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Mad Poster
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#26 Old 30th Apr 2021 at 10:43 PM


The cebu blue has arrived.  This plant gets its name from the blue sheen that is on the leaves as seen on the leaf on the right.  That leaf also has a hole in it for some reason, but other than that, it is really healthy. It has a solid root system and there new growth that should pop in a few days.

Cebu Blue also seems to be a mouthful for people in my house.  It isn't hard to say, they just insist on saying it fast; see-boo blue.  I suspect the name will be reduced to "boo" or "blue" in a few days.
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#27 Old 2nd May 2021 at 3:42 PM


Awww...a little arrowhead.  Using auto correct for levels in Photoshop removes the obnoxious pink overtones from the grow lights.

The propagation box is giving me grief as I've never used this method before, so my stems are sitting on the counter being water propagated.  This has lead to ordering better propagation vessels as the ones I bought are terrible. If a stem is beefy in size, I can only fit one stem per vessel.  I'm not doing that, so I put in a order with Way Fair.  I ordered some stemless wine glasses and some tall, thin shot glasses.  The stemless wine glasses will be for the beefy stems like those from my Silver Satin and the shot glasses will be for vines or thin stems like those that are currently on the Silvery Anne.

I also came across the following video which is long, but provides some helpful tips and advice.  There are tons of videos about how to propagate plants, but none of them really offer problem solving.  They always come across as "Do this and the result will be this.." kind of thing.

The tip I've drawn from said video is wait until water roots appear via water propagation, then put the stems in the box.  She also goes on to talk about how to feed the stems while in the box, ect...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX8...plantparenthood
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#28 Old 3rd May 2021 at 6:31 PM Last edited by Gargoyle Cat : 3rd May 2021 at 8:59 PM.
My obnoxious English Ivy and equally obnoxious Lily of the Valley is mocking me.  The ivy alone has been sprayed 3 times and there is still way too much of it.  Because of this, I decided that instead of worrying about killing the hosta with spray ( clearly I need to be more heavy-handed than I have been) I would move them to one of the gardens in the front yard.

Last spring I had 7-8 hosta in a 3/4 moon shape around the tree stump in the backyard.  Today I was only able to find a hosta and barely a half of one. Both of them look like somebody was dancing all over them. They should be fine in a few weeks with lots of TLC and not being walked on.  If they decline or just up and fail, I'll buy new ones as I'm going to be buying hosta this year anyway.

The question is...what happened to the other ones.  There is zero evidence of them even being there and they were planted in that spot for over 5 years.  I don't know if it was the Lily Valley that completely choked them out, some critter destroyed them from under the soil; a combo of both?  I have no frickin' idea as I've never seen hosta disappear like that.

Since I'm in a digging / planting mood, I'm going to gather up all the lilies and get those in a garden so they won't be turned into mulch with the lawnmower. 

The only good thing from all of this other than possibly rescuing a couple of beat up plants is I'm almost finished with the stinky fish fertilizer and I used up the crappy cactus soil that doesn't drain and causes root rot. I could amend it so that it is less crappy for plants in the house, but I'm done looking at it.  It almost killed my Thanksgiving cactus with all of its sogginess, so it can be used up outside.

EDIT: What you are about to see is not cute, but it is what it is.




This is two stems of hosta that were left behind after I was done digging and planting this afternoon.  I was going to toss them out, but couldn't bring myself to do it.  One has a few roots, the other does not; I didn't make a mental note of which is which.   The leaf shred is what all the leaves look like on the hostas I moved today, blech.

I have this pot tucked in between the hostas I put into the ground today, we'll see if these make it or not.  There is no reason to think the one with the roots won't make it, however the one without roots may or may not end up rotting.
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#29 Old 6th May 2021 at 2:47 PM
I have been handed the task of converting somebodies work space into a jungle. They might regret that decision later, but for now, I'm growing things out to make it happen. I'm not using the prop box, I don't feel like dealing with it.  Instead I'm using orchid pots so I can see when these cuttings are ready to be bumped up a pot size and sent to their new home.



