June 8, 2008

Havin' heat wave...

With only one quarter of the new vegetable garden and yet-to-be-named, blue and gold garden dug and planted, the Salvia planted last year is beginning to mature nicely. My goal with this perennial border is to plant it properly, that is....with 5 to 10 plants per clump of each cultivar. A planting style rarely seen in the states, or at ones home, but truly, the only way to achieve professional results. Simply planting 3 of each perennial is not enough, although, that is my minimum rule. Generally, I plant 5 in a 12 sq. foot lot. Between and underplanted, of course, with lilies and annuals, and, all withing the yellow, gold, blue and white color palette.
A house wren makes a home in the new bird house.
Designed to attract Purple Martins, in our New England garden, I would be lucky to get a few nests of English Sparrows. So imagine how thrilled I was to see that wren has decided to move in. Well, semi-moved in. You see..House Wrens are peculiar birds, and much like many human couples, are very particular about their homes, and males tend to leave the final decision up to the lady of the house. Male House Wrens can select up to 12 nesting sites - building a nest at each, carefully chosen site. One may be an abandoned woodpecker hollow in an Ash, another, in an empty jug some farmer nailed to a wall on the barn, or another in a red plastic Wren House by Rubber-Maid. The male Wren then sings away, in an attempt to attract a possible mate. Once she has been found, the real fun begins. No pick-up lines here.....from this point onward, it's all up to her. Mr. Wren fly's with her to visit each site he has selected, and built, and she carefully selects only one which is perfect ( sounds too much like HGTV to me). The home reality show ends when she chooses the site, and mating can proceed. We can only hope our industrious male succeeds with his choice of an English Martin house in the Arts & Crafts style, with a genuine copper roof and a new-never-lived-in-construction, to boot. It lacks a stainless steel kitchen, but with an Olive tree right below, and two Irish Terriers to keep cats away......it sounds like Nirvana to me. ( Of course, there is a family of English Sparrows living in the same complex....).
Stay tuned, for today, our male sings for a mate, begining early in the morning from the tops of the bamboo stakes, amongst the Delphinium, as well as from the tippity top of the spruce trees surrounding the circular blue and gold garden. It appears the nest is built, he was lining it with feathers from the neighbors Homing Pigeons, which indicates that the construction is nearly complete. A down comforter and decorative elements in the bedroom is always the last sign.
This morning, I was able to hear two different species of wren, for a Winter Wren who live in the woods behind our property, whistles his repeating call of "Whit-wickty whit-whickity, whit-wickity", both in the early morning, and late in the day, at dusk. He is twice a large as the house wren.
An English double Auricula, Primula 'Stromboli'Primula auricula 'Stromboli' blooming unseasonably late, in the greenhouse. This is surprising, since these are cold-weather plants, and the greenhouse has been reaching temperatures over 100 Degree F. The auricula primroses, will be moved out this week, to a covered bench on the north side of the pigeon lofts, where they must be hand-watered for the summer, and protected from heavier rains. It is not the cold that makes these plants so difficult to grow, but the heat. Keeping them alive through our hot, humid summers is the most challenging part of mastering the most beautiful of English Primroses. They we're not designed for humid, damp gardens, but for pot culture, in a cool, breezy English alpine house.

It's amazing how fast Dahlia's grow. These pots are one week older than the post last weekend, and look at the size difference.
It was too hot, however, to plant them this weekend, so they will need to wait for cooler weather this week.

We started the new vegetable garden, a smaller venture, with just four raised beds. But it was too hot to plant, so the plants will need to wait for a few days. Rototilling was work, enough, in this weather!

It just isn't spring, without baby ducks. Four newly hatched Indian Runner Ducks ( for egg laying and slug removal duty from the vegetable garden) take a dip on this 95 degree F weekend.

1 comment :

  1. Those ducklings are ridiculously cute! I wasn't familiar with Indian Runner Ducks, thanks for putting up pics.


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