30 September 2019

more photos

because I walked around the yard with my camera after planting, and everything looked so fresh and lively in the rain. Lilies of-the-valley:
I find I like the look of the Osteospermum- and did more reading on this plant. It's considered a tender perennial, might come back with good protection- but if I take cuttings now I'll have even more in spring to use in the landscape, whether the parent one survives or not.
Cranesbill foliage.
I cut this virginia creeper down to the ground months ago, it's climbed up the shrub again-
and growing out the top!
My lilac actually looks healthy this fall. It doesn't have leaves falling off all brittle and mottled. I'm not sure what did better for it- the heavy leaf mulch, the right amount of compost feeding? the winter waterings? a few soapy treatments for bugs?
Regardless, it looks so much happier this year- hope I can keep that up.

planting in the rain!

Today this very welcomed wet stuff fell from the sky. I was outside all morning getting muddy and very happy about it. First planted out my two young rue scions- one on corner of the rear perennial bed, the other on edge of the front yard bed. Hoping to spread their apparent protection more around the yard.
Planted out all the ajuga (bugleweed)
most in a curve in front of one hydrangea,
a few between roots of the nearby maple.
Then I went to visit a fellow gardener and bought a few shade plants. This one is called pulmonaria, or lungwort. It has dark, speckled leaves kind of like the arum but narrower and it blooms in spring.
Mine are all small and two just babies:
They are barely noticeable planted out but I am sure will grow!
I am not sure of the best location for them in my yard, for now they are near the liriope and hellebores. I found more hellebore seedlings, btw. The ones I dug out and moved earlier in the year have disappeared- so these I will let grow quite a bit larger before I move them, then they won't get forgotten and neglected!
the parent hellebore:
But my real joy today was to buy a half dozen ostrich ferns. Two plants, three small plantlets, and a eight-inch piece of rhizome one of the babies broke off from.
Needless to say, I am thrilled. I really admired the ostrich ferns at someone else's house (who gave me the narrow-leaved hosta) and have wanted some ever since. Planted them behind the huge hostas in the shady sideyard:
Not much to see yet,
 but I'll look forward to spring even more now!


I was taking photos of the hellebores and liriope yesterday-
when I saw something small, paler green, slightly swaying on a leaf-
a preying mantis! the first adult one I've seen all year
Finding it here stalking around in the back perennial bed, where the bugs have been rampant but not quite devastating this year- made me wonder about tossing soapy water over the vegetable garden all the time. Probably I killed a few mantids and other beneficials that way. Maybe better to selectively pick the pests off again, or spray directly with purpose-made soap/oil water. I think I will still use greywater on the plants, but might just water into the ground... If I can get a good balance of having enough predators- the wasps, mantids, ladybird beetles, assassin bugs, wheel bugs, spiders and more- the pests won't seem so overwhelming that I need to apply stuff to kill them...

Speaking of assassin bugs, I caught one off the joe pye-weed and moved it to my greens patch, where whitefly and caterpillars are still a problem. The bug landed on the mulch, but when I came back later that day I caught a glimpse of orange on a hole riddled leaf:
it was the assasin bug,
already stalking through the collards.
And here's the photos of hellebores I was taking when found the mantis-
It's amazing that there were once all nine baby hellebores in this space
When I rake the dried fallen leaves out of the ceneters of liriope with my fingers, the plants just seem to glow:

29 September 2019

season winding down

The back perennial bed this fall:
compared to the height of summer:

fed compost

to the plants: 'big boy' hosta
Solomon's seal. So sad, these are the only ones left. Something has been eating them.
Rhododendrons. Looking droopy- it's been so dry.
Heucherella and turtlehead by the garden
Yellow salvia and blue hosta just upslope of that. I don't know why this yellow salvia always looks great,
while the two groups out front wilt severely if I don't water them in this heat. Is the ground damper on the west sideyard? or it gets fuller shade so doesn't suffer as much. Here's salvia on top of the east sideyard, next to smaller patch of turtlehead that does a little better:
and yellow salvia in the back, where particolored hosta I moved this spring also fares better in the heat:
Speaking of hostas, I thought they'd do well under the holly shrub-
but only three have survived and one of those looks pretty bad right now. Here's the better ones:
Newer, narrow-leaved hosta
That shady east sideyard is slowly getting filled in. One view of it:
and the other:
slightly better photo of the joe pye-weed 'chocolate' (it only got a sprinkling of compost):
I was generous with compost to the young oakleaf hydrangea
Less so with the two nandina, which look pretty established now. Still feel ambivalent about this plant, though I like its foliage.
the big, light-green hostas against the house wall. I need something taller behind them...
Volunteer viburnum I moved out of the back perennial bed, also just got a scattering of compost.
Coleus in the front yard. They're still doing okay as long as I remember to water every other day.
Alstroemeria on the front edge:
The hyssop kind of looks like rosemary, but with longer leaves, and a very different scent
I was generous to the peonies, too. They are starting to look dusty and pale with a bit of mildew...
Younger 'sorbet' one. Looks very different from when I first got it.
Chrysanthemum. I'm so pleased how these turned out with two pinchings. Just the right height and fullness. And not too much work.
Last of all, the rue. It got the leftovers when the wheelbarrow was almost empty- just a scraping of compost off the bottom. Doesn't need as rich of feeding as other plants, though I will mulch it thicker with dry leaves when cold really hits.
There's brown drips on its edging on one side. Almost oily-looking. I have been searching for an insect, but now wonder if it might be rue oil or sap dripping from a broken stem? can't figure
That's not even every plant I fed, just the ones I felt like taking pictures of. So you see why I was so tired yesterday!