Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 2014: (First Edition)

 We've had the rain and we've had the temperatures,
but did I get the plants?

Blogging and Professed Web Standards

I'ld like to discuss something that I observed over the last 2 weeks.  It has nothing to do with gardening!  First, I am a natural writer.  Last issue had 3700 words; that's long even by my standards.  Most professionals today in the web industry suggest not to use more than 500 words per web page.  My writing and the web standard do not match I think because what this form of writing style is, is a 'Journal' format.  Blogs in simplest terms are public diaries.  My experience has been for blogging is that people will visit, and maybe read, but not comment.  This principal of blogging is O.K. with me.

The afore mentioned 3700 words comes out to be about 250 words per day.  That's more acceptable.  Gardening however is not a one day experience rather it is (for Minnesota) about 210 calendar days of the year to watch plants grow.  The observation of this growth is interrelated across those days, and even years.  So the journal entries naturally may be longer than a website trying to sell garden supplies where information needs to be concise and to the point.

I hope that those few, who are my readers, will indulge me with the length of commentary required to document my gardens changes every other week.  [219 words]


HostasByKelley Has Now Reached All Six Continents

I started blogging this site last August (of 2013).  I noted in the last 15 days that my first visitor from South America; Venezuela to be more precise.  I hope they enjoyed their visit.  This means that I have had visitors form all habitable continents in under a years time. Antarctica has yet to visit.

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General Garden Observations

How many children's songs suggest that rain is 'bad'?  ('Itsy Bitsy Spider','Rain Rain Go Away', Drops of Rain, Ain't Gonna Rain No More, No More).  Rain is what drives this planet to survive!  Without the rain life as we know it on Earth would be altered significantly; and our ecosystems would be destroyed.

Hosta, as mentioned in past blog entries, prefer approximately ±80 inches of rain annually.  St. Paul, Minnesota has had 4 days of rain.  We've also had several back to back days of 80º(F)/27º(C) temperatures.  I have waited for this set of events for several weeks.  The question now comes, "Has this helped to bring up Itsy Bitsy Spider or Little Devil, or any of the rhizome sets that were replanted"?

it is now June 28th. and for all of my optimism and hopes. I am not seeing any sign of either Little Devil or Itsy Bitsy Spider.  I am also not seeing any signs of of the replanted rhizome setts which I replanted from Blue Mammoth, T-Rex, or Popcorn.  This is a moment of discouragement for me as I so hoped that there was to be more to the growing season.

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The Hosta Report

Sum and Substances largest, but torn, leaf looks impressive from knee level of the other corner if the garden. [500 words here]  It was torn due to falling rain.  More leaves will come which I hope will match that size. 

Lemon Lime,which was moved to make way for my four new plants, looks good at this point.  A lot of inactive rhizomes were left behind; they might come to grow later.  My better guess is that this plant was/is passing through its 'fairy ring' stage of growth.  With it being transplanted the plant will do better.  6/28/14: A few more leaves added but no expansion yet.

Blue Mammoth (replacement round) has sent out the first scape of the season!  Last years plant tried to do the same but the scape failed along the way.

'venusta' seems to be late with its scapes.

X-Ray sent out peculiar leaves this year.  They initially were curly and all over the place; as the season has gone they seem to be very slowly straightening up.  They are the thinnest damn leaves I have ever seen on a hosta, with tight waves edges.  Edges are smooth with no serration to them  Sport or mutation the observation on this plant is interesting.  6/28/14: There are slow signs that what were long skinny leaves are now changing over to the leaf shape I would have expected for this variety.  My be this is a seasonal transition for this plant.

Popcorn (replacement): If I am counting leaves correctly has sent out a new leaf making this four (4) leaves.  Keep in mind that last years planting of this sent a single leaf out and them began to fade from that point on last year..  Again I'll watch to see what happens.

Vulcan has sent out smaller leaves and is now pausing in growth.  Last year the plant did the same thing and after the pause produced some larger leaves.  Maybe it will do the same this year.  Also in passing the plant last year had grown to 1 ft/30 cm in diameter; the plant currently is at about 6in/15cm.

Dixie Chickadee seems slow; but then again I think I was thinking that at this stage of the year last year.  It has three small leaves without much presence in the garden; nearly unnoticeable.  This may be the growth cycle of this plant; slow spring with faster late summer.  6/28/14: A few more leaves have come maybe it is taking on speed.

Little Sunspot may be doing the same thing with a slow spring, and a faster summer.  No color change on the leaves yet as it looks still very green.  6/28/14: stil now variegated coloring.

Dixie Chickadee and Little Sunspot are both third year plants and they seem to be growing exceptionally slowly. At this point one would have thought that these plants would be looking pretty robust in growth with rounds nearly mature (6 in. to 12 in./15 cm. to 30 cm.). Further investigation suggests that Dixie Chickadee and Little Sunspot are both considered to be is a 'slow' to 'medium' growers.\

Observation: As far as the grower is aware growth rates are abstract terms with no uniform standard attached for their meaning.  The grower has also not seen any study or research to substantiate these definitions definitively.

About the Secondary Spikes:
  • Dixie Chickadee's did not survive
  • Frosted Mouse Ears fourth spike is coming along but slowly.  It maybe an open leaf by the next journal entry.
  • Little Sunspot: [First Planting] Second spike has grown.  Nothing has variegation yet.  [Second Planting] has not regrown.
  • Xanadu Empress Wu:  Sent out a fourth (4th) spike to my surprise.  The first leaf has vanished, leaving the second leaf to open soon.  Looks like a good sized leaf coming!
New Flower Spikes Seen
  • Golden Tiara
  • T-Rex
  • 'veneusta'

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December Surprises come early ....

Last year I pulled together all my pictures from my plants for a slideshow/video of what my plants looked like.   Here it is the end of June and the first pictures are slowly being arranged for next Decembers presentation.  In some ways the presentation will look the same, in other ways it will be different.  The biggest difference will be the sheer number of images as I my goals is to get 1 image of each plant each month.  June brought at least 2 of each; in some cases 4.

For those who missed last years presentation - it is still there under December of 2013.  Be a bit patient with it as is long; but has no audio; and will burp during its playing.

[over 1200 Words for document]

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