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Feb. 20th, 2017

childofgaia

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Jun. 28th, 2009

childofgaia

Soggy spring takes its toll on my seedlings

The plants I bought a few weeks ago have not done well -- there has been so much rain that even with drainage, they were very overwatered and some succumbed to root-rot.

I planted some of the survivors this morning, since it was actually dry this morning, after last night's storms. (There is supposed to be more rain later on, though.) I planted geraniums in some of the front terrace planters -- I had planned on having Blue Cross petunias and white sweet alyssum in the same planters, but those seedlings are in very bad shape, even worse than the geraniums, so I'm contemplating getting replacements for them, if they are still available at the nurseries by me. Might do that later on today, if it's not too damp -- I definitely need to replace the basil, tomatoes and peppers, as they are beyond hope of recovery.

To point out how wet it has been, even the watercress is doing poorly, and that plant loves wet feet!

May. 10th, 2007

treepentacle

Getting rid of dead wood

Spent a large part of today wielding a saw.

My pussywillow, which is about 20 feet high, has had several large sections of it die, so I thought it would be best to get rid of these dead branches. Some of these were as thick as my wrist and 10 to 15 feet long, so I had to get rid of them in a somewhat piecemeal fashion. I also pruned out an equally large live branch that over-hung the walkway, making it difficult for anyone who was not of diminutive stature to walk by without swerving and/or ducking. I've dragged these large wooden branches towards the backyard and will have to cut them into smaller pieces later. Some are already dried out from having been dead for quite a while, so I can use them to start fires for my charcoal grill, or I can get myself one of those outdoor raised firepit bowls and burn them there. I'd rather not just throw them away, since that seems such a waste of perfectly good firewood.

I also took down a lot of branches from the Italian plum tree that was across the walkway from the pussywillow. That tree was here when my parents bought the house and it's provided our family with bushels of tart plums for decades. However, a number of years ago it caught black knot disease and my father and I have fought it unsuccessfully for years, pruning away infected branches until there was hardly anything left of a once-lovely tree. It would try to recover and sprout new branches, only to have these new shoots also become infected.

This spring I didn't see one green leaf on any of the remaining branches, even those that had them last year. We had some very cold weather this past winter and I fear the tree has now finally died. I removed some of the branches from the upper part of the tree and plan to remove some of the lower ones in sections, since they are much thicker than the ones I cut off of the pussy willow earlier in the day.

I'm still hoping the tree might somehow recover, as it has in the past, but I fear the worst. I hope I'm wrong, but right now it doesn't look as though I am. I'm sad about losing this tree, as it is one of the few trees original to the property and it always bore delicous fruit. I've tried growing seedlings, but they also came down with black knot disease and have had to be pruned almost to death. I don't know if I'll be able to find a replacement -- the plums were similar to damsons, but smaller and more tart. They made the most exquisite preserves too.

To cheer myself up a bit, I bought a small salmon tuberous begonia and put it in the pot that is in the holder on the front mini-porch's handrail. I'd rather have my plum tree alive and well and full of blossoms, but I can't have that so the begonia's blossoms will have to suffice.

Apr. 20th, 2007

childofgaia

Geraniums Take 2

Put the geraniums out on the front terrace again -- hopefully I won't have to rescue them from cold weather anymore.

~~ crosses fingers ~~

Apr. 5th, 2007

frenchtreespring

The best laid plans of mice and men . . .

The geraniums I'd just put out yesterday have had to be moved back inside again. A cold front's come through and the temperature now is in the 30s and it will be below freezing by morning.

I didn't go to the bother of over-wintering these plants inside just to see them keel over from the cold after just one day out. But I am rather annoyed at the weather forecasters -- they had been saying it would be chilly, but not this cold.

April showers are supposed to be of rain, not snow.

Apr. 4th, 2007

frenchtreespring

(no subject)

Put the geraniums that I've been over-wintering outside on the front terrace. It's been rather warm lately and I think it's OK to leave them out now.

Feb. 21st, 2007

treepentacle

(no subject)

I've left a final post on the old Blogspot version of this blog, redirecting visitors to come here.

This move was such a pain . . .

Feb. 20th, 2007

treepentacle

Moving into a new blogspace

Blogger made my old Blogspot of this blog go BOOM! after they changed some of their site coding, so I'm porting my old entries from Diary of a Gardening Goddess to this LiveJournal, since they cannot currently be seen at the Blogspot site.

I am not happy about this. At. All.

I have 65 entries to post here by hand, one by one.

Anything dated before today was originally a Blogspot post. Anything after today's date will be posted to both Blogspot and here. (Silly me thinks that Blogger might actually make things work again correctly someday . . . )

I hope to have my old "Juicey" template on here eventually also, but I have to figure out how to do that first. :-/

So I'm using one of the current standard LJ templates in the meanwhile.

