Veni, Vidi, Ventus --
The randomly chaotic and crafty scribblings of a deranged, wannabe artist allowed too many colours in her Crayon box.

Surgeon General's Warning: Some content of "From Pooka's Crayon" may not be suitable for: work, blue-haired little old ladies, the politically-correct, rabid moonbats, uptight mothers, priests, chronic idiots, insurance claims agents, Democrats, children, small furry quadropeds from Alpha Centauri, or your sanity.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Green Arm Indeed

Finally found me a nice Aloe. Considering keeping it inside, only, Sir Ozymandius is the type of monster to physically hurl plants that are in his way out of the window. Need to find a good outdoor spot for it.

Definitely need to take some babies off the hens and chicks and get them potted.

Wandering through WallyWorld's plant department, I stopped and blinked a few times at the potted cannas. First off -- those POOR things. I'd have bought them all if I could, just because seeing cannas in ITTY BITTY 8" pots about gave me a heart attack. Plant Abuse! But what got me was seeing some of the more unusual (read as: expensive) foliage on some of them. The dark bronzes, and the varigateds. Well ...

Yeah, hush. I bought two of them. They were more expensive than buying your generic bagged bulbs, but none of the bags I looked at this spring had foliage like this. And the number of shoots was amazing on the two I got. LOTS of eyeroots for separation this spring. No idea what colour the flowers will be, but the foliage alone is that pretty. Yum!

One immediately got planted into the monster pot where the basil finally gave up and croaked from all the water. (Note to self: trim roots and hang basil to finish drying tomorrow). The other went down by the fence with the Lucifers. Yes, I managed to get both planted today. Go me.

Of course, in the process of planting the one down by the fence, I noticed that two of my Lucifers had been MAULED. I don't know WHAT took them out. No sign of anything cutting them at the stalks, but they were just laying on the ground, limp and pathetic. It's not rot, the soil was so dry (I know, I know, they all got watered immediately) I couldn't get a ball from it even 8" down when I dug the hole. But the others were just fine, so it's not a lack of water. Grrr.

Also found some lovely chrysanthemums (At least, so far I THINK they are, but no site has had a pic of one like this) at Lowe's when I was trying to find a decent hanging basket big enough for my last thunbergia. Finally found a basket, relatively cheap, with a quality coir liner. So I bought two, just in case. Anyway ....

DG ... get this ... DG MADE me buy these mums. He wouldn't let me put them up when I saw how much I was spending (damn fish emulsion ain't cheap). They aren't the painted daisies, but they're a daisy class. Deep red/purple outsides, bleeding to white, with typical centers. Really utterly stunning. I'll get pics tomorrow and see if anyone can help me ID them. Not even my Sunset book helped.

Now the problem is finding a good place with partial afternoon shade and early morning full sun for them to thrive. I know mums usually get full sun, but afternoon sun here is HOT. HOT HOT HOT. Baking sap boiling in the stems hot.

And the house faces north/south, leaving the backyard completely east/west. Full sun pretty much most of the day, except for where landscape (trees, the fence) shades it. There's a spot by the back door that might work (may have to try to move a zinnia to put it there), but I don't know if it'll drain well enough to keep the mums from rotting this winter. Going to try to take a few cuttings from it.

Yes, I finally remembered to get rooting hormone. So the salvia and a few other goodies are going to play the propogation game. Will probably ask for some of the Rose of Sharon from my neighbor, too. Then again, I used to root those by cutting and just sticking in the ground. I'm surprised my parents let me live when all of them sprouted and grew.

Whooo, brain fart. Um.

Black hole.

OH! Strawberries! Good God. Repeat. A lot.

So, all of them are putting out runners. Lots and lots and LOTS of strawberry runners. (Note to self: Get some of the already rooted runners into new pots. Soon. Immediately. Like, tomorrow. Lazy bitch.)

I have strawberry plants growing IN MY GRASS now, because Cukezilla had them hidden so I couldn't move the runners before they rooted. Yes. I have a lawn of strawberries around the bed. I mean, I know people have used them as ground covers, but that's ridiculous!

Maybe I used a little TOO much compost in that bed.

So, I started out with around 15 strawberry plants this year, in a big 4x4 bed, with a 2x2 center. A pretty good amount of plants for a family of four, even with the bird and slug problems.

Now. Each plant -- every single plant -- has at least 4 runners on it. Each runner usually produces at least 2-3 new plants if they can find soil to root.

I have strawberry plants growing in my lawn. The bed is completely overwhelmed with baby plants. I have no idea where the hell I'm going to put some 50 strawberry plants. I don't even want to think about how many are out there, and there's no way I'm going to try to count.

I do have that new hanging basket, since I bought two, that I didn't have a use for yet. I was thinking about transplanting one of the thunbergia that's in the fence pots into it, but ... ah, I think the strawberries need it more. So, that should take care of 2-3 plants, and will solve the slug problems for at least that pot -- though not the birds.

I should have 2-3 long window-box type planters, and strawberries don't have too terribly deep root systems. Maybe another 8-12 or so plants can go in there. Should probably keep it to no more than 2 or 3 for the shorter ones, though.

May end up having to use them as groundcover, and put them into the flower bed in the front. I don't want to use the 55 gallon barrel halves, since it would be more prudent to put plants with more elaborate root systems in them. Be good for tomatoes and peppers and carrots.

Oh, and I saw some WEIRD bugs on my cowpeas earlier. Got to get pics of these things tomorrow and get them IDd. I mean WEIRD. Not just the usual stinkbugs and ants, but these giant things that looked like Alien/Predator Queen Brood Ants. And they're blooming and producing again! I'd almost given up and gotten ready to pull them.

Fish emulsion to feed, and ... man, I don't know what to do with the skeery bugs. Really long dissection hemostats and a bucket of soapy water or something.