Glory's Garden

All the world's a garden, you know, and we are mere flowers within it. Come, I'll show you!

Don't get any funny ideas!

©2018 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved

My Peeps!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Is that a Chive?

*So, my friend is looking around my garden and gets a weird look on her face. “That’s a chive, isn’t it?” she asks. “What’s it doing there and not in an herb garden?” Well, who the heck says just because a plant happens to be an herb that means that it can’t be anywhere else? I like chives but rarely for cooking, although I do so like to take the blossoms and make herb vinegars with them.

That, however, is neither here nor there. The point is I have Chives everywhere, not always because I want it that way. They are rather, shall we say, prolific and they will appear where they will. Next to the peony, daisy or rose bush. It doesn’t care. Not fussy. Here it seems to like the Flag Iris and so there it is. Looks nice to me. *

*Edelweiss of the Poconos*

What, you may be asking, is this little plant and why is it peeking out from under the Hostas? Heck if I know. It kind of just showed up one day. It may have hitchhiked its way here by way of the Hosta but as to what it is, your guess is as good as mine, perhaps better. I think it may be a bulb plant but as I like it so much I don’t want to disturb it by digging it up. Doesn’t matter to me what it is. I just call it my own Pocono Edelwiess. Small and white, clean and bright, you look happy to meet me, blossom of snow may you...I’m sure you know how it goes but if not, or maybe you just like musicals, here is the link to Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer indeed doing Edelwiess justice.


What a week!

On Sunday the guys cut the grass all day. Well, with four acres, 4 big, burly boys, 3 lawn mowers, 1 weed whacker and a broken tractor, it would take all day! I used all the grass clipping they could give me to mulch the paths of the vegetable garden. It looks spiffy now, indeed!

One by one the kids ran off to do their own thing. It was unmercifully hot, humid and tiring work, so who could blame them? They left and it was just Tommy, me and the ominous looking clouds coming rapidly our way. Tommy takes no heed of such trifles as a storm a-brewing. Not when there is still work to be done. We had trees to plant, 3cork-screw willows, a floundering Lilac and a baby birch. Off we went to do this just as the first rain drops fell on my nose. By the time we were done it was pouring, I was cold and grateful to be finally going inside. It had been a long day, made longer by the energizer bunny that is Tommy.

Monday was drizzly and warm ~75 so I stayed inside. Tuesday started looking the same but then suddenly cleared up enough to go outside. It was beautiful! ~82 and sunny. Busy day filling window boxes with Calendulas and Zinnnias.

Wednesday, May 26, ‘10...~88, hot ans sunny. Saw my first hummingbird of the season. The Wisteria, tulip tree and other frost damaged things are finally showing signs of rebirth. New leaves are sprouting so, I can breathe easy again.

Busy planting out tomatoes, Swiss chard, cantaloupe, spinach and Bok choy and I’ve discovered I don’t have enough room for all I planted. Will have to plant stuff in back field after all. Brought out tons of house plants. The Aloe Vera needed dividing something dreadful. It literally was busting out of its pot. Now I have more than a dozen little Aloe plants. Will have to give some away or open up that dollar plant nursery!

Lupine are ready to bloom. Hope they keep until I get back from Virginia. Going for the weekend with Tommy, Steve and Marci. Should be fun.

Thursday, hot, hot, hot but loads to do. Removed the black plastic covering the vegetable garden bed, found a couple of snakes (eek!), Tommy cut up his leg on an arrant blackberry bush and I got dizzy from the heat. Covered the other bed with the plastic, just moved it over one spot. We’ll plant there next year. This year, potatoes and onions sound good for that spot, plus all the other things that didn’t find a home in the other veggie garden, behind the greenhouse.

Still got loads to do! But I ain’t complaining. Winter comes way too soon and then I’ll be longing for this time. Happens every year!

*Flower question for you, O Rose Goddess.....

