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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hopes (and Fears) for July 2011

My June 2011 Hope Grows post gave voice to my hope that my direct-sown California wildflowers would grow.

Gilia tricolor and Gilia capitata
Well, they did! They're not blooming yet, but they've sprouted, and I hope by August they'll be blooming.

Collinsia heterophylla

Clarkia elegans

The ones sown under cloches are blooming profusely.

Five-Spot and Penny Black
Some of the leggy seedlings from last month's post are also blooming.


Penny Black
Phacelia campanularifolia
Gilia tricolor   

Fried-egg plant/Limnanthes douglasii

I have a number of hopes