Homo neglectus Part 2: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. All is well here… Well, kind of. When I went to bed the weather forecast said there was a 30% chance of rain. It said “less than one-tenth of an inch possible with higher amounts during thunderstorms.” Well, early in the morning the wind started blowing and it started pouring. I thought, “GEEZ! The corn will blow over.” Then I went to sleep after not being able to sleep all night. Sure enough, it did as you can see from the Wordless Wednesday photo… Anyway, I started this Homo neglectus Part 2, so I will finish it then write about the sweet corn blowing over.

The original shade bed is doing well as always but the lilac bush next to it some trimming. To the left of this bed is a concrete slab where a metal storage shed was many years ago. The slab gets covered with weeds, Carolina Creeper, and small trees that come up in the cracks. It is a yearly task cleaning it off. I have an idea to tie some pallets together and make a compost pile on the slab…

 

The corner shade bed, as I call it, is looking great as well. The Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ (left) is flowering but ‘Krossa Regal’ (right) hasn’t started. The Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’, in the front, is doing good and already flowered.

 

Ummm… I know it looks like a mess, but this newest addition to the shade garden is doing fine. It just needs some weeding. Being next to the old goldfish pool there is A LOT of mosquitos to deal with when weeding. Sometimes if I am very quiet it takes them a while to know I am there. 🙂

 

With the mole repeller in the garden, the moles have returned the area next to the shade bed and in the yard in front f the chicken house. GEEZ! When I was mowing I saw one of those dirt piles is not from a mole. It has a good-sized hole. DOUBLE GEEZ!

 

I have almost completely gotten rid of the poison ivy that was growing in and around the shade bed but this one still lingers.

 

As I was walking by the old bird feeder I noticed ther was some grass in it. Hmmm… It appears Mr. Wren thought a female might like a nest inside but so far no takers. He completely ignores the wren house and so does the females that come… A few years ago a female was screaming at me and she kept going to the wren house but would not go inside. Then she would come back to where I was and scream some more. So, I went to have a look and there was a HUGE paper wasp nest blocking the entry. I cleaned it out and moved the house to the eve on the north side of the chicken house. I moved it because it was hanging next to the bird feeder and was pretty low. Apparently, she didn’t like my decision. Instead, she made a nest somewhere behind the chicken house… I really like House Wrens and they are certainly entertaining.

Now, let’s go to the south side of the house… In the “other yard”… Where the house is…

Baptisia australis cv. ?.

The Baptisia australis cv. ‘?’ (Wild Blue Indigo, False Indigo) at the southwest corner flowered very well this year and now has seed pods. This is the one I bought a few years ago that was supposed to be ‘Lunar Eclipse’ that turned out not to be… It has grown A LOT and seems to keep getting bigger every year. Good thing I moved the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ to the other corner… It is a hybrid, of course, so maybe a better caption would be Baptisia Hybrid cv. ‘?’. I AM SO CONFUSED!

 

South bed…

I am always a little embarrassed to show the south bed in this condition. So many of you have great looking flower beds and I wish my back yard and beds were so well kept. The Elephant Garlic has done very well this year but the wind had played havoc with them.

 

Celosia argentea ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ on 6-26-20, #714-8.

One of the main reasons I neglect the south bed so long is because I have to wait for the Celosia ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ seedlings to come up. I am not even going to write the species name because that will lead to venting. 🙂 I sent seeds to Raphael Goverts, Senior Content Editor of Kew (Royal Botanical Gardens-Kew, Plants of the World Online, ETC., ETC.) and was happy to see there are photos posted of them on Plants of the World Online. I am hoping whoever is in charge of plant names will start using infraspecific names (var., subsp. or whatever) instead of putting the many “types” in groups. Oh, crap. I still vented a bit…

 

Torilis arvensis/Torilis japonica (Hedge Parsley).

