Thurs. Sept. 15, 2022: Harvests and Marigolds

image courtesy of yganeshbabu via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Taurus

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Vine

Sunny and cooler

The morning glories finally bloomed, just before my friends arrived for their visit. Finally! Really pretty, too.

The marigolds are blooming – well, the ones where the squirrels didn’t eat the blooms.

The night blooming jasmine is starting to bloom, too!

We’ve used the last of the lettuce. That did well.

I’m giving up on the tomatoes and yanking them out. The plants never grew beyond shoots. It’s time to harvest the rest of the basil and make pesto. The chives are just about done. The rosemary gave up (I’m so tired of it acting like an annual). The parsley still has some life in it, thank goodness.

Slowly, we are putting plants to bed, and we’ll start bringing in some of the ones that need more warmth as things cool down.

While this season was disappointing, I learned a lot, and hopefully, I can apply it well next year.

I want the hummingbirds to be happy next year, so I’m going to grow flowers out on the back balcony that they’ll like. I’m even thinking about growing some Angel’s Trumpet (datura). Since the balcony is up on the second level, random people won’t mess with it to get poisoned, and the flowers are so pretty. We’ll see.

I need to update this season’s garden journal and then do an assessment. That way, I can plan for next year. I need to get a bigger binder. The plan is to keep that season’s notes in the smaller binder, and put the previous season’s notes in the big binder, with yearly dividers, so I can go back and see what worked and what didn’t.

Now that we have to factor climate change into every evaluation, too, that will also make a difference.

How’s your harvest coming?

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Thurs. July 7, 2022: Slow Growing

image courtesy of SLF via pixabay.com

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Second Quarter Moon Waxing in Libra

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Oak

Partly cloudy and pleasant

We’ve been so lucky with the weather lately. It hasn’t bee too humid (except on the rainy days). The temperatures have been in the 70s and 80s. Pleasant. Blankets needed at night; the occasional cardigan early in the day. I’d much rather have this weather than in the 90s with high humidity.

But growth has slowed down. I feel like things should be farther along than they are, especially the tomatoes. They haven’t grown much at all for weeks. I mean, they’re supposed to be small and good for containers, but they haven’t grown large enough to blossom, and therefore, actually have tomatoes.

The cucumbers are blooming and are out back, until the bees pollinate, the cucumbers start forming, and I bring the pot back to the front porch, away from the squirrels, who have been a pain in the butt. They dug up my Blue Spruce seedling and that’s been moved to the front porch, too. (The front porch is enclosed, an extra room. The back balcony is open, but with a roof).

The pumpkin is about to flower; I will then put it out back for a few days to get pollinated, and return it to the porch. The dahlias are about 5 feet tall, but haven’t yet bloomed.

The borage is doing well, but the columbine and the cilantro didn’t make it. The night-blooming jasmine is quickly outgrowing its pot.

I have to harvest some spearmint and dry it, because that plant is going like gangbusters. It’s getting leggy, and I want to cut it back so it’s more bushy than leggy.

We’re eating our lettuce regularly, which is always fun.

We’re doing some seed saving, from produce bought at the farmer’s market, which we will try to plant next year.

The downstairs neighbors have their in-ground garden growing. The one neighbor, who had a garden last summer, has her plants all set, and they’re growing (although her tomatoes haven’t blossomed, either). The two guys that rent rooms from the other downstairs neighbor marked off a small patch. They are growing corn and watermelon, and they are so excited! It’s so funny to watch them croon over their seedlings. I love it.

All three cats now demand to go out on the back balcony regularly. Each has her own playpen, so we put the cat in, carry it out, set it up, and everybody gets a half hour or so outside after lunch, weather permitting. They are all very good, but it wouldn’t be safe for them not to be in the playpen. I tried only taking one per day out, but the carrying on and the Kitty Drama was too much.

The rest of the time, they have windows in which to sit, and the front porch, which they all love.

I’m hoping, in the next week or so, to get some black-eyed Susan plants and get those set up. I will not spend what I did on the brown-eyed Susan (Monrovia) plant, which gave it up after a couple of weeks. Live and learn, right?

How’s your garden growing?

