Prioritizing is important for a gardener like me. Without a task list, I end up spinning around and not getting things done that I wanted to/planned to/thought about. Instead, I flutter about with the latest thing that I come across and when I look back at the season, I end up disappointed. That's where this whole 'to-do list' thing came from: prioritizing the many needs. Like most growing seasons, I was optimistic. And went out of the gate hard with a big goal and started with 25 items on my 2023 to-do list - published in early April 2023 . Historical look at my previous lists: Here's my 2019 'Season Scorecard '. 12/17. 70% complete. Here's my 2020 'Season Scorecard' . 22 of 25 complete . 88%. Here's my 2021 'Season Scorecard '. 17.5 completes. 2 semi-completes. 5.5 not-completes. 70%. Here's my 2022 'Season Scorecard. ' 17 completes. 3 'mixed'. 5 not-completes. 68%. I did a September check-in on the lis
Showing posts from November, 2023
Our neighbors to the West were having a Walnut tree limb taken down recently and the tree guy who was doing the work was the same one that gave me a bunch of Ash firewood almost three years ago to the day. At that time - and in this post - I called it all Ash. But, now that I look back, it is clear that they included some Walnut in the mix, too. They tossed (just like last time) a number of rounds of wood over the fence and I stacked them up in a spot to figure out what to do with them. You can see that pile above - and you can also see that some of the pieces required a little bit more cutting with my chainsaw. Now...knowing that this is Walnut gave me pause. Sure...I could store it, process it, split it and burn it. But, it also has woodworking value as Walnut. So, I decided to select a few pieces to pull out and store separately. I texted with my brother-in-law (a woodworker and carver) about if he'd want some of the Walnut and he said he would. I grabbed about a d
The last few Falls, I've divided a great number of Summer Beauty Alliums . This year, I didn't get to all that many, but I *did* add a few 'free' plants. There was a pair of them flanking the Baby Blue Spruce in back that were getting pretty big. You can see them below - on the right in the first photo and more in the middle in the second: I dug them both up and divided each - then replaced them in their spots. Those two new plants - via division - went in on that side of the garden. One behind the fence - Hosta Replacement. The other by the Disneyland Roses. Two 'free plants'. That I KNOW perform. That's like free money, right? With these two, I BELIEVE that I've wrapped up Fall Planting posts. What's the total from below? Holy crap. I planted 68 new things. Created 26 new plants via division. Adding 94 total things to the garden in a four-week sprint. 30 ground cover plants make up almost 1/3rd of the 94. Wow. 94 things in the garde
These #FallPlanting posts are getting further-and-further out from reality. The photos below show lush, green garden. I'm posting this at the end of November. This was from way back in early October. I had a Cat's Pajamas Nepeta planted in the backyard in pretty deep shade. It wasn't doing well. So, I dug it out and brought it over to the curved border outside the kitchen window. The first photo below is the Nepeta peeking out from under a Guacamole Hosta leaf. The second is the new home by the peonies and Lucky Charm Anemones: This doesn't count in my new/divided plants, right? It is just a transplant. I'm posting this in November 2023, but I did this transplanting in mid-October 2023.
