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Monday, February 13, 2017

Snowpocalypse and Tomatoes, February 13, 2017

We had over a foot of snow in January, and every plant in the yard that could be bent, snapped, or felled did so.  Some of my ~20 years old fruit trees fell over from the ground.

This was the only original fruit tree when we bought the house so older than 23 years, it fell on a couple of other trees as well.  I'm considering trying to top it, stand it back up, stake it, and see if it survives.  Three more large apples fell over as well.  This was a wonderful early apple, William's Pride from the PR (Purdue) series.  Because of fruiting so early, it missed out on the codling moths and apple maggots that infest fruit that ripens later.  I'm also going to try topping it and standing it up  but it is very massive. 

Meanwhile, my early indoor seedling starting is underway.  I planted tomato seeds and have them transplanted into individual pots.  Some are heirlooms I have grown before- Black Pear, Lucky Cross (luscious 1# fruity-flavored bicolors, somewhat bumpy or prone to splitting), and Cherokee Purple. New ones are the Italian large pear-shaped Red Pear Gransasso, hopefully making a fragrant sauce, and bonus seeds- Cougar Red and Arbuznyi.  Then I'm experimenting with some new tomato strains with anthocyanin pigments bred into them because of their health properties in blueberries and aronia.  So the tomatoes are dark purple or with purple shoulders. I'm growing Adelaide Festival, Clackamas Blueberry (developed in my neck of  the woods, and supposedly they keep making fruit long into the fall instead of quitting like a lot of tomatoes), and also Indigo Rose.  

My grow shelf set-up is my design- metal shelves with 3 levels, with 4' fluorescent fixtures tied under the first and second shelves.  Two of the standard 10" x 20" flats fit on each shelf, and hold 36 2 1/4" square rose pots each.   Last year I added LED grow lights on the ends which make plants grow like they are on steroids.

The tomato in the middle with darker leaves was moved from next to the lights and looks darker, either from the lights or because of the anthocyanin pigments.  Some of the tomatoes are regular and some are potato-leaved.  
I have a couple of peppers I started as well and a few flowers.  Around the first of April I am planning to start a bunch of squash, both bush and vining.  I decided the vining squash might be better to grow on the inside of the deer fences than the pole beans which like to grow through the fence.  Bush squash include- Green Marrow, Genovese, Mayeras, and Caserta.   Vining summer squash include- Scarchuk's Supreme, Table Dainty, Upper Ground Sweet Potato Cheese type, long curved Tromboncino, and small egg-shaped Tatume.  I hope the voles will leave them alone and I will have a harvest to report on next fall.

And now a vase for In A Vase On Monday, hosted by Cathy, this is a thrown vase I made long ago, and a basket made by my youngest daughter.   The dried arrangement is made of a sprig of Lunaria, Money Plant; and a similar plant with the same kind of pod structure but smaller, called Fibigia clypeata, which has yellow flowers (http://weedingonthewildside.blogspot.com/2011/06/home-grown-successes.html third photo down from the top).  You can see they are smaller in the close-up.  They are fuzzy and stiff and I had to soak them to soften them up in order to peel off the outer layer.  There are also radish pods and mystery small seed pods in long narrow strips.






Today I am linking with-

In a Vase on Monday hosted by Cathy

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I hope you are all looking forward to the upcoming gardening season with eager anticipation as well.
-Hannah


©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy reading your comments, and will visit your blog and leave comments there if possible, but I am not able to do so if google + is the only option.  I would like to return your visit so leave an URL to your blog or email address.  If you are in Europe, I hope you are aware  Blogger may be putting cookies on your browser and hope that you are OK with that.




Monday, October 10, 2016

Favorite Container Garden Plants, Goldenrod in a Vase, October 10, 2016

What are your favorite container garden plants?  For several years, instead of buying starts to plant my containers, I've been trying out seed-grown plants or cuttings.  Here are some favorites this year for my deck garden.  If you would like to vote for your favorite, either of those pictured or one you grow yourself, leave your selection in your comment.

Browallia speciosa self-sows readily, in fact the seeds fall into my containers and come up the next year as a surprise.  They are very long blooming and make a cascade of blue-purple, sorry, they look washed out when photographed-


I also have a second variety, Browallia americana, that is a taller plant with larger flowers, this one came up much later in the season, notice the heart-shaped leaves-

Another very delightful container flower is the tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, it would be an annual here  but as a container plant I can take it indoors in the fall to overwinter, this is its third summer outdoors!  I am so impressed with it, every branch is continually in bloom like a candelabra!




