Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fill the Frame

My entry in the October Gardening Gone Wild Picture This contest. This is my interpretation of the theme: fill the frame. I've shown this photo before - it's of Bloedel Reserve, one of my all-time favorite places. Maybe I'm entering this photo because the place filled my heart.

This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2011. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm Back! And Where Did Summer Go?

Snow Sonata cosmos (and spider friend)
I simply can't believe it's been two months since I last blogged - that's ridiculous! All I can say is that I have been super busy, way more than usual. In the meantime, the hellish weather has passed (although we're still in a severe drought) and a new leaf has turned over, so to speak, in the garden. Take for instance, this one little cosmos plant. I had no luck this year getting cosmos from seed to grow. True, we had no rain but I do have a sprinkler! I planted three packages of various types of cosmos seed and got very few plants. This white one was the only survivor of its package and it never bloomed until this month. If I had been lucky with this plant, a whole bed of them would have looked sublime. And speaking of sprinklers ...

Near the white cosmos I planted some iris transplants and then set up a sprinkler to settle them in. The next day I had an explosion of different types of mushrooms. It's amazing what a little water will do!

A mushroom eruption
The squirrels are driving me crazy with their digging. The photo below shows why I can't plant bulbs right now.

pesky squirrels' damage
I have a lot of open areas in the bed I put in last fall since the plants haven't filled in yet, and the squirrels really like that. So last weekend I started making rodent proof guards for the bulbs I'm going to plant. I cut chicken coop wire into sections and fasten them on top of the soil with landscape pins. Then I cover them with mulch. It's some trouble but worth it.

Agave desmettiana bloom stalk
And here's a fall surprise - a bloom stalk on my agave. Since this photo was taken, the stalk has doubled in height. I do hope the blooms open before a hard freeze. But I guess the plant will die after blooming, and I'm OK with that since this agave has been too tender for me, and thus a hassle to protect.

Mariachi, jalapeno, and maybe some small Gypsy peppers
Fall has brought a bumper crop of peppers. Last spring I got carried away with all the pepper varieties The Natural Gardener had, and I came home with five pepper plants and not really enough space to plant them. So I crammed them all into one area and now have a strange mix of slightly hot sweet peppers and truly hot, hot peppers. The Mariachi pepper, which is supposed to be only mildly hot, causes my husband's eyes to water. If you know him, that's saying a whole lot (the man can finish a jar of ghost pepper salsa in two days all by himself).

'Tiburon' poblanos
Last weekend I picked a bunch of poblanos, roasted the whole lot and froze half of them. I find the easiest way to roast them is to throw them on the grill.

'Helvola' miniature water lilies
I'm glad I took this photo of my little pond a couple weeks ago because the water lilies are now slowly putting themselves into winter hibernation. In the stock tank pond I have a blue rush, miniature 'Helvola' water lilies that Pam of Digging gave me, and my sweet little glass floatie ball I brought back from my Seattle trip.

Lindheimer's muhly grass, Muhlenbergia lindheimeri
And at last, one of my favorite things about fall is when the grasses start to bloom. I have quite a few blooming now: 'Northwind' switchgrass, pennisetum, 'White Cloud' muhly (which I must get a photo of to show you), pink muhly, and this muhly grass commonly called Lindheimer's muhly. Here it's not quite in full bloom. It's fairly big - about 4 by 4 feet. I love it.

pink muhly
And how could I not show a photo of the pink muhly? It looks so luscious, like a frothy ice cream treat.

I hope never to be so tardy with my blog posts. See how an entire season faded away and another appeared in just these past two months?

This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2011. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.