In a vase on Monday (on Tuesday)

As noted in my last post I got to spend as much time as I wanted in the garden yesterday, which ended up being five hours or so. Weeding, planting, pruning -- that last one reminded me that it's time again for that fun meme "In a Vase on Monday".

So I salvaged a few of the fresh but wayward bamboo culms that were just cut and built a vase around them. Which I'm posting a day late, again.


Monday Miscellany

I'm looking forward to spending a good few (many?) hours in the garden today, but here's a collection of tidbits from late last week. Starting with some advice to self: remember to move the agaves out from underneath the mulberry tree before the berries start dropping next year:

This is where I put them in the partial sunlight to acclimate from indoors, and I admit I was a bit lazy with them.



When all goes well, bamboo gets taller each year. In my climate (St. Louis) it's winter that is usually the deciding factor on what "went well" (although summer rainfall is a factor too).

Last winter was so mild the bamboo are all upsizing this year. The Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Aureocaulis' next to the driveway looks like it will add a couple of feet in height.


Another rescue, very different

The wildlife rescues just keep coming. Strange how I'm out in the garden about 5 minutes every day lately but there's time enough to find animals in distress. This rescue did not involve downspouts or disassembly or even a creature in apparent distress. In fact it was only chance that I happened upon it.

The house finches have finally built a nest on my porch again. They've done it for years now, raising two broods per annum but since the nest area remained clear until just a week ago, I thought they had given up on me in 2016.


Rescue surprise!

It seems every year we're rescuing some bird from a gutter downspout. Yesterday as I was putting dinner onto plates I heard that telltale scrabbling again, the sound of tiny claws on sheet metal.

So I grabbed my tools and started disassembling the downspout. This one was right next to the deck so all of it was easy to reach, even without a ladder.


Two bamboo stories

Two bamboo-related topics today, starting with the Pleioblastus shibuyanus 'Tsuboi' in the front garden. If you remember it looked like this last year, putting out tufts of foliage on top of taller-than-I-wanted culms:

Then at the end of March I decided what to do about this and did some radical pruning.


Friday Miscellany

After the loss of the duckling and a busy weekend coming up, all I can muster is a random collection today.

Starting with these hosta. Some of my first planted I often wondered if they were too close together. Now that I see how they combine, I'm glad I didn't give them more space!


It takes a village

My neighbors and I have combined to bring a duckling into the world, and more importantly, into my pond!

I've posted about the ducks before, how they hang out in my pond but then walk across the street to my neighbor's bird feeder. The deer and squirrels spill the seed and the ducks benefit. Another neighbor texted me about three weeks ago saying that ducks were building a nest in one of his planter boxes. One with a pond, one with the food, one with the nesting site.



Something exciting is about to happen in my garden if all goes to plan.

Everybody can feel it.


Rhubarb and other reasons

I've been a bit lax in my posting lately, sometimes skipping a day, others just putting the minimum amount of effort into it. I thought I'd explain the reason for this to you today...'s rhubarb! Well, not just rhubarb, but apples, strawberries, and other wonderful from-the-garden stuffs.


Big project gets small

Of the many projects that are on "my list" this spring, there's one that I've been putting off because it just seemed like it was going to be such a lot of work. On Friday though I had a little free time and a burst of energy in the chilly sunshine made me jump in.

It's this planter box under the deck. I redid it a few years back but the arrow bamboo Pseudosasa japonica never did what I wanted it to here. It's been flowering and not looking great, but I keep giving it "one more year" -- until now. Well last fall actually, which is when I made the decision on what to do here.


Prickly growth

A look at some prickly new growth.

Few words today. Opuntia 'Dark Night' wakes up.


Late Emergence

Even though most plants are ahead of schedule this year due to our early warm weather here in St. Louis, a few of my plants have emerged late.

The cannas and colocasia have all been slow to show themselves this year.


Two beauties

A quick look at two of springtime's beauties in my garden, one just peaking, the other slightly past its prime.

The honeysuckle vine, permanently entwined with the basketball hoop pole is about as dramatic as anything else I grow when in bloom. The ninebark with its dark foliage I think of as more subdued, but maybe that's not the case. It's certainly making an impact right now!


In a vase on Monday, on Tuesday

I've been following a fun garden blog meme closely for the past several months, enjoying the creations that friends Loree and Peter have been creating every week. It's called In a Vase on Monday and is brought to you by Rambling in the Garden. Every Monday I see some of the wonderful vases that my friends put together and show us, and every week I think "I'm going to do that next week". Then I forget and the next Monday's posts remind me again. Sigh.

This week though Loree wrote something in her post that inspired me. She said something like "I'll be pruning anyway, so why not bring the cuttings inside the house?" That made the light bulb go on over my head and got me outside. It's not that I have lots of prunings to contribute to a vase, but I do have an incredible amount of weeding to do. Why not use my weedings (probably not a word) in a vase?


An Early Hatching

Every fall and winter I collect mantis egg cases that I find in the garden, put them into a jar in the refrigerator, then take the jar out of the fridge once warm temps arrive in the spring. The baby mantises seem to always emerge in the first week or two of June -- on Father's Day most years, which is a little strange.

This year though since things warmed up early, I must have taken the jars out sooner than usual. The mantises started emerging last night!


Stinky but Pretty

The Amorphophallus konjac are blooming, which means I say "wonder what died?" every time I walk around near the deck.

The blooms are stinky, like death, decaying meat. Pretty though.


Little Surprises

Around the St. Louis area, there's not a garden plant that seems as reliable, hardy, even indestructible as Yucca filamentosa. Slowly spreading, tolerating some shade, happily growing in our clay soils, never needing extra water, deer, rabbit, and woodchuck tolerant -- these plants always look good.

Except mine doesn't. I noticed this spring that it's been looking a bit tired and yellow. The other day I took a closer look and realized what the problem was.


Wednesday Vignette: Bashful

Today's Vignette is brought to you by Anna at Flutter and Hum.

My Allium christophii, newly planted last autumn, are starting to bloom. Slowly, bashfully peeking out just a couple of "stars" at first, unsure what they'll find in their new home.


Looking good

No time for more than a quick look at a few views of my garden that are looking good despite my lack of effort this spring.

Starting with this little vignette from the walkway garden. That ribbon grass (Phalaris arundinacea I think) was a good addition to the pot this year, don't you agree?


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