Archive for the ‘Dianne's Blog’ Category

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Challenge Creates a Beautiful Reveal

April 11, 2016

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Rain was expected through Friday evening, and since I didn’t have the proper material I placed a patio furniture cover over my peony plant. There were over a dozen buds and three blossoms. Too much downpour can cause developing buds to wilt and die, which happened last year.

Peonies are my favorite flower. Waiting and watching the tiny buds mature into stunning saucer-size ruffles is like anticipating a beautiful flower delivery. But keeping my peony under cover too long was a concern. Plants need light and sun, and circulation.

Saturday, it rained all day and into the night. I stood on the front porch and listened to droplets settle on black plastic, concrete, and surrounding plant life. It was a welcome sound in California where the drought is grim. Everything was wet. Water ran from the downspouts. Cottontails, robins, blue jays and doves were tucked out of sight like my peony.

I decided I would uncover the plant on Sunday, even if it was raining. In the morning, I looked outside into the early faint light. The earth was soaked, but the sky had stopped crying.

Gently, I lifted the black plastic and squealed for Iron Man, who was nearby, to come quickly.

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Many of the buds had bloomed beneath the warm cozy cover. Layers of bright white ruffles looked up at us unharmed.

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It was one of those moments when you’re a young girl again and the doorbell rings. You answer and no one’s there, but below is a beautiful bouquet of flowers addressed to you. Just for you.

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Masses around the Oak

March 9, 2016

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A few years ago, I bought one or two Chrysanthemum paludosum. Now I have tenfold. Chrysanthemums are self-sowers, and each year I look forward to a new crop,  late winter – early summer. Last year I decided it would be pretty to have a solid mass growing around the oak tree. (Chrysanthemums are drought tolerant, therefore compatible to the oak.)

When it was time to remove the 12-18-inch annuals, I simply shook the uprooted plants wherever I wanted them to germinate. I actually heard the seeds falling to the ground like wooden rain sticks.

When this year’s crop dries up, I plan to do the same. What fun, and how beautiful it will be to have a solid mass of Chrysanthemums circling the entire oak tree!

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Growing Tips:

USDA Zone 9a – 11

Deer resistant

Great fillers for garden beds, containers, and baskets and as borders

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Time Depends on Zone and Microclimate:

Late Spring – Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer – Early Fall

Mid Fall

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Mustard

March 1, 2016

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“Out of each wintry season

it happens again and again.

That yellow mustardy growth,

a photographer’s gold,

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signals sunny days ahead

over hills and fields and country roads.

A smidgen before spring

it happens again and again.

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Wild and free producing yields,

that warmth, that sunny glow

paints the earth mustardy yellow

where fallow grasses grow.” –016 DMA

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For a fun read on Mustard history and more, check out Eat the Weeds

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Goodbye Winter

February 10, 2016

I can’t wait! Five weeks and winter is history. The climate has been so nice the past few days, low 70s, my winter cleanup is complete, at least in the perennial garden. A bazillion oak leaves and acorns are raked and dumped into the pasture. The ornamental pomegranate and crepe Myrtle are pruned, weeds removed, a faucet bib tightened, and pedestal leveled. The perennial garden is looking good. And that makes me feel good.

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It’s early yet for spring blossoms, but here are two plants eager to show off.

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The bushes and vines are filled with conversing birds diving in for a drink, grub, and nesting material.

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This spotted salamander was discovered beneath a pile of leaves, a rare first sighting. They live beneath rocks, logs, and in burrows, and only come out at night to feed or mate. This salamander must have had night and day mixed up.

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Behind the perennial garden, the hens take turn producing one egg per week. No point in rushing.

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Back to the garden, this is one of several divided variegated irises that I planted around the fountain-turned-planter. Shade had reached the prior location and the irises didn’t bloom last year. Now the overhead sprinkler will hit them which could create ragged flowers. Sometimes a gardener has to move plants around before the perfect spot is found.

 

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Seasonal Blogging Farewell

December 3, 2015

Several days ago, my cosmos died then withered into tiny brown specks under a white frost. I hope you photographed your favorite blooms to enjoy during the winter months on your desktop, in a garden journal, video, or framed and hung on a wall.

One benefit of this beautiful annual is the self-sowing seeds, which will provide free flowers, color, texture, and random design around the garden come spring.

Another benefit is the vision I will carry throughout the cold season while I take my usual winter blogging break.

There are lots here, in the archives, to read. Enjoy and leave a comment. I will receive a notice and respond. The photography studio will remain open for orders.

Thank you for subscribing to In and Around the Garden.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in the Spring!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2015

If it is sunny where you live, after the turkey and pie, enjoy the outdoors and relish your work in the garden with family and friends.

Blessings from In and Around the Garden.

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Time!

November 11, 2015

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I have been trying to find the time to post this photo taken last month. This is the first year the Silver Maples covered the driveway (well, one-quarter, anyway) overnight. Usually the leaves drop slowly which means there are tire tracks. Ralphie wasn’t sure what to think when we took our morning walk.

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Did I mention free time? I had also planned to pick this watermelon. Then splat! It dropped. That was one for the hens.

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