Monday, June 19, 2017

east bed

Here's pix I took after work today:

And here's some Photoshoppery of what I hope it will look like in a few years:

ha ha, we'll see.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

weekend update

Back yard: Northeast bed: T — friend's father-in-law — came by Saturday afternoon with his chainsaw. It was hot out, but stump was in shade, so not too bad. Everything was working great, until the saw ran out of gas and then had vapor lock from the heat and wouldn't restart. T had got most of the stump out by then though, and was able to hack the rest loose with the pick mattock. 14/10! Above and beyond, T! 👍

Stump remains, and the removed parts filled one of those Big Orange 5-gallon buckets:

On Sunday morning, I went out to shovel the pile of dirt back into the bed, then dig in sand, mushroom compost and Yum Yum mix. I got as far as shoveling the dirt in and dumping the other amendments on top before it got too hot and I had to go inside.

Waited until dusk-ish to mix the dirt and plant the mockorange, penstemons, agastaches, and columbines. Finally! Aside from not being able to get a proper "after" photo, I highly recommend evening gardening! I'll be looking into getting some crusher fines/gravel for mulch. The penstemons especially like a dry mulch.

The accent rock is the only thing you can (kind of) see! 😂

Thursday, June 15, 2017

what's blooming

June 2017 Bloom Day

New Mexico prickly pear (Opuntia phaeacantha):

Mexican evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa):

Apache plume (Fallugia paradoxa):

Sunday, June 11, 2017

weekend update

Back yard: Northeast bed: ugh. This bed. So, first, had a snafu sourcing a good-quality farm jack in town, so I ordered one online from Big Orange. It came in on Tuesday, Bram and I picked it up Wednesday evening. Thursday after work this happened:

Then the rope broke. Boo. Got some chain on Friday, then tried unsuccessfully on Saturday and (with Bram's help) on Sunday to extract the dang stump. Chain shenanigans, wrong jack placement, wrong 2x4 support placement, dirt too compacted (around the stump), dirt not compacted enough (under the jack/supports). Each attempt took like five minutes to reset the chain and/or jack. There were tears (me, not Bram). Plus it was too hot, and working in the full sun was killing us.

Stump wouldn't budge. I assume there must be some king hella taproot that goes all the way to Subterranea.

New plan: I've excavated more around the stump and have offered to give the jack to a friend's father-in-law in exchange for him bringing his chainsaw over and cutting the Stump From Hell off as far below grade as possible. Then I backfill, amend the soil and finally get those poor plants in the ground. *fingers crossed*

Monday, May 29, 2017

weekend update

oooof. So sore. But that's what I get when I skip a weekend. Actually, last weekend Bram took on the front yard weeding, the side-and-back-yard weedwhacking, and hitting the patio bindweed with Roundup. Thanks a million for that, sweetie. 😘

This past Friday I went back to the last of the Waterwise wholesale-to-the-public sales and picked up a few more things; 3 Rozanne geranium for the front door bed; 3 pineleaf penstemon (Penstemon pinifolius) for the northeast bed outside our bedroom; and 3 Turkish speedwell (Veronica liwanensis) for groundcover around the back yard flagstones.

Front yard: Planted the new geraniums and the leadwort I picked up three (!!!!) weeks ago in the front door bed. Mulched with compost. Rejoiced at all the apricots on the ground. Turns out I needn't have worried about shaking them off.

[click to embiggen]

Back yard: Northeast bed (bedroom bed? what do I call this?): Saturday, dug up as much dirt as I could from around the sumac stump, using the shovel and the pick mattock I picked up this week (ran into Dorothea while I was there at Big Orange! 💕). Monday, turned the hose on the stump for a bit and excavated by hand with the little trowel, cutting roots as I went with the loppers and the pruning saw. Plan is to get a farm jack to pull the remaining stump out. Should also mix in some sand to improve the drainage. Crusher fines for mulch would also be nice, especially for the penstemon, they hate wet ground. Agh, I really need to get those plants in.

