The monster fern is molting. Ferns don't molt, I suppose, but it is decidedly thinner than it was two-ish weeks ago when it was sentenced to do time in my dining room. It's particularly thin (and brown) on the side facing the heat vent - even though it was about 3 feet from it; why is it all the windows in this house have heat vents underneath them? I released it from its imprisonment yesterday, and set it outside, leaving a carpet of dried leaves from the table it was on to the front door.
There's a new fern, not quite as large, but still big - and nice, fresh, and green - sitting in my mudroom. It is meant for Hubs' boss as payment for fern sitting over the winter. Thinking I might buy another for her, keep this one for me, and let Monster Fern go the way of all the other houseplants I've killed over the years.
I don't keep plants in the house. And sadly, I kept forgetting about Mom's houseplants, so guess they'll be going into the trash when we start cleaning. At least I haven't forgotten to feed Mom's cat/s. Only see the one, and I can go for a week without seeing him sometimes.
Last Edit: May 23, 2017 21:10:27 GMT -6 by Mini Mia
When we did have plants inside, they were Hubs' responsibility; my indoor Black Thumb of Death prohibits me from caring for them.
At least I haven't forgotten to feed Mom's cat/s. Only see the one, and I can go for a week without seeing him sometimes.
HA! One of my co-workers always uses a similar analogy when talking to customers who say they are leaving watering of their newly purchased tree or shrub up to nature (plants need supplemental watering for the first couple of years to establish a root system). "Would you get a pet and not provide it with food or water?" he asks. Sometimes you can actually see the realization on the customer's face, that a plant is a living thing that requires a certain amount of care. Other times, the person has an expression of indifference.....and you hope they don't have pets!
Yeah. When we went down into the bottoms to get young trees to put around the house, Dad dug holes next to them and we watered the trees every day for a couple of years, and then Dad filled in the holes.
That's the way to do it! Those roots need to get established. I've always wondered how some people can think sprinklers set to water the lawn are enough to water trees - there is no comparison to the depth of tree roots versus lawn grass roots.
It's sooo nice out this evening, and I've got soooo much to do, and planned to get some of it done after work today, but I. Just. Can't. Got a letter saying the Garden Tour Committee is going to be sending representatives over to preview the garden, and someone to write an article for the paper. "Hopefully, you've been readying your gardens", the letter says.
No chance to sit down at work today, except for a 10 minute "lunch" at 2pm. Just can't muster the energy tonight. Even walking to the couch seems like too much effort.
I know, right? It feels like throwing a party though, and not cleaning the house beforehand...or at least attempting to clean. Too bad you can't sweep dirt under the carpet, or shove stuff in closets in a garden!
Oh, sure, Joxie!!! Like all I need are more projects!!!
I laid Monster Fern to rest yesterday. It was an unceremonious service - I just threw it in its final resting place behind the garage to decompose, without any remorse. Fresh New Replacement Fern is potted - and when it's time, it'll join Monster Fern. I'm done with trying to keep plants inside through the winter.
I do a lot of container gardening...outside. I've got over 30 pots planted, big and small, some with perennials that I keep outside in containers year-to-year, and some with annuals, and if you think about it, the raised vegetable beds are like big containers too. I'd think, given my profession and all the years I've been doing it, and the many more years that I've been gardening, that I'd be able to keep a single plant alive inside the house - in what is supposed to be a "controlled environment". Pfft!
And those cute little indoor herb gardens? Another Pfft! The one time I tried to do herbs inside (I had some weird idea I could sell fresh herb bundles at the winter farm market) was a disaster! I grew these big, beautiful pots of herbs outside all summer - gorgeous; there were dozens of herb pots everywhere. Brought them inside in the fall, and they lasted only a month or so before I noticed a huge whitefly infestation, which killed every last herb.
Hhmmm...I've never thought about growing tomatoes inside; they seem more like an outdoor plant to me. I used to grow them in pots though - 20 gallon-sized nursery pots. I wonder if you could keep them as an indoor plant...and get them to produce. You'd have to pollinate the flowers somehow. It'd sure be nice to have a "real" tasting tomato during the winter, when the ones you buy at the grocery taste like cardboard.