I'm on a roll with dividing - ferns, seslaria, Astilbes. Today, spotted Lungwort. Last Fall, I transplanted my three Twinkle Toes Lungwort from the back of a bed, closer to the front . Those three have thrived in their new spot. But, they also left behind a few little surprises. In the spot where the three transplants were living previously sprouted up three whole Twinkle Toes Lungwort plants. I, of course hedged. I dug up two of them and left one in place. The two that I dug up, I divided. Creating four new Twinkle Toes Lungworts. I put two on the front of the border next to the newly transplanted Fanal Astilbes on the north side. I tucked one in next to the Ghost Fern on the Boardwalk: And the fourth went in at the stoop on the side gravel walkway: Below is an 'after' photo that shows the three big clumps in front and the one volunteer that I left in place. Next year, I'll lift it out and divide again. I'd also like to find another variety to add as
Astilbes. They're awesome. Hard to keep and grow - normally. But, I've had some luck with Fanal Astilbes in my shade garden. They were the VERY FIRST plant I put in - according to plan. I've moved them a few times, but for the most part....just left them alone. With four growing seasons under their belt ( planted in 2020 , so 2020, '21, '22 and now '23), I thought I could take a shot at Fall Dividing some of them. I decided to pick the largest four Fanal Astilbes to dig up and divide. Two on one end, two on the other. Below are a few 'before' photos: I made room for the four new Astilbes on the other side of the yard - and removed some hostas. Each of the four plants was dug up, split in two. Half went to the new spot. The other half went back in the original hole. Below are a few 'after' photos showing the ones that have been cut-down in size: I ended up with four new Fanal Astilbes on the north border: Like I've done in the pa
Fall is the right time to divide Seslaria. And, I'm going to attempt to divide and transplant first-year Seslaria Autumnalis. Why? Because I've been so happy with them up front this year. I identified the three largest plants in front - like the one below - and dug up and split it in two. I wanted to improve the ring around the tree-swing tree with something more interesting - so I moved the new divisions to sit in between the Christmas Tree hostas that I moved here last year. These are behind the Summer Beauty Allium divisions from last year, too. Below is a look at some of the divisions and where they went in the backyard. I tucked the original plants back in, too. Now they were just half-the-size. There's a photo above of a TINY division. I'm not counting that, so, we're calling this a +3 free plants for Fall Dividing. I'm posting this in November 2023, but I did this dividing and transplanting in mid-October 2023.
Thanksgiving will be great if you do four things and four things only 1 . 1. Get outside and do something. We, thanks to Nat do a Turkey Trot. But, if you do a Turkey Bowl or just a walk. That's good. 2. Eat. A lot. This one is easy. Everybody does it. 3. Watch some football. Same as #2 above. Easy peasy. 4. Enjoy (at least part) of The Last Waltz from The Band. Or Get Back from The Beatles and Peter Jackson - if that's more your thing. This is the 17th year that I've blogged about The Last Waltz and 14th year-in-a-row. Here's my post from 2023 outlining the four keys to Thanksgiving - including The Last Waltz . Here's my post from 2022 on The Last Waltz and Turkey Bowls/Trots . Here's my post from 2021 on The Last Waltz and The Beatles . Here's my post from 2020 where I skipped The Last Waltz (Thanks, COVID.). Here's my post from 2019 on The Last Waltz . Here's my post from 2018 on The Last Waltz . Here's my post from 2017 on
Another day, another award-winning perennial that takes me outside my foliage-gardening comfort zone. This time, it is Agastache 'Blue Fortune'. And I bought and planted a pair in the original IB2DWs bed in front of the Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grasses that make up the back border. Just like with others...I know OF Agastache. But, a quick spin online sold me on Blue Fortune. From Bluestone : Oodles of soft lavender-blue flowers are held over large deep-green, minty licorice-scented foliage. Unique bottle-brush like flowers of Agastache are very attractive. Leaves feature silver undersides. Exceptional performance in the sun-drenched garden. Low maintenance, tolerates heat and drought once established. Butterflies and hummingbirds love to sample the nectar rich blooms. 2004 Great Plant Picks award winner. Done and done. I took the two they had. And put them in the IB2DWs bed amongst the Creeping Jenny and All Gold Hakenchloa Forest Grasses. I'm posting this in N
Today marks me getting pretty close to the final conifer that I planted in my Fall Planting Spring of October 2023. It features a second (new) Bird's Nest Spruce (3rd overall with one in the back) and is planted in the new part of the Conifer Garden down by the sidewalk. Same story as the previous one - a dwarf, low-to-the-ground conifer that tolerates sun and - when established - is drought tolerant. This one is a 1# small shrub, like the others have been. I planted this in mid-October, but posting it in early November 2023.