Someday I would like to be free of stick tights altogether. I do need better photos of the flowers, leaves, and stems of Torilis arvense (Common Hedge Parsley, Spreading Hedge Parsley, Field Hedge Parsley) or Torilis japonica (Common Hedge Parsley, Erect Hedge Parsley, Japanese Hedge Parsley) for correct ID. Not that it matters for such a pain in the neck to be correctly identified. Missouri Plants says Torilis arvensis is a synonym of Torilis japonica, and it may have been for a while. However, there is apparently an agreement they are separate and distinct species now… Most also seem to agree, depending on location probably, that Torilis arvensis is the most prevalent. SO, I suppose the ones here are likely T. arvensis… The problem with getting good photos is that I am always pulling them up. I did get some good photos for ID before they flowered from the pasture. They are actually a neat, ferny plant before they set seed… GEEZ!

 

Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar).

There are usually LOADS of Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) seedlings to transplant along the front of the south bed but so far only this one came up. I didn’t even deadhead them last summer to keep hundreds of seedlings from coming up. I think the seeds are good for several years in the ground because I had them coming up in the old cast iron planter last yere where I didn’t have any plants for several years. Just think, with only one coming up this year, I could have lost it completely… These plants are another reason I don’t do anything with the south bed until its seedlings come up.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 6-26-20, #714-25.

The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ is doing pretty good in its new location for the second year. It doesn’t seem to be mad at me anymore especially since I do try to keep the weeds from growing around it. It is one of my favorite perennials so it does get pampered for fear of losing it. I have had it since 2013…

 

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears) on 6-26-20, #714-34.

The Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears) completely died ate last summer so I was happy to see it return a little farther from where it was. That was a good surprise. I guess it didn’t like it to close to the wall of the basement steps or perhaps it didn’t like the Elephant Garlic next to it…

 

Hmmm…

OK, I am sorry the roses look like this. I know well-kept roses are beautiful but I am just not a fan. I took care of the beds for a lady in Mississippi, including her roses, so it isn’t like I don’t know how to manage them. I just despise the thorns. Mom liked roses and these came from Publisher’s Clearing House. GEEZ!!! When they came in 2014 or 15, before I convinced dad to stop fooling with PCH, he wanted me to plant them along the right side of the basement steps. Before, I had a Zinnia bed here. SOOOO… Since mom and dad have passed, guess what is going to happen here? In the next few weeks you will find out. 🙂 I kind of rate roses up there with Poison Ivy, getting stuck, flat tires, molehills, Japanese Beetles, and dead batteries. I am sure there are a few others that are fighting for number one on the list or maybe at least a space in the top ten. The list does fluctuate depending on the time of the year…

 

Alocasia on 6-26-20, #714-1.

TRIPLE, MAYBE QUADRUPLE GEEZ! I needed to do a lot of work and replant/repot the Alocasia before taking them to the area next to the shade bed. I always put them on the concrete slab around the barrel that covers the old well. SO, when I brought them from the basement (where they overwinter) I put them on the back porch. I have only got five pots finished… There are a few on the front porch, too. You can’t tell from this photo, but one of the Alocasia ‘Calidora’ is already almost over 8′ tall (including the pot).

 

Zantedeschia elliottiana (Golden Calla Lily) on 6-26-20, #714-38.

HOLY CRAP! The Japanese Beetles didn’t bother the Calla on the back porch last year but they found it this year already. They love the roses next to the porch. They like the Zantedeschia elliottiana but do not bother the Zantedeschia aethiopica next to it. I have had the Zantedeschia elliottiana for several years but somehow lost several bulbs over the winter. It was AWESOME last year!

 

Zantedeschia aethiopica (the white Calla) on 6-26-20, #714-39.

