Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Workdays

This was so not my plan.

Labor Day weekend.  A final chance to kick back for a long weekend in good weather.  [My next one is Thanksgiving and one can hardly count on nice weather then.]

I had plans, of course... a couple of movies 
[Philip Seymour Hoffman in "A Wanted Man".  PSH at his excellent best playing a angst-ridden spy; it was difficult to watch without wondering how much of his own demons were showing thru, or was it that the character's demons were supplementing his own?  And, Pierce Brosnan in "The November Man."  Remington Steele still does it for me!]  

A picnic supper at an outdoor amphitheater with opera and Broadway to follow, and a bit of work in the garden early in the mornings.

Big Box had mulch on sale for the weekend, so I planned to stock up on that and probably dump a bit of it around; feed the roses; plant a few fall veggies and put up critter fencing.  You know  - simple stuff like that. 

 Maybe even a bit of work on the "Euonymous problem".

You may remember that I started earlier in the summer - when the weather was cooler - to kill the creeping Euonymous and spent much of the Fourth of July weekend working to pull it off the elm and clean out this "island", but i ran into yellowjackets.  We had to call in a bee man and get him to find and remove the nest.  

Then I planned to put half bricks in to raise the border, build it up with webb-dirt from the compost pile, and eventually plant it with a groundcover.  The plan has always been to do it in mid-September or early October ... certainly not now.

The best laid plans of mice and gardeners ...

Saturday morning was cool and the mulching went well, so I decided to put in some of the half bricks to extend the border, and maybe just move a bit of dirt around to get started.  I even watered it in a bit to help settle it.  Sunday I went back to Big Box to get more mulch and the rest of the bricks and was able to finish off the border before the heat was too bad.

Then Monday morning, I went for a final load of mulch ... and they grabbed me by the throat - flats and flats of Creeping Jenny.  
Not on my radar at all.  I had planned to fill that bed with pachysandra, but the light dancing across that table of Creeping Jenny called my name.  I could see the same light pulled in under the tree.  I had to have it.  With no price in sight, i sought out the manager and she quoted something way too high for groundcover this late in the year.

"Is there a flat price?"  I asked.

"If you want a flat, I can sell it to you half off," says she.

"I'll take two flats!"

And with that my plans for the rest of the morning changed.  Home I hurried with work to do.  More dirt to carry from the compost pile, and then two dozen plants to set.  While I doing it, I put in a zillion of the 'Tete a Tete' mini-daffodils, too.  And, then mulched and watered.  I know I've made work for the next month, because it will have to be watered two or three times a week until the temperatures drop and the fall rains start, but one needs to be flexible.  N'est pas?

You have noticed, of course, that Lysimachia nummularia 'Creeping Jenny' is a color that might be considered yellow-green.  And, perhaps you also noticed that the hinoki grass i added to the front beds is a similar hue.  Could it be that i am letting a little bit of that side of the color wheel creep into my plantings?  Perhaps that is a question for another day.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hot, hot, hot Flowers in the Housebll

Summer has returned to Central Virginia after an extending vacation somewhere in the middle of the country.  Yesterday the August heat and humid came slip sliding back into town.  How can I complain, tho, when it arrived on the next to the last day of the month?  It begs the question of what September will be like, but for now I shall proceed fat, dumb and happy and assume that September will be like .... well, September. 

The next question is: "So, what's in bloom in the garden?"  Answer: "Not a heck of a lot!"  
Most of the summer flowers are looking tired and spent and the fall blooms are still lying in wait for cooler nights.  In two weeks there will be plenty of chrysanthemums and some asters, but right now everything's just waiting - mostly for rain.

Except for the zinnias!  Wonderful zinnias.  The pinks that I put in as bedding plants in May are complaining of thirst, but the seeds are another story.  There's just one small problem ... they are yellow, and red and .... oh, horrors! ... orange! 

 I do not grow orange flowers. [And, i avoid red when I can.  Yellow is ok, in very small numbers and carefully placed.]  Last year they were  two shades of pink mixed with cream, but somehow I ordered the wrong mix this year.  They are gloriously happy in the cutting garden and brought a hot, hot, hot rush of color into the house. 

The only little bit of cool I managed to bring in was this bit of heliotrope that was growing in a pot on the deck.  Add a couple of tiny dahlias and some silver-white salvia and how much cooler could I want?  [I think the heliotrope will not last long in a vase, but the fragrance is worth trying!]

With Labor Day literally just over the horizon, summer is gone, but there is so much to look forward to in the fall.  Come have a cuppa on the shady deck and let's enjoy just one more hazy, hot and humid summer afternoon.  And, we'll still smell the heliotrope.

Thanks to Jane for hosting us again this month.  Be sure to stop by her house and see what's happening there.