In the tray is: Cebu Blue ( this is not leaving until it is big and when I have a few plants from it), Pubicalyx Hoya ( not leaving the house), Philodendron Brasil, Golden Pothos and some Silvery Anne. What is not pictured because I ran out of space is a pot of Silver Satin cuttings.  They too are in a orchid pot and will be sent on their way when they are ready to go.
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#30 Old 9th May 2021 at 4:06 PM Last edited by Gargoyle Cat : 9th May 2021 at 5:58 PM.


Flowers on the Wayetii Hoya.  They're not fully developed yet, but this is how Hoya get their nickname 'wax plant'; their flowers look like they are made from wax.

Meanwhile, the Hoya Pubicalyx cuttings I put in soil last week are completely dehydrated. Hoya leaves should be thick, stiff and shiny; the cuttings are none of those, so I've moved those cuttings into water.  They're not so far gone that they're brown, but they're definitely not healthy either. They'll either make it or they won't.  If they re-hydrate over the next 24 hours or so, that would be a good sign.

EDIT:



This is a Neon Philodendron; or it is supposed to be anyway.  It is getting better, but when it arrived during the week it was more like a Yellow Philodendron.  The hardened off leaves are supposed to be bright green, not yellow.


This is my Mother's Day gift to myself. Technically it is 3 gifts as there are 3 plants or plugs stuffed into a 2" pot.  They came potted individually which wasn't a big deal. They also came packed in moss which also isn't a big deal except the moss for 2 of them was close to bone dry which means the few little roots these stems had, they were close to dying off from lack of moisture.  In about a month or so this plant will look it is supposed to rather than kind of sad like it is right now.
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#31 Old 10th May 2021 at 1:06 PM Last edited by Gargoyle Cat : 10th May 2021 at 9:08 PM.


Yesterday while on the phone with my mother, I found the robin's nest on the ground with the eggs scattered everywhere.  I don't know if a squirrel knocked the nest over or something else happened. Regardless, I haven't seen either parent and nobody has been hanging around to protect the nest.

I've tested the eggs to see if they're viable, only one floats.  It has been cold out at night, so I'm not sure if that one egg is viable, or how long it will be viable for if that makes sense.

Meh!

EDIT: Update on the eggs

I looked up how to candle eggs to see if these were viable or not as it was driving me crazy.  None of the were fertilized, so no baby birds to worry about which makes me happy.
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Mad Poster
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#32 Old 11th May 2021 at 8:21 PM
A update on the hosta pieces that I posted about on May 3.  This is a crappy picture, but I don't feel like taking it again. I'll take a better pic with the next update.



It has been only been a week, but these are looking much better than they did.  I'm going with the one in the front is the stem that doesn't have roots due to the lack of new growth. As you can see, the one in the back has pushed out a new leaf that is in the process of unfurling.  There is also small roots starting to poke out of the bottom of the pot where this stem is planted.

For the rooted stem, I'll be removing that one in a few weeks and planting it with the other hosta that are just like it. The non-rooted stem can stay in the pot for the time being. I haven't pulled it out to check if there are roots developing or not.  It hasn't rotted like I thought it would, so perhaps this is a sign that good things are happening that I can't see.
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Mad Poster
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#33 Old 13th May 2021 at 5:44 PM
I was outside most of the morning getting stuff done while listening to the birds sing. It was nice of them to keep me company.

All of the transplanted hosta are doing well along with the other plant I moved that I don't know the name of.  The hostas that are currently in pots are also doing well. I have keep reminding myself to water them though.  They don't have access to water like those that are planted in the ground.

The battle with the Lily of the Valley and English Ivy continues.  The amount of ivy has been reduced by more than half and most of the Lily of the Valley is now gone from around the tree stump. There are other areas such as near the fence where the Lily of the Valley has been resisting the spray I was using, so I changed sprays.  I'm not a fan of using ivy / stump killer sprays in the first place, but having to keep re-applying it doesn't make me like it any more.  Spraying once or twice, that's fine but I was up to 5 times with the stuff we started with.  That's ridiculous and I want to move on to other things.

