Monthly Archives: April 2013

Still Inconvenienced

Yesterday a friend looked at the upload situation for about an hour, and a solution has not been found. Mostly we eliminated things. It does not seem to be the computer. Possibly it has to do with the host, and I am to submit a “ticket” about this. Naturally, the host’s site is not working: “We are currently troubleshooting an issue with the AMP login module. In the meantime, feel free to log into the Support Center using Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.” Um, nice. So I guess the ticket will have to wait.

The Inconvenience Continues

It is now the third day of the uploading issue, and nearly a day since I posted my question in the WordPress forum. This is quite frustrating. There are so many plants that I want to share. Just a few minutes ago I was outside and saw that Ceanothus impressus ‘Vandenberg’ (“California lilac”) has begun to bloom. It is a dwarf variety, and is by the front walkway. I took some pictures, but it may perhaps look like more in a few weeks (or less). I’d really like to share the picture of Tiarella ‘Sugar and Spice’ (apparently some people refer to tiarellas as “foam flowers”), it looks great in the woodland garden. I fear that by the time this situation gets worked out, everything will be old news. I can still share the pictures at that time, but it won’t feel the same. To be more positive, luckily this is not a professional website, so while I may be impatient, there is no particular urgency.

One thing: all the error message says is “http error.” If more information were given, perhaps the forum folk would have a better start figuring out the problem. Hmm, I have not tried it from a different computer – it doesn’t seem like that should make a difference, but maybe it would. That is, by far, not a permanent solution, however.

I had hoped that the forum folk would be more likely to read this stuff on the weekend (today is Sunday), and benevolently assist, so I am getting a little bit worried that not much is happening. One guy did respond, saying that it would be helpful if I put what the error message said. “HTTP error” – pretty simple. Then, nothing. What if I have trod new ground: what if I face an unsolvable problem? I stumble onto new interweb territory?

But to be positive – my readers deserve no less. I now reflect: it is interesting to me that my enthusiasm for the garden has so much translated into an interest in this blog. Perhaps it is a way to be with the garden when I am not actually gardening: to think about it, enjoy it, share it. Maybe I feel a sense of responsibility to tell the garden’s seasonal story: this is what is happening now, this is what is blooming, this is what I am doing. Plants may not get up and walk around, but they are never still – they are always changing. Perhaps this blog captures a slice of that for me – helps me to enjoy as well as save the experiences (savor and save). Finally, maybe it is that I am proud of the work and the garden’s resultant beauty, and I want to share the outcome with others.

I need to weed-whack the lawn, it is very overdue. I’m not enthused about it, because it is hard work weed-whacking, and I am also worried about accidentally lopping off bulbs. I will have to trim the edges with the shears again. By the way, the bulb that I cut off before actually continued up and bloomed! I guess it was early enough that I didn’t hit the bud.

Here I ended the post, but, reflecting, have come back. I am thinking about the significance of this blog, of this website. A couple of paragraphs back I discussed some reasons why the blog may be important to me, but it has been a few minutes and I am still thinking about it. Is there outside significance to this blog, other than the pleasure it brings me? After all, it is but composed of pictures of pretty plants, some Latin, and stories about manual labor and purchases. What significance lies behind these things? Well, I hope that some of my enthusiasm rubs off. Whether or not the reader gardens, I hope that he/she can walk away having enjoyed my hobby. Pictures: we are aesthetically drawn to plants on a very basic level. There seems to be an inclination in humankind to enjoy the beautiful, yes? So, even for those who find little interest in the information, I hope that they can enjoy the pictures as if they were walking in my garden itself. Correspondingly, I hope that some readers appreciate the information. They may pick up a helpful tidbit gleaned from Ciscoe Morris (either his talks, his shows, or Ask Ciscoe: Oh, la, la! Your Gardening Questions Answered). Maybe the reader may find useful information from my successes, problems, and trial-and-error (for example, as will be in a future post, we moved the defoliated heucheras out of the shade, so we will see if they improve). This is not the blog of a professional gardener, so I do not expect to do a pile of educating, but my point is that I hope some readers find more content in this blog than just pretty pictures (although I recognize that interest levels vary: I accept that). Humor: well gardening does not provide oodles of humor (I am yet to sit on a slug), but I hope I make the most of the opportunities that I have. Speaking of which, the co-gardener has communicated that I perhaps poke fun, which is never my intention. The co-gardener is simply an animated individual, and this blog appreciates that. Do I pontificate? Perhaps. Should I erase it? I think that I shall not.

