Saturday, June 02, 2007

Gardening: When I was at Camp Amnicon last weekend for a work weekend, one of my jobs (the one I really liked doing) was planting. I planted the annuals and tomatoes the director had purchased and then, because she asked me to, I sprayed them with Liquid Fence to help keep the deer and rabbits from eating them all. It smells like rotten ass. When I told her I would come back next year and do the planting again, she said she was going to look into plants that are deer resistant. I told her I have a list or two and would e-mail them to her. I have to do that soon but thought I would share with you, in case you have a problem with deer treating your flower beds as a salad bar.

Some of these are plants that I have actually had good experience with (indicated with a *) and others are just on lists I got from Bachman's and somewhere else (Lynde or Fair's probably). In general, plants that are prickly, fuzzy or smell strongly are ones the deer avoid. The Latin names are in parentheses in some cases. Some common names can apply to more than one type of plant and are sometimes confusing so I like to note the Latin name when I can.

Annuals: *Floss Flower (Ageratum) , Calendula, Cleome, Dahlia, *Dusty Miller, Flax, Forget-me-not, *Geranium,*Heliotrope, Lantana, *Lobelia, *Marigolds, Mint, *Morning Glory, *Parsley, *Polka-dot plant, *Salvia (though another list I have says deer like this one), *Snapdragons, *Sweet Alyssum, *Verbena, Wax Begonia, *Zinnia

Perennials: *Yarrow (Achillea), Monkshood (Aconitum), *Bugleweed (Ajuga), Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla) , Alkanet, *Allium, Anemone, *Columbine (Aquilegia), *Wormwood (Artemesia), Goatsbeard (Aruncus), *Butterfly weed (Asclepias), *Aster, *Astilbe, Barronwort, *Bellflowers (Campanula), Turtleheads (Chelone), *Clematis, *Coreopsis, Daffodil, Delphinium, Chrysanthemums (Dendranthema), *Bleeding Heart (Dicentra), Dianthus, *Foxglove (Digitalis), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea), Globe Thistle (Echinops), Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium), Meadowsweet (Filipendula), *Gaillardia, *Hardy Geranium, Baby's Breath (Gypsophila), *Coral Bells (Heuchera), Iris, Lavender, *Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum), *Ligularia, Lupine (Lupinus), *Mint/Catmint, Beebalm (Monarda), *Peony, Oriental Poppies (Papaver), *Russian Sage (Perovskia), *Phlox, Balloon Flower (Platycodon), Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium), *Lungwort (Pulmonaria), *Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), Meadow Sage, *Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum), *Lamb's Ears (Stachys), Meadow Rue (Thalictrum), Creeping Thyme, Speedwell (Veronica), *Vinca; *Ferns; Yucca; Ornamental Grasses including Karl Foerster, Blue Fescue, Silver Feather, Shenandoah and Little Bluestem.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Reading: Since I last blogged, I finished "reading" The Wonder Spot which was wonderful! Very very funny! She would be me, if I was Jewish and lived in New York.

Books and Breakfast Club selection for May was Lake of Sorrows by Erin Hart, a Minnesota author who graduated from St. Olaf (a few years before me - approximately 13 years). This is her second book - the first, Haunted Ground, we read a couple years ago for my other bookclub. Both are mysteries, set in the peat bogs of Ireland, and involve bog bodies. Actually in Haunted Ground, there is only a bog head, and in Lake of Sorrows there are multiple bodies. I won't discuss it too much yet though, because we decided to table our discussion of the book until July since I was the only one who had read the whole thing. The person who had chosen the book had read most but skimmed the rest. We will cut her a break though, because she is mother of the world's cutest baby.

Earlier this week I finished Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres. Excellent reading. All I wanted to do was read that book until it was done. And now I can't wait to discuss it. Good thing it was a bookclub selection for the other bookclub and we are discussing it Sunday night. It is a memoir of a white girl and her adopted black brother, growing up in "Jesus Land" in rural Indiana in the earlier '80s. Their parents are "Christians" - mom is more interested in supporting and communicating with missionaries in distant countries than with her own family living with her; dad is a well-respected surgeon who is distant and abusive. Both Julia and her brother David are sent to a Christian reform school in the Dominican Republic where they suffer more at the hands of those who are trying to "save" them. Their story is sad but at the same time inspiring. They suffer but ultimately survive and thrive, despite the cruelty, bigotry and abuse at the hands of the self-righteous.

Currently reading: Waiting for White Horses by Nathan Jorgenson (another MN author) for Books and Breakfast Club, and listening to The DaVinci Code, in the car. Don't know yet if we are meeting for the other bookclub in July or what the book will be if we are.

Eating: Today for lunch I tried something tasty and filling (not to mention quick and relatively low cal/low fat). Take a whole-wheat tortilla (I actually used some of the yummy chili pepper ones I got from Trader Joe's), spread with salsa and some non-fat refried beans, sprinkle with cheese, roll up and microwave for 30 seconds. Yum!

Gardening: I have been very busy with the garden since last posted. I have planted: Achillea and Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum superbum 'Alaska') on the west side of the garage; 3 Bridal veil Astilbe and one Fanal Astilbe along the shady side of the deck, surrounding my hammock, transplanted 3 spiderworts and a hosta to the shade garden, transplanted several varieties of lamium to around the tree, planted all my containers including 3 deck boxes with moss roses, and a mix of red snapdragons, purple tiny petunias, and heliotrope, planted nasturtiums and black-eyed Susan vine in my hanging baskets on the deck, deep purple pansies and deep red coleus in the pansy pot, Cherry Profusion Zinnias in 2 of the deck pots, a variety of tomatoes (already 5 little tomatoes on the plant!), peppers and herbs in several pots on the sunny side of the deck; a mix of purple and white flowers in the front yard pots: white geraniums, purple Wave petunias, blue salvia, vinca vine, licorice vine, dusty miller (LOVE dusty miller!) and white polka dot plants. I had just got everything I bought planted and I went to visit my friend Siiri who divided several plants and gave them to me. So I went home and planted 2 colors of monarda, 3 big bunches of sedum, a bunch of catmint, a couple of asters, and a clump of Siberian iris. Everything is looking very lush and full.

My next garden project is to start digging for a bed in front of the sidewalk to be filled with plants for continuous (hopefully) bloom throughout the growing season.

We also cut down our apple tree (apple trees were not meant to try to grow under the shade of 2 huge maples), dug out all the grass underneath the fence and laid lots and lots of cypress mulch. we have had some decent rain in the last week so I haven't had to water much. Just deadheading the annuals and weeding as I go.
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