The original plan once the Lily of the Valley was gone from around the tree stump was to buy more hosta, that plan has changed. Once that area is completely cleaned out, grass seed will be put down and we'll leave that area alone except to mow it until next year.  Last year and maybe the year before we also had problems with bittersweet in that same area.  Bittersweet is considered a noxious weed in my state and it's really hard to get rid of. It can come with plants bought at a nursery, the birds spread it around as they eat the berries, ect... Cutting it back or whacking it with a weed whacker isn't enough to get rid of it, it has to be sprayed in order to kill it at root level.  Fortunately I haven't seen any of that, but it is early in the season.

The plan for where the ivy is, is the same as around the tree stump; plant grass and leave it alone.  I honestly don't know what I want there and buying stuff in hopes it scratches a itch is a bad idea and a waste of money.

Other things I did today was dig up 2 more yucca plants. One remains for the moment as it is mixed in with some oat grass that needs to be moved somewhere.  I know I've complained about all the yucca plants that the previous owner of this house had everywhere before, but seriously.  Yucca plants belong in places like Texas and in deserts, not in areas where it snows.  They're also a pain to remove because if there is the slightest bit of tuber left in the ground, the damn things sprout and grow, such is the case of the two I dug up today.  I thought there was one in the front yard too, but that one must have been taken out last year.  That one used to flower all the time; yucca flowers are not pretty.

The front yard is mostly straightened out. I need to propagate some forsythia which is easy to do and of course, there is Lily of the Valley out there as well.  I didn't plant it there so I'm guessing either the birds or some other critter 'planted' it there.  I don't even want to think about it. My goal is to get the backyard done so I have a peaceful place to hang out in without looking all the stuff that needs to be done.
Mad Poster
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#34 Old 14th May 2021 at 8:27 PM


This is the Japanese Andromedia propagation I started awhile ago.  I moved it outdoors for the growing season as I figured it would do better outside than in the house.  It was perfectly happy under a grow light...whatever.

The more I watch this propagation grow, the more I like this plant.  I see the mother plant all the time, but I never really pay attention to the leaves and how they change. Pictured above is a perfect example of that. I never knew the leaves on this plant did this.
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#35 Old 16th May 2021 at 12:02 AM
By this time next week, I should be jumping for joy as all of the Lily of the Valley will be gone, from the backyard anyway.  I've spent the afternoon picking all of it out of the area around the tree stump. For context of just how much of it there was, I've filled almost a 32 gallon trash can. That doesn't include the stuff I need to pull out of what is now the new hosta garden which fortunately isn't nearly as much.

As I was picking and plucking, I came across a couple of strands of bittersweet and some poison ivy.  Of course I wasn't wearing gloves and I'm allergic to poison ivy; I'm glad I didn't rub my face. Tomorrow I'm either going to wake up covered in the stuff or nah. I've scrubbed my hands and arms, but only time will tell. I digress.  The entire area will be sprayed one more time, then it should be good for grass seed by the May 23.  According to the spray instructions, grass can be planted a week post treatment or spraying.

The English Ivy is still a work on progress. It is going away, but it is taking longer than the Lily of the Valley. Ivy has a wax coating on it's leaves so in order for spray to work, it has to be able to break down said coating. 

In other green news, the weeping cherry is looking better. Many of the branches are still completely bald, but leaves should start to grow back soon.  Every year I always give the bugs the benefit of the doubt and every year they destroy all the new leaf growth.  I need to spray for aphids while the tree still has flowers. To avoid hurting beneficial bugs such as bees, ladybugs, ect... I only spray either really early in the morning or at dusk, usually at dusk. By that time of day, all the beneficial bugs have disappeared.
Mad Poster
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#36 Old 17th May 2021 at 5:20 PM Last edited by Gargoyle Cat : 17th May 2021 at 6:08 PM.


I bought some of this back in December or Jan when I first started collecting houseplants. It has been sitting in the bin that I keep extra grow light bulbs and such in as I wanted to use up the smelly fish fertilizer I had first.  The smelly fish fertilizer is now nothing more than a smelly memory, so I dragged out the Jack's for the plants outside.