That is how a friend of mine started her query. It was rather odd for me to be called thus, as I nearly gave up on roses long ago. They were, in my opinion, too much trouble for a lazy gardener such as myself. Only just last year I thought I’d give them one more shot. They were on sale somewhere and I said, “Oh, what the heck! Let’s try it again. I’ll mulch them really well for winter and maybe, just maybe, they’ll make it through our Pocono winters. Well, lucky for me they did or I would be telling Julie to find another name for me! But let us read the rest of Julie’s note:

I do indeed have one mature Rose bush left! But why when I take cuttings do the stalks and flowers wilt within 2 days--roses are famous for being cut flowers. Is it because this is a wilder type (tons more thorns and a flat flower--GORGEOUS smell) that they don't cut well?

You may be describing, if I'm not mistaken, a wild Rosa Rugosa? I've never attempted to bring those inside as cut flowers. The thorns, YIKES! Plus I don't think those blossoms actually last very long on the bush either. Not sure tho. Mine tend to produce flowers for a rather long time if I keep deadheading. The time of day cutting flowers counts. Early morning is best and cut at an angle immediately submerging the cut end in water. Try an aspirin in the water too.

She then sent me this lovely photo of her rose bush. Looking at the pictures it looks like a shrub rose with singles flowers but not a Rugosa. If this is so and they are the type to bloom in one big flush and then go to seed, or rosehips in this case, then the flowers don't usually last very long whether on or off the plant. I say admire them where they are and cut the daisies from the field to bring inside, if you can get to them before the sheep!

Julie has a lovely sheep farm, you see. And, according to her, they eat anything they can get their teeth around.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Organic methods for keeping bugs away from tomatoes.

So, I get a note form a friend. She says:

I was wondering what you would suggest for keeping pests off of better boy tomatoes? I like organic means, but I want to protect my yummy harvest. Last year we had aphids, stinkbugs, and tomato hornworms. Any suggestions?

I replied:

Goodness, that's a load of bugs! If you want to go organic, which I whole-heartedly agree is best, you may want to invest in lady bugs for the aphid problem. You may have to order those from which sell only organic things for pest control and elimination. As for the other 2 of which I never heard I'll have to look those up for you and get back to you. I'd hate that lovely crop of yours to fall under these pests!

After doing a Google search, this is what I told her:

I just found out about hornworms. Yikes, those are huge! The only thing I saw that sounded remotely garden friendly to protect your tomatoes was floating row covers. You probably know what those are but I'm not so sure you would want to go to that trouble. Depending on how many tomato plants you have, it could be a daunting task. They did suggest you plant dill near your tomatoes as a decoy. The hornworms will supposedly go to the dill first then you can get them by hand picking and dropping them into a cup of alcohol to get rid of them. Tedious I know, but harmless for you and your plants.

Here is the scoop on Stinkbugs: You can go 2 ways to keep these bugs at bay. Plant repellent plants, which they hate, to keep them out of your garden. These are Marigold, radish, catnip, garlic, mint and tansy (keep these last two in pots so they don't take over your garden) You can also plant Trap or decoy plants which stinkbugs love and will go to first. These are sunflower, buckwheat, triticale, sorghum and millet. Hope this helps.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Poppy patch in bloom

Orange Poppies looking nice. This one's in the backyard under the weeping ornamental peach. The other one is on the west side of the house and is so messy with tons of weeds it just wouldn't do to take a picture of it now. Perhaps I can get to it next week. For now I will admire these. They are so fleeting, poppies.

Friend among the weeds

This is Mr. Toad. No, not very imaginative a name as names go but there you have it. This little guy was leaping away from me and my weed-pulling hands all day yesterday but not too far. He didn't much care for my destroying his home. Fear not for Mr. Toad, however. He is not completely homeless. A cracked- in- half clay pot, thanks to old man winter and his devastating ways will provide a nice alternative home for my new garden friend. I'll place his new home just under the Cotoneaster shrub so no one, not even my curious Chase the cat, will bother him much. I want Mr. Toad to stay near, you see. Why, you may ask, would I want Mr. Toad sticking around? Bugs, hunny! He eats loads of bugs. For a well-balanced eco-system Mr. Toad is quite welcome in my garden.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I hate frost!

*Thursday, May 13, ‘10 .....temp~56.... rain in morning, clearing up by noon. I had wanted to cut the grass but my lawn is a swamp at the moment. If I don’t get a few consecutive dry days the grass will be up to me knees before the yard is dry enough to cut. But weeds do come out easier after a rain. Of course the rain makes them grow too quickly as well. Oy!