The Zantedeschia aethiopica went dormant in January in the house but I was hoping it wouldn’t. This is the Calla the owner of Wildwood Greenhouse gave me last June that he grew from seed. He said he couldn’t get them to grow or do anything. The plants were healthy but kind of droopy. They just grew to a point then stopped. So, I brought this pot home and repotted it in Miracle Grow Potting Soil and it continued to just sit there. Then, low and behold, in August they kind of perked up and started growing. They kept growing and getting taller even after I brought them inside. Then I think in January they started going dormant… I managed to keep the bulbs from rotting and they came back up again… There are many species of Calla native to different parts of Africa. Some are winter dormant and some are summer dormant because of their rainy seasons. Then there are the hybrids…

When you buy a pot of Calla that is beautiful and flowering they have been growing in a controlled environment. Trying to overwinter them so they will come up and flower is a bit tricky. Zantedeschia aethiopica is a species from South Africa that “can be” evergreen in the wild if they get enough rain… They can also flower in the spring, summer, and fall… Zantedeschia aethiopica can also be used along ponds (fish pools) so it seems to do well in moist conditions. I am just learning about this plant and I do love Calla!

 

Lavender and Rosemary on 6-26-20, #714-18.

I bought a pot of Lavender and Rosemary way back in, ummm, maybe April but I neglected to put them in the ground somewhere. One of those impulse buys from Wal-Mart. They were fine until we had a hot dry spell and I was busy in the garden and didn’t get them watered… I wonder if I can take them back to Wal-Mart and say I need a refund because they died. 🙂

 

Back of the house on 6-26-20, #714-4.

OK, so I need to do some trimming… The Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) is in the corner next to the AC. It is blooming up a storm right now and will do so all summer. The Malva neglecta (Common Mallow) has always been growing around the AC and along the foundation and is also now blooming. It thinks I like it so it does really good here. Hmmm… It’s basically a weed but I do suppose I like it for its lush foliage. The Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Knotweed) and Persicaria maculosa (Lady’s Thumb) also think I like it since I did a post about Persicaria last summer. GEEZ! I have news for them as well…

 

Canna bed.

I have to admit how I screwed up the Canna bed. The Cannas were getting so thick AGAIN it wasn’t funny. I decided not to mulch the bed last fall or even remove the old stalks after the “F”. I knew by doing that I may lose some of them but I thought that would be a good idea to thin them out. Unfortunately, now there are bare spots. What is weird, though, even without mulching the Colocasia esculenta survived the winter. Don’t ask me how that happened…

 

Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ on 6-26-20, #714-10.

DOUBLE GEEZ! I managed to overwinter the Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ rhizome and I knew it also had an offset. I kept the rhizomes separate over the winter but they kind of got mixed up when I got ready to plant them. So, I panted both the larger rhizome and what I thought was its offset together. Well, apparently the offset I planted was a Colocasia esculenta so now I have to dig it up and relocate it. Most of the photos on this post were taken on June 26 and I noticed today the Colocasia esculenta has GROWN A LOT since the above photo was taken. I need to move it ASAP!!!

 

Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ on 6-26-20, #714-29.

I was very surprised the Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ returned this spring because I have problems with perennials overwintering in this spot. The Conoclinum coelestinum (Hardy Ageratum) used to reseed here every year but apparently didn’t approve of me putting other plants here and fizzled out. There a couple of plants came up on the other side of the steps but I accidentally pulled one up. GEEZ!

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ on 6-26-20, #714-9.

I attempted to overwinter the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ from last year but was unsuccessful. I was glad Muddy Creek Greenhouse had more this spring.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on 6-26-20, #714-15.

The Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ just keeps getting bigger. The clump is now 32″ tall x 60″ wide and the flower stem is 52″ tall. Not bad, huh? The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ thinks I screwed up and planted it to close. Hmmm… It is right so I have to move it somewhat next spring. It doesn’t mind being planted next to royalty, but as with some of the elite, they can be a bit pushy.

 

Forsythia…

I couldn’t stand it anymore so I gave the Forsythia a good haircut. It went from an afro to a crew cut…

 

The north bed has been weird… I will get rid of those trees ASAP and dab the stems with Tordon so maybe they will stop coming up. I put four Colocasia esculenta rhizomes in the bed and only one has come up and did well. The others are STILL in the sprouting phase. That never happened before and they always do so great here. I still have several I haven’t planted so I think I will just line them all up here. GEEZ AGAIN!

