Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Huge Plum Harvest...but not for me

After not having any plums last year (probably due to bad pruning) I was really amazed to find my Italian plum tree to be literally covered with plums this year! I was late to get into the garden this year and haven't done much because of ankle & wrist injuries, but in July while they were still small, I thinned 150 of them, only taking every third one or so. Early this month, they began turning purple, and by mid-August it looked like a Christmas tree, covered with purple fruit! I started feeling them and last week they were feeling very slightly soft, and I started checking them every few days.

Sometime between Friday and Tuesday morning, the squirrels pulled every single one off the tree and took a few bites out of the stem end. I was hoping that I could find at least one on the ground that hadn't been nibbled, but nope. Shut out.

No comment on how much I wish I didn't have squirrels here.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Flowers in January!

I don't want to jinx anything, so I won't talk about our weather so far this year, but I've been keeping an eye on my Arnold's Promise Hamamellis, just waiting for it to pop out in bright yellow. It's usually the first to bloom, so I wasn't paying any attention to the Jelena, which usually blooms a few weeks later and is a much younger tree. I noticed a bunch of stuff on the branches, though, from my window, and went out to check:

It's got a few dozen flowers already, and Arnold is still working on his first ones!

The weeds don't look too bad yet, except in one small area, but after the winds we've had, it looks like The Land Of A Thousand Branches. Plenty of cleanup to do later.

I also spotted this fungus, which I've never seen before. Sorry it's a bit blurred, but I love the form. It really looks like a log-eating fungus, and I suspect it's coming up from the filbert stump I cut off and buried last year. Welcome, pretty one!

And the licorice fern is really having a good year with all the rain we've had, even hanging off the playhouse roof! I love this stuff too—what's not to like?

The rhodie buds are getting nice and fat, and hellebore buds are popping up all over. I really love how you can have flowers in the winter, on the dull, gray, damp, cold, gloomy, frigid, blustery, near-freezing, shivery, otherwise cheerless days. It's one of the best benefits of gardening.