Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Innovation = ripping off Star Trek?

A tricorder?


I rock at Plant ID! (sometimes)

Saw these on the banks of the Hudson River in Hoboken. 

Looked up "yellow flower shrub" on Google and... it's a Hypericum a.k.a St. John's Wort
I think I want some for filling in the wildflower bed that I'm working on solarizing.  Maybe interspersed with some forsythia for early spring yellow & something that gets brilliant yellow foliage in the autumn?

Monday, June 23, 2014

I'm a slacker

Everybody needs to slack off every once in a while.  Unfortunately, I'm making a career of it.  Sunday was pretty much a lost day.

At least my husband convinced me to go out of doors on Saturday and do some extremely-much-needed weeding in the veggie bed.  Found a couple volunteer tomatoes up behind where they were last year, so I decided to stake & fertilize them and see what they do.  Spent some time in the hammock before I lost all the shade, and then napped in a chair next to the shed under my least favorite tree (some sort of scruffy looking evergreen).

The inside of my house is very much neglected lately.  Need to find some energy on weeknights and just do a little bit at a time, because by the time I get to the weekend I either want to garden or completely slack off.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Investment in the future

I just bought a bunch of Victorian/Steampunk costume patterns on Etsy for something to do during the winter months. :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June already?

I haven't really touched the (10' x 40' ?) wildflower slope recently.  It currently has lots of maple seedlings in it thanks to our neighbor's very prolific tree.  The plan is to solarize this and/or cover with newspaper and cardboard, and then restart with some bulbs and perennials, with a couple annuals for color.  The reason being that the wildflower bed looks good in June, but pretty much ONLY June.  It was a fun experiment, but only one season of interest is not what I want.

It's a somewhat steep slope, so hard to work on, but I have to pull all of the maple and shrub seedlings out so that I can smother the weeds/wildflowers.  ESPECIALLY the Chinese forget-me-not which, while a favorite of the bees, took over the bed.  In fall it produces some nasty little seed pods that stick to hair (shirts, shorts, socks...) worse than Velcro.

What do I intend to plant in that bed once I've gotten the wildflowers under control?  Probably divisions of a bunch of stuff I already have.  Currently in the fridge are some daylily seeds we collected last year, I'm attempting stratification & germination.  I've also got many old marigold seeds hanging out in the shed, even if I get a small germination rate I'll still have quite a few plants.  I can certainly divide daylilies, irises, echinacea, yarrow, bee balm, and liriope.  I've got a lot of grape hyacinth bulbs that I can dig up and move over, and maybe I'll also move some of the daffodils & hyacinths over there as well.  The wildflower bed arguably has some of the best soil on our property since we put about 4" of composted leaf mulch on top of newspaper and cardboard back when I was killing off the grass that was previously growing on that slope.

Perhaps I'll also root some more boxwood cuttings and put them up along the top edge along the neighbor's retaining wall, edge, and then just keep them trimmed about even with the top so that his landscaping company doesn't hack at the backside of them like they did my beautyberry shrubs.  Another advantage here is that it'll keep the top of the slope shaded so I don't get as much stubborn grass trying to grow up along the edge of the wall.

The other beds are doing well, just need to do some weeding, which will be a regular chore through the rest of the summer and fall.  The tomato plants (that didn't get eaten - GRRrrrr!) are doing well, as is the pepper plant.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Funny how things work out

I just completed a re-reading of Elizabeth Haydon's Symphony of Ages series up through the 7th book "The Assassin King" (published 2009), which ended with a bit of a cliffhanger.  I wandered over to Amazon to see if she'd ever written the next book, and it turns out she did - it comes out on 06/03/14.  She must have taken notes from George R. R. Martin... 5 years of waiting!!

One of my favorite quotes from the first book contains really good advice for the current situation at my company:  “Second, and far more important: tuck your chin. You're going to get hurt, so expect it and be ready. You may as well see it coming.” Elizabeth Haydon, Rhapsody: Child of Blood