Dahlia “Pooh”

Dahlia Pooh, opening
Dahlia Pooh, opening

The colors of this collarette dahlia remind me of when I was a child and dad bought home color chips to pick out colors for his potentially two-toned Cadilac.  We were actually dirt poor at the time as we lived on a farm so dirt was most of what we owned.  Dad’s day job was for Cadilac Motors in Detroit. At that time the employee discounts were so good that he could buy one from the new models and sell it a year later at a profit.

Yellow and red, about these shades of yellow and red, were my favorites and I couldn’t see why the rest of my family couldn’t see it.  At my insistence, I do think someone tried to explain the meaning of “resale value” to me but I was pretty young and these two colors were the very best!

I may never have seen a car in these colors, and with my well-trained adult tastes I would probably think it ugly, but I do have dahlia “Pooh” to remind me what it is to be a child.

dahlia Pooh

Daylillies and a Friend – Updated Gallery

[oqeygallery id=31]

I promised that the next post would be pretty pictures, these come from a friend in Ohio. These were small pictures that she shared with me and the large gallery size makes some of them a bit fuzzy but still beautiful; we’ve been talking about working with bigger one for this blog for a week or two but I wanted to get this posted while it’s still daylilly season.  I will swap out any larger ones when she sends them.

She says she’s not an expert in daylillies but she does have over thirty varieties in her garden.  From a Daylilly Expo that she attended, she tells me:

There are 71,474 registered daylilies with about a thousand new ones being registered every year.

These are the basic daylily forms:

  1. Round
  2. Double
  3. Polymerous (many more petals than typical)  I think he said there have been up to 12 petals.
  4. Unusual form.  If each petal is four or more times longer than wide, it is called a “spider.”
  5. Patterns
  6. Miniature
  7.  Sculpted
  •   pleated
  •   relief
  •   cristate – growth from or over one or more petals

 

Seven Sisters Pruning Question

I promise the next post will be pretty pictures but I’d like suggestions.

Seven Sisters Rose after blooming
Seven Sisters Rose after blooming

I am not sure how to prune Seven Sisters.  I will be deadheading this, which was magnificent, and I’ll have to do some serious thinning, too.  This rose is not prone to black spot but you wouldn’t know it from looking at these shots.  Summer pruning will help.  Here is my problem.  I know that next years blossoms will grow off laterals from those new shoots but what about the old canes and laterals, do they produce blossoms again on the old laterals?  Do old laterals produce new laterals with blossoms?

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

 

Seven Sisters Rose needs a haircut
Seven Sisters Rose needs a haircut

More Critter Wars

 

Black Krim eaten by chipmunk
Black Krim eaten by chipmunk

So I guess this kind of mesh doesn’t  prevent chipmunks from eating tomatoes as they ripen.  From a wine purchase, it was the easiest to apply.  Just slip it on; no tying.  I thought they might take advantage of the open ends.  But no, they just ate through it.

Critter wars

 

Brandywines in mesh
Brandywines in mesh

I mentioned my problems with chipmunks and watching them eat almost all of last year’s tomato crop.  They seem to have an uncanny ability to know when a tomato is going to turn color and demolish it the same day.  When I stopped at one of our local farm stands for some 4th of July raspberries, the woman who took my cash suggested mesh bags, like the ones that onions are sold in, to protect my crop.  It’s not really feasible for all of my crop, like the sprawling bunches of cherry tomatoes, but for some of my prized, large heirlooms, it may be.

I don’t honestly know if mesh will work.  The woman who made the suggestion had actually used brown paper bags.  She said that they’d worked well, even ripening the tomatoes more quickly, but she quickly learned that they had to be emptied and reset after every rain or they’d hold the water and rot the tomatoes.

The problem with mesh is that I know my little chipmunk friends can eat suet through the suet cage and I’ve seen them use their sharp little claws.  They may be able to eat the suet through the mesh.  Or maybe, the strangness of the stuff will deter, on its own.  Although I doubt that.  These are very tame chipmunks.

Black Krim in mesh bag
Black Krim in mesh bag

If a  coarse mesh will work, the easiest to apply is the plastic mesh “jackets” that they use to separate bottles of wine when they are packed two to a bag.  They don’t need to be tied, just slipped on.  And their natural stretch settles in around the  tomato and can easily expand as it grows.

I had a couple of different bags; the one that I purchased with limes in it had the smallest mesh.  It’s all an experiment.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tomatoes, 2012

 

Green Supersweet 100
Green Supersweet 100

It’s the time of year when most garden chores change from starting things to maintaining them.  Mundane tasks like mowing and weeding have taken the place of dramatic decisions about what and when to plant.

And some harvesting. I’ve let the first year asparagus go weeks ago, to get more next year and I’m picking snow peas at the rate of a pound every few days. The tomatoes are at least a couple of weeks early, which is pretty much how this season has been going. Picking even a cherry tomato in June is almost unheard of and if you look carefully at the top, left of the picture above, you can see my second ripe tomato getting redder.  The first one was picked slightly green and ripened inside.

I’m playing chicken with the chipmunks, who ate most of my crop last year. The sight of this one turning red untouched had me a little hopeful that the family who likes tomatoes moved on, but I see a quarter of a ripening Black Krim has been eaten, just as it was turning color. Last year I tried Coyote urine around the perimeter of the beds and all I got out of that was ruined shoes.

Green Brandywine
Green Brandywine

 

Teasing Georgia and a foxglove
Teasing Georgia and a foxglove

Focusing on happier things, a pretty shot at about eyesight where the last, slightly chewed, small Teasing Georgia blossoms made friends with the last few blossoms on a lavender foxglove stalk; making for a beautiful relationship.