Sunday, October 19, 2008

Eye Candy for a blustery Sunday

Today is all about annuals!!!! I think I will be playing with annuals more in my landscape especially now that I have the little greenhouse where I start seeds without worry of the various beasties in my house demolishing the seedlings. Plus, with Deckzilla finished and the patio area pretty much finalized space-wise, I will be doing more with containers. I have been slowly collecting glazed pots for Deckzilla and I'm dying to use them next year!

Cerinthe major purpurescens - I don't think this has a common name. But, boy I think this annual is way cool. I started these from seed but they ended up in the veggie garden because Eric thought they were veggies when they were little. So, there they stayed! I will be planting these again next year for certain!

Dahlias my father in law gave me - this is their second year here. I planted them around the patio and most of them ended up on the backside of Lake Larson. I don't have a place where I could overwinter these here. The basement is too warm, the bulkhead is too cold so back to Dad's house they go. He has this closet in his condo which is perfect for over wintering dahlias...go figure! I'll be thinking about pulling these out of the ground once their foliage starts to decline.

Last but not least...Cosmos!!!!! This is from my package of Sonata Mix seeds. I do love Cosmos...they are easy and forgiving. I think I will always have Cosmos in my landscape.

I did attempt sunflowers again around the back of the pond...but the freakin' squirrels demo-ed them again. So, I think I may have given up on Sunflowers until the yard is fenced in when the boys can do out on their own and do squirrel patrol. But...I did have little sunflower volunteers from my birdfeeders. The squirrels left them alone! So, I throw up my hands in disgust!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pic only Thursday!

My super funky Pennisetum 'Moudry' or Black Fountain Grass....very cool but dang does it self sow!

My limey green zinnias...only one had come up from the seeds I planted this spring. I love this color!

My white marigolds - I'm not particularly a fan of marigolds. I think their traditional orange is really garish in most gardens. I'm seeing a trend of my liking of traditional flowers in nontraditional colors.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October jewels

Even though it's officially autumn around here...the garden definitely isn't lacking in the interest and color department. We haven't even gotten into fall color in the yard yet but the various blooms are making a respectable last call. I'm starting to get my fall chores in order now. Last weekend I used that fertilizer I ordered (it only took 2 days to get here!!) and hit all of the perennials and deciduous woodies in the back yard. The evergreens and the acidic soil loving plants got their fall application of Holly Tone. I topdressed the back side of Lake Larson with what compost I had in the composter and saved up. I did a quick clean up a spent flowers around the yard and cut back perennials that looked really bad.

Let's see...Eric has finished D
eckzilla for this year and it did turn out wonderfully. He's been puttering around with getting the chairs refinished and up on the deck. I'm pretty certain he's wrapping up his outdoor projects for the year and will trade the OMG projects for easier things like bonding with his recliner for the winter. I think he is working on a new door for the wine cellar he built in the basement. No joke, we have a wine cellar and yes, it abuts the room where my office is. Don't ask...that was a former OMG project that I did approve of! But, he has been busy trying to rehab his grass in the front and back yard. He has had a heck of a time these past several years trying to get his turf to not burn out every summer. Turf and sand don't mix. He's been over seeding, fertilizing, and liming these past couple of weeks. The lawn is doing what it does every fall...come back and look decent. He's been muttering about getting irrigation for the yard...that could be a huge OMG project for next year....stay tuned.

I have to go out and harvest some more stuff from the veggie garden. I dug up all of the potatoes that Eric planted on a whim earlier this summer. We had some left over spuds in the p
antry and Eric decided to make them an experiment. Low and behold, I harvested a grocery bag full of potatoes much to both of our surprise! I want to get some of those blue potatoes and try them next year. I have a bunch of tomatoes still out there I have to bring in as well as peppers. I have to research when I have to harvest my fennel because this is the first year I have ever planted that. I'm going to attempt to overwinter my rosemary outside with the little greenhouse I have been using to start seeds. I'm not sure how that will go since we're supposed to have a colder than normal winter with more snow. I may chicken out and dig it up to bring inside as it will probably have a better chance than outside. I'm going to take some cuttings of my basil and root them for using inside. I discovered that by accident when I picked some basil and threw it in a vase for later use. Some time had gone by and I noticed that it hadn't gotten nasty. So, I pulled it from the vase and found a bunch of roots on the stem. I would have never guessed you can start basil from cuttings in water. I have some coleus from my windowbox in that vase which I will pot up this weekend. I may see how they fair inside over the winter. Getting back to the veggie garden, I trellised up the peas with a bunch of branches from the woodpile and checked on the lettuces I planted (they look wonderful!) I am dropping hints to Eric the veggie garden goes from raised beds to the entire side of the driveway turning into a big veggie garden. I think he's thinking about it too.

