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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Skywatch Friday plus Fall Blooms and a Critter October 24, 2014

Cloud formations at close to sundown for Skywatch Friday, hosted by Yogi, Sylvia, and Sandy-

Today I am also linking with-

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

Some plants are blooming again because the fall rains have started.  Pink Panda strawberries-

Monarda punctata bracts look like blooms-

Fall color is also progressing, grape vines-

Nandina at a local park-

And now for a critter, for years I was catching these gigantic slugs and releasing them in my woods because I assumed they were banana slugs because of their 4-5" / 10-12cm size, only to find recently by finally looking them up that they were really Leopard slugs, which originated in Europe, but I found that they are also beneficial in that they eat other slugs and their eggs, so can reduce their populations.

My fall project this year to lower maintenance in my yard has been to remove fences, T-posts, and trellises from a long narrow bed used mainly to grow pole beans.  Voles had become so bad over the years in this bed that they even nipped most of my pole bean vines after I had wrapped them in aluminum foil, a strategy that has been working for many years, prompting me to eliminate this bed and please my husband, who has been frustrated over not being able to mow well in the narrow paths on each side.  Here is after removing all the hardware,  some mint plants in the foreground-

Here is after several days of mattocking out all the weeds plus recovering quite a few nails I used to protect bean roots from voles- I had formerly removed nails but hadn't gone as deep so many were still there.  This is the entire width of the area and is now seeded with No Mow grass seed, which has not come up yet-

Here is an area I rescued last spring from 7-8' / 2-3m tall overgrown gooseberry bushes, who knew they would spread with suckers and become thorny monsters with low yields?  I also eliminated an equally thorny and overgrown row of ornamental quince.

With No Mow grass planted-

I have learned to  eliminate a lot of plant snarls and blackberry tangles on our 2 acres by turning them into grass which can be mowed, the no chemical, no hard work way to control rampant berry and blackberry vines in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), that is no hard work after all the removal of overgrown vegetation is accomplished.  What are your gardening challenges?   Hannah

or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I like to visit your blog too and comment, but don't participate in google+ so can't comment if your comment section only accomodates that, so I will comment here or by email if a link is provided.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

More Fall Blooms, Fragrance, Fruit October 17, 2014

More fall Blooms, fall fragrance, even some fall fruit.

Today I am linking with-

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

There is one plant in my yard with a wonderful wafting fragrance in the fall, the evergreen shrub Elaeagnus x ebbingei 'Variegata'.   It has tiny white flowers, a good indicator of their wonderful fragrance-

And neat variegated leaves that look good in flower arrangements-

It is also known as a Silverberry, because the underside of the leaf is silvery, and can have an edible small berry in a milder climate than mine -

A stink bug posed on my deck- **after posting I just looked this bug up and it turns out it is a foreign invader from Asia, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, that is particularly bad for eating fruits.   I should have smashed it.  They look for crevices to overwinter so I will have to watch for them.

A stalwart bloomer is this Dahlia, it has been blooming for three years without being dug in the winter.  Perhaps being on the east side of the house affords it some protection from cold frosts.

The Coreopsis 'Sunburst' keeps blooming a little.  

I was weeding and discovered a tall lonely remnant of a Fuchsia 'David' I thought was long gone.

The leaves of Dioscorea batatas make hearts, like many vines.

Hardy Geranium 'Rozanne' doesn't know when to quit.

Geranium oxonianum has a couple of late blooms.

The heather Daboecia cantabrica 'Atropurpurea' with flowers like little purple balloons is making quite a splash of color on my ramp-

The hardy Kiwi's, Actinidia arguta 'Ananasnaya' are finally getting soft,

A few photos of the October 8 Eclipse of the moon, taken between 1 to 4 am.  After this point the moon was obscured by trees as viewed from my house.

The Eclipse was difficult to photograph since the moon was moving and it was hard to find a vantage point for my camera on a tripod on different parts of my deck, looking between various trees.    This eclipse is part of a Tetrad of lunar eclipses happening in 2014 and 2015 both years on the Jewish feasts of Passover and Sukkot.   Lunar Eclipse Tetrads occuring on Jewish feasts are very rare and coincide with significant prophetic events concerning the nation of Israel, and indeed the world.   Lots of information is available on the internet about this topic.

I'm sure there are better photos out there on the web, but I hope you enjoy mine, especially if you didn't get to see it yourself.     -Hannah

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy visiting your blog and commenting but I can't if Google+ is the only option, so I will comment here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Some Fall Blooms and Veggies, October 11, 2014

Welcome to my Garden Blogger's Bloom Day post, in addition to the flowers shown are blooming a Fuchsia 'David', Dahlia, Coreopsis 'Sunburst', Geranium 'Rozanne', Strawberry 'Pink Panda', and Persicaria affinis, which I will be sharing next week.

