjoy. I don't even clip anymore, and I get more blooms.

36fuzzi
Jun 12, 2012, 12:24pm Top

I clipped my Hydrangeas too much the year before last, and had virtually no blooms last year. This year I didn't do a thing, well, except water and spread coffee grounds at the base of the plants. They are blooming very well this year, but when I take pictures, they blooms look washed out, so I've not posted any.

372wonderY
Jun 14, 2012, 10:03am Top

Huh! My camera did the same thing on all of the different flowers. I had to edit to bring back the true colors. I was surprised because it was overcast, and the camera shouldn't have had such a problem. I still couldn't get the color as vivid as it is in real life.

38fuzzi
Jun 14, 2012, 1:03pm Top

Our eyes are still superior to any camera. :)

39Rozax
Jun 15, 2012, 12:53am Top

My husband and I are talking about getting a new camera. He knows what to look for, and he can consult his brother if he wants further information, who probably consults their sister, if they want further input. As long as I don't need to read the manual in order to figure out how to point and click, I'm happy.

402wonderY
Jul 8, 2012, 5:16pm Top

Was in Kentucky last week, so I was not even aware that my community was hard hit by the storm. My neighborhood was without power for 4 days. So when I got back, I took a quick look around and cleaned out my freezer. Luckily, all had re-frozen, so there was no glop or odor to deal with. Now I need to find if there is still a drop-off spot for spoiled meats. It's all bagged and back in the freezer in case I end up putting it out with the regular trash.

A quick survey of the yard from the back door didn't reveal a busted tree out on the far corner. It must have been a real freak wind, as this strong young tree snapped at 6 feet from the ground, and nothing else around it was harmed. It was too hot yesterday, but I started tackling it some today. Yeah, guess where my equipment is? Yep, Kentucky.

It's a Hawthorn, and it is the biggest tangle of lethal thorns you'd never want to mess with. My favorite holly bush is underneath, otherwise I'd just let it season for a while. It's not in anyone's way.

Temperatures are supposed to moderate to the 80s this week. I'm glad - my old house lacks AC, which is usually just fine with me. I've been trying to stay hydrated inside and out.

41fuzzi
Jul 8, 2012, 7:45pm Top

There were some freaky storms down this way too. I'm glad that only one tree was apparently damaged!

422wonderY
Jul 10, 2012, 8:53am Top

I won't miss the Hawthorn except for the screen it provided. But I'm mourning the holly. The leader got snapped off in the impact from the hawthorn falling on it. I'm not sure it will recover and grow taller. It's a very prickley leaved variety and it's a female and was beginning to produce copious berries.

The birds will miss the hawthorn. I had no idea how many berries were made in that small tree. They have dried and fallen from their stems, and the ground is dangerous - like walking on tiny marbles.

43SqueakyChu
Edited: Jul 10, 2012, 9:04am Top

Sorry to hear about your snapped hawthorn tree and the fallen holly tree.

Our tulip poplar was once snapped in the wind when young. It went on to produce a second leader. Then, later, the original leader grew back! It's now a beautiful tree!


In 2007


In 2011

Kind of like a two-sailed sailboat! :)

442wonderY
Jul 10, 2012, 9:08am Top

The holly was still a young'un - just my height. They grow really slow. Top two feet are gone. I hope it can develop another leader.

452wonderY
Edited: Jul 10, 2012, 10:50am Top

Researching Holly recovery, I found this short dissertation, and thought I'd share it:

"Whenever I see the Holly tree, I feel an inner smile, like a ray of light touching my heart. Sometimes I go and look for Holly trees or I pay a visit to the ones that I know best. They give me relief from pain and I feel my own inner clarity and "uprightness". The beautiful thing about Holly's presence is that it touches both heart and mind, and brings them into a harmonious dialogue. I become aware of my own spinal column and feel an inner acceptance of pain and sacrifice. The thorns of Holly do not speak to me of aggression, but rather they speak of sacrifice, and of the crown of thorns “Like the Hanged Man of the Tarot, Holly represents personal sacrifice in order to gain something of greater value.”