[click to embiggen]

Raised bed: Cut back daylilies — they look kind of hilarious/alien with just flower stalks left and no leaves, dug up a few Maximilian sunflowers to try to make more room for the tomatoes, sent rootstock to Mom! Dug in compost, planted tomatoes and basil (the thyme and Persian basil from NM Plant Co croaked). Mulched with straw (Bram picked up a new bale at the Feed Bin for me) and set up cages. Skipping the soaker hoses this year, instead will water by hand in raised bed (and bedroom bed). Dug up some arugula volunteers on Thursday for a co-worker. Chives and thyme are blooming.

[photo by Bram]

[click to embiggen]

Yard: The arugula is out of hand and already starting to flower. I hacked off a trash bag-full and brought it in to the office on Friday, for the usual giveaway. I managed to get it all gone, but it was work. Note to self: don't bring pounds of arugula in before a long weekend, most everyone bugs out a day early to get a 4-day weekend.

[click to embiggen]

Monday, May 15, 2017

what's blooming

May 2017 Bloom Day

Dakota verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida):

Running fleabane (Erigeron tracyi):

they're good buddies

Sand Aster (Chaetopappa ericoides):

Lupine (Lupinus caudatus):

Indian paintbrush (Castilleja integra):

Roses, roses, roses:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

weekend update

All I got done was planting the front door pot. Dahlia in the back, coleus in the middle, impatiens on the sides, sweet potato in front.

Poor Elspeth needs some serious plastic surgery. Also, turns out I needn't have worried about shaking apricots off the tree — it's doing a great job of dropping them on its own. I did pick up 4 bags of mushroom compost, will try to get those spread/dug in before the weekend.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

2017 Garden Fair | weekend update

So, apparently, there was construction going on at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds that severely impacted the spaces where the Garden Fair is held. There was only one building open (usually there are two, plus various outdoor spaces), so there was only maybe one-quarter the amount of vendors/exhibitors as usual, plus only the main plant sale. The Farminista ladies were not there! No food trucks! Boo! Fortunately, there were tomatoes in the main plant sale. Unfortunately, even though I got there by 9:30 am, they had sold out of Sungolds! Gah! I panicked and grabbed two Robesons ($4 each). It was nutso, and really crowded, with everything crammed into a too-small space. Ran into the ever-fabulous Bev, Kathy, and Paul B.!

[click for larger]

To salve my disappointment, I engaged in some additional retail therapy on my way home. First, I stopped at Plants of the Southwest and got a Littleleaf Mockorange (Philadelphus microphyllus). Earlier this spring we had Coates Tree Service out to do some work, including removing the three-leaf sumac outside our bedroom window — it was seriously encroaching and causing problems. The mockorange will take its place.

I've been reading Nate Downey's PermaDesign blog, and back in April, he posted a piece about David Salman, the founder and former president of Santa Fe Greenhouses. (Even though the Santa Fe Greenhouses retail location has been closed for years, High Country Gardens, their mail-order branch, is still going.) Nate's blog post mentioned that Salman is still growing plants for his wholesale business, Waterwise Gardening. Which has public sales! Which I stopped at, after Plants of the Southwest! It was fairly busy, with one greenhouse full of mostly perennials, including a bunch I had on my list to check out as other plantings to go with the mockorange! Judging by the ID tags in some of the plants, Salman still raises plants for High Country Gardens. So these were the same ones I had been considering mail-ordering, for less money, and no shipping fees! Woohoo! I kinda went a little nuts:
  • 3 Husker Red penstemon (Penstemon digitalis Husker Red)
  • 1 Blue Fortune agastache
  • 2 Sunset agastache (Agastache rupestris)
  • 3 Serpentine columbine (Aquilegia eximia)
  • 3 Leadwort (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides), for the front door bed
  • 1 Rosemary
Plus a bag of Yum Yum Mix.

[click to embiggen]

The day's haul:

Then, at home, I started the cleanup in front yard, weeding the sidewalk bed and along the other side of the driveway. I also trimmed up the chamisa, deadheaded stuff, and trimmed back the yuccas that were encroaching the sidewalk. Then I took a rake and shook a bunch of apricots off the tree. I'm really worried with the amount of fruit that's set and still seems viable, even after the hard freeze we had the other weekend. Sigh. Two-and-a-half hours. Front yard itself is still in need of some serious weeding, but I was tired and the bin was full. Next weekend, I guess.

Also: Happy Birthday, Mom! 😘