Rose Support Update

I thought I'd show you some updated photos of the rose support now that the plant has leafed out and blooming.


I love having structures peeking though foliage!


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Come on Monarchs!

Remember how I was recently hopeful that my large and ever-expanding colony of common milkweed would finally rear its first "crop" of monarch caterpillars?


Well, things are looking good! Or at least they were for a while.


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Robins

Robins made a nest in a disused hanging planter under the edge of the deck:


It's at about eye level for me, so I just raised the phone camera above the edge and blindly snapped these images. The first was taken April 19. I've often wondered why these eggs evolved to be blue. Seems like a bad color if you want to go unnoticed.


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Flood!

After a few days of heavy rain in the St. Louis area, heavy flooding is widespread. With perhaps 4" (10cm) of additional rainfall expected today and tomorrow, things are expected to get worse before they get better.


Although my house sits on high ground, my garden is still experiencing some flooding -- particularly the pond.


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Now? Really?

One of the tasks that I had on my list for this spring in the garden was to remove or at least drastically reduce the milkweed in my yard.


For the past four years I've been growing a few kinds of milkweed for the monarch butterflies. I started when a volunteer Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) sprang up in my prairie beds.


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The pond gets new fish

If you've been following along regularly you'll know that I updated the pond this spring: emptied it, made it a bit smaller, refilled. I've been waiting to add new goldfish, and the wait is finally over!


A dozen small comets were purchased and introduced to their new home last week!


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More bamboo shoots

After fighting with the driveway bamboo while building the support to help keep it upright, it's time for some bamboo love...


...and there's nothing I love more in the garden than bamboo shooting season! I've got four different Phyllostachys species shown here, all shooting at the same time. From bottom to top it's Ph. nigra, Ph. aureosulcata 'Aureocaulis', Ph. propinqua 'Beijing', and Ph. bissetii.

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Bamboo support, finished

Continuing with my permanent bamboo support project. Yesterday I got started by thinning out the grove and then sinking a few wooden posts as the backbone of the structure. The next step was to add the front posts and the crossbeams.


That sentence makes it sound so easy, but working with the leaning bamboo constantly straining against me made this a difficult task!

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Bamboo support, part 1

One of the first big bamboos I planted was Phyllostachys bissetii back in 2008. It's along the edge of the driveway in back but is also visible from the street.


I've fought with it for several years, trying various methods to keep it more upright. Part of the problem is the overhanging trees -- they make this plant lean over the driveway in the quest for more sunlight. I have started on my final solution to this problem, so let's take a look at what I've done.

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