Sunday, June 29, 2003
i seem to have a growing salvia habit (ha, ha, unintentional pun).
it's not entirely my fault. darin started when he bought a pineapple sage (salvia elegans) last year. it's a beautiful plant and it bloomed exuberantly from december into may, but he's gone overboard taking cuttings from it. there are now seven or more "babies" of this plant scattered around the backyard.
in march i bought two s. greggii (coral) and a s. urtica; shortly thereafter, darin bought a third s. greggii (but to his credit it is a different color -- red, i think).
yesterday i bought a s. sinaloensis and was sorely tempted by a few others (i may yet go back for them since they're on sale).
a wealth of salvia information is available on the web:
- gardenweb has an entire forum devoted to salvias
- higher ground (a fellow texas gardener) has lots of experience growing a number of different salvias
- i've seen several references to the work of betsy clebsch and will soon look for her latest book, "the new book of salvias: sages for every garden," at the library
Caught in the Act.
i can now identify the tomato patch terrorist -- a mockingbird. i saw it flying away with a nice, red cherry tomato in its beak.
given that mockingbirds tend to be territorial, i daresay this is the same bird that has also been plundering the fig tree. at least it's eating well.
this bird also provides us with occasional entertainment (between the frustration it causes by eating figs and tomatoes) -- several times in the last few days we've watched the mockingbird chase squirrels along the top of the back fence, actually plucking at the tails of the squirrels as they scurry away. ha.
- dichondra argentea (silver dichondra, silver pony-foot) -- two 4-inch pots
- hymenoxys scaposa (four nerve daisy) -- two 4-inch pots
- rivina humilis (pigeonberry) -- two 4-inch pots
- salvia sinaloensis -- one 6-inch pot
i know i've whined about how foolish it is to put in new plants during the summer, but now is when the perennials are on sale. must remember to water them regularly...
Monday, June 23, 2003
the carolina jessamine that i had so badly neglected has apparently forgiven me and is rebounding admirably.
it now has more than 20 leaves (from eight). even though it still looks quite pathetic it is not nearly so pitiful as it was a week ago.
two of the recently acquired crocosmia have sprouted, including one of those that i relocated to the driveway bed. others may be a bit slower to emerge as darin added yet another layer of compost / mulch to the island bed.
several rain lilies from the trade are also coming up in their little area of the island bed.
seedlings of some sort are visible where i earlier sowed daisies and bee balm. time will tell whether these are the hoped-for flowers or merely random weeds.
a week later, the red columbine continues to taunt me with two still-unopened flower buds. soon, very soon.
Saturday, June 21, 2003
Farewell to Figs.
i'm afraid we won't get to eat any figs at all this year.
there are plenty on the tree, but they aren't yet ripe enough for human consumption and the neighborhood birds and squirrels have already started feasting. just this morning i spotted four different birds -- robin, bluejay, mockingbird and woodpecker -- helping themselves to a nice fig breakfast. and this afternoon i scolded a squirrel for being in the tree.
i was pleasantly surprised this afternoon when i looked into the toad hole while puttering in the back yard and saw a large toad peering back at me. i can't be sure, but it certainly looks like last year's occupant.
Friday, June 20, 2003
Terror in the Tomato Patch.
due to the graphic violence depicted in the attached image, this post may not be suitable for sensitive gardeners.
i was in the midst of my morning garden / yard stroll when i came upon this horrifying scene. these partially eaten tomatoes had been brutally torn from their branches and flung outside the bed. note the shreds of tomato peel and the seeds scattered about the scene.
definitely not slugs or caterpillars. i'd be tempted to blame the squirrels, but in my (limited) experience, squirrels can't resist digging in the general vicinity of their meals and there were no signs of digging in or around the bed.
i daresay our yard will be host to numerous tomato volunteers for many seasons to come.
Thursday, June 19, 2003
Tasting the Tomatoes.
something -- birds, i believe -- has recently started eating the tomatoes. the culprit has a preference for the 'sweet million' tomatoes, which is fine by me. i prefer the 'matt's wild cherry.'
i say it's a bird because the squirrels aren't keen to be on the ground in the back yard, especially at a distance from trees or fence -- never know when the dogs might come outside.
it rained pretty hard for half an hour or so. i haven't ventured outside to see how much fell, but i'm guessing it was about half an inch. good timing, too. i was tempted to drag the hose around this afternoon but was too lazy.