Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Dreary End to August

It is not quite September and I am about to put the winter blankets on the bed, because I’ve spent the last two nights shivering despite having the electric blanket on high all night. It’s almost gotten down the freezing on those nights, but so far no damage to the tender plants. I’d be quite upset if, after the late, late spring we had, we had an early frost, effectively making our summer less than two months long this year. No, ‘quite upset’ doesn’t cover it. ‘Seething ball of anger and frustration’ would be more accurate.

We never got the hanging baskets made, so I am finally putting those petunias into the garden. Seems silly, but they’re pretty tough. I’ve had petunias blooming on Thanksgiving before, so I could conceivably have three months of bloom from them. I’m assuming we won’t have three feet of snow in October, but after the earlier part of the year, nothing would surprise me.

I didn’t get anything entered in the fair this year because I didn’t read the premium book and they moved the entry day from Tuesday to Sunday. The fair people *never* do anything on Sunday, because the churches complained about it the one year they did. I discovered this little fact about ½ hour before entries closed. Bah. I have some consolation in knowing that I wasn’t the only one who got surprised by this and missed the boat. No one had any jewelry entered. There was a lot less needlework entered, and there was only about ½ the amount of art there usually is. Disappointing.

This is the clearest picture I was able to get of this Guinea hen. Her head just never stopped moving.

This was my favorite quilt at the fair; I voted for it for people's choice. I love the Japanese crests appliqued on it! 

Friday, August 6, 2010

At Last- A Nice White Marigold!

I've been checking out 'white' marigolds (tagetes) for years- heck, I remember way back when I was a kid in the 60s and Burpee put little seed packs in potato chip bags, asking that if anyone grew a white marigold from them, they would buy it from the lucky grower- and haven't been impressed. They germinate poorly, take forever to grow, and when they finally bloom, I only get one or two flowers out of them. I don't know if our extremely long summer days have something to do with this- a lot of marigolds are day length sensitive. This year, I tried 'Snowdrift', and I'm quite pleased! It germinated quite well, grew quickly, started blooming at the same time as the little Lemon Drops, and is making lots of new buds. I'll be buying this one again!

Of course, no marigold is truly white. Snowdrift is a lemony-cream, like all the 'white' marigolds. But it's close enough to stand in for white in my landscape!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Tonight's sunset:

We've been having some pretty great sunsets lately because of the fires in BC, but this is the first one with sundogs!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My First Hybrid!

Most gardeners, even those who do a lot of propagation, don't create their own hybrids. I, however, seem to have had the dubious honor of involuntarily creating one.

I've grown the malva 'Mystic Merlin' a few times- the hollyhock like malva that's purple with darker purple stripes. Sadly,. it did not prove hardy here, and the relics were thrown onto the compost heap, where a couple came up a few years ago. We also have lots and lots of a common weed, malva neglecta. They grow all over the compost heap. Short, almost round leaved, ground cover-y, with tiny pink flowers.

The two engaged in illicit pollen swapping.

The next year, we had what appeared to be regular malva neglecta- short, almost round leaved, ground cover-y weeds. Then they bloomed-  with large, purple with darker purple striped flowers. Huh, we thought.

The next year they returned, looking the same. And again this year. They are a stable hybrid.

I guess if you've got to have weeds, they might as well be pretty ones.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Seedling Lily

A few years ago, I bought some seeds for trumpet and aurelian lilies. While only two of them germinated, I'm thrilled with how they turned out:

It bloomed last year, but the bloom (yes, single) was much smaller. I don't know if this is full size yet or not, but it's fragrant and looks like something that shouldn't even be able to live in this climate!