Sunday, June 5, 2016

Hosta Update...Front Yard Edition

The hostas are just now starting to look good.  We've had a lack of rain in the last week or so that has slowed down the growth of the newer hostas in the back yard so I'll just show off the more mature hostas in the front yard.

Let's start with the front bed in the center of the circular driveway.  These hostas get the most sun and the least rain fall but look at them.  They look wonderful.  Hostas once they are established are really self sufficient.
I only water my established hostas when we are experiencing a drought.
Some of the stand outs in the above beds are the yellowy/orange hostas in the center of the photo.  It is called Orange Marmalade.  As the summer progresses it turns to more of a yellow.
In the above photo is a bright chartreuse green hosta called I don't know...really.  I thought it was Captain Kirk but I just looked on Hosta Library and it isn't Captain Kirk.  Might be Rain Forest Surprise.
Hanky Panky is the varigated hosta in the photo above.  It goes through several changes as the summer progresses.  My favorite phase is right now.
Your blue hosta will be this blue if you keep it in deep shade.  The blue comes from a wax coating on the leaves and if left in the sun the wax melts and the hosta will look green.
June Fever (rt) is a fave of mine because of it's thick leaves.
Jimmy Crack Corn is a large leaf yellow with a pie crust edge.
This hosta is considered a giant.  Believe it or not, there is a boulder behind that Singing in the Rain hosta.  That's Rain Forest Surprise sticking out from underneath it on the right side.
And I'll finish up with one of my all time favorites, Tom Schmid.  It's a blue with an almost white margin.

If you like yellow and blue in the same hosta then Great Expectation is another beautiful hosta.  But it works best in a shady spot with morning only sun at the most.  I have one somewhere in the yard but I currently do not have  photo.

So what do you think?  I love it when people tell me that they do not like hostas because they are all green.  I don't see all green, do you?  I do though, see a lot of weeds.  Note to self....weed the hosta beds.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2013 Summer Blooms

I was so busy and the weather was so hot that most of my blooms came and went fairy fast.  I did was lucky and captured these blooms before they wilted.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Super Large Lilies

This past summer was the first time in three years that they survived the deer and were able to bloom.

They are huge.

I need to remember to plant more of these in the fall.  Unfortunately, come autumn I am always up to my ears in raking leaves and completely run out of time to do anything else.



Friday, February 7, 2014

Winter Ice Storm Damage

This is so sad.  We spent a good part of the summer dead branches, cutting down down trees, and shaping some of our newer trees.  It may all be for naught now.

The vertical juniper that we planted 8 years ago was finally big enough to hide the gas meter and exhaust ducts for the two furnaces.  Looks like the only thing the juniper is hiding now is the driveway.  It will need to be removed and replaced.

The old triple trunk pine that we have spent years removing dead branches and shaping into something other than an awkward half dead pine tree is not a single trunk pine with two broken trunks.  It will need removing.  This will actually give us a chance to plant a large spruce in the center of the triangle shaped green space.  The triple trunk pine was right on the edge and sometimes made it hard for large vehicles to maneuver around the circle driveway.


Our two huge silver maples are a mess and will require professional help.  I know they are really prone to breakage but one is well over 100 years old and the other is probably 75 years old.

I had hoped to get an early start on painting the house this spring but I can see that we will probably spend the first month, after the snow melts and the lawn dries up, just trying to pick up branches.








Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Building Veggie Cages

The idea to build these tomato cages came while watching a garden show on TV. I can't remember exactly which show it was but that doesn't matter because we changed up the design slightly and modified the building process.

We used old wood from previous demos here at 'The Gear'. Our stash of old wood is now reduced to small pieces and plywood. Either we need to tear something down or we will now have to resort to actually buying wood for our projects.

First step was to buy a roll of fencing. This will determine the measurements you use to cut all your wood. Remember to buy fencing with large openings that are big enough to get your hand or a large tomato through the opening.We cut sections of the fence into lengths that were 4 squares (openings) wide. This made the sides of the cage about 20 inches wide. This particular cage will house pole beans so we are making it twice the height of the fence.

We ripped used lumber into roughly 2 x 2 lengths using the table saw. The TV show ripped a groove down the middle of the 2 X 2 so that you could insert the fencing. We did that for this cage be will modify all future cages to omit this step and just use double pointed staples to hold the fence in place. We found that the groove did not entirely hold the fence in place and that a staple was needed to keep the fence from slipping out of the groove. So if you are going to use staples anyways why bother with cutting the groove in the first place.I painted the sides using flat black spray paint so that it would hopefully look like black iron. I would suggest painting the wood before assembling but I was unable to because it has been raining and I wanted to spray paint outside.Once we had the cage fully assembled and painted it was time to guild the lily. In my attempt to make the cage look like it was assembled out of wrought iron I felt I needed some sort of ornamentation on each corner. So I used a doll head. Say what!!!!???? Yup you read that right a doll head. I went to Michael's Craft store and bought little round wooden balls that they use as doll heads. They worked great because they were flat on one side and were predrilled. I drilled the hole completely through and inserted a nail. I could have used a doubled threaded stud but they are rather expensive and I wanted to keep this project on the cheap side. You could also use old wooden drapery finials or really anything that is interesting and would hold a coat of paint. Wouldn't a small bird look cute perched on the top of the cage?Once the wooden balls were installed I squirted them with some flat black paint and we were done. We will make two more tall cages for pole beans and 5 short cages for tomatoes. I think these cages could also be planted with a climbing rose or maybe clematis plants. They are definitely more visually appealing than the standard wire tomato cages. This would be a great winter project but unfortunately I didn't get the idea until a month ago. Oh well, C'est la vie (such is life).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Yankee Candle has Seed Mats on Sale

Use this promo code XF912A2 to save $10 on a $20 order at the Yankee Candle site.

They currently have seed mats on sale. The three types are wildflower, butterfly garden, and giant pumpkin. See mats are 17 inches wide and 5 feet long. I bought the butterfly garden mat for $1.75 each. That is about the price of one packet of seed.

The seed mats are listed under What's on Sale/miscellaneous.This the description of the butterfly garden mat that I purchased.

Attract multitudes of butterflies with this colorful blend of cornflowers, cosmos, coreopsis, black-eyed Susan, zinnia and more. Contains both annuals and perennials for quick and long lasting color in summer. 17 x 5 long.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pinespple Sage in Bloom

Talk about a late bloomer. My pineapple sage has started to bloom.This sage smells just like pineapple. I haven't tried this herb yet but I think pineapple sage would go nicely with ham. I'll have to try that next year.