Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Stroll-July 13, 2008

For my Sunday Stroll, I could show you my climbing rose, covered with Japanese beetles, but I won't. I could show you my hollyhocks, covered with Japanese beetles, but I won't. So, I'll show you the oak leaf hydrangeas again. The beetles don't like them, thank goodness. They are starting to lose the bright green-tinted white color they start off with, and fading to a beige-y pink that is very nice. I love that the blossoms last so long on these shrubs. Planting them was the best landscaping decision I ever made.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I am trying to make sure my yard is wild-life friendly. I've been checking things off of the list of requirements put out by the National Wildlife Federation for becoming an officially sanctioned wildlife landscape. Mostly, it involves making sure there is water, cover, food sources, and a diversity of plantings to attract the largest number of birds, butterflies, and small mammals.

Well, honestly, I'm not working too hard on the small mammal part. Seems like we've always had those in abundance. We're a regular highway interchange for squirrels, and I wasn't about to build the squirrel equivalent of a Cracker Barrel here. We also are apparently the favorite nightspot for possums, and when they've really been partying hard, they knock over our trash cans. There is also at least one raccoon that scares the little white socks right off our guard-kitties. I think he is the one working his way through this old stump. We left the stump as an inexpensive seating option out in the shady part of the yard, and various children used to sit on it to think deep thoughts. I suppose we can give it up to the 'coon, now, since the kids are grown.

I promised to keep you posted on the pumpkins being grown across the street. They're going gang-busters this week, since we had 3.6 inches of rain in five days on our block. Here are a couple of the little ones:

This one is bigger than any we ever bought for the family at Halloween:

Here, you can see the arrangement the gardener made to shade one. He must think this one has real competitive possibilities. If it is not shaded to keep the skin soft, it will grown so fast that it will split. It was so muddy, I didn't want to kneel to give a better perspective. The leaves on the pumpkin plants are about waist high, if that gives you some idea.

That's it for today. If you want to check in on the other Strollers, pop over to The Quiet Country House.


Aisling said...

Joyce, I really love your hydrangea. The oak-leaf form is really really pretty, and the color is such a soft, almost antique, shade right now. Very pretty!

Thanks for strolling. Hope the beetle season ends soon and things recover nicely. :)

Green Bean said...

Hmm, I never thought about pumpkins splitting like that. I was just visiting my parents who have pumpkins galore in the hot heat of our wine country. Mine are just blossoms right now but that's okay. They'll get there. :)

Joyce said...

GB-I don't know a lot about pumpkins, but my understanding from this gardener is that these are vulnerable because of their prodigious growth. We also can have a week without rain, and then get a big storm that brings a half inch at at once. Maybe that splits them?

Just north of us there is an area that grows pumpkins for the Delmonte plant to can. They just leave theirs unshaded, of course, but they are the smaller ones.

Rose said...

That is one pampered pumpkin!
Your oak-leaf hydrangea is beautiful. If I can figure out where I can plant one, I would like to get one as well.
I can so relate to the Japanese beetles--my roses look pathetic.

Have you checked out Cheryl's blog (she always leaves comments for me)? She has lots of ideas for creating a sanctuary for wildlife; I don't think she's met a living creature she doesn't like!

Joyce said...

Rose I love looking at Cheryl's blog! She get those great dragon-fly shots that just fascinate me.
My hydrangea's like their spot. It's shady most of the the day, and they get all the water from the sump-pump, so they are happy campers.

Theresa said...

My pumpkins are just buds yet too. I would have never thought of putting something under them, but I can see how that would help them not go bad on the side touching the ground. Sort of like straw for strawberries I guess!

Joyce said...

Theresa, I thought that was a great idea, too!