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Garden News

Gruntle lives!

And he’s still in the garden! 🙂

So I tried to make him a little house. 🙂 It’s a WIP but it’s in move-in condition. I’ve been hanging on to that pot for years, precisely for this purpose.

I found him Sunday, when I was working in the garden. I thought I killed him, because I was putting lots of salt down under where I have my pots, to keep the weeds and slugs down. All of a sudden the ground started writhing and I freaked out. Once I realized it was a toad, I rinsed him off and put him in the part of the garden with the perennials, that does not get salted. I apologized and it looks like he may have forgiven me.

It’s silly how ridiculously happy this makes me. 😀

I named him after Grunt, a character from Mass Effect 2.

Posted in Garden, GardenNess, In Bloom

Monday In Bloom

On Tuesday!  I meant to prep this on Sunday night, but I was so tired.  I figured I’d do it Monday morning.  But then there was this weird thing going on in the sky so a friend and I got our kids together so we could have an “eclipse party.”  That was so fun!  And of course, there was no blogging to be had.

So here I am on Tuesday trying to catch up, on so many things!  Maybe you are too.  🙂

08-20-2017 GW16 (33)It was a relatively decent afternoon when I went to take some garden pictures.  Humid, but not terribly so.

08-20-2017 GW16 (3)The sky was so still, not even the flag in front of the office was moving and I thought it might rain.

Things are definitely looking peaked in the garden now.  This part of the season always makes me a bit sad, because everything’s “glory days” are over, pretty much, and I know it’s just a matter of time until the first frost.  Autumn officially starts in about a month, can you believe it?

The new watering system will work out okay, I’m thinking, once I have enough bottles.  I’m also going to need some more spikes.  Apparently I had more pots than I realized when I ordered them.  D’oh!  And then I decided to count my “long pots” as two, because I realized that the spikes wouldn’t reach from one end of the pot to the other, so I’ll put one on each end.

I have to say, I think I’m really going to like watering this way.  Sure, filling up all the individual bottles is a bit of a pain (that’s my fault for having so many pots, lol) but having the cart sure beats the heck out of trying to carry that big watering can!  Trying to lift that heavy thing to water the pots that are high gets to be really tiring.  Plus, with the bottles, I know just how much water each pot is getting.
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Those coleus though!  Man alive, they make my “gardener’s heart” happy!
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Yellow daisies!  Oh happy day!  I love these plants, they’re so cheery!
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Right now, I think the hanging baskets are doing pretty well.  They seem the least dilapidated of all the pots.
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I really love that purple heart plant.  What a stunner!
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Look what I found when I was taking pictures!  A late bloomer.  😀
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Another kiss of Autumn.  I think this relationship might get serious.
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And that’s how my garden bloomed this week.  How’s yours coming along?

All rights reserved by Vanessence

To see all my pictures from the garden this week,

you can click either the link or the image below.

Thanks for looking!

2017 Garden Weekly 16 | Flickr

2017 Garden Weekly 16

Posted in Garden, GardenNess, In Bloom

Monday In Bloom


08-13-2017 GW15 (1)A lovely dusk! 

I did manage to get a little bit of deadheading done.  Not a whole lot though.  It feels like I haven’t had as much time to devote to tending the garden this past week for some reason.  I’m not sure why.  And this coming week is up for grabs.  Can you believe I have a jury summons?  I don’t even have a car!  But, according to the “juror rules” transportation is not allowed as an excuse, so there you go.  I downloaded the Uber app, so I just might be trying that out this week.  I have to call in Monday morning to see if my number comes up for Monday afternoon. 

08-13-2017 GW15 (35)It’s been a fairly pleasant week, weather wise, so that’s been a bit of a relief.  Even one of my neighbors commented on it while I was outside putzing around.  It’s the humidity.  It hasn’t been as bad this week, and that just feels huge. 

So far things are basically holding steady at this point in the garden.  We’re about 2/3 of the way through the season.  Many plants are kind of “resting.”  Some are gearing up for a last Autumn hurrah.  In some ways, I think of this time as a sort of lull.  The Spring plants have pretty much gone to sleep, the Summer plants are holding, and the Autumn ones are barely waking up. It’s quiet.

I did manage to get rid of a big clump of crabgrass and weeds in the front patch though! 

