Sunday, September 2, 2007

Flotsam and Jetsam

The above phrase has become a composite meaning "odds and ends". So on this Labor Day Weekend - a time set aside to honor the working woman/man - I'll show you some odds and ends existing in my life at present.

Look how tall the Impatiens have gotten this year! This picture was taken from inside looking into the window boxes, and is a record for us.

Physotegia - "Obedient Flower" and new foliage of the Grape Hyacinths.

BAD! BAD! Sedum Autumn Joy

Properly trained Autumn Joy!

Wood Aster in the perennial garden and a wild white aster.

Pretty Snapdragons - Doubly lovely because there were too few this year.

Beginning blossoms of Sweet Autumn Thug - Oops - I mean Clematis and the flower of nearby Fountain Grass.

Why on September 2nd have I only gotten about 4 ripe tomatoes off this dwarf plant? Because the deer kept "pruning" it each time a new branch would start growing! Notice the Alyssum right next to it - the tomato plant was meant to be small - but not that small!!

Hot Hungarian Wax and Jalapeno peppers managed very well except for a little slug damage to the leaves once the drought was over.

The Golden Rod was covered with all sizes of wasps and this fat, vitamin C -filled Rose Hip is a sure sign of Fall.

We like to set booby-trapped , dilapidated lawn furniture around the yard to surprise unwary guests. That's a very thorny shrub rose growing between the seat and the back of this chair. ( Many years ago Ashley and I rescued these from houses that were being demolished not far from here. They were old then!)

"Leaves of three, let them be." My older brother, who sometimes talks in maxims, quoted this as we walked the Poison Ivy infested paths. These ripening Jack-In-the-Pulpit seeds don't look real - something like those plastic picks you stick in Christmas bouquets.

My ubiquitous mushroom picture. I guess it wouldn't be a genuine "Alyssa" blog without a fungus somewhere! These are rather unique - they are only 1/4" or less tall !! (See, I told you they were special!)

Pumpkiny-looking gourds growing in a flower bed right outside the patio doors. Why are they there, you ask? I'll admit it, in the dead of winter I found some molding gourds left from Thanksgiving in the house (I don't know how that happened!) and I didn't feel like plowing through snow to the compost bin, so I just threw them out the doors into the flower bed. And there they sprouted. The flower is a Sedum of some sort.

It was a very good year for pond plants (right Mary) and I have another container that looks just like this. I can't bear to toss them into the compost bin. And a feathery piece of perfection!

Gardening stuff Sale Time!

A Target bargain - a Smith and Hawken watering can, originally $24.95, marked down to $6.95! I can't imagine who'd pay 25 bucks for that thing....

Three grape plants (see the tags) and a thornless Boysenberry plant marked down. I looked up in my "Gardening in Wisconsin" book and none of these were listed as hardy in my zone! Same on the Internet. The thornless Boysenberry is hardy to 5 degrees according to a web site I found. The tag on the plant says it is hardy in my zone. Now who do I believe? I'm going leave the picture tags on - That could be the only grapes I'll get off the plants. Same with the boysenberry.

I know this Juniper will do well here. This was not very cheap even with 30% off, but I told Steve it was a present for him! He was admiring one just a few weeks ago. I always have a feeling that Monrovia takes malformed trees, lops off a few branches here and there, calls it a bonsai, and then jacks up the price 4 fold! Now, all we have to do is figure out a place for it - we have NO idea.

Rummage Sale Bargain !!

Aren't these pretty? They are only a tiny fraction of green glass containers an old woman (she's dead now) had collected! Her niece was selling them all and they were marked down to a couple dollars a piece. The most expensive was the small vase, farthest to the right - supposedly hand blown - or mouth or whatever - in Finland. It has a tiny sticker with a little man blowing glass and says "Finland". I especially like the chicken covered bowl so I will give it to my sister.

This weekend was the first time this year we sat in our lovely gazebo. I know, BAD! BAD! Steve and Alyssa! Look on the center of the table and you'll see green onions standing in a glass. That was dinner - no, just kidding. We also had grilled chicken and yuca mojo (I'll explain the yuca mojo another time.) It was very nice and .......

this is the view from the other direction. I snapped this just before the fire in the pit started to show real flames. I like the way it looks here though. It got pretty dark but we had a candle going and we listened to the loud crickets, toads, and a lone owl. Well, then we started to feel guilty about the pugs in their crates and went to get them. They both pooped and it was so dark we didn't want to step on any "surprises" so in we went.

It has been a very nice Labor Day week end so far.


I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing, the rich would have kept more of it for themselves.

Bruce Grocott (1940 - Observer 22 May 1988)


Bye for now,



Carol said...

