Sow What…..and other ramblings.

a journal of a garden and whatever crosses my mind


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Nice work, if you can get it.

It has been one of those lazy, icky days. Storms, clouds, and now more rain. I have spent most of the day on the computer, goofing off on the last day of my three-day weekend. I worked Memorial Day, so Friday was my holiday.
simonThis has been Simon’s morning, afternoon, and most likely, his evening. Life could not possibly get much better for this spoiled, indoor cat. He gets all the food and petting he wants, but mostly, he gets to sleep in a warm house during the torrential downpour, which was accompanied by high winds. He barely noticed the storm.

cardinalThis poor little guy knows about the storm. The birds came in droves, hungry and bedraggled after the rain stopped.

So far, we seem to be getting just the right ratio of rain and sun to take care of the garden. We have hardly had to water lately. The tomato plants are growing like crazy, loving the new Black Gold mulch that we planted them in this year. The plants are growing so fast that we have barely managed to keep them staked. The new perennials I planted in the place of the ugly evergreen bushes are looking great.

echinacea

Some of the natives that I planted in the back yard are starting to look quite at home. Several of them are actually spreading, so hopefully, they will displace some of the weeds by next year. This pale purple coneflower is one of the first of the new natives to bloom.

I see that Simon is awake now, and watching the rain. If even Simon has stirred from his cardboard box of slothfullness, I should probably go and be productive also.

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If I Stay Really, Really still……You Can’t See Me!

Well, I guess I know who has been eating my echinacea and gazania leaves, and creating a few other holes in garden plants. I spotted him out the window today and figured he would be long gone before I could get my camera and go outside. I managed to get pretty close because instead of hopping away at first, he froze–trying to become invisible, I suppose.

bunny1Tonight he was just munching on weeds. He can have all of the violets and clover that he pleases, but I was more than a bit annoyed when I discovered that the gazanias that I planted in the herb garden to add some color had been mowed to the ground. I plan on making a rabbit-deterring concoction this weekend to spray on the good plants that he finds so tasty.

So far, the tomatoes and peppers are looking good, and yet untouched by rabbits. Hopefully, they will stay that way. All of the garden is looking great.

We have been enjoying some good bird watching too. The hummingbirds are hit or miss. We have seen them, and then they disappear. I read that they often are absent in May because they are feeding insects to their babies, so I am hoping to see more of them later this month.

We have had plenty of colorful birds on the feeder lately. We even had an indigo bunting for a while, but he moved on. The towhee and American goldfinch have been frequent visitors, along with the other regulars. I tried to peek into the bird house tonight to see if the wrens had babies yet, but I couldn’t see. Unfortunately, I discovered that the other bird houses contains bees. I will be staying away from that one! Towheefinch3


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Dirt Under Fingernails

We had a productive weekend filled with weeding, planting, trimming and brush removal. Hopefully we managed to avoid the poison ivy.

I planted all of the native plants that I got at the Reflection Riding Arboretum in the backyard in what the real estate listing for this house referred to as a butterfly garden. In reality, it was a large garden area that hadn’t been maintained in quite some time, but it contained a lot of butterfly bushes. I trimmed them way back this year, and have been slowly adding natives back into the area.

I planted several perennial varieties that I am hoping will spread over the next few years, and I also planted some butterfly weed, parsley, dill and fennel from seed to be host plants. So, hopefully, I will have tons of butterflies when all of the plants start flowering. So far, I have only seen one Tiger Swallowtail. We are also anxiously watching for our hummingbirds to return. They are in our area now, but not at our house yet.

The pink, red and white azaleas and wisteria all popped into full bloom this week, so of course, the bees are having a big time.

Spring in the garden. April 12, 2015 Spring in the garden. April 12, 2015

I followed the coolest dragonfly through the garden today and finally managed to get a photo. We usually don’t see many dragonflies in our yard. I also startled a rabbit, but only got a quick look at his fuzzy white behind as he hopped away. Three out of four of our birdhouses have nests, and I could barely see the eye and beak of what appears to be a little wren in one of them. I have no idea who the other nests belong to, but we are hoping for a spring full of babies.

Spring in the garden. April 12, 2015

Of course, the other favored wildlife around here includes the chipmunks. I know they dig way too many holes, but they make up for it by being so adorable. I need to buy some peanuts for them and make them really happy.

Spring in the garden. April 12, 2015 Spring in the garden. April 12, 2015

Until next time, happy gardening!

Where’s my Mommy?

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Where's my Mommy?

I discovered a nest containing four eggs in my fern basket before leaving for the beach, so I was looking forward to checking things out when we got back. It is really hard to get a shot inside the basket, but there are now four somewhat funny-looking baby house finches inside. They are all beak and fuzz.

While checking out the garden, we noticed moss overflowing out of the bottom of the bluebird box, so we are guessing that it contains chickadees, because my pal Google tells me that chickadees sometimes nest in bluebird boxes and build with lots of moss. The bluebirds chose, instead of the fancy box built specifically for their kind, a rickety old birdhouse on a pole that was here when we moved in. The pole was about to fall over, but we knew that they used it last year, so we found a way to anchor it. Today we saw the male bluebird at the entrance, so I’m glad we made it work.

The garden is doing well. Today’s harvest was three peppers and a patio tomato. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make us happy!

Here today, gone tomorrow.

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Here today, gone tomorrow.

One of the many things I always say I am going to photograph, but rarely ever really do, is the fall leaves. We did some yard work today, and I took some time to snap a few shots before the leaves fall off of the trees.

I love the colors of fall, but they are short-lived.

The basil is dying, a few green tomatoes that won’t ripen remain on the vine, and the hummingbirds are gone. Mostly, I miss the hummingbirds.

We have a weeping cherry that is close to the feeder. Our dominant female spent a large portion of her summer sitting on the arched branch, guarding her food. Every time I look out the window and see movement, I think it is her, and then I remember that she is gone. I’m sure she is kicked back in Mexico by now, hopefully with a flower cocktail nearby.

We were good to her this year, so I know she will be back.

Newsflash! We like figs.

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Newsflash! We like figs.

We never expected to have fruit the year after planting the fig tree, but there are several figs on it. Most of them are still small and green and I have no idea if they will mature or not. I noticed this one was looking ready, so I made sure to go out and check the plant. Some creature beat me to the first one. They had already eaten half of it. This one was waiting for me. And, the verdict is in–we like figs!

What’s for dinner?

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What's for dinner?

Usually, when I see a writing spider (Argiope aurantia), I think of Wilbur.

Three days ago, when I accidently walked through a spider web and ended up with what was probably this very spider stuck on my leg, I did not think of Wilbur.

I screamed. Loudly. I shook the little guy loose and tried to gather my composure and hoped the neighbors hadn’t heard.

Today the spider made a wiser choice of web placement, and is no longer between my car and my back door. He or she will have a much longer writing career in this location.