From
The Wisdom of Trees: “Mysteries, Magic, and Medicine”
by Jane Gifford


The crucial paradox of the Christian faith – intellectually incomprehensible – becomes living evidence in the presence of Holly. The leaves are so dark – and yet the tree radiates light! There is so much sharpness and pointedness in Holly – and yet it transmits a mild and gentle acceptance. On another level, the thorns symbolize the protection of the core self of pure love from the intrusion of negative thoughts like envy and jealousy.

I feel something highly cosmic in Holly, which has taken on and adapted to the earthly elements. This cosmic-earthly body of Holly gives me courage to stand upright, and courage to bring love to earth. "

Ralph Raphael Grosse-Kleimann

462wonderY
Edited: Jul 17, 2012, 10:57am Top

The city promised to remove the storm debris. It looks like the trash men attempted to take my pile, but they mostly managed to spread it around. The thorns were too much. I'm hoping they have a backup crew. Otherwise I may spend the next few weeks cutting the branches up into very small pieces and filling my trash barrels.

ETA
I spent a couple of hours yesterday evening pulling the mini-mountain apart and chopping it up into smaller pieces. I found it was not impossible to make bundles, though they are awkward and still terribly thorny. Another evening's work should do it. Trash day is Wednesday.

472wonderY
Jul 19, 2012, 3:10pm Top

Just a note to report that the trash men passed me by once again. They didn't even tip my barrels out, much less pick up the tied branches. It's possible they had a full truck and mean to return. My neighbor directly opposite had a small mountain of discards from cleaning out the house getting ready to sell it; and that was not picked up either. Perhaps they came back today.

482wonderY
Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 12:13pm Top

I happened to be at home when the sun was out a week past, and I knew where the camera was, so I took a few pictures.

This is a corner of one of the flowerbeds. There really is a path to the alley, but nothing is tied up the way it should be:


Leadwort Plumbago is the brilliant blue at the bottom. Perennial peas on the left in front of a hydrangea and a rose. Asters, hibiscus and others on the right. Goldenrod is a volunteer, but I don't much fight it.

This is the same area viewed from the other side:


The asters were willed to me from an ancient neighbor lady. Several people have been owners of her property since, and none of her gardens remain.

Twisting right:


the purple asters were collected from a highway strip. Dogwood tree behind has lost most leaf already.

Riot in pink:


One of my beautyberry bushes:


The other one has lost all it's berries, don't know why.

And here is the hawthorn that got struck down by the big storm:


It is such a pretty plant, I'm gonna hate to kill it, but I must.

49qebo
Sep 25, 2012, 11:32am Top

48: Gorgeous!

50fuzzi
Edited: Sep 25, 2012, 12:29pm Top

Aarrgh! Lost my post.

1. Why are you killing the hawthorn?

2. Beautyberry? Great! You have now identified a plant my dh and I saw on a nature walk last week, while on our vacation, thanks!

512wonderY
Sep 25, 2012, 12:54pm Top

Beautyberry - AND ITS A NATIVE!

Hawthorn must go because it's sprouting up everywhere! It doesn't want to be a tree; it wants to be a grove of trees. There are several more behind the fence.
Cleaning up the fallen tree was nightmarish because of the three inch thorns that I'm still finding in the soil now as I pull weeds. Yikes!

Thinking of bringing a volunteer to Kentucky, but not sure where to let it loose.

52fuzzi
Sep 29, 2012, 10:20am Top

Release it on the property line...

532wonderY
Edited: Nov 19, 2012, 5:52pm Top

I noticed that one of my volunteer trees is carrying crabapples!!!

URL=http://s1339.photobucket.com/albums/o709/2wonderY/?action=view&current=nov2012crabapple2_zpsf3062152.jpgIMGhttp://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/o709/2wonderY/th_nov2012crabapple2_zpsf30621.../IMG/URL

IMGhttp://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/o709/2wonderY/nov2012crabapple2_zpsf3062152..../IMG


That just makes me smile.

ps: does photobucket have any size between thumbnail and gigantic?