Now that we had 2″ of rain, and maybe still more to come, I need to mow. The garden is to wet and I have to see how much of the corn stands back up on its own… I did a post in 2017 about corn standing back up and only had 13 views. The post was titled How Does Corn Stand Back Up. There were 7 views in 2018 and 185 in 2019. A few weeks ago I noticed the post was getting a lot of views so I checked and it has got 327 views so far in 2020, 207 in June alone. LOL! SO, I think I will write a new post about the corn since it blew over so bad… The reason I hilled up the corn apparently has nothing to do keeping it from falling over. There are multiple reasons… I will write a new post about the corn and maybe be a little more entertaining and explain the reason for hilling, removing the suckers, and so on. Last night I noticed there were aphids on the tassels of two stalks and, of course, the ants farming them. There were also Ladybugs feeding on the aphids. 🙂

So, until next time… Be safe, stay positive, stay well, and always be thankful. Take care and GET DIRTY!

27 comments on “Homo neglectus Part 2: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

  1. sylvia says:

    I wonder if herbicides were used in that spot before and maybe that is why the rhizomes are not coming up? I’m sorry, but it seems like overkill to use something so toxic on such tiny tree saplings. Everything looks lovely in your garden and I wish you well and happy gardening.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Sylvia! I promise you there has never been any herbicide or pesticide in the beds or gardens. Tha area where the Colocasia is not coming up well used to be a garden before the house was here. My grandparents, my parents, and I do not use chemicals. If I need something in the beds or garden it is always organic (like Neem Oil). BUT, I do have some trees, vines, and poison ivy that have been a continual plague that I have resorted to spraying or using Tordon. I am not happy about using it and it kind of goes against my belief. When you get older and have a lot to maintain (3 acres of yard on about 40 acres here) sometimes you have to make other choices. I do agree with you completely with small saplings that can be easily dug or pulled. The trees along the house are not small saplings as they appear. The stems are several inches thick and have been resprouting from them for many, many years. Take care and thanks for your great comment!

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  2. tonytomeo says:

    While in Oklahoma, I noticed that cannas that had not yet frosted back for the winter. I am sure they frosted after I saw them. What was weird was that I was told that they overwinter outside there, and that the colony that I noticed is abandoned. They just grow wild. I saw some of the fancier hybrids too. It seemed strange to me that they did so well there.
    Common calla sort of naturalizes here. It does not get invasive, but can grow wild in damp spots. There were many in Montara, where they used to be grown as cut flower crops a very long time ago. Some might be descendants of those that Diego Rivera painted. Japanese beetle does not live here. Not much bothers callas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Tony! Cannas are not supposed to overwinter here but they do during mild winters and if dead stalks are removed then the bed is mulched fairly deep with dry leaves. Leaving their stalks will cause them to rot because of the moisture content. You rarely see Cannas in people’s yards here anymore although there are a few. I would like to have some of the fancier hybrids but they are still SO expensive. Calla can be grown in the ground here but they need to be dug and brought inside for the winter so I just keep mine in pots. Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Debbie says:

    Hi there A lovely tour of the estate! There is loads happening
    Good you are seeing ladybugs eating the aphids
    I went to an online lecture yesterday evening called “Averting the insect apocalypse‘ about what we must do so that our beneficial insects stay happy and well – I’m going to try and modify the way I work with the garden. It was inspiring

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Debbie! There is always lots going on this time of the year. There are a lot of Ladybugs, thank goodness. You don’t really notice them because they are always busy. When fall comes and they start to hibernate, thousands get inside the garage and sheds. I saw a tiny baby Praying Mantis this evening when I was standing the corn back up. It was on the ground and hurriedly ran off when I tried to put it on a stalk of corn. I am glad you went to the online lecture. We need to do all we can to save our beneficial insects and not use insecticides. I only use neem oil if necessary. Take care and thanks for the comment!

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  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I bet your calla lilies would survive your winters. I live in zone 6, used to be considered 5, and I have a yellow calla that comes back yearly. I also have a place where Black and Blue Salvia returns yearly. I wish some of the other salvias would return but they don’t I have also tried moving the B&B Salvia to different places and they don’t survive.
    Good luck with your corn.

