Sunday, July 5, 2015

Mish Mash of Topics

We had some very gusty wind, one day last week.  It broke/toppled some of the marigolds, including a giant marigold that was just about to bloom.  (We propped that one back up, so maybe it'll be alright.)  Fortunately, the winds don't seem to have damaged anything other than annuals.

Many of the bulbils were blown loose from the tiger lilies.  I picked up as many as I could see.  Some of them are plump, but others are so tiny, they may not have been really ready to fall.  (I don't know much about bulbils.)

Bulbils - Tiger Lilies

...Ok, just read about them now.  Apparently I should've planted the bulbils immediately after finding them.  (Eh, I'll go out and do it this afternoon.)  Also, there are many people online who take a very negative view of tiger lilies, considering them invasive pests and carriers of diseases that can damage other lilies.  (Funny how you can't have anything that everyone likes.  There's always a naysayer out there...)

Well, I only have one other type of lily (since I'm sure daylilies, crinum lilies, etc. don't count)-- and that's one we just got this spring.  If it suffers from the tiger lilies, so be it.  It's discouraging, if true, though.  I'd have considered adding more lilies to the garden, but now I'm not so sure... Either that or I'll have to move the tiger lilies to another part of the yard.

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We worked a little more on the gravel path, this holiday weekend; we also put up the other side of the arbor.  We need to paint the lumber for the top of it, next.  Progress photos next time, maybe.

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Earlier this week, I did a little weed spraying.  I didn't finish the job, but I'm not looking forward to continuing; I always end up worried that I've accidentally sprayed some of my "real" plants.

Then there's the dratted torpedo grass.  It's in amongst daylilies, growing up through some shrubs, and thoroughly established in some of my monkey grass borders.  I'm not sure how I'll ever get rid of it all.  It will take years of patient effort, if it's even possible.  Oh, how I hate patient effort!  ;o)

Seriously, though, I'm spraying it with generic RoundUp when it's in a place where I can.  For the un-sprayable patches, I'm trying to pull as much as I can by hand, then I'll watch for it to re-emerge and carefully spot treat-- maybe even with a paintbrush instead of a spray bottle.  The only alternative I can think of would be to temporarily remove plants for a more thorough spraying, and that's just not going to happen.

As for the infiltrated monkey grass... I haven't figured out what to do about that, yet.  I did try spraying it, earlier this year.  Since it grows taller than the monkey grass, I thought it might be possible to get the spray on (almost) only the weedy grass sticking up above the rest-- but now that monkey grass isn't looking too happy.  It'll recover, but in the meantime, the stupid torpedo grass is still there, and I'm not sure what to do... I guess if I have to, I can dig up the monkey grass (probably when cooler weather arrives) and manually remove as much of the torpedo grass as possible...  I've been meaning to divide that particular area of monkey grass, anyway.  

The torpedo grass is growing in at least part of our "lawn", too-- especially the septic pad area, where the grass is skimpy.  I don't love that it's there (because it'll gradually spread back towards the flowers, I'm sure), but if I can just get it out of the flower beds in the next year or two, I'll consider myself lucky. 

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I've planted the cuttings I took from the Mexican purple sage.

If you recall, a good-sized piece had almost completely broken off and was trying to root itself, so I cut it into several pieces and tried rooting them directly into cups/pots of soil.  They all did very well.  (This plant must be one of the easiest to root.)

I gave a couple of the rooted cuttings away and planted the rest this week.  So far, so good! 

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The rabbits are still occasionally attacking the morning glories (the ones I never got around to shielding with chicken wire), but (fingers crossed) they seem to have dialed back the effort to eradicate morning glories from the surface of the Earth.

I've already started harvesting morning glory seeds to save for next year.  Most (if not all) of them must be 'Grandpa Ott's', so if we want any other types, I'll need to buy them.

When I see nice, dry seedheads of annual coreopsis, I'm plucking those, too.  So far, I've just gone ahead and scattered the seed here and there around the flowerbeds, but I might try to bring some inside, too, to plant in spring... or maybe to winter sow.  

Still on the subject of seeds, there are a few volunteer annuals decorating the big dirt pile Dad made with the tractor when he was helping us prepare for the gravel parking/driving area.  There are two or three nice cleome there, including one with ivory flowers.  I'll try to harvest some of those seeds for next year.  Then there are a few bright zinnias and at least one morning glory (purple). 

How funny that those cleome over there on their neglected mound of dirt are so hearty and strong, while the ones I've kept watered and protected in the garden are sad, wimpy little things!