Apr. 9th, 2006

gardening

Apr. 9th, 2006 03:50 pm
dedekind_cut: (Witchy)
It's been a lovely afternoon. After working this morning (software upgrade happened overnight; I went into the office to test for a few hours) I got to spend some time in the garden.

I pruned the big burning bush that every year threatens to push people off the path. Think of the big wild tree in the Harry Potter movies, but on a smaller scale - a deciduous shrub 7 ft tall and wide, grown from a stubby trunk.

I pruned the Joseph's Coat climbing rose, and tied it to the trellis. It was lovely last year, and it seems to have kept some viable branches through this last winter so it may be even more beautiful this year.

I cut down the grasses, planted a half-dozen cold-hardy pansies for color near the patio, pulled the stray baby chive plants in the herb garden (bad, bad Kris let the chives go to seed last summer) and spread insecticide on the iris. I had a bad problem with iris borers last year, and made the difficult decision to try chemical control. I use a granular insecticide that contains Merit (white grub control) which is effective against iris borers. I put it in a little plastic container with holes punched in the lid, and carefully shake it very lightly around the iris. The Merit is taken up by the plants, and kills the tiny larvae when they munch on the leaves. (Normally they hatch in debris - I clean up carefully around the plants - and climb the leaves, chomp a hole into the center and then eat their way down to the rhizome, where they feast until big - little finger size - and then transform into moths to lay their eggs and start the cycle over again.) I applied the insecticide last autumn also, and will check for borers throughout the summer. I'm hoping two applications will be enough to get the problem under control, because I don't like to use insecticides.

I found a lovely planter today - it's shaped like a teapot, in sort of a Japanese raku glaze, and it's just the right size to plant with rosemary, curry, and thyme and leave on the patio table.

Still to do - spread seed suppressant (I use corn gluten) and granular fertilizer, and liquid fertilizer for the roses.

Spring!

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