Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I Didn't Expect to See This

Daffodil © B. Radisavljevic
First 2015 Daffodil, January 26
I did expect to see this daffodil in bloom today, since I knew the bud was ready to open at any time. So this is my first daffodil to bloom in 2015, and many more have buds about to open. Since this daffodil is in bloom in my Paso Robles garden, I was anxious to see what was happening to the daffodils I had planted in Templeton in 2013. They bloomed last year, and I guess I expected to see their cheerful faces in my herb garden soon.

I had occasion to go over there today, so I wandered out to the herb garden ready to snap a photo of my blooming daffodils. What a shock was waiting for me instead! We must have had a lot of wind with the rain last night, because this is what I found where my daffodils were planted.

Butterfly Bush Blew Down in Storm © B. Radisavljevic
Fallen ButterflyBush 

My first reaction was to wonder what had  come down. Then I decided it was my butterfly bush missing. I had been pretty lax about pruning it, but I never expected this to happen. I wanted to drag it off my garden, but then I noticed the baby plants near the roots.

Baby Butterfly Bush Plants © B. Radisavljevic
Baby Butterfly Bush Plants Attached to Mother Plant

The leaves were also starting to come back, and a bit of root was still in the ground. This is how the root looks.

Exposed Roots of Fallen Butterfly Bush © B. Radisavljevic
Exposed Roots of Fallen Butterfly Bush

I hope I can get over there again with some pruners before the plant is dead . Since my physical activities are still restricted, I can't drag the plant away. But I think I can cut some of the new growth and try to root more plants. I think I can also cut away the babies so they can take over for the mother plant.

I'm hoping I can cut some of the branches off where the daffodils should be and see what has happened to them. I really shouldn't do these things for another two weeks, but I might be able to at least throw more dirt and water over the exposed roots to keep the plant from dying until I am allowed to garden again.

For comparison, you might want to check the post where this butterfly bush was still young, as were the plants around it, so you can get a feel for the shape of this garden.

Have you suffered any storm damage to your plants?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Almost Daffodil Time

As I was trying to pull out some grassy weeds last week, I was surprised to see daffodil plants pushing their way through the ground and into that grassy mess. It's not the first one I've seen in the past couple of weeks. I'm wondering how long it will take them to bloom?

It's very frustrating to be under doctor's orders not to do any gardening while you see more weeds creeping in every day. I want to pull them before they take over. I need to be patient and wait another couple of weeks. I want to get that grass out of there.

I took this photo today, and it looks like it will bloom any day now. Last year the first daffodils bloomed here on January 27.

This is another plant that's even closer to blooming, I think. It was also taken today. It's right at the front of the flower bed and doesn't have as many weeds around it. In fact, I have little daffodils pushing their way through the soil all over my Paso Robles garden. By the time I am able to get to my Templeton home again, the daffodils I planted there should be in bloom.

Evidently, It's not just daffodils. I also saw a few tulips poking their heads up today. I think I planted more than these, but these are all I see now. I'll be watching for more. I'm glad the bulbs will start to bloom soon. The calendula flowers could use some company. And a bit more attention from me.

Calendula and Kale on January 18, 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jack Frost Pays a Visit and Bugs Invade

In the little time I've been able to be in the garden this week, I've noticed that a few of my plants have suffered from recent freezing temperatures. One has been my black sage. Fortunately, only the tips of some stems were affected. 

The hardest hit plants have been my Lilies of the Nile and my gazanias, but I expect both to bounce back. These are my poor Lilies of the Nile. 

Perhaps as unwelcome as Jack Frost has been the invasion of what I believe are box cedar bugs around the exterior walls of the house and on the plants. They seem to like to hide under the gazanias, but I find them everywhere. In this photo they were clumping in the gazanias in late afternoon. 

I tried treating them with food grade DE Diatomaceous Earth today. This is supposed to puncture the exoskeletons of the bugs  enough to dehydrate them, so it is completely non-toxic to the soil, pets, and humans. I sprinkled it on the leaves of the gazanias where I saw the bugs and anywhere else I saw them. But one has to be careful not to put it anywhere that would attract a beneficial insect such as a bee or butterfly.  It can kill them, too. You have to use this when it is dry, since water makes it ineffective. 

I'm waiting to see how well this works on the bugs, but it seems to be working well on ants inside the house. I hate using poisons in my kitchen. I bought ten pounds of this and so far it's doing the job for me. 
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