gordonf
Happy Collector
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Lillooet, BC, Canada

Re: Gordon's Garden Diary

16 Jul '15 6:32 am
Hi Fenwillow. If you have rhubarb plants, try making rhubarb tea from the leaves. It's very poisonous and, in desperation, I've been using it on my squash, coleus and tiny new goatsbeard plants. It seems to work well. Just rip up a couple of rhubarb leaves and boil them. Let it cool overnight, then strain and spray onto the affected plants. Repeat after watering or after rainfall.

fenwillow
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Fraser Valley, BC, Canada

Re: Gordon's Garden Diary

17 Jul '15 1:01 am
Thanks Gordon. I'm not sure if it's bugs on the hostas or small slugs. I was cutting the dead flowers on them yesterday and noticed slugs, so I think I should deal with that first. I use the 'safe pet friendly' pellets and they work quite well. If that doesn't do it, I think I might have some rhubarb left somewhere. The crocosmia always collapse on top of it so it will be a surprise.
FenWillow,
Fraser Valley, British Columbia
Canada

gordonf
Happy Collector
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Lillooet, BC, Canada

Re: Gordon's Garden Diary

5 Aug '15 11:23 am
Hello, everyone; It's another hot day here in the valley, sunny, dry and windy. I've been hiding out in the house all day, but I'll HAVE to go out soon!

I think my main successes this year are the melons and squash. even though they were planted out at least a month after everyone else's, they promise good crops. I have lots of baby Hubbard squash and Russian Striped melons (some are already 5" long). The watermelons have lots of tiny fruit and their vines, along with those of the gourds, are taking over the Hugelbed!

For flowers, finally "Love Lies Bleeding" Amaranth is doing well for me. My new hydrangea has lots of flowers but they're white instead of pink as the label showed. Maybe as they age they'll change colour? One dahlia is doing well but the other 3 have fizzled - either voles or bugs attacked them. Verbenas love the heat here and have done really well! All they need is a full watering can of water every couple of days and they just keep on blooming by the font door!

Here are some pictures:
Aug 4, 2015- 6.jpg
Verbenas by the front entry
Aug 4, 2015- 8.jpg
My one good dahlia
Aug 4, 2015- 7.jpg
Hydrangea "Renhy" - sold as "Vanilla Strawberry"; where's the "strawberry"?
Aug 4, 2015- 3.jpg
Courtyard Garden - still a long way to go here!
Aug 4, 2015- 2.jpg
Agastache plants protected by their fence to keep out Willy! They're shaded by runaway gourds! This is where next year's grape arbour will be (and no gourds!).
Aug 4, 2015- 4.jpg
The main yard - pretty awful, eh? I still need to get it surfaced with crushed limestone to tidy it up. A coat of paint wouldn't hurt, either, but all in good time!
Aug 4, 2015-11.jpg
Gojiberry bush blooming in Hugelbed.

gordonf
Happy Collector
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Lillooet, BC, Canada

Re: Gordon's Garden Diary

5 Aug '15 11:37 am
Here's one more pic that I wanted to post; it shows one of several 5"-long Russian srtiped melons in the Hugelbed.
August 4, 2015-1B.jpg
I'm so proud of these! They're rare and are normally grown only in one small Russian town. I got the seeds from Richter's Seeds' "Seed Zoo", where they list rarities of which they have only very small numbers of seeds. They ask purchasers to save seeds to preserve the species.

MacFlax
member
Canberra, Australia

Re: Gordon's Garden Diary

7 Aug '15 1:51 am
Lovely to see the progress Gordon. I like the verbenas, such abundant flowers and if they don't complain about the heat that's great. The Russian striped melon is beautiful.

fenwillow
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Fraser Valley, BC, Canada

Re: Gordon's Garden Diary

7 Aug '15 2:48 am
Wow, that melon is pretty impressive. It sounds like your veggies are doing well. I have tons of zucchini and quite a few squash. I wonder if the pink in your hydrangea will come as the flowers age. I have an oak leaf hydrangea that flowers white, then turns pink. The new flowers have a wonderful scent and occur over quite a long period of time. They're hardy to zone 5, so I don't know if they'll grow in Lillooet or not. Here's a link that gives a lot of information about them: http://www.todayshomeowner.com/go-nativ ... ydrangeas/ My plant is in the shade so it sprawls but I think they do well in the sun too. I've included some pics but it's overcast right now and the plant is wet so a bit droopy. I've included one with leaf detail so that you can see the fall colour as well. I think this is a really underused plant.

