Monday, August 23, 2010

My Garden - End of August

Princess of the Posies
This really was a photo of my granddaughter playing dress-up, but it will also serve as a look at the garden right now.  The zinnias on the left are about 5 feet tall and just starting to lay over.  The pumpkins on the right are amazing.  There are 8 plants with about a dozen pumpkins.  I don't know how big they will get or how well formed but Halloween is looking good!!!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Survivor, Nature-style

Survivor
We have been watching this lone survivor of an unfortunate mix of a lawnmower and a nest.  A neighbor found one and did her darndest to help it survive, but it didn't.  The vet said they rarely do.  The three we saw seemed too young to make it and we guessed that the mother had abandoned or been killed.  Two died within the day but this little guy just ate his way through the garden and lawn and looks pretty good now.  He should be fat and ready for winter when it comes.  Now, if he will just leave the corn and pumpkins alone...

Back in 1943, my grandmother who lived in this same town, had a nest below her bedroom window.  One day the mother just didn't return.  My parents took the 5 and we took turns feeding them some formula suggested by a veterinarian-friend of ours.  3 lasted only a day or two but two grew and thrived until late summer when they grazed on some grass that had weed-killer on it...where a neighbor's yard bordered our own.

I knew our bunnies COULD be saved, but I also knew the likelihood of survival was best if left to fend for themselves.

I think Survivor will probably find a winter home under my back porch and we will see him (or her with a brood) come spring.
Monday, August 16, 2010

Working on the photo skills

Monarch
The focus isn't just where I want it but, darn, those butterflies move around so fast!  Almost as bad as Hummingbirds, which seem to be scarce so far this year.

My Goldfinch pair
Like the canaries we raised back in the 30s

I do love my Finch pair.  They are ignoring my finch feeder and feeding from the regular feeder for some reason.  I have really washed out the finch feeder well to be sure there isn't any mold but they will still only eat from it when it is 100% full.  It has hung there for a week at the half full point several times this year and never emptied.  Anyone with a clue?  None of the feeding holes are plugged.
Saturday, August 7, 2010

August Garden Update

This has to be the best time in the garden!  2010 has been hot;  I mean HOT!  My watering has been sporadic depending on the weather, but storm after storm seems to split and go around us.  Once in July we did receive a 3" rainfall at night.  My rain-gauge measured just a hair over 3 inches.  Otherwise, I have been depending on a soak-er hose through my roses, past the Cardinal Flower vine, through the vegetable garden (now taken over by pumpkins), and into the Nasturtiums.
Midas Touch Hybrid Tea Roses
The Midas Touch roses are still blooming like crazy but the others are just putting forth a few blooms.

Mysterious rescued rose

Late last month a new neighbor decided he didn't want the upkeep of the roses the former owner had left.  He gave 2 to the neighbor between us, who only wanted one.  She asked if he would mind her giving the other to me and he mentioned that he and his children enjoy looking at my garden from their yard.  When I had chance to thank him, he offered to bring over the others he was taking out.  Two of those "mystery" roses are showing growth, even if it is late in the season.  I will see that the new four along with the existing 5, will all be covered with styro cones this winter and we will just see what spring brings.

Cleome
I usually plant a few seeds in spring which, like the vegetables, are mostly for my granddaughters.  The life cycle is so important and so few children have experience with planting, watching maturing, collecting seeds, and planting those seeds the following year.  Believe me, my granddaughters KNOW that plants come from seeds and produce more seeds.  They love the Cleome above because of the unique flower heads and seed pods.  The pungent scent seems to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, too.
Zinnia Garden
The older granddaughter (7) MUST have her Zinnias every year.  This year we planted small yellow and brown "carpet Zinnias" along one side, other small bush ones on the other side and several varieties of tall cutting Zinnias in the center.  It worked; the color is great; and she has plenty of flowers to cut for her mother.
This shows promise
Mice like pumpkin, too

That brings us to the pumpkins.  The mice left teeth marks in the biggest so far but we are watching the color deepen and enjoying it in spite of the scars.  The next biggest has a few marks but no more mice (or squirrels or rabbits, maybe?) so that might become a jack-o-lantern in October.  As others come along the neighbor children are putting their names or initials in the skin with a pen.  Those marks will scar and make interesting names on the mature pumpkin, rather like the mice's teeth marks.

Every day is an adventure.  Butterflies and, soon, humming birds will keep our attention as this month marches along.

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Laura Lou
Michigan/Florida, United States
I am a retired Middle School Science teacher from Michigan spending 4 months each winter in Florida and learning about a whole new world.
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