Baby steps towards the future gardens of Beebe

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Manalto
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Re: Baby steps towards the future gardens of Beebe

Postby Manalto » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:44 pm

I can't tell without a photograph of the plant itself but one that bears a strong resemblance to the photo (and tends to spread itself around in residential neighborhoods) is Lychnis coronaria, rose campion. It's an old-fashioned species that's borderline invasive here but I tolerate it for its early-summer display of magenta flowers, then cut it back to limit its spread. Here's some in bloom:

ImageLychnis 020 by James McInnis, on Flickr


James




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Lily left the valley
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Re: Baby steps towards the future gardens of Beebe

Postby Lily left the valley » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:03 pm

Manalto wrote:I can't tell without a photograph of the plant itself but one that bears a strong resemblance to the photo (and tends to spread itself around in residential neighborhoods) is Lychnis coronaria, rose campion. It's an old-fashioned species that's borderline invasive here but I tolerate it for its early-summer display of magenta flowers, then cut it back to limit its spread. Here's some in bloom:

ImageLychnis 020 by James McInnis, on Flickr
The campion leaves always seem more upright to me. I tried to take a picture with the good camera, but it's acting up, so I grabbed the bad camera.

Image

Here's the photo I posted yesterday from the web for comparison:
Image

I did just find one tidbit that would explain why no flowers.
"Most everyone is familiar with mullein, Verbascum thapsis, the “flannel plant”. Even if you don’t know what it is, it’s rather conspicuous with it’s basil rosette of big, grayish green, downy, feltlike, ovate leaves, or it’s 2nd year flower spikes, sometimes towering 5 to 6 feet tall, with yellow flowers blooming cylindricaly at the top."

So maybe next year the flowers will show up.
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Lily left the valley
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Re: Baby steps towards the future gardens of Beebe

Postby Lily left the valley » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:08 pm

So, lots has happened, and I've been too busy to post.

I can't remember if I ever said so, but my mystery plants (to Sean) did finally open, although the poor sunflowers suffered early when we had a weird cold patch in September. They didn't grow enough to seed, but that's ok. I still have a lot of seeds. I am still feeling a bit mixed about how few seeds I planted grew, but I did start them late, directly in the ground, and the pouch was old and not stored properly for a spell. So at least some made it, right? :P

Latest for now...I just harvested most of the milkweed seed pods the other day (some had already cracked and released). I also left two clumps as is, as I noticed both tiny orange mites and ladybirds munching them. I'm pretty sure they're all dead now, given last night's temperatures.

Seeing the ladybirds made my heart sing, though. I've been looking desperately for them all year since that last cold snap in the spring seemed to make the ones I'd seen vanish. I think the ones I saw might have been early bloomers from that weird Indian summer we had for a spell. Now, though, it's frost time. Friday it's not even supposed to break 40°F during the day.

We actually had a dusting of snow two nights ago. They were saying we'd get more later this week, but now they've changed it to rain.

I did empty our rain barrel yesterday, which I was already nervous about since we had a few nights drop to 30s. But it's done and we just need to move it into the cellar for winter. We still have too much in the garage because the cellar is unfinished, and we're trying to make room for my car before winter really sets in.

I'm hoping to set up a leaf mold bin this week after I finish rough supporting the compost enclosure.

It's amazing to me how bare the view out of my office window is now, even though there are still more leaves yet to fall.

I am very glad I hesitated on buying the bulbs I wanted. We had unexpected expenses (car, house) that gobbled that right up. It just hammered home the need to keep trying to build savings and emergency funds. Flowers in the spring would have been lovely, but we'll still do just fine without them next year.

As silly as it sounds, taking that oriental bittersweet out of the conifers is something I still smile about every time I am in the backyard, looking up at them.

As expected, there's a lot I haven't and likely won't finish this year. I may have some time to get closer before the hard frost really sets in and makes the ground a brick. Especially with the mess we found in the backyard, forget about the regrading work, there was a lot I didn't even know to plan into my garden plan for the year until it was obvious how much work really would be needed to amend. The latter is coming along, but not as done as it could be. I have noticed a difference already when we had a sizeable rainstorm come through the other week. So it goes to show we might just get that basement dry yet! :D


Time will tell. :confusion-waiting:
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Re: Baby steps towards the future gardens of Beebe

Postby Lily left the valley » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:56 am

I did spend a bit of time in the backyard yesterday. I finally brought in the now empty of the last icy bits rain barrel and stored it in the cellar. I also moved the last of the baking bags and the one ash bag (leftover from the ashes they had dumped in the bin without a bag plus some from the fire pit Sean cleared out) to the compost, which I'll mix in some of the ash and the remaining weed stock into.

I'm happy to say that all of the pieces of fake wood vinyl planks I had broken down and put into small bags to go over time in the garbage are now gone. I have not yet removed the remainder of that flooring from the dining room/hall/closet. Still good on my word with that.

Now that the leaves are mostly gone, I also got a better look at the trees and saplings we have. There are so very many oak saplings. I had let them be this year, to allow them to grow a bit taller. They still won't have much underground, but I'm hoping to use the sapling's trunks for something. If I can't come up with an idea by spring, though, they'll get chopped up and thrown in the wood only bin to add to compost when needed.

It's amazing how much more light (and view) there is now on the south side. I am a bit disappointed we did not manage to move the crab apple tree, but I knew it was a distinct possibility when that earlier freeze hit surrounded by the rains. I noticed for the first time that one of our very living trees has both a live and totally dead and obviously used before dead side of a twin split trunk. The dead side broke off long ago, so no worries about that falling on the back neighbor's fence.

I still find it both curious and sad that the above mentioned fence has a small gate in it, but it was long ago bound closed and locked. I'm not sure if that's a reflection on which side of the fence before us, because the binding is obviously old.

There are a few spots I need to note that we may want to trim back next spring. I also less than fondly recalled the SW corner I spent a lot of my earliest yard cleaning up in, finding more motor parts than I wanted. There's still more buried back there, and it lies in wait for spring now.

I was very happy to see all sorts of bits of moss peeking up through the leaf cover. With all the oak leaves, I need to do a grand rake up at some point, so the moss breathes free through the winter and doesn't get smothered.


When we were at Home Despot yesterday, I was immediately reminded that XMAS IS COMING. I was surprised at how many of their tree stands were empty outside. My family never bought a tree before Thanksgiving, and I can't think of anyone in our family that put up even the artificial ones before turkey day.

The store was loaded both inside and out with Xmas based greenery. I caught myself looking fondly at a Norfolk Pine indoors, then snapped back to reality. :D

The one thing we have not done, and I need to remedy this as soon as possible is to dig the hole where our first year Xmas tree will be planted after Xmas. We already have the instructions from the nursery, so I know what to do. I just really, really hope we have no more financial surprises that may inhibit buying said tree, and then having nothing to put in the hole! :lol:

Speaking of digging holes, I have decided that as awesome as my garden wagon is, I need a wheelbarrow. So I'm going to try to work that into the budget for next spring.

I never managed to revive the herbs that froze on the porch. I'm holding onto them and tending them just in case somehow there is a scrap of chance for a comeback. Time will tell.

I almost started my garden book, but ran out of time. I'm trying to use a three ring for a calendar and general info about what we have in Beebe's gardens.

I have seen a scant few ladybirds indoors, but they don't last. I've been wondering if there was something I could have indoors to keep any I might catch alive for the winter, but I think it would be an exercise in futility. I need to research viability of that. My main rationale is because of the late freeze we had this year that killed off a slew that had moved out during a warm spell. I don't want to ship in bugs, as that has a long list of problems. I do have notes for two companion plants to attract them next year, and hope to be ordering some seeds for those.

We did try to find some solar Xmas lights when we were burning through the remaining credit at Home Depot, but they only had two types, one of which was star shaped lights, the other very modern LED rounds, and both were just white. So we held off and I bought a really nice hangable worklight instead that I plan to use while insulating. I thought I had an old one, and that one had a pretty battered cord, but we can't find it. Still going through the tools. We do have two outdoor sets, but no outdoor outlet. So we might not do any outside lights this year because of budget and lack of exterior outlet.

I'm still planning to trim back the holly bushes, and uses those cuttings as decor this year. I've been trying to hold off as long as I can so they will stay fresh both in and outdoors. The tree we'll be putting in the library. We have yet to figure out where in there. Another day.
--Proud member of the Industrious Cheapskate Club
--Currently pondering ways to encourage thoughtful restovation and discourage mindless renovation.

phil
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Re: Baby steps towards the future gardens of Beebe

Postby phil » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:17 pm

Lily left the valley wrote:We did try to find some solar Xmas lights when we were burning through the remaining credit at Home Depot, but they only had two types, one of which was star shaped lights, the other very modern LED rounds, and both were just white. So we held off and I bought a really nice hangable worklight instead that I plan to use while insulating. I thought I had an old one, and that one had a pretty battered cord, but we can't find it. Still going through the tools. We do have two outdoor sets, but no outdoor outlet. So we might not do any outside lights this year because of budget and lack of exterior outlet.


It seems all the new lights are so cheap to buy and so cheaply made too. I remember setting p the tree every year and my parents would comment that htye used to make the strings so cheaply that if one light burned out you had to check every single one.. wel it seems they have returned to that , a lot of the new ones have them arranged in series strings of about 11 bulbs and if any one is out they all go out. on top of that the sockets and bulbs are so cheap that they crumble in your hands if you attempt to just change them.. I wish we could have quality standards on what we accept from China because it is so wasteful to throw them out every second year. I have a few strings with the older screw in bulbs, they are worth saving if you can find them , and if they get snowed on they have the power to melt the snow.. the new ones get buried.
they are replacing traffic lights and same issue, no heat from the LED's so they get covered in snow. kind of a half baked plan I guess. they o save power but I liked to put up some outside because they also light up the yard a little, but the LED ones just don't really cast any light, they just light themselves up. the rechargeable ones all have cheap made in china batteries inside, they are cheap to buy new but then after 2 years need all new batteries and they are so degraded by then,,not worth new batteries. It's just more consumer waste.. how is this "green" ?

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Lily left the valley
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Re: Baby steps towards the future gardens of Beebe

Postby Lily left the valley » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:52 am

phil wrote:how is this "green" ?
There are so many times when I've had similar thoughts on so-called "green" products overall. They also all too easily slap the green label on things where the process of making said item is much more toxic then the electricity savings would balance out. There's a reason the word "greenwashing" is now part of the lexicon.

What was frustrating today was trying to find a smaller solar panel kit for outdoor lights that one could use with already owned LED lights. No dice so far. Every kit I'd found only worked with that site's own solar lights. I'd have to research making my own set up.

We had talked about just hanging some greenery on the porch, and having a wreath on the front door with the only lights would be the tree in the library window. I'm now thinking such a simple plan might be the best. If we get snow, we can always snow sculpt too, since we have a decent sized front lawn.
--Proud member of the Industrious Cheapskate Club
--Currently pondering ways to encourage thoughtful restovation and discourage mindless renovation.


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