Sunday morning catching up

Every once in a while I collect all of the photos and snippets that never warranted a full post and combine them into one hodgepodge post. Here's the latest! I'll start with this photo of something that most bamboo growers hope never to see:

It's a bamboo "flower" on my Phylostachys glauca 'Yunzhu'. Bamboo very rarely flowers -- it can take 20 - 100 years or more for a species to flower -- but often when it does the plant dies after setting seed. Not always, but often.


When a species or variety starts flowering, it will usually happen to every plant (worldwide) in that species over a period of a few years. For instance, a month or so ago I read on the Bambooweb forums that a grower in California saw his glauca 'Yunzhu' flowering on a few culms, and now mine is. Somehow this flowering "clock" is genetically wired into the plant.

It looks like only a few smaller culms have the flowers this year. It may be that over the next couple of years my plant will flower more heavily, then decline and die, or it may stop flowering. It also may recover -- I'll just have to wait and see.

Speaking of bamboo, what's not to love about a plant that looks like this?

Remember those big bamboo divisions I dug from Michael's garden? I recently gave one of those plants to friends of mine who are in desperate need for some shade and privacy in their backyard:

We're still figuring the best way to plant and contain this, but they already love having this plant there! Besides giving them some late afternoon shade on the deck, it also gives them something green to look at out the kitchen window. I'll document this planting project when we tackle it sometime in the next month or so.

One morning recently this red-headed bush cricket was perfectly spotlighted by the early morning sunlight:

I like how the bamboo leaves have woven themselves together there.

That's all of the bamboo-related stuff I have for today. How about... mint!

This peppermint is overrunning its bounds again, so needs to be cut back:

I usually cut this back pretty severely, further than I think looks good. This is such a fast grower that soon it will be back to the point where I wanted it in the first place, and then a couple of weeks later I'll need to cut it back again.

Best thing about this task is I'm super-minty smelling for the rest of the morning.

Ok, the last thing I want to look at is this bed that I cleared out about a month ago:

At the time I didn't know what to plant here, and was concerned that the purple coneflowers would soon by eaten by deer, now that they're unprotected and exposed for easy browsing.

I was wrong about them being eaten! Here's a recent photo:

They were completely unprotected for a couple of weeks before I picked up some bargain plants to fill in the bed:

I planted a couple of different types of annual salvia there.

Not only do I love salvias, but their strong-smelling leaves (smells a bit like cat urine to me) will hopefully further deter the deer. I'll need to take a closer look at the salvias in my yard in another post.

I almost forgot: one last topic for today:

MoleMeter 2010 mole capture count: 12

This guy was really plowing up the area back behind my veggie garden, and I'm glad I finally caught him.

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