I used this the other evening as instructed on the back of the package for a 1 gallon of water.  It didn't bother the hostas, but my potted lily now has a bunch of dead new growth since using it. The pot wasn't dry, so the dead leaves is not from lack of watering or over watering, it is the fertilizer. 

While it would be best to avoid this fertilizer as it is really nothing more than plant crack, if anybody does use it or wants to, my suggestion would be to cut the recommended amount by half or to even quarter strength. Also make sure the plants this is being used on are watered before fertilizing as dumping this stuff on dry roots will certainly burn them. As for the potted lily, I'm just going to water as needed until the damaged leaf growth stops.  I could do a hydrogen peroxide drench to get rid of any remaining fertilizer, but since the whole plant hasn't been affected, dealing with this problem with a light touch would be better than completely disrupting the plant.

I threw out the container. No need to keep stuff around that I'm never going to use. Plants are better off with just worm castings than dealing with these kinds of problems.

EDIT:  I found a new home for the oat grass.  I also dug up what was left of the last yucca plant.  Goodbye and good riddance.

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Mad Poster
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#37 Old 19th May 2021 at 6:14 PM
I said I didn't know what I wanted against the back fence when all the ivy is gone; I found something.  It is a crappy screenshot, but look at this hosta.




It's huge!  The species is Empress Wu. It gets 3-4 feet tall and needs to be planted 5 feet apart. 

The video I got the screenshot from.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GqakDC3pX8
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Mad Poster
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#38 Old 20th May 2021 at 8:48 PM
Today is the day I decided to start the task of removing the dreaded English Ivy.  I've meet my match, y'all.  My most hated household task is cleaning out the oven. The only time we use the oven is to cook frozen pizza once a week. We cook pizza on pans that don't have holes so nothing drips. I'd clean out 50 crud covered ovens than deal with removing English Ivy. 

I started this task at around 10 AM.



This pile is most of the ivy that was on the fence, leaves, and some roots.  I created this pile in a couple of hours.




This is what is left of English Ivy after it has been stripped of its leaves via lawn mower. It is this stuff that wraps around trees and other plants that eventually kills them via basically strangling them. All of these roots plus the ones in the ground that look like typical plant roots need to be removed. If they're not, it is likely that said roots will spout again, hence the battle of the English Ivy could very well turn into a endless cycle.

 If you happen to be thinking "Okay, GC, so what's the big deal? Cut them, remove them and get on with your life." Under normal circumstances I'd agree, except...



The area that I'm working with is 12 feet deep ( or from the fence to where the ivy meets the lawn) and 44 feet long.  It took me almost 3 hours to make this pile.  Progress? Nada!  I'm going to be sitting my ass cutting these frickin' roots for at least a week and that is only if the weather behaves.

I'm not even going to talk about the damage this stupid ivy did to the fence, its a mess.  There will be no retail therapy for this chica. I gotta save my pennies so we can replace the fence.  It needs to be done anyway, but now it really needs to be done.  The damage wasn't caused from me removing the ivy. Termites take up residence in the ivy and do their termite thing. Snakes, mice, voles and other things also like to make home in ivy.  I've seen voles around, didn't come across any snakes, spiders, ect...

These are all the things people don't tell a person when they carry on about about how 'pretty ivy looks' against a fence or a house.  The damage isn't just reserved for wood structures, ivy can also get into the mortar of walls and buildings made of stone or brick.  People should avoid the little pots of ivy found in grocery stores and other places. Not because it does structural damage, but rather they are magnets for spider mites.  A fast way to a spider mite infestation is to bring ivy in a household that has other plants.  The only way to avoid that is to clean the plant weekly and spray it down with neem oil, or insecticidal soap on a regular basis.  Bamboo is equally invasive and has to be removed the same way. 

