Garden Diary 2010
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Year’s Goals: 1) Spend 15 min to 1 hour a day in the
garden, usually first thing in the morning.
Set weekly goals to accomplish in that time. 2) Keep the garden looking good all the
time: weeded, pruned, fed, and flowering.
3) Grow some food all year, using succession planting and perennials
where possible. Expand the edibles grown and work toward being as
self-sufficient in food production as possible. 4) Rejuvenate the soil in containers and
Potager boxes instead of buying all new.
5) Fill empty spots throughout garden with edibles and colorful
plants, including flowers and foliage.
6) Set up a potting bench, pot storage area, worm bins and compost
bins on the Back North Side of the garden, removing all the garden
paraphernalia from the Patio except for containers that are in use there at
any given time.
7-6-10 Went to Flamingo Road Nursery and got 7 one-gallon Milkweed plants for Monarch caterpillars. These are to give to a friend’s helper C, to raise with her niece, and for raising the larger ones I have now. Will keep the plants on the Patio until I give the smaller caterpillars to her. Makes it easy to feed the ones I have – don’t have to leave the Patio.
7-7 to 12-10 Will be working on the garden for 15-30
minutes first thing each morning, with one modest project planned per
week. First project: clean the Potager
boxes. Done! Hoping to get back garden cleaned up and
some flowers established there by the time we leave for
7-13-10 Went to Home Depot in Weston. Bought 4 flats each Portulaca and Periwinkles, one color per flat, for the Potager. Will be planted rather thickly for instant results, then will move the plants out to thin as needed, and out of each box as it is planted.
7-14 to 17-10 This week’s project: clean
7-20 to 25-10 Collected two more Monarch caterpillars and
got two from J, so the grand total is now 35.
The Gulf Fritillaries went into their chrysalises, along with the four
large Monarchs – the others are all pretty small. Went to Flamingo Road Nursery and got 5
three-gallon Milkweed plants to feed them.
Also noticed there is a rogue
Milkweed on the front of the Mound, so stripped this for its large,
untouched leaves. In addition, there
are a few nice ones like that in Mom’s driveway circle, so I can pilfer
those if needed. Planted the 2 of the
large Milkweeds in the
7-26 to 8-1
Went to Home Depot in Weston and got 12 more bags of mulch, so the
total is 32 bags. Put this on the N
side of the house behind the gate.
Mulched Potager and
8-2 to 8-10 Collecting more caterpillars every day, but not still too many. Have put the Swallowtails on the Patio and am caring for them there – they seem happier and not as many are dying. There were 15 as of 8-2. Several Monarchs butterflies have hatched out and been let go every day. Half a dozen on 8-2, ten on 8-3, and a peak of 14 on 8-4! Took some pics of the Jatropha with maybe 9 on it. The rest had flown away by then. Three fell that day, but all were saved. Only one deformed butterfly so far.
8-21 to 23-10 Still bringing in Monarch caterpillars – two are the tiniest I’ve ever seen. Went to Flamingo Road Nursery and got a Passion Vine for the Zebras and Gulf Fritillaries. Found out Polydamas caterpillars will eat each other when crowded! So best not to raise them inside, or just one or two at a time, in separate cages.
8-26-10 Helped A clear sand out from around leaking sprinkler pipe by recycle bins. He repaired it with a saddle.
8-31 to 9-11-10 Went to
9-12 to 18-10 picked some Papayas & did some little weeding. Picked the last Mangoes, but shorter Papaya trees with rounded fruits are producing now, as well as the taller ones by the back fence. Lots of fruit flies infesting fallen fruits on the latter, so am keeping all of them picked, and spraying and bagging any fallen fruits I find with the flies in them. Also putting peels, etc. down the disposal instead of in the trash or the worm bin. Have been collecting fruits that are starting to show color and scoring them promote even ripening. Before that, some would ripen at one end, while still very green at the other, and fruit flies would start holes in the fruits and infest them. Through this vigilance, the flies seem to be mostly gone now, or at least under control. A third, smaller Jackfruit has begun to get large on the tree. The other two are around a foot long and maybe 8” in diameter. All three are greenish-yellow.
10-4 to 5-10 Went to Home Depot in Weston and got 14 bags of gravel, three kinds: 10 bags Pea Pebbles, 3 bags Pond Pebbles, and 1 bag Mexican Beach Pebbles. Pea Pebbles are what will go on the Back North Side under the potting bench and pot storage area, but the others will be decorative between stepping stones there or in other areas of the garden.