Do you see what’s new? 
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And there it is – Autumn and Summer sitting in a tree, k I s s I n g.  Do you see the turn of the leaves there near the top?
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The salvia could probably do with a nice deadheading to bring on a nice Autumn bloom, but I love the flowers so much I hate to cut them all off just yet!
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I sure do love that coleus!  It has added SO much to my garden the last couple of years! 
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I bet you can see the new thing now!  lol  My husband, tired of watching me lug my big watering can through several trips in and out every couple of days, went searching for a better watering option for me.  He discovered these slow release watering systems and ordered me up a bunch of them.  So far, I only had enough bottles for a few pots, but it shouldn’t take too long to collect the rest, considering the way we go through the “fruity water,” as we call it.  I know what you’re thinking.  Carrying all those bottles back and forth will be just like lugging a watering can!  But guess what?  He got me an awesome little wheeled cart for exactly that purpose, lol.  I’ll be able to collect the empty bottles in the cart, wheel it in, fill them all up, and then wheel them back out to put back in the pots.  Is that super cool or what?  😀
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At least the speedwell seems happy!  It’s starting to really bush out!  Clearly it’s an Autumn lover.  🙂
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And that’s how my garden is growing this week.  How’s yours coming along? 

All rights reserved by Vanessence

To see all my pictures from the garden this week,

you can click either the link or the image below.

Thanks for looking!

 2017 Garden Weekly 15 | Flickr

2017 Garden Weekly 15


Posted in Garden, GardenNess, In Bloom

Monday In Bloom

08-06-2017 GW14 (33)It wasn’t unpleasant when I went out to take pictures, but it was a bit on the muggy side.  The mosquitos were on the happy side!  We’ve had a lot of rain in the last week or so – several big storms that just drenched everything.  They were much needed rains.  Even though we had some serious flooding here in our town last month, it’s still not good to go too long without rain. 

The storms blew so hard, my poor Shepherd’s hook is definitely listing!  lol  I have nothing I can tie it to. 

And the lilies are done, except for a stray bloom or two.  They’ll get divided this Autumn, and some will go to my friend’s home.  🙂
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At least the pots are hanging in there!  The rest of the pansies are gone, but the yellow daisies are doing pretty well, enjoying a second bloom. 
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The coleus are thriving, and the dusty miller are doing pretty well, too.  The sweet alyssum is thinning out but still doing okay.
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Can you see the moon?  It wasn’t so faint in real life.
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Yay for snapdragons!  Their hardy little souls add just a bright spot of color in the garden!
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The salvia, also, are still doing pretty well. 
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Reliable marigolds.  They seem to just adore this time of year and this kind of weather.
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You can see some of the thinning spots in the sweet alyssum here.  It still looks nice, but you can tell it’s dying off, albeit slowly.
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Happy coleus.  🙂
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Right now, I think these may be the most abundant flower in the garden.
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I think this icicles plant may be trying to come back after being stripped nearly bare by some butterfly caterpillars.
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The purple heart plant seems to be thriving too, as does the asparagus fern.  The purple heart has some little pink flowers in it and I tried to get a close up shot but it turned out too blurry, lol. 
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The surviving pansy.  Too high up for Morticia Rabbit, and the spiders didn’t find it to web it to death.
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Such is my garden this week.  How’s yours coming along?

All rights reserved by Vanessence

To see all my pictures from the garden this week,

you can click either the link or the image below.

Thanks for looking!

2017 Garden Weekly 14 | Flickr

2017 Garden Weekly 14


Posted in Garden, GardenNess, In Bloom

Monday In Bloom

07-30-2017 GW13 (35)It was a pretty decent evening, not too hot or muggy.  Even the mosquitos, while bad, weren’t as terrible as last week. 


07-30-2017 GW13 (32)It feels like it’s been a rough week though, garden-wise.  Things have been so dry here after all the flooding a couple weeks ago.  And despite my attempts at watering, several of my perennials are dead or dying.  I didn’t even bother to take pictures of them this week, even for documenting purposes.  Even the lilies are fading fast, it seems.  I know that’s fairly typical, at this point in the season.  It’s still a bit depressing, though. 

I know that in a couple weeks, after the hottest spells have (hopefully) passed, many plants will gain their “second wind” and pull out a second bloom.  And I’m also thinking the lilies will definitely have to be divided this year.  Probably the daisies, too.  In fact, probably most of what’s left in the perennial patch will have to be divided.  I suppose the things that need to be divided can fill in the empty spots from the plants that have died.  I certainly have my work cut out for me come Autumn!

On a brighter note, the snapdragons have been blooming, and the coleus are thriving.  The yellow daisies are blooming again after some deadheading a few weeks ago.

