Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

coral bells, a new fave

 7/17... Arg... No rain.. AGAIN!!! Everywhere around me is getting rain, but in my 10 mile radius, everything splits up and it rains around me. West rain looks good, then North and South by a mere mile or two gets rain, then East the hole closes up again and they get rain.
What gives Mama N? Do I need to do a rain dance or something?
The barrels are low, the jugs are all empty, plants far out are languishing... gack.

And a fave new plant of mine is Coral Bells- Heuchera.
 These are frilly leaved evergreens native to North America, and have been heavily bred to bring out specific traits in coloration. These are great in full shade, dappled shade, and even some full sun action depending on the variety. Likes to be coddled moist for cuttings, but once established can be one of the hardiest perennials in the landscape that offer year round color.
And extra attractive, changing color year round too.

I purchased two more coral bells yesterday at work, they finally were on sale :) Cinnamon Curls and Caramel in gallon pots. Both can be split, and the Cinnamon Curls is actually from last year, and seriously needs splitting up.
On Friday while running errands in BH, I got a Peach Flambe and Purple Petticoats in quarts on clearance- both can be split.
Earlier this year, I picked up a pair each of Palace Purple, Marvelous Marble, and Firefly. But those need to go into quart pots to plump up for splitting next year.

Cinnamon Curls: Compact, 9-12" mounds, 18" flower spikes

Caramel: 12" high, 12- 15" wide mounding habit, 14" flower spikes

Peach Flambe: 7" tall, 14" spread, 16" flower spikes

Purple Petticoats: height 12", spread 24", 28" flower spike

Palace Purple: 8-12" wide, 12-16" wide

Marvelous Marble: 8-12" high, 16" wide, 24" flower spikes

Firefly: 15"w, 18" high, 20" bloom spikes

I'm getting into the reds, purples, blacks, and silvers right now. Not much of those color pallets going on right now on the property.

Great resources on growing heuchera-coral bells:


7/19.  We finally got in some rain night before last, about 15 minutes of super storming. Enough to fill all the tanks. We might have more rain in the forecast, so I made sure to drain all the tanks off today.

Also decided to take a couple pounds of fresh mushrooms to make up a big batch of duxelle. Gonna use some tonight, and freeze some off for future use. I had already filled up both dehydrators with mushrooms to help replenish dry stocks, and needed to use those mushrooms up! I was originally intending to pickle up a bunch, but they were just too big to work well. So alternatives are going on. Duxelle takes a while to make, but freezes up well, and is worth the time.

Gonna use some of that mixed with a wild grain medley, and a chicken and spinach mix to stuff a bunch of tomatoes with that I picked up the other day at one of the local produce stands.

And say, I was told yesterday that my final day at the Fruit Exchange would be the 31st. I knew it was coming since it was just a summer job and business has super died off. But still sad about it, this has been a fun job in a lot of ways. But it's a good thing too, I got GenCon coming up, and the elections too- and I really need to seriously start reading up on all the stuff I've been given to read up on, lol.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Planting in, praying for rain

It's a hot and dry one so far this summer.... We have gotten way less rainfall than usual, though we aren't quite into drought like 2012 yet. But the surface moisture tables are wicking away...

We really need rain, Pray, pray, pray for rain... and a lot of it.

But planting goes on... I've picked up more than my usual amount of plant this year due to where I work.. easier to spend money when you are there and get good deals on stuff.

I've planted in Sweet Anne and citronella plant in several places.. still have a few more of those to go.
I started one last round of cuke, melon, and summer squash seeds. So far no luck with any of those, and trying in trays for one last try.
I have some coral bells and other shade flowers that either need to get in the ground or get repotted- still not positive where those 10 plants final home will be, I'm torn between a couple places now, lol.

Been doing some potting up on lavenders, about a dozen total. Those are going to get overwintered in pots and I want to set up a smother bed this year to set them into next summer.

I still have a few other odds and ends to plant up. A bunch of marigolds, a couple eggplants, some rosemary...

The Aquilegia harvest is done!! I was able to get quite a bit of seed for the first time from my full double furl blue and white aquilegia that I've left isolated for three years. YAY for great seed harvest.
The regular aquilegia patch is done as of today too. I ended up with an unexpectedly large harvest this year. The regular patch has yellow single trumpet, pink and white single trumpets, blue and white single trumpet, and a double tassle burgundy and magenta, so I'm hoping for some interesting crossbreeds from this years seed batch. 

I took time the other day after the little rain we got to sprinkle Hyrbrix fertilizer around everything. I'm hoping it will help those tomatoes and peppers along that have been getting sort of neglected lately.  

The hanging strawberries needed trimming and cleaning up at work yesterday, so all the vines I cut off yielded me up 72 baby strawberry plants. I got those potted up today and now I need to keep a careful eye on them for at least a week or two
Some strawberries trail down, and those can be snipped off and potted up just like spider plant babies.  The two varieties are of teh Berri Basket series. White, which is a larger berry and white flowers, and Rose, which has smaller elongated berries and semi double deep rose flowers. 

Yesterday, I was introduced to dewberries. A ground vining berry I always thought was blackberries that were ground vining instead of caning turns out to be a dewberry.
It is far more delish than blackberries, and turns out I have them growing already and got a crash course in how to tame my wild patch.

so turns out a crappy ground vining blackberry I ignored for years is its own delightful berry that I already have and is worth cultivating for pies and jelly, but even better yet.... Wine.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A long hiatus...

A lot has been going on around here... I stopped posting once Pooks died because I just didn't have the heart to say anything.
We lost him a month ago now, and he's cuddled up with Moon now. I bet she pounced on him with a "Where were you?" as soon as the moon rose. See, he passed overnight during his one night, the full dark of the moon. First light was the night we laid him to rest.
I'm planning on planting his grave with breadseed poppies... fitting I think.
This wound is raw and sore... I miss my Big Fat Pooks, my undulating coco noir kitty. My big nudger...
So I just can't post without saying this first... and I do him no justice by not saying anything before now.

But it is time to post again... The gardens aren't doing well. I haven't had time or the willing effort to do anything due to the job. After cooking and busting my butt all day at the garden center, I just got nothing. And we haven't gotten rain, and we seriously need rain... and jeez for a few days of rain please!!
But been planting in stuff, and seeing some stuff grow nice- other stuff die off.
The yard itself is beautiful, my sister has been busting her ass out there all summer, and it's been greatly appreciated and a huge amount of work off my back. Honestly, she's taken on a lot around here with me working so much.. I don't know what I would do without my family.
Also, now that annual season is over, my hours are scaling back, and I'm finally part time. So now I have time for more attendance to the gardens, yay!

I don't really have much to say, but I needed to break the ice.