54fuzzi
Edited: Nov 19, 2012, 6:24pm Top

I don't know, I don't use photobucket, I use Shutterfly.

You can change the size of your posted picture by adding a space and "width=400" after the 'jpg and before the right arrow key.

55fuzzi
Dec 3, 2012, 9:28pm Top

How are you doing, Ruth? Not seen much of you lately...

562wonderY
Dec 4, 2012, 7:18am Top

I'm doing fine, thank you for asking. One daughter has more complications in her life than it seems possible, and I try to lend a hand there. My brother is undergoing chemo a state away, and I've been trekking up there to be his advocate and driver. So far, it seems that December is under control. (saying prayer that nothing else crops up.) I got down to Kentucky this weekend, and I hope to post a progress note on that. God sustains.

57fuzzi
Dec 4, 2012, 12:35pm Top

Indeed He does.

Keeping all of you in my prayers. :)

582wonderY
Apr 26, 2013, 4:53pm Top

First stay at home weekend for me in a while.

Gonna mow and enjoy what's coming up. That crabapple volunteer pictured in >53 2wonderY: was in full bust-out bloom last week. I took pictures, but still can't locate the camera battery charger. May have to buy another one.

On the prayer front, both my brother and my dad are in cancer remission. My daughter's family got a huge tax return, and seem in relatively good shape for now.

592wonderY
Apr 29, 2013, 3:40pm Top

My cherry tree here was in full bloom, but the bee activity was on the holly tree. Lots of small flowers, so there will be plenty of berries this year. Lilac is in full bloom, and lots of catkins hanging from my water oak tree.

602wonderY
May 7, 2013, 3:42pm Top

This has been a prodigious and leisurely spring. Everything is blooming large and plentiful.

A field of wild violets:


a volunteer spread of aconite:


lovely licacs:


and I forget the name:

but I have it in white, pink and purple.

61fuzzi
May 7, 2013, 3:45pm Top

(58) On the prayer front, both my brother and my dad are in cancer remission. My daughter's family got a huge tax return, and seem in relatively good shape for now.

WONDERFUL news!

62tiffin
May 7, 2013, 6:33pm Top

>58 2wonderY:: that IS good news!
I would call that white, pink, purple thing scilla.

632wonderY
May 8, 2013, 6:31am Top

Thank you, tiffin! I knew I didn't have to look it up, just wait for someone to tell me.

642wonderY
May 22, 2013, 3:38pm Top

Ruth's garden has a tomato!

652wonderY
Edited: May 22, 2013, 3:46pm Top

This is the best month in my garden. The roses are bloomin' their little hearts out, and the peonies are right behind them.


Fourth of July


Lady Hamilton


and the rambling pink

who's ruffles thrill me.

Here's my spiderwort

66tiffin
May 22, 2013, 4:37pm Top

Lady Hamilton is a show stopper!

672wonderY
May 22, 2013, 4:40pm Top

And she might actually be a Pat Austin. I can't remember. But she tends more to peach than to orange.
The buds are erect, but the full bloom always nods.

68fuzzi
May 22, 2013, 10:06pm Top

Beeee U ti full!

69qebo
May 26, 2013, 8:53am Top

65: Everywhere pink! Peonies here haven't yet bloomed.

702wonderY
Mar 31, 2014, 8:11pm Top

Harumph! I've been trying unsuccessfully to load a picture of my new trench.
I exposed the entire length of pipe this evening and I've found a contractor willing to come later in the week and just make the connections. I'll have all the materials on hand and notify the gas company. It should go bing-bang-bing. And he'll charge for just his time.

I'll try the picture again tomorrow.

712wonderY
Apr 1, 2014, 6:26am Top

Got it to load.

72fuzzi
Apr 6, 2014, 3:50pm Top

What's the trench for?

732wonderY
Apr 6, 2014, 5:10pm Top

Oh, I thought you knew. Had to replace the gas service line.

