Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Native Lawns

Why didn't they think of this BEFORE?! This is why gardeners have black thumbs....growing things that aren't meant to grow where they are!



I had to share this even though it has nothing to do with gardening....or does it? You be the judge...they are awesome photos though:


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall is Creeping Up...

The cooler weather has hit Pittsburgh. It rained all weekend till the late afternoon today. Finally managed to take the dog out for a walk and as we were on our walk more and more evidence that fall was on its way was showing. When I got home I checked the forecast and just as I thought...the nighttime temperatures were getting down into the 40s & 50s. Time to move the orchids back indoors! As many plants as I gave away/sold this summer it seems I have more plants than before...even Justin noticed as he was watching the football game while I hauled my plants back inside. I was good this year, I promise! But we are dealing with living things and they do grow....so I may have less plants this year, but they are bigger and bushier! Some I have propagated so I must find homes for those. Most of the plants are inside now with the except of a few...those that need a chill or that I have not found room for them or do not want them to go dormant just quite yet! It will take some juggling....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My New Babies

These are different types of Butterworts, a type of carnivorous plant.

Friday, September 25, 2009

What's in Bloom

Phrag. Sangentianum 'Candor' x besseae 'Candor Fireball'

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Grass Spiders

Lately there has been A LOT of these grass spiders. They make these dense sheet-like webs with a funnel in the end. If you disturb the web they run back into the funnel! Sometimes they curl a leaf up and attach their web/funnel to that. Sometimes they take advantage of a situation like when I found this one....a piece of the Sycamore tree's bark landed in just the right position so the spider built its web right into it since it was already curled up! Anyway...hate all the webs they make, but they are neat....except there seems to be an over abundance of them lately. I'm glad they eat the bad bugs, but their webs aren't the prettiest or discreet. These guys aren't exactly tiny either!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Forgot How Relaxing Gardening is....

I haven't been able to just fiddle around in the yard for awhile till today. I went to class, took my test and was out of there early! Came home, took the dog to the dog park, and then proceeded to clean off my cobwebby orchids that had been summering outside. I also had to repot a few things, but not too many. Moved the rose out front. Hope I got enough of the roots for it to survive. Trimmed up the walking stick tree, watered all things needing water as well as fertilizer. Thinned out the trees in the back so that the back of my yard gets a bit more sunlight than before. My neighbor had piled MORE stuff back there. Wonder who I can report this to? I am really tired of the disrespectfulness of it all. Yeah, I know it's not my property, but it affects my property! Maybe I should send her the bill for having to fix up our garage because all her crap was rotting it out and pushing it over! Grr....

On a better note...and completely off the gardening subject...I got assigned to Shadyside Hospital for my clinical! YIPEE!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This is a stink bug apparently....according to what Scott of Phipps Conservatory says. He's an entomologist. That's means he is a bug guy! These bugs come from China and I have only started noticing them since last year. I saw them a lot when I lived in Seattle, but not here....now they are! They are not native and are all over the place! About dime sized...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Disrespectful Neighbors

Ok, I know the land behind my garage isn't ours, BUT...it was/is the cause to our garage being pushed over and rotting when we bought the house all because it is a bit of a wasteland where all my neighbors dump their yard wastes back there. When the stuff decomposes it becomes heavy dirt pushing on our freshly renovated garage. I've asked my one neighbor once already to please stop putting her garden waste back there. She got a compost bin and the city picks this stuff up! WHY put it back there?! I noticed she put a bunch of stuff right up against the garage too. Thanks! I am quite annoyed by this and I am not sure what else to do. I know it's her yard waste because it's the same exact plant matter as those in her yard! I have picked up some of the stuff and thrown it back into her yard. I don't know if she'll get the picture because I've done that before and she still didn't. Next time maybe I'll bag the stuff and leave it in her yard with a note on it "The city picks this stuff up. Much appreciated if you would make use of our tax dollars instead." Think she would get it?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Corn Gluten

I mustered up enough energy today, despite having a head cold, and put down my fall application of corn gluten. I know it's not actually fall yet, but it's going to be dry this week so it's perfect time to apply. At least, I hope it is! This will be my second time I have used it in the fall. Supposedly in two more years my yard will be weed free. I guess we'll see! It makes for a nice fertilizer anyway. All these posts online saying it's an expensive fertilizer....I guess it is if you compare it to synthetic/poisonous fertilizer, but it could be worse really. I think I paid $25 for a 50 lbs bag anyway. I still have enough for spring. I think the bag is going to last me four seasons, 2 spring and 2 fall. Seriously, not bad if you divide it out that way!


Although I can't grow these....I'd like to blog about it for future reference when I do move to a different house with more sun! My latest Gardening How To magazine speaks of sunflowers that are bigger than the Mammoth variety! American Giant and Sunzilla top out at 16 FEET tall! :o Kong is a branching variety that grows 10-14' tall and Titan grows 10-12' tall. I can't wait till I am able to grow some of these in the future! The article also said that they will always bloom facing east, so plant accordingly! For cut sunflowers....cut when a few petals come off the center. To harvest seeds....let dry and tap out the seeds. Any that don't fall out are not ready yet!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bhut Jolokia

What's that you say? It means ghost chile...three times hotter than a
habanero! I planted four seeds tonight. They are known to be hard to
grow so I wanted a head start for next year! Hopefully I will be

Rabies Challenge Fund :: www.rabieschallengefund.org

Monday, September 7, 2009


I haven't tasted the fruit of my labors yet and probably won't until I make a pot of chili out of it, but I was told by my crazy raw whole habañero eating fiancé that apparently my home grown habañeros beat the heck out of the store bought ones! Must be my organic fertilizer and neglect!

Not a Fan of Grasshoppers...

So I was told those cute little baby grasshoppers this spring wouldn't do much damage...well they do! I have not been able to enjoy one dahlia flower! They apparently like them as much as I do except that they like to eat them whereas I like to look at them! I found one the other day....still quite immature, but much bigger than I saw them earlier this spring. It was about 2.5" long. I said that's it! Squashed the bugger. Guess what? The rest of my one open dahlia flower is opening up without damage! YIPEE!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

TALL Plants!

So I have had some incredible plant growth this year! Check this out....my Stargazer lilies (out of bloom) and my Black Krim tomatoes are taller than I am! I'm only 5'3"!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

German Red Garlic

So I love garlic. :) When I do cook I cook with A LOT of garlic! I guess it's why I love Italian food :) Garlic just makes things taste SO good! And without salt! So at the farmer's market today I found these GIANT garlic bulbs! No, they aren't elephant garlic.... The guy said they are strong tasting, very garlicky. SOLD! It wasn't cheap though...it was $3 per bulb. I was going to get two, but I decided to get one only. I'll just plant all the cloves and eat it next year! Man I need a bigger yard....I can see why people who grow garlic end up with huge garlic patches!