Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vacationing... Buffalo Botanical Gardens

Last time we were in Buffalo we did not go to see Niagra Falls. So we planned a day of our vacation to see them this year. Then soon before we left a friend posted her own photo of this building and I just had to see it for myself.

This may have been the brightest/gaudiest plant. I know it should have been ignored.

Agave stricta... Hedgehog Agave. At first I thought it was in sad shape, but the brown tips look natural close-up????

OK, so I thought... what a cool shot if I hunched down by this "wow they get that big" prickly pear cactus. Later I sat backinto the car seat, I felt something poke me in the back and eventually had to change shirts... cactus spine???

Euphorbia milii... Crown of Thorns. I am glad I only got out of the place with one thorn in my side. I love succulents, maybe a bit too much.

I was taken by the room of Begonias. I seemed to be filled with joy when I caught my reflection in the big mirror. Here are two of the many plants in the room...

This one was named after Jelly Roll Morton and after three nights of jazz in Rochester, NY... how could I pass him by.

Begonia maculata...The Trout Begonia... how cool is that!

not sure what it is, but clearly is the hippest foliage of the day.

again one I did not ID, but truly the coolest flower of the day... well, I will post the orchid photos in the future.

a room with a view, ending the loop where we began the tour of this amazing building in a park designed by Olmstead. Now a days the public still owns the land, but it is run by a non-profit.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fieldtrip to the gardens of Chanticleer

A friend (the art teacher) and myself took 8 wonderful students from our school to Wayne, PA to see the gardens of Chanticleer. I have some cool shots of students for the year book. here are some of the plants we saw...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

looking possible

and now with three gardening days left... it is looking possible. The big bed of winter squash (buttercup, butternut, spaghetti, and crookneck) is planted. Italian flat green beans and bush green beans... planted. leeks-- mulched. two beds of potatoes weeded and hilled. and lots and lots of this and that. Pepper plants staked and bed weeded. Everything protected from deer which got a taste of the potatoes...

I do it by using green stakes, twine, and floating row covers...

Tuesday, I dedicated our time to a promise I made late last fall to the Director of admissions, who wanted plants instead of stones around the patio outside of her new office. It was to be done last Friday with the help of volunteers, who were coming to the school, however, a storm coming up the coast ended that plan. The students worked hard raking, shoveling, and carting off the stone; and then we planted 20 ornamental grasses around the perimeter.

I stood back and looked over the vegetable garden today and I was pleased. Not as varied as years past, but we are getting close to having something in most of the beds. Still need to plant a bed of a highly favored zucchini, some patty pan squashes, and maybe one more bed of the loved Diva cucumbers. I can get more beans in as we harvest the garlic in early July. Oh, I can't forget the hot peppers are still in the greenhouse and some tomatillos.

Three gardening days left. Lets see what happens.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

sticking with the diva

I am not one who has so favored varieties of plants that he grows the same thing year after year. I do save my left over seeds, but once they are gone I am more likely to move on to something new then to buy the same variety.

Today I awoke to the sound of rain and the green blob on the radar which stretched from Kentucky, across West Virginia, and then through PA into New Jersey. It wasn't nearly as wide, but it was all moving along the same path. I had to say, "Oh well," and hope for natural or supernatural forces to move a very large weather system.

It didn't really move, but the rain stalled out just west of the school (at least for the morning hours) and gave us a light drizzle which did not keep us inside. I got some Coleus into the garden, planted a bed of swiss chard by seed and transplanted out an old favorite... Diva cucumbers.

this was found at Flickr...

The man, who answers the phone at the school (if you don't know your extension) and has placed a billion purchase orders, loves his Diva cucumbers. On more than one occasion he has shown up in the garden looking for one. On many more of an occasion I have sent students his ways with our bounty. Last year I was much chagrined when I discovered I had no cucumber seeds. I went to a gardening center and bought what they had. This year I went back to the Diva when I made my seed order.

Today I transplanted out 15 seedlings in the mist as the other hardy student cultivated the potato beds. It was a good day.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

crunch time and stopping to smell the flowers

The eleven straight days of rain has us scrambling. Trying to keep the garlic, onions, leeks, and potato beds maintained (they are all looking great) while preparing the other beds...

The other day I informed my geology class that they were going to get to experience with the Earth and since then they have been helping out in the garden. For one they have to help rebuild a bed which they destroyed when I let them see if they could hit bedrock. I have never seen so few rocks come out of such a deep hole.

We did get a bed of sweet peppers and a bed of eggplants transplanted today. I absolutely desire to grow more than one bed of green beans, squash, and cucumbers, plus some hot peppers. Not the variety of crops of the last few years, but I will be happy if we get that accomplished.

so what is the count.... 11 days total, with 4.5 taken up by activities (2 field trips, one day of creating a new garden by the admissions building (a promise I will deliver upon with the help of my students and some volunteers coming to the school this Friday, an all morning awards assembly, and graduation. Can I count on no rain outs?

oh yes, those flowers seem to cry out for some attention, the small seedlings as well as this showy peony which has been at the school longer than I have...

sadly this plant is diseased. It always arrives in the spring healthy but by mid summer it is killed off... most likely (recent research on peony care and diseases) by a blight. I am worried that this bight could spread, so this may be the last year to see its show. A few years back a student told me the peony smelled like salami. I told him that he was confused , until I took a whiff myself.