Thursday, July 31, 2008

Almost a Friday Problem

This was almost a Friday problem from my mom's garden. On Sunday, I was taking cuttings from her garden and came across this plant. I asked her what it was and she did not know so we were going to let it be a Friday Problem.

I secretly (well not anymore) thought it could have been a blackberry lily that I wanted her to buy at the Hennepin Tech Plant Sale with us two years ago. It must have not flowered last year and mom forgot about it. I do remember planting it about four feet from where it is now. Did it move? There also should be a tag somewhere around it, but anyways, it turns out it is just that, a blackberry lily.

Mom's gardens are mostly border gardens. She has a good variety of plants. They are well established, which means they are good for cutting and dividing! :) In other words a good source of plants for me! It is a good thing she does not mind sharing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The plums are finally ripe. We have quite a few on the tree. Some have small holes where a bug has crawled in, but most seem alright.
Now I have to figure out what to make, does anyone have any good recipes. Maybe I will try plum jelly. Here is a picture after I have picked over the ripe plums. There are still several left.

This is the twisted crooked tree they came from. I can almost reach the plums at the top. The trees branches and trunk are in no condition to stand on so I might have to bring the ladder down to get a few more. I still need to find a pole for my apple grabber.

I just found a picture of the tree in this spring. It was covered in blossoms then.

As seen in the picture some of the fruit have brown rot. We need to keep an eye on this and remove all effected areas especially the ones that have fallen. Although the deer will probably eat those.

While I was picking these the chickens came to check out what I was doing. I fed them plums that had fallen and they went crazy over them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monster zucchini

This weekend, Thorny Guy and I went to a cabin in WI for a little rest and relaxation. We had a great time!... the fish were biting, the beer was cold, lots of good food and great company. Most importantly there was no weeding to be done.
Before we left, we picked the peas, beans, yellow squash, and zucchini and bought it with us for dinner. With three days of not harvesting our garden had exploded. Sunday night bounty was enormous. We had a bowl of peas, two bowls of beans, two huge zucchini, a couple yellow squash, and our first cucumbers.

Over the weekend, the corn also began tasseling. We have the beginning of several butternut squash. A row of sunflowers also have buds. Summer in the garden is flying by fast.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Super Coop

The coop is slowly coming along. All of the walls are up and the frames for the nest boxes are built. The wiring is done, complete with a bathroom vent fan so those chickens don't get stuffy! Electrical outlets were installed so a water heater could easily be plugged in. Next will be putting in insulation and finally put up the walls. It's much less of a coop and more of a chicken luxury condo.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Golden Tears Bleeding Heart

In the spring we went to Jungs in Wisconsin. They had a section of unique seeds. Thorny guy bought a bleeding heart vine, and I bought a primrose. Thorny Guy planted about 10 of his seeds in the spring and one came up. It found a permanent home near the deck and now has started to flower. Here is a description:

A unique golden 'bleeding heart' vine preferring light but not midday sun. A frost hardy perennial in zones 5-9. Can grow up to 10 feet in one growing season. Native to Asia.

Dicentra scandens

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Problem: Clematis

We are back to identifying varieties, this time a clematis. In the spring we cut it back and it has taken off. Now it is full of blooms.

I like it so much that I am trying to propagate it with a layering method. I just tore off the leaves and stuck the vine under the dirt in these containers. Hopefully it will root. It would be nice to know the variety when I passed them along to friends. In fact if you identify it and want a plant (if I can get it to root), it is yours!

UPDATE: I think I found it!
Clematis 'Comtesse de Bouchaud'
Zones 4-11, grows 8 to 13 feet
Francisque Morel, France, 1903. AGM. Comtesse has pinkish mauve 4-6" flowers. Hardy, floriferous and compact, this selection is well suited to scramble around in a perennial border or grow it on a traditional trellis. Pruning: 3

Thursday, July 24, 2008


This year I purchased several ferns to put in a woodland garden. However they all seem to be dead or dying. I thought ferns were hard to kill. Above is a fern that the previous owner planted. I am keeping an eye on it to harvest the spores and try propagating it. Has anyone else has success doing this? Maybe it is too ambitious since I could not even keep transplants alive.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Our onions are doing very well. See how big they are? We will double or triple our onion area next year just because they are so easy to grow and almost need zero care. As you can see we have not weeded since they were planted.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blooms around the Deck

I just had enough time this morning to snap a couple of blooms around the deck. The hostas are starting to flower along with the first dahlia 'Jewel Red' that Thorny Guy picked out. The clematis is starting to flower, it looks like it will be covered in flowers until fall again.

Clematis 'unknown'

Dahlia 'Jewel Red'

Monday, July 21, 2008

Filling out

It is amazing how plants fill out. Here is the before picture after planting six begonias in my pot. The next shows how full they have gotten. I think I am going to try and over-winter these as an experiment.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saving Columbine Seeds

This columbine has set seeds so I picked all the pods, left them to dry, and finally picked the seeds out. I must have over 500 from this one plant. We shall see if they grow come next spring. I am not sure yet whether I am going to sow these in a cold frame in the fall or stratify in the refrigerator over winter.

However there is another issue with this columbine ...leaf miners.
Aquilegia sp. (Columbine) gets several foliar diseases but one of the most common problems is a serpentine type leaf miner (leaves light tan wiggly lines through leaves). Insecticides may help but they are not necessary since this insect is not fatal to the plant - just an aesthetic problem mostly.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Problem Summary

Perhaps Snowberry Symphoricarpos albus
6/27 Orange Honeysuckle
7/04 Larkspur - Solved by Joy.
Perhaps Belladonna Larkspur 'Delft Blue'.
7/11 Achillea ptarmica "The Pearl"
7/11 Weed 2 Rock Cress - Solved by Rose
Thony Guy thinks this is Hoary Alyssum, Berteroa incana (L.) DC. not Rock Cress
7/11 Bug 1 Spittle Bugs - Solved by Jan
7/18 Day Lily Varieties UNKNOWN
7/25 Clematis 'Comtesse de Bouchaud'
8/1 UNKNOWN Shrub
8/8 Juniper - Solved by Jamie
Variety unknown perhaps Rocky Mountain Juniper or Common Juniper.

I opened the comment posting up to everyone! So you can post now unless I get spammed then it will go back to only gmail and blogs.

Friday Problem

We have many Day Lilies whose variety I do not know. They were all passed along, moved from MD, or already here at the house. So that is todays problem to identify the varieties.
Day Lily Variety 1:

Day Lily Variety 2:

Day Lily Variety 3:

Day Lily Variety 4:

Day Lily Variety 5:

Day Lily Variety 6:

Day Lily Variety 7:
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