Ring around the rosie

Two of my favorite flowers are blooming right now: lupine and columbine.

I started both plants as seeds in my first Winter Sowing experiment a few years ago. I didn’t get any blooms the first year, as expected. Last year, the columbines bloomed almost all summer, but the lupines looked like such pathetic weaklings, I’d pretty much written them off. I think I got three scrawny blooms between four plants.Read more…

Garden Fever

If you follow me on Pinterest, my apologies for the bajillion garden photos I just repinned. I’m a little bit obsessed at the moment.

It’s been unseasonably warm the last few days, which made it a little hard to get outside to do much, though I’ll try not to complain after the super frigid winter we had.

I’ve got a nice batch of winter sowing containers going with seedlings for both my flower and veggie gardens, but the most exciting thing in my garden right now are the bulbs! I’ve mentioned before how much I love bulbs. If you’ve got a black thumb, try some spring bulbs. You won’t be disappointed. They are so easy, it almost feels like cheating.

IMG_3305Grape hyacinth – I was experimenting with using my 50mm camera lens backwards as a make-shift macro lens.

forgetmenotForget-me-nots: the only non-bulb that’s blooming right now (aside from the cursed dandelions!). I didn’t realize I had some in the yard already and bought seeds for them a few months ago. Oh well, the more the merrier.Read more…

Garden Update, Fall 2013

My busy season started a little early this year, so I haven’t been posting garden updates like I had intended.

Well, hold on to your butts, because here come some pictures of flowers and things.

The first up are nasturtiums. Usually I get whatever mix they have at the store, but then I saw this photo of the trailing nasturtiums in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum courtyard in Boston. I NEEDED trailing nasturtiums!

These are what I settled on:

“moonlight” nasturtium

They’re called “Moonlight”. A nice creamy yellow. The foliage (which always reminds me of lily pads) is a little darker green than the nasturtiums I’ve grown before.Read more…

Attack of the Earwigs

I keep getting asked for updated photos of my garden projects, and now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take them a few days ago. Because now we are under attack by that filthy disgusting Dermaptera known as the earwig.

I can remember an era before the European earwig invasion. It was a simpler, less horrifying time.

That summer my mother’s delphiniums mysteriously died. She couldn’t figure out why. But when she cut off the dead dried-up flower stalks, earwigs poured out in the thousands. It was like an earwig fountain. Real life horror movie stuff.

Fast forward 20 years or so and my vegetable garden looks pretty swell. Then I started noticing something happened to my “Green Machine” melon seedlings.

melon problems

They started getting some yellowish spots and what looked like nibbles. I was concerned about powdery mildew, but quickly ruled that out. After hours of internet research, I determined that it was likely a bit of environmental stress (there had been a several day cold snap before the damage appeared) and perhaps a few nibbles from some critters. I lost 2 melon seedlings, but the two in the photo above are doing okay.

However, it’s been two weeks and now almost all of my bean plants have been munched away to nothingness:


This is one of about 2 or 3 bean plants that haven’t been completely annihilated:


This butternut squash plant looked awesome until about 3 days ago. All of that damage was done in about that amount of time:


This is what the smaller, less robust butternut plants look like. I wish I had taken a photo of this plant yesterday because all of this damage was done last night:


As you can see, something is causing significant damage. Healthy leaves are reduced to skeletons overnight. If I don’t figure out how to stop this quickly, I might not have a garden at all in a week.Read more…

Another Garden Update

It jumped to hot weather here so fast, my little winter sown containers are growing fast! Usually you’d start taking the tops off during the day and replacing them at night when it got fairly cool, but it’s been so warm that it’s barely even dipped into the 40s at night which means replacing the tops was unnecessary.

I think I lost a flat of Maltese Cross due to not removing the top (or not making the aeration holes bigger) soon enough… the seedlings were teeny tiny and look like they got cooked. Oops. Lesson learned!

And I have 3 small flats that I think I forgot to drill holes in because they have no germination and seem very waterlogged. And I sowed 2 or 3 flats of pink profusion zinnias that I got in a trade that just didn’t germinate for me. I don’t know if it was me or the seeds.  In either case, I’ve got dozens and dozens and DOZENS of flats that germinated perfectly, so 5 or 6 losses is pretty damn good! Plus, there’s still time to resow containers and try again!

Speaking of zinnias, here are some liliput zinnias that are doing just fine!


The lupines that were my first seeds to germinate are starting to get pretty tall. I think that’s foxglove sandwiched between the flats of lupine.


 Read more…