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RE: back to gardening....

Earlier this spring, things did bloom "off schedule."  More toward the
middle of summer, most things bloomed at the right times, but with the
excessive heat, some did not last as long as usual.  Because of the unusual
amount of summer humidity (even for the Midwest!) I am seeing more black
spot on the peonies, but less powdery milder.  That seems a little odd.
Although my honeysuckle usually reseeds something awful, it didn't do it
quite as much this spring.  

My plum and my walnut trees have produced bumper crops of good fruits.  (The
squirrels are very happy!)  I've heard more unusual bird calls this summer
with some sounding very tropical.  Our normal cardinals, robins and finches
have been plentiful, too.  They seem to be a bit "friendlier" this year,
even though I don't have any feeders out in the spring/summer or early fall.
There is enough food growing in the yard at any one time for them.  

Daughter Tzeitel was surprised by a hummer driving up my driveway last
Friday.  We usually have a few around that frequent the blossoms.  (I've had
to move my tubular plants down the driveway to keep them from trapping
themselves in the garage.)  But I don't think there have been more than

I have noticed an increase in butterflies of all sorts!  I think that is a
good thing!  But I've also seen more grasshoppers this year than I've ever
seen in this area.  The annual cicada's are very busy right now and it seems
pretty odd that they are louder than the long dormant variety was last year.
There seemed to be fewer Japanese Beetles--another good thing.

My little pond too is clear.  I think that's a GOOD thing!  I've been
thinking of adding fish (larger than the frogs.)  I've also been meaning to
ask you, Donna, when water lilies are supposed to bloom.  I bought a small
one and added it to the pond.  It is throwing out nice leaves, but I've yet
to see a blossom.  

The squirrels have already started to collect their winter stash.  I'm
already seeing them drag walnuts and things I put out for them all over the
yard.  (They have a nice nest in one of the old elm trees.)  My guess is
what got into your bird seed stash is a squirrel.  Since they are hoarders
with amazing teeth, I'm sure they chewed the hole, gathered as much seed as
they could hold in their pouches and made off for their hiding places to
deposit in their nearest "bank" either below ground, in a hollow or up a
tree to use during the winter.  I doubt they got a tummy ache at all!
LOL!!!  Of course, some chipmunks may have also helped themselves as might
field mice/rats once the hole in your storage had been made.  Unless I'm
storing seed or feed in a closed garage, I always use a metal container to
contain seed.  You might want to look into a metal can.  It will save you
lots of seeds.  It's even wise to use one in a closed garage to keep the
mice at bay.

I still have a lot of work to do (weeding and such) but all in all, I can't
complain too much.

Bonnie (SW OH - zone 5)

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On Behalf
Of Donna
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 8:28 AM
To: gardenchat list
Subject: [CHAT] back to gardening....

I am sure all of you who garden in the south are used to this, but I am
worried.... again.
I have had extreme wet- hot- and dry weather most of the growing season. No
happy medium, always severe, always instant changes.
My wisteria is blooming for the THIRD time this year?  Currently doing it
again- this is August.
One of my honeysuckle is seeding... I dont' ever remember it doing that!
Timing is way off for blooming on most plants. Somethings should be done and
still plugging along, others bloom for a day and are gone. Every tree looks
stressed, some are seeding at unreal amounts, others are turning fall
colors. fruit trees that did produce had a bumper crop, but the fruit didn't
mature right. Was a couple weeks away from being ready to pick (did take a
couple samples just incase) but rotted before maturing..... Plants are
floppying over.. they never do that here.

Birds... there are a zillion of them in the yard. Those darn black birds are
back and attempting to eat me out of house and home and keeping my singing
birds at bay. I have always had a few hummers come thru, but the other
morning there had to be a couple dozen. I have never seen that many here
before at least at one time. Guessing they are flying together on their way
somewhere. Doesn't seem like it is the right time for them... they should
have been here earlier.

Some critter ate a whole in the top of the bird seed garbage can (where I
store the bags of seed). Huge hole and devored almost all of the seed..
someone is going to have a belly ache today after eating close to 30 gallons
of seed... LOL!

My pond is the clearest it has ever been and I would have thought with the
flex of weather I would have had issues.
So how did everyone elses garden fair this year?

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