Decided to make a tiny compost pile at the end of the garden formally known as the cutting garden. What should I call it, really? It had been the driveway garden because it ran adjacent to and the full length of the drive way. I did call it the sunken garden as it was several feet down from the driveway. Then it was the cutting garden because I had so many annuals and prolific perennials growing there providing tons of cut flowers for inside but now it’s just overrun with weeds. They’re getting under control now though.

Not sure I should make the vegetable garden there or not. It would be more convenient. Have until June 1 to decide. Not planting anything out in the open until then, no way, no how. Already lost a few coleus to the frost last night. I thought they were a lot more hardy than that. The Petunia survived after all. Learn something new every day.

The coleus wasn’t the only thing nipped by frost. The Wisteria Tree looks horrible with its leaves all wilted and dead. I was wondering if I should cut those off to encourage more growth but what if it frosts again ? It’s very likely.
I saw the tulip tree looking just as bad. Can’t believe frost could do so much damage. Knew it was too nice too early to be any good for my plants. Why can’t Mother Nature cooperate with us gardeners?

*Love my Greenhouse!

Monday, May 10'10.......temps hardly made it out of 40's.... very breezy mostly sunny.

So, I wait for things to warm up. Pretty much a lost cause. At noon I still didn’t want to go out. Silly of me but I get so used to temps in 70s and 80s that when they go back down to normal, 40s and 50s for this time of year, I’m at a loss. But no matter, I went into my greenhouse. Tiny as it is it still provides much needed warmth, enough to get me sweating but more importantly, those seeds germinating only days after I planted them. Ah, the power of moist, warm soil! The zinnias already popping surprised me but good.

So, I decide to take the plants already started inside the house and put them into the greenhouse. Tomatoes, pumpkins and pok choy already looking promising. Let’s hope they do even better with all that extra sun.

ah, but the forgetful gardener does screw herself but good sometimes. Totally forgot I put Morning Glory seeds to soak for planting in the Hosta raised bed. Well, they not only plumped up nicely but some already sprouted. Yikes! Got those into the ground as soon as I could. Calling for frost tonight. *Sigh* Winter just won’t quit, will it?

Finally got those pictures off the new camera. Had to delete half of them, very blurry. But some came out nice.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Officially out of garden room

Thursday, May 6,’10 ....... temp ~75.......rainy in morning clearing up by 11am.

Last 2 days really wore me out so I took it easy. Planted a slew of seeds in greenhouse and the fleshly weeded planter box. As my seed boxes are overflowing I took to tossing them around almost indiscriminately....hither and dither as they say. Portulaca, zinnia, and periwinkle in planter box should fill it up nicely. I found hybrid Daylily seeds, if you can believe that. Like I need more daylilies! But what am I supposed to do, throw them out? Like Jack’s mother I would only get them growing where I didn’t want them much like that stupid beanstalk, so...they are in a pot in the greenhouse by the cutting garden. Who knows where I’ll plant them if they germinate. Maybe I really ought to start a business, a dollar plant store. I really should call this the greenhouse by the driveway GH#1 for future reference. The one in the back 40 after all is little more than a tool shed...oh, yes, and a place for mice to nest in winter. I found another dead one in there the other day. How lovely! I also found tons of clematis seeds (as if I need more clematis vines too!) Yes, I planted them, too, in a planter and they are in GH#1. Well, the funny thing about clematis seeds is they never germinate when you plant them, only when they plant themselves so who knows if I’ll get anything for my effort? I dug out a few peonies for my friend and boy do those things grow! The roots when I planted them a few years back were minuscule compared to the huge things I tried to dig up. I’m sure I left some behind so they probably will just grow back. It’s almost like I can’t get rid of enough plants to make a dent anymore. What the heck, you know?

