A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: A Sick Rhododendron, Stolen Celosia and a Welcome Weed

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11 March 2017

A Sick Rhododendron, Stolen Celosia and a Welcome Weed

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Seeding Celosia under Hanging Baskets at A Nest for All Seasons

When I start anything from seed, I try to mark the space with an upside down hanging basket (above). It reminds me NOT to weed there for a few weeks and gives the plants some protection when they do emerge. The basket is removed once the plants start to reach the wires. Inside this particular wire enclosure are some celosia seeds - stolen celosia. Last fall, our local nature center did a crafting with nature event (NOT related to my book...just a happy coincidence!) and we were able to make a variety of ornaments and such out of pinecones, seedheads and other plant bits. I made sure to make a little tussy mussy including some pretty celosia with seeds still attached.  Today, they found their home!

Sick Rhododendron with brown curling leaves at A Nest for All Seasons

In other garden news, I have a sad and maybe sick rhododendron (above). The leaves on several branches look like this:

Sick Rhododendron with brown curling leaves at A Nest for All Seasons

From what I have read, it might have just been a lack of water last year, as there were no obvious signs of pest or disease, but to be safe I trimmed off all branches with signs of these curling, brown leaves. This is a very mature rhododendron and there are several that line the creek, but this was the only one affected. While this is not the time of year to prune rhodies (you will take off the ready-to-bloom flower buds), I needed to get at this problem as soon as I saw it.

Fiskars Loppers Pruning Rhododendron

The impetus to action was a decent pair of loppers. For about 12 years I had been using a pair from Ollies and they were great for about 8 of those years until the metal handle cracked. They had served me very well (I daresay the most used tool in the shed?), but I had been using it with that metal handle broken for about 2 years now. Picture loppers on crutches and that is about the efficiency at which I was operating those old things. I can be incredibly cheap sometimes and really should have replaced it when it broke. When Fiskars asked if I would like to try their new line of pruning tools, well, the obvious answer was YES.

Fiskars Loppers

They REALLY are 3 times easier -- cuts like a hot knife through butter and I went up to trees the size of half dollars. I think it could have done more.

Link to Fiskars Loppers -- a ton of options for you!

Fiskars Loppers Pruning Rhododendron

 As we went back to the house, I was reminded of just how pretty a weed can be:
Bird’s Eye Speedwell (veronica persica)
Bird’s Eye Speedwell (veronica persica)
 Anywhere this "weed" wants to gallivant around the lawn, it is more than welcome.

In other news, I forgot to open the laying coop, and the hens had a little mini-battle to see who could lay their egg first today.

Buff Orpingtons Fighting to Lay an Egg

Reminds me of a girl's bathroom at a baseball game intermission. #henfight

Hope your spring is arriving in fits and starts like mine and you are getting OUT and enjoying it!

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kksharma Saturday, March 18, 2017  

wow! that place is looking so beautiful and captured so stunning photos of that beautiful place.

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