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Yay for snappies!  Bright, happy spots in the midst of gardening season!
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I keep meaning to switch this pot with the one in the other corner of the side patch but I still haven’t gotten around to it.  This week for sure!!  The verbena and sweet alyssum are fading, but still retain some of their earlier glory.
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Right side of the urn …
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Left side of the urn!  I took a picture from this angle to show how much that sweet potato vine has grown.  It swoops down and trails around the pot like a veil, it’s so stunning!  This is exactly what I hoped it would do all those times I planted it in one of the hanging pots in the front patch, but it never did.  I realize now, that was too sunny for this plant, as it clearly prefers much more shade than I realized.  Next year, assuming the garden center has them again, I am going to put one in a side patch raised pot, with just a spike plant for accent. 
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Yellow daisies!
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Fortunately, this licorice plant isn’t terribly decimated from the recent butterfly caterpillar invasion, certainly not as bad as the one in the other hanging pot.  And the asparagus fern and purple heart plant still are looking pretty decent. 
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That’s how my garden is surviving this week, how’s yours doing?

All rights reserved by Vanessence

To see all my pictures from the garden this week,

you can click either the link or the image below.

Thanks for looking!

 2017 Garden Weekly 13 | Flickr

2017 Garden Weekly 13


Posted in Garden, GardenNess, In Bloom

Monday In Bloom

07-23-2017 GW12 (49)It feels like it’s been a rough week in the garden. 

We’ve had an abundance of rain.  Some of my perennials aren’t liking that much rain.  They’re dying.  My pincushion, my lavender plants, even my columbines are looking positively dreadful.  Maybe if things remain dry over the next several days some of these drought-tolerant plants will revive.

07-23-2017 GW12 (48)My husband kind of laughed at me, running out to water when the rain was just ending.  “Uh, you do know it just rained, right?”  “Yes!  But the rain doesn’t get to my pots because of the overhang and they’re dry as a bone in the pots by the window!”  The ground was all squishy under my feet and getting my sandals and toes sopping wet, while my plants were drooping in distress from lack of water. 

And the mosquitoes!  Oh my gosh, they were awful!  It felt like walking into a mosquito nest, if there was such a thing.  Why do they like my eyes so much?!  Ugh.  There I was, trying to take pictures, and swat the @$#@#% things at the same time.  The humidity was really bad. It made breathing feel like a waste of effort.

Most of the rest of my pansies have died.  I lost another pot.  😦

It was not a good picture day!  lol 

For the most part, many plants are doing the best they can with all the extra water.  Things are still pretty much on the lush side for the lilies, and some of the pots.
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My lovely licorice / icicles plants that had just started to flower are also dying.  Seems those flowers were beacons for some butterflies to lay eggs.  I am kind of comforted about having a butterfly nursery though.  Turns out it’s the Vanessa virginiensis variety, or American Painted Lady.  I feel sort of obligated to let them do what they need to do, being a namesake and all.  Butterflies!
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This makes me happy.  I just love how the little verbena blossoms match the colors on the coleus leaves.  I was hopeful they’d go nice together when I set up the pot, but this is way beyond my hopes.  🙂
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At least the coleus and salvia seem happy! 
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Sometimes you just get really lucky.  You get that little 6 or 8 pack of baby plants at the garden center and most of them haven’t bloomed so you don’t even know what the colors are, and you try to put them together with other plants and cross your fingers that it will look nice, but you won’t even really know for a month or so.
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This one loves the sheltered corner, but wishes I would be better about watering.
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I can’t even!  That sweet potato vine is just … wow!  This one needs a good dose of diatomaceous earth though – there were webs on the sweet alyssum!  *cue Hitchcock horror music*
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You can see how the caterpillars have nearly decimated the icicles plants here in the hanging baskets. 
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This one isn’t quite as bad, but I suspect it will be soon.
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And that’s how my garden is … surviving this week.  How’s yours doing?

All rights reserved by Vanessence

To see all my pictures from the garden this week,

you can click either the link or the image below.

Thanks for looking!

2017 Garden Weekly 12 | Flickr

2017 Garden Weekly 12


Posted in Garden, GardenNess, In Bloom

Monday In Bloom

07-16-2017 GW11 (55)I think I’ve finally figured out that if I take the pictures around sunset, they turn out a little better. 

