Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hollyhock rust

The hollyhocks I bought earlier this year are getting big. No signs of flowers, but I didn't expect them to flower in the first year.

Unfortunately, I noticed today that a number of the leaves have orange spots on them. Okay, a lot of orange spots and a lot of holes. The mosquitos have obviously prevented me from doing my personal garden tours in awhile. Thanks to Google, I discovered that it is a disease called hollyhock rust.

According to, I should remove any infected leaves now before the rust spores continue to spread, and/or use a fungicide. I prefer to steer clear of chemicals in my garden, but it looks like most of the leaves have some orange on them. What to do?

I did read on some garden forums that sprinkling corn meal around the base of the plants should prevent the disease from spreading. So it looks like I'll be removing most of the leaves and getting some corn meal at the store tomorrow. Maybe I can make muffins too, while I'm at it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

To do list this weekend

My running schedule this weekend is really light and it won't be too hot, so it is time to dig in and get some stuff done:

* Mow & trim lawn
* Prune butterfly bush
* Cut back echinacea and other plants on their way out
* Weed
* Extend backyard flower beds
* Use my Groupon at Primex to get plants for next years' bloom (they're having a buy one, get one 50% off - yahoo!); plant them
* Water

Monday, August 20, 2012

There are seasons...

I've come to realize that I go through cycles with the garden. In winter, I'm manic about looking at pictures, planning where to put plants, and desperate to see any signs of life. In spring, I'm a workhorse, and find any excuse to be outside doing something, anything. I do my best garden work then. In summer, it's too hot, humid and buggy. I'm too tired to do anything but glance out my window in disgust, or in longing of what could be. In fall, I put the garden to bed, looking forward to next spring, and wishing I hadn't wasted time in the summer being lazy.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer blues

It's that time of the season when the only thing that seems to be in bloom are the Black-eyed Susans. What was glorious only a month ago is now dying, dry, and colorless. It's too early for fall plants; it's too hot to weed. The manic energy I had in the spring is completely gone.

I bought a Groupon to a local garden center this week and am looking up plants that might fill in some of the dead spaces for next year. Of course, I'm likely going to have to spend time expanding my flower beds, as they're too small and squished. That means more work in the humidity.

First world problems!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I really regret not planting zinnias this year. I love cutting them and bringing them inside - they always bring a smile to my face.