~~ tosses rotten tomatoes at Blogger ~~

Sep. 1st, 2006

frenchtreefall

(no subject)

Harvested peaches today from the little tree that grew from a tossed pit in the front yard. Immediately ate two of the fruit -- ohhhhhhhhhh sooooooooooo scrumptious!!!

I had to do the harvesting today since there will be the remnants of a hurricane coming through starting tonight, with high winds and several inches of rain over the next few days predicted. Any fruit I left on the tree would fall and be smashed and spoiled, if the racoons and opossums don't eat the fallen fruit first.

I'd rather it be in MY tummy than a critter's!

May. 30th, 2006

frenchtreespring

(no subject)

The Canadian Gem lilac I planted several years ago by the front entrance has finally begun to bloom. The flowers are lighter in color than the President Grevy lilacs by the gate and the scent is less intense, but that may be because it is the first time it has bloomed.

Other flowers currently in bloom -- peonies, roses, lily-of-the-valley.

May. 11th, 2006

treepentacle

(no subject)

It's rained 54.88 inches since I last posted a rainfall total in July of 2005.

Time to reset the gauge history!

Dec. 12th, 2005

childofgaia

(no subject)

Planted some more of my bargain bulbs today, since it was relatively warm and the ground is not yet frozen.

Planted Zurel and Purissima (aka White Emperor) tulips and Blue Pearl crocus along the side of the driveway near the Garden of the Gods, between the two pear trees. The ground around the Bosc pear tree where I'd planted the other bulbs a few days ago looked dug up and I found some bulbs scattered around, so I'm afraid my planting might have been raided by either squirels, racoons or both types of pesky varmints. Daffodils are supposed to taste bad, so I'm hoping that they survived the raid, but I think I'll be having a lot fewer tulips and other flowers than originally anticipated. Grump!!!

I planted Mount Hood daffodils and both Don Quichotte and Mondiale tulips along the strip of land between the driveway and the front walkway. I tried to plant the tulips deeply and put daffodil bulbs in the same holes as some of the tulips -- with luck, that might discourage the squirrels and/or racoons from digging up that planting of bulbs.

Dec. 4th, 2005

frenchtreewinter

(no subject)

It's snowing now -- the first snowfall of Winter 2005-2006. 2-4 inches is expected for here, but it looks right now from my window as though we've already gotten 2 inches and the snow is expected to continue until around noon. If I'm lucky, as the day warms up it might turn into rain and wash away the snow so I won't have to shovel.

It's supposed to get colder for the next few days, then warm up again. I hope that the ground won't be frozen by then so I can plant the remaining bulbs I'd bought. If it is, I'll have to store them in the basement and try to plant them in the spring -- if I'm lucky, they might bloom then, otherwise I'll have to wait until the following spring to enjoy the fruits of my labors.

Dec. 2nd, 2005

childofgaia

(no subject)

Planted some bulbs today. I'd bought them on Wednesday when a local nursery was having a clearance sale -- all bulbs were $1 per bag, regardless of how many bulbs were in the bag. There were several "value sized" bags I bought, containing 18-32 bulbs (depending on what they were), and LOTS of "normal" bags with 5-20 bulbs each -- fewer for things like daffodils, more for small bulbs like crocus -- most bags I bought had 8 bulbs though, since I got a TON of tulips.

I did a planting of tulips, crocus and daffodils in front (i.e. just north) of the Bosc pear, surrounding the Royal Heritage hellebore I'd planted there a few days ago. I planted Menton, Queen of the Night, Lilac Wonder and Claudia tulips, Pickwick crocus, Pink Whispers daffodils and snowdrops. I'd planned on planting more tulips, crocus and daffodils there, but it was very chilly, windy and cloudy and dusk came sooner than I thought it would. I'll try to plant the rest of the bulbs I bought in the next few days, before the ground freezes -- I'm hoping the weather will be cooperative, but snow is in the forecast . . .

Nov. 29th, 2005

frenchtreefall

(no subject)

Today was unusually warm for November -- an unseasonably mild 63 -- so I took advantage of it to putter around outside.

I took down some of my garden decorations and will be storing them away until next spring. I also planted a Royal Heritage strain Helleborus orientalis that I had bought in the spring but never planted. When the summer's heat and dryness came, I thought it had died in its pot, but saw that it was in fact still alive after the cooler temperatures and abundant rain of this fall revived it. It's a very pretty white with burgundy spots in the center of each petal and I'm hoping it will thrive where I planted it -- it's immediately to the north of the Bosc pear tree and just south of where the driveway concrete starts, right by the entrance to the Garden of the Gods and the slate patio I created there. With luck it will not only thrive but also spread into a colony there, all alike. That would be quite a sight, since this particular plant's flowers were quite white, not the usual shade of pale green that many so-called white Hellebores are.