If there are any homeowners reading this or future homeowners, avoid the ivy and bamboo.  Neither are worth the headache when the plant (s) start causing headaches, just sayin'.
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#39 Old 21st May 2021 at 8:40 PM
Another day on the books.  Since The Boy didn't help me yesterday, he was put to work today.   Things go so much faster when there is more than one person; we got well past the halfway mark.  Tomorrow there will be 3 of us, so we should be able to get this whole stupid ivy removal thing done.   It is supposed to be almost 90 degrees on Sunday, I have no interest in fighting with ivy in that kind of heat.

We have no idea what we are going to do with all this ivy stuff as it can't be composted; it will sprout. Despite all the spraying I did, there were roots with brand new growth on them pulled up today. With that in mind, all the roots, and whatever we pull up is being cut up and put into double-layered, contractor black plastic bags.  Between the black bags and the heat from the sun, this will help dry the stuff up and kill it off. Fancy people call this process 'solarization' but I'm not that fancy.  This technique is typically used to control weeds, but it is the same process regardless of how it is used or applied.  https://eorganic.org/node/25440

This isn't a remove all the ivy and call it quits, kind of project.  The area is going to need to be sprayed and watched. Whatever we see pop up, needs to be dealt with ASAP. Some say this process can take couple of years, I hope not.  The amount that pops up and needs to be pulled will be small compared to what we have been doing and will decline further with every removal, but still.

Tomorrow we finish up ( hopefully), spray then work on something else.  I still have Lily of the Valley mocking me, so that needs tending to.
Mad Poster
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#40 Old 22nd May 2021 at 5:56 PM
All of the ivy from the backyard is gone; well, not completely. It is sitting in bags that we finally decided on how to get rid of.  We're going to rent a dumpster which will allow us to not only get rid of that, but also the other crap that has been kicking around. i.e- All the kitchen chairs that Jingle destroyed from chewing them.  There is also a old dog house that needs to go and just nonsense that has been hanging around like old luggage because we didn't know what to do with it.

While finishing this project up, it was brought to my attention that I may be able to score some free plants. They're not the hosta I've been looking at, but free hosta is free hosta; I'll take them.  Depending on the weather, if it stays on the cooler side, work will start on the front yard tomorrow.

As not fun this process has been, it is nice having it finished; it is like the backyard can breathe and not feel so weighed down. I could have called a company to come in and do it, but it cost a lot moolah to have them do it because it is such a PITA.
Mad Poster
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#41 Old 23rd May 2021 at 10:18 PM


This is the hosta I ripped all of the leaves off of by accident a couple of weeks (?) ago.  It is slowly coming back, but it is going to be awhile before it can go back into the ground. 

I'm trying out a product called BushDoctor Kangaroots Root Drench by Fox Farm.  Supposedly this product helps roots by making them more efficient. I can't say if it really does more than any other fertilizer.  The only way to really know would be to test it with a few plants of the same species and size, then use different products on each plant.  Maybe if I get really bored at some point I'll do that experiment. Today is not that day. 

My goal is to make this plant's root system as healthy as I can so it can push out new growth. Pulling the leaves off was stressful for the plant, then it's roots were almost bone dry when I dug it up which was even more stress. The fact that is has put out a new leaf is a good sign, but it probably would have done that anyway with or without the Kangaroots. 

And for some plant-y fun,  calatheas and marantas  otherwise known as prayer plants moving their leaves.  These are not mine, but they're fun to watch regardless.

How plants move in a 24-hour period

https://twitter.com/ValaAfshar/stat...184786650140675
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Mad Poster
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#42 Old 25th May 2021 at 2:15 PM
The rebuilding begins. This is where all the English Ivy was. I need to come up with a name for this area; I'm over saying English Ivy.






These hosta are much smaller than they look. Taking pictures from overhead gives the illusion that they are really tall when in reality, some of them are barely 2 inches from the soil to leaf tip.

These hosta came from the 'ugly corner' of the yard. Long story short about the ugly corner: Former owner of the house built a greenhouse-type thing out of two by fours and plexiglass. The structure could not be used for growing anything as it was not properly ventilated. During the summer the inside of it could easily reach 130 degrees.

