Thurs. July 16, 2020: Trying For Tranquility

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image courtesy of tina0128 via pixabay.com

Thursday, July 16, 2020
Waning Moon Fourth Quarter in Taurus
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Holly
Sunny and cool

I’m enjoying the cool, since it’s supposed to get hot and humid again over the weekend.

Those aren’t my tiger lilies in the photo, but mine are starting to bloom. To me, tiger lilies are a cheerful flower.

We had bees earlier in the season, but then the neighbors went and put pesticides down so their lawns can look like putting greens, and now we have no bees to pollinate. I’m discouraged.

But things are growing. Especially invasives. I spent a couple of hours the other day battling bindweed. I got a lot cut away, but there’s more to do.

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These are my hydrangeas. I cut some to enjoy them indoors.

This week is the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, a mix of virtual and drive by the houses. I think some gardens are open. Usually the tourists just stomp around and leave trash, and they often roam people’s properties even if those properties are not on the tour, because why would they have any consideration for anyone? They don’t even wear masks.

I’m not sure what I’ll do this weekend, garden-wise. I hope to sit on the deck and enjoy things. Hopefully, the guy will come to mow. Most of the yard still looks fine, but No Man’s Land on the side, could use some work.

The white geraniums, daisies, and Queen Anne’s lace practically glow in the dark at dusk and dawn. It’s quite lovely. Because I’m not a big fan of the color white in general, I never wanted a white garden (Vita Sackville-West had one at Sissinghurst. You can see it here). But looking at the plants at these times makes me think maybe, one day, I’ll try for one.

I might do some repotting over the weekend. The Moneymaker Tomato decided to grow quickly. The eggplants and a couple of the cherry seeds have come up, and they need bigger pots.

I haven’t seen Che Guevara Chipmunk lately, and I’m a little worried about him. The bunnies are still around, which is a good thing. They have plenty to eat, and leave our vegetables alone. Because dandelion and purslane taste better!
Peace and good growth to you.

July 9, 2020: Enjoyment

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photo courtesy of MikesPhotos via pixabay.com

Thursday, July 9, 2020
Waning Moon Third Quarter in Pisces
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Foggy and humid
Celtic Tree Month of Holly

There’s not a whole lot to say this week. The garden in the picture is not mine; I’d love it if it was.

We have a lack of bees around this summer, and it concerns me. We had a good quantity earlier in spring – and then the neighbors used chemicals for their lawn, and here we are. So nothing is getting pollinated, which is not boding well for the blossoms on tomatoes and cucumbers.

The beans are doing well. Che Guevara Chipmunk dug up the sunflower and pea seeds, so nothing there. I’m battling the bindweed invasive.

The bittersweet is blooming and is a pollinator, so I’m not cutting it back yet. The Queen Anne’s Lace is about 4 feet tall and beautiful.

I enjoy some time out on the deck every afternoon, reading and/or writing. I take Willa out in her playpen, and she loves it.

Willa and the bunny love staring at each other.

Che Guevara Chipmunk hasn’t been around much in the last few days. I hope he’s okay. The illegal fireworks (10 hours straight on July 4th; every night since July 1) upset the critters.

Some of the lilac cuttings seem to be rooting; only a couple of the rhodies look good. But a couple is better than none.

We’re just keeping on keeping on. The pansies are still blooming; it hasn’t been too hot, so I haven’t needed to switch them out to petunias yet.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Botanical Interests seeds have been disappointing. Next year, I’ll buy my seeds elsewhere. Usually, when I sow Botanical Interests seeds, I get 60-70% germination rate. This year, it’s about 10%. The percentage/cost of seeds/time spent ratio isn’t working for me this year.

The roses are lovely. They grew back quite well where I’d hacked them back last fall.

The tiger lilies should bloom soon. They are in drifts up on the bay side of the Cape, so they will bloom soon over here. The bay side blooms a little earlier.

That’s pretty much it. I’m getting as much enjoyment as possible out of it all.

Too bad the neighbors can’t. All they do is use noisy machines, put down chemicals, and destroy. They never build anything, or make anything beautiful. They just make noise, pollute, and destroy. It’s disappointing.

Hope your garden is growing well.

 

Thurs. June 18, 2020: Growth

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image courtesy of Conger Designs via pixabay.com

Thursday, June 18, 2020
Waning Moon 4th Quarter in Taurus
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Foggy and cool
Celtic Tree Month of Oak

Things are growing, and it’s lovely to watch. Summer Solstice this weekend, and then we start losing light.

The morning glories and the moonflowers are both doing well. I think the morning glories might start blooming next week. The pollinator mix and the zinnias are coming up, but the hollyhocks never sprouted, which is a disappointment.

The pansies are still going strong, but with the weather getting warmer, it might become too much for them.

The tomatoes, basil, and other herbs are coming along nicely, and the eggplant and cherry seeds have sprouted. Keeping a close eye on them, for transplanting.

The lettuce is nearly done; not a good year for lettuce this year, sadly. We usually have it going like gangbusters well into August. I might try sowing some mixed greens (today is a planting day), and maybe finally get the beans in. Might be too late, but worth a shot. Someone told me I can still sow the sunflowers.

Everything on the deck was covered in a thick layer of yellow tree pollen. I hosed down the deck and the furniture, but some of the plants will need the leaves sprayed or individually washed, or the pollen will choke it. I do love the pine trees, but the pollen can be annoying.

Neighbors all around are cutting down perfectly healthy trees, which is infuriating. On Independence Drive, in Hyannis, they cut ALL the large gorgeous trees in the median, and most of the trees on the side, revealing so much dust and ugliness. People on the Cape are bound and determined to use the pandemic as a reason to destroy as many natural resources as possible. It’s not progress; it makes the area look cheap and ugly.