I set some of my sunflower babies free last night. They look so tiny and helpless out there in the garden. Hoping they survive.
You could always do-it-yourself pollination with a tiny paintbrush. Too time consuming? Get yourself a mechanical bee to do it for you.
It's a real thing...or is in the works of being a real thing. I read something earlier this year, that because of the alarming decline of the bee population, scientists have developed a robotic bee to pollinate crops.
Sounds like a movie in the making to me. Remember those insect horror movies? And cyborg horror movies. Combine the two genres, and you've got a new low budget "Bee"-movie, (ouch. That stings!) "Attack of the Killer Robo-bees!!!"
Ok. Let's have them attack the pompous *&^%ing garden club ladies.
They are coming for their scrutinizing "preview" on Saturday for their "write up", while I'm at work. Could not get them to come on my days off Sunday or Monday, and actually talk to me so their "write up" will be accurate - the woman who called yesterday to tell me they're coming already had it wrong, calling my gardens "maintenance free". I don't water (except the vegetable gardens, and a few select other things in periods of drought), I don't fertilize, and don't use pesticides, but there is absolutely no such thing as a maintenance-free garden. That would be called "the wild".
To quote Xena-Sis: "F**k 'em, and the flower cart they rode in on."
I certainly won't be doing this again! It is though, forcing me to do stuff in the gardens that needed to be done, other things I've been meaning to done, and things I've wanted to do for a while. I just didn't want to do it all at once!
And I suppose I'm being unfair; I am sure not all the garden club people are like some of the stereotypical garden club people who come to the nursery - the snippety ones who are demanding, think they know everything but actually know a lot less than they presume to know, and have designers to plan their landscape, landscapers to install it, and a maintenance service to do the work for them.
According to Hubs, who was here when they came yesterday, "they were impressed"....not only with my gardens, but "even with him" (he is "lumber-sexual like that" per his text to me at work). My hunk o' lumber-sexual man gave them a tour of the "grounds" explaining things as they went; this is the man who once thought dandelions were daffodils. I can only imagine...no, wait....I can't even begin to imagine his narrative of the tour. He said they took pictures of the truck with its historical vehicle tags half filled with mulch (I only got it half unloaded Friday night). I think I should be scared how this "write up" is going to read.
Had a setback yesterday. You'd think gardening setbacks are typically caused by things like the weather, insects, or plant diseases. Oh, no - not mine. It's not even the squirrels this time around. It's my family that caused the Sunflower Massacre of '17.
I used to grow these great sunflowers in the back of the garden, up against the house right in front of the picture window in the kitchen. They'd grow tall, and the heads on them were huge, plucked clean by goldfinches when the seeds ripened. Since I put in the raised beds though, there's no room, so I tried growing them in the other vegetable garden along the neighbor's fence; there the squirrels found the seeds before they even sprouted.
This year the seeds I started inside were for a mix of short varieties of sunflowers for the front of the raised bed garden - the sunflowers are only supposed to get 2-3 feet tall. They only got to 3 inches!
I came home from work to find Hubs, the Would-be Mole Terminator, had set his mole trap right on top of one of the sunflower seedlings. A whole garden full on mole tunnels, and he's got to put it right on top of one of my babies? After dinner when I let Quetta outside, she wiped out most of the rest, not just laying on them, but wallowing on her back in the mulched area where they're planted.
Oh, and did I mention how the backdoor ravine neighbors created a ton of additional work for me. Their house sits on land that was originally part of the ravine - they filled in the ravine on their property, and built a retaining wall out of railroad ties at the edge of their filled in ravine to our open ravine - it runs the length of their property (which is the length of our second lot - the ravine) and stands at its highest point about 10 feet tall. Over the decades the railroad ties rotted, and vines (Virginia creeper) and moss covered the rotting wall; it was actually quite pretty. They decided about 3 weeks ago to replace the wall with reddish-colored concrete blocks. The wall needed to be replaced, but the timing is bad with the "show" (what we jokingly have started calling the garden tour) coming up so soon.
