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The 2019 Garden, Landscape, and Other Stuff Thread...

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by eisman, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Coleus are pretty easy to root. Sometimes I wonder why I even buy them, but you have to start somewhere. I bought two small containers of a reddish and a more traditional red-green mix Coleus (small leaf variety) today. We're thinking about the same stuff! They add nice foliage color in a bed or make great porch/deck or house plants.

    Per my last post, I did pick up a regular jalapeno pepper plant and something called a non-hot jalapeno plant. Supposed to have the flavor of a regular Jalapeno without the heat. We'll see. Planted both of them in containers. I avoided anything that the tag said was HOT. Picked up two six packs of Impatiens (white, and pink ones) for two whiskey barrels I have positioned in pretty much total shade. Of all the annuals, Impatiens have zero cold tolerance. They are pretty much the first flowers to croak with a freeze.

    Whiskey barrels are getting really expensive from my point of view these days and I probably won't replace these with traditional whiskey barrels when they fall apart. They come from the Jack Daniels Distillery here.

    Need to make a nursery run for Lantana soon. I usually buy one gallon (or what they call "one gallon") containers. Trying out planting a couple very small Lantana plants this year (cheaper too) in a whiskey barrel. The one gallon Lantana have been increasing in price by about a dollar a year over the last couple of years. My purchase for my front bed is always a big $ hit and most plant purchases after that point are just a few dollars here and there unless I get trees or shrubs. Last year I got a Japanese Maple (the feathery leafed type). It is growing well, but they are pretty slow growers in general.

    I'm not much for over-ripe bananas. Of late, they have been running about $0.05/lb less in price in my usual grocery store. I buy most of my groceries at a Walmart. But gasoline prices are shooting UP.

    Tried out the new orange-vanilla Coke. Not too bad for a little variety here and there. I am a Coke fan, but I can't see drinking these like I might a regular Coke.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  2. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    When we moved in we decided to hire someone to mow the lawn. There is a prolific amount of grass that grows back overnight—underground springs.

    The yard guy suggested barrels for the flowers. At that time I did not know what or why.

    Well, he showed me. He completely mowed down all my flowers! (I figure the barrels make it more difficult to annihilate them.)

    Taldesta, nice job on the bananas— that was sage. Can’t wait to see those fruit fly photos!
  3. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I believe that I wouldn't pay the guy if he mowed my stuff down..... then he can replace them too. I raised living hell when the lawn care people sprayed broad leaf killer on my flowers or some of them.... I told them.... don't ever send that guy back here.

    Whiskey barrels (halves) last about 4-5 years before they really show signs of falling apart here.
  4. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    Well, we don’t call him Einstein for nothing! (The guy before him cut the cable to the house while trimming the bushes.) A lesser of evils proposition.

    I’m still stunned that he could decapitate all the flowers unless he has an eyesight problem…in fact, I wondered if he even knew he did it.(he was supposed to be trimming the hedges and cleaning up.)

    I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I thought if his replacement job went as well as his removal…it was easier for me to drop the whole thing. At this point, it makes me laugh because it’s so ridiculous.
    taldesta and 22-rimfire like this.
  5. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Is Einstein still servicing your yard?;) I suspect he didn't know he mowed down the flowers. Some of those guys simply don't pay attention with their wide cut zero turn mowers. Would love to get a 36" (perhaps 42") zero turn mower myself, but I can't justify the cost when it takes me about an hour to mow the entire yard with a push mower. I really try not to sweat the small stuff either. The flowers that the yard service hit was over spray (wind more than likely) and they recovered contrary to my neighbor using weed killer and killing a bunch of my grass beside his fence. I asked him about it and he said.... must be powerful stuff..... it is but it depends on the plant and fescue kills easily. His response was I'll pay you for some seed.... I blew it off and asked him to be more careful. The seed is the small part; getting the seed to grow is the effort.

    Two of my container tomatoes have fruit now up to about "quarter size". The other two are just starting to blossom. This growth time is fun, but when they get big tomatoes developed or a lot of them, it gets pretty ho hum. I am more interested in the development of the other stuff to be honest as I have grown tomatoes for years and years in my garden. If I had more room, I'd do green beans....

    I find it hard to believe but I still have not seen a hummingbird at the house yet. The migration maps show them much further north of me. The feeder has been out with clean nectar replaced about weekly. This happened two years ago and I didn't start seeing them until July which I believe is about when the babies are big enough to fend for themselves.
  6. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    While Busby's nutrition depends upon the protein nectar, for some reason eating this food is up and down during and now following the moult ... showing a preference for a lot more diverse offerings that may not be as complete. OK - I am dipping everything I can think of in bug dust for protein ... and the big, fat winner seems to be smushed banana, followed by grapes. Of course, top draw is hand feeding of sugar water speckled with bug dust - so my hummer slavery continues :D

    Something we mostly miss in understanding hummers is that they are 'down and dirty' harvesters of bugs ... throw in some nectar for fuel. So I am throwing a lot of grit, dirt and diversity in Busby's path. I feel lucky!

    Fruit fly photography - will do my best.
  7. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    At my last digs, which I loved yet do not miss, my mum's planter barrels were left behind when I moved here in 2017. In 2010 when I moved in to that home, one of the barrels needed the bottom replaced ... and I raised both planters on bricks at that time.

    Gosh, mum died in 1998. She had those barrels perhaps since the mid 1980's. Don't know what they were made of ... or if winters helped to preserve them. Not made of concrete ... yet lasting. I wouldn't mind having them now :D

    Maybe soaked in Canadian booze?
  8. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    That's hilarious about the banana. (I bet she liked the joke too.;) Certainly bound to lift her spirits!)