A few days after my last post about new flowers, I'm picking back up on fall planting list - with something way, way, way out of my comfort zone: Echinacea. I have no coneflowers. I have little sun, but that's not the point. I've been way out of my element with echinacea with little understanding of the entire world. But, let's get uncomfortable, right? I found and bought one (a single...yes...I know...that's a mistake) Pow Wow Wild Berry Coneflower. I saw this on the side of the container: And went online. Walters Garden sold me with these details : This variety is incredibly impressive for a seed grown Echinacea. It’s no surprise that it is a 2010 All America Selections winner. In our trials, we noted how floriferous the plants were. Each stocky, relatively short plant carried a bouquet of fragrant, 3-4”, deep purple-pink to near-magenta flowers on stiff, branched stems. More branches result in more flowers per plant and a showier display in the landscape.
Posting this a little bit late, but I checked-off a new (to me) seasonal activity: feeding our ginkgos with lime. I had a bag of Organic Garden Lime from Espoma that (on the bag) bills itself as being able to change color of Hydrangea blooms - "Turns Hydrangeas Pink". I took the bag and sprinkled a heavy hand at the base of the Spring Grove Ginkgos on either side of our stoop. I also fed the Saratoga Ginkgo in the front yard , the Ginkgo tree that arrived cracked-in-half that I planted in the backyard and the same variety that the online nursery sent as a replacement that is IB2DWs extended (now in the conifer garden). 5 Ginkgo trees, two of which are dwarfs - all (according to this post from Mr. Maple) want alkaline soil : One great tip with Ginkgo that is different from a lot of other trees is that Ginkgo love a more alkaline soil, so by giving them lime when you're planting them and lime throughout the season, you help this plant get established and take up
Last Fall, I tentatively stepped into the Ghost Ferns Dividing Business. I had four original plants to start when I lifted one in the Fall of 2022 and created five Ghost Ferns. I took a look at the five - the two divided segments returned this year - in Spring . With that success under my belt, I took on dividing the rest of them. From five ferns, I now have eight ferns. I left the two that resulted from 2022 divisions intact. And divided up the remaining three - to create three new ferns. Below is the 'after' showing seven Ghost Ferns in this section including one *behind* the Weeping Nootka Cypress tree. Seven, you say? Where's the last one? I put it on the side of the house lining the new Boardwalk: Below are a few in-process Ghost Fern dividing photos: More Ghost Ferns is on my 2024 agenda. Fern upgrade in process. I'm posting this in November 2023, but I did this dividing and transplanting in mid-October 2023.
Planted early this year - with MUCH fanfare - my Columnar Scotch Pine tree is dead. I yanked it out and returned it for a store credit. Earlier this Fall, I noticed that it was *really* struggling, so I decided to do something pretty drastic: transplanting it. I also decided - as part of the transplant process - to lop-off all the dead parts. I thought that maybe it wanted more sun, so I put it by the boardwalk. Here's what it looked like when I transplanted it in September: some green needles, but not doing well: Six weeks later, it was gone. Below is what it looked like before I dug it out: no more green needles. I've talked about how I haven't, historically done enough with conifers. But, part of the reason for that negligence is because I've had such bad luck with them. This is another lost conifer in a long-line of them. Have I made up for things with my new Conifer Garden? Maybe. But, might they all end up like this columnar Scotch Pine? Maybe, t
For the past few months, I've been collecting acorns for a set of columnar oak trees and have been planning on trying to get them ready to plant up in the Spring. Last Fall, I collected a wide variety of nuts, so when Spring came, I wasn't totally sure what was what. This year, I know I only have one variety. Here's the pile of Regal Prince Oak (columnar) acorns that I started with: I put them in a bucket of water to test which were viable. You can see all the floaters below: I also had three Chestnuts that I tossed in, too. After 12 hours, I fished all the floaters out - below are the number of non-viable acorns. I'd say that's probably half (or more). I went back after 24 hours and found a couple more floating. I fished those out and tossed them for the critters to enjoy: And here, below, is what I was left with: enough acorns to pack away in wet sand and stick in the fridge for Winter: Next Spring, I'll pot them up and see if we can grow our own colu