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I've been watching the 'papilio' x 'emerald' floaters sprout ever so slowly in the glass of water. I'm confident about five four of them (I think I counted one twice) and suspect another three or four of sprouting. These were started 4/26. Two of the ones I planted in a pot 4/29 have sprouted. I can tell because the seeds are pushing themselves up as the sprouts make up their minds which way to go.

Bad things are happening in Tanya's tree pit out front. First, there's a quadrant, the southwest, where everything I've put in so far, except for some iris rhizomes, has rotted, and the iris are stunted. Second, I discovered this morning that the Rose of Sharon isn't exactly anchored in the soil. I suspect some motorist of hitting it with a car door.

Monday, which is the night before trash day, I'll pull the possibly contaminated soil out of the Quadrant of Death and replace with lovely new Miracle Gro potting soil. Then I'll try a disposable plant -- one of the many volunteer feverfew -- and see how it does. Meanwhile, I'll pot up another piece of hosta to try there again. The ones Sybil and I planted last fall died, and the one I planted this spring has also died. Perhaps a potted plant with a better developed root system will do better.

One of my wee maples isn't doing so well. Its leaves are crisping up. I think it's the one that was iffy earlier. But I have a replacement! I pulled it up from a crack in the walkway at the New York Botanical Garden on Thursday.

Tonight we're going to a Cinco de Mayo barbecue at a neighbor's. I'm taking springerle at their request.
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Underdone Bluefish gave me the day off yesterday -- I was feeling pretty good, biked on two separate errands. But it's making a repeat appearance, with low fever and TMI effects. Not as bad as the other day, though, and I've just taken drugs so I may feel fine pretty soon.

I looked around our little back yard and saw some progress I will want to chart.

garden stuff you can skip )

And now I'm all sweaty, which I think means the drugs are kicking in and the fever is breaking, so perhaps I'll feel more like working.
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Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
It's imploding. Or maybe deflating is a better word. In any case, the peony is pretty close to two-dimensional. But it's impossibly fragrant as it dies.

The oenothera are opening, and the rose campion buds are starting to show a peek of color. The one side of the garden is a couple days ahead of the other. I think I see flower stalks starting on the hostas. And when all of these are done, there will be begonias and coleus for color.
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Corydalis in the back yardThe temps are headed to 80 today and are predicted to stay in the 50s or above all nights for the foreseeable future, so it's time to shift gears to "after the last frost" mode.

I moved a few more seedling corydalis out of this planter so they'll self-sow in other places in the back yard. I also wanted to make room for some moonflower vine seeds. I have this notion that I can run that vine within my wisteria. If it looks like it's bad for the wisteria, I can always cut the moonflower vine.

Last night I put three big hippeastrum plants, and their pots, in a milk crate and added stakes and twine. They went out this morning. Another group is crated and will go out this afternoon, when they'll be shaded. I'll stake them tonight. The last batch, seedlings from the Class of 2006, will go out after the last flower has faded. Also, I am hoping that there will be a spell of overcast weather that I can use to move the ones in the shade now out to full light -- then maybe they won't get so sunburned.

The hostas that I planted in the ground have gotten bigger, faster, than I expected and are shading out some of the oenothera and rose campion I planted around them. I will have to ponder my options.

Tomorrow it is supposed to go up to the mid 80s and we're going to see a Civil War reenactment. Photos will be posted.
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The first peony flower is getting brown around the edges and will probably drop its petals later today, if I don't cut it off first. I think the plant needs to be repotted in something larger.

The wisteria is just about in full bloom and is attracting bumbling carpenter bees and some fierce smaller bee thing that chases them.

Something has happened to my sense of smell -- neither the peonies nor the wisteria smell especially pleasant. There's a something they have that's common to petroleum products and I am noticing it more this year. Perhaps next year they will all smell better.

Last evening I moved some plantlets that are prone to self-sowing and nestled them in around the hostas. That would be rose campion and feverfew, as threatened. I also pulled up the couple of puny Martian Invader daylilies that never flourished in the Wisteria Pit, and put them where they'll get more sun and (I think) less competition.

