Friday, December 28, 2012

Debunking Pinterest

This morning while scrolling through my Pinterest feed, I saw this pin, claiming banana peels are good for roses. I think I unconsciously doubt most similar Pinterest claims as they're akin to chain letters - easy to pass on yet no one actually investigates their accuracy.

Banana peels didn't seem that far off, though. They go in my compost bin every week and I'm sure they provide nutrients to soil. But would roses LOVE!!!! banana peels, as the pin claimed?

I found a lot of anecdotal forum and bulletin board posts, but wanted some more robust evidence. Then I found a newsletter from the American Rose Society, which is as good as it's going to get online. In it, the author states, "Banana peels are the true junk food of roses!!! They love the boost a banana provides from potassium and other elements contained within the banana and its peel." So while I'd still love to know why and what changes are evident in the roses, it's easy enough to add banana peels to the soil around the plants. It looks like an experiment for the spring.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The day after Christmas

My first attempt at hosting 11 people for 3 days went off without a hitch. Most everyone is gone, and I'm enjoying the quiet of morning with some coffee and signs of spring that just arrived in my mail this morning.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Invisible birds

I usually chop my dead coneflowers after it's obvious they're done for the year. I've heard that others leave them up for the "winter interest" or for the birds, but I've never thought they were particularly attractive once dead, nor do I want to help birds.

See, I'm terrified of birds. I won't go into how many times I've been bitten by those bastards, but yeah - anxiety level goes through the roof when I'm around them or see them. So to feed them and keep them around my yard? Hell no!

However, something obviously got into me this year because I left my dead coneflowers out. It was an experiment of sorts, to see if they'd actually take the seeds and if I could live with them doing so.

Well, they obviously filled their evil little beaks and I didn't once see them do it. And that is totally fine with me - I can coexist that way. I'll get some good karma points by leaving food out as long as they don't let their presence be known.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Heavenly bamboo

This is in my neighbor's yard. Look at those glorious berries! If I had room, I'd plant one in my yard to admire next winter.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like...spring!

Funny, as it's almost January in the northeast, but whatever.

Due to my irrational fear that the garbagemen won't take all of my garden clippings, I only finished chopping everything down this weekend. As I was cleaning up, I noticed this:

If my sedum (WHY are you always causing a problem, sedum?), baptisia, and peonies want to start budding now, fine. But you kids are about to get your butts kicked when it gets down to the 20s this week.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Meet Barbara

This is Barbara. She's a lime tree.

She came to me nameless and just about homeless. I'm her third mom in a year. I'm usually an advocate for unwanted animals, but unwanted lime trees? New territory for me.

I agreed to babysit her over the winter, as my neighbor (her second mom) didn't have room in her house with her four other citrus trees. In a sudden change of heart, my neighbor decided to give me Barbara outright.

I think she likes her new home. She's sending out new leaves like crazy and budding a lot.

Just don't tell Barb that I'm using her offspring for margaritas.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Paperwhites in sea glass

If I ask them to hurry, do you think they'll bloom in time for Christmas?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm kind of mad

I think that's safe to say here, right, since my neighbors will never read this?

I worked on my garden for years(!) and it was finally starting to come together.

Then in 2011 we found out that our square backyard wasn't really all ours - that our yard was more like a weird slope-y staircase. The rest was someone else's property and he proceeded to develop it and build houses on it. There went half of my garden.

(Note to the pioneers in the 1880s who set the property lines up this way - FU!)

We put up a nice fence, since our new neighbors are lovely but part of their property is literally 8 feet from my back door, and their kids could see me scratch my butt as I cooked dinner.

I moved all of my plants and bushes to my new, smaller yard.

I didn't realize the fence would cast so much shadow in the spring, and whether because they were moved or there wasn't enough sun, my peonies didn't bloom this year. What if they don't come up again next year? I won't know until it's too late that it was the sun issue and not the transplanting issue.

I mean, can you imagine? People are homeless, foodless, shoeless, and I'm complaining about my peonies not blooming.

And yet I can't help worrying that things will look like crap again next year.

Someone should put my picture on a #firstworldproblems meme.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December means...

December means cold, and it has been cold (20s overnight) here in Philadelphia for a couple of weeks now. What does this mean for the garden? I would've thought it's time to tuck in and hibernate, but no, apparently it's time to bloom! To wit: