Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mid June 2015 Garden Journal

This month the garden is looking beautiful. Flowers are blooming all through the garden, and the colors are very pretty. Below is a picture of my favorite snapdragon, it blooms in pink, coral and yellow and shades in between. This plant grew from a volunteer that popped up last summer, and made it through the winter at which time I transplanted it to one of my flower pots, I love volunteer plants, they are always such a surprise.

The sedum is blooming as well, we have many different varieties, as well as other succulents that are blooming, some are pink and some are white, I really loved the flowers on the two plants below.

I had to take a picture of my holly bush, it has been having a rough couple of years, I transplanted it from a corner of the garden that was too hot for it, and it has spent the last couple of years recovering, right now the leaves look so vibrant and a rich glossy green, so I'm happy it seems to be making a comeback. I also love all of the yellows and oranges in the garden right now, the marigolds, day lilies and nasturtium are so pretty.

I didn't realize I got such a nice variety of nasturtium this year, most often I only get one or two colors, but this year just about every plant is a different color and they are all stunning, I also am enjoying my happy pink cosmos, it is nice having so many flowers this year!

The grapes I planted this spring are doing nicely and growing very well, I don't expect any fruit this year, and hope I prune them correctly for next year, they are a bit of an experiment, but it will be fun to see if they do well in containers. My garlic is very nearly ready, the elephant garlic as well as the smaller variety are just about to bloom this week, I thought the elephant garlic flower with its little cap on looked a bit like an elf with a little pointy cap, I also love the pinkish color of my Killarney Red garlic flower.

The petunias are starting to fill out their pot nicely, and the maidenhair fern is also doing well, I had extra marigolds and decided to plant them in a pot that had a little space left, I was going to plant them in my veggies, but something keeps eating all the leaves off of my Marigolds near my veggie patch, not sure if it is a bird or a bug, but I'd be curious to figure out who is nibbling them, I thought they were supposed to deter pests? Either way, these marigolds seem to have escaped being nibbled.

My hydrangea was very late in blooming this year, and it is no longer blue, so I think I will need to fertilize it properly soon. I know there is something to add to make the flower blue again, which I will have to google. For now, however, I am enjoying the soft pink blossoms, with a hint of blue, they are really very pretty.

The green beans are doing well and the pepper patch is getting going. The zucchini are a bit slow to start, and only about a fourth of the seed germinated, but I am hoping they will catch up. We have had very warm temperatures this June and hardly a speck of rain. Since I was off gardening duties during my recovery from surgery, the watering got neglected a bit, as did the weeding. But I am back at it, and the plants seem to be responding to the attention.

My squash and onion patch is doing okay also, the pumpkins are a bit slow to start, and the best squash plant of all is the mystery squash which was a volunteer, I wonder what it will be? The Walla Walla Onions are doing well also.

The beginning of blueberry season has arrived. I have both early and late varieties of blueberry, and the early variety are ready for picking. The kids have been nibbling on fresh berries and I will hopefully have enough for a small blueberry crisp or some muffins and pancakes this week. :)

I also thought I'd show a picture of the wonderful flower pots the kids painted for me back in grade school. My kids are now young adults, I had these pots put away for safe keeping for the longest time, last year I sprayed them to make them weather proof, and I decided that this year I would enjoy them more if they were planted and in use in my garden. I put a little heather plant in each one, and I love the way they look. :)

We also had a very interesting visitor to the garden this week. I had the curtains open during a girls Bible study I host, and just as we began our lesson this bird lands in the garden. I was sitting directly across from the window and was definitely surprised. I had to grab my camera and get some pictures, the bird stayed in the garden for at least ten minutes. I suspect it was hunting my small bird feeder birds, I most often have at least a dozen little birds hanging out at the feeders. They were all smart to scatter while we had this visitor.

I'm not completely sure what this small hawk is, after looking through books and online I suspect he/she is a Cooper's Hawk. I also read it may be a sharp-shinned hawk, apparently even long time bird watchers have trouble telling the two apart. But since Cooper's Hawk are closer to the size of a crow, which was about the size of this hawk, and sharp-shinned hawk are a bit more the size of a jay or pigeon, which this hawk was definitely bigger than that. So I'm leaning toward Cooper's Hawk. If anyone of you is familiar with birds in the Oregon Valley, and recognize what this bird might be, I would love if you would let me know in the comments. This bird is definitely a hunting machine, his talons and beak are pretty imposing. He/She ran along the fence line hunting for birds, I tried catching a few side pictures, but it was too fast so they all came out blurry, you can see in the bottom picture how long his tail feather is. Between the Kestrel and this new Hawk, my little birds had better be on the lookout!

I really love the large variety of birds the garden has had this year, it really pays off to put out a wide variety of bird foods and have fresh water dripping from the bird dripper. Seeing this hawk up close was quite a treat. 

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Linking to:
Flaunt it Friday


  1. April! Your garden is looking lovely! I really want to get into gardening, but with moving soon, I don't think that is too practical right now. I love, love, love the succulents! Those are my favorite. The garlic flowers are cute! I was thinking the same exact thing with the elephant garlic bloom, how it looks like an elf, or some whimsical character. Very cute how plants carry personalities. I just have my little plants in pots right now, easy to travel with or ship. Your garden looks lovely, and I can't wait to see the harvest of those fruits and veggies.

    Have a splendid Summer!

    1. Thanks! :) I love all of your little potted plants, indoor gardening is also very fun! :) How exciting that you will get to make your journey soon, I know you have wanted to get moving for some time now. I will be eager to follow your journey on the blog! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you are having a great summer as well! :)

  2. Hi April! You add aluminum sulphate to the soil to make hydrangeas turn blue. That's a beautiful variety of snapdragon. Love them! That's so neat to have such a close view of the hawk. It seems like there are a lot of birds this year. Have a lovely weekend!


    1. Thanks Jane! :) I will have to pick up some aluminum sulphate ate the garden center, I definitely want that blue color back. :) There have definitely been quite a few more birds this year, we are having an El Nino year, and our temperatures are quite a bit warmer than average, I suspect that may have something to do with it. Seeing the hawk up close was really neat, it was very beautiful. :) Hope you are having a nice weekend as well! :)

  3. April ~ I am making a slow return to reading and replying ~ it is enough to squeeze the time just to put up a few words on my own blog at the moment. I love looking at all your flowers ~ and you have blueberries! hrumph! We must talk ~ I have plants, no berries. Hrumph again!
    Aren't we having such fun though, on ICAD 2015? I struggle to find the time each day to come up with something, but I am enjoying it despite the time constraints.
    Deb :)

  4. Your garden looks great! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

  5. Hi! You live way out in Oregon and yet you have some of the same birds I have here in Delaware! I can never tell if it is a Cooper's or a sharp-shinned hawk either. I didn't realize a sharp-shinned hawk was so small...I guess mine might be Cooper's also. (My family thinks I keep making this up, that I always see a hawk, so I finally did get a picture of it one day). Recently we saw one swoop down and take away a squirrel! Now we know where the squirrels disappear to!

    I can't seem to grow blueberries here; must be too hot here. Andrea


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