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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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Take a Walk

October 25, 2015

Join me as I view the two-acre Sherwood Demonstration Garden, managed by UCCE Master Gardeners of El Dorado County.

 

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El Dorado Center – Folsom Lake College
6699 Campus Drive, Placerville, CA 95667

Hours of Operation beginning: 

October 3, 2015 to October 31, 2015:
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday from 10-3
Rainy days – closed

November 1, 2015 – March 31, 201 – closed

April 1, 2016 – October 31, 2016
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday from 10-3

Folsom Lake College does charge $2 parking fee on weekdays
Saturday parking is free.

*** No dogs allowed ***

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Summer’s End

September 10, 2015

It’s that time of year–late summer–for a walk around my perennial garden. Enjoy the tour.

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Message in an Egg

August 11, 2015

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I had a difficult time peeling off the shell of this hardboiled egg without tearing away chucks of egg white, also called albumen. By the time I finished, the white was thin and lumpy.

Because I had already peeled a lot of eggs that day–easily and perfectly smooth ones–I nearly tossed this one into the sink. There wasn’t much left of it. Then I considered how hard my hen had worked to produce the egg. So I took hold of my knife, sliced down the longest length of the egg and opened it to remove the yolk.

Surprise! The hen had left a message of love with a heart-shaped yolk.

I like to think this had nothing to do with the boiling process or air pockets, but rather a message of appreciation for the scratch I provide, for the fresh water, food scraps, free range pasture, and a safe place to roost at night.

Now, no matter how difficult a hardboiled egg may be to peel or how badly it appears, I always look for a message in my hens’ eggs. After all, it is what’s inside that matters the most.

Check out The Food Lab’s great tips on boiling eggs.

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Garden Pop Ups

July 27, 2015

Pop Up #1: Remember the Cosmos seedlings that I planted and they did not survive? Well, surprise! The dead annuals kindly sprinkled seeds before I took their little bodies away. I have Cosmos popping up near and far from where the seedlings were planted. This confirms my theory. Cosmos grows better from seed. Here are the first blooms. I am eager for more of these whimsical flowers to explode.

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Pop Up #2: Wow! I did not plant Lysimachia ‘Goldii’ in this location. It must have been the garden fairies who sprinkled seeds from where it is growing. The fairies knew what they were doing. ‘Goldii’ is thriving in this location and I am pleased with the appearance and how it filled in a bare area. DSC00786_edited-1

 

Pop Up #3: This little guy or gal pops up to say hello to anyone approaching our front door. His voice is a little croaky and deep, but he or she is friendly just the same. 

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