I like your "this and that", especially those booby-trap chairs - great idea! (Kidding, of course). Enjoy the day,

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

DeeMom said...

Neat Alyssa, last night we too had our first fire in our fire pit…ROMANTIC…
yuca mojo, sounds yummy… sounds like a Hemingway Mojito would go with that dinner!

Table set for two How Kewl…lovely view and so comfortable looking.

Neat tree, no matter how it came to be…lol I got Sweetie 12 that are due to arrive soon.

The old furniture, neat idea as well…
“Obedient Flower" new one for me I shall have to look it up. The name caught my eye as well.

Mary said...

Oh Alyssa, I enjoyed this post so much. Your work in the gardens has produced so much beauty around you.

I giggled at the gazebo comment: onions for dinner? LOL! If I had a nice place like that to sit, I'd be there every night! (If it weren't 100 degrees, that is...)

Your idea of old chairs is clever! I like that. Ivy, mandevilla, can wrap themselves around and make a picture!

I adore glass pieces. We have milk bottles that were dug up during the construction of our house in 1988 that were dated 1925. Very cool!

Your Labor Day weekend is perfect. You photos show it. Great!

Alyssa said...

Carol - Thanks. I'm afraid the chairs have maybe another year left in them. You can't tell from the picture, but they are very rickety.

Dee - Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Those chairs are extremely comfortable - you could fall asleep in them. What kind of trees did you get Hubby? The Obedient Flower is called that because you can push each little flower in any direction, and it will stay there. Have to look up a Hemingway Mojito!!?

Mary - Thank you for the compliments and I'm happy you enjoyed the post. Working second shift doesn't give us any time to enjoy the gazebo - a shame. Milk bottles that are 82 years old - I'm amazed. They would look really neat cleaned and displayed. The only old glass we found here were broken brandy bottles - sigh!

DeeMom said...

Alyssa, I got him Thuja Green Giant.
Thuja Green Giant is becoming more and more popular among landscapers, growers, and homeowners alike. This hardy, fast growing, conifer makes a perfect privacy screen in just a few short years.

Green Giant will grow from 3 to 5 feet per year and will eventually grow to 50 feet or more with a fairly narrow spread. The color is a deep lustrous green and is pleasantly fragrant.
Green Giant will grow in a wide range of soils in zones 5 to 8 and prefers a deep well drained fertile soil although it adapts well to frequently saturated clay soils. This is a tough tree and will not easily suffer damage from high wind or heavy ice and snow loads.

Green Giant is drought tolerant after it is well established, exhibits no significant pest or disease problems, is deer and bagworm resistant and is hardy to -25F.
This new USDA US National Arboretum release as Green Giant has been evaluated since 1967 and will become the outstanding alternative screening-evergreen to the disease prone Leyland Cypress in the south and to the Hemlocks that are dying throughout New England.
Growth Rate: Fast growth rate
Light requirements: Full Sun, Partial Sun and shade
Plant Group: Shrub, Tree
Plant Type: Evergreen
Plant Zone: Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
Size at Maturity: 30 - 50 ft

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Your garden is lovely. Such a lot of work. As I have said previously. I enjoy Nature's wild flowers and weed, both to look at and to eat.

One of my herb gardens is overrun with chinese lantern plant. I hope I have enough fruit to make a batch of jam. Then I will have to pull some of this invasive species.

I have a pig that wanders around the yard and is not averse to eating some plants, or just lying in them to keep cool.

Katie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm excited to find yet another wonderful garden blog to read! Your pictures read like a wishlist of mine, and you are the Queen of Canning! I strive to one day be able to can ONE thing, let alone many!

Alyssa said...

Dee - Wow, that Green Giant sounds wonderful. I sounds like the answer to a lot of people's problems. Great gift too.

Tossing - Thank you for the compliments. I didn't know you could make jelly from Chinese Lanterns. I'll have to check that out. Too bad they are invasive - they are so lovely. Oh I'd give anything to be able to have a pet pig - they are special to me. You are lucky.

Katie - Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad I offer a little inspiration to you.

If I can can, anyone can can! Isn't that a funny sentence? Seriously, it's very easy and there are lots of helpful books to start you out. I do like that title "Queen of Canning". Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am the sort of hombre who loves to seek original things. Right now I'm making my personal pv panels. I am managing it all alone without the assistance of my men. I'm using the net as the only path to acheive this. I stumbled upon a very awesome website that explains how to contruct solar panels and so on. The web site explains all the steps involved in photovoltaic panel construction.

I'm not exactly sure about how correct the data given there iz. If some guys over here who have experience with these things can have a look and give your feedback in the thread it will be awesome and I would really treasure it, cause I extremely take an interest in solar panel construction.

Tnx for reading this. You people are the best.