Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween weekend greens and grasshoppers

Husband Kurt and I finally put up a few Halloween decorations today and will celebrate our 11th anniversary tomorrow. Meanwhile, I've been harvesting (all from seed) several quarts of kale and chard, one big bowl of baby lettuces, a couple of handfuls of green beans ("Contender" and "Royal Burgundy"), the last few cherry tomatoes, and a few banana peppers. Tonight I'll make a big pot of curried sweet potato kale soup.

But I'm having a major battle with grasshoppers, who have decimated one of my cauliflower plants and chewed big holes in the kale. I'm also battling these fuzzy black caterpillars.
I don't know what they are, and I can't yet bring myself to kill them because, well, I just have trouble killing anything except mosquitoes and fleas. Must be the Quaker side of my ancestry. I have relocated a few of them, but that hasn't helped, and now they're all over the place. I've got some research to do!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

tardy garden bloggers' bloom day

marigolds in the potato patch
Not much new to report this month except that the delicious cooler weather has helped lift my spirits, as well as those of several almost-dead plants. It's still dry, though, so my hoses and watering cans are getting quite a workout. You can see blooms from all over the place at Carol's May Dreams Gardens.
blackfoot daisies don't mind the lack of rain
resurrected diamond frost euphorbia
fall aster
Mexican bush sage
snapdragons and phlox
Also blooming: Turks Cap, blue plumbago, purple and white ruellia, rosemary, abelia, confetti lantana, indigo spires, white gaura, leadwort plumbago, and pavonia.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

not another vegetable update

Gregg's Mistflower with Monarch butterfly
I actually have been doing some gardening that does not involve obsessing over vegetable seedlings. I potted some cool-weather annuals, transplanted some perennials, and sowed my first Larkspur, Sweet Pea, Bachelor Button, Viola, Nigella, Flax, and Scabiosa (ugly name, no wonder it's also called Pincushion Flower) seeds.
new Gregg's Mistflowers
As much as I love blue-purple flowers, I had somehow overlooked Gregg's Mistflower, a great butterfly magnet, until now.
Sweet Pea seedlings ("White Elegance" and "Singing the Blues")
I expect the Sweet Peas to eventually get fairly vine-like, so I planted them close to the fence to make it easier to rig something for them.
My first kalanchoe (in front pot) is a gift from MSS, who really likes that chair.
We transplanted some artemisia ("Silver King"?) to help camouflage the ugly Grande fiber optic utility box.
Did I mention that box is ugly? And that we don't even subscribe to Grande? And that it's crooked?
newly potted white snapdragons and phlox
Just a teensy vegetable update: look at these pretty baby Romaine lettuces.
baby Romaine lettuces, to be thinned next weekend
The end.