I trust that I would be more patient if I knew that a solution will arise, but I am honestly not sure about that. Patience is said to be a virtue, but is not diligence? Enthusiasm, passion, timeliness?

And now I thank you, dearest reader, for your patience.

An Inconvenience

WordPress is not allowing me to upload pictures. I get a message that simply, and rather lacking in helpfulness, says “HTTP error.” After looking through the WordPress forum, I posted a question about my little situation. I have heard nothing as of yet (seemingly people like to give troubleshooting advice on such subjects).

So, although I have some entries to do, I must wait. I have organized the pictures, putting them into folders according to post.

Here are the posts that you can look forward to: native shrubs, yard work, the shrub row, the not shrub row, and a mixed post. I am also considering: camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas, the lavender hillside, and the rose garden. Not much is going on in the rose garden, so I am not sure if it is worth a post… thing is, I weeded it recently, and I like to take pictures before the weeds are back the next day.

The mixed post will include: candytufts, a maidenhair vine, two wallflowers, two spiraeas, a lithodora, a pair of saxifragas, a scabiosa, and a tiarella. Of that group, the tiarella may be the most exciting.

La-di-da, I wait for those that are computiful to respond.

Skimmia japonica

Skimmia japonica comes in both male and female. To get berries, one must have both. The yard has two of each. They are scented. These pictures are from a few weeks ago – now there is more growth above the blossoms and berries.

Skimmia japonica, female

Skimmia japonica, female

Skimmia japonica, male

Skimmia japonica, male

 

Putting Out the Crown Bees

The BeeAdventure Kit and the bees that I purchased during this entry finally went up/out. I was waiting for the apple tree to be ready… and after that, I was waiting for the rain to stop.

bee cocoons

bee cocoons

bee cocoons

bee cocoons

BeeAdventure Kit

BeeAdventure Kit

BeeAdventure Kit

BeeAdventure Kit

We put the little bee house on the neighbor’s fence. Do I think that the thing will last the rainy winter? Not especially. But, by next year I should have some idea of if I am into the Crown Bees method or not. If I enjoy harvesting the cocoons and storing them in the refrigerator over the winter and etc., I may choose next year to buy a Crown Bees bee house that is made out of real wood (I don’t know what this material is). The Crown Bees way theoretically maximizes one’s amount of bees, but the co-gardener thinks it seems needlessly unnatural – providing wooden houses should be enough. However, the co-gardener did not attend the bee talk, and I somewhat sipped the Kool-Aid.

As you can see, the apple tree is quite ready.

2013 Miscell 1214 apple tree 2013 Miscell 1215 apple tree 2013 Miscell 1216 apple tree 2013 Miscell 1217 apple tree

 

Strawberry Planting

Day-before-yesterday I planted some strawberries: ‘Quinault’ and ‘Albion.’ There were some empty spaces in the pyramid that I wanted to fill. I picked up the ‘Quinault’ at the home/grocery/garden store, and the ‘Albion’ at a raspberry place in the valley (the other valley).