I took a bunch of photos of the gardens yesterday morning which I'll spread out over the next couple of weeks. So, on to the horticultural eye candy! Today theme's going to be zinnias! (Pardon my attempt to stagger the didn't quite turn out the way I wanted them to.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mourning the death of Electra...I think I can finally move on...

If you have been a client of are well aware of my love affair with Electra organic fertilizer. I had never heard about this plant food until I worked at Chaves' Gardens in Middletown where the perennial manager, the owners, and the professional gardeners who shopped there raved about it. When I was able to garden at my own houses...I used it in my beds and was thrilled with the outcome. I loved that it never burned the plants, you only had to really apply it twice a year, and that it had been around since 1934.

I loved this fertilizer so much I highly recommened it to all of my friends and clients.

Then...this spring I started to get panicked emails and phone calls that Electra wasn't being made any more and what do they use now. I searched and looked at the Espoma plant tone lines and their formulations weren't really close to Electra's magic combo of 5-10-3. Out of desperation, I told everyone to use the Espoma foods. But, I think I may have found something that may come close to Electra! I found this fertilizer made by Gardener Supply Supply Company in Vermont. Here is their write up from their website -

Treat your flowers to our 100% organic slow-release fertilizer. It's rich in phosphorus (5-7-4) to promote strong root growth and healthier, more drought-resistant plants for prolific, long-lasting blooms.

  • Contains only naturally occurring nutrients, including sulphate of potash/magnesia, Chilean nitrate and peanut meal
  • Earth-friendly, 100% organic fertilizer
  • Promotes healthier, more drought-resistant plants with more abundant flowers
  • So, I ordered a 25 pound bag from their website and will test it out on my own gardens. If you're one of those "no guts, no glory" type of gardeners like me...get a bag and try it out. If you do, drop me a note and let me know how you make out with it and the results you got!

    Monday, October 6, 2008

    While this has absolutely nothing to do with gardening...

    this is what we were up to this past weekend. Lars had his first dog show and came home with a huge trophy, a fourth place, and a Promising rating! We entered him in a sieger style show which is worlds different than the dog shows you see on TV. It's the german style confirmation show where you have a helper (Eric since he's the "play guy") bait the dog from outside the ring. The judge will announce to the audience what they think of the dog over a loud speaker which is incredibly educating. The only thing Lars had that was less than desirable was he needs to bulk up a little bit more and that will come with age. But I was awfully proud of how he did for his very first show's to more wins and shows in his future!

    Bravo Zulu Lars!

    I did make a blog for the guys -Black and Tans so they wouldn't be as much as a feature in this blog. They have a busier calendar than I do sometimes so they deserve their own little corner of the web. The link for their blog is also over on the side with my other fave blogs. So, if you're into dogs or rotties, feel free to check it out!

    Thursday, October 2, 2008

    Mosaic Demo at Tranquil Lake

    One of my friends who is a mosaic artist and landscape designer in CT is having a demo this weekend. She does some great work and it would be well worth checking out!

    Here's the 411 on her demo -

    Hello All Gardening Friends, Mosaic Friends and fellow Greenwimmen,

    Thought I would send out an email to all of you if you are not busy and would like to see a Nursery that sells hundreds of iris, daylilies and other unusual perennials this is the place to come. In addition the fall festival is going on that day and I will be doing a demo at 12:30pm on a mosaic I have just completed onsite as well as showing/telling about other garden mosaics and ornaments that are dyi projects. I have just finished a 3x5 insitu (means built on site) mosaic and would be more than happy to see you all there.

    Hope to see you there