10-21-10 Went with A & B to take a tour of the garden at Sundy House with the guide, Har Mahdeem. Very knowledgeable guy! Took lots of notes. Spent two hours and only went through about half of the garden. The usual tour lasts an hour! We’ll com back again soon to see the rest. Gave me a wicked migraine, but it was worth it! Can’t wait to go to Excalibur again for more fruit trees!
11-5 to 6-10 Went to Home Depot in Delray and got 20
bags (2 trips) of Pea Pebbles for the
Back North Side. This should be all
the gravel needed. Gave my garden website
address to a lady who was buying Ruellias and had a British accent. She obviously didn’t know anything
about gardening here – hope she finds it helpful! The checkout clerk asked for the address as
well and I gave it to her. Also bought
all the different kinds of herbs they had, one each in 4” pots: Catnip,
Sage, Thyme, Stevia, Cinnamon Basil, Spicy Globe Basil, Sweet Basil, Thai
Basil, Sweet Marjoram, Fernleaf Dill, Lemon Balm, Mint (not specified, small
lightweight leaves), Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, and Culantro. And they had small onion starts in bunches,
not potted – picked up a bunch.
Had trouble finding the Lambert potting mix – the package was
different (colorful and now says “Organic Potting Mix”, but
it’s the same stuff) and they had moved it to the row by the inside
store entrance. Got two of the biggest
size bags 12.97, but larger than the ones I usually get, so I think the proce
hasn’t really changed. Just have
to look for the smaller bag because these are too heavy! Used the hand truck to wheel them through
the house – put the soil on the Patio and the gravel on the Back North
Side. Planted the herbs (except for
the ones to be potted) in the
Planted Onion starts around edges of SE Potager bed. Left flowers where they were and pulled
back mulch to do patches. Potted
Stevia and Catnip and put them on Patio (in blue dragonfly pots!), and Sage
and Thyme together in a round, cracked pot from Mom, which went in the center
11-8-10 Went to Flamingo Road Nursery and got 1-gallon pots of: White Alder, Yellow Alder, Magenta Double Impatiens, 3 Orange/Yellow Lantana, 3 Yellow Lantana, 9 Dwarf Chenille, 6 Sunshine Mimosa (pink), 6 Gaillardia (3” tall type with orange/red flowers), Eggplant ‘Twinkle’, and Oregano. In 3-gallon pots: Rose ‘All American Magic’ (yellow/pink striped, cluster-flowered, on ‘Fortuneana’ rootstock, from Nelson’s Florida Roses), King’s Mantle (Thunbergia erecta, purple). In 4” pots: Peppermint, Spearmint, Fennel, Dill, Thyme, Savory, Sage, ‘Berggarten’ Sage, Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley, ‘Purple Ruffles’ Basil, 2 Pepper ‘Big Boy’, 2 Pepper ‘Cubanelle’, and 2 Pepper ‘Sweet Banana’.
11-12-10 Spent two hours in morning and another half
hour in evening planting all the plants for the front (see plants bought on
11-8-10, except herbs and vegetables).
Planted the King’s Mantle almost in the same spot as the old
one, since it did well there for a long time.
Pulled out Blue Ruellias along the east (sidewalk) side of the
11-13 to 14-10 Spent most of both days in the garden. Pruned Roses, Golden Dewdrop, pink Jatropha
and Mango (just the part hanging over the sidewalk). Emptied a long planter in the NW corner of
the TVA, rejuvenated the soil in it (re-moistening it and adding worm
castings and soil conditioner with mychorrhizae) using the extra-large
plastic pot on the Patio as a soil bin.
Emptied a self-watering container in the NW corner of the TVA and
re-filled it with the rejuvenated soil, since its soil had become stagnant
and too wet because of sitting on a slant with the overflow hole too
high. This was corrected, and the soil
was put into the bin on the Patio, which also held some old dry potting soil
and that from a bag that had been left on the Back North Side under the
mulch. All was rejuvenated and left
overnight to become evenly moist.
Stagnant smell was gone next day.
Weeded and rejuvenated the soil in all the other self-watering containers
in the NW corner of the TVA, in the center of the
11-15-10 Went to Alexander Landscape at lunchtime and filled car with 41 plants (!), most for the front garden. Took a digital picture of the bed between the front windows to take to Living Color tomorrow.
11-16-10 Went to Living Color Nursery at lunchtime and filled car with 30 plants, most for the front garden, but some for shade. This is the best nursery I know for plant selection. Marcus helped me - I think he is the one L likes there. Reminds me of another L - same mannerisms and way of speaking. He's super nice and also fairly knowledgeable, having worked at Tradewinds before this (they specialize in exotics like Desert Rose and its relatives).
