Eastern Red Bat

I usually avoid putting spoilers into my post titles, but since I post so infrequently these days I thought I'd get right to the point. A couple of weeks ago I was doing some winter damage assessment on the bamboos, and was taking a close look at this completely fried Phyllostachys dulcis:

Not a pretty sight with all of that brown, but I wanted to know if any of those culms were going to leaf out again.


Nine-year anniversary: best of INWIG 2018

According to Blogger I made my first blog post on March 5, 2010 which means today is my nine-year anniversary!  One of the main reasons for creating this blog was so I'd document everything I did in the garden, and although I've slowed way down over the past year with less frequent posts, I've still captured some important moments. Hopefully I have still given some entertainment and knowledge to you, my readers over the past year. (Or several years if you've been reading for a while or went back to discover older posts).

Today, as I've done every March 5 since I started, I'm going to take a look back over the past year and list my favorite posts in chronological order. If you haven't seen them before please take a look. If you have seen them already, then take another look -- it's still fun! I did this type of post on my previous anniversaries too, and I really like the way they turned out. See them all here.


Bamboo Chop!

I've been contemplating a drastic chop of one of my bamboos for several months. Since cutting a large, established plant to the ground is an emotionally difficult thing to do -- probably physically difficult too actually -- I debated for a long while.

I decided just after returning from Scotland in January that I would definitely do it, and since it's one of the first bamboos to shoot I knew I wouldn't have too much time to make it happen. On Thursday 21 Feb the weather forecast was favorable, so I got the loppers out, layered up, and headed out to do some gardening for the first time in months. First though, a warmup project: these broken culms.



On January 30th, the high here was 8ºF (-13ºC). When you have the only unfrozen water source around -- compliments of a birdbath heater -- you get to see some interesting things when it's very cold. For instance, I happened to notice an Eastern Bluebird that afternoon.

Not only that, but I saw his mate too! (Good thing I left that grate nearby -- it makes a nice perch!)


I'd like to tell you...

Although I haven't been writing many posts lately, I still look at the garden and the natural world outside through my blogging eye, always thinking "I should do a post about this...". I've been collecting those thoughts, often with a single photo, many times only using the camera that's always in my pocket (my phone camera). So that's what I have for you today, a collection of shareable tidbits...

...starting with a surprise bloom! This is the Hibiscus acetosella (Hibiscus 'Mahogony Splendor'), and its "inconspicuous bloom" -- as the tag says. Deep ruby red, lasting just a day -- at least that's how it was when one of the several cuttings I have rooted decided to push out a couple of blooms in mid-January. It never hinted at blooming outdoors.


Mild winter. Is it?

We've had quite a mild winter, with our coldest days coming very early -- in mid-November. Temperatures have been in the 40's F (5ºC) for most of the winter, or even warmer. We've had plenty of moisture too, mainly in the form of rain.

"Mild" can change to "wild" quite quickly though, as a high temp of 66ºF (19ºC) was followed later in the week by 10" (25cm) or more of snow.


Nothing. Well, almost nothing

"Nothing" is what's been going on in my garden. Or is it what I've done as far as winterizing goes? Or does it refer to this blog, and what's happening here?

It's a mix of all three I'm afraid, as I've done so little outside over the past several months. As the time I have available for gardening has diminished, so has the desire to write about the garden.


Something not quite right?

I haven't been out in the garden too much lately, but as I walked by this bamboo patch I realized something wasn't quite right.

Can you spot what caught my eye?


Too much?

I always let some "weeds" grow in my yard and garden, and one of the best -- especially for late-season blooms -- is, well, I've forgotten what it is. I think it's Late Boneset (Eupatorium serotinum) but it could be White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima).

Whatever it is, it provides pollinators with early autumn flowers, and I like seeing all of that white out there. I think this year I went a little overboard with it though.


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