Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Such A Joy To Be Outside

A couple days of 90 degrees and everything goes gangbusters.

Some WS'd petunias have buds on them...finally! Marigolds are growing at an unbelievable rate, after sitting at a standstill for what seems ages. The Toad Flax is blooming. (thanks Don!) It is sooo cute! The WS's crackerjack marigolds I planted in the containers by the pond are blooming. :-) The butterfly weed seeds Sissy sent are ever so slowly growing. (I don't know what I'm doing wrong with them!) And I got one Datura from the seed she sent, which surprised me - I figured I'd get none at all. It's a good foot and a half tall and bushier than anybody's business!

My husband is a genius. Of course, since we hit 90 and there's no water to do a water change in the pond - the koi spawned. ~sigh~ WHY, for pete sake, why? Not that I wouldn't be happy to see a few babies, but not when they make such a friggin mess and the ammonia skyrockets. Ugh! Anyway, D figured out how to finagle a sort of 'fry coral/playpen thingy before the big piggers could slurp all the eggs up. He slapped together some pvc pipe he had left over from the pipes bursting last winter, and I cut and sewed an old curtain into a rectangle that we slid over the frame, added some extra pieces of pipe insulation foam and voila!...a floating egg/baby fry containment system. I've got the frog spitter aimed into a corner of it for oxygen and a little water movement. Heh, the big boys aren't to happy their banquet moved to an unreachable spot. Tough! Hopefully there won't be too many hatchlings. The consensus seems to be that they do much better in the pond than they do when they're brought in to an aquarium, so we'll see. I'm really glad we figured out this setup, because no way did I want to deal with setting up an aquarium and doing water changes every day. This way, with the clean spitter water going in at one end and the ammonia exiting (pretty much everywhere), it's a constant water change.

The pepper plants are more than happy with this mini heat wave. They're turning into bushes! There are tiny toms on all the tomato plants. Only one of the zucchini seeds Kim sent germinated, but we all know what you can get from just one, so I'm happy! I guess I just had to be a bit more patient with the broccoli - the heads have gotten huge! The cabbages are coming along great, and the brussel sprout plants are hip high! Man, are they gonna be something when they start producing! The watermelon germed better than I expected, though they had a setback with the chilly weather earlier last week. And the Once In A Blue Moon pumpkin seeds Kim sent are going nuts! I can't wait to see how they do! And the cukes are really happy campers as well.

The parsley that didn't really do much last year (I'd purposely planted them for the butterflies) but has grown into a monster shrub this year and is covered with butterfly caterpillars. They've eaten most of the top 2/3, and I'm hoping they'll be enough to hold out for them. All the butterfly bushes are doing fab! The last couple days of major heat and humidity have given them a grand boost.

The inpatiens that I wintered over are really looking nice and bushy, and finally putting on a nice bloom. I grabbed a few Siberian Iris that someone had put beside the road for free, and I know where I want them to go, but I can't get them in the ground just yet - a golden finch decided to build her nest in the wild raspberry bush ouside the bathroom window and I don't want to disturb her or the babies. They're so cute! They're the only baby birds I've ever seen that don't make any noise when you come near the nest - just gawk with their mouths wide open. How funny they are. :-)

The bee balm is budding and almost ready to bloom, the nasteriums are huge and loaded with color. I think my favs are the striped yellow and orange. Ok, maybe the deep maroon. Well, I really like those pale yellow...oh, I love 'em all!

And the Moonflower vines are doing very, very well. I can't wait to see blooms!

It took me a week, yes, a week to weed between the sones in the pathway, even with DD's help. (I was absolutely shocked she wanted to!) I'd really like to fill them with something, but I don't think I've ever seen seeds for Baby Tears or Corinthian Mint. I certainly couldn't afford to buy them. That's quite a bit to cover. Besides, I've heard Baby Tears have a nasty habit of being invasive and I will soooo never plant anything that is invasive ever, ever again! Uh-uh!

Things are looking better, bushier and lovely. I spend every single spare second I can find out there and it's good to be ouside these days...even with the daily watering. But, that way I get to really see what's going on up close, enjoy the growth and the beauty, and talk sweetly to everything telling it how wonderful it looks. Shhh! My neighbors probably already think I'm nuts...