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Attracting Birds--some lessons learned

posted by: vegangirl on 09.22.2005 at 09:28 pm in Wildlife Garden Forum

Since building our house (which still isn't completly finished) I have wanted to attract more birds to our property. We have a creek and another small stream which really helps. But this summer I have noticed several things. First of all, it was a terribly busy summer and I wasn't able to keep up with weeding so several areas are now bursting with color from goldenrod, asters, ironweed, etc. Virgin's bower is scrambling over all and has gone to seed. Touch-me-nots, and many other wild plants are blooming and going to seed. We didn't trim back the elderberries, dogwoods, blackberries, etc. along the creek and they are all loaded with berries. The past couple of weeks, we have been inundated with birds! They are feasting on all these fruits, seeds and insects on the flowers. In the past two days we have had waves of warblers and vireos passing through and gleaning bugs off the goldenrod, asters, and berry bushes. Rose-breasted grosbeaks and scarlet tanagers are eating the berries and the grosbeaks and cardinals are also eating the seed from the ironwood (carpinus) trees. There were 4 scarlet tanagers bathing in the creek at the same time. My conclusion is that a well-kept yard is not as friendly to birds, so I think I'm going to keep the front yard for people and the back and side yards for the birds. In one week, e've seen the following warblers--tennessee, chestnut-sided, blackburnian, black throated blue, black throated,green, magnolia, Louisiana waterthrush; red-eyed and blue-headed vireos, black-billed cuckoo, scarlet tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, several unidentified empid flycatchers, and several warblers we weren't able to identify, plus all the regulars--cardinals, blue jays, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, bluebirds, downy and red-belllied woodpeckers, etc.. I haven't had so much fun in years:-)

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clipped on: 05.12.2009 at 08:33 pm    last updated on: 05.12.2009 at 08:33 pm

Heard's Garden Tour

posted by: denisez10 on 05.02.2009 at 11:48 pm in Perennials Forum

I'm tired and hungry, but photos for the idylls take precedence. Mary Lou Heard's Memorial spring garden tour, a self-guided tour, kicked off this weekend and continues tomorrow. Today's gardens were closer to me, and I may skip tomorrow's gardens. Mitch accompanied me, interested in getting a feel for garden photography in a much bigger setting. I have no idea how many photos one thread can handle, but here goes.

This first garden was created by an interior designer. A corner lot in the city of Orange (Orange County), which has some marvelous old houses, including this largish bungalow. Very heavily planted, every nook and cranny, lots of statuary and pots.

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That's just the first house! I'll try to post some more tomorrow, and it'll be interesting to see what Mitch's camera came up with.

Here is a link that might be useful: Heard's Memorial Garden Tour

NOTES:

May 2009 Denise's garden tour.
clipped on: 05.03.2009 at 12:43 pm    last updated on: 05.03.2009 at 12:43 pm

Heard's Garden Tour Part II

posted by: denisez10 on 05.03.2009 at 10:09 am in Perennials Forum

Lots of tea tables set up at the gardens:

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I'm not sure if this plant is seen much elsewhere, Loropetalum chinense, a witch hazel relative. Has a dark burgundy-leaved form too.

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This is a plant I've grown for some time and saw it quite a bit on this tour, Calandrina spectabilis. Here it's paired beautifully with acidy yellow flowers of bulbinella:

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Detail of a curbside planting with succulents:

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Aeoniums are usually such a hit with the idylls, I had to include a few:

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This hand was given permission to grab a peach!

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This next garden was very spare, austere, built around a mid-century house, a one-level structure built to flow into the landscape, the back of the house usually mostly glass. The owner writes a gardening column for a local newspaper. The garden was enormous, with paths wide enough to ride a small pony on. Here's the "font" right outside the back of the house.

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The entrance to the garden from the driveway

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Here's a view of how the house curves around the landscape. (Note dueling photographer!)

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This seating area at the far perimeter looks back at the house.

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This gives a sense of the openness, looking back to the house. Decomposed granite was used extensively throughout the garden as hardscape. Must be an amazing place for parties!

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This next 12-year-old garden sat on 3/4 of an acre in Huntington Beach, sitting on land formerly used to hold vast greenhouses for growing orchids. Condominiums have been built around this house. I'll try to get the photos in some order as one enters.

This line of red shrub roses runs the length of the property which abuts a flood channel, if I remember correctly:

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Front entrance, boundary of red shrub roses to the left in this photo:

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Looking down the pergola/porch:

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Around the back is where things really start to happen, like this waterwheel...

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Glasshouse

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Pathways all bordered in box

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a golden locust?

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Eden, cinerarias, and an obelisk

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The golden cotinus with watsonia, a South African bulb

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I thought this airy shrub was a breynia but more likely fallopia:

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Solanum 'Glasnevin' with matching clematis

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Queen's Wreath. Haven't looked it up yet but probably petrea:

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Dovecote and viburnum in background

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Fruit tree espaliers along the vegetable garden boundary

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Hedge trimming detail around the statue

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enjoy!

NOTES:

May 2009 Denise's Garden Tours. Lovely.
clipped on: 05.03.2009 at 12:42 pm    last updated on: 05.03.2009 at 12:42 pm

Planting Schedule

posted by: piantini on 03.10.2009 at 04:46 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I found this planting schedule for my zone online and I wonder how accurate it is. I am really interested more on the maturity lenght.

The reason why I ask is because every year I planted beets, carrots, etc. (cool season veggies) in May and harvest them in Fall. Basically takes me longer that the time mention in the package. So thats about 4-1/2' month of waiting time. So, I thought maybe it has to do with me planting the veggies in the summer which problably affects the growth of the cool season veggies?

The schedule mentions harvesting beets and carrots within 2 months (or half the time) which coordinates with the package harvest time.

