Monday, August 13, 2012

Taking Stock After a Brief Break

We're not taking a real vacation this summer, so I decided to take a brief electronic break instead.  Answered the odd critical Email, but other than that, took a look at my computer and continued walking down the hall.  The good part is there will be lots to catch up on over the next few days to see what my fellow bloggers are up to.

The weather has been horrid, hot and humid.  Fortunately we were sloshed this weekend with lots of rain - unfortunately we were at the Rogers Cup up in the gods (so high at centre court that without being walleyed we could read "Toronto" on both sides of the court) when we were smacked with torrents of rain.  Got to see the doubles teams march on, and march off.  We left after 30 minutes - which is just as well, the rain delay was 3 hours.....  

This is always the point in the garden season when I like to take stock to see what worked and what didn't.  On my morning walks, I'll often find things I'd like to borrow for next year.  Have to admit this Queen Anne's Lace looks lovely in a corner bed down the street.  I've got many spots where I was forced to yank annuals that had melted in the heat.  This might be something to consider - wonder how many volunteers I'd need to yank just to entertain one good patch?

Do you have that odd one perennial that you spent a lot of money on and are hoping that after 10 years it might do something.  No?  Well I do.  Here is Hosta 'King Tut'.  One, two, almost three leaves.   And, those three leaves do indeed appear to be slug resistant.  To move or remove.  Hmmmm.

Still doing battle with the sunflower larva - healthy flower in the centre - afflicted bud in my hand.  Nothing to be done, but cut buds off as soon as you see the problem.

Lots and lots of Milkweed insects on a Digitalis stem.  I read on Wikipedia that if I were to come back in 10 hours, some of these mating insects would still be connected.....wonder if someone inserted that sentence just to see how many times it would be repeated?  

It hasn't been as bad a year for Japanese Beetles, but as you can see, they are still here - I found this little bully nudging the bee off the Echinacea.

Bit of a head-yank here - completely off topic:  On an early morning walk at the Royal Botanical Gardens, found all sorts of water birds fishing.  Must have been like shooting ducks in a barrel for them - the water was so very low.

Head yank back:  I have a little birthday money left over, and I'm thinking that I want one of these.    This specimen is growing down by the lake and it looks particularly fabulous this year.  I saw one in Marion Jarvie's garden too - she's north of here, so probably a different Zone by 1/2.  I know it was a very easy winter for Hydrangea and would hate to be sucked into thinking I could have it do as well in my garden, but if  I don't try, I won't know will I?

Obviously pecking away at the E.Ash borers here.  But before that, managed to put a nice 10cm hole in my cedar trellis.

Kale is such a pretty plant.  Made Kale chips - baked them in oven with a bit of oil and presto - nice crispy chips.  I thought they were great.  Kevin thought I was trying to poison him.  "Do we have any real chips?"

Three squirrels and one small dog was eaten by the Hachonechloa earlier in the day.

It's always interesting to see how a perennial looks in multiples when money is no object.  Makes for a cool close-up.

'Blue Chiffon' looking quite pretty after the rain.

This is a plant that is quite happy to signal that you've missed a couple weeks of fertilization.   I've got the first buds of the summer appearing on the back side of the plant.  Note to self:  #1 spin pot; #2 fertilize.

Lots of cicadas this year.  Different from the variety I photographed a couple years ago.  Such wonderful prehistoric-looking creatures.

The view from my living room couch this morning as I drank my morning coffee.  The Phlox are on their second bloom - the first was annihilated by the heat; the Veronicastrum are dancing about; the Solidago is beginning to blush yellow; and the Eupatorium is pale, pink and pretty.  A little on the wild side perhaps, but one of the sections of the garden I'm not going to change at all.  Perfect just as it is.


Kim and Victoria said...

What a great post. Enjoyed the "head-yanks". Queen Annes lace is gorgeous. I ought to give it a try again. Yes, I've been waiting on my climbing hydrangeas to climb for about 10 years now. They seem to finally be starting to move. I love hydrangea shrubs. That specimen is beautiful. You could talk me into it. Soooo glad we don't have Japanese beetles here. Is that your Hachonechloa? Gorgeous. I should try it again. I've killed a couple of them in the past but it's so pretty when it does well. Love your last pic, we have a wildish area right now and it's my fav part of the garden this time of year.

Knatolee said...

I really enjoyed all the pics of your flora and fauna. Your garden looks great, even with the drought!

Jennifer said...

Thanks goodness for all this rain, eh? The garden is loving this long overdue watering.Your King Tut has put me in mind of a few of my own poor performers. It is always feel guilty when I think of throwing them into the compost heap, so I procrastinate hoping for a miracle turnaround that often never comes.

Barbarapc said...

Thanks - the hachonechloa belongs to a garden around the corner - I'm thinking it might be one of those plants that prefers to grow with its kind. The odd one-sies I've planted never have done that well - and of course Bart eats those planted anywhere near his little mouth.

Barbarapc said...

I'm glad. I have to admit that I did water at least one day a week when things were just so miserably hot. But all in all, just shows how resilient most of the plants are (and have to be!). B

Barbarapc said...

I looked at it again today, and thought, "Well maybe next year...." That's it, the next big go-through in the garden, I'm making a decision to either replant or dump. So odd, I have no trouble dumping a non-performing woodie, but a perennial - well, just occupies a different part in my heart I guess.

Gail said...

I've oft wondered if money were no object what would my garden look like...recently, I've answered, "It would be in a different yard! One with sun and sunrises!" I am still chuckling over Kevin's question...and I must try making kale chips. gail