Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winding down the 2010 gardening season

I can't believe tomorrow is December 1st...I know everyone uses this cliche of "Where did the year go?" I really do ask, where did the year go!! I pretty much have most of the yard buttoned up for the winter and have to do a clean up/compost topdress on only a bed or two. I've been known to do more spring clean ups than fall. But with Lars and how actively we've been showing last year, thought it would relieve some of the stress I feel in the spring as work is gearing up and Lars is working in the spring shows.

Eric completed the momentous job of cleaning out Lake Larson and we finally have some clear water. He drained most of it and vacuumed, shovelled, and netted all of the gunk out of there. I think that's something we're just going to have to do every year or two. The fish numbers are good and we didn't lose as many as I had feared to the heron. I'll have to snap a picture of the wet pets in their deep side as they start to go into their winter's nap too.

This is the view from my kitchen window...I have one Mr. Lincoln Rose that is in suspended animation. I've been waiting for this to open for a couple of weeks now and I'm doubting it will. We've had some pretty serious freezes here now. I'm curious to see how long it lasts in this state before it turns to mush.

I think I mentioned that I moved the fig inside earlier this fall. After I did that, it continued to drop it's leaves and I eagerly waited to see what it would do with the 3 fruit that had formed. Now several weeks later, it has two little leaves at the top that look pretty good. One of the figs ripened and I cut it open today. How cool is this!

That makes up for the epic failure of the passion fruit. I was brave and ate it this morning. To my surprise, it was awesome and very sweet! I have the two left and I'll let Eric have the other ones. I'm hoping that it will break some leaf buds and push some new foliage over the winter. If it doesn't, I'll stick it down in the basement where it can go dormant. I'll have to do some pruning because it has that one huge branch sticking off of it and it needs some re-balancing.

Let's see, what else is going on around here plant-wise? The orchid season is starting up and I have noticed some new buds and flower scapes starting to form. I moved a couple of them and a streptocarpus downstairs to the office where I have the aerogarden still running. I want to see if the surrounding light from the aerogarden is strong enough where other plants can benefit from it. So far, so good. I have just one zinnia that is doing fairly and a ailing dwarf sunflower left in the aerogarden. It's well past the time they should have gone to the big compost pile in the sky. I do have a dwarf cherry tomato seed pack coming from Aerogarden and I'm going to attempt them downstairs for the winter. I did get a thermometer for the basement/office to see how cool it is down there. It seems to be holding at about 65 degrees which I think Tomatoes will work. If it is indeed too cold, I'll bring them upstairs into the kitchen. I'm pretty excited about this little experiment because it would be really cool to have fresh tomatoes all winter long. (I'm seriously thinking about getting another 3 pod Aerogarden just for flowers.)

Editing to add: I do share one quality with Lars...no self control. I just bid on an inexpensive 3 pod Aerogarden I found on eBay. Keeping my fingers crossed that I'll still be the highest bidder in another 2 days.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lake Larson's Fall Show

Despite it being dry, the fall color around the yard has been pretty decent. Granted some of the beds got regular water throughout the summer, but the back of the water garden didn't get much until later. But the viburnum and my little cut leaf Japanese Maple didn't disappoint this year. I was pleasantly surprised with my Hosta 'Big Daddy' who decided to turn bright gold this fall. I don't remember it ever being this bright before and it was really striking in the garden.

Mr. fake Heron looks like he's had a few too many in that photo above. I don't know why I still but him out because the real heron pays him no mind.

The mix of the Spirea "Anthony Waterer', Double File Viburnum, and the Cut Leaf Maple 'Viridis' definitely represents in the autumnal color department.

Here's a close up of the fall color on my little maple on the waterfall. I cannot wait for it to get really wide.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Passion fruit FAIL!

I thought I was going to have this post about the awesomeness that was to be our home grown passion fruit. Boy was I wrong! Eric and I have been watching and studying the passion fruit seeing if we could figure out when it was ripe. When it started to turn cold, we brought inside to the big front picture window and that is a lot of sun. The banana for cripes sake is growing like crazy in that window! I learned online that ripe passion fruit will drop off of the vine and I kept waiting for that to happen. Then last week, the fruit started to look lumpy and that's not what I've seen them look like in photos.

This is what Logee's shows their fruit to look like -


Hmmmmm.... so I go to feel it and it drops off into my hand. I'm thinking it's ripe and I wait to Eric to get home to try it. He cuts into it and it's HOLLOW inside!!! WHAT? It looked like white styrofoam lining the inside of the rind...and it tasted like white styrofoam. I'm not really sure what happened there...maybe we need to pollinate the flowers with other flowers on the same vine. I'll have to email Logees and see if they have any recommendations for good fruit set. But...at least it's still throwing out cool looking flowers. I think we're going to wait pollinating them until I figure out what the heck happened.