Friday, April 24, 2015

Plant Sale

Today was a plant sale at the Albuquerque Garden Center. I had some time before Little Digger's nap so we biked over to check it out.

There were xerics and natives outside, a tool sharpener, a table full of violets, and a full room of tomatoes, but the highlight for me was the Day Lily Club table. There were lilies with every color bloom (purple, red, pink ,orange, yellow, and white). Little Digger wanted one that had yellow flowers with purple stripes. Unfortunately they wouldn't sell any plants till 1:00 and we couldn't stay that late.

We returned after nap but the day lily table had be cleared out and put away. Apparently I'm not the only lily lover in this city. Fortunately, I found a few poorly labeled day lilies on another table. I have no idea what color they will be (probably the normal orange) but they were a quarter of the price.

This was a really fun event and a great chance to support the city's gardening community and score some cheap/unusual plants.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


The sun comes up, warm and bright. It is spring and plants burst forth waving green flags, bright and new, to announce that they did not succumb to winter's chill.
All of the apple saplings in my yard have survived their first winter, a good omen for my fledgling garden, and some day lilies are beginning to poke their way through the soil. It will be an exciting year for this digger.

Unfortunately, my little lawn has suffered some from my inexperience. There are many dead patches which I am attributing to white grubs preparing for hibernation last fall. I'm not sure what to do about them just yet. In the meantime, I've aerated the remaining grass and topdressed it with compost.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hitching Post

It's not quite gardening but I built and installed a bike rack at the top of the driveway. Now my wife has a secure place to chain her scooter and I can leave the bike trailer outside, which makes my more likely to use it. It's not a feature I see on a lot of houses but I'm enjoying having it on mine.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cats are Terrible Gardeners

I have never been able to keep houseplants. My house is plagued by cats who devour any leafy material that passes through my door.
Despite this, I've been possessed, for a couple of years now, by a fascination with fairy gardens. I really really want to keep one of those cute miniature landscapes. I figured that if I made one planted with cactus the cats wouldn't chew it.

They don't. Instead they pull the cacti out of the soil. I think they're jealously defending their sunny window sill from vegetal squatters. These cacti are proving pretty hardy but I can only replant them so many times before they suffer. I just can't win.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Autumn Changes

Today was a very busy day in my little garden. Three new apple trees arrived from One Green World, a Golden Sentinel, another North Pole, and a dwarf Hidden Rose. The timing is perfect because the Rose is supposed to be a special birthday apple for my daughter, who turns 2 tomorrow. In later years it should ripen around her birthday and the fruit should have red flesh.
But we had to make room for the new trees, which meant pulling up most of the vegetables. As much corn was harvested saved as possible, though the yield was pretty sad looking. The dry stalks were thrown into my very green-waste heavy composter. The tomatoes were pulled up and all the ripe ones consumed on the spot by my daughter. The basil was turned into 21 oz of pesto and frozen. The only vegetables remaining are the two pumpkin vines (which have one ripe gourd for Halloween and two that might be pie in November).
While digging the tree holes I uncovered a dozen white grubs, mostly by the onions that never produced. I'm guessing they're Japanese beetle grubs because I saw the adults all summer. They're probably causing the dry spots in my lawn too. I'll have to look into treatment for that.

Friday, August 1, 2014

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

My dog is now leaving the planters alone, thanks to the plants filling in and the lawn being a nicer place to lay, but now I have a new problem.
Shortly after we got our dog, our neighbor supplemented his pack of small happy canines with a larger puppy. This dog has been significant trouble, jumping over the wall, escaping his yard, etc.
Through the strategic application of dog treats, I've convinced this new dog that he doesn't need to snap at me but that doesn't mean he's become friends with my dog. The two snap at each other over the wall constantly. The fights have become aggressive enough that they're knocking bricks out of the 60 year old wall that separates our yards.
14wall01 photo IMG_20140801_123103558_HDR_zpsc2zvcig5.jpg Gotta do something about that while I still have a wall.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Desolation of the Wyrm

One garden pest that I can't stand is the tomato worm.  They're big and squishy and in my garden.
I found one chilling on the underside of a leaf last week. I realized that had to be an accomplice this morning when one of my plants was practically denuded.
14tomato03 photo IMG_20140725_095701428_zpscuyu8ksn.jpg A few minutes of searching revealed the vile worm taking a rest after a busy night of plant pillaging. For most gardeners, this would be the end of the problem. Having found it, they'd just grab it and smash it. I can't do that. I just can't bring myself to touch their gooshy little bodies. They're SO GROSS!
14tomatoworm01 photo IMG_20140725_095719445_zpsp8mtiodb.jpg Fortunately for me, this guy decided to camp out on a sucker that I needed to prune anyway. I snipped his perch off the plant and scooped him up with my daughter's sand shovel. Then I deposited him in the middle of the street where a hungry bird might find him. Or he'd get run over. Of get fried like a green egg on the hot asphalt. I don't really care as long as he's not my problem anymore.

14tomatoworm02 photo IMG_20140725_100023458_zpscfr4fow8.jpg