Friday, October 29, 2010

weekend gardening events

news flash: this weekends' gardening events involve you raking leaves...lots and lots of leaves. so forget the house and garden tours...rallies to restore hope and/or insanity...and any homecoming activities that you might know about: grab your rake and get yourself outside to get it will burn lots of calories! this year i am without my beloved oak, so my chores are so much less than in the last thirty years (thankfully!), so i will be attending the rally: hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

the sphinx

moths can be pests (gypsy moth) or beneficial (major pollinators)...i am  not sure what category this waved sphinx moth falls into, but he landed on my television today so i took a photo! quite impressive markings, i would say!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

fall foliage

more fall color from another maple...we are still not in full effect foliage-wise, but the strong storms that blew through earlier today made it seem like fall. now leaves are swirling through the air...mounding on the ground...and beginning to change from green to awesome. one weird note: it's 76°!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

dwarf fothergilla

other than the sugar maples, we are not seeing a lot of color around here yet...which is fine by me: hold off winter til the last second, please! while weeding today, i found this blazing leaf in the middle-at the bottom-of my completely still green dwarf fothergilla. a peak at things to come.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

herb preservation

it's the end of the season and i need to figure out what to do with all my first go-to is the herb saver, available everywhere... 

Friday, October 22, 2010

sugar, sugar maple

hands down: my favorite shade tree for autumn color is the sugar the first hint of fall, the sugar maple's leaves go from chartreuse green to golden yellow... depending on weather, rainfall, blah, blah, blah...the large leaves may gyrate through various gradations of red, hot pink and orange: 
it can be stunning, especially when the autumnal sun illuminates them like so many stained glass windows in an outdoor cathedral... the thing about the sugar maple is, you have to be fast to catch the color wheel transformations: the tree can do its thing in like, 48 hours and then drop everything to the ground. i feel fortunate i was able to see this old specimen while walking the dog, because its gone now!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

tons of purple coneflowers

i was fortunate to have not one but two of my coneflower pieces feature in this lovely echinacea treasury on etsy by lahara.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

lessons learned from the field

as i watched the final (sunny) sunset of this week while listening to the chatter of the kingfisher, i contemplated this past season's garden and the lessons i have learned...

1. smaller is better for least when it comes to gardening...i dont have time (apparently) to deal with my city garden and a fairly large (for me) vegetable patch in a community gardensquare foot gardens are the answer.
2. containers also appear to be my forte´ when it comes to edibles and i got a fair amount of food out of my pots...some died in the drought, though.

3. self watering containers are good.
4. self watering containers are good, but other contraptions didnt work that well for me. my fancy upside down tomato planters were weak...

i dumped my spring potato bag after there was nothing in it at the end ( i have since replanted for a possible fall crop) weed blockers didn't work.

5. figure out the edibles you really need and grow them prolifically. work edibles into every possible nook and cranny, because fresh foods rock.

6. get vertical.

7. compost rules...bottom line: it rules!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

worst planter ever

why? why would someone do this to these lovely succulents? these victorian-headed planters are nothing but ugly and tacky and will enhance zero people's decors: yuch. hideous...go get a chia pet instead.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

orchid show

tomorrow is supposed to be as beautiful as today so go to the orchid show at the national arboretum. the 63rd annual national capital orchid show is thru monday: get your checkbooks out!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

wooly bear

i saw this black caterpillar the other day. turns out, it is a wooly bear which will eventually turn into a tiger moth. wooly bear caterpillars predict the weather with the color of their wooliness: more brown equals a milder winter, while more black means harsh conditions...oh, man.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

today's haul

i quietly abandonded my garden in the field a few months ago...the drought killed most everything, and what didnt die was neatly trimmed of all fruits by the deer or infested with one kind of insect or another. i hate giving up on anything, but the fact that i am the only gardener up there not using multiple pesticides and chemicals combined with only once-a-week maintanence of the plot makes for no food: thank god for farmer o'bier's or we would have starved! luckily, my little square foot garden rocked the earth and has provided me with a little something every day. today, i got the last of the ripe pear tomatoes, some of the gazillion green beans planted, a few more mini banana peppers and an eggplant to roast. smaller is indeed better, in this case!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

hyacinth bean

here it is, october and one flowering plant is still around, standing head and shoulders above all others: the hyacinth bean! decorative and delicious, the Lablab purpureus has edible leaves, flowers, pods, seeds and roots and is slated to save the world. this is not my plant shown in the photo above, but my neighbor's lovely front gate. i will make sure i dont forget this beauty next year: i opted to plant green beans in my limited space this year, and have been having a difficult time harvesting them amongst all of the same color foliage!