Sunday, August 2, 2009

It's August Already!

Digitalis ferruginea has become a favorite of mine, begun a few years ago from seed. Once established they make a terrific upright stand. Group 10 or 15 plants together for impact.
Finally harvested some of the default cucumbers, actually it's been a fun experiment growing these other than reminding myself to water and fert regularly.

There are sloping perennial islands here created in areas where ledge had nudged it's nose above ground making mowing around them impossible. Planting perennials around the stone has been a great solution. The beds have grown through the years without much thought to design. Over the last couple of years I've had a bit more time to move things about and shovel prune to my hearts content. That being said my perennial beds are still packed. I have always planted tightly so I begin to seriously cut back/deadhead this time of year. If I waited any longer I'd have to be doing it into January. A few things are allowed to go to seed, some are left for the much ballyhooed 'winter interest, (which is pretty meaningless here as we have 3 ft of snow through most of the six months of winter),' and some years I am neglectful and wait until Spring. But I've learned the hard way it's best to begin clean up in a timely fashion.
Add to that a year where the plants have stretched for non existent sunshine and been beaten down daily by rainfall and the flopping has reached record proportions.
So I'm weeding/cutting back yesterday and suddenly it felt as if someone dropped something on my back. Not painful, just distinct. I keep snipping away at the daisies until I discover a nest with three eggs. I put it together and felt terrible for exposing a gaping hole in what used to be a pretty well disguised jungle. In all my years landscaping I'd never come across a nest like this. Later I come back and discover mom on her nest. I give her props for divebombing me, what instinct! I don't even want to think of the odds for survival especially with the feline population hereabouts.


Mr. H. said...

I'm curious, how do you get your cucumbers to float about in the air like that? Seriously, are they in hanging baskets or on some sort of trellace? They look so good the way you are growing them.

That ferruginea (type of foxglove?)is a very pretty flower. We were collecting some seeds off lupine, columbine, and foxglove yesterday. I think that's what they wife is the flower expert.

randi said...

Hi Mike,
The cukes are planted in a regular 12" plastic hanging basket, of course the larger the container the better. These are no name free pack cukes I got this Spring with a seed order so I have no idea what kind they are. The shack, that leaks like hell, has 2 large, not sloping enough, polycarbonate panels to let light in from above. I just strung twine around wherever I could find a nail to tie off from and as they got some length propped them on it and they grabbed ahold. Outside I have my bedframe lean-to trellises but those cucumbers have stalled pretty significantly. The whole idea however is for the cuke to hang straight and not get dirty. The tomatoes, same idea except you cut a hole in the bottom, shove the root ball up into it and fill from top. As with any container gardening you have to remember to tend to them. I've decided to do this every year from now on as a little insurance policy.

The digitalis, I misspelled it when I first posted this, is a foxglove. I will send you seeds, Mrs. H. will love this carefree plant once it gets established.

Freija and Beringian Fritillary said...

I think thats a brave little Song Sparrow you've got there. Luckily they can hatch out two or three nests a year. Go birdie!