Garden Report: October 20

I've spent most of the last two weekends planting bulbs, and after today I am almost done.

A hundred ipheion

The main culprits for the delay are the tiny bulbs, which look so easy to plant but require digging a thousand holes or so all over the place. The last tiny bulbs left to plant are the ipheion, which I'm planting in the lawn (autocorrect thinks "ipheion" ought to be iPhone, amusingly enough; I did not plant 150 iPhones in the lawn), and the bluebells, to go under the buddleia. Both of these are just tedious jobs and I didn't get them done today.

I did plant 100 ranunculus corms, which may or may not pan out in the spring since ranunculus just seem to be like that, and also I was kind of getting tired of planting bulbs at that point.

The deck beds absorbing water

The other thing I did in the garden today was slowly water the deck beds, where I planted a bunch of bulbs last week and some more plants this week. The beds are so dry that they have turned hydrophobic, which is to day that when I water them the water beads up on the surface and rolls off, sometimes taking some of the soil with it. We're going to get some rain next week, it seems, so I decided to start soaking this bed so it doesn't turn into a disaster under a rain shower. Also, I want to get more plants into it since I have them sitting around in pots waiting to be put in the ground.

The way to get some water in it is to spray a fine layer of water over the bed, wait for it to soak in, then repeat every 15 minutes for, say, an entire day. This is dull work but goes well with generally working in the garden.

Anyway, let me show you some plants.

Passiflora full of fruit

Yet another person told me recently that a fruiting passiflora is a rare thing, and one that fruits like my 'Frederick' is something just this side of a miracle. I've only got the one passiflora, and I bought it as a variety that is supposed to fruit a lot, and it fruits a lot, so while I love it, I've never been particularly impressed by all the passionfruit we get. Maybe I need to appreciate Freddy a little more.

Passionfruit

Speaking of which, the fruit started to ripen this week.

Concrete chunks dug out of a hole

The concrete behind those fruits is part of this: a pile of concrete chunks I dug out of the ground over the last week. I was digging to plant daffodils and hit a piece of concrete, so I dug it out, then there was another piece under it, and then I had this pile all of a sudden.

We'd kind of been mulling over a dump run, anyway.

Gomphrena decumbens going nutso

Out front, the big show is Gomphrena decumbens, aka "Airy Bachelor Buttons," which is sort of taking over a corner of the front beds.

Gomphrena decumbens

It's a really impressive plant, lovely to look at. It might just be planted in the wrong spot, but I'm sure I can move it somewhere appropriate.

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

This plant was kind of a surprise to me. It is Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, and it was part of a small selection of groundcovers I ordered from High Country Gardens last spring. The rest of them got weeded out by accident during the big garden cleanup, and I assumed this was also gone, but over the summer it "leaped" and it's been a pretty decent plant since then. Not too showy, but nice foliage and very pretty flowers.

The swath

Planting in the swath is coming along nicely, as well. Please ignore the piles of weedy oxalis in front, and note that the hummingbird sage has finally taken hold and is going gangbusters, and the pair of Calandrinia spectabilis along the neighbors' walkway have been blooming like mad.

Blue groundcover

This is a casualty of the tag-removal fairies (aka, the former gardeners). It's a nice little plant, but might be in the wrong spot (this is kind of a theme right now in the garden) because it is a lot lower than everything around it. I might move it toward the front of the bed if it gets silly with the towering plants.

Calandrinia spectabilis

And the Calandrinia spectabilis. When the neighbors told me they liked succulents, I knew immediately I had to plant this. It is succulent and insane and wonderful and also easily one of the least destructible plants I've ever encountered. This photo is mostly one of the two plants I put in this year.

Mr Tom napping

And not a plant, but this is our latest stray cat in the front yard. I call him Mr Tom, and he doesn't seem to badly fed so I assume he belongs to somebody and just sleeps in my garden because he's a cat, and cats sleep wherever. He does poop all over everything like a little jerk, so clearly he thinks this place is his.

Volunteer sweet pea

And last, I bought three clematis in the spring and planted them around the yard, and they all look like the one in this photo that you can barely see because it is tiny and sad behind that decorative fire grate. I hope next year they grow a little more; spring is a bad time to plant anything here, anyway. But out of nowhere another sweet pea grew up and is taking over climbing duties while the clematis gets its footing.

Noel spent most of the day today cleaning the upstairs hall, since we'd decided to make a dump run. He did lots of little tasks that don't photograph particularly well. But last week we both spent some time and rearranged the post-it wall:

The post-it wall

And as of today we (I) have decided on a waterproofing system and drain configuration for the upstairs bathroom, so it is full speed ahead, sort of. First up is closing in the hallway.

posted by ayse on 10/20/12

2 Comments

What are those garden dividers in the second photo? At first I thought they were flat ovals, but they seem to have some inner structure...

When I'm planting bulbs in a garden, i.e., not in the lawn, if the area is fairly small, I shovel it out, toss in the bulbs, and then shovel the dirt back in over them. I don't worry too much about the bulbs not being perfectly vertical.

Mr. Tom is magnificent.

Those are retaining wall blocks, super useful for making raised beds if you want to be able to plant into them. You can kind of see them along the wall there waiting to be filled with soil. I wrote about them here.

My problem with the bulbs has been that I'm planting them around a lot of other plants, so it's a lot of small holes rather than one nice big one. Also, we've been doing some work on the irrigation controller so the soil is super dry right now and as hard as concrete.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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