11-18-10 Pulled Ruellias from SW corner of Mound around roses to keep the lawn men from harming the roses as they weed. They came and cleared about a third of the Bromeliad patch and some Ruellias from the Mound, but seemed not to understand how much I wanted, since they didn't do all I asked for, leaving without weeding anything from the R/P Ct. Called M and he will come on Saturday with a helper and finish the job.
11-19-10 Finally went to Johnny Mango's today - always wanted to go there because the Mexican pottery draws me with all its wonderful bright color. It turns out to be quite expensive, but someday I would love to get a small piece. At the very least, I will use it as an inspiration for some of my pottery pieces. Thought about asking about broen pieces for mosaic (there were lots of broken pieces, which tells me this stuff is easily broken), but saw some msaic pieces using it, so someone there already does that. Still it would be nice to get some to use in my garden - maybe they could be induced to sell some for a steep discount... Also saw several metal wall art pieces that gave me a new idea for technique - they have designs sawn into a flat sheet, with some parts lifted outward and supported away from the piece by an inch or so of matching rod. Cool! Got 5 plants: a Red Grape Tomato, a Pineapple Mint, a small Heart Fern for shade, and two Sedums with tiny blue-green, cream-variegated leaves - one with needle-shaped leaves, the other with round leaves that have a slight pink tinge - these will be good for containers. The tomato is already producing and on a medium sized red cage - it was the only small-fruited plant they had, so I couldn't get a smaller one, but it was nice snacking on ripe fruits on the way home in the car - so sweet!
11-20-10 Met lawn man M in front garden first thing
this morning and he and his helper finished clearing the Ruellias from the
11-21-10 Pruned Periwinkles in the Potager, and used the prunings to mulch the King's Mantle, Everbearing Mulberry, and Brazillian Potato Vine. Cut Campsis off the back fence by the Sugarcane to make room for the new Mulberry.
11-22 to 23-10 Took Jackfruit to Depot to give people a
taste - all loved it! All Brassica and
Bean seeds have germinated, as well as some Chard. Visited Bushel Stop to choose decorative
rocks and stepping stones. Went to
11-24-10 Decided on River Jacks as the decorative
rocks, and 18" square concrete stepping stones in the typical gray. Planted all the plants bought yesterday: 2
red and 2 yellow Bell Peppers in a self-watering container in the NW corner
of the TVA and 4 Celery plants in another, 3-gallon Savory and Marjoram in
the SE quadrant of the Herb Circle, a 4" Culantro in the NW quadrant, a
4" cream-variegated Thyme in the pot with the others already there, 2
1-gallon yellow-orange Cosmos and 6 4" orange-red Zinnias in the NE
Potager box, 6 4" pink and white and deep pink Cosmos in the SW box, 6
4" blue Browallias in the SE box, 4 1-gallon purple Beach Verbenas
around the 'Little Gem' Magnolia tree (along with the 3 already planted there
last week), 3 1-gallon Sunshine Mimosas to fill out the edges of the bed
between the front windows, 3 1-gallon 'Blackie' Sweet Potatoes on E side of
Mound, and Cilantro in a dragonfly pot on the Patio. Left the 3-gallon perennial groundcover
with small leaves and blue flowers on the back side of the Mound in its pot
for now, to plant when lawn men take out extra Bromeliads. Transplanted a large-fruited Papaya
seedling in mulch from TVA to a 1-gallon pot in the center of the Herb
Circle, and 4 rooted cuttings of magenta Double Impatiens and 3 rooted
cuttings of Okinawa Spinach individually to 4" pots on the Patio. Total planted today: 43. Still need entire front mulched, plus about
a bag's worth in the back. Will get
lawn men to do this. Also need to
divide and replant Cannas and Blood Lilies in
11-25-10 Cut one of the Bridal Veils (Clerodendrum
wallichii) from the N side of the Mound, where it was crowding the Barbados
Cherry. Still need to label fruit
trees and roses.
Finalized design for Back North Side, with the pea gravel only in the
storage area and under the potting table, then river jacks for the path,
surrounding 18" square concrete stepping stones. There will be two stepping stones side by
side and touching just inside the gate, then a single line after that, one
foot from the storage area and 6" apart.
Those two that will act as the threshhold can be decorated with mosaic
later, as can any others that get placed throughout the garden. There will be a bed of shade plants along
the wall under the windows, and the roof tiles will be stored there also
instead of by the compost bins. This
is the place to grow a deeper blue-purple Florida Primrose, right over the
tiles to hide them.
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