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RE: back to gardening....

Cyndi.. I just wanted to mention that I enjoy reading
your posts, although I don't always comment.  You
really have a lot going on there and have a real sense
of what is happening in your garden.  By the time I
get done reading it, I feel like I just took a tour of
your place :)

Hope your entries win!


--- Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSRT
<cyndi.johnson@edwards.af.mil> wrote:

> >So how did everyone elses garden fair this year?
> >Donna
> It's been interesting. We had rains very late in the
> spring that turned
> into too much heat too early, then a lull, then the
> horrible heat wave
> of July, and now it feels like early autumn. There
> was no normal this
> year. 
> The sprinklers for part of my front garden failed
> during the early heat
> wave and the roses on that side, which had just
> started blooming, had
> the blossoms turned into little crispy things. Then
> the second wave of
> blooms started along with the incredible heat wave
> and despite water,
> once again the blooms all withered and crisped up.
> The only rosebush
> that looked good this year was Betty Boop, it's one
> of those...mmmmm
> what's the word...it isn't a real full rose, you
> know, not a lot of
> petals. I couldn't keep up with deadheading the
> coreopsis and
> gaillardia, so that only looked good for a few
> weeks. 
> The geraniums were amazing this spring. I had our
> front trees trimmed
> and I think the extra sun and perhaps the extra
> water early in spring
> really helped. I mean they were HUGE, and covered
> with blossoms. They
> have been reseeding themselves too so they are
> getting a little messy
> but it was sure pretty. And the monarda that I
> planted under there in a
> moment of madness also bloomed, which is rare. The
> daylilies on the
> south side are very nice but the north side ones
> really need to go. I
> bought a big package cheap from one of those
> discount places when we
> first moved to this house and they are not much to
> look at, and over the
> years the trees have grown so much that many of them
> are in too much
> shade anyway. I have some Shasta daisies that need
> to be divided too,
> they look very nice and lush but are overgrowing
> their area. 
> The Japanese garden needs a little attention. The
> pine tree I planted
> needs to be trimmed and shaped; I've been pinching
> off the candles but I
> haven't done much else. The Japanese maple...poor
> thing...it is alive
> but really suffering. It might be kindest to dig it
> up and pot it for
> the patio, perhaps it would be happier in some
> shade. My camellia
> sinensis is doing okay...with more TLC, in a few
> years I might be able
> to make myself some green tea from my own plant. The
> hakenechaloa (sp?)
> grass is hanging in there too; one looks fine, two
> are not as fine but
> all are still alive. The liriope around the edges of
> the teahouse really
> suffered from critters digging under there, and I'll
> be replanting quite
> a bit of it this fall. That's the plan anyway. The
> other ornamental
> grasses, the thyme, the azaleas, the mahonia and
> cistus, they are all
> quite happy although the cistus is way too big for
> where I put it. I
> need to be ruthless and dig it up, but I haven't
> been able to bring
> myself to it yet. 
> The dry garden is fine; the penstemon palmeri and
> salvia greggii look to
> be reseeding themselves, and the russian sage is
> sending up volunteers
> too. The russian sage and greggii are still
> blooming, the desert willow
> covered with blossoms, the red yucca and germander
> have a few blooms,
> everything else is in summer holding pattern. If I
> were bright I'd re-do
> my whole front yard like that it sure takes a lot
> less water. Although
> we can't get rid of the sycamores so I guess I'd
> have to water there
> anyway. Never mind... 
> On the veggie side my onions were great, although
> they need to be
> harvested and I haven't any place to put them. The
> peas gave us enough
> for a few good meals but the critters took a toll,
> and the lettuce was a
> complete loss. The herbs had that weed problem and
> it hasn't gotten any
> better, although I did harvest a large amount of
> cilantro and the basil,
> although surrounded by weeds, is going strong. The
> dill struggled but I
> got a few heads - and since I didn't make pickles
> I've just put them in
> the freezer. I'm still giving away zucchini and now
> cucumbers, even
> though I planted way less than usual. The eggplant
> and okra which I
> thought would drown me in produce like the zucchini
> are not doing a lot,
> they are producing some. The melons are going nuts
> but I'm not growing
> honeydews again, I can't tell when they're ripe. The
> peppers are
> wonderful. I have so many and they look so good, I'm
> quite pleased with
> myself. The tomatoes are a different story. I had a
> lot of trouble early
> on with critters and then the heat. The paste
> tomatoes never got very
> big as plants, the heat prevented them from setting
> much so far, the
> critters have eaten bites out of good ones and too
> many have blossom-end
> rot. I will get enough to make a few batches of
> things but out of ten
> plants I ought to be drowning in them, and I'm
> barely picking anything.
> The fresh eating ones are quite curious. Because I
> did things very
> slap-dash this year I am not entirely certain what I
> planted. I have two
> plants which I thought were paste tomatoes but have
> instead turned out
> to be enormous yellow-red marbled beefsteak types.
> No idea what seed
> packet I got those out of! This is the second year I
> planted Black Plum
> and the second year the plants have died on me in
> mid-summer. So it's
> gone. I put in Porter's Pride and it has not
> produced a single fruit.
> Not trying that again...I planted an heirloom
> striped one, Mr. Stripey
> maybe?, and it's not very productive; not awful, but
> not worth trying
> again. I bought a beefsteak type at the store to
> replace one the
> critters ate and it's produced a couple. It just has
> not been a good
> year for tomatoes except those yellow-red ones,
> which are attempting to
> take over everything else. Too bad I don't know what
> they are.  And we
> grew some field corn - two beds planted out of the
> feed we buy for the
> sheep, and one bed of heirloom seed I bought. The
> livestock feed grew
> fine, we got interesting looking ears, the chickens
> and sheep are having
> fun eating them. The heirloom, well no wonder it's
> so expensive, it
> doesn't produce any seed. Ten foot tall plants and
> when we stripped the
> ears...they're naked. No kernels. I figure it was
> trying to pollinate in
> 110 degree weather. So we likely won't do that
> again. Maybe I'll do
> sweet corn next year...we are mostly low-carb eaters
> but a few meals
> with corn on the cob would be nice. 
> My fruit trees gave me a lot of apricots and plums
> but not many peaches.
> My dogs stripped one peach tree before I could get
> to it and the others
> have four or five each, but they're not ripe. I
> haven't checked on the
> jujube in weeks, I'll have to see what's happening
> there. 
> I turned in my preserved food fair entries yesterday
> and will give them
> the vegetable entries on the 25th, then we'll see
> how I did. I'm happier
> with the jams after tasting them the other day than
> I was when I made
> them, so we'll see how it goes. I'm glad I didn't
> spend all summer in
> the kitchen but I'm sad I don't have a lot to
> compete with...I'm not a
> logical person I guess.  
> Non garden related, we are putting up our horse
> stalls and should be
> finished in a couple weeks, then our horse can come
> home. We rode him at
> my sister's place last weekend and are pretty happy.
> He 
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