A handful of years ago the trolls from my local town hall decided to give this structure a value of $3,000.00 so they could up my taxes. I could buy a custom shed that looks like a mini version of my house for the kind of money, I digress. At the time town hall did this, if they leaned on the greenhouse-thing hard enough, it would have fallen over as we didn't maintain it. We let it rot on purpose with the intention of removing the eye sore from the yard. In the end, they came out not once but twice to make sure the thing was removed, because I have nothing else better to do than lie about such things and we ended up paying taxes on it for a year post removal because of how fiscal calendars work.

After all the BS was over with, I decided to try putting a garden in that spot. It is a terrible spot for a garden for the very reason mentioned above; it gets too hot. It is fine during the cooler months, but nothing worth looking at likes it there during the summer.

Now that I've explained 'ugly corner', lets fast forward to yesterday. Currently in the ugly corner is a bunch of weeds, poison ivy, bitter sweet, some random oak tree saplings that the squirrels planted and some purple things that I don't know what they are. The hosta pictured above I planted when I tried to garden in the ugly corner and gave up on them as something was literally shredding and ripping them apart. Last year I figured they were as good as gone, so this year we'd deal with the ugly properly. Upon spraying the poison ivy, bitter sweet and oak tree saplings, I found these little, tiny hosta.

I have this same species of hosta in another area of the yard; it's huge. These ones are stunted because A) they were trying to grow in bad soil B) I planted them in full sun. Hosta do not like full sun, at all. They don't mind morning sun, and filtered light, but anything stronger than that, they don't thrive. These will grow out some this year because they are being cared for and are now in a spot where they will grow, but it is going to take a year or so before they catch up with the other hostas in the yard.

I think got all of them yesterday, but if I happen to come across a few more, they'll be plucked and moved. As for the ugly corner, once it is cleaned out, we're not going to do anything with it. If I can get some kind of grass to grow there, that's fine, if not, I not going to fuss with it. The wild rabbits can use that area for their daily dirt baths they like to take. Maybe I'll put a bird bath or something over there so the birds have more water holes to come to during the warmer months.
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Mad Poster
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#43 Old 29th May 2021 at 12:44 AM
I checked on the little hosta I moved the other day, they have new tiny leaves. It makes me happy that they're happy.

It is supposed to be kinda of blah all weekend, but I going to be doing stuff anyway. I've got a couple of bags of soil and a bag of grass seed coming. Planting grass seed in blah weather has its advantages. The birds are more likely to leave it alone than make a meal of it and since it will be raining off and on, that means less watering for me.

After spending a couple of hours of getting rid of stuff from around the yard / in the house today, I'm thinking about getting another dumpster in the fall just so we can get rid of tree limbs and all of that that kind of stuff. We have a ton of small oak trees that need to come down; they're developing that gross black fungus. From all that I've read, there is no 'cure' for it so leaving them just means it will spread more. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
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#44 Old 30th May 2021 at 12:37 AM
A excellent video about root rot: how to spot it, treat it and prevent it.

Kaylee is one of the few people on YT that I listen to when it comes to plants. She has her own shop in the UK where she sells plants that are imported from places like Indonesia, Taiwan, ect... All of the plants I've purchased are grown in greenhouses in the US, but it still interesting to learn things things about plants from other places.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2ELAhu6WEs
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#45 Old 31st May 2021 at 3:16 PM Last edited by Gargoyle Cat : 31st May 2021 at 9:31 PM.


Here is part of what the backyard looks like at the moment. There is a saying when a person is decluttering that goes something along the lines of "Things have to get worse before they get better." While this was not a decluttering project, it still looks like a heap of mess.




This is the catalyst that brought on the above mess. This one of the hosta the deer destroyed. There was literally nothing left of the other one.

Today there are a few things going on. The hosta are going to be organized, and put into the ground. I decided I wanted two more Empress Wu for the area around the tree stump. I'll take pictures of that and post them tomorrow or at some point.

Grass seed is going down today.

All the wind did some tree damage. The chain saw is going to be sharpened so we can deal with that when things dry out.

We'll be done with the dumpster today, so I'll be calling them to let them know that they can come get it when they're ready.

I guess I can call at least the dumpster part of the equation progress. We've actually gotten a lot done, the deer thing was just one more thing I didn't need to deal with.

