Saturday, July 26, 2008

What I've learned

this summer about water barrels.

1. They don't have enough pressure to water with a hose, but are great with a watering can. I tried to attach a soaker hose but that didn't really soak.

2. They fill up fast in heavy rain, and can overflow without an extra hose...

3. Or even with two. This will need three hoses to really ensure no more overflows. It's amazing how quickly this fills up in a rainstorm.

This has nothing to do with barrels or rain, but I take the powers of nature wheres I can find them. I found this ant party on the front stoop:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


It's been awhile since I participated in the garden bloggers' blooms day, not for lack of blooms nor intention. Mostly for a lack of calendar-awareness.
I thought I would focus on blooms from seeds I started earlier this year.

Pansy 'Morpho Blue'

Amaranth 'Oeschberg' variety

Teeny, tiny multi-colored coleus

Castor bean plant and it's developing seed pod

Nasturtium-'Black velvet' , not quite black, but ...

And finally, the first of the tomatoes-'Cherokee purple' heirloom variety

There are also some black violas that need to re-bloom but that might have to wait 'til next time.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A tale of two amaranths...

'Oeschberg' variety, started from seed at the same time, same seed pack, both transplanted to pots right next to each other.
I've tried trimming back the lilly and liatris foliage for more light, and I feed both plantings with worm poop.
Still pretty sad.

Exhibit B in the Nature is A Wondrous and Mysterious Thing category:

Aside from the usual 'squirrels ate everything but my baby' scenario, I'm not sure what happened to the bottom pot. Both were planted with nasturtium seeds, zinnia seedlings, and some garden center annual. Same amount of light, worm poop,etc.
I'm going to try transplanting a couple of those big amaranths.

On a more even keel is the 'Cherokee Purple' heirloom variety tomato seedlings.
They've done quite well, even in their fashionable 3 gallon buckets.

I remember being told by an old neighbor, a long time ago when I grew my first tomato plants and fretted everything, 'Honey, this is Illinois. You can't not grow tomatoes'.
So I won't chalk this up to any sort of green thumb.

I really like these plants. Their first sets of leaves had a purple tint on the underside which has unfortunately dissipated. But now their fruits are making up for it with a sort of double blossom.
What really matters with these, though, is how they taste.
I can't wait.