I don't have this issue with my summer crops (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc)

If this is true, I can triple my harvest (spring, summer, fall crop) within the same space which I am very limited.

I am really worry that some of my summer veggies get delay if my spring crop does not mature in time. I am not as worry for the fall crop since I can live without it.

I do get at least 9 hours of sun, and plant my veggies in two 4x8 square foot boxes. Both Contain Mel's Mix.

Planting Schedule

NOTES:

vegetable planting schedule
clipped on: 03.22.2009 at 05:58 am    last updated on: 03.22.2009 at 05:58 am

RE: Moving shrubs, the buds are fattening up, still time, right? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: ego45 on 04.07.2008 at 08:01 pm in Shrubs Forum

PM2, there is nothing on your list (except maybe Juniper Witchita Blue since I don't know anything about it) that I would hesitate a single moment to move right now.
Do it!!! Soil is still cold, but already workable, your plants are relatively young and small, there still will be plenty of spring rains ahead.... so I'm willing to make a bet that all of them will be OK.
BTW, for oakleaf hydrangeas early to mid spring is the best time. Much better than in a fall.
George, The mover.

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clipped on: 05.02.2008 at 09:05 am    last updated on: 05.02.2008 at 09:05 am

RE: Mildew (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: jayk on 07.08.2006 at 12:30 am in Perennials Forum

Most people misunderstand powdery mildew and are confused as to the conditions that favor it. Mildew is unlike many other kinds of fungal disease in that wet foliage does NOT favor it. In fact, free water will actually kill mildew. One method of control is to frequently hose down foliage, as the linked article above states.

What favors this disease are moderate temps, lack of rainfall and shade. This is why PM is usually encountered after cool spring rains are gone, and summer warming arrives. Dry soil has nothing to do with PM spread, but its a common occurence during good mildew growing weather.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC Davis

NOTES:

Summer of 2006, barely a touch of PM on anything after record rains.
clipped on: 09.05.2006 at 07:42 am    last updated on: 09.05.2006 at 07:43 am

RE: Continuity in the garden (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: gardengal48 on 08.29.2006 at 10:22 am in Perennials Forum

I understand your dilemma and can sympathize :-) I too am a plant collector as well as a landscape designer and trying to combine those somewhat diverse interests can be a challenge. As someone on another forum described it, collectors run the risk of having a plant zoo as opposed to a garden that has a sense of unity and cohesion. Cohesion or continuity can be achieved by repetition but you don't necessarily have to repeat the same plants - a similar effect can be achieved by repeating similar plant forms, colors or even different forms of the same plant type. For example, the spiky, blade-like foliage of irises can be repeated in clumps of crocosmia, sisyrinchium or ornamental grasses. Members of the Asteraceae have similar flower forms so using shasta daisies, coneflowers, asters and rudbeckia, even heleniums or perennial sunflowers will provide a sense of repetition, even though offering a wide range of heights, colors and even bloom times. White flowers tend to be a good unifier as well as an effective foil for other, more intense colors. Or repeat similar foliage colors, like the gray-green found in lamb's ears, lavenders or sunroses. And if you collect hostas or similar plants with a wide range of varieties, several groupings of even very different hostas will make an impressive showing, but the repetition of the similar forms and shapes will tie separate areas together. Another trick is to use what someone once described as "snakey" plants that weave and wind to tie various plants together - hardy geraniums can be a good choice for this or herbaceous (non-vining) clematis. And finally, developing a feel for plant combinations can help significantly. In my classes, I try to encourage budding designers to select at least three different plants that combine well - a pleasing and complimentary blending of forms, textures and colors, both in foliage, stems and flowers: Carex 'Ice Dance', hosta 'Francis Williams' or 'Patriot' and a fern, for example. Then take one of these and use it as the foundation for yet another combination of three and so on throughout the garden. A successful development of these type of plant combinations will draw the eye through the garden with little stopping and starting.

In a zone 8 PNW garden, winter interest is not all that hard to achieve. There are a good many evergreen perennials or groundcovers you can incorporate that will retain a presence throughout winter - bergenia, heucheras, hellebores, many euphorbias, most Mediterranean herbs (lavender, sages, thymes, rosemary, germander), sunroses, candytuft, thrift, various ornamental grasses or grass-like plants. And I include small evergreen shrubs and dwarf conifers as well as heaths and heathers. You may be missing the high impact color charge of midsummer but a winter garden - even one focused primarily on perennials - doesn't have to be devoid of interest or present a barren appearance.

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clipped on: 09.02.2006 at 06:48 pm    last updated on: 09.02.2006 at 06:51 pm

Any ideas for easy ways to provide vertical supports for vines?

posted by: adamm321 on 01.26.2006 at 05:57 am in Vines Forum

Hi,

I am hoping to have more vines next year. I need arbors and trellises etc but that seems to be hard for me to obtain for some reason. I just don't want to spend the money on something expensive and I do have grown kids that could help me make something with copper pipe or wood. I have a stockade fence and would like to grow some Morning glories along it, but can't figure out what will be the most workable and attractive way to do that. I have been brainstorming and have gone so far as to daydream of stretching a wire from corner to corner of the back of my house, just under the 2nd floor windows and using string anchored in the ground to grow morning glories all along the back side of the house. My obstacle always is the vinyl siding on the house. I am always afraid to put any holes in it for fear water will get behind the siding. Has anyone else ever tried that or do you think it is workable?

Sometimes I am not sure if my ideas are practical. [g] I also wanted to find some pattern to build copper trellises etc. What has everyone else done for vertical supports?

Thanks,
adam

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clipped on: 09.01.2006 at 08:19 am    last updated on: 09.01.2006 at 08:19 am