Today I am linking with-

Guest Heart Thursday hosted by Clytie of Random Hearts

Orange you Glad it's Friday hosted by Maria

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Magical Mystical Teacher

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day hosted by Carol

As part of my Continuous Bloom series, I'm featuring some plants blooming now.   One of the best perennials in my garden for fall bloom is Anemone tomentosa.

A double form-

Anemone hupehensis var. japonica-

Another welcome fall bloomer is the Chrysanthemum-

Taking cuttings from mums in the fall is easy, they root great in water, then I can keep then indoors over winter to plant out the next year.  

Surprise late nasturtium-

Another welcome surprise was to find that a plant I grew last year that I thought didn't make it this year is blooming.   It is Conoclinum (Eupatorium) coelestinum, Blue Mistflower-  

It has wispy flowers that are a lot like the annual Ageratum 'Blue Diamond' I grew this year.  I hope the Ageratum will reseed next year outdoors.  I'm going to cast some seed about as well as start more indoors-

Okra doesn't do well here because it needs more heat, but I am growing a couple of varieties in pots this year.  Hill Country is short and fat-

Bowling Red is long and skinny,  the flower has a deep red stigma-

  The flower seems rather small.   When I was 4 I was in awe of the giant Okra plants my grandfather grew in South Carolina, standing over my head with beautiful large blooms like moons.   I love Okra, I like the flavor and the mucilaginous texture.  Maybe someday I can find a variety that will like it here.

Some of the Broccoli Raab is starting to bloom.   I am running out of the warm season vegetables so we will be having these a lot.

This is a woolly bear caterpillar of the Isabella Tiger moth, a beautiful moth and one of several Tiger moths that live in my yard, though since they are night-flying I rarely see them.  It is curled up in a soft plushy ball.
I hope fall is becoming an increasingly colorful and restful season for you.   Hannah

                                                    or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy visiting your blog and leaving a comment, but I can't if Google+ is the only choice, so I will comment here.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Herbal Delights- Tea from your Garden October 4, 2014

Today I am linking with-

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Magical Mystical Teacher

Blue Monday hosted by Smiling Sally

This week I am featuring a couple of annuals that I like.   Blue-purple flowers are not very common, and I like the delicate blooms of Browallia.   Last year I tried Browallia americana, which grows 1-2' / 30-60cm high, and bloomed well.   I started more seedlings and got them planted out early, here they are blooming with Osmanthus heterophyllus goshiki-

They reseeded rather late in summer and the little plants started blooming when small.

This year I also tried Browallia speciosa, which is shorter, growing to just 8-12" / 20-30cm and has bigger flowers.   I didn't get it planted in the garden but it did well in pots,

And here with another annual I tried this year, Petunia exserta, 

which is just becoming available from various seed sources.  It is a hummingbird-pollinated flower, and can get to be 2' / 60cm when planted in a large planter.   Polygonum capitata at base-

I hand-pollinated it with a small natural paint brush and got seed from it.  It is very bright and the plant has the sticky feel of many petunias.

Other plants continue to bloom like some fall-blooming wonders Anemone japonica, Goldenrod, and some roses, Betty Boop-

A productive summer and early fall activity is collecting and drying leaves for tea from various plants around my yard.  Once I fill up all space for drying in my basement, I need to wait until that batch is dry before I pick more, but fall rains have begun so my window for picking leaves will be ending soon.  Some plants I use for tea are Lemon Balm, Peppermint, 



 Self-Heal flower spikes (Prunella),  here is a rare sport with the tongue white-

Schisandra, Cleavers (winter grower), Stinging Nettle, Ribwort Plantain (evergreen), Betony, Horsetail (spring only), Red Clover, 

Loquat (evergreen), good for coughs-

 and this year I may add some Agastache, Monarda, and Goldenrod. 

A few other plants that are useful that I could gather some leaves from are Raspberry, Rosemary (evergreen), Thyme, Tea- Camellia sinensis (evergreen), Oregano, Sweet Marigold, Lavender, Lady's Mantle, Kinnickinnick (evergreen), and Salvia.  What is your favorite tea plant to grow?

Not many critters seem available this week, I did run across a Ladybird Beetle, who wouldn't hold still, I like the heart on her back-

And for a blue treat, a square from another 'blue ribbon' quilt I saw at the local fair-

It would be nice to have a quilt at night here, our house temperatures dropped from 74ºF to 64ºF / 23.3ºC-17.8ºC, chilly!      -Hannah

                                       or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy visiting your blog and commenting, but cannot do so if google+ is the only choice, so I will do so here.