Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Meadows and Grass Gardens

Cur and I rode through the far pasture, which can pass as meadow land with the number of grasses and wildflowers that populate it. The drought decreased the number of wildflowers blooming this year. I saw one little agalinis at woods' edge, and some elephantapus. We did find some clumps of purple asters and gathered a few seeds.
There was a little yellow wildflower that I couldn't identify, but remembered that it's by a huge dead tree, for future inspection. there are always the ubiquitous solidagos (goldenrod) and rabbit tobacco.

The grasses are spectacular. Even with Peter Loewer's 'Grasses of the Southeast' I can't identify all of them. We must go back with a camera and begin to give them names. There's a rush or restio growing under a small pecan tree in the cattle pen. I tried to move a piece of it last year, with no success. It has seeds now, so I'll try those and maybe another culm or two from the clump.

I never expected to start a grass garden, but the past year's drought has given me pause. There's room for a meadow. I tried sunflowers at the edge this year; deer square danced on the plants. One thing about my more industrious projects: if they don't work out, the mower takes care of them as long as they're flat.

Much Mulch

Lane suggested that I haul in some peanut hay to use as mulch. If we can move enough other equipment to get the shredder out, I'm going to shred it, as the stems are quite brittle and almost as large as my little finger, some of them. The leaves are mostly dry already.

Cur and I have picked up three RTV loads. The dump bed sure is handy on that little truck. I use a pitchfork to pick up the hay and load it; unloading is simple.

Before we picked up the last load, we rode up to the far pasture, looking at grasses. What we saw is for another post. The neat thing we saw -- Cur saw him first -- was a red fox. Cur leapt off the RTV and gave chase. Fortunately the fox was far ahead and reached the fence and was gone. Lane and Cur have seen little foxes, this is the first big one we've seen except for one dead on the highway.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dumping Peanuts from the Picker into a Trailer to Haul to the Peanut Mill

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dig, dig, dig. Pull, pull, pull, Bermuda Grass Shall not Win!

In addition to my mantra, I'm going to attack the newer rose bed in front of the tractor shed with fluazifop.

Need to make a little note here on plants not affected by bermudagrass killer:
The product literature lists scores of plants that Ornamec will not hurt. These plants include aloe vera, alyssum, bush lantana, chives, crepe myrtle, daylilly, esperanza, hollyhock, hybrid tea roses, iris, ixora, japanese yew, jojoba, liriope, live oak, marigold, Mediterranean fan palm, morrow honeysuckle, olive tree, passion vine, pygmy date palm, red fountain grass, rose, rosemary, sago palm, sedum, Sweet William, sword fern, Texas privet, Texas sage, wax myrtle, weeping willow, and yucca.

This means I could put rosemary and sweet william and daylilies out there and circle with liriope or alyssum. Good.

Not recommended to use over-the-top on periwinkles, spider plants, purple heart, shrimp plants, and azaleas. Does not mention alternanthera; don't think I'll sacrifice a Joseph's Coat just to see.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Peanut Harvest Time

Plowing Up Peanuts:

Once they're plowed up and on top the ground, the next step is another machine comes to pick the nuts off the vines. Waiting for dryer weather. Didn't think all this summer and early fall we'd be 'waiting for dryer weather' but the rains have finally begun.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Yet Another Armadillo

The trap is set along the edge of the house. They may be trying to tunnel under the house where it will be warm in the winter. As many as we catch, I have visions of the house collapsing into a giant armadillo den if they weren't dispatched.

Know Your Smokes; 1960

1960: Patsy is in the student lounge at West Georgia College. Melba joins her. They are a few weeks into their Freshman year.

Patsy: This upperclassman, Tom Wilson, came by just before you came in, and he said that he had something that was the best in the country, and it would only cost $5.00. He said he bet that I had never had better.

Melba: What was he selling?

Patsy: Weed, he said. First I told him that I thought he needed to put an "s" on the word. Then I told him that I knew all about weeds. We had plenty of them at home, but I had no intention of buying any. I didn't even know one could sell weeds, did you?

Melba: No! I never heard of anyone selling weeds!

Patsy: Then he said that he didn't mean weeds like in a garden, he meant "weed" that one smokes. Right then and there, I knew exactly what he was talking about. I told him that my brother and his friends used to put weed into a corn cob pipe and smoke it all the time. He sat down and was getting interested in what I had to say. He asked how my brother made a corn cob pipe to smoke weed, so I explained it to him. Next, I told him that we didn't call it "weed" in Rockmart, though, and he asked me what we called it, and I said "rabbit tobacco."

Melba: Did he know about "rabbit tobacco?"

Patsy: I don't know. He just stood up and walked out without saying another word.