Friday, May 7,’10........temp~76.......mostly sunny, bit breezy. So, my winter time boredom worked out great. I kept a few coleus, one white petunia and 2 large Cuban Oregano plants indoors and always snipped a few stems here and there as they got leggy and set them to root in tiny jars on the kitchen windowsill Well, now I have tons of Coleus plus a good bunch of Cuban oregano which is very different from your Italian Oregano. The Cuban and Dominican varieties are much like succulents and root so easy in water that I have them all over the place. I took a risk and planted them outside already. Just hoping Jack Frost don’t start flirting with Mother Nature again. I hate when he does that! Ends up killing my best stuff, the beastly man! I put them in front of the Hosta knowing that Deer love to eat my Hosta (it’s chocolate to deer after all) but they hate the smell of oregano. And this Cuban stuff is really smelly! The Hosta therefore may actually be safe. Time will tell. You know that show on the discovery channel, what the world will be like 100 years after all people are gone? Well, I got a glimpse of that in the back 40. I didn’t realize how badly I had neglected that until I started cutting back the overgrown stuff, mostly native viburnum, wild raspberries, Quaking aspen trees and weeds of all kinds. It was like a jungle all tangled and twisted and way to hard to go through without scratching your arm and legs! While hacking away, I found about 5 Clematis vines. I have planted them there several years back and I thought they might be dead. I was surprised they were still there although not surprisingly not thriving. They were a tangled mess but I dug them out and tried to find a new home for them. Know what I discovered? I’ve officially run out of garden space in my formal gardens near the house anyway. I couldn’t find a decent place for them. The trellis I have for the Clematis vines in the backyard was already full so I had to plant these new guys in between. If they all live it’ll look gorgeous. Oh, I did see that my sweet autumn clematis had died. I was rather sad about that. It was one of my favorites, but then they kinda all are. I’m silly that way. At least that gave me one empty spot to put a new Clematis. We’ll see how that one does.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Compost rules!

Monday, May 3, ‘10....temp~65....partly sunny....rainy in afternoon.

Waited until noon for it to warm up and the dew to dry somewhat. Don’t need wet shoes after all nor wet socks for that matter. Just got down to weeding some more with little progress. Phone kept ringing and with Tommy out I had to take care of it. Then the rain started and it could be put down to a wasted day.

Tuesday, May 4, ‘10....temp~67....unsettled with a breeze that wouldn’t give up and menacing clouds to the north west.

Contemplating not going out at all. It’s supposed to be nice but those clouds say a different story. I’m betting after I get all my stuff out there, the tractor and cart, the tools and after I start really getting into it the sky opens up and drenches me before I get everything back inside. It’s happened too many times before for me to be quite so willing to go through it again. But I must go out and at least attempt to do something before the rain comes. So very much to do!

So off I go and I get a brain storm: the front raised bed needs attention, weeding and a fresh top-dressing of compost. See what I mean about the garden telling you what to do? I wasn’t even thinking of the front planter box (that’s what Tommy calls that raised bed and therefore so do I)

The Hostas I planted there last year took well to their new home but they look forlorn. Yes, they need company. But first the compost. Gosh but it is good to have a ready supply of homemade compost, more than I can ever use up! It’s a huge pile after all and endlessly refilled before the old compost is removed’s perpetual indeed! I’ll have it forever. What could be better?

Oh, yes, to have someone else get it out of the pile and into the beds where it is needed but no biggie. I need the exercise. Least that’s what I tell myself. Feels good though all this work. It gets you bone tired but exhilarated too. Filled up the cart using Tommy’s nifty compost screen-sifter that fits perfectly over the cart. Oh, but that compost looks good enough to eat...if you’re a plant. Maybe I’ve been hanging out with my plants too long if I’m starting to think like them? Must be!

So, the front planter box/raised Hosta bed is weeded and compost nicely arranged around the existing Hostas but then I needed the other Hostas to fill in the empty spots. But where to get the nicest Hostas without making a dent in the gardens near the house. Well, duh! That’s where the shade garden comes into my head. Got tons there. Taking a few from there wouldn’t even make a dent.

Hostas were planted and I almost had all the compost I needed but then looking up at the sky I saw a streak of lightening and the unmistakable rumble of thunder. Yikes! I better get inside quick. I left the rest for another day and went as fast as I could. It was getting time to pick up Justin anyway and he wasn’t just in town at Links today. He was at PCDC and I needed to get to Lords Valley a 20 minute drive.

