Thursday, August 29, 2013


Babies are so wonderfully cute! We found a small nest of baby bunnies about a week ago while we were headed out on a walk. Their eyes were not yet ready to open then, but they were just the most adorable.

It's a good thing babies are so cute, otherwise, most of us would perish, wouldn't we? Babies are designed cute and harmless.

I've also been dead-heading my sunflowers and putting them on the table on my back patio only to be gifted by the arrival of several mated pairs of American Finches ... the males a beautiful golden color with black wings. The females are much more toned down. I have had 4 separate males here all battling for the right to eat at the table and bring their mates in. Mostly, I have 2 pairs. I finally put some heads down in the rock border surrounding the patio, thereby giving more birds a chance to eat.

I've also seen two cardinal males upon occasion. I think the sunflower seeds bring them in as well. I am going to start putting sunflower heads back for the winter. I am going to sort them by black, purple and white into separate bags so that I can put them out over the winter.

I've also lately seen a hummingbird at my sunflowers amongst the assorted bees and wasps. I cherish each bee I see since we seem to be having troubles with bees. If I could maintain it, I would put a beehive in the yard, but I fear not being able to keep up with it's maintenance.

Watching the birds gives me endless amount of amusement during supper preparations, since they are right out my kitchen window. Keeping the seeds on the patio allows me to clean up after the birds without worry of all kinds of other weeds growing up. (My DH sprayer the rock border with weed killer several times a year).

I am so totally enjoying all the wildlife to watch. Right now during the heat, though, all I'm really seeing are the finches. They put on a riot of a show. I've also got my garden going full ahead with banana peppers, patty pan squash and nibbles of cherry tomatoes. I have a few plum tomatoes, but not enough to be more than a lunch salad. I also have two regular peppers, but they never got on strong enough in their pots to make serious peppers.

Next year, I will have three 2by4 garden beds that I need to assemble, fill with soil and have ready for next year. I am thinking 3 beds are a good start along with pots. I will build 4 more beds for the following year and I think that along with pots should more than keep me busy. I also have separate sections of the yard I want to landscape along with replacing the nasty plastic landscape border for our rock edges. I have never figured out why anyone would choose plastic landscape edge by choice, but I have to admit, if you want to quickly edge something it is super easy.

On the other hand, it looks really cheesy. So, I want to replace ours with some kind of stone or brick border that keeps the stones in places while allowing my Steve to mow quickly along it's edges without having to resort to nasty weed killer sprays. The weed killer almost always sprays beyond what you want killed leaving dead grass or yard perennials in it's path.

Since this is our first year in this house, I've really only worked at landscaping a small portion and to keeping such landscape without a certain space making mowing a really easy job. I've told him, if it is in a landscape bed it's a plant, if it's not, it's a weed! Mow it down! This really makes it so much easier for him to deal with. I am also going to take the curves from the landscape that was here, out. Why make "more" work? Seems silly to me. I want clean lines that make it easy for the mower to follow. 

This leaves me huge amounts of space to landscape, especially where we've taken out dead plant material. I will be working in a space next year that I am using for a potted plant garden this year. I already have one of the shrubs to go in the space that I'm nursing along to make sure it will survive.

I have a double Rose of Sharon in purple shades at my old house in Spring Valley. This shrub shoots off seeds and babies at a rate that allows me to give babies to anyone who'd like. Sometimes the new shrub features singles, but mostly gives off double flowered blooms in shades of purple. I have two seedlings to transplant here that I put in a bucket to be sure they would survive. I will transplant them shortly, once hot weather has passed, into their new home.

I am also planning to purchase winter cover for this shrub as well as two roses I planted last Mother's day. Some plants need winter support. I am hoping to move a few more Iris yet and some various snippets of hosta plants before I sell that house. I have beautiful antique purple iris that smell awesome. I also found some yellow ones at the house that really just went gangbusters once I showed them some love.

Hostas are my favorites, though. I have tried to grow a few blue ones that I've not had success with, but I have a nice group of Patriots and Gold Drops that have done very well. I also have the basic green with the large leaves and the smaller pointed leaves. Those always grow like crazy in decent soil. I've tried to grow Mouse Ears, but, maybe didn't get it into the ground soon enough. I'll try some more species Hostas again once I get a more settled garden.

Hostas are beautiful mixed in with daylillies or other perennials, but also just as borders by themselves or mixed in with Coral Bells. I also have several perennial herbs I would like to establish in a regular kitchen garden. So much to do!

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