Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oh, what the #$@*....Blue Herons!

The way this season has been going...that's about the LAST thing I needed to see flying away from Lake Larson. I had noticed him flying around a couple of weeks ago and our neighbor behind us saw him in the trees last week. Well the brazen flying fish eater was back yesterday. I had come up from the office around noon to throw something in the recycling bins and I see him flying up and away from the pond. I don't know if he was in the pond or on the garage but, I promptly moved our fake heron to a different spot. I called Eric and asked him to get some netting or something we can use to deter the heron.

I was out last night playing with Lars in the backyard and our neighbor said that the Heron was in the pond poking his head around in the water at about 4 pm. That's all I needed to hear...Eric had some nets with him and we put them out all over the pond. I fed the wet pets and we saw some of them emerge and eat. They were clearly freaked out. The water is still pretty murky and I have no idea if he ate anyone or how many are left. I came out and fed them this morning and most of the food is still on the top of the pond. The nets are still like we left them and I did see the heron flying away from the pond area this morning when I popped outside. I'm going to be spying on him these next couple of days before I pop out the back door. I need to see exactly what this dude is doing in our pond.

I saw him flying over head when I turned onto our street this morning when coming back from errands. They are such cool looking birds but man, I think I hate him. I know Eric hates him now...he was pretty ripped last night when we were putting out the net. It's a good thing they are federally protected because I think there would be a certain someone up in the trees with his deer hunting tree stand waiting for Mr. Heron with a shot gun.

I'll tell you...if any of my clients want to put in a water garden...this will be added to my ever growing pond "caveat emptor" list.

Monday, June 2, 2008

May Photos!!

What does Cris + mulching + moving the full compost bin equal?? Cris falling asleep on the couch last night. So I have to make good on my promise of photos this morning before I'm off and about today. :)

Starting the seeds....I doubt I will get all of those packs started...maybe for fall annuals or veggies

Lilac 'Palibin's

Iris 'Persian Night' which has since opened and I have to get some photos of it.

The "Wet Pets!"

House garden photos

(This looks a million times better after weeding and mulching yesterday)

Allium 'Purple Sensation


Fringed Bleeding Hearts 'King of Hearts'

I have to fly as I have some meetings today. I have a couple more to post...maybe later today.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Late May Photos and updates

Life at the Garden Consultant HQ has been busy, busy, busy with work and other stuff. I'm still trying to get caught up in the garden...this normal New England spring has me behind still by a couple of weeks. I did get the window box planted and I'll post some photos of that as it matures. I went with some smaller, more cost effective plants this spring so it may be a while before I will post some pics.

I did start a bunch of annual and veggie seeds in my little greenhouse. I know it's a little late to start things in 6 packs and pots but they stand a better chance in there than being subjected to the critters and the elements being planted directly in the soil as I learned last year. I'm going to start another wave today of some more annuals to use in pots and around Lake Larson.

We're harvesting our lettuces and radishes Eric planted this spring and man are they good! We've decided to plant lettuces as long as the weather will support it. I've got to start thinking about getting another crop of radishes seeded too.

Lake Larson has been gearing up slowly with the slowly rising temperatures. The water chemistry has been shockingly good despite the never ending shower of oak debris into the pond. I did do a huge water change last weekend and filled the rain barrels with the water. The pond isn't anywhere as clear as it was last season and I'm okay with it. I need to find my water lettuce for a cover soon and that will help with the murkiness. I'm so of liking the murk because it's keeping the fish safe from heron eyes from over head and it looks really natural. I would rather have an ecosystem versus artificially maintained crystal clear water.

I haven't been planting much in my yard this year and that's okay. I'm sort of at a stale mate that the moment with parts of the back yard because Eric needs to put up the fence and build the new deck. So I'm going to play with annuals and maybe look on Ebay for some cool plants. I will get some more hardy plants for the pond from ebay and that will hold over my plant buying addiction for now. But the main reason I haven't been as into building more gardens in the yard are the dogs. Sam hasn't been doing well at all and despite the meds working for his Cushings, he's not getting better. He hasn't been eating much at all these past several weeks and now we're on to force feeding him. He's been at the vet once a week for the past month and she doesn't have any answers for why he's not eating. He has to go back tomorrow and I'm going to ask her to really examine his head, mouth, and nose to make sure it's nothing stupid like a sinus infection or a busted tooth for why he's not eating. It's really hard to watch him waste away like this but it is what it is.

Lars is going to be 6 months tomorrow! He is doing wonderfully and growing like mad. He's done with puppy classes and is moving on to Rally and pre agility classes now. I teach rally classes where we train so his rally classes happen in the back yard here. We took him to the beach last weekend so see if the boy likes water (which is a must in this retired Coast Guard house.) You be the judge -

Bravo zulu Lars! I think we found something to do with him in the heat of the summer...retrieving bumpers and going swimming. I may see if I do Dock Dogs with him when he gets older. The pup defies gravity I tell you!

I've got a ton of photos I have to post...but I'll do that tonight. I have to quit shirking on spreading mulch around Lake Larson.

Early May Photos

Am I ever behind the 8 ball with getting these up...

Sargents Crabapple

Rhododendron 'PJM'

Hosta 'Aureo-marginata' (one of my faves in my garden)

Hens and Chicks by Lake Larson

Pulmonaria 'Gaelic Magic'

Who knew peach blossoms are so pretty!

Japanese Painted Fern

Today's edition of "Less is More"

Yeah, you can tell spring is here...I'm MIA. :) I have been taking photos around the yard for the blog but haven't had much time to get on here to post.

I have to make this PSA about mulching to educate my readers about the perils of "Mulch Volcanoes." Every year it seems like we have a lecture on this at the RINLA Winter Meeting because it seems like landscapers are the primary offenders. I don't know if it's them who are making them or if they are being instructed by their clients to do this.

But anyway, I was at the Bank of America in Middletown getting read to get out of my jeep to hit the ATM. I look up and saw this -

Oh my god....that has to be at least 8" high. Being a commercial property, that was the ghastly work of a "Pro." Gee, I can't imagine why the center of the tree died out ?(I'm sure my sarcasm dripping from that sentence is obvious) If one wonders what the outcome of utilizing mulch volcanoes in the landscape only have to look down to the next tree in this planting.

I'll tell you what...this is one of my biggest pet peeves in landscaping. What purpose does all of that mulch serve other than rot the bark off the tree? That is exactly what happens, the bark rots and with it so does the tissue that moves food and water between the leaves and the roots. So, don't let this happen in your landscape! If you see your landscape professional building "Mount St. Mulch" around the bases of trees, let them know not to do that ever.