Participating member of 2011 Mommytography 365 Project
and
2011 Mommytography 365 Project Sunday Assignment

Just a Moment – Forty-Two

In my Master Gardener Intern Class on propagation held on March 7, I acquired a rose, a Red Cascade.

I brought it home and set it outside in a protected shady spot.  The instructions were to leave it in the “greenhouse” until September, occasionally checking on it to see if it needed added moisture.  By mid-April, the leaves were touching the sides of the pop bottle “greenhouse,” so I removed it.  It still sat outside in a shaded spot, protected from the wind.  Occasionally I’d add some water to the soil.

In May it had a blossom and I put it into a bigger container.  I also left it in the shady spot.

In early June I set it out where it would get more sunshine and was no longer protected from the wind.  This week I moved it into the fairy garden and set up the trellis behind it to climb on.

I feel like a Rose Whisperer!

Pool Work

Or more aptly titled, a pool is a lot of work!

When we got home from vacation on June 25th, our pool looked like this:

 

That week we also had a pool solar cover & reel fitted and installed, both to help warm the pool and keep it clean.

It has helped on both accounts.  We’ve had a lot of cloudy weather, rainy weather (think inches), and wind, which normally would cool the pool down.  Instead, it has slowly warmed back up to 84 degrees and it perfect for swimming.  The cover has also helped with keeping the pool cleaner, although we are dealing with stuff accumulating on the cover and then getting rolled up in the cover and then being spread back onto the pool when we unroll the cover.  We’re going to try hosing it off as it is being rolled up (taking the cover off the pool) and see if that helps.  It’s a trial and error type of thing.

This morning I spent another hour brushing the pool sides and bottom and then vacuuming.  This is the third time I’ve done that process since we got home.  And Bill has attacked the pool with various chemicals.  And we now have a pool clean enough to swim in!

Bill added some clarifier at lunchtime, so maybe by tomorrow it will be sparkling clean.  Today it’s just clean.  But I went swimming, just the same.  A lovely way to cool down after working in 82 degree temperatures and 76% humidity all morning.

July Flowers

 

This year I planted several types of cut flowers into my raised bed, but only a few seeds actually grew. I don’t think I kept the seeds moist enough during their critical germination window. So I have only 4 snapdragons, 3 bachelor buttons, and several zinnias from all the seeds I spread.

 

The zinnias have gone wild, though! I planted two varieties, Giant Doubles and Candy Cane Zinnias. I’ve had to use metal plant stakes to hold them up – they are easily 2 feet tall.

 

While working in the yard this morning, I noticed these red flowers & vines growing through the fence from the neighbor’s yard.

Aren’t the flowers pretty? My Master Gardener’s group identified it as Red Cypress Vine and said that the hummingbirds love them. Further research reveals that it needs a trellis or something to vine around (they grow like morning glories) and that it can get very tall and be rather invasive if you let it self seed. It also needs a fair amount of water, so I’m going to have to consider carefully about whether I want to grow that in my yard or not. My ultimate goal is to have gardens that need no hand watering, native adaptive plants. Somehow I doubt Red Cypress Vine qualifies. But it certainly is a lovely looking flower. I’ll have to see how my neighbor is growing it, as I don’t see any trellis poking up over the fence that it could fine on.