Friday, September 13, 2013

Things Are Blooming Again, More Seed Sowing and a Larry Update

On Monday we got rain, and lots of it, mostly in a steady drizzle rather than the usual monsoon deluge at this time of year.  When it was all said and done, the total was 1.15", which is 1/8th of our annual average and I haven't had to water all week, except for the planters on the porch.  The plants are responding to the soaking with water that was a lot less alkaline than our groundwater by bursting out in bloom after struggling most of the summer just to survive.  I trimmed back the sunburned leaves off of the cannas last week; new growth and blooms indicate it was the right thing to do.  The Climbing Don Juan and Iceberg roses are blooming again and the petals aren't showing any sign of sunburn like they were a month ago.  The moss rose, a least what survived, is covered in blooms.  I sowed seeds in the top two tiers and am waiting to see if they sprout; if not, I'll have to buy some more plants.  Two of the dozen or so sunflowers that sprouted and managed to survive the irrigation issues have bloomed, even though they're only 1 1/2 feet tall and I'm not sure if that's normal or if they're stunted; guess I'll have to go through my seed packets to see if I can identify them.

Cannas are looking a lot better than they did a week ago.

Climbing Don Juan and Iceberg roses.

Moss rose

The one surviving strawberry plant is sending out runners and hopefully when the weather gets back into the 80's, I'll be picking berries again.  The boysenberry is also putting on new growth which I'm tying onto the trellis in the hope that it will fill the entire trellis by Spring.

This year has been hard on the wheelbarrow succulent garden, between the freezes in January and February and intense heat this Summer, I lost several plants and this week I filled some of the empty space with an Aloe aristata and a Haworthia symbiformis.  Next month is the Fall Plant Sale at the Desert Botanical Garden and I think I'll wait until then to see want else I can find that peaks my interest.

Aloe aristata

Haworthia cymbiformis

Two weekends ago, I went to visit my good friend Julie to plan our cruise next year, have barbecue, play Scrabble and pick up a bunch of pots and other garden goodies.  I got two shepherd's hooks and placed one outside my office window with a feeder on one side and a waterer on the other.  Now I'm starting to see a few sparrows along with the finches, and I've even seen some of them drinking from the waterer.

Some of the seeds I sowed on Monday have already sprouted, including the cabbage and turnips.  I also sowed seeds for 18 varieties of peppers, both sweet peppers and chiles.  The list consists of the following sweet peppers: California Wonder, Cubanelle, Marconi Red, Piment d'Espelette, Orange Sun, Shishito and sweet Banana.  The chiles consist of Aji Limon, Anaheim, Cascabel, Cherry Hot, Chiltepin, Costeno Amarillo, Datil, Jalapeno, Pequin and Uba Tuba.  Combined with the four varieties I already have in the ground, that'll make twenty-two varieties, split 2:1, hot to sweet.

A few sprouts peeking their heads above ground.

Larry put on his annual tribute to the American worker for Labor Day, then in anticipation of the beginning of the football regular season opener, put on his Packer's shirt and hat, got out his pennant and cheered them on last Sunday; unfortunately it wasn't enough, but there's always next week.

Tailgating with the efl.

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