74tiffin
Apr 6, 2014, 9:51pm Top

Darn, I was hoping you were starting a moat.

75fuzzi
Apr 6, 2014, 10:33pm Top

>73 2wonderY: I must have missed that post...or just forgotten it, sorry.

762wonderY
Apr 7, 2014, 7:19am Top

Sorry, my battery died last evening. More -

I was so ticked at the estimates the contractors gave me, that I just started digging. Had to remove my precious plants from the work zone anyway, and just kept going. I did hire a plumber to make the actual disconnect/new connections/move the meter. Paid him for 4 hours, though he actually worked closer to 3. (rate = $70.) But hey, he's gotta make a living too, and he didn't screw around. He got through it a lot faster than I would have. In fact, I couldn't even budge the old line, even using his wholesale-sized monkey wrenches. It's been rusting for 100 years.
I'm glad I dismissed him when his part was done, as it took 4 more hours for the gas company tech to come and inspect and make the final connection. He got there just as a thunderstorm came up, and he went down into the hole and did what was needed while I tried to shovel mud over the new line. The tech is a good guy too. He gave me parts from his supply, and handed me two cans of paint to use on the exposed connections on either side of the meter, when it dries out.

77fuzzi
Apr 7, 2014, 10:59am Top

LOL at "getting ticked": it gave you the incentive and energy to do it yourself!

I'm still waiting to hear back from the floor guy. Does he want the job or not?

782wonderY
Apr 22, 2014, 7:54am Top

I've told the tale elsewhere of the robin who dogged my steps all the while I was digging that trench. Unfortunately, it was too early, and we found few worms, but he gobbled up whatever I found. He would perch critically on the edge of the hole and make sure I wasn't missing anything.

This weekend, I was putting the flower beds back in order, re-planting what I'd had to remove. It was late in the day when he arrived with a disgruntled cheep, definitely with the attitude that I should have let him know I was in the dirt.

79SqueakyChu
Apr 22, 2014, 9:44am Top

Cute story about the robin! He must be fat by now. :)

80lesmel
Apr 22, 2014, 9:52am Top

>78 2wonderY: That's hilarious. There's a house sparrow that keeps eating the bugs off our windows in my office building. We are on the 21st floor. I'm not even sure how this crazy sparrow discovered there was an open buffet up here.

812wonderY
May 13, 2014, 7:49am Top

>80 lesmel: That IS amazing.

My giant hydrangeas seem to be starting all over from the roots. The only leaves showing so far are at ground level. Nothing at all on the stems.
The snowball bush, however, is business as usual.

Lilacs are later than usual and small sprays.

82fuzzi
May 13, 2014, 9:09am Top

I love the bird stories, thank you for sharing them.

I might have told it elsewhere, but I collect ornamental birdhouses, and have them hanging on my porch.

This year, a pair of Chickadees decided that one of the "fake" houses was good enough, and raised a brood of chicks inside!

If I was on my porch watering my plants, and a parent bird arrived with food, I was scolded repeatedly until I left, lol.

832wonderY
May 21, 2014, 3:52pm Top

My electric lawn mower quit - just wouldn't start again - this week. I had to borrow the neighbor's mower for the last couple of passes because it looked like the back yard was sporting a mohawk.
It's possibly the starter switch. I'll go looking for a replacement tomorrow, as I'll be in the city that parts are usually shipped from - at a $10 surcharge.

If that's not it, I may be treating myself to a new mower as a birthday present to myself.

Oh, and I failed to take note of where each of the four wires belonged before disconnecting them. Anybody have a clue?

84lesmel
May 21, 2014, 3:55pm Top

>83 2wonderY: Hmm, a mohawk lawn. Maybe you could set a new trend! What make/model/etc is the lawn mower? I can't tell you jack about motors or mowers, but I rock (modest much?) at finding answers! :)

852wonderY
May 21, 2014, 4:24pm Top

If you can find it, you'll be blessed.

