Saturday, June 07, 2008

Temperature's Rising...

The rain of the last few days has brought on the flowering of the wild daisies. These guys will actually go on more or less all summer, as long as I keep up with the deadheading. That hot red you see down below this flower is another clump of dianthus that's lately begun showing off.

They probably aren't "wild" daisies, per se. At least they seem fairly well-behaved to me. What I mean is they aren't some cultivated species, like the Shasta Daisies, or the "Becky" variant on the Shastas, with the large flowers we'll see somewhere around the first of July.

I found these growing in some grassy area and transplanted them into the garden, where they have mingled with the other plants. They like to seed themselves around, which is a quality I like in a plant, especially one so pretty. To my mind, a garden can't have too many of these.

It was a grey morning, though we had picked up ten degrees over the 51 we had when I'd retired for the evening and you could already feel the humidity closing in over us at 8:00 a.m., or so.

This pair of cardinals seemed to be enjoying one another's company, as they flitted about here and there along the fence.

As the work day progressed, the clouds cleared away and the sun came out...and it was hot.

Here's a bit of rose campion blooming out back of the restaurant, which I noticed on a break.

That great purple in the background is some more money plant--I told you it was everywhere.

We were at 71 by lunchtime and 81 an hour later, which seemed to be our high for the day. Thankful for air conditioning in the banquet hall.

I'd brought shorts and my new Tevas to change into, so I wouldn't have to suffer the heat in work attire on the ride home. As it turned out, it was around 6:00 p.m. by the time I got free of the office and by then, the temperature was already sliding back down to something reasonable (it's 66 now) and a nice seabreeze pushed the humidity away for the evening.

Tomorrow's supposed to be warmer still. I'll count on the ocean to keep us from getting as hot as places like New York (sorry, Patrick) and Boston, but also count my blessings that it will be a day when I can dress more casually and cooly for my time at work.

Back at home as the sun sank in the west, I poked around the garden a little and spotted some unexpected buds on this clutch of iris. This was a little slow to put up leaves this spring, so I was assuming I wouldn't see any flowers this years, but clearly, i was wrong.

I expect this will be one of those yellow and brown irises, since that was primarily what we had at the old garden and what I expect made the move. However, I'm a little intrigued by the purple streaking down at the base of the leaves, which may indicate a bloom of a different color. We shall see.

A few bits of business: First, my thanks go out to Richard, who emailed from Pittsburgh to suggest a mild solution of Dawn dish detergent and water (just a drop or two of the soap in a spray bottle full of water) to spray on the roses to address the aphid issue whilst I figure out where to get some ladybugs.

I'm very happy to say that I did so Thursday evening and the problem seems to have cleared up already by today! I have a few damaged flower heads and leaves to pinch out to make things a little tidier, but the aphids are gone. How I love a simple solution. Thanks Richard, both for your suggestion and also for stopping by the Garden!

And now, the links portion of the evening: I read a great New York Times article earlier about the phenomenon of "guerilla gardening". Essentially, we're talking about people who have no gardens going unbidden to do gardening work on land with no gardeners...abandoned lots, public places, etc.

The article focuses primarily on the efforts of Richard Reynolds, who's been organizing massive work on this type in London, England. If you go to read the article, be sure to watch the video about how to make a wildflower seed bomb which you can chuck over a fence or a wall into some otherwise unreachable area. Gods, I love this stuff!

Richard keeps a blog about those efforts, as well, which you can find here.

Stay cool, everyone!


dykewife said...

not much choice but to stay cool here. we've got a bit of a cold front with rain (yay!) and no sign of the dreaded peonies yet either. the climatis on the house is blooming, though i can't say i like the plant itself much. we also found out there's a blooming tree as well. i just thought it was a volunteer self-seeded, but it appears that it was purposely planted...underneath an ash tree. weird.

Butch said...

That Daisy looks almost as large as a Sunflower in that picture! Good job!

I just noticed your addition of music on the right ( in purple ).

Perhaps, one day I will graduate from "silent-pictures" to "talkies" ;-)

I have seen vacant lots changed into gardens for the eyes and also, vegetable gardens. The way the economy is going, a vegetable garden is not a bad idea. I know it got my mother's family through the depression and of course there is the fresh vegetables to eat. As long as there is an honor-system where the gardener's share in a cooperative way, it can work out.

Butch said...

Your play list of songs and music is a scream!! I love how eclectic it is.

Greg said...

Dykewife, was it intended that the clematis would ramble and climb up the ash? That could be pleasant...

Butch, like so many things in life, the daisy's size is an illusion, only being about the size of a quarter. Nothing like a good old-fashioned close-up to trick the eye!!

Glad you like the playlist!! I'd been thinking about for a while and just got around to exploring the possibilities a bit this week. As with the garden itself, the playlist is a work in progress.

There should always be music, of all kinds, in my garden!!

Curt Rogers said...

I, too, LOVE the playlist! What excellent taste!

I noticed the lateness of the irises all the way out here, too. I know absolutely nothing about gardening but my mother is a cultivator of irises (every year she enters the festival back home and takes home a ribbon or two) so I'm always on the look out for them. It seemed they'd never appear and then BLAM, they were up and are already wilting and turning brown along those papery edges. Gardening must be all about timing otherwise it seems there'd be only days to enjoy things before they're gone. It must be the layering that makes a successful garden.

P.S. May I suggest a song for the playlist? It's from ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER. Babs singing, "Hurry! It's Lovely Up Here!"

Greg said...

Hey, Curt!! You point out an important gap...that is the lack of any Streisand, though for that matter there's no Garland (I did consider her version of "Danny Boy", but Bing's just got that voice...) either.

Trying to plant a garden that coordinates the timing of each perennials flowers *(with annuals as choristers) is probably what makes me think of gardening as being so similar to directing an elementary school play.

somewhere joe said...

I wish our military budget funded wildflower bombs instead of cluster bombs... and mistletoe instead to tow missiles.

Jess said...

Be sure to drink plenty of water while you're out playing in the dirt (the same advice/nagging I usually aim at Marc), although I suppose 81 degrees isn't too bad.

kaslkaos said...

Hi Greg. You have a beautiful garden. I'm better at growing weeds, so I really appreciate the virtual tour of all those flowers.
I'll be back for more, most certainly!

Greg said...

Amen, brother Joe!

And now an updated response to Curt, about his song suggestion: thanks for sending it to me!! It'd been so many years (we won't say a number) since I'd seen the music or heard the song I'd forgotten just *how* perfect it would be for this playlist!

Of course, it turns out to be a huge tease since "Hurry! It's Lovely Up Here" isn't available for inclusion. : (

Greg said...

Hey Jess--thanks for the advice, it really is the best! I had no big projects planned for this morning's heat...some watering and a few pictures...and then actually a bit of lawn mowing.

But no worries, I was in and out of the sun regularly and drinking plenty of water! It's been working to flush the nicotine out of me lately, too!

KasalK, thanks for stopping by. Look close at the pictures, and you'll see plenty of so-called weeds, too!!