Thurs. May 26, 2022: We Have Lettuce!

image courtesy of 422737 via pixabayc.om

Thursday, May 26, 2022

4th Quarter Waning Moon in Aries

Pluto and Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn

Partly sunny/cloudy and pleasant

Things are growing! It’s lovely to see the plants doing well. The tomatoes are still growing slowly, but that’s okay.

The dahlias, in particular, are nearly three feet tall. I got a book out of the library about dahlias, and it thoroughly intimidated me, but I am doing the best I can with them. My dahlia coach tells me they are actually pretty tough plants, so, fingers crossed they actually bloom.

We’re using the rosemary, parsley, lettuce, and basil. I will probably use some of the spearmint and peppermint over the holiday weekend. I plan to use the lettuce for the tacos I’m making.

The impatiens on the front porch, and the impatiens, geranium, and brown-eyed Susan on the back porch are all blooming with giddy joy. I hope to add a basket of petunias soon.

The lilacs have been gorgeous the past week and change. I’m so happy so many yards around here have lilacs. I can literally stop and smell the lilacs when I run errands. I might, just might, purchase a lilac slip next spring and put it in a pot, like I did on Cape. Having lilacs out back would be lovely.

The good thing about all these blooming bushes around us is that there are plenty of bees, so when the tomatoes and cucumbers and pumpkin need pollinating, I can put them out on the back balcony for a few days and leave the bees to it. Imagine! I live in a city, and there are more bees than we had on Cape. But then, here, people aren’t putting pesticides on their lawns, and cutting down all the trees, either.

We’re spending lots of time out on the front porch. I’m trying to spend more time on the back balcony, too, since we have it set up so nicely. We took Willa out there in her playpen yesterday. She loved it. There was so much to see and smell, and it was so different from the deck in Cape Cod.

Charlotte sat on the kitchen chair inside and watched us, very sad, so it will be her turn today. I might try Tessa out there, too, if I can get her into her playpen over the weekend. She hates being in the playpen. Willa and Charlotte don’t mind.

This weekend, passes go on sale for Windsor Lake, which is only a half a mile up the mountain. The season pass is very reasonable, and I’m looking forward to spending lots of time at the lake this summer. We’re also planning a trip to the Berkshire Botanical Garden.

In the meanwhile, we tend our plants every day. I probably fuss at them too much, but they seem to like it. I mean, the peace lily is a constant drama queen, but that’s a peace lily for you.

It’s time to give the Rose of Jericho a few days’ rest, so I will do that, and then, on Monday, the new moon, put it back in water.

There’s definitely a learning curve, and things grow very differently here than on Cape, but it’s a lot of fun to learn. And can I just say I don’t mind not having to mow, rake, and do all the rest of the yard work, at all?

How’s your garden doing?

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. May 9, 2019: Lost Lettuce

Thursday, May 9, 2019
Waxing Moon First Quarter Cancer
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Sunny and cool

We finally have some decent weather, although it’s still cool.

Unfortunately, the six packs of lettuce all died (the romaine is hanging on, but fading) and the parsley died. They were too early, and too wet. I’m sad, especially since a major, unexpected car repair means I won’t be able to put money into anything, including the garden for awhile. It was a blow, and I had to start a Go Fund Me to get immediate money to do the series of repairs necessary. If you could share the link and spread the word, I’d appreciate it. I hate asking for help, but there’s no other choice.

Anyway, the first mow of the season happened, in the terraced back area. I still have to clean up a bit with the clippers, but the grass looks good. This afternoon, I will do the first mow for the front.

I have to clean up a lot of sticks and debris from the meadow, and that’s next.

I’m so much happier with my little push mower. It doesn’t try to kill me every time I want to use it. It’s a big help.

It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow, but we might have decent weather over the weekend, and I can get more done in the yard.

We brought some of the big pots out of the garage. Our little lilac already started blooming in there. I did some pruning. There’s still a lot to do before we transform it into our Enchanted Garden for the summer.

But we still have frost warnings at night, and it’s too cold to get the outdoor planting done.

One day at a time. One plant at a time. That’s all I can handle right now.

Thurs. May 2, 2019: Unhappy Lettuce

Thursday, May 2, 2019
4th Quarter Moon in Aries
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Cloudy and cold

The weather is not cooperating. Rain and chill means that I can’t go much yard work. There’s a lot to do. Dry stretches aren’t coordinating with times I have off to do the work.

