Sunday, September 20, 2009

Foundation Plantings.

9-20-09 SHORT HILLS: It has been sunny and dry, and is time to restart the sprinklers. We are getting the house painted next month which means I have to trim back all the foundation planting for the painters. I decided to take out the yew trees and holly trees growing in front of the living room windows. They want to be the trees that they are, but must be trimmed or sheared repeatedly to keep them from covering the windows. I hate how foundation plants get cut into cubes and spheres anyway. The natural shape of trees and shrubs are far more pleasing than any geometric figures. I will replace them with flowering shrubs that won’t cover the windows. A fun project for the post painting period.

Friday we are off to sail the Croatian Adriatic with Bill, Lynn, Dave and Gail. I have no idea if WiFi is available anywhere so there may be no posts until we’re back.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Clever Flowers.

9-15-09 SHORT HILLS: Last weekend we had almost a inch of rain over three days with a lot of wind. Since then, it has been beautiful, warm, sunny, dry. Perfect for cleaning up after the storm.

These asters open with yellow centers, and after fertilization, the centers turn red. You can see some centers changing from yellow to red. The pollinators know which flowers are worth visiting by the color and aroma. The presence of the older, already pollinated, flowers makes a larger mass of color to attract the insects to the site. The flowers just opening look like badminton birdies. There is a pollinator on the left side of the image.

Another weed, oops, I mean fall wildflower.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Blooming Evolution.

9-8-09 SHORT HILLS: The NYT has a nice article in the Science Section today on the evolution of flowering plants.
A must read for all gardeners.

The rose-of-Sharon is a cousin of the hibiscus. Do you see a family resemblance?



Monday, September 07, 2009

Texas Takes Leave.

9-7-09 SHORT HILLS: We’re back in NJ, and everything is more or less as it was when we left in June. I did find a huge branch down in the yard from an ash tree. Weeds are everywhere. The pool was almost overflowing from all the rain, even though I had siphoned half the water out before we had left for VT.

I noticed Rick Perry [Gov of Texas] is again talking up secession. He had made an executive order for all the girls in the state to get the herpes vaccine shortly after it was released, and took a lot of heat for that from the legislature. [No one in Texas should interfere with a parent’s right to let their kid get cancer.] It may be that the secession talk is just to build up his rep/con cred [or would that be crud] for the up-coming election.

I would be fine with Texas leaving. We lived there for two years, and I’m fine without it. We would, of course, need to re-think the border fence. In fact, maybe we should expell states that are uphappy with the elected government. A new U.S.A. with 25 or 35 states would work fine. The others, if they wished to conjoin, could call themselves something like the Confederacy.

In bloom: rose-of-sharon, hosta, fall wild flowers [weeds].

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Wrap Up.

9-1-09 VERMONT: We wrap-up the season here after Judy goes to an auction tomorrow, and we go back to NJ Thursday. The last couple of days have been hectic with a lot of closing up activity. All the benches and outside chairs, hammock, boat, canoe, pond toys, hoses have been stowed away. I replaced two broken fence rails, for one I had to cut down a small maple sapling and trim it to fit. I put away all the tomato cages, pulled out the blighted tomatoes and wrapped them up for garbage disposal.

The veggies were a disappointment this year, the tomatoes had the late blight and only the “Sun Gold” cherry tomatoes were any good. The corn was mostly stunted. One pumpkin, softball size, is growing. The herbs did well. Other than the tomato blight, the weather was probably to blame—too cold, too wet.

Its been cold at night and dry after another 0.9 inches of rain last week. I’m anticipating a early fall. Some trees are showing early changes, and flowers are all ahead of their usual schedules. The only flowers yet to open are more asters and cimicifuga.

New blooms: more sedum.