fufaraw: (herb pots)
The trellis is covered with blooms. (click to enlarge pics)

The vine is called "Purple Bells"

flowers crop
the "clapper" is the actual blossom, and the leaves are heart-shaped.

Buddha crop 2
fufaraw: (J2)
OH is rebuilding the neighbor's deck, from the crap job the handyman she hired did before she fired him. Support posts that don't reach the ground! Verticals that are *visibly* an inch and a half off plumb! Decking cut too short and pieced badly! We both knew it would drive him crazy if it wasn't fixed *right*, so he volunteered and she's helping with the digging and the clearing of rocks and the packing of gravel and sand, etc. Because she has a crop of them, she sent me another dahlia. This was the only thing heavy and wide at the base, narrow at the neck enough to support it. It's recycling. Kinda. Please to ignore the dust.

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fufaraw: (painted star)
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has volunteered around the bottom of the base the Buddha figure sits on. It's even peeking out of the wee cave between the uprights. The brand new Temple Bells vines have started their climb up the trellis--and there are even wee tiny flowers on the vine.

There are bright geraniums and petunias and other flowers along the fence on the other side of the house, and in the planters along the front. But there's something quiet and peaceful about these delicate white flowers sprinkled through the green.
fufaraw: (J2)
The care and feeding said, "blooms late summer-early fall". They weren't kidding. After a whole bloomless summer, the Teacup and Saucer vine is finally blooming.




(click to embiggen)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
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The Temple Bells vine blooms have been gorgeous all summer long, but these were really worth waiting for.
fufaraw: (Hostage J2)
The purple morning glories I wanted to grow up the trellis are banned here, so we had to choose something else.

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The vine on the right won't bloom until late August or September, and it promises purple and white cup-and-saucer flowers. But for now, the heart-shaped leaves and the adorable clappers on the Temple Bells vine are just fine.  (click pictures to enlarge)  Read more... )
fufaraw: (J2)
The neighborhood upgraded the water system last summer, hence the seam in the pavement. Our former neighbor, a landscaper and florist, did most of the basic planting, but OH has outdone himself with pest control, careful feeding, and shopping plant sales for those in-between pots of color. The herbs continue to thrive.
(click any pic to enlarge)

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Read more... )
fufaraw: (Grey Cats Jensen Plays)
It's been cold and rainy for the last few days, and today turned off bright and sunny and warm. We've got the windows open and the fans pulling cool air from the woods in back and pushing it out the front windows where the sun beats on the asphalt.

I've been cleaning and rearranging--last-minute nesting before winter sets in in earnest, I suppose. Shiny surfaces sparkle more in the light from sunny windows, so I feel better rewarded.

It's the first gorgeous day in weeks that there aren't trucks and ditching and digging equipment outside my windows. I kind of want to dance in the street, just because I can. I will finish lunch and go fold laundry, strip and remake the bed. There's a "pull and store the summer decor, dust surfaces, then pull out and arrange the fall harvest decor" putz going on. And when that's done, I may demand a drive and ice cream.

I need to harvest herbs, too, but I don' wanna. Every year I promise myself I'll cut the Russian sage before it's spent, and every year, the bumblebees are still working the flowers late into the fall, and I hate to cut their food supply--it's more important for them than for me. And I still have dried rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, and lemongrass from last year. I do want to cut and braid the lemongrass this year, though, rather than bundling it. I need to cut cedar tips and bundle them while fresh with the lemongrass bundles from last year--they make awesome smudge bundles, especially when I tuck in a sage leaf or a few sprigs of lavender or thyme or even rosemary. At this point, I'd like to thank the ninja todes for the success of this year's garden.

Also, I have no fall-ish icons--for that matter, no holiday icons, either. Maybe I'll work on that tomorrow.
fufaraw: (J2)
We have a wee container garden in front of our house. Our lovely landscape gardening neighbor has put colors and heights together in each pot to spectacular results, in gratitude for H mending her roof, cleaning her gutters, fixing the lock on her back door, and dozens of other things she couldn't figure out herself and H thought she was silly to hire somebody, when he was standing right here.

Last year and this, I was doubled down over the laptop racing my BB draft to the deadline, and missed the fun of plant-choosing and getting dirt under my fingernails. But neighbor M and my H did a spectacular job again.

And then, trouble in plant paradise--Something was nibbling the leaves. Of Everything, not just some things, herbs and flowers alike. H went into Sammy Winchester mode, researching online, and consulting local garden shops. "Caterpillars," he was told. "Tent caterpillars," someone else said. They gave him a systemic insecticide, but told him it's a contact thing, he has to actually hit the bugs for it to work. He staked out the garden after dark and spotted some mousy-colored, speckled beetles, caught a few specimens, and looked them up online. Vine weavils, was the closest identifier. He took them in to the garden center next day, and the woman there looked them up on her chart. Root weavils! ID was sure. They hide in the soil during the day and come out at night and munch your plants, pretty indescriminately. The dastards reproduce underground, and the larvae chow down on the plant roots. They can arrive in supposedly sterilized potting soil, or in the organic bulk stuff. There's no known targeted treatment for them.

But one expert said, "Nematodes!" I remember my dad having an ongoing battle over nematodes eating the roots of his lawn. But apparently my dad was wrong. Apparently nematodes are prehistoric predators the world over. They've been found on the ocean floor living happily alongside the sulfurous vents where normal life can't survive. They've been found in core samples from millions of years ago taken deep in the polar icecap (probably from before the earth tilted, switching the postition of poles and equator). There are probably nematodes on the moon! So H bought a covered pot of nematodes and put them in our fridge, where they're supposed to be able to survive, dormant, till spring 2015--as long as nobody mistakes the container for the cream cheese.

He's been waiting for the right weather, and I suspect, an auspicious alignment of stars and moon, according to the solunar tables, to release the nematodes on the garden. He's taken to calling them ninjatodes. And of course, I'm imagining an army of tiny toads in black costumes running around, brandishing katanas, and sneaking from pot to pot.

Geez, that was a long buildup. I hope the punchline was worth it. *g* You will, of course, note and credit my avoidance of the "lesser of two weavils" joke.

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