It's Black & Decker MM675.

872wonderY
Jun 23, 2014, 9:40am Top

The mower is back in business. The repair shop people have been very kind and accomodating. So I got the entire yard done this weekend.
I also decided to eliminate all of the dead flower heads and stems of the hydrangeas. The new growth is almost chest high, and the dead stuff is another foot or so taller. The new leaves seemed to protest their loss of shade, as they began drooping like pouty children.

My next task is to begin rescuing my flower beds from the peppermint that has become a monoculture. It's easy enough to pull out by the roots, but I'm afraid it has gotten ahead of me. And I'm not even a fan of peppermint.

882wonderY
Jun 23, 2014, 11:36am Top

Oh! lesmel mentioned tomatoes, which reminds me I wanted to brag that I've got three ripe tomatoes to eat for lunch today. I'll just put them back out in the sun for a little bit before I drizzle dressing on them and chomp down.

89SqueakyChu
Jun 24, 2014, 9:31pm Top

Yum!

90lesmel
Jun 25, 2014, 9:06am Top

I second that! YUM! Although, really, I'm not a huge fan of tomatoes. I mostly eat them because I know they are good for me. I like them as sauce, ketchup, soup, etc.

91MarthaJeanne
Edited: Jun 25, 2014, 12:10pm Top

Mine need another few days. At least a few of the Black Cherries are beginning to turn colour.

We finally had some rain this afternoon, so I have been out slug hunting. Yuck!

922wonderY
Jun 25, 2014, 12:16pm Top

Have I ever told you about my slug hunting days? My house had been vacant for several years and the yard mowed only occassionally, and the slugs were so huge and numerous, you could actually hear them chewing after dark. You couldn't walk in the yard without stepping on some. I went after them with a spray bottle of ammonia. Thankfully, their screams were silent.

93MarthaJeanne
Edited: Jun 25, 2014, 1:01pm Top

I hate rubber gloves, but for this I use a one time one, and throw them into vinegar water. Sometimes they really writhe a lot, but they do not climb out.

942wonderY
Jun 25, 2014, 1:28pm Top

Much the same concept. With yours you've done the clean-up work. With mine, I don't have to touch them at all. :)

952wonderY
Jul 2, 2014, 5:29pm Top

I'm getting so sick of looking at my front lawn. What with all the disturbances and new soil added by the gas company (that was two years ago when they replaced the street line) and the seed they laid down - it is completely choked with crabgrass and quack grass. The good fescue/ryegrass/bluegrass mix I put down is all choked out. So I picked up some kill-em-all and spot treated.
I'll be in Kentucky this coming week. So we'll just see what a close mow, some pizzen and July sun will do to them suckers.

962wonderY
Jul 3, 2014, 2:36pm Top

Ha! Brown lawn when I got home yesterday. I used diquat which is a non-selective dessicant. It doesn't go systemic, but does remain in the soil, but non-active when bound to clay. That's if you don't remove the dead vegetation, which I plan to do.
I spent a good part of the cooler part of the day going into overgrown areas and clearing unwanted plants out. I found a nice thick clump of poison ivy back under the oak tree. I do need to clean that corner out.

97MarthaJeanne
Jul 3, 2014, 3:04pm Top

I'll take our nettles over poison ivy any day!

982wonderY
Jul 3, 2014, 8:12pm Top

Waaaaa!!!!! I disturbed some bees or wasps and boy were they MAD! I got stung 5 or 6 times, mostly on my left arm, once on the right ankle. One of the buggers got caught in my hair and another inside my blouse. Neither stung me, but I ran inside and shucked some clothes. Ow! Ow! Ouch!
No more yard work for me tonight. Went for comfort food and checking in. Chili fries.

Think I'll sit inside and read a book or two.

99qebo
Jul 3, 2014, 10:31pm Top

>98 2wonderY: Owwwwwwwww!

1002wonderY
Jul 4, 2014, 10:39am Top

The arm is swollen and ITCHY today.