Friday, October 19, 2007


We had 3.8 inches of rain since last night. According to the news, Lake Lanier is drying up and they did not get rain. We are grateful for every precious drop.

Farmer Danny will plow up peanuts very soon; the rain will help them come out of the ground easier.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The counties in which I spent the weekend had medians on the 4 lane roads filled with cosmos: pink, wine and a few white. They were stunning despite a prolonged drought.

In the mail today was a Thompson&Morgan seed catalog WITH a $10.00 off offer! I had one cosmos plant, pink, from the seeds I planted last spring. I will try again, the seeds were cheap and perhaps old.

It's almost time to plant poppy and larkspur seeds. We need rain before the seeds go out.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Becky's Brugs

I've been visiting in the north part of the state. My friend had beautiful brugs; I only have photos of the peach color, the yellow were also stunning.

and me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Make Lemonade

More about the Herb Garden: the faux fountain may move to be incorporated over by the stone birdbath where water is constantly dripping for the birds. The FF gets littered with pine straw over the glass stones. Well, everything gets littered with pine straw, but the bare ground doesn't matter and the plants are glad for the mulch.

Maybe in that center circle I'll put clump of lemon grass. I like lemon grass, both for the fragrance and for the graceful clumps is forms, such a pretty green. I had forgotten lemon basil, it survived the drought. I gathered a handful of seeds this morning; there are more seeds. Both these lemon scented herbs are delightful just to pluck a leaf and sniff.

Before the tour this morning was over, I'd clipped several things to sniff: lemon basil, a Peace rose; gaillardia that I'd clipped back off the thyme, nipping the thyme in doing so.

Off-topic note: That tropical shrub with the tubular red blooms that I can't call the name right this moment has new blooms. Pride of Barbados is putting on little seed pods! There was a Monarch butterfly on the tithonia along with the usual Gulf Frits.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Herb Garden Plans

The plan for the 2008 herb garden pretty much presented itself. Successful herbs in 2007 were cilantro, parsley, thyme, oregano, sage and chives.

Rosemary edges the SW and NE corners. Instead of repeating the opposite corners edged with calendula, the entire quad corners will be covered with calendula. I saw calendulas planted en masse near the state capitol building in Tallahassee, FL and liked the effect. Volunteer spiderwort looks good in the photos, so spiderwort can edge the corners opposite the rosemary edges, which rooted and thrived.

The little center circle will keep sage, thyme and oregano. Pinks thrived until late summer and began to die out. We'll see how they fare in winter. If chives don't thrive in cooler weater, they will likely not be repeated. There will be bunch onions and society garlic elsewhere.

Cilantro will likely reseed. Cilantro and parsley are so prolific and blousy as to be better as fillers in the long beds where butterflies can get at the parsley and cilantro can fade away when the weather warms.

What remains to decide is what annuals will follow the calendula, which fade in late May. I planted coleus in 2007, which failed to thrive in the drought. Salvia farinacea or plumbago might look cool in the heat, behind the lantanas: yellow to the west, lavender to the south. Hydrangeas bloom to the east and the north side is open.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Plans for 2008

Daylily 'Olive Bailey Langdon' was blooming with larkspur, rose campion and echinacea mid-May in this photo. It has put on new scapes and is blooming with red pentas and various zinnias in October. Black eyed susans are coming up all around it and will winter over to bloom early spring. I had thought to buy more 'Dazzle' lilies, a glorious yellow; VE has already sold out. Lilies have to be planted in really cold weather here or they sprout prematurely, to have the buds killed. Looking back at different months gives a better idea of how to plan, even though the plans don't always work out.

Reviewed the seeds today, hopeful of dazzling displays from earliest spring. Definitely plan against tulips after I looked again at Iceland poppies and tulips blooming in the same bed. Poppies go on and on, tulips are a four-day show.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Captive Butterflies

The greenhouse, which has been neglected over the summer because it isn't needed in all this heat, had three butterflies fluttering against the inside walls today. Once they fly right in the door, they rise above that level and never think to swoop down low again. I use a shallow wire basket as a net to capture them. One Gulf frit required a little help because he was caught under a piece of the framework that holds the glazing. He latched on to the finger I offered and stayed put until I reached the doorway to wide open spaces. There was a beautiful buckeye and another gulf frit. The gulf frits are frantically nectaring on tithonia and zinnias before cold comes.

Pecans Falling Soon

Pecan hulls are cracking open on the trees. They'll be falling soon, maybe by the time the Plebe gets home. Looks like a good crop. Squirrels have already started eating them. They littered the front walk with scattered bits of pecans and shells all over. We need the deputy sheriff/squirrel hunter to come by.