Most of the lettuce and the parsley isn’t doing well after being transplanted from the flats in which they came. This is the first time we’ve had trouble with lettuce or parsley transplants. The Romaine is holding its own, at least so far.

This weekend, I have to transplant a lot of tomatoes. I have a feeling I’ll be doing a run to the garden center for more pots and more dirt. But it’s still much too cold to put them outside. I’m worried about the lack of sunlight, too, stunting their growth.

Hopefully, we’ll have a bit of spring in May, and not just move directly into summer!

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.

 

Thurs. April 25, 2018: Sprouts

Thursday, April 26, 2018
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

Well, it looks like we might actually get a bit of spring. Although the nights are still cold, and the heat’s still on way too much.

The lettuce sprouted, but it’s not looking great. The Principasse Borghese tomatoes have come up, and the Moneymakers are just starting. One pot of lemon verbana has a few shoots; the other does not. Two of the three scarlet runner beans are going like gangbusters.

The two Rose of Sharon plants, the potted lilac, the potted forsythia, the potted hydrangea, the potted blueberry, and the clematis are all back out on the deck. I have a couple of chairs out, and had my first official glass of wine out there on Monday afternoon.

Still plenty of yard work to do. Got some of the tree limbs cleared, but there are still plenty of leaves to rake. I’m mad at the road work crews; they’ve been working on my street. Their version of “clean up” at the end of the day is to leaf-blow their debris into my yard. This is not okay.

I hope the coming weekend is warm and sunny; there’s plenty I’d like to do, and I’d also like some time just to sit and enjoy!

Hopefully, I can take and post some photographs soon.

Spring Planting Late — But Then, So is Spring!

Thursday, April 19, 2018
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I’d really like winter to be over. Any day now, okay?

I finally planted both the Moneymaker and the Principasse Borghese tomatoes. Planted two pots’ worth of lemon verbana, some of my scarlet runner beans, and lettuce.

Delighted that the lettuce is already poking up.

The weather’s been bad on the days I’ve had off to work in the yard, so I still haven’t been able to clean up the debris from the March storms.

Fingers crossed we have some decent weather this weekend so I can.

I’m tired of daily news about contaminated food. We really do have to grow most of our own so what we eat doesn’t kill us.

 

In Bloom

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Waxing Moon Second Quarter Libra
Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Things are blooming! The Stewartson Azalea (the red one) is doing so well! It’s such a lovely plant. It’s thrived over the past three years — one of the best purchases I made when we moved here.

I cherish the daily walk around the property I do every morning. I like hearing what the land tells me needs to be done. It’s different than just looking out and making decisions — the daily walking makes it feel more alive and makes me feel more connected to it.

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The Edith Cavell Lilac (the white one) is sweet. The old-fashioned large lilac tree’s scent has been intoxicating, but the blooms are fading, which is a shame. Someday, I’d love to have a whole hedge of the old-fashioned lilacs.

Although I don’t have a big rain barrel, I’ve started capturing rain water and using it to water the plants on the deck. They respond to this water better than the treated water out of the taps. And I feel that I’m not “wasting” the water coming out of the sky!

I finally got the meadow mowed, and everything looks good.

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I’m battling the ants in the front — I think I may have to break down and use poison — something I hate to do, but they just won’t honor the agreement about staying near the street and not coming towards the house.

Today is three days before the full moon, so I’m planting my little hills of corn, beans, and pumpkin. I started corn inside, just to see if I could do it in a pot — one strand is getting TALL — not quite as high as an elephant’s eye, but it’s doing pretty well.

Tomatoes and cucumbers and kale are happy on the deck. I dropped the lettuce seed packet and the wind blew seeds all over the place, so we’ll have lettuce turning up everywhere. Maybe that will keep the critters OUT of the main vegetable bed!

The huckleberry bushed died, which is frustrating — considering how much I paid for it and how I’ve catered to it for the past three years. It’s especially frustrating, because, in late winter, it bloomed inside!

I have to replant the peppers and the bok choy into bigger pots — and get all this done before I go away next week. I’ll be so happy if the veggie garden is bountiful this year!

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And isn’t this hosta great?

Devon