101Lyndatrue
Jul 4, 2014, 11:09am Top

I had meant to post this yesterday, and now feel terrible that I did not. I strongly recommend Benadryl spray for things like this, and it lives on a counter within close reach during these times of the year. Ants are cousins to wasps, and I have a strong reaction to them as well, unless I manage to spray the sting (yes, some ants sting as well as bite).

http://www.amazon.com/Strength-Benadryl-Analgesic-Protectant-Mosquito/dp/B00HANX...

It will still help, even though spraying it on the sting right after is best. I have multiple stinging insects, and this is really the best. I don't know that I'd buy something like this from Amazon, though, since it's important to make sure that it hasn't expired (the date is printed on the bottom).

Your stings sound more like wasp than bee (since you say itchy and swollen, and don't mention a stinger left behind).

1022wonderY
Jul 4, 2014, 1:32pm Top

I did just take an antihistamine.
And, yes, they appear to be yellow jackets, researching the one which came inside with me. I thought they were larger, but these were as small as honey bees. They've made a nest in the pine trash collected on my yard swing.

103MarthaJeanne
Jul 4, 2014, 3:02pm Top

I found that wasps had made three nests on the handle of the roof window over my bed. Luckily there is a screen, and with the help of spray I was able to get rid of them without getting stung. I don't like wasps.

1042wonderY
Aug 4, 2014, 8:17am Top

I told you I was eliminating the crabgrass in my front lawn. Well, I had pulled a lot of it out along the sidewalk and haven't re-seeded yet (will wait for cool wet weather) and I began noticing that something was digging along the edges. I was having to sweep dirt off the walk every day. I looked for cat scat and scolded one of the neighborhood cats who moseyed by. He just looked at me - you know that look.
Well, I finally caught the culprits in the act. A whole passel of house sparrows have claimed the site for their daily ablutions - dust baths! They are having such a good time, pushing and shoving each other for the best holes.

I'm glad to allow them that pleasure, at least for the season. My back yard seems to be growing in attraction for a multitude of birds and rodents. Scads of bigger birds took off from the deeper shrubbery when I showed up.

Good values at the local plant shop nowadays! I bought a 5' juniper for $20, a vigorous everblooming rose for $15 and a scarlet hydrangea for $10. All very healthy looking.

105qebo
Aug 4, 2014, 9:02am Top

>104 2wonderY: passel of house sparrows
How sweet!

1062wonderY
Aug 5, 2014, 8:14am Top

Hmmm. I thought I recorded my purchases here. I stopped at a nursery this weekend and picked up a few bargains. I describe the rose in the rose thread. I also bought a columnar juniper which will go to Kentucky. The small hydrangea has no blooms on it this season, but the tag pronounces it a 'Mystical Flame' and I'm pretty dang happy to acquire it.



I've got a lovely 'Pee-Gee hydrangea which is just now taking off outside my dining room window,

and I may plant it adjacent to it.

1072wonderY
Oct 20, 2014, 12:30pm Top

We've had so much rain, and now cool, might I say cold, weather. I had put grass seed out on the bare yard earlier last month, but all of a sudden it's very green. Threw more seed out and dug up more crabgrass, which does a truly amazing job of producing seed at this time of year. I harvested the black nightshade, collecting all of the seed I could see - it had already started to drop seed into the plot. Next year, I expect more volunteers, but I won't let them stay.

I've got a honeysuckle bush volunteer at the corner of the yard, and it has set pretty red berries. What with the crabapple and the beautyberry, the birds will have several winter meals from this corner alone.

1082wonderY
Edited: Oct 20, 2014, 12:45pm Top

Hmmmm. I see that I should maybe remove the Amur Honeysuckle.

http://www.in.gov/dnr/files/Bush_Honeysuckle.pdf

Has anyone had experience with this plant? It certainly is not poisoning that plot, as it is thick with other species too.