    Like

    • Hello Lisa! That’s great you have a Calla that comes back every year in your zone. I am also in USDA Zone 6, I would be afraid to try and overwinter them outside yet because I don’t want to lose the few I have. 🙂 Does your yellow Calla have spotted leaves? The Colocasia esculenta returning in the Canna bed is a freak of nature but the Cannas aren’t supposed to overwinter either. Location has a big role to play in how perennials get through the winter as you say. Have you tried Salvia x sylvestris ‘May Night” (or “Mainacht’)? Mine has lasted for eight seasons now in the south bed. The bank in town has had a HUGE patch or what I think is ‘May Night’ but has bigger leaves. I have grown so many Salvia but, like you, have difficulty getting them to overwinter. I really like Salvia. I really think drainage plays a big part in the area where the ‘Black and Blue’ are at now. I added new soil several years ago because it was to clayish from being fill dirt. Now it sinks over the winter and likely stays to wet. I am very surprised the “B & B’ survived this spot. The corn is perfectly fine now. All back straight as a string this morning (with help, of course). Take care and thanks for the comment!

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  5. Littlesundog says:

    I love that you show the “good, bad and ugly” because that is how it is for most of us! As for lamb’s ear, it seems to be resilient that way – if it doesn’t do well in a location I often find it somewhere else in another year or two, thriving where it put itself! Ha ha

    There is an actual Canna farm about 20 miles from here, and I always wonder who would buy them. I’ve battled them for years – a friend gave me several nearly fifteen years ago, and in no time flat they took over an entire fence line! I’ve dug them out for a few years now and thought I was finally rid of them! But no! Last year one little plant came back and I let it grow thinking if it survived after all of this time, I’d let it be. Well, this year there is a good-sized patch again. I guess I’ll be digging them up again this fall. They’re pretty (red) but such a pain to look after and cut back, and they grow like crazy here. Canna’s would be my big landscaping mistake!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Laura! Glad to hear you have the same issue with Cannas. 🙂 When I came here dad has a small patch of them on the south side of the house. He always covered them up with their stalks during the winter and they returned in the spring but not that many. Dad liked them, so I told him covering them with their stalks causes them to rot because of the moisture content. I started covering with leaves and then the colony grew. There were so many I put them along the center of the garage. Then, in 2019, there were so many I spread them out along the entire length. There are still a few that come up in the south bed that has thrived on neglect. My neighbor in Mississippi had quite a few and he called them a trash plant. 🙂

      You are right about the Lamb’s Ears moving. I had a good-sized patch of them in the 1980’s but they haven’t done that well this time around. The Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) seems to be very good at moving, too. I just kind of let them do what they want. I am not going to talk about the Horsetail (Equisetum) except to say DO NOT plant it. Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Littlesundog says:

        Too late, I already know about horsetail. So invasive and difficult to get rid of. I have a LOT of yarrow growing wild in spots in the yard. I mow around several patches – and I do the same with many wildflowers that pop up.

        Liked by 1 person

        • GEEZ! I dug a few Horsetail up in a yard when I lived in Mississippi and kept them in a pot the whole time I lived there because I didn’t want it in the yard. A good friend who gave me the Yarrow in my flower beds, also from Mississippi, had been battling Horsetail in her yard for years which is why I didn’t want it in my yard at the mansion. Well, I brought the pot with me when I came back here and eventually planted it in front of the chicken house. Of course, it did well. LOL! The Yarrow the friend gave me is an old cultivar of Achillea millefolium so it grows much different than the wild. It is bushier and has much larger leaves. I really like it but it doesn’t spread here like it did in Mississippi. She yanked it out of the yard by the handfuls and gave me quite a bit. I have put it in several locations here but it always wants to move. Someday it will find its sweet spot and take off. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Dayphoto says:

    It’s a treat to see your yard…the good the bad and the works in progress!

    Liked by 1 person

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