Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A day in the life of a frustrated gardener...

Ah...a free afternoon, what to do...? Well play in the garden would be my first choice. But it was cold and wet and rain more threatened. I didn't feel like working in a cold and wet garden. Still the outdoors called so I bundled up and went for a walk. I shared photos of these nearby Agaves awhile back. Glad to see they're still looking good.

Of course I wanted to grab that piece of trash, but then what? Just drop it on the ground? I certainly wasn't going to carry it with me as I walked. It stayed.

Intentional art?

Or an accidental arrangement?

A little clean-up and this could be fab...

Oh I'm sensing a theme developing!

Yay for the Opuntias...

Make that two themes, there's been a lot of moss on this walk.

Little worlds of moss.

Were there once plants? Or just rocks?

Do moss and weeds count?

I almost expected it to move, or to start talking to me.

Sending out feelers...

Big beautiful cones...

And berries.

Anyone care to ID?

For a moment I thought this was an errant ray of sunshine on the conifer.

But no, its got sunshine from within.

Cute galvanized fence caps!

And old old vines.

Back home I decided I could kinda-sorta garden by giving the basement prisoners their once-a-winter check over and water.

Boy am I glad I did, because I found this....super yuck!

What is it? I thought scale, but all the scale I've encountered thus far turn red when smashed, these did not. I sprayed liberally with insecticidal soap and cleaned it up the best I could with Q-tips. Then sprayed again. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Such bright green new growth, I've long lost the name of this guy, I think if it as my little Saguaro because of his shape.

At first there's nothing odd to see here...

But look there on the leaf...a tiny little plant.

Very interesting eh?

If you're wondering - all these random succulents, in the small white containers, are ones that I'd stuck in the ground last summer. As the weather turned in the fall I plucked them out of the ground, or took cuttings, and planted them up as I got around to it.

Lila spent the time hanging out on the basement guest bed, giving me the "are you done yet?" glare...

One final discovery...my black-leaved Cordyline is going to bloom! Thankfully I've since been able to spend a little time actually working in the garden (clean-up), which makes me a very happy gardener.

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

35 comments:

  1. That oddly rectangular bamboo made be laugh. Looks like camouflage for a bumbling cop like Inspector Clouseau...

    Your cactus does have scale. Only cochineals turn red when squashed. Other types of scale don't. The main thing is getting it off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Inspector Clouseau...exactly!

      Damn, more scale. How is it that I never had issues until last year and now...this. And I didn't picture it but one of my Agave macroacantha has the cochineals. I've been using the method you recommended and seem to be winning that battle, although they're back on 'Joe Hoak' again too...

      Delete
  2. How scale invades so quickly is beyond me. EVIL! Could your saguaro mini-me be Senecio articulatus? Haven't seen it with those bumps before though... Hmmm
    Max P.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously! Where does it come from? It's insane. Re; the possible Senecio ID, I don't think so, I have one of those too. Good idea though!

      Delete
  3. The orange berries belong to Hippophae rhamnoides, sea buckthorn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy! (you're a smart one)

      Delete
  4. My condolences on the scale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I feel like I've joined a club.

      Delete
  5. Sorry about the scale! Hope you caught it in time. Was that a bamboo or Cousin Itt out on a walk? Too funny. You made some great discoveries inside and out and I'm happy that you got out and gardened!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too (caught it in time).

      This morning's forecast showed a possible dry day on Sunday...I'm already scheming about what I might get done.

      Delete
  6. I HATE scale and mealybugs. I spent a few hours primping and pruning in my 'nursery' the other day, too. It felt good... until I found mealybugs on 2 variegated pandanthus'. Dang! One went into the infirmary (small bathroom with a big window) and was dabbed and sprayed w/ alcohol, the other was tossed because it was covered. Why is it that yuck always appears in January?
    Question... Do you have a fan going for air circulation in your basement? I added one last year and it has made a major difference in the yuck population.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have a fan, but there is a vent from the furnace ducting nearby, I've always assumed that's enough...maybe I need to up the ante. Sorry about your discovery.

      Delete
  7. Now that I've seen your basement I can figure out how you have a garden with so many pots and so many things happening and coming and going. My basement is full of art. And more art. And more art.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And there's another whole group outside too. Plants plants everywhere!

      Delete
  8. Your plant prisoners, aside from the dreaded scale, look fabulous. Nice walk photos, too :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. A interesting walk. The cousin It bamboo really does look like it could move. I chuckled out loud. I never have a problem with scale outdoors only in, I wonder if airflow makes a difference. The basement plants look quite happy over wintering there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I'm sure it does, although how? I mean if the bugs were there how is air flow going to keep them in check? (I'm not arguing...just pondering).

      Delete
  10. Lots of fun in this post, but I especially love the mossy post and your "saguaro". :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So much moss here now, it's crazy (and beautiful).

      Delete
  11. Succulents find so many fascinating ways to reproduce. That's the best Lila shot yet. The mysterious, noirish look of that last photo gets to me big time.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Lila is adorable. And I like all the moss on your walk,as well as the walking bamboo. Your basement would be a great place to hang out all winter, i wouldn't be able to limit myself to only check up per winter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The laundry area is just out of sight in that lead photo, so I am frequently checking on things. It's just once a winter that I actually pick up each and ever container and look it over closely and give everyone a drink.

      Delete
  13. I love all that moss!! and the surprises in the basement are very interesting...except the scale looking thing...I hope what you did worked for getting rid of it. And Lila is so cute :D, I love that "are you done yet" face, hehehe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's got several looks that convey her impatience, occasionally she'll throw out a little bark too. It's her way of making sure I don't forget to acknowledge her importance.

      Delete
  14. It always surprise me how many people in Portland have agaves and cactus in their landscape-that along with moss at the same time. I have to say that moss shot is stunning. Can I just pop over and rescue those 3 concrete planters? They look like they need a new home and they would fit it very nicely over here. As to scale. I have been fighting that on some my cactus and it is not an easy thing to do even with something more lethal, which I have used. I removed some prickly pear because of scale I couldn't get rid of. I fully understand why they use that neonicotinoids on these plants. Maybe a systemic is the answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, if there's any concrete planter rescue happening it's being done by me! (I love them)

      Thanks for sharing your experience, misery does love company.

      Delete
  15. So that's how all your tropicals survive winter! That's an impressive setup. And it's always nice to 'stickybeak' at other people's yards when there's not much going on. As for the pests- it's all been trial and error for me, though I admit I've used systemics for bad aphid/scale infestations when there's no chance of the plant flowering. The little jerks are tenacious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep...basement to the rescue! Can I just tell you how much I love "stickybeak"...it is a perfect expression. I need to make it my mission to get the folks here in the U.S. to use it more.

      Delete
  16. Cousin Itt was waiting for the bus. Kill those bugs, and give Lila a kiss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, yes, that's exactly what it looks like. And I will, on both accounts.

      Delete
  17. I love the moss! That bamboo makes me think of the Muppets or Sesame Street. Sorry about the scale. Nasty, sneaky insects that you don't notice until they are covering a plant. Keep up with regular checks and treatments and you should stay ahead of them and hopefully get rid of them altogether. I wonder where they're coming from, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes...where are they coming from? That is the question. And thanks for the encouragement, I will remain vigilant.

      Delete
  18. your close up of the moss are fantastic. A new universe

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!