Sunday, September 24, 2023

Dead and dying

There is not a lot happening in the yard these days. No rain, so I have been watering. Too dry to mow, although the 'Crimson King' maple tree in the front yard is dropping its leaves. (I mow leaves instead of raking them.) Yesteday was the first day of autumn, but the weather is not cooperating.

Dry or not, dog poop still needs to be picked up. While completing this task, I came upon a dead chipmunk, literally belly up. No apparent trauma, but then I didn't inspect it closely. It could have been the victim of two critter-chasing dogs, or maybe a hawk dropped it.

Then, while filling up one of the birdbaths, I noticed a young raccoon lying on the brush pile in the corner, dead. The dogs killed a young raccoon earlier, which I found traumatic - the thing screamed like a cat - but those two can't reach the area around the brush pile. Maybe an owl dropped it? Some vultures were checking it out the other day, but it's still there. I'm letting nature take its course.

(I am of two minds regarding the dogs killing trespassing wildlife. On the one hand, I wish they wouldn't. On the other, without their vigilance, my property would be overrun by vermin.)

That houseplant I showed you a couple of weeks ago, the one that supposedly needs very little care, made a liar of the seller. The poor thing looks a bit bedraggled. Crassula 'Buddha Temple' succulents are prone to root rot, but they *do* need to be watered periodically. I hope the good soaking I gave this guy revives it.

Not everything is dead or dying around here. The aromatic asters are coming on strong, attracting pollinators and even a few butterflies.

I haven't planted the new asters yet - the ground is so hard and dry - but I may not be able to wait much longer. Even though I keep them watered, they won't last forever in their current state.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Memory lapse

It's bacon-lettuce-tomato season, with fresh tomatoes from the garden. I sent my son a pic of a sliced tomato, and he asked about the variety. Um, good question. Usually, I blog about plant varieties when I purchase them, but not this time. Since I bought them from a local nursery, there is no email confirming my order. I did manage to find one plant tag - 'Early Doll' - but it was on the ground and not in the pot, so while I know one variety, I'm not sure which plant it goes with. Very unlike me.

I don't want to repeat that mistake, so here is a photo of the asters I plan to plant with the goldenrod on the north side of the house. The variety is Aster 'Eventide'. The tag also says "Michaelmas Daisy". Not sure what that is about. They are from Bluestone Perennials.

It's been a bit dry around here lately, but the temps have moderated. I haven't run the furnace, even though the house is a bit chilly in the morning. I also haven't started switching the bedding to winter mode yet, which I do in stages, as the forecast is predicting some 80 degree weather later in the week.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Not so hot

I'm hoping last week was our last hot spell for the season. The forecast looks promising in an early-fall kind of way. This wonky weather has left me feeling off balance, like I can't count on things moving forward in a logical meteorological way. A single outfit doesn't last the day.

A little catch-up: a better photo of the goldenrod and a pic of the lavender colored aster that I think is smooth aster, a.k.a. aster laevis.

I had the landscape guys cut down a volunteer redbud that grew too close to the house, but it's ba-a-a-ack. I plan to try to prune it to a (mostly) single leader, to see if that helps keep it from becoming a nuisance.

Art fairs seem to be the hot thing right now. Some of them are meh, but my SO and I attended a couple of small ones yesterday. I could not resist purchasing this little fellow.

The seller couldn't tell me its name, but I think it is a Crassula 'Buddha Temple' succulent. Apparently, they require very little care, which is my kind of houseplant.

Have a carefree week.

Sunday, September 03, 2023

Water! Water!

We are having another HOT spell, and dry. One of the ninebark shrubs looked *really* thirsty, so I heavily watered all three of them, plus the Canadian hemlock, tulip tree, Japanese maple, and container plants. I'll repeat that protocol tomorrow. I don't water the lawn, though, and it is looking rather dormant.

The tall goldenrod on the south side of the house is blooming. I searched my emails and this blog for references to goldenrod and can't find any indication that I planted this variety. It is a welcome sight, nonetheless.

And some asters have survived. I believe this is New York aster, and there is some other variety of aster nearby, with lavender blossoms.

I have spotted a monarch butterfly or two recently, but that is about it. Maybe next year I will (deliberately) plant some milkweed, or the milkweed that is in the yard will spread.