Reveals a lot about the people doing it, right?

In any case, I am happy in my enchanted garden. On a typical summer, I would spend most of my time here, avoiding the tourist mayhem. This year, I will particularly do so. I am filled with gratitude for the space, even though I haven’t been able to put in the money to do everything I want.

If it clears up a bit more, I will spend a few hours this morning working on the front beds. They need some tidying up. I did some work on the beds in the back over the last few days, battling invasives, weeding, getting things watered. The lawn guy should be here at some point this week (he usually comes every two weeks, and this is week 3).

One of the things I love doing is paging through garden magazines, reading garden memoirs, and planning gardens for my fictional characters. It’s a way to experiment with gardens on a larger scale, and then, maybe find ways to incorporate some of my favorite things in my own.

I won’t post next Thursday – I am currently scheduled for surgery. I hope to be able to spend time healing in my garden.

Peace, my friends, and I’ll be back in touch in two weeks.

 

Thurs. April 25, 2019: Almost Time to Mow

Thursday, April 25, 2019
Waning Moon 3rd Quarter Capricorn
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Sunny and pleasant

Slowly, too slowly, I’m replanting the tomatoes into the pots in which I hope they’ll grow and thrive all summer.

A lot of rain this past week, which means I haven’t been able to do much yard work. Yesterday, I managed to rake out and cut back part of the terraced bed. I got about half done. Lots to do, because of the invasives. Cut back the roses some more.

I can see how the roses grew and overwhelmed castles and cottages in fairy tales. I feel like we’re on the cusp of it here.

In order not to get overwhelmed with all that needs to be done, I decided that this year, I will listen to the yard, instead of watching what the neighbors do. What demands attention first? I’ll prioritize from there.

The rain means the grass looks good. It also means I need to start mowing soon. I might get a chance to do a bit this afternoon, maybe at least one section. But there’s a lot of raking I need to do before I can mow everything.

Last year, I ditched the gas mower that was always trying to kill me and went old school with a push mower. Best thing I ever did.

I still don’t enjoy mowing, but it’s a much better experience, which means I can stay on top of it more.

Where are you in your planting/gardening for the season?

Thurs. April 18, 2019: The Weather Works Against Me

Thursday, April 18, 2019
Day Before Full Moon
2nd Quarter Moon in Libra
Jupiter Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Rainy and cool

I’m trying to remember what got done since last Thursday. The days I’ve been free to do yard work have not coincided with the weather, unfortunately. What were supposed to be a string of sunny days weren’t.

I started work on the side yard, and I got the front beds raked out. Cut back a lot of invasives. Got one load of yard debris to the dump, and am accumulating another.

Bought six-packs of Romaine lettuce (grow your own; avoid e-coli), Buttercrunch, and Boston lettuces. Got a six-pack of parsley. They are all happy in their new pots. Got the pansies into the hanging baskets out front, and in the barrel.

Yesterday, finally started replanting the Cherokee Purple tomatoes in big posts. Got some of them in; will get in more today, and then start replanting the Romas and the Eggplants.

Then I can move forward some of the other tomatoes, in smaller pots, closer to the windows.

The lettuce and parsley go out on the deck during the day on good days, and come in at night, because it’s still cold. The tomatoes are still too fragile to go out.

The forsythia and white Rose of Sharon are out on the deck; the hydrangea, lilac, and large Rose of Sharon will go out soon.

I need to put teak oil on the wooden furniture as it goes out on the deck, repaint the white plant stand, and decide if I want more pansies in the little teacup planters.

Again, I don’t know how much I’ll get done this weekend because of rain.

I’m posting most of the in-process photos on Instagram, where you can find me @devonellingtonwork.

Hope you’re having fun with your gardens, too! Drop a line or a photo or an Instagram link. I’d love to see how it’s going.

 

Cleaning Up After The Storms

March 29, 2018
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny/cloudy and mild

It was actually dry enough, the past few days, to start cleaning up after the series of nor’easters that battered us in March. Most of the snow is gone, especially in my yard. There are some piles in corners along the street, but my yard is okay.

I started in the front. I’m in the process of clearing away all the branches and tree limbs that came down over the month. Not easy work, especially when it came to the large tree limb that broke off the dogwood. I hope I can work all through the weekend and make some serious progress. I should be able to finish the front yard today.

I’ll have to rake it then, still leaves around. I have to rake out the beds in the front. I used leaves to mulch in the winter, but there’s new growth, and I need to scrape away the old leaves and let it breathe.

I started cutting back the dead growth in the terraced bed in the back. I’d wanted to wait until it all passed and re-seeded itself naturally, but then the weather turned, and I couldn’t finish. Again, I used leaves to mulch. The new growth is coming up, so I have to rake it out. I cut back a good bit of it yesterday.

I also got out the handsaw and took out some invasive autumn olive and several oak saplings that are acting like invasives, especially within the rose bushes on the side of the house. When I’m sure it will stay mild in a week or two, I’ll give the roses a hard prune back — they’ve made that side of the house nearly impassable.

I still have a lot of that weird cedar-like invasive to dig out. I have to make sure I get the roots, or it just springs up somewhere else.

The crocuses are blooming, which is great. The daffodils and hyacinths are growing, but it’s been too cold for them to actually do much.

Yes, there’s a lot of work to do. If we have a string of days where the weather holds, it’ll be great. So often, the days I have time to work in the yard are the days where the weather is off.

But I’m looking forward to how beautiful it will be, once it’s cleaned up and ready for growing season!