I'm also growing 3 different Cuphea, two of which have expanded petals at the end of their "cigar" tube- viscosissima which gets very tall and rangy-

C. llavea, also fancy flowers but also only a few blooms on the ends of long branches-

And finally Cuphea ignea, which looks like tiny glowing orange cigars, small plants but compact and well-branched, continually covered with lots of long-lasting flowers.  It makes me smile.  The flowers don't even get fuzzy and puff up like the other two before they burst open to scatter their seeds, which makes it hard to save seed-


Meanwhile, I had to make use of some of the Goldenrods blooming now for In A Vase On Monday.   Join hostess Cathy in her challenge to find some flowers to plonk in a vase, for your enjoyment.  Goldenrod makes great golden fall color in spikes of tiny star-like flowers, with a faint anise-like fragrance.  Here is a mixture of my three stalwart varieties, Solidago 'Fireworks', 'Golden Fleece', and 'Solar Cascade'.  I added some red clover for an accent.  After enjoying the vase for a while, I cut the stems off and dried the flowers for tea-


I bought 6 varieties three years ago, but the small ones, Solidago 'Laurin' and 'Little Lemon', did not return, as well as the more fragrant S. odora.  But I am happy to enjoy the 3 that do well.

Today I am also linking with-

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma Wiseman and Mystical Magical Teacher

What fall flowers can you find to put in a vase?   Have you grown plants for planters?  -Hannah


©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy reading your comments, and will visit your blog and leave comments there if possible, but I am not able to do so if google + is the only option.  I would like to return your visit so leave an URL to your blog or email address.


Favorite instrumental version, from the movie Angel Eyes-


Monday, September 12, 2016

Visualize Whirled Peas, In a Vase on Monday, September 12, 2016

The hot summer weather seemed to end early this year with some cool early rainy days, after actually a pretty mild summer, though a few warm days remain.


Today I am linking with-

Today's flowers hosted by Denise

In a Vase on Monday hosted by Cathy

The sweet peas are still blooming so I wanted some for In A Vase On Monday, hosted by Cathy.   I'm pleased they are doing well my first year in a long time growing them, some Royal Family and some Old Spice mixes, in a little thrift store vase-


I went around and looked for what else was still blooming.   I found a big spray of rose Clothilde Soupert which is a late bloomer well into fall and combined it with some Scabiosa atropurpurea I grew from seed this year, I was surprised they are blooming well.  Also I added some early-blooming heather, Geranium oxonianum 'Claridge Druce', Aster, Anemone japonica, Sedum, Browallia americana, and Ageratum.    And for foliage I cut some dwarf bamboo, and some Osmanthus heterophyllum variegatum.





I used one of my new batch of poured ceramic vases, I added the flowers from another mold.  The glazes are called shimmer but just added flecks of metallic silver so they fell a little short for me.

Meanwhile in the edible garden, the beans are doing well.  I've been cooking a lot of the regular pole beans like Zelma Zesta, a long red-streaked pole bean, meaty, early, and productive; 

Anellino Giallo, a yellow Italian shrimp bean (curved), tender when full of beans; 

Jembo Polish, a large flat bean with a distinctive brown swirl on large flat beans, productive, tender at large sizes;

Also growing well are some beans for dry bean use, like Ojo de Cabra, Mayflower, Turkey Craw, and since the Motorcyclist objects to the tough pods of the runner beans, this year I'm mostly picking and using them as shellies.  The hummingbirds are very appreciative of the red flowers of the runner beans, as well as honeysuckle, and even the tropical milkweed flower on my deck, which has bloomed  non-stop.

I'm also harvesting the usual cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, crookneck squash, collards, kale, and hopefully some eggplant and okra.  I don't like having to add sugar to food so this year have been having fun throwing the abundant rhubarb into mixed vegetable soup and treating it like a vegetable.  It tends to disappear in the soup and just adds some tart flavor and nice texture.  What late summer vegetables are you enjoying?   Hannah


©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy reading your comments, and will visit your blog and leave comments there if possible, but I am not able to do so if google + is the only option.  I would like to return your visit so leave an URL to your blog or email address.






