Friday, April 1, 2016

April 2016 First Edition

I've still have the critter and the concrete to have patched,
but I think the effects will be lessened.
The FIRST of the Hosta are up - Early‽

Datafiles for This Edition

The Image for the garden is this:
Plants Marked in Green Indicate They Are Up.

Database not posted yet. Please be patient.

Hosta On the Way 

White Feather
  • Attempt #1: Is concluded.
    • Note: I did get a refund on this order.  Although we went through a lot of work to get it.
  • Attempt #2
    • Dec 2015  Will reordered the plant from Nursery C.
    • 3/28/16  Has not arrived nor have I seen a delivery notice at this time.

Itsy Bitsy Spider

  • The more I think about this variety, the more I think I want to try it again.

Opening Words

Between March 1st to the first spiking of the hosta I find the most unbearable time of the year as nothing seems to happen in the garden.  The first of the standing water has been seen during the rains of the week of March 13th.  The night temperatures have gone back to touching the freezing point.  Between the two this gardener holds their breath hoping that crown rot or ice out does not come.  Forecasts have been revised back and forth to indicate when the last of the night time freezing temperatures will visit.  The last I saw was between the 7th and the 9th of April.  I wait for the spiking of my neighbors hosta to let me know when MY hosta will soon spike as that occurs about 1 to 2 weeks after they do.

The disruption to my garden because of the concrete work, and the interfering critter seems to be lessened but not diminished.  While the patching of the concrete WILL NOT cause the dismantling of the raised bed, the process of following burrows of that this critter created will still cause plants to be taken out.

The Hosta Survival Report - Begins! 

This year I resume my raised bed, and the wall grouping of hosta that have yellows.  But this year I assume responsibility for another raised bed, and take control of a second wall area that has NEVER been gardened in previously here at the building. Between these four gardens I expect by the end of the year to over see 55 hosta; with 20 brand new hosta.  This will evolve producing 7 duplicates as decisions are made and plants shifted.

March 31:  To much to my surprise I've seen a number of first hosta spikes.  This years first list reads as follows:

First Spikes of Imp
Eastside Wall Garden.  This small hosta has risen with 4 spikes this season.  This was the first hosta to be spotted this year.  This makes this hosta a 'second year' plant.
Raised Bed:  A massive resurgence of this plant returns!
 First Spikes of Kinbotan
Raised Bed:  Again makes a return to my garden for the second year.  last year this plant began to look good in my garden.  Maybe this year I'll see some height on it.
Lemon Lime
Raised Bed:  Makes its return.
 Sum and Substance 
Raised Bed:  Has a noticeable spike on its way!
Raised Bed:  This substantial division of hosta from last year is BACK with a vengeance!  This is a first year plant.
Raised Bed:  Always reliably comes back!
The question now remains if these hosta plants survive the first week and a-half of April when the last of the freezing temperatures will occur.

The Garden Disruptions of 2016

As you can imagine these two disruptions will effect this year and the years to come.  I've talked about Rest/Renew/Regrow in the past; and I've talked about plant shock which happens after a plant is transplanted, moved or simply planted.  Both of these will come crashing head to head in this garden this year.

The bad news is that last year the garden was about to come together and create a micro-ecosystem where the plants held the water in the garden.  All of that work will be lost for about 3 to 4 years.

The good news (and yes, there is good news) is that this gardening space is rented with the apartment I live in.  I am in hopes that the Management Company who over sees the property will take the critter problem seriously and deal with it thoroughly.  In the end I am hoping this will THEIR expense; my expense will be dealing with the hosta removal, storage, and replanting.