109Lyndatrue
Oct 20, 2014, 12:54pm Top

>108 2wonderY: It isn't native to anywhere in the US. Personally, I'd kill it now, before it gets a chance to do evil. Usually the ground poisoning action happens in the spring, when other plants are starting out. Plants such as that become really established in the soil, and will be much harder to tear out.

1102wonderY
Mar 12, 12:07pm Top

Need varmint advice.

A squirrel has taken up residence in my attic. He (no nest, that I can find) exploited siding cracks and chewed a hole in. Now all the birds are trying to do the same. The squirrel is gnawing another hole near where the electric service reaches the house. It seems one of the anchors pulled out of the rotten wood when the snow burden added it's weight, and squirrelly wants a back door.

I put down sticky traps first because that's all I had on hand, but that just made him mad. He went on a rampage through the rest of the house trying to scrape the trap off. I wasn't home at the time, just saw the path of destruction.

I bought a Havaheart trap and loaded it with peanut butter (nope), cookies (nope), and Veggie straws. I'm trying to use things that would smell enticing. Couldn't find fresh peanuts.

So now, after squirrel is succesfully removed, I will need to repair the holes, screening all areas to discourage the birds, get an electrician to repair the electrical masthead, and oh - my porch roof sprang a leak. I was just noticing how old and weathered my roof shingles were beginning to look, and the next day there was a stream of water coming through the roof ceiling. It was a particularly heavy rain. And that roof is the oldest section. But I DON'T want to go there again. Almost time to abandon ship.

1112wonderY
Mar 23, 10:52am Top

Squirrel report.

He hasn't touched any of the bait, but I continued to hear him gnawing on my house, so I screened and foamed both entry holes. The critter got awfully sore at my temerity. He has been literally throwing himself at the house trying to break in. I hear him working at the other side of the house, where I can't see him, scampering all over the roof, checking back at his old entry holes, etc, all day. It won't be long before he manages another way in. I wonder where he's spending nights, and hope he finds a new place, but I'm not confident.

112lesmel
Mar 24, 10:07am Top

Squirrels are evil. That's my personal opinion. Not that I would hurt them, but they are evil. And they are prepared for guerilla warfare. My dog agrees with me. :)

113tiffin
Mar 24, 10:23am Top

Maybe you need a havnoheart trap.

114qebo
Mar 24, 10:32am Top

>112 lesmel: Squirrels are evil.
Nooo!!! Squirrels are adorable. But I wouldn't want one in my house either. They are persistent.

115lesmel
Mar 24, 10:38am Top

>114 qebo: My mother says I'm weird. I say she doesn't understand the threat. Heh.

1162wonderY
Mar 24, 11:04am Top

Truly, I have a love AND hate relationship with squirrels.

We once rescued a baby squirrel after a wind storm blew down many old trees at the city park a block away. As we toured the damage, we heard something squeaking and found this cute but wretched ball of fur with his hind quarters driven into the dirt. He was stuck, no Mama around, it was wet and cold and he was so scared and miserable. We brought him home, gave him a warm bath, some warm milk in a baby doll bottle, and he slept in the pouch of my sweatshirt. He had the run of the house that spring, and was a delight. He had an active period in the middle of the morning when he would race along the counters keeping pace with our movements chattering for attention. He used our bodies as tree trunks, scampering up, down and around. Our cat was fascinated, but they never got too close. Squeaky left when he got old enough and never came back around. That was 20 plus years ago.

117Lyndatrue
Edited: Mar 24, 12:05pm Top

Now you're all going to hate me (at least the squirrel lovers)...

Squirrels are indeed evil. The most common types of squirrels are an invasive species in almost every part of the US (they were originally native to the north east). They like things like bird eggs (and I prefer song birds to squirrels), and often end up in areas where the only limiting factor is the food supply.

I'm not a fan of killing for no reason, but I do go out of my way to make my yard unwelcoming for them. They drive out and supplant so many natural species. If I won the lottery, I'd pay my neighbors for permission to cut down all the walnut trees (there's two that I know of).

http://www.ag.arizona.edu/research/redsquirrel/oldsite/res_pdf/Other%20Squirrel%...

