Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Second Look--May 31, 2017

We've been concentrating on the inside recently and I haven't been spending as much time working outside as I'd like. Besides an inside focus, poison ivy has been the other limiting factor. It's presence prohibits exploring and working in most of the back of our yard. However, I've contracted someone to come in and treat it. Now if he can only find time to do it. In the meantime, the poison ivy is very happy and growing like crazy.

Despite this, I have spent some time with my hands in the dirt. What can you do when a great friend shows up with plants, tools, and a suggestion for a perfect place plant them?  You can get down to work with her and be grateful that she got you away from your perfectionism of doing everything just so. If she hadn't initiated the planting, I may have spent a long time figuring out where they should go and made it a much larger production.

There has also been some bird drama going on. At the feeder, the house finches have been entertaining us with their mating rituals. The males perform, fight with each other while the female enjoys it all. Just like we're watching the Discovery Channel. In the back, something has been raiding nests. It's disappointing to see broken eggs, but such is life in the jungle.

I"m not taking as many pictures these days, but here are a few.

Yellow star flowers have joined the coral bells.


There are a few poppies blooming among the ground cover bed. Their bright color can be seen from far away.


My friend helped me plant Lilies of the Valley and Strawberry Begonias. Both of these plants can spread, so when they do, I plan for the lawn mower to help maintain them. The strawberry begonias took me back to my college days when I had them as houseplants.


I also planted marigolds, celosia, and a few herbs along the back of the house. Most of the plants are starting to take off, but the celosia still look a little anemic. Hopefully, that will turn around soon.


Cherries are forming on the cherry tree. Not sure what kind they are, but time will tell.


Apparently, pears are also forming. We had the apple and pear trees severely pruned a few weeks ago. They have leafed out well, but I hadn't seen any fruit forming on them. But then I found this small pear on the ground and concluded that maybe the fruit is just too small to see among the leaves. It will interesting to see how much is really there as it matures.


I don't have any pictures of the house finches doing their dances, but this goldfinch certainly is sporting his courting colors.


I was very excited when the bluebirds built a nest and laid 4 eggs.



The mother bluebird actually let me take her picture while she was sitting on the eggs. Unfortunately, the next day the nest was empty with no birds or eggs in sight. A couple of days after that we found a dead bluebird near the box. It looked to be a young juvenile and I don't think it had anything to do with this nest.



A few days later, we found this robin's nest on the ground with broken shells in and around it. One shell was about 20 yards away.


Then we started to question what happened to this nest we found on the ground a couple of weeks earlier. We thought if had been blown out of a tree on a windy day. Maybe or maybe not...
All of this needs more investigation. Unfortunately, it is in the poison ivy area which limits our access. Maybe we should just let nature take its course, but I did so want to see baby bluebirds.




16 comments:

  1. Your pictures and commentary are fun. I feel like you are telling the story of your yard--which, actually, you are! :)

    Your friend knows you well and knew that you needed to dig in the dirt. You will have several months worth of enjoyment from that, and I bet it was fun to catch up with your friend, as well.

    My daughter and I finally planted our planter pots over the weekend. I've never waited this long to plant. I think I'm having a mental block about how quickly time is passing.

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    1. My friend was cleaning out a bed at her house and thought I could use these. We didn't have space in an appropriate bed, so I didn't know where to put them. However, she found just the spot. It would be nice to always have someone around to help with my indecision.

      Time always seem to fly, but over the last year or so, it really has. Lots of major events that include a lot of work, haven't given me much time to think. And that's a good thing sometime.

      What did you and your daughter plant?

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    2. I don't have garden beds; instead, I do pots. I have several going up my front steps filled with begonias. I have 2 large pots by my front door with the usual thriller/filler/spiller variety--those are in perpetual shade so after years of experimenting, I have had good success with polka dot plant--it likes the shade and adds color. Here's a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypoestes_phyllostachya
      I also use ivy and spikes in the pots. Not very original, but they reliably look good. I switched to begonias after years of planting petunias--I love petunias, but the dead-heading and having to trim them back midsummer, not so much!

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    3. I bought a polka dot plant once, but it didn't last long. I wish it had because I really liked the look of iy. When you plant your pots, do you leave room for the plants to fill the space by the end of July or August or do you fill them from the beginning and just do a lot of watering? I am learning how to do pots and planters. Sometimes they turn out well and other times they are just okay.

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    4. I planted my pots late too a couple of weekends ago. I planted lots of marigolds for the first time, which are really bright and cheerful but the slugs are slowly making their way through the whole lot...Luckily I didn't only plant marigolds, and I've found some cheap geraniums to replace them, but really I'd rather not have to plant up pots twice...

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    5. Too bad about the marigolds because they really can withstand a lot of abuse and are always pretty. Geraniums are good, too. That's what I planted in from of my house, also.

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    6. I always plant geraniums usually...decided to break the habit, but next year I shall go back to a 'geranium only' policy!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your pictures, I love seeing your flowers. The poison ivy problem must be really frustrating. I hope it can be eradicated for good. I have no experience with poison ivy and can't even identify it. I have looked it up several times but always end up forgetting what it looks like.

    How sad about the nests. Maybe a snake got it and the eggs. I love those blue eggs, though!

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    1. Maybe you're not allergic to poison ivy. It seems like you would have gotten it as many hikes that you take if you were allergic. Especially since you don't know how to avoid it. Hope that's true.

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    2. I used to think poison ivy didn't grow in Florida but someone (perhaps you?) schooled me on that! When we hike, we stay on the trails for the most part and I try not to touch any plants (unless they have pretty flowers and I need to hold them for my camera to focus properly!). My daughter and I will be hiking quite a bit, I think, these next 2 weeks, so hopefully I won't find out if we're sensitive to it or not. I'd better look it up again :)

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    3. Leaves of three, leave it be.

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    4. Thanks, I saw your reply right before leaving for my trip and I kept your mnemonic in mind the whole time :)

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  3. Nice snaps. Wish I could have a small plot but live in a condo...Rainy day here, thinking of the tropical rains of my youth today. Have a good week.

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    1. There are benefits of living in a condo--like not spending all weekend taking care of the yard whether you want to or not. After a lot of rain here, it's been kind of dry recently. Consequently, I need to keep up with watering all of the newly planted things.

      Thanks for visiting, e.

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  4. Very nice of your friend to share her extra plants with you and help you plant them, too. Sorry to read about the bird dramas, though. Who know what happened, right? Nature has her ways and we can only wonder.

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    1. I think you know well about plant sharing with all of the succulents you got recently. I have others who want to share plants as soon as I get a place to put them. I think sharing is one of the fun parts of gardening.

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