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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Replanting many times

I'm a pretty decisive person. I make decisions quick and painless and I consider it one of my strengths. Gardening has taken that all out of me ...

I'd like to grass an area of the backyard, so 4 lungworts and a hosta need a new home. I looked around aimlessly with a plant in my hand. Where will they go? Then I located the spot, made my decision, "Yes this will be its new home." I dig and plant and get mud under my fingernails. I planted the last lungwort when it starts to downpour.

So I gather up the tools, stash them in the shed, take a break, have some lunch, wait til the sun reappears and go back outside... there I see the lungworts and hosta soaking in the sun like bathing beauties on the beach. Ahhhh - what have I done? Frantic, I dig them out pacing the yard trying to find a new home. This time the ground is mud as I dig, put some plants there, dig more plants here, plants for more plants there. And so forth until finally they all are home at last.

Happy Saturday!
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Area we are going to grass - when? Well, that depends. We were supposed to do it in Sept. Didn't happen. I think our window of opportunity is fading fast. But I did rake up the mulch, till the soil, and remove the plants I want to keep.



First, I move the plants here. This is the flower bed under the kitchen window where I have the purple bearded irises and huge yellow daylillies. There was an ugly bush (typical coniferous bush) that I pulled out a few weeks ago, it was there to hide the downspout. I liked the way this looked and was really happy ...



...But alas, it was not meant to be so I separated them -- putting the hosta against the back fence and the lungwarts under the prairie grass in the flower bed by the screened porch.

...But there were bearded irises under the prairie grass that I put there a while back. So I took them out and put them by the downspout. But they looked lonely. So I remembered I had a pretty daylilly against the fence all alone, so I pulled them (she had multiplied since the last time I looked) and planted them with the iris.

I have no idea if what I'm doing is right, but time will tell.

Mum's the word

I planted this mum last Fall -- actually I planted 2 of them but one of them never seemed to do that well. I thought they were annuals, or at least would be since I planted them but one of them has come back in full force.

In fact it's a giant. At least 3 times the size of it when I bought it a year ago! We actually had to stake it -- do you stake mums? What is with gigantic plants in my garden. First the clematis and now this. There must be something in the soil.

I don't have pics of it last year when I bought them cause it never occurred to me that they would come back.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Name this plant

This summer I found a unknown plant growing in the front yard. I left it, but I can't recall if I had it last year. I thought it looked like some sort of hydrangea, so I figured to leave it.

Later on I noticed that it had flowered (unfortunately no picture of that). And now, I went out there and it has berries where there were once flowers.

Here some photos:
It had pink/red stems that are pretty thick. Is it a good plant or a weed?

Grubs

We had my grandparents over for dinner last weekend. My grandpa walked into our backyard and declared that we have grubs. They came over for grub and they found grubs -- how ironic!

"What's a grub?" I asked innocently. My grandpa shook his head, ignored me and gave a lengthy lecure of lawn care maintenance to poor Matt.

But talk about ironic, that same night, I opened the Sunday Chicago Tribune and someone was asking about grub help. They told them to use a fast acting insecticide such as trichlorfon at this time of year (Sept) and/or imidacloprid in late June.

So I just applied the insecticide today and gave a good watering so we'll see what happens next spring!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

August

News Report: The blue cohosh we bought at the Native Plant sale this spring is doing superb. It loves it's location under the pine tree and we love it's beautiful leaves and pretty yellow flowers. Another reminder that maybe I'm not a complete garden failure.
Note to self: BUY MORE next year!

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I think I can honestly say that I did nothing in the garden in August. I have a sneaking suspicion I did the same thing last year. I think it's the heat...
So I just let everything grow and look pretty -- I have plenty of coneflowers and black eyed susans popping up and a ton of purple phlox. It all looked good so that my motto in August was, "If it ain't broke, don't mess with it."

Then the 1st of September rolled along and I went outside and what I saw was just a mess! The daylillies had all fallen over, the barnberries were growing out of control, I couldn't even find my pretty stone path anymore, the vinka were growing onto my walkway.... I couldn't ignore it any longer so I put on the overalls and went on clean-up duty (I'm making that up, I don't own overalls).

While I was cleaning, Matt (my husband) was reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. So I thought it necessary he share my pain and drew his attention to a bush out front that we've long hated. "We should cut it down," is what I said. What I really meant was, "You should stop reading that book and cut down that tree while I watch and take photos." So he agreed (I did ask nicely) and what was once this:
... is now this

It's nice to be able to see out the window.