(Another link, although the data is old, since it's from 2008:

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/cerc/danoff-burg/invasion_bio/inv_spp_summ/Sciurus_c...)

118lesmel
Mar 24, 12:11pm Top

>117 Lyndatrue: Down with evil!! My dog keeps them out of my yard for the most part, but not off my roof, out of my trees, or out of my front yard.

119lesmel
Mar 25, 10:33am Top

To add to the squirrel fun: http://xkcd.com/1503/

120Rozax
Mar 26, 2:24pm Top

I love xkcd. XD

1212wonderY
Mar 27, 2:09pm Top

I spent a good part of yesterday in and around the house, and there was nary a sign of the squirrel. (Knock on rotted wood!) Since he had to find other accommodations for several nights, I'm guessing his attention was distracted to making the new quarters comfortable. Hope, hope, hope.

1222wonderY
Apr 2, 10:57am Top

The evening was so fine yesterday, I trimmed my young apple tree. I've never done pruning per se before, so I was just going on the theory of opening up the interior, removing congested and crossing branches.

I have a huge pile of forsythia branches to cut up and compost or trash. I had to cut my huge room-sized bush in half to accomodate an electrician's lift truck. It certainly needed doing anyway, and I took some starts to KY as well as a couple of volunteer holly trees which had found home underneath.

Also dug up peony roots to transplant on the ridgetop. They were too close to my trash barrel area and also being shaded out by another forsythia.

123fuzzi
Apr 2, 11:54am Top

I'm enjoying catching-up with your thread!

When I was a teen, my mother and I lived in an apartment townhouse. We had a red squirrel that found its way through an opening in the attic area. Both of us heard him scratching around above the ceiling, and in the wall. Then he stopped making noise.

A year later while I was in the basement, I shifted some blankets that were on an old chair, and found a small skeleton with red fur. Poor little thing, wound up in the basement and couldn't find his way out. I felt so bad.

124Storeetllr
Apr 18, 5:44pm Top

Hi, Ruth! Just stopped by to say hi and thanks for visiting my thread! And to mark my place here on yours.

Then I saw the stories about the squirrels. I don't mind them usually, it's the rabbits that have invaded the area (there are three out in the back right now, eating the grass) that are getting to me, but the other day one of the little beggars (squirrel not rabbit) was in the pear tree, eating the tender shoots and blossoms! I ran out yelling and chased it away. Grrr. We don't have a dog, so I had to be one. ;-D

Looking forward to watching your garden grow this year.

1252wonderY
Apr 22, 6:06pm Top

The weepy clouds broke away this afternoon. I was hoping for the sun, as my grass was getting out of hand. The front yard I cleared and re-seeded is looking lush and healthy. I managed to mow everything but the lowest soggy part. I dug some lily of the valley to take with me the weekend.

My block has kids on bikes again! Yay! For too many years there have been no children here. I made friends by inviting them to smell my lilacs. Ah- heavenly. They asked a lot of questions and wanted to smell everything. They are same ages as my grands, so that's a bonus.

Crabapple and cherry tree are full of blossoms. It felt so good to be out working hard.

126Rozax
Apr 23, 1:43pm Top

I've stuck some tomato saplings in the ground, and I'm not sure what I'm going to get. I know that they'll mostly be cherry tomatoes, which is okay, but I'm still kinda bummed that the first round from seeds that I wintered didn't survive the sapling phase.  I kinda forgot how much water they needed, and that damp soil isn't enough for them.  I trimmed back a rose bush, but up a trelis-like fence to keep it a little contained, and I'm digging up more ground for more veggies.  It has been fun.

I've also been digging up old tree roots, and cutting out a few that are still attached to the tree and over-stretching themselves.  The detail in this image isn't that great, but this tree root demolished the trunk of another tree, and then continued on its way.



I cleared the dead stuff away and got to work with the only saw I could find in the mess that is my garage.  It took a while to get through.



I haven't taken a picture of the finished product.

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