What will we get – 2,3,4 years from now?

I do not plan any daylily crosses (yet). I let the pollinators do their thing, harvest the seeds, store them in envelopes, plant those after stratification, see what germinates, plant those in different sections of the garden, and wait. I am in year four, waiting. No blooms yet. But I am patient.

So far this year I have 32 seeds from what the pollinators accomplished on the Just Plum Happy daylilies, with about half the pods harvested. There are also pods on other daylilies – the South Seas, the Marque Moon, and the Hush Little Baby.

I collect them separately, store them in envelopes, and label the source, but no telling what we’ll get. Just for fun, for now. Maybe in future years at the little house with the big yard up north I will try my hand at crosses.

Deer walking through

At our little house up north, we have a deer “highway” along the side of the house. I discovered the path in the snow when we started coming up last winter. We knew they were bedding in the back yard so it wasn’t a surprise.

A couple days ago I woke up about midnight. I was reading in the living room and heard crunch crunch out the livingroom window. I suspected it was deer on the dry grass. I looked out the kitchen window and sure enough, first one big doe, and then a few minutes later another. Nice to see them as long as they are leaving my plantings alone – which they are 🙂

I wish I had a picture, but it was dark, and out the window. I can show you what our neighbors say the deer especially like. We have crabapple trees. A few days ago a few apples on the lower branches were ripening. Now I see they are … gone.

More goat time

Yesterday morning I went to go see the goats again. They have done a wonderful job of clearing the invasive buckthorn and I am told they eat the seeds, so next year their job should be lighter.

The babies who were primarily nursing last week are also now feeding on the ground foliage. The difference one week makes.

Today my friend sent me this picture

Clearly the goats are wrapping up what they are going to eat on the ground level right now and are looking for yummies at new heights. They will soon be picked up and brought to their next grazing site.

Thoughts will then turn to next year. If the historical site is able to raise funds again the goats will come back next year for round two.

If you are so inclined, donations can be sent to Hastings Area Historical Society at 104 Fourth Street East in Hastings, MN 55033.

Aging shrubs

Our gardens at the townhouse are 18 years of age. Adults, right? Or is there a 7 to 1 conversion ratio like with dogs?

When our lilac got very woody, I had it replaced. I was a poor choice by the landscaper for our initial plantings. It belonged in a hedge.

Our weigelia, one the other hand, is an old favorite. When the landscapers put it in the initial plantings, I was delighted. I like the color and how it seems to draw the hummingbirds – to the blooms, and to the feeder. Already this year I have also seen bees on its blooms.

It is aging, but I am working hard to keep it properly pruned. Each year it is right behind the tulips, blooming away in the corner.

Exercise program

A couple weeks ago I was on a call with some colleagues and – you know it goes – you’re a few minutes early and you all chat about whatever topic comes up. Indeed, because this past year has not been good for normal healthy socializing, we were even assigned “buddies” to encourage keeping in touch on a more personal level. But I digress –

The topic that bubbled up pre-meeting-start was eating clean and exercising. Yah. Well, you know the younger generations. They have all sorts of exercise programs and classes, many of which came to a grinding halt this past year. Some folks said they put together home exercise areas because they were really feeling the effect of being cooped up, eating for comfort … I can relate to eating for comfort, but I laughed that I was not nearly so disciplined in exercise plans and programs. I said my exercise program is walking the dog. All good natured talk, and the meeting started.

At the end of the day I walked the dog, and then, as is our spring, summer, and fall habit, we did our cool down on the patio – and I did a little weeding, and branch picking up, and adjusting clematis vines into place, and kicking landscape rock back into place …

The next day I was on a call with one of the same colleagues from the day before. We had a little pre meeting chit-chat. I said, you know how I said yesterday I just walk the dog? That’s not exactly true … She laughed. She knows.


This year, with all the activity in the past year, I was pretty lackadaisical with my seed planting. I gave the pods I bought to our daughter-in-law, and planted seeds directly in large pots of soil (covered with plastic). Nothing happened for 6 weeks indoors so I just put them outside. Well, that did the trick, but the timing has also coincided with birds nesting. I hear they need mud?

Now I have 4 pots of plucked dirt, 2 daylily seedlings, and some sunflower seedlings that I did not intentionally plant (but we do feed).

At least the forget-me-nots look great this year again.

I have ordered some protective grates for the pots. They should arrive this week. Then I’ll transplant the daylilies and put cherry tomatoes and greens into the pots.If the sunflowers survive and bloom – bonus!

It’s a simplified year.

Victory Hosta

The Victory hosta is now the largest hosta in the garden. It’s not the fullest – that would still be the Rainforest Sunrise hostas – but the Victory hosta is the largest. It’s leaves keep getting larger each year, and it seems even each day lately.

It took a few years to establish, and indeed the second year I was wondering if it would thrive in that spot, but Victory was victorious and now stands tall under the Linden. We have only one Victory hosta, there are “a few” Rainforest Sunrise, and two Elegans. One of each can be seen in this picture. The Elegans will bloom first, then the Victory, and last the Rainforest Sunrise, taking us from June to fall in that little corner.

What did I plant here?

I have no idea how this happens, but it has happened a few times. I buy a hosta I think is what the tag says, and then the next year I go, “huh?” So I have no idea what this hosta is. I’d say it was labelled Rainforest Sunrise when I bought it a few years ago, but no, it’s not. I’d say Guacamole, but it’s already starting to get scapes so I doubt that too.

The mystery hosta, we shall call her. Whatever she is, she blooms and seeds profusely. I have harvested the seeds, but sadly they never grew.

We enjoy her, she is healthy, she can stay as long as she likes.

The birds and the trees

A state of disrepair, I tell ya! Nah, just spring. The birds plucked away at the frog’s rope swing until it broke, and the maples had a bumper crop for seedlings. Soon all will be restored again. Just need a few free days to pluck the hundreds of seedlings, and a trip to the hardware store for replacement rope. At least it’s not ferns! Those things are ca-ray-zee!!!