Jul. 5th, 2005

frenchtreesummer

(no subject)

Rainfall from the beginning of April to today = 8.58 inches

Flowers currently in bloom -- orange daylilies and yellow, red and orange Asiatic lilies -- the front yard is ablaze with them!

Jun. 23rd, 2005

childofgaia

(no subject)

Harvested my cherries today -- Star Stella and Bing varieties. Not a lot of cherries though, since the trees are pretty small, but at least now the Bing trees are producing -- I'd been worrying that they never would, since they are several years old. They are a dwarf variety that is supposedly self-fertile, according to Miller Nurseries, but I planted the Star Stella fairly nearby, just in case, since normally Bing cherries need a pollinator. The Star Stella is definitely self-fruitful though, since it has given me cherries for several years now. (This is the first year the Bing trees produced anything except lots of flowers.)

I think my pears are taking a rest this year -- there was a LOT of blossom drop, due no doubt to the earlier dankness of this spring, and I don't see ANY fruit on either of the pear trees. It's possible it's still too small for me to notice, but I have a feeling I won't be biting into any juicy, home-grown organic Bosc or Kieffer pears this year . . . (The Rouge d'Anjou is still WAY too young to produce fruit -- it hasn't even blossomed yet . . . )

Flowers currently in bloom -- orange daylilies, a few white peonies and red roses and looooooots of white hydrangeas.

Jun. 15th, 2005

treepentacle

(no subject)

I recently bought some very cool solar lights -- they have a color-changing LED that cycles from blue to red to green and back to blue. I got them at a discount store -- I wish I could get more, but I bought all they had, after visiting several locations. There are 2 types -- one has a clear crackle-ball and the other a clear dragonfly. It took a few days for them to build up their initial charge in full sunlight, but now that they are fully charged, they can recharge even in partial sun, unlike most other solar lights.

I also have a few new floating solar lights I picked up from the same store -- 2 blue & 1 clear. For now they, like the other lights, are adorning the Garden of the Gods on the north side of my house, by the little patio I created there. I really enjoy watching the statues of Pomona and Vertumnus being illuminated in a constantly-changing wash of color.

Today I also bought a few more strings of mirrors plus beads to hang around the Garden of the Gods. These ones were a set in the 4 elemental colors of yellow, red, blue and green, so I hung them near the appropriate pentacle candle holder. I also bought a string of colored glass and beads that was in all the shades of the rainbow and hung that near the entrance to the Garden of the Gods. Best of all, these decorations were all half-price!!

Flowers currently in bloom -- white and pink peonies, red and deep pink roses and white hydrangeas.

Jun. 6th, 2005

treepentacle

(no subject)

Expanded the little patio underneath the pear trees by lugging more slates there and fiddling with the positions of the stones somewhat. It had seemed a wee bit small before with all the furniture added -- I'd added a swivel rocker to the collection about a week and a half ago, along with some matching side tables and folding chairs for when folks come by to visit -- but it's more roomy now. Some of the furniture, like the folding chairs, is out only on an as-needed basis, so that helps too.

I also spent part of the day hanging various things from the branches of the trees there. I'd already put out some hanging tealight holders that are shaped like fireflies a while back, as well as a metal sign in the shape of a beehive (with bumblebee!) that says "Blessed Bee Our Hive" and some hanging bead and mirror strings. Today I added 4 pentacle-shaped candleholders in yellow, clear, pink and blue and hung them in the corresponding elemental area -- North got the white one, for ice, since no green star-shaped holder was available, but otherwise the color correspondences are (fairly) traditional. (Pink is a shade of red, after all . . . )

After admiring my handiwork, I took some time off to enjoy the rather warm and humid day from the comfort of my folding hammock and dozed underneath the canopy of pear leaves, covered in a living purr-y blanket of kitties.

May. 31st, 2005

frenchtreespring

(no subject)

Plants currently in bloom -- lily of the valley, spiderwort, purple rhododendron and the short yellow iris I call "the bumblebee" because of it's coloring.

I can see the fruit ripening on my apricot and cherry trees. I had a lot of bud-drop from the plums, peaches and pears unfortunately, probably because of all the cold, dank weather we've had this spring, so I'm not sure how good a crop I'll get of these fruits this year. The weeping mulberry seems to be a relatively happy camper, though, and has quite a lot of fruit for its size (less than 5 foot at present) and the mulberries are rapidly turning from green to reddish, so I expect to be able to munch on them sometime soon.

I recently purchased a few pre-made hanging baskets -- pink and white fuschia and deep purple verbena -- for the front mini-porch. Ordinarily I might have made the baskets myself, but I couldn't find the fuschia and verbena I liked in flats, just in these larger, pre-made baskets, so I caved and bought them. They look very nice though, and are in keeping with this year's color scheme -- the verbena in particular looks lovely!

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