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Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.
Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. So here it is.
Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?
Entries are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.
When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold.
Dates refer to other entries in the same year (but perhaps a different page) as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given.
|Date and Weather||Observations and Activities|
Clear, sunny, and mild
|This week, I finally submitted an application for a grading permit to repair My Hill. The paper work included a soils report, geology report, grading plan, and even a stormwater pollution prevention control plan. So far, I have spent almost $15,000 without moving any dirt. Today, I made an appointment with a grading contractor, who will visit on Monday.
A week from today, we host the rehearsal lunch for our son's wedding, which is two days later (Sunday). Today, most of my gardening tasks involved grooming the back yard in anticipation the weather will be suitable for our guests to eat and socialize outdoors.
Stirred and watered the compost pile. I completely forgot about this. As a result, the composting activity has been very slow.
Fed the potted plants on the patio, each with a pinch or two of ammonium sulfate.
Clear, sunny, and warm
|Finished clearing ash seedlings (2 Jul) from the larger portion of the front lawn.
Removed the last of the 'Red Minimo' and 'Shy Girl' miniature roses from the clay bowl on the patio. They had all died or were almost dead. Replaced them with the rest of the miniature roses our son's fiancé gave my wife when she retired (5 Mar). I don't know the variety; they are pale pink.
Started cleaning up the garden in preparation for the rehearsal lunch (less than two weeks from now) for our son's wedding. We hope the weather will be nice enough for guests to go outside.
Morning: Cloudy, gray, and mild
Afternoon: Clear, sunny, and mild
|After the heat wave, August gloom! August??
Finished weeding the brick panel in front (26 Jul).
Lightly trimmed the rosemary bush (Rosmarinus officinalis) and the coyote bush (Baccharis pilularis) growing under it. They were both growing out over the public sidewalk.
Fed the dwarf citrus. Used a light mix of ammonium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium sulfates (the last two also known as Epsom salts and gypsum). I gave much more of this mix to the tea tree and the gardenia.
The kumquat is starting to bloom. Some might take that as a sign that the bush is healthy, but it is sometimes a sign of the death throes of a plant. It might be blooming, but it has not had one new leaf this year.
Trimmed along the walkway on the north side of the back lawn. In some places, the cinquefoil (Potentilla neumanniana) had grown out of the rose bed and more than half way across the walkway.
Cut down the artichoke stalks. The plant has gone dormant for the summer.
Did some light trimming of the star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). The way it was growing out over the walk from the patio to the trash bins, it seemed to attack me every time I passed it.
Clear, sunny, and hot
|Today is the 6th consecutive day with temperatures of 100°F or more. The highs have been 95°F or more every day for the past 20 days. A news report said the heat wave might persist for another two months!!
A large branch fell from the Liquidambar styraciflua in front. It was sweaty work cutting it up for the trash. I saved three of the largest pieces for firewood.
Cleaned weeds from about half the brick panel in front.
Clear, sunny, and hot
|Finished pruning the Rhaphiolepis indica (4 Jul).
Cleared more ash seedlings from the front lawn (2 Jul).
Backed out the screws that mount the bracket of my wind chimes onto the side of The Tree, leaving about 0.25 inches of "play". The bracket was quite snug to the side of the tree. I should have done this sooner.
Clear (some scattered clouds), sunny, and very hot
|It's been too hot for several days to work in the garden. Today, it was "only" 98°F. Every day since 7 July has had temperatures at or above 95°F, with 4 of those days over 100°F. I'm neglecting several important tasks in the garden.
The lemon seems to be dying. The kumquat is only slightly better. The orange set a nice crop this year, but I don't see much new growth. Over the past few days, I soaked the dwarf citrus by leaving the hose trickling into their containers. I hope this revives them.
When the weather cooled to 80°F after dinner tonight, I guyed upright the new leader of the Podocarpus growing near the front door (2 Jul). Although it had been tied upright for over a year, it was beginning to grow sideways like the side branch it originally was.
The peaches will be ripening soon, so I baited the squirrel trap. I use a mix of peanut butter, orange marmalade, chopped pecans, and dried berries. I hope to be rid of the two squirrels I saw playing in The Tree.
Clear, sunny, and hot
|Using a commercial azalea, camellia, and rhododendron food, I fed the azaleas. I also gave a light second feeding to the camellias.
Fed the dwarf citrus, gardenia (G. jasminoides 'Veitchii'), and Australian tea tree (Leptospermum laevigatum) with a mix of sulfates: ammonium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Started pruning the third (and last) Rhaphiolepis indica by the sidewalk in front (16 & 29 Jun).
Clear, sunny, and hot
|Untied the new leader of the Podocarpus growing near the front door (27 May 05), and cut away the remaining stump of the old leader to which the new one had been tied. It is somewhat upright but might need to be tied again to keep it straight.
Used ammonium sulfate to feed the roses in front, the two Rhaphiolepis indica that I have already trimmed (29 Jun), the Podocarpus by the front door, and the patches of pink clover (Persicaria capitata) in the front lawn.
Started cleaning out the ash seedlings (Fraxinus uhdei, from seeds scattered by The Tree in back) from the front lawn. The seedlings are competing for water and nutrients with the pink clover. I dropped them where I pulled them, adding to the leaf mulch there.
Weather data are from the Cheesebro (CHE) weather station, a little less than 1.2 miles ENE of my house.
The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the night ending on that date.
The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)
Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before then end of the day).
Rain is in inches. Rain amounts are omitted after 60 consecutive days elapse without any measurable amount.
Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall since the start of the current rainy season, which began on 20 Sep 2005 with the first measurable rain, until noon on the indicated date.
Week is the cumulative amount of rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.
Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter.
The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:
Main gardening page
Current month's diary page
David Ross home