I was not inside yet before the first raindrops fell on my nose. What a day!

Wednesday, May 5,‘10...sunny and bright...warm, too...temp~81.

First morning I did not have to wear a jacket. Pocono mornings are always cool so this was a most pleasant surprise. It’s not unusual for it to be 35 in morning and 75 by 3pm. But not today. It was gonna be a killer warm one...that’s what they said but it wasn’t all that bad unless it was because of the constant cooling breeze and the fact I was mostly under the shade of a stately maple while getting more compost to finish the front bed.

I took a few old tires from the back field. I’m going to use these tires to place around my vegetable plants to keep the rabbits away. It worked last time I had a veggie garden. This year I’m making what used to be the cutting garden into the vegetable garden. Why? Because it’s closer to the house and easier to maintain here. I’m going to ask Tommy to finally place the fence around this just for added protection from deer.

The rabbits will be held at bay with the combination of the cats and the tires and there isn’t much chance of fox, skunks, racoons and opossums finding this treasure trove of plants with the daylily hill to one side, lilacs at the end, the greenhouse at the entrance and the boxwoods on the other side. Yes, this is a perfect spot. I’m so happy with this plan. Now if I could just get spring to stay and not revert back to winter. *sigh* What are the chances of that happening?

Plum and Pluot tree in orchard all abloom.

*Sunday-Wednesday, April 25-28, ‘10....rain, cold, in the 40's, and even snow showers...yikes!

Well, every gardener knows rainy days are not just for watering the garden without the use of the watering can or hose. It’s so gardeners can get some housework done and to recuperate, too.

Friday, April 30...temp starts off at ~46 but gets up to 77 and sunny.

Started weeding the white flowerbed. Yes, I have theme flower beds the white, yellow, blue, red and evergreen. As I’m working on the white one I’ll tell about that one. Lily-of-the-Valley has completely taken it over. Not that it is a bad thing. Ever smell Lily-of-the-Valley? Absolutely amazing! But it does need to come out...some of it anyway to make room for other things like the Daisy patch I’d like to get established.

What to do with the weeded out bits–or should I say chunks of Lily-of-the-Valley? They will go in the back field under the maples by the compost pile. They can go crazy there and won’t be a bother. Have to save a bunch for a friend’s new garden. Better warn her about their rambunctious behavior.

The azaleas are blooming, purple and pink ones and I found the Trillium hiding behind the rhododendrons have as well. Dark purple-maroonish these are. Would have missed them if I hadn’t weeded out a bunch of stuff that almost completely covered them up. Rain sure makes weeding an easy task. They just slip out of the ground with nary a tug.

Forget-me-nots are blooming. Gosh, they are pretty in their unobtrusive way. How they got under the Kwanzan Cherry tree I don’t quite know but they will do as they please, plants will. The Lilacs are actually coming out already. That must be the earliest they’ve ever bloomed since we came to the Poconos. The back yard already smells like a perfume factory but once the Lily-of-the-Valley and Lilacs really come out I may get dizzy from the overwhelming scent. The perils of a gardener!

Saturday, May 1, ‘10....temp ~88 ...sunny and hot.

Not the perfect day for cutting grass it being so warm but it needs to get done. The rain made the yard a swamp though. Ever cut the grass in a swamp? Not fun nor easy. With all this rain it will never dry up too.

Sunday, May 2,’10.....temp ~79....bit overcast but mostly sunny.

Took this day mostly off as I am beat from yesterday. But I did tell a friend I had some plants for her. Tommy insisted on helping me as they can be heavy, the plants. Although he laughed at me when I told him the Daylily gave me trouble. I don’t know about you but when my Daylilies grow too big and need dividing I dig up the whole thing and before cutting it into reasonable sized plants. They can weigh a ton when not divided first.

So, off we go with my ton of Daylilies, some yellow Sedum, a huge bunch of Lily-of-the-Valley, a few wayward Columbines, about 10 trees of all types, a Lilac and a Honeysuckle bush. All in all the pickup was pretty full so I was grateful Tommy came with. It’s good to have muscle sometimes...most times actually in the garden.