Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bye, Bye, Birdies

You can look.

But you can't touch.
 The netting went up on the boysenberries this morning.  The berries are ahead of schedule ripening and need to be covered with protection from the birds. 

This post is a note for my reference to remember how to put the netting up fairly quickly.

Tools needed:
  • Netting.  Use the fabric cut this season for as long as possible.  One roll of 1/4" netting (7' X 100') will cover 3 berry structures.
  • Scissors.  If fresh netting is required.
  • Staples.  These are used to secure the netting to the ground.
  • Hammer.  The ground can be a bit tough and a hammer helps push the staples completely into the ground securing the netting.
Here's how to do it:
  • Take one section of netting that drapes from the ground on the north side of the structure over to the south side of the structure.
    • Make sure enough fabric drapes over the one of the main posts to cover completely.
  • Drape second section of netting the same way.
    • Make sure enough fabric drapes over the remaining main post to cover completely.
    • Overlap the two sections at the center of the structure.
  • Use staples to secure the fabric to the ground around the structure.
Thornless Boysenberries
Don't tent the netting tightly against the berries.  Those pesky birds will use that netting to peck through to the produce.  Loose is fine.  Make sure to secure to the ground around each structure.  This will combat those pests from hopping up from the ground to steal the berries.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Leave My Berries Alone!

Thornless Boysenberry
The boysenberries are quickly ripening and need to be covered with bird netting to keep my feathered friends out.  Since there is no garden kitty, the netting is essential.  The bird habitat in the garden has gone berserk since Pumpkin passed.  The boysenberries are in their 2nd year and promise to bear loads and loads of berries for jam, pies, and the freezer if there are enough after fresh eating.  Let the birds eat the bugs and leave my berries alone.

Tomorrow morning, before the heat turns up, the netting will be going up with Farmer MacGregor doing the lion's share of the work.  The netting is draped over the trellis supports and anchored into the ground with large staples.  There are structures to cover.  I hope there is enough material.  We may need to make a store run.

I hope to remember to chronicle this process here for future reference.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Iceberg Roses ('Rosa KORbin')

Iceberg Rose - boysenberry end

The garden has eight Iceberg bush roses. Six to form hedges on either side of the pergola and two to bookend the boysenberries.  Most all are from Coiner NurseryCoiner grows out in Wasco - Farmer MacGregor's stomping grounds.  Each and every one is poppin' with blossoms.  So far, these are hardy, har, har roses.  They take the heat and don't need pampering.  That's my kind of plant.  They get irrigated and fed.  Occasionally, I deadhead the old blooms but that's about all.
So far, so good.  Knock rosewood.
Iceberg Roses - pergola hedge

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Augusta West - Not

It's time for the Masters' Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.  That golf course is famous for its azaleas.  My garden is not.  In 2009, we planted a bunch of camellias and azaleas in the garden.  Wrong.  They did bloom, but then they went kaput!  Only one azalea survives today.  Thriving in their place are thornless boysenberries
 George L. Taber Azalea
Garden Update:

Tomatoes (Better Boy):  Farmer MacGregor could not imagine a summer without homegrown tomatoes.  So rather than solarize the raised beds to eradicate the nematodes, he opted to plant a variety resistant to nematodes.  This is what we grew last summer in another bed. Planted last week.

Bell Peppers (Golden Bell):  Three plants should be enough to take us through the summer. Planted today.

Hot Peppers (Serrano):  Pepper poppers are a favorite around here.  MacGregor also prefers home grown salsa. So...Serranos were planted today.

Note:  I still cannot bend so Farmer MacGregor has taken on the task of planting.

Nectarine (Fantasia):  What's nibbling on the nectarines?  Ants?  Grasshoppers?
Fantasia Nectarines
Espalier:  All the espalier fruit trees (except for the Granny Smith apple) had a spring pruning.  Nothing too heavy.  The leaves are necessary to prevent scald.  The most vigorous growth was on the apricot and plum trees.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ebb Tide is Here!

Ebb Tide Rose in Maybelline's Garden

Bare root roses were planted around the pergola on January 19, 2013.  Ebb Tide tree roses and Iceberg bushes.  Today, the flowers on the Ebb Tides have opened up. I thought they would have been darker and more purple in color. Compare the two images and see for yourself.  Of course, I have trouble photographing flowers with blue hues.

See how the flowers purple up as they aged?  The image below is of an Ebb Tide flower right before the petals drop.  It's much closer to the color of that from Weeks Roses.
Aged Ebb Tide Rose in Maybelline's Garden

I can't get down and take a whiff of them yet so I'll have to believe the description given by Weeks Roses:

Ebb Tide Rose photo courtesy Weeks Roses

Ebb Tide™

2006 Intro
(cv.WEKsmopur) Pat.#10,478
Floribunda - Smoky deep plum purple
Soooo mysterious in its color…and soooo powerfully perfumed…it's certain to attract attention. Dusky deep purple buds swirl open to very double old-fashioned flowers of velvet plum washed with a haze of sultry smoke. The intense clove fragrance can nearly bowl you over. But keep your balance or you'll find yourself face down amongst the deep green leaves.
  • Height / Habit: Medium / upright, bushy
  • Bloom / Size: Medium, very double, old-fashioned
  • Petal count: Over 35
  • Parentage: [(Sweet Chariot x Blue Nile) x Stephen's Big Purple] x [(International Herald Tribune x R. soulieanna derivative) x (Sweet Chariot x Blue Nile)]
  • Fragrance: Strong spicy clove
  • Hybridizer: Carruth - 2006
  • Comments: Gets all the better with establishment in the garden.
All the roses are growing vigorously now.  I do hope they will be able to withstand the summer.  I'm a beginner at growing roses. I can understand a bit of the description above. I'm excited if we selected some good varieties for our area.  If they bloom all summer it shouldn't be so bad to sit out under the pergola trying to cool down my swamp pants.

PS - the plant that Ajax used as a chew toy has rebounded and has a generous amount of buds ready to burst.

PPS -  did you know the meaning of Ebb Tide?  I didn't.  It's the tide between high tide and low tide when the sea is moving away from the shore.

PPPS - who do you think of when you think of the song Ebb Tide?  Farmer MacGregor thinks of the Righteous Brothers.