EDIT: Sans the chain saw thing ( the place was closed) we're 99.5% done. I need a couple more bags of mulch to finish the area around the tree stump. All of the hostas have been planted so now we just need some sun to help them get settled into their new area.

The birds are loving the new space. We had catbirds, cardinals, nuthatches and robins all checking things out earlier.

Tomorrow is a new day which means leaning into another project. It will probably be the ugly corner, but that is subject to change.
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#46 Old 1st Jun 2021 at 3:14 PM
The center of the backyard has been reclaimed! We're still not done as there has yet to be agreement about to either edge or use hard scape around this garden, but the worst of it is over.



You can see all of the Lily of the Valley stumps and of course, there is the yellow ring which is dead grass. The Lily of the Valley took over from the stump to where the yellow ring ends.



Plants are in, mulch is down. I did put grass seed down yesterday, so the yellow will go away once the grass grows.

Here's a peek at the new hosta garden. This is not all of the plants, I didn't feel like playing around the camera today. Everything looks janky right now, but once plants settle and things grow in, it will be fine. I have no idea what that green thing is that is hanging over the fence. I'm guessing it is a droopy tree branch as all of the ivy is gone.



And since I'm here, most of the hosta I was trying to salvage in pots to grow and use elsewhere, rotted. The 4-plus days of rain we had didn't allow the pots to dry out. The Japanese Andromeda I started in the house is now in the ground to prevent rotting from happening.
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#47 Old 2nd Jun 2021 at 12:46 PM Last edited by Gargoyle Cat : 2nd Jun 2021 at 12:59 PM.
Yesterday was a long day. It was a few car trips to get the pavers we needed to build the planters, the chainsaw was dropped off to be sharpened and two trips to the nursery. The first trip to the nursery was for information, the second was to make a purchase. We got 3 Japanese Andromeda to go with the planters.

I had planned on only getting one planter done so we could dig up and move the German iris. Apparently it was so much fun building the first one, the second one was built later in the afternoon. The second planter doesn't have plants in it yet as we need to fill the base with it rocks first. ( See notes below about this and why we did it) The German iris now have a home so we can clear out the space at the end of driveway and get that ready for the planter that will be going there.

The last task for the day was to move Gunther. The only time we've able to see Gunther over the past few years is during the winter when the Rose of Sharon don't have any leaves on them as they've more than doubled in size since we put Gunther between them. Moving Gunther is not a simple task; he weighs well over a hundred pounds. Also, Gunther isn't crooked, I was being lazy when I took the picture. I could have straightened out in Photoshop, but nah.



Gunther is also a very grungy gargoyle with very dirty feet. He will be getting a bath today as his new home is in the new hosta garden.

**A cheaty way for saving money on soil when it comes to big planters that are not going to be moved is to use rock. If you fill the first quarter or half of the planter with rock or gravel, not only does it provide good drainage, it also cuts the soil budget way down. I used one big bag ( 2 cubic feet) of potting soil yesterday for the German iris. The first half of the bag I used to fill in all the cracks and crevices between the rocks, the rest was get the plants planted and settled in.

For smaller containers, sturdy plastic flower pots flipped upside down can do the same thing.
Screenshots
Mad Poster
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#48 Old 4th Jun 2021 at 12:42 AM Last edited by Gargoyle Cat : 4th Jun 2021 at 10:49 AM. Reason: I need to stop posting when I'm tired
Not much happened today in terms of yard stuff. Japanese Andromeda were planted, there was work done to the walkway to the front door, weeding happened and mulch was added to the garden that is home to the Korean ornamental grasses. Both gardens in front of the house are done.

Tomorrow the ugly corner or Hell corner as others call it is going to be taken care of. The weeds will be pulled, the area will be mowed as there is some grass there, the shrub-like things that I don't know what they are will be cut down and sprayed, then grass seed will be put down. It is supposed to be really hot this weekend, so that area is going to be watered a few times a day. The grass we bought is drought tolerant, but it has grow first.