Obviously, the workers would be on our property tearing out the old wall, and building the new one. There is a 100-plus year old maple fairly close to the property line I was worried about, and under it a garden with a sitting area that I was pretty sure would be destroyed - I moved some plants before construction started, but left the rest after the neighbor assured me they wouldn't be trampled. The wall was completed last week. Not so bad, I thought - there was only a foot wide strip along the length of the wall and 6" of concrete footing showing. That was before I got home from work Friday and saw they buried the footing....with fill dirt, dumped over the side of the wall with a dump truck. Now there's a three to five foot wide and two feet deep strip of heavy clay at the base of the wall. Half my garden is buried.
I'll spend today replanting the garden (much to the chagrin of the wife neighbor who does not want any plants to "hide the beauty of the wall" which she can't even see unless she walks to the edge of her yard and looks over the wall which she never will because she is not an outdoor person and I've never seen her outside except on their backyard deck - never-mind the fact the garden is on our property). The rest of the strip I'll have to plant grass seed - and water it daily to get it to grow, which will involve dragging 3-4 hoses strung together to even reach the area. Just not what I wanted to do at this point in time.
Or do like one couple and each have houses next door to each other.
I think I'm the one that needs to move out until after the "show" is over!!!
What part of the land is hers, and what part of the land is yours? Why not put up a vertical vegetation fence along the dividing line to hide your neighbors part of the land? Grow grapes or honeysuckle or sunflowers or whatever will grow in that spot and hide what you don't want to look at, and don't want others to see when they visit your garden?
...or sunflowers or whatever will grow in that spot...
Sunflowers!!! HA! I can't even get them to grow in the part of the yard I tend, remember?
What part of the land is hers, and what part of the land is yours? Why not put up a vertical vegetation fence along the dividing line to hide your neighbors part of the land?
The wall and 6 inches beyond it is theirs; everything else is ours. They're nice people, good neighbors - I know the husband, and even their grandkids, better than the wife, because as I mentioned, she never leaves their deck....except apparently to tell me that my tiny garden in the ravine will "hide the beauty of the wall". It makes me laugh, actually - to me a concrete wall is very industrial looking; plantings at the base would only soften the hard line of it.
This is what I see of their yard from my back porch; the shed is theirs and sits on their property line; I planted the birches, and garden beneath it on our property:
This is the view of the wall from the top of the hill to the ravine (the dog in the previous photo is surveying how the heck I'm going to stretch enough hose to the bare ground I'd just planted with grass seed):
And this is the little garden I basically replanted Sunday because most of it was buried:
I'm not thrilled the garden was buried and I had to spend money to buy new plants to fill it, but it's more a hassle right now - we never water down there because all the plants that were there were well established. Now, it's all newly planted and will need frequent watering not only to look good for "the show", but just to survive.
What if you put up your own wall and filled in your ravine?
Unfortunately, the ravine can never be filled in due to city ordinance - in fact a few years ago the drain commission wanted the neighbors (and everyone else in town who had closed ravines) to open it back up. He got a waiver, because their house is too close to the underground pipes that the creek runs through. That's the problem - the natural ravine and creek runs the length of the town, and runs into the river that empties into Lake Michigan. After heavy storms (like the ones this week), the creek running through the underground pipes on property which the ravine has been filled in, backs up, and creates problems along the way, especially if debris running downstream gets stuck somewhere in the drainage pipes.
Another wall though, running parallel to their wall, but on our property might be kinda fun! I could fill it with water - maybe float some beach toys in there; blow-up alligators and sea monsters - and it'd be a moat!
Other ideas to enhance the "beauty of the wall": I told neighbor lady, (after she told me my garden would hide the beauty), I could spray-paint the entire wall with graffiti, and she'd never even know. Though I said it with a smile, I admit to being a bit irked she was telling me what she didn't want me to do on my own property.
Boss Lady took my idea a step farther with a better suggestion: commission LX to do a wall mural! How cool would that be?!
Think I'll just stick to my little garden though. Neighbor lady will never see it, but it'll irk her just enough knowing it's there.
I wish the "show" was this weekend instead of in three weekends from now. Yard looks good - roses are in peak bloom; daylilies, butterfly weed, hydrangeas, coreopsis, and coneflower are blooming; shoot - even the dogwood is still blooming! Wondering if there will be a single flower left on anything except the hyrdrangeas in three weeks!