Miscellany

Another day with some random garden observations, thoughts, and photos. I haven't done this for a while, but it's time. Starting with a little harvest of Maypop and Mexican sour gherkins:


Harvests have been minimal in the garden the last month, so I'm eager to show even a small bowl of fruits. It's been a discouraging and tiring summer, but we had an amazing occurrence yesterday: it rained twice! Heavy storms in the morning, then heavy storms in the evening. It's amazing how some rain will not only perk up all of the plants, but the gardener who tends them too.


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Because of the heat and drought I've got several badly-burned plants, but I'm most concerned about this fernspray cypress:


It usually comes through summer with minimal browning, and only loses a small amount of greenery after a tough winter. I'd show you a wide shot of the entire tree but it depresses me. See all the brown in the blurry background? Yeah, not nice.

This amount of leaf (needle?) loss is not normal in summer.  On the bright side, it's going to reveal more of the branching structure of the plant, right?



Speaking of structure, I just love the way the Datura inoxia plants grow:


They form almost a "table" of soft bluish-grey greenery. One of the best "weed" plants in my garden (and I've got a half-dozen of them growing this year, not only in the driveway cracks like last year).



A weird Zinnia bloom, can't make up its mind on what color it is:




My potted bamboos in the front yard are looking fantastic!



Remember when I planted them last year? This is what they looked like just a year ago:

The same pots in 2011


I did another bamboo project in October 2010, when I took divisions from one planting and put them under a tree in the back. Remember that post? Well, the parent planting has fully recovered, and is looking great:


The new patch doesn't look new anymore either:


Filled out quite nicely, didn't they? This is what they looked like when planted in 2010:


I had to take a wider shot in the current photo, as the patch not only has filled in, but has expanded a bit too. It's quite beautiful!



I'm never good at removing Cleome seed pods, but since I have such a large patch of these this year it's really an impossible task anyway:


So there are hundreds (or thousands) of scattered seeds already, and I'm ensured another year of masses of these spidery blooms.



The woodchuck that lives behind my neighbor's yard has pretty much stayed in my neighbor's yard all summer, giving me only rare glimpses:


I've seen it a few times in my yard, but haven't noticed any exceptional damage. (This photo was taken through a window screen, which gives it a softer, gentler feel. This is not indicative of my feelings toward woodchucks.)



I know this hot, dry summer has been bad on some insects (like Japanese beetles, which barely made an appearance this year), but I wonder how the mantises have fared?


I haven't been seeing very many of them this year -- this was the first in a long time -- but that could be because I didn't spend too much time bug hunting in the 100-degree heat. Once it starts cooling off a little I expect I'll find more of these. I did release a few dozen this year, and there must have been some wild ones that hatched too.


That's the end of my random ramblings for a while. Back to focused posts tomorrow!

(Incidentally, this is why garden projects take so long for me. I spend a minute or two looking at a bamboo, then the pond, then some bugs, then some flowers -- next thing you know it's been 30 minutes and the project hasn't even started yet. That's the kind of garden I've always wanted though, so I'm not complaining!)

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GrowingHabit –   – (August 6, 2012 at 11:14 AM)  

That has to be one of the best mantis photographs I've ever laid eyes on. What a treat for me! What a talented shot from you!

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening!  – (August 6, 2012 at 11:37 AM)  

Thanks GrowingHabit! RIght place, right time, you know?

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