Monday, August 15, 2016

In A Vase On Monday, Sizzle and Silver, August 15, 2016

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For In a Vase on Monday, answering hostess Cathy's challenge to find some flowers to plonk in a vase, I got rather carried away after not posting for a while, since I was inspired by some new vases I just poured and fired, this one I had to deconstruct and rearrange upside down to experiment with adding holes in the top, which had been the bottom, so I could play around with using them for arrangements.  I poured glaze in through the holes for the inside so it worked out OK.

I tried one vase of short stems of some hot summer colors, with Crocosmia 'montbretia', Coreopsis, Oxeye daisy, and deep magenta Lychnis coronaria-


Then I tried a fluffy arrangement of Monarda 'Panorama', I liked the effect with the short fluffy flowers in the holes.  I was surprised that in this photo the flower centers seem to match the heirloom silver glaze-

I'm drying some flowers and leaves to try them as a tea.

I couldn't resist another vase of some sizzling summer colors- ground cover rose Red Ribbons has a lovely ripple to the petals and this is all one sizzling spray; Crocosmia 'montbretia'; and a peachy  cactus Dahlia-



 Hard to see but fitting the color palette are small flowers of Gaillardia 'Sundance' and Coreopsis 'Route 66'-

And another vase with the peachy Dahlias, a gladiolus, and Crocosmia 'montbretia'-


I succeeded in getting earlier bloom from my Dahlia which I leave in the ground over the winter this year after very late October bloom last year, by inverting a plastic bin over the plant during the winter, though the other Dahlia of equal size last year that I treated the same way did not respond well but had very few stems come up this year and is still quite small.

And to show that my main emphasis in gardening is actually fruits and vegetables, I will throw in a photo of some of my pears that are especially abundant this year-

Summer is flitting by, I hope you are enjoying lots of flowers and fruits as well.    Hannah




Monday, June 27, 2016

On the trail again June 26, 2016

I'm posting again, I had my first eye injection treatment of Avastin to hopefully shrink the erratic blood vessel in my eye that is causing the vision problem.  No change yet, but not as bad as I anticipated, and I did read a lot of good experiences by other patients.

Today I am linking with-

Today's flowers hosted by Denise

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

I'd Rather B' Birdin' hosted by Hootin' Anni'

In a Vase on Monday hosted by Cathy

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher


A few different birds have been visiting my deck for seeds.  One I've seen in the neighborhood but not on the deck is the darling bright American Goldfinch, so cute-

Another that at first seemed like a Spotted Towhee but more colorful is the Black-Headed Grosbeak-

I am featuring some Clematis this week, they started blooming in mid May with my sympatico combination of 'Niobe' and the climbing rose Sombreuil, totally an accident that they bloom at the same time-


I love those magnificent Old Garden Rose Sombreuil blooms-

Next Clematis to bloom is 'Sugar Candy', who has outdone herself in long bloom this year-

Clematis jackmanii is blooming now,  I find it curious that the petal number ranges from 4 to 6-

The tiny bells of Clematis integrifolia have been opening on the congested vines-


The wonderful Clematis viticella 'Venosa Violacea' has the longest bloom season of them all-


An earlier vase of flowers has the pink rose Monsieur Tillier, a cerise Achillea, small purple clusters of Ceanothus 'Victoria', and some frothy chartreuse flowers of Lady's Mantle-



For In A Vase On Monday this week, to answer hostess Cathy's challenge to find flowers to plonk in a vase, I used yellow 'Julia Child', which has a marvelous myrrh fragrance; the fantastic red climber 'Dublin Bay' which is long-lasting in the vase or on the plant; the very large 'Apricot Nectar'; the little and abundant white 'Madame Plantier'; and foliage of Lonicera nitida.


My main gardening interest is actually my vegetables, I've been picking lots of edible-podded snap peas, and am just starting to pick some fava beans.  Strawberries have been tapering off and some raspberries and blueberries are ripening.  What delightful edibles are gracing your garden?

I'm sad to have the summer solstice pass, since the days start getting shorter again.  My latest night before to come in from the garden was 9:49pm but tonight it was 9:24pm.  I'm close to getting all the vegetable beds planted though, with lots of beans.some pole beans are about at the shoulder level in their race for the top of the trellis, and there are red flowers about to bloom on some of the runner beans.  The hummingbirds will be happy.  Hannah


©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy reading your comments, and will visit your blog and leave comments there if possible, but I am not able to do so if google + is the only option.  I would like to return your visit so leave an URL to your blog or email address.