My poor pansies just can’t catch a break this season!  The leaves were looking kind of weird when I looked out my window to check on them, and when I went outside to take a closer look, they were covered in webs!  *shudder*  Ewww!  The leaves were turning a sickly yellow.  I have no idea if it’s a spider or a worm or some other kind of creepy crawly thing, but I whipped up a batch of some insecticidal-fungicidal soap and sprayed the heck out of it.  Hopefully … .

07-16-2017 GW11 (54)Otherwise, it was a pretty nice day when I went out to take pictures.  I was thankful for that!  We’ve had about a ton and a half of rain lately – lots of flood warnings here and our county is under a lot of water, lots of road closings and the like.  Despite all that rain, practically none of my pots closest to the walls get any of it, so I still have to water.  I can’t tell you how silly I feel lugging my watering can out when it’s been raining cats and dogs, lol.

Things are looking pretty lush with just a couple of exceptions (like my poor pansies!).  Overall, I’m really pleased with the progress this year. 

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The lilies continue to be a bright spot!
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The coleus, salvia, and dusty miller are just thriving!  I can’t even begin to describe how happy it makes my gardener’s heart to see how abundant these plants are getting!
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I don’t think I could be more pleased with how this pot turned out.  🙂
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This pot is just flooring me!  I swear, I’ve gotten that purple sweet potato plant pretty much every year for the last few years, and I’ve always put it out front in one of my hanging baskets.  It’s NEVER done half as well as it’s doing in this pot!  I’m thinking that even though the tag said “full sun to part shade” this plant does MUCH better in more shade than sun.  It’s hard to tell from this angle but it’s nearly touching the ground!  Yeah, I’m never putting this one in full sun again, that’s for sure!
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Same pot from the other side.  Sometimes it’s nice to get a different view.  🙂
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Two sides of the hanging planters.  They almost look like entirely different pots when seen from the back side.
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And that’s how my garden is growing this week!  How’s yours coming along?

All rights reserved by Vanessence

To see all my pictures from the garden this week,

you can click either the link or the image below.

Thanks for looking!

2017 Garden Weekly 11 | Flickr

2017 Garden Weekly 11


Posted in Garden, GardenNess, In Bloom

Monday In Bloom

07-09-2017 GW10 (52)It has been a DRY week.  I was looking out at some of the trees across the street and the tops of them are looking a bit withered.  We’ve had little rain this week, although some is expected overnight tonight as I write this.  *fingerscrossed*  I missed watering because I thought it was going to rain, but it didn’t, and many of my plants started showing some real signs of distress.  Believe me, as soon as I saw that, I was out there with my watering can doing a double run!

I did manage to get a bit of deadheading and weeding done so that felt nice to get cleaned up.  A garden that looks uncared for is so sad to me.  I try not to let it happen, but sometimes life does get in the way of the best laid garden plans.

At the week 10 mark, which is about half to a third of the way through the season, things are looking pretty good, despite the dryness.  I have one lavender plant that seems to be going through some kind of transition, but aside from that, things are looking pretty full and colorful.  This makes me happy.  🙂

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Ack!  Blurry!
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Look who I saw while I was waiting to watch fireworks with the kids the other day!  I had to zoom in pretty far so it’s on the grainy side, but doggone if that isn’t Morticia Rabbit!  All the way over here!  And me without my shotgun!  Danged wabbit!

I thought I’d focus this week on my elevated and hanging pots.
I hoped this coleus would be taller by now, to give this pot some height.  Maybe I’ll switch it with the pot in the other corner, perhaps it needs a bit more shade.
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I just love the spikes in this one!
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This coleus is growing tall!
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Who knew the icicles (aka licorice plant) had flowers?  I sure didn’t!  I hope they’re pretty!  These baskets are really starting to do a nice drape, with the cascading plants in them.  I love that look.
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This pot stands just outside the front door so is the first thing I see when I step outside.
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Lilies!  They are so HUGE!  I should probably divide them at the end of the season.
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The marigolds are finally looking robust.  They add a nice splotch of color in the side patch.
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The pansies are trying to make a comeback!  This pot was almost totally dead a few weeks ago.  That knot of dead stuff in the center is just where I put the deadheaded blooms, to try to compost them back into the pot for added nutrients.
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Colorful snapdragons!  So bright and cheery!
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That’s how my garden is growing this week!  How’s yours coming along?

All rights reserved by Vanessence

To see all my pictures from the garden this week,

you can click either the link or the image below.

Thanks for looking!


 2017 Garden Weekly 10 | Flickr

2017 Garden Weekly 10