Friday, February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010

Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) is in full bloom, Daphne 'odora' has been in bloom for a couple of weeks and of course the Winter Honeysuckle has been in full bloom since January. It really attracts the Hummingbirds. On Wednesday I came home from work and went out to the Greenhouse to plant seed trays. I planted a whole flat of the Safari Red Marigold's that we plant in the Mickey Garden in the front yard, planted a whole flat of Leeks, an eight pack each of two types of Cucumbers and a flat of Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes.

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 21, 2010

Paphiopedilum "macabre"

Had a very productive day in the garden. The first order of business was to get the Wisteria pruned, Wisteria sinensis "Cook's Special". It really is fun to get that all pruned and in shape for the start of bloom season.

This particular specimen blooms about three times between the heavy bloom in the spring and then two more light blooms in the early summer and mid summer.
First bloom of Spring 2009

Did a major water change on the fish pond, it will take several days to top it off. I planted some onion seed the Ed Hume variety of white bunching green onions. Then I cleaned up the rose bed and discovered that I already have the rose we just ordered so am changing the order to Mr. Lincoln which is a nice red. Have a couple of new orchids blooming in the greenhouse, the first one is a Paphiopidelum and the other is an Odontiglossum that someone gave me so I don't have the variety name but it is a very nice deep yellow with burgundy spots.

Monday, February 8, 2010

February Garden Checklist

Roses - Prune about 1/3 toward the end of the month.

Sweet Peas - Plant by Feb. 28th, If too cold then plant first week in March. Dig soil deep and add lime to sweeten soil. Soak seeds for 24 hours before planting.

Fruit Trees - Spray with dormant spray.

Vegetables - Plant peas the first or second week

Ornamental Grasses - First or second week is the time to prune all grasses.

Caryopteris (Blue Beard) - Prune each branch back to a strong bud, about 6 to 8 inches. If winter killed to ground remove dead stalks in early spring. These plants bloom on new growth.

Orchids - Liquid iron on all orchids.

Fushia - Cut the plants back to about an inch from the rim of the pots and repot with commercial potting mix. Add a spoonful of super phosphate or bonemeal in the bottom of the pot where the roots won't touch.

Pond - Water change.

Rhodies - Fertilize the last week of the month with Rhoda-Bloom (before the buds swell).

Wisteria - The best time to prune wisteria is during the winter dormant season months of February and March. They should be pruned back to about 6 leaf buds from where the growth started the previous year. Thin out crisscrossing vines and they will flower better. If new growth gets too robust, simply pinch it back as it develops.

Bee's - This is time to puchase Mason Bee's keep in fridge until end of March or untill trees start to open flowers.

February 7, 2010

Had a couple of hours to myself Sunday so did a little garden work. It was beautiful out overcast but dry so was a perfect day to transplant the roses that I had mixed into a perennial bed in the back yard, I moved them out to the front yard were I have all my other roses. Then I decided to dig the veggie garden and I mixed in a generous amount of perlite into the garden and dug that in real well to help loosen the soil, I am bound and determined to get some sizable carrots this year and was told they do better in loose soil. Closer to planting time I will add the contents of my two compost bins and the worm farm as well.
In the greenhouse I had a potted gift chrysanthemum that wasn't looking too good so I made cuttings and planted them into peat pots. The larger pots are the remains of my Dahlia tubers, the rest all turned to mush after the early snow that surprised us Oregon gardeners, so I thought I would see if these start to grow and then when time permits I will transfer to the garden. The bottom picture shows the two new Blue berries I planted called "Pink Lemonade". I was told they are very sweet tasting and are bright pink. The center plant is a climbing rose.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Manor's gone all fishy

Even my homing pigeons like the pond

Checking out their new digs
I glued a gate made from pond fabrick in the passegway under the foot bridge that connects the two ponds

Construction of the pond addition

Standing in the old pond and removing rock in preparation of the expansion project.
This little project got underway when Mema went on a "Chick Vacation" with some of co-workers. They spent nine days in Hawaii which was more then enough time for me to complete this project. The pond I am standing in was the original pond which I felt was just not big enough for my beautiful Koi fish.

When you are an avid gardener living in the City you learn to make use of every available space. This is my espaliered orchard in a very narrow bed that runs along the drive. I have four Apples and on Italian Plum

February 4, 2010

Last years garden

Planted in November my Hood River Garlic is right on schedule. This time I planted the garlic in a bed of its own, as last year I planted them in my tomato garden and very nearly didn't have tomatoes because the harvesting of the garlic overlapped the planting of the tomatoes. The result was way to much garlic and very late and few tomatoes.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

History of our Redwood

Kids and Redwood growing up together

Left to right
Nathan 2+ yrs. Mema and Ian 1+ yrs. Posing in front of the newly planted Redwood.

