It's been a busy couple of weeks and I miss my opportunities to visit other blogs. I'm still working on this concept of working full time. Have to figure out how to fit it into the rest of my life and I'm wondering how I ever did it before? :-)
I thought I'd show a mish-mash of a couple of things happening here. Above is photo of a stock tank that I planted for a garden coach client of mine outside her art studio. I planted two of them (second one is below) in a concrete parking area (of sorts). This area is all concrete and rather sloping. It's surrounded by concrete walls on three sides and therefore, gets very hot. The tanks were planted a month ago and are now doing very well. They have an assortment of perennials and annuals, including some herbs (although some of the annuals are overrunning those a bit). If you click on the photo, you should be able to see a little more detail of what plants are in it. If you want more details about them, just leave me a comment and I'll let you know and/or update this post.
This stock tank is against a larger wall and gets blasted by the western sun. But so far, it's doing quite alright.
One of the plants I put in the tanks was Rudbeckia maxima, the giant or great coneflower. I've seen this plant growing in both the wild and in a garden setting and it's so cool. I've seen it 6 feet tall but I wouldn't doubt if it gets even taller than that!
'Nanho Purple' Butterfly Bush (and bumblebee)
Meanwhile, in my own garden, my butterfly bush has started blooming like crazy. So far, the butterflies seem more attracted to my Verbena bonariensis but I don't have that many butterflies yet. This bush was trained into a standard form but I'm constantly cutting off suckers at the base. Regardless, I'm liking the shape and how large it's gotten.
Back for an encore performance is Nicotiana. This is growing in the gravel path from last year's plants which seeded out. I hadn't planned to grow this this year but it seems to want to hang out here anyway.
'Caro Rich' Tomatoes
Tomatoes are starting to fatten up. I think I'll be picking my first tomato tomorrow - a Sungold cherry. Yum!
Wren building nest
The fauna of the area have been busy. A month or so ago some chickadees fledged from this birdhouse and now some wrens are interested in the same abode. But this weekend we did some grilling and I'm afraid we may have scared them off. Makes me feel bad.
Chimp Haven residents at "termite" mound
And now for something completely different! I volunteer out a Chimp Haven, a retirement community for chimps that have served us well in medical research. It's an absolutely wonderful place, with dedicated staff caring for those animals who have given so much for our health (they also have one chimp, Henry, who was rescued from a bad situation at a person's home). Once a month for several months out of the year, Chimp Haven is open to the public. There are several social groups that have access to a number of acres of wilderness. There's a moat that separates the visitors from the chimps, and they bait the area near the moat with favorite foods so we'll all be sure to see them.
They also have pretend "termite" mounds, which are baited with favorite foods that will adhere to the sticks - foods such as applesauce, sugar-free jellies, etc. The chimps have learned from each other how to fish for the treats in the mound. They use bamboo sticks as well as other sticks they find. This fishing behavior is a learned one (not instinctual), and was taught by some of the elders who were actually born in Africa. There's one chimp who's not so elderly, Tracy, seen hanging off the top of the mound. She was an "accident", born three years ago to Teresa, who I believe is the one on the left looking at the camera (btw, Teresa is in her late 40's and was born in Africa). Chimp Haven is located outside Shreveport, Louisiana, so if you're ever in the area, be sure to find out if they'll be open. It's well worth it. You'll learn a lot and if you leave a little donation while you're there, you and the chimps will be glad you did.
This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2009. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.