Category Archives: The Garden

Sunflowers, At Last

ImageMy sunflowers have flowered! They’re about 4 feet tall (not the 5-6′ height they say on the seed package, the liars) but at least their stalks are thick enough to support the heads this year (last year’s sunflowers were a MESS). Unfortunately, I’m at debate camp for a week, but I got my sister to take a picture for me. My flowers always bloom when I’m gone… maybe they’re trying to tell me something….

Now the problem is the moonflowers and morning glories. Apparently you have to stop watering them for a bit to get them to bloom, but it KEEPS RAINING! They’re quickly turning into bushy sort of things with lots of leaves and they’re trying to climb all over each other (I didn’t space them out well at all) but they still haven’t flowered… we’ll just have to see.

On another note: ahh, debate camp. We’re researching and writing cases on whether “unilateral military force by the United States is justified in preventing nuclear proliferation”. Realization: finding evidence on resolutions like that is very difficult.

– Rover

P.S. Buddy’s posting soon with pictures of her travels from Washington (state) and Canada!

 

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Beautiful Weeds

I was clearing away the really tall grass that shot up from my garden while I was away, and I found a rather nice-looking weed. It’s a vine, but not a choking vine; it has nice pale purple flowers and a very nice balance of leaves to flowers (unlike a lot of weeds, which may have the occasional nice flower but are mainly huge leafy monsters). It was really a nice-looking weed, so I just left it. I mean, roses are weeds, right? Why aren’t weeds perfectly acceptable? (says the person who was just spraying Roundup on the driveway…)

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And then it struck me exactly how mean we humans are. We choose flowers, many times based purely on appearance. We exterminate the native plants and replace them with beds of luxuriant soil, into which we place plants that need to be watered, plants that wouldn’t naturally survive. And when the natives try to reestablish themselves? They’re re-exterminated. It’s like the plant equivalent of colonialism, except the plants the humans support will always win. There isn’t going to be a revolution.
But I still love my sunflowers, I love seeing their bright yellow faces turned towards the furiously strong sunlight despite the fact that those very faces have to be bombarded with chemicals a couple times a week to prevent them from becoming deer food. I guess if the native plants want to keep living, well, they had better develop weaponry to combat the gardened (machine guns, perhaps?) or become prettier.
– Rover

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Dwarf Celosia!

Dwarf Celosia is an interesting plant. Their flowers are sort of fuzzy and pyramid-shaped (or maybe they’re not technically flowers, they’re fruit or buds or something), and that’s what attracted me as I was walking past in the Home Depot.

It was an impulse buy. Though I had been planning to get annuals to plant over my spent daffodils, they hadn’t shriveled up yet, so I couldn’t cut them down and plant annuals over them (yet). I wrongly predicted I could cut them in a few days. Instead, while my dear celosia sat forlornly in their plastic containers, the daffodils refused to die (well, hunker down ’til the next spring). Despite my efforts to save them, four out of six of my dwarf celosia plants died. I planted the two rather withered survivors without much hope.Image

 

Unexpectedly, they both survived! Even though they’re not thriving, I would count this as a success! 🙂

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Ah, Boredom

There are some days when you’re so bored that not even nail art nor gardening can entertain … Or origami, which I’ve discovered is another one of Rover’s hobbies. Anyway, it’s a typical hot summer day and I don’t really have anything to do. Well, there are things I should do, but you get the idea.

So I was sitting around watching my (many, many) houseplants grow and admiring my new manicure (thanks Rover!), when I remembered how a certain someone had been bugging me to post more on our blog (out of all these posts, only 2 have been from me. Sorry!)

I have no idea what else to write, so I hope the rest of your day is packed with fun and little room for boredom… ugh… and if it isn’t, here are some random pictures that can keep you entertained for the next few seconds!

A fraction of my many, many houseplants

A fraction of my many, many houseplants

Terrible picture of the manicure Rover gave me (which is actually decent-looking in reality)

Terrible picture of the manicure Rover gave me (which is actually decent-looking in reality)

Flowers picked from the garden

Flowers picked from the garden

This has nothing to do with anything. I just thought it was a cool picture.

This has nothing to do with anything. I just thought it was a cool picture.

-Buddy

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Memories of Spring

I came across this photo today, while going through photos on my computer. The daffodils bloomed really early this year, around late February, and I had actually been worried because everyone else’s bulbs had come up in early February and mine just weren’t coming up! Fortunately they did eventually appear — but the plants were a little stunted.

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The sad thing is that my daffodils had been blooming for about a day when I had to go on a 2-week trip, and by the time I got back, they were wilted and shriveling. Luckily, I took a few pictures of them before I left.

Gardening can be disappointing at times. But I still think the rewards — found in a beautifully blooming flower, or in the observation of a busy honeybee — greatly outweigh the disappointments.

– Rover

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Delphinium Troubles

I was away for a week, and when I got back, my lovely, healthy delphinium was looking diminished and sickly. 

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There’s something almost poetical about that… how the plant is pushing out more blooms than ever, while its leaves wilt and yellow. But right now I’ll focus on nursing my poor garden back to health, not metaphor.

– Rover

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Garden Thoughts

My backyard is the stereotypical suburban backyard (except shaggier and weedier): wide, grassy, full sun, all the natural topsoil completely washed away. I have a couple small garden beds — I’m growing delphiniums, moonflowers, morning glories, and sunflowers, all crammed together — but they just look awkward in my huge expanse of a backyard. 

I’ve checked out SO many garden books from the library, done a lot of research on the glorious Internet, but nobody seems to deal with the issue of making a typical suburban backyard look like a really nice garden — even when at least 70% of all gardeners have that type of yard (not exactly sure of that number).  In all the pictures I’ve painstakingly scanned and clipped and compiled, the garden is full of plants. They only have small, extremely manicured, patches of grass, all surrounded by flagstones or a beautiful perennial border or something akin to that. 

I just started my garden a couple of years ago, and the idea of converting my whole backyard to a bunch of beds doesn’t appeal to me much (nor does it appeal to my parents. Or my arm muscles). So what should I do? I honestly have no idea. I’m in the process of doing a pond near my garden, but that just looks awkward too.

I couldn’t even make it a nice grassy formal-ish garden, either, because my lawn is incredibly weedy and isn’t mowed often (if Kibbles Jr. had a lawn, it would look an awful lot like mine). So what should I do? I have no idea. We’ll just have to see…

– Rover

(Sorry Buddy — I would post a photo but I’m too lazy to go outside and take one. I mean, it’s 90 degrees outside! I know you haven’t seen my garden yet! ^^)

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