Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Poltrack Garden - June 2016

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"The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there." 
George Bernard Shaw 
Good Morning,

We are finally getting some needed rain in New Hampshire. It has been very dry and I've been watering the garden along with spreading straw around the plants to preserve moisture. We've had our first mini-harvest of snap peas along with sprigs of parsley.  The first tomatoes are developing as well as a sweet pepper.

The Incrediball Hydrangea flowers are developing. Eventually they will form into a huge ball of white flowers
I have some tomatoes! They won't be ready by the Fourth of July though.

The Sea Holly is in full bloom. This blossom is shown against a purple moke tree background

I love the color and shape of this flower

Something happened to this wasp on this blanket flower, it seemed to be dead but I wasn't going to poke it. 

The butterfly weed is beginning to bloom. An excellent plant for Xericaping. It has a deep taproot which makes it hard to transplant. However it self seeds for me with no problem.

I'm not sure about this plant. I guessed it was wild chamomile. The leaves are aromatic when crushed. I tasted the blossoms which were really bitter. I assume they are not poisonous because I'm still alive.

Cranesbill Geranium seems to be growing all over the place. I never planted it, it just appeared.

Hemerocallis fulva "Ditch Lily"
This grows wild all along the roadsides. I planted it in areas that I didn't want to mow.

The Stella de Oro is a daylily that blooms continously throughout the summer

Mikweed blossoms are as complex as Orchid blossoms. They trap the insects to ensure pollination. These are not weeds but magnets for butterflies

A rose should have frangrance and the Rosa rugosa delivers. I grow these to remind me of the coastline where they are prolific.

The snoke tree is looking very "smoky". The effect is caused by the mature flower panicles.

The first pepper I spotted, variety 'Pinot Noir' a black sweet pepper

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mason Hollow Nursery Open House

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Good Morning,

Mason Hollow Nursery held their weekend open house on June 25th and 26th. I stopped by to have some ice cream, chat and see what is blooming. Here are a few photos.

Spigelia marilandica
This plant is listed as a zone 6 - 9 but was thriving at the nursery (which is located in Mason, NH)
It grows in shaded areas and is attractive to hummingbirds

I noticed this shrub which had variegated leaves that were almost pure white. It brightened up the shaded garden

Redbud, (Cercis canadensis) one of the first bloomers in Spring. The heart shaped leaves turn a golden yellow in Fall 

Closeup of Hen and Chicks

Eryngium in bloom (Sea Holly)
Wonderful plant for Xeriscapes

Hen and Chicks

I didn't realize that there was a Kousa dogwood that had pinkish flowers

I always make a point of seeing what new orchids Chuck Anderson has in the greenhouse


Chuck also has a number of carnivorous plants. This is a Butterwort

Butterwort, notice the captured insects on the sticky leaves

Interesting pitcher plant from Australia. These grow quite large and can eat animals

Orchid in bloom

I left with a "Blue Jangles" Hydrangea for the garden

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Look What I Saw at the Green Center

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Good Morning,

The Green Center was open June 25th, the next scheduled date is July 9th. It was a warm June day but we had plenty of shoppers. Here are a few of treasures from that day.

I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy - available
Our helpful staff is alwasy ready to assist.

What a fun idea for waffles. This item is still available.

A gift for your dentist - still available

Japanese prints with Origami- Taken

Elaine's seasonal section had many items for the Fourth of July

Still Life painting - Taken

Never too early to decorate for Halloween - still available

Someone is going to celebrate Christmas in July - Taken

Antique table with inlays, needs some TLC - available

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Solstice 2016

Good Morning,

We have crossed the threshold, the days are growing shorter for those of us in this hemisphere. It was a glorious start for summer with the added bonus of a full moon.

High noon on the Summer Solstice. The sun was as high in sky as it will be all year.

The snap peas reach for the sun

I managed to keep this Datura alive in the house over winter. Looking forward to see the bloom. I can't imagine what insects could eat these leaves, it is a very dangerous plant.

The Sea Holly blossom is starting to show some color.

Rose Campion, my favorite "weed". These self seed and appear every year. The color is intense against the grayish foliage.

The sun sets on the longest day of the year

Nightime is illuminated by a full Strawberry Moon

Sunday, June 19, 2016

I hate deerflies

Happy Father's Day

Have you been wondering what to get dad for Father's Day? Click this link and get him some TredNot Deerfly Patches from Amazon. While you are there pick up an electric fly swatter. Nothing smells better than an incinerated deerfly.

These things hurt and can ruin a perfectly nice walk. For some reason they have all migrated to my street and spend their time practicing landing on my head as I beat myself senseless trying to kill them before they cut a cross shaped incision and lap up the blood. Cursed things. The patches really work and it is gratifying to see them beating their wings trying to escape from the glue. Before these I coated a hardhat with tanglefoot and managed to get it into my hair. It worked but made me look more ridiculous than usual. 

Deerflies can carry disease according to Wikipedia but I guess I should take solace that our variety doesn't carry Loa Loa filariasis. However a disease like Tularemia will ruin your day, a disease that was considered for use as a biological weapon (your tax dollars at work).

The Deerfly Patch at work. What a wonderful product. They land but never leave.

The  Greek name for the genus is Chrysops and refers to the coloration of the eye (green and gold)

Up close and personal, you can see the biting parts of this fly. I found a YouTube video that someone made of himself being bitten, the ultimate "selfie".

Same photo zoomed out, These flies are posing because they are glued to the patch.

A friend to humankind! Dragonflies will catch and eat deerflies and mosquitoes too!

I once watched a dragonfly catch a deerfly on the wing and carry it over to a perch where it ate its head. That was a sight to behold. This guy is smiling about it. I hate deeflies but love dragonflies.

Enjoy your day!