I think it's great that you included a 'before' picture. That way we'll all be able to appreciate your 'after' picture later on.

oakleaf hydrangea.jpg
Oakleaf hydrangea... the big picture.
oakleaf hydrangea new flower.jpg
New flower. It's been blooming all summer.
oakleaf hydrangea pink flower.jpg
An older flower... normally not this droopy!
oakleaf hydrangea red leaves.jpg
Fall leaf preview. It turns bright red in the fall.






Happy gardening... hope you're getting some rain now... we sure did yesterday!
FenWillow,
Fraser Valley, British Columbia
Canada

MacFlax
member
Canberra, Australia

Re: Gordon's Garden Diary

8 Aug '15 7:18 pm
Lovely oakleaf hydrangea. :)

Well, there it is. "Beware of Root Rot: All hydrangeas need well draining soil, but the oakleaf needs extra good drainage to prevent root rot. Keep them watered, but don’t let them get soggy." Clay soil and a wet winter. I think I'll try again but in a different spot with morning sun and I'll improve the soil first.

fenwillow
member
User avatar
Fraser Valley, BC, Canada

Re: Gordon's Garden Diary

9 Aug '15 12:19 pm
I must have gotten lucky... my soil is clay and we have very wet winters, but so far it's been okay. I wonder if it's because there is quite a lot of competition in the immediate area... big trees, rhodos... water-lovers.
FenWillow,
Fraser Valley, British Columbia
Canada

gordonf
Happy Collector
User avatar
Lillooet, BC, Canada

Re: Gordon's Garden Diary

9 Aug '15 3:08 pm
Hi, Fenwillow and MaxFlax; Zone 5 plants should grow here although for many zone 5 plants, it's either too hot (sunny) or too dry for them here. For example, my neighbour has a well-established smoketree which is very big. I planted one about 3' high at the front of my house in the same conditions and it died after 4 weeks, even though I watered it regularly. My current hydrangea gets morning sun and some afternoon shade and seems to be quite happy. I'd like an Oakleaf Hydrangea but I think it would need a lot of shade here, and I don't have all that much shade. I think I might be better off with native shrubs such as Wolf Willow, Ocean Spray (nowhere near the ocean but it grows here). I can't even get Monarda to grow here as it needs full sun plus moist soil - not available in my sand and gravel!

By the way, I just discovered that I'm literally sitting on a gold mine! I met a fellow whose grandfather used to own my house. He said that a square sinkhole opened in the front yard and sank about 7 feet down. Turns out that there are mine shafts all over this part of town and that was one of them! His grandpa had to bring in loads of gravel to fill the hole.

We are finally getting a tiny bit of rain and today it was clouds and cooler but still windy, which still dries out plants and soil.

Here are some pix that I took this afternoon.
Aug 8, 2015- 1.jpg
Here's a close-up of one of my hydrange's flower clusters. After nearly a month, it's finally turning pink!
Aug 8, 2015- 2.jpg
One of the many gourds
Aug 8, 2015- 4.jpg
Nicontia flowers in my Hugelbed; self-sown from the neighbour's garden.
Aug 8, 2015- 5.jpg
Young "Blacktail Mountain" watermelon
Aug 8, 2015- 6.jpg
Ground Cherries ripening
Aug 8, 2015- 7.jpg
Young baby green Hubbard squash
Aug 8, 2015- 8.jpg
My baby "Chicago" fig tree; it's about 15" high.
Aug 8, 2015- 9.jpg
"Prescottt Fond Blanc" melon (a variety of canteloupe)
Aug 8, 2015- 10.jpg
The long entrance to my veggie garden; much is covered with straw as, even after 3 seedings, nothing grew. I amended the soil and covered it with straw to wait until fall planting time (soon, now). "Boyne" raspberries are in the wheel rim, while squashes, canteloupes, ground cherries, cucumbers and strawberry spinach are in the green background.
Aug 8, 2015-3.jpg
Another gourd

MacFlax
member
Canberra, Australia

Re: Gordon's Garden Diary

9 Aug '15 9:20 pm
gordonf wrote: . . my neighbour has a well-established smoketree which is very big. I planted one about 3' high at the front of my house in the same conditions and it died after 4 weeks, even though I watered it regularly . .

Sometimes it's frustrating isn't it. I planted three flax, same variety and planted at the same time, and only one did well, I have no idea what the difference was.
Nice pics. I especially like the yellow gourd.

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