On the windowsills, my seedling basil are just starting to put out their first true leaves. In a couple days I think they'll be far enough along to get a shot of Miracle Gro. There are about a half-dozen rooted coleus cuttings that I might as well pot up. Perhaps they'll go in the window boxes after all. Plus somewhere between a half dozen and a dozen looking glass begonias.

My friend Ann is returning a lilac to me some time this weekend. It's pink and not fragrant. Perhaps I'll pass it on to my sister. EDIT: Here's what it looked like in 2002. It's much bigger now:


The Schlumbergera 'madisto' that [ profile] clindau brought me last spring is clearly pot-bound, so I'll upgrade it to a 4" round pot today and hope that it gets pot-bound enough by fall to bloom for me. I took the Nopalxochia outside the other day. It got really bleached out from its time in a sunny window this spring -- lesson learned, and I'll move it next April.

EDIT: I was given some Jobe plant food spikes, so I pushed three in my big 'Looking Glass' begonia today.
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Two peonies are blooming (one is approaching its sell-by date) and a third is looking ready to pop. Memorial Day weekend starts in a couple of hours, so I guess I'm going to have peonies on Memorial Day, whee!

There were a few crisped up and dead leaves on the small maple. I have no idea why. They were all in one spot so perhaps there was some reason -- bird with particularly corrosive droppings, perhaps? I may repot it this weekend just in case the pot-to-root ratio is off again.

It has occurred to me today that now that I have some, you know, actual soil that's not being peed on in the backyard, I could plant some daylilies amid the hostas. Also rose campion and oenothera and feverfew. I think I have about 10 rose campion volunteers. They won't bloom till next year, being biennials, but their fuzzy silvery foliage is decorative. And I have tons of feverfew. Oh, and I still have blue flag iris in my front bucket. I didn't send it all to [ profile] pameladean and [ profile] clindau.

Now that it's blooming abundantly, the wisteria is a little disappointing. The flowers at one end of the cluster are fading before the ones at the other end have come into being. Not festive like [ profile] kightp's at all. But it's the wisteria I've got. I must take its picture this weekend.

I look at the hippeastrum seeds a couple times a day, even though they aren't likely to start sprouting until Tuesday or Wednesday at the earliest.
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It was a nice day to hack up a big hosta, one that's unlikely to die no matter how badly treated, so we did it.

mostly for me but you can read if you like )
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It's kind of a yucky day -- overcast, humid, good chance of rain. A good time to think about home and hearth.

For the first time in almost a decade, Roy feels comfortable skipping a weekend vacuuming of the house. It looks as clean to us right now as it used to a day or so after vacuuming. The difference a big dog makes.

a bunch of plant stuff )
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We saw the sun for an hour or so this morning; now the high clouds are moving in.

This year the wisteria appears poised to bloom more prolifically. I stopped counting at 30 scapes. That's not prolific by [ profile] kightp's standards, but it's a great improvement on the six or seven scapes we had last year.

We have ants on the peony buds this year! Teeny tiny little black aunts, not the big ones I recall from my youth, but ants nevertheless.

I think I will be gardening passively this year -- not going out and acquiring new plants, but accepting what comes up. I have a lot of seedlings: corydalis, four-o-clocks, aquilegia, rudbeckia, and what I believe are rose campion. I also have enough feverfew to medicate the eastern seaboard if I let them grow. Then, of course, there are the coleus and begonias I overwintered.

We moved the hostas, in their boxes, to a spot where they would get rainwater. They are tremendously happy after the rainy spell and should have a good start on life this year before we move them back to their regular place. I am also thinking of dividing them and putting them in the ground. All of my variegated hostas have sported out to plain green, but that's all right.

stages of grieving for a large dog )
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Two warm days and the red maple's leaves are unfurling.

I can see and count three buds on the peony so far -- I think the biggest shoot has shot up six inches in the past two days. There are eight shoots this year, one more than last year.

The hostas are unfurling. The perennial sunflowers are poking up. I think I see a second columbine.

I set my tomato seedlings outside.
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Happy Easter to all, whether it is for you the feast of the Resurrection or an excuse for wanton chocolate consumption (or just another Sunday).

boring housekeeping stuff here, move along )


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