  • While I will not know for certain until early May, I believe that the process might go something like this:
    • A re-evaluation of the critter will occur.
    • There is some question as to if the plants will kept in at this point or removed to follow the burrow within the garden during this process.
    • The extermination process I hope will be considered: Bait, trap, with water and mint oil to drive them off seems to be the direction being discussed.  Nothing final yet on this.
  • After the extermination phase is complete:
    • All visible hosta will be removed to temporary containers.
    • To reduce plant shock soil from the garden will be mixed with sheep manure.
    • Burrows will be followed and then refilled.
  • The garden will be redesigned!
  • Two possible re-designs for this garden.
    • Reader's may want to note this was supposed to be done two years from now during 2018; when the hosta count was down to about 15 to 20 varieties.
    • The design will go from symmetrical to asymmetrical (see diagram near by).
    • The final plant selection is still to be determined.
      • Damage from the critter, winter damage. and what survives will effect this decision.
    • I am in half hopes of retaining: Empress Wu, Liberty, and Gogon as the gardens center pieces for this redesign.  I am also thinking about keeping Snake Eyes even though that was supposed to be one of the temporary plants.
    • The soil will be re-ammended with sheep manure when the plants are returned to the garden; once again an attempt to soften the transplant process on the plants.
This process WILL NOT prevent the rest/renew/regrow cycle which occurs at the time of transplanting.  These plants will all shift into a 'rest' state after the first transplant into containers, and once again when their moved back into the garden.  There is nothing that I know of that will prevent this from occurring.

On The Another Side of the Garden ...

There is a very long but very thin strip of garden space (~26 ft. / 79.25 dm. by ~6 in. / 15.24 cm. inches in space).  In front of it are some bulb plants; and behind it a lower patio growing space.  This space has never been fully gardened in over the 24 years I've lived here and I now have a chance to do something with it.  Now the reader needs to understand that I, as a rule, avoid doing the trendy, fashionable thing;  but to fill this space there is one group of hosta that just might do the job: The Mouse Ear Hosta.    The Mouse Ears all started with Blue Mouse Ears.  This group of hosta have grown to well over 44 varieties since E. Deckert first introduced it in 2000.  When we talk about the Mouse Ear Hosta some things need to be kept in mind:
  • Some of these plants may actually have North American verses European versions of some plants as some look nearly identical to one another while at the same time the hybridization process was different for each of these plants.  I've listed these below as USA vrs Eur.  Some of these Include, but are not limited to:
    • Mighty Mouse vrs. Lucky Mouse
    • Pure Heart vrs. Desert Mouse
    • Mouse Trap vrs. Snow Mouse
    • Ruffled Mouse Ears vrs. Dancing Mouse
      • Footnote: The above list was taken from website:
  • Not all hosta with a Mouse Ear names descended from Blue Mouse Ears.  Some of these Include, but are not limited to:
    • Blue Mice
    • Country Mouse
    • Giantland Mouse Cheese
    • Giantland Sunny Mouse Ears
    • Mini Mouse
    • Minnie Mouse; sometimes referred to as: Missie Mouse.
      • Footnote: The above list was taken from website:
  • Some of these plants have the reputation of being very hard to grow.  Thus they may have a cycle for Rest/Renew/Regrow cycle that is much longer (9 years?) according to some references.
  • This group of hosta also have the reputation of being small to medium in diameter of 8 in. to 18 in. / 20.32 cm. to 45.72 cm. and not greater than 10 in. / 25.40 cm. tall.
When these hosta are planted they will be arranged alphabetically.  As I have two calls out to find these plants there maybe some duplicates and possibly a few more than 20 when the project is entirely done. 

The site manager liked the design concept, and then I suggested to them that after they were planted they could joke about having mice on site.  I don't think they were ready for that type of humor.  Maybe they'll grow into it.

Closing Words

With hosta spiking early, and fewer worries about the garden space disruption I'm feeling a little better about where this year is heading.  There's still a lot to do!  The late arrival of White Feather is ok with me right now as we still have a few days ahead of freezing temperatures at night.

Finally a special thank you needs to go to the Google Blogger team.  My style of typesetting is very different than many other persons.  I use BOTH Helvetica and Times fonts in these pages; at least I try to.  The handling of these fonts was being impossible previous to this month.  As of this month the platform for Google Blogger seems to have been corrected to handle the alternating of fonts between sections.  Thank you for the improvement!

We'll see everyone who wants to return next month as my gardening antics continue.

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