Sequiadendron giganteum
Planted on 4/15/1982, three days before Ian's first birthday.

February 3, 2010

This Cymbidium stays in the greenhouse because of its size. When it blooms I cut the stocks and Mema puts them in a vase. As cut flowers they last about a month in bloom.

Twenty+ years ago when my grandfather passed away my grandmother asked if I wouldn't mind taking responsibility of his geraniums, of course I said yes. Every year my grandfather would start cuttings of this one particular pink geranium that was his favorite then in the spring he would plant them in the front garden at their church and by summer they would have the most beautiful display of geranium flowers planted at the base of the churches sign. I helped him with the whole process for the last two years before his death. So every year after I would dig them in the fall make cuttings in the spring and then plant them in my own garden, fill large pots, give some to any relatives that wanted a memento of grandpa. Over the years I have always run into a few hard winters that worried the survival of the stored geraniums but always came through with plenty of plants to make spring cuttings. This year has been the hardest, the cold snap hit fast and caught me off guard. As you can see in the photo all I have is one lone cutting and the rest are dead stocks. I moved all the pots of dead into the greenhouse hoping that there will be some growth come out of the base of some of the plants.

Mema's "Ladies" supervising my garden chores
Left to right are Hazel (Americana), Tammy (Silver Laced Wyandotte), Tillie (Black Australorp)and GiGi (Mottled Houdan)

Lonicera 'Winter Beauty', I love this winter blooming Honeysuckle. It started blooming in January but this month it is covered in flowers and bees. The fragrance is intoxicating.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A New Resident at Menagerie Manor

While attending a bird show I shot this photo of a Waterslager Canary and sent it to Mema for her approval. I purchased him and four Parakeets. Mema named him Ray, he fills the Sunroom with song. And the Keet's are outside in the aviary.

Gunnera Manicata, this shot was taken last summer. I am very proud of this plant and the fact that I have been able to get this beauty to survive for the last three years. Every winter after it dies down to the ground I wonder if it will return in the spring. As of this posting it is a withered pile of debris just waiting for Spring to work its magic. I have had two others that did not make it through the year, either losing them to winter cold or summer heat. This one however seems to thrive. When I brought it home I first dug a hole two times the depth of the root ball and at the bottom of the whole I laid a sheet of pond liner in a bowl shape and then punched two smallish holes in the fabric. Then I filled in with enough soil to bring the plant to the desired height and finished planting it. After that I let water run slowly until the ground was a pool of water. The fabric at the bottom seemed to work well allowing the water to drain but kept enough moisture bellow the root ball.....Success!
Also I should mention it gets full afternoon sun. It is hugging the Keet's aviary, I am hoping that some day it will dwarf the aviary.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1, 2010

Last week after the care center sent GPa J. to Providence Hospital we went over to see him, he was completely Manic and laid there repeating "one" over and over until we just couldn't take it anymore. As we got ready to leave the nurse gave Mema a paper sack with the soiled cloths that he wore over and asked if she could wash them for when and if he goes back to the care center. Saturday while I was getting us some coffee and breakfast ready for the two of us I heard her say "oh no not my new dryer". I went down to the laundry to see what the problem was and found her sitting in front of the dryer crying. Evidently GPa J. loaded a bunch of crayons in his pockets before leaving the care center. They are now all melted and covering the wall of the dryer drum not to mention all over the pants and other clothes that were in the dryer.
Yesterday we went out and purchased some "Soft Scrub" and with some elbow grease it seems to take it off pretty well, it is just going to take some time to remove it all.
We stopped at the kids house to visit them and the "Little Terrorist #1" and see the pretty new pink cast she got on her leg after she fell at Day Care and broke her leg. That happened on the same day that GPa J. was taken to the Hospital. We ate lunch with them and then headed to Providence to check on GPa J. He is now unable to feed himself but at least he is not ranting anymore and seems pretty calm. I fed him his lunch for about an hour before we had to leave. We returned to Menagerie Manor and made Taco's for supper because N and G came over bringing Little Terrorist #2 with. They stayed long enough for supper and bath for the Terrorist. After they left I made Mema and I a couple of drinks and we retired to the theatre to watch some recording that we never got to see before we were both asleep in our chairs.

January 30, 2010 Cymbidium "Kenny Takaki"

This is the first time this Cymbidium has bloomed for me, and bloom it did, there are three flower spikes on this plant. Daughter-in-law Jill's mother gave it to me at least four years ago, that greenhouse really is doing great things for my orchids.
While listening to the "Garden Dr." we heard him talk about a new Blueberry plant that just came available "Pink Lemonade", So we hurried down the corner to the nursery and purchased one. Dave told us we were the first customers to buy one, pays to have a nursery bordering your back yard. Dave said they have pink berries and taste wonderful.