Friday Miscellany

This is becoming a regular thing, where I use Friday to collect all of the week's tidbits and roll them into one scrumptious post. Well, I can't guarantee the scrumptious part, but this is certainly a random collection! Starting with the ducks...

...who are a mixed blessing. Yes, it's great seeing them swimming around the pond -- and on top of the house as in the case with this photo -- but they really tear things up there. It seemed like the female was feeding on fish eggs too, as they were spawning this week and she was filtering with her bill, poking it around the shallows where the fish were. I think I'll have to give them a few more months before I make a decision on whether or not I like having them here!


One thing I do love is the snake of course, and I saw him again the other day:

Almost stepped on him actually! (I don't know its sex either, but it seems like a "him")

Another thing I love are the native wildflowers I planted under the maple in the front, the virginia bluebells...

...and celandine poppy:

So nice, and so nice together (with the 'Peewee' oakleaf hydrangea between)...

...even though they haven't yet started spreading. I'm going to stay patient and not give in to the temptation to buy more of each, at least this year.

My potted Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra) is looking fantastic this year:

So happy in this spot, better than the ones that are in the clay soil and get less sun near the driveway. Also the deer have not chomped this yet, which may be due to the "temporary" screen that I leaned there:

This was the cover that kept part of my nearby cactus bed dry this winter. I've also been spraying the plant with liquid fence which may be helping. I may put up a better screen today, as I'll be so mad if they chomp the now-forming flower stalks like they did last year!

Moving on to other plants that are doing "well"...

I've forgotten how gravel is the favorite place for seedlings. Here perilla and persicaria are taking over:

I need to get the flame weeder out I think.

Finally, a switch from plants that are doing well to some that are not:

I planted two chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata) late last summer, and both of them died over the winter. The one actually had new basal foliage in March but then it died. So disappointing! I don't know if any of the seedlings around here are from this plant, as I sprinkled a few packets of poppies around here so don't really know what's happening.

Another plant that is not doing well is my cape honeysuckle:

What happened to it? I removed it! This thing was too much of a monster and would never flower in this climate so I decided it should go. I replaced it with annual hyacinth bean instead:

There are a few suckers still around...

...but the bulk of the plant has not yet returned. I'll have to stay on top of it.

That's it for this week. I don't know about you but I have so much to do in the garden it's a bit overwhelming. Too little time is the problem I think...


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (April 22, 2016 at 11:19 AM)  

That cape honeysuckle! You've proven that it's much hardier than previously thought and that it's hard to get rid of. I'm still fighting it after 10 years. MAybe I should just give in and let it do what it wants? It would probably flower then. As it is, my attempts to remove it force it to spend all its energy on growing more shoots.

Renee  – (April 22, 2016 at 11:19 AM)  

Does the flame weeder actually work well? And what does it look like once you're done? Inquiring minds want to know... Because my gravel has too many weeds also!

Alan  – (April 22, 2016 at 11:36 AM)  

Gerhard: that stuff is still growing in 2 cracks in my driveway where its roots escaped from a couple of small pots. The main plant I reluctantly went nuclear with and brushed concentrated Roundup on the stumps after cutting.

Renee: it does for seedlings! The leaves dry up and are gone within a few days. Note that I just use a small propane torch -- I don't actually have one of the weeded attachments. That would probably be overkill for a small area like this. :)

Lisa  – (April 22, 2016 at 8:36 PM)  

I'll be curious to see how you end up feeling about our ducks. I know a few pond owners who have them and some love them... others not so much. They add a certain something to the scenery, but they can also be destructive and dirty.

And I share your "so much to do, so little time" sentiment. We're going to have a beautiful weekend here and I find myself with a full calendar! My hands are itching to get dirty!

Hoover Boo  – (April 23, 2016 at 4:09 PM)  

It's very satisfying to see Tecoma capensis not taking over a garden. Good job! ;^)

Charlie@Seattle Trekker  – (April 24, 2016 at 12:09 AM)  

I love the rich, gorgeous color of your garden blooms.

Anna K  – (April 24, 2016 at 1:41 AM)  

Overwhelming is right! Every year, I get farther and farther behind. As far as deer repellents go, I have heard great things about a product called Plantskydd. From another blogger, I also learned about something called Milorganite, which can be had from Lowe's. I have never seen a deer in my garden, so I haven't had a reason to try either, but I figured I'd mention them to you in case Liquid Fence doesn't work. My removed wisteria is doing the same thing your cape honeysuckle is - it's like an energizer bunny. Just keeps going and going... sigh!

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