Meredith79's blog

2017 Iris Orders
Posted on Jul 4, 2017 7:40 AM

So far this is the list of Iris I am awaiting this year....

(2) Mary Randall TB
Elsie Richardson TB
Snow Flurry TB
Tournament Queen TB
Joyous Melody TB
Jewel Baby SDB
Jane Phillips TB
Cosmic Wave TB '95'

Life of Riley TB
Absolute Treasure TB
Afternoon Delight TB

Old Black Magic TB
Adriatic Waves TB
Racing Heart TB
Swingtown TB
Chasing Rainbows TB
Simply Sensational TB

Marmott MDB
Punk MDB
Sapphire Jubilee MDB
Spring Beacon MDB
Keep Off MDB
Teagan SDB
Lavender Park TB (Very Early - Early Mid)

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The Trouble With Oriental Poppies
Posted on Jul 2, 2017 4:05 PM

So I have tried and tried to find some evidence of what my soil is lacking to grow poppies. Especially Oriental Poppies. All I ever see is how "as long as they have full sun and the soil is well-drained they will do well". I have even seen people saying poor soil is actually better for them!
So I have extremely well drained sandy soil. It is so well-drained and sandy that I can grow Sedum, Penstemons and Callirhoe with no problem, and any plant that likes moist soil such as Huechera, fades away rather quickly. So what is the deal with the different Oriental Poppies I have, just not amounting to more than two leaves that are about 6" high!? They have been there for years! Some of them grew a couple years then disappeared. Meanwhile a few feet away the Plain Orange ones are growing gangbusters! So I think they may actually need a somewhat rich soil that drains quickly. This is the only thing I can think after all my failures. So lets see, I planted 2 White Ruffles, 1 Pink Ruffles, 1 Coral Reef, 1 Forncette Summer and last year a Poppy in a container from a nursery. Still don't have any gorgeous poppies blooming to show all this money and effort!! If any one has any knowledge to shed some light on my problem please share!!

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New To Me Iris Blooms
Posted on Jun 1, 2017 7:06 PM

Tall Bearded Iris 'Blue Seduction' - Today was the first time it bloomed for me. It looked way more violet than blue to me. (I'm noticing as I upload the photos that it looks blue in them.) However at dusk the color was amazing, it looked more blue and seemed to be glowing. It was such a gorgeous color even if it isn't blue I still think it's a keeper.

Thumb of 2017-06-02/Meredith79/4b4126 Thumb of 2017-06-02/Meredith79/3c0a6c

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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Cile Tinney'
Posted on Mar 14, 2017 9:47 AM

Here are my pictures of my Hibiscus rosa-sinensis that I believe is 'Cile Tinney'
Thumb of 2017-03-14/Meredith79/82a0e2 Thumb of 2017-03-14/Meredith79/f82540 Thumb of 2017-03-14/Meredith79/86189c
Thumb of 2017-03-14/Meredith79/c98c1d Thumb of 2017-03-14/Meredith79/ee7678 Thumb of 2017-03-14/Meredith79/5e996c
Thumb of 2017-03-14/Meredith79/827c83 Thumb of 2017-03-14/Meredith79/3dc8e0 Thumb of 2017-03-14/Meredith79/41ccf2

Happened upon this Flickr users photos and description of a Hibiscus that looks like mine..
USER: Lake Fred
Cile Tinney
This is a garden variety tropical hibiscus that I don't see anymore at the local garden centers. It is a vigourous grower and of all my varieties, the most resistant to freeze damage variety. It must have a pinch of anti-freeze in its sap. Cuttings of Cile Tinney will root easily. It probably fell out of favor because it is a little more tempermental about blooming than the other varieties offered at Home Depot or Walmart. It will set seed.

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Getting the Second Chicken Coop Done
Posted on Jul 24, 2016 9:49 PM

My husband and I finished our second chicken coop today. The chicks are outside for the first time. This second coop is much smaller than the first coop we built. I am really hoping the old chickens will allow the new ones to integrate with them into the big coop over time, without problems. I have read some chickens will kill newcomers. This new coop is going to serve well as a home for the babies until they can be with the other chickens for now, and in the future as a breeder pen / broody hen house or possibly a quarantine coop for any injured or sick birds. I was impressed by the fact that my husband built the majority of this coop with the little free time he had, over the last two weekends. He worked both Saturdays at his real job, then came home and worked on the coop. One of my favorite features he made me, is a dutch door to make it easy to give them treats and change out water and food without them all running out the door. It is something I wish I had on the big coop. We do plan on adding it when we re-do the outside pen area which hopefully will be soon. Getting back to the new coop...
My contributions to building the coop were not much compared to all the work my husband did, I did do a little bit of cutting hardware cloth and stapling it to the coop, 2 sections on the roof and one section on the side. I hacked my hands up pretty good until I put my work gloves on. The most labor intensive thing I did was digging out the bottom 8" to lay the hardware cloth on the bottom to prevent predators or rodents from being able to tunnel down and under the coop. My husband wanted to just lay it at ground level like he did in the main part of the big coop, (We added the area under the house as outdoor space and I dug that out before laying the hardware cloth down.) but I really like it dug down because it makes cleaning the coop much easier. When it is at ground level the rake keeps catching on the edge of the overlapped seam and pulling it up making it even more of an obstacle. Plus it gives the chickens something to make their little dust bathing holes they like to dig. However it was not going to happen unless I did the digging, which is fine. My husband has a lot of back, knee and shoulder problems so I would rather do what I can to help anyhow.
I did all the hand painting 6 days ago, but today my husband finished painting the parts that needed to be sprayed because they couldn't be reached with a brush. Originally this coop started out as just an outdoor run but I asked him to add the living space in the middle of construction so there is hardware cloth on the outside of the enclosed area. I told him I wanted to get them out overnight right away. They were already out growing the open top brooder in the garage and I kept finding them perched up on the edge of it. It wouldn't be long before they were all over the garage pooping everywhere. They needed to be out or have a top added on. My man likes to "get er done" as quickly as possible and with the least amount of steps, so he opted to start the coop rather than adding on to the brooder. The only thing we still need to add is a window and an external nest box. Then it will have everything it needs. I would eventually like to change the Pop door over to the same style as I have on the big coop at some point. I am not sure if it will be a clear enough description but the door I prefer slides up in a track when you pull the string. The one we have on this coop just pulls up and out but doesn't stay closed on it's own, so I used what I found sold as a window bolt and bolted it shut. This defeated the point of having a string outside the coop to open and close it, since now I will have to go inside to unlock it first. I felt it was necessary since the babies were all very unsure of being out there and were piled up near the pop door. I could see it being slightly pushed open and I was afraid they would fall out in the dark in the middle of the night and be frozen still with fear. I don't want the babies falling out of the coop and being stuck there, scared and cold. It is amazing how docile chickens become when it is dark. You can pick them up and reach under them to grab their eggs and they don't react any where near the same way they would if it were daylight. I use this to my advantage often, being sure to gather eggs from under my often broody Silkie, to prevent her from pecking me when collecting eggs from under her! Although her pecks don't hurt that much, it makes me feel bad that I am upsetting her so.
So after all is said and done, we finally had it ready for them this evening. Here are some pictures...

Here they are waiting for us to finish their new home...
Thumb of 2016-07-25/Meredith79/16a4fc

Bottom all dug out and half the hardware cloth laid out and stapled in place...
Thumb of 2016-07-25/Meredith79/09d249

All finished and happily inside!
Thumb of 2016-07-25/Meredith79/03adf3 Thumb of 2016-07-25/Meredith79/158215

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