All of the hostas are doing well since being moved. All of the Empress Wu are sprouting new growth; it will be interesting to see how big they get between now and the end of September. The Weeping Cherry tree is still recovering from being munched by aphids and overall, everything is coming together. I still have yet to lock down a week to rent another dumpster so we can get rid of all the brush and stuff, but it isn't pressing issue.

Since tomorrow is going to be a 'easy' day, maybe we'll finish clearing out the area at the end of the driveway. I sprayed it the other day as there was poison ivy in there. It should be okay to yank out now that it has had a few days to roast in the sun. We also need to decide on what color stone to use for the planter I want there.
Mad Poster
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#49 Old 4th Jun 2021 at 8:23 PM
Had a change of plans for the ugly corner. As we were clearing things out, I found stuff. There was Lily of the Valley that I never planted there, more poison ivy and something we call strawberry vines. I don't know the real name of these vines as they don't produce fruit, but they're annoying and invasive if not controlled. They're not damaging like ivy or as difficult to get rid of, but still a nuisance. The entire area is going to be sprayed to get rid of the Lily of the Valley, any lingering roots from the poison ivy, ect... then we'll plant grass seed. This plan works out as next week it isn't supposed to be as hot, so I won't have to water the grass seed as often.

While we were out there, we also go rid of the dead Barberry I found the other day. Barberry is considered a noxious weed in my state, but since we bought and planted it long before that rule was put into place, it stays. I'm not really sure why it's considered a noxious weed as we haven't had problems with it spreading everywhere, but it could be where we have it planted that is keeping it from doing so. Just to make sure the stuff we cut can't come back from the dead as plants can do that, we have the parts we cut in the dog kennel where it will stay until it completely dries out. The kennel itself sits on concrete, so there is no chance that the branches that are sitting there will root. It is going to be too hot for the dogs to stay outside over the weekend anyway; it can stay there.

We then pulled more crap out of the area for the driveway. There were 2 oak trees that have been trying to grow there, poison ivy, Lily of the Valley and so on. Are you seeing the trend for pest plants in my yard? We also talked about how tall to make the planter we want there. If it is too short there is a chance somebody is going to smack it with their bumper or just drive into it. Instead of being 3 layers of pavers for height, we decided on 5 layers. When winter comes around, we'll get the stakes that are used to mark areas that are not seen when covered with snow.

Other than that, it has been a uneventful day which is fine by me. Tomorrow we'll start the process of propagating some forsythia; it's a simple process that only needs a couple of things. A bucket with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage, soil and some plant cuttings. Rooting hormone is not necessary, but since I have some, I'll put it to use. The bottom leaves are stripped from the stem, apply the rooting hormone, put stems in soil. The bucket will need to be in a partially sunny area and I should have a plant in about a month or so.
Mad Poster
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#50 Old 7th Jun 2021 at 2:08 PM
We moved all of the hosta to keep the deer off of them, but now the rabbits have decided to get in on the action as I discovered yesterday. They didn't do nearly the damage the deer did ( a couple of nibbles) but seriously.

To fix this problem, I did a search for 'repellent' sprays. The one I'm currently using is hot sauce with a ghost chili pepper base, water and Dr.Bronners unscented liquid soap. The soap ensures the spray sticks to the leaves. I figure if ghost chili pepper can keep elephants at bay, it can keep the rabbits away as well. There are lots of recipes for these kinds of sprays online. If you're having a problem and want to use whatever you have on hand, do a search. Cayenne pepper is a popular one which has the added bonus of attracting bumble / honey bees as it leaves a yellow color on plant which the bees like from what I've read. Not only do these sprays keep the furry kind of critters away, they're also good for things like aphids and other destructive bugs. They are not meant to kill things, just repel them which means the spray has to be applied on a regular basis, after it rains, ect...

The story about elephants.... https://worldbulletin.dunyabulteni....nts-h13776.html

I'm not throwing shade at elephants, I love them just as much as the next person. I also enjoy having wild life on my property, but for whatever reason, they've decided not to leave my gardens alone this year. Except for a few new plants and cleaning out the yard, nothing has changed.
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