    You got me thinking about attracting fruit flies. We leave bananas (partially cut ones too) out on the counter and rarely, if ever, see a fruit fly. It seems they only appear in connection with the presence of one family member--the person who really hates them the most (both the bananas and the fruit flies).
  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The barrels are usually made of oak. They are a one use thing for the distilleries. I like whiskey barrels as they provide a rustic looking planter. I think the big killer of whiskey barrels are termites if you have them sitting in contact with the soil as I do. Rotting of course takes a toll too. Down the road if I buy more to replace these, I will probably put some bricks or something underneath them to elevate them a little above the soil.

    Hoping you get your protein supplies. I ordered some flea stuff for the cats from a place in Canada. They shipped from Germany according to the tracking (not Canada). No movement; just accepted in Germany for the last week. In the US, this flea stuff requires a prescription from the vet. I have ordered from Australia but it takes a good 30 days to get here. Was hoping Canada would be different. We'll see.
  10. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    Yes, he still does the yard. He's an OK guy, just a bit oblivious I guess. That's a reasonable guess about how it happened.

    Upon refection, he had been cutting that grass all season and avoiding the flowers. I'm guessing that when we asked him to prune the bushes near the end of the season and clean up the area, he included the flowers under those instructions (they are near the bushes).

    I never thought I would have to specify to leave the flowers alone since they were still in full bloom. You've given me the idea to cover the ground under the bushes with impatiens. I bet he would not mow those over, and I could tell him to leave those alone.

    Regarding yards and neighbors: have you ever watched The People's Court? It seems a large number of small claims cases center on yard, tree, bush, fence disputes that have gotten ugly.

    I once had a neighbor who all but accused me of destroying her patio umbrella by throwing it over her 6 foot fence into my backyard. (I told her I saw the wind blow it over the fence, which is true.) She said that was impossible since it weighed 100 pounds. (How could I throw it over a 6' fence if it weighed 100 pounds? And why?!) She had her brother-in-law, who was a police detective, come over and "investigate" the case, and he concluded that it was physically impossible for the umbrella (which she had left open with 50-60 mph winds) to spontaneously fly over the fence.

    I asked her what her point was, and I dropped it. She and her husband stewed for months. Eventually, I told them to be nice, they could have much worse neighbors!

    Moral of stories: don't get into feud with neighbor over nonsense.
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Finally saw my first Hummingbird at my house today (4-18-19) of the year. It was a Ruby Throated Hummer which are the most common here.

    According to the migration maps, the first hummingbirds showed up in my area during the first week of April. I saw both a male and a female at the feeder in separate visits.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    taldesta likes this.
  12. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    taldesta likes this.
  13. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Changed out the nectar/sugar water so it's fresh. In the Maine document linked above it mentions that fermented sugar water makes the livers swell in humming birds. Something I didn't know. That means I will be changing out the nectar more frequently this year. In general, my approach has been to change it when it gets cloudy. The frequency mostly depended on how hot it is or was and the heat causes the fermentation.
    taldesta likes this.
  14. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Sunburn - pretty sure I overdosed outside on the beautiful weather yesterday. There are lots of roads closed due to flooding locally and severe flooding in New Brunswick and Quebec.

    The Muskoka River S here is so high I am able to see the floating dock from the house as I watch the huge chunks of ice, mini-bergs, float downriver - haven't seen this high level since flooding in 2013. That year the Black River dropped a riverbank maple that took a lot of work to even partly clear.

    All the trenching I did around the well and drainage ditches last spring is paying off. But I do love to pull on my insulated rain boots and wade in the freezing water, clearing obstructions ... like I was a kid at the creek!

    Speaking of ... the lower field is partly flooded. A pair of (edited to correct) mallards have moved in :) Sorry - pic is long zoom.

    DSCF4618 POND  LOWER FIELD 650 MED.jpg


    A few crocus blossoms - 4 exactly - dare to be the first. They appear downhill from the gardens and in the rough ... nowhere they would have been intentionally planted. Rogue crocus. Sweet.

    DSCF4629 CROCUS 650 MED.jpg

    8 of the 10 red squirrels seem still to be coming to the feeder ... but only one of the 5 black squirrels from last fall. Either the black squirrels are interchangeable and only dine separately now, or I suspect the winter toll has been heavy on them. The one that comes is bushy tailed and bright eyed and does not appear to be mothering a batch of babies.

    Here's another before and after that speaks to spring. Pic of tomato garden taken from snowshoes on Feb 28th and one taken yesterday. Red shows the top of the same 42" tomato cage. My gardens always look well kept in winter!



    Busby update. She is active and hungry but seems to reject the complete food and sugar water, grapes, bug dust, banana ... a lot of the time. Keeping her well fed is a creative challenge. Yes, I am catching bugs as best I can. Getting them to stay in the enclosure is the problem. Fruit fly production is not great just yet.

    She definitely knows it's spring and wants to fly with her friends outside. She has escaped (inside) once - will fill you in later. Meanwhile, the sun is shining and I'm outside :D

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  15. kvaughn

    kvaughn Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    I think those mergansers are mallards.:)--KV
  16. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Sorry - you're right ... I had confirmed in in my bird book and had a brain lapse on screen ... will edit and thanks :oops:
  17. Rose and Thistle Custom

    Rose and Thistle Custom Josh Mead Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 9, 2018
  18. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Rose and Thistle, I am one who can truly appreciate snow - especially when it belongs to someone else :D

    The sunshine is so beautiful today. "How beautiful is it?" Well, the red squirrels are opting to sunbathe rather than feed their faces!



    Busby's outdoor adventure is her first since last September ... she's checking for flying snacks which are coming to the flowers in her enclosure.

  19. LEGION 12

    LEGION 12 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Wonderful .
    taldesta likes this.
  20. LEGION 12

    LEGION 12 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2009

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