Monday, January 30, 2006


Got tired of the old format-kept messing around with the old one but was not satisfied. The new format allows photos to be displayed w/o being squashed together which is very good but the writing area may be too wide for easy reading. They make newspaper columns narrow for easy reading.

Despite the warm winter the camellia did not produce very good blooms this year. The flowers are trying to bloom now but the early December cold burned many of them.

The plumeria is thriving with many more branches and leaves but no flowers. We miss it's perfume.

We saw robins yesterday for the first time and I saw a sparrow inspecting an old nest. The big silver maples in the neighborhood already have buds and even the buds on our oak are swelling. We planted tons of bulbs last fall and some of them are already coming up. I hope we don't have a prolonged cold spell in Feb. that will kill all the tulip, snowdrop, galantus, etc.

The red and yellow witch hazels are blooming especially one next to the fishpond which is a delight. And the red and orange berries on the sparkleberry deciduous hollies (ilex)are still going strong as well as the nandinas. In fact the nandinas haven't lost any of their leaves. So we're enjoying this warm winter especially when I see the natural gas bill! Today's temperatures are well into the 60's.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
If you have any good tips please post trhem on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,

8:12 PM  

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