Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fall Orchid

This orchid has been blooming in the greenhouse for several weeks. You can see where a slug bit it, but in spite of that it still looks pretty. This is not the true color of the flower, but the reds and rose colors are hard to get right through a camera. I wish I knew what cultivar this Cattelya is. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011


This Mandevilla is still looking pretty after 2 nights of freezing temperatures that took out most of the other tender flowers. It always lasts well, and I think it must be quite tough combined with being on the concrete and against brick which absorb the sun's heat all afternoon and then releases it at night. It still looks relatively unscathed. The same cannot be said for the Cupheas (pictures below). Both these plants, the candy corn (first picture below) and the bat faced Cuphea (second) were burned past repair on the night of the first freeze. Both of these Cupheas are perennials that love the heat, so I expect them back next year unless something bad happens overwinter. All 3 of these plants do well (with some water) in the heat and humidity of August and flower on till frost. I will soon be taking the Mandevilla into the greenhouse, because I do not want it to truly freeze, as I am sure it would be killed. I simply wrack it off and leave anywhere from one to 2 feet of bare stem when I take it inside. It sulks awhile, then begins to show new growth about January/February.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Endless Summer Hydrangea

Endless Summer is certainly an apt name for this Hydrangea. It blooms early spring through fall, as evidenced by this current photograph of my bush. It blooms on old and new wood, unlike the old Hydrangeas that are found around old home sites. Many of us have moved these old Hydrangeas into our own yards in memory of our mothers and grandmothers, and we enjoy them as much as they did. But these... these bloom on and on and provide their cool blue and pink flowers to cool us all summer and beyond. This everblooming Hydrangea is well worth procurement price. A small plant is cheaper and is just as pleasing as a larger specimen as they grow so fast. Get one this fall when they might be on sale!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

White Wild Aster

Although this wild white aster is starting to pass peak, I have enjoyed it for several weeks. It came up in this spot and I just lazily left it. The bricks were a perfect backdrop for it. I gotta remember this. Actually these small native asters look good with almost anything, in mixed beds or cut arrangements. They seem largely undeterred by poor growing conditions and get to be 3 feet tall on the average.These asters are not bothered by the common aster diseases that hybrids are plagued with. You have to be hardy to be a wild flower. They start blooming about the time all those other yellow flowers do on the roadsides and continue well past what they can do. The only trouble with them is they do not bloom till late and they spend all summer just standing around looking like a weed.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Recovering Greenhouse

I am so grateful to Steve Thomas of Green Hill Nursery  for recovering my greenhouse. I could not have done it alone and it is certainly helpful to have someone who knows the process. He and his two helpers did and amazingly fast and efficient job.

 This is a picture of pulling the old cover off. Actually it was three layers of plastic. The last time it was recovered one layer of plastic was left on for additional insulation.
 This shows the new cover laid out ready to be put on. It was folded in half so that two thicknesses of plastic were used and a shaded blower blows air between the 2 layers.
The finished product, with 2 covers and an air insulation cushion in between and the shade cloth tied down to secure the whole thing. The shade cloth will also help ward off the destruction done by the sun to the plastic cover.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

2 Fallen Giants

This morning on the radio I heard we lost 2 recently. Any Rooney died last night. I had no idea he was so close to the end when his last piece aired about a month ago, but I am sad to loose such a curmudgeon who seemed to have no trouble thinking straight. I already miss him. I should be grateful he went on so long in apparent good health, or good enough.
The second giant that fell was a Giant Sequoia in California's Sierra Nevada on the Trail of 100 Giants. The tree was about 1500 years old. That means it started growing during the reign of the Knights of the Round table. These Sequoia live to be about 4000 years old and so was just middle aged. It was actually 2 trees fused at the base and they were about 17 feet in diameter at breast height (dbh is a standard forestry measure.) They trees looked healthy and their demise may have been caused by an especially wet peroid last winter. The soil was too soft to hold the tree upright and it just pulled out of the ground. This seems an iffy explanation to me. If it was wet weather last winter, why is it just now falling?? We are almost to winter a year later.
At any rate, the falling tree was seen by a handful of tourists and one couple ran to get out of the way. This has never happened before in the Sequoia National Forest and the Forest Service is not sure what to do about it. Some suggestions have been to cut the trail through the tree, to reroute the trail around the tree, tunnel under it, or sell it for firewood. (There are always nuts around). While the Forest Service ruminates over what to do, tourists are allowed to climb and walk over something that only wildlife has ever walked on. I wish I could go see it. The oak that fell in my own yard was an eye opener.
Here is a link about the groove.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fawn in Yard

Posted by Picasa
This fawn spent the month of October in my front yard.. I never saw the mother and wondered if it was alone in the world. If it is, it has continued to thrive, mainly by eating my flowers and acorns I suppose. At first it seemed to be learning what tasted good and what did not. It bit off large pieces of my Penta and spit them out around the pot. It hopped into my garden bed and nibbled off pepper leaves and took bites from the pepper, leaving small hoof prints behind. It wondered through my biggest flower bed and tasted everything as it passed. At first it was very skiddish , racing away with uplifted tail when I surprised it. Now, it just cruises over and stands behind a bush when it seems me. I have not seen it in a couple of days now. I feel both happy and sad. Happy, because it must have expanded its range and moved on. Sad, because I enjoyed seeing it. I know I will probably regret not aggressively trying to get rid of it because fawns grow very rapidly into big deer and this one will probably come back next year and eat me out of house and home.
Blogging tips
Blogging tips