'Quinault' strawberries

‘Quinault’ strawberries

'Albion' strawberries and 'Caroline' raspberries

‘Albion’ strawberries and ‘Caroline’ raspberries

The pyramid now:

'Quinault' strawberries (ever-bearing)

‘Quinault’ strawberries (ever-bearing)

'Rainier' strawberries (June-bearing)

‘Rainier’ strawberries (June-bearing)

'Albion' strawberries (ever-bearing)

‘Albion’ strawberries (ever-bearing)

'Hood' strawberries (June-bearing)

‘Hood’ strawberries (June-bearing)

The ‘Hood’ strawberries still look a little sad. As I wrote before, I got them bare-root at the home/grocery/garden store, and they were a bit less robust than I expected (they were boxed up).

I’ve read several places that the first year one should remove the strawberry blossoms so that they don’t reproduce – the plants will put their energy into growing strong. I can’t bring myself to do this.

Weeding, Planting Sedums and Herbs, Pruning Jupiter’s Beard

Recently the co-gardener and I did some work in the garden. I can’t say that it was a ton of work, but I wanted to post about it regardless.

I weeded the cornus/yellow garden, the woodland garden, and the stump area. Yes, I am still catching up – some of the areas of the yard have not been weeded yet this spring. I’m getting there though. I think that if I gave it a solid eight hours I could have it done.

The co-gardener planted up the sedums and hens and chicks from this post. I think they look quite nifty in their container. I need to make a little chart of them and then take the tags out. They are: Sempervivum ‘Ruby Hearts,’ Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Spumanti,’ Sedum lydium, Sedum acre ‘Aureum,’ Sedum oreganum (native), Sedum spathulifolium ‘Carnea,’ Sedum sieboldii ‘Mediovariegatum,’ and Sedum album ‘Faro Form.’

2013 Miscell 1040 sedums 2013 Miscell 1041 sedums

The co-gardener cut down the over-abundant Jupiter’s beard (Centranthus ruber) in hopes that this way it won’t get as leggy by mid-summer. I really wish that I had before and after photos, or a picture of the debris. I do have a shot of how one clump looks now. The Jupiter’s beard probably needs to be divided, but it has really deep taproots and we just haven’t taken the time in the fall to do it.

pruned Jupiter's beard (Centranthus ruber)

pruned Jupiter’s beard (Centranthus ruber)

Also, the co-gardener re-planted the pot of herbs. Last year all of the herbs were variegated, and included a variegated rosemary and a variegated mint. This year it is a little less varietal, but still looks nice. Included: unmarked prostrate Rosmarinus officinalis, Thymus x citriodorus ‘Silver Posie,’ gold variegated thyme: Thymus x citriodorus ‘Aureus,’ lime thyme: Thymus x citriodorus ‘Lime,’ Thymus x citriodorus, tricolored oregano: Origanum vulgare ‘Variegata,’ an unmarked curry: Helichrysum italicum, golden variegated sage: Salvia officinalis ‘Icterina,’ and Thymus pulegioides ‘Foxley.’ I guess the pot has a lot of thyme in it, but that is alright.

 

herb pot in April: it will grow-in

herb pot in April: it will grow-in

Finally, little nutmeg creeping thyme (Thymus praecox ‘Nutmeg’) was stuck in the ground, near the sidewalk. It is supposed to get a foot wide and one inch tall.

nutmeg creeping thyme: Thymus praecox 'Nutmeg'

nutmeg creeping thyme: Thymus praecox ‘Nutmeg’

Bottlebrushes

Bottlebrushes belong to the genus Callistemon, which is native to Australia. I took a few pictures after weeding, which I am including here. The new bottlebrush, as seen in this post, is not yet planted. When it is, I will add those pictures to this post.

Bottlebrushes are supposed to interest hummingbirds, but I have not seen the original two bloom, so I am not sure yet.

The green bottlebrush will have green flowers! If it blooms.

Monrovia, the grower of Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John,’ says that it only gets to three feet tall and five feet wide – much smaller than the other two.

green bottlebrush: Callistemon viridiflorus

green bottlebrush: Callistemon viridiflorus

red bottlebrush: Callistemon subulatus

red bottlebrush: Callistemon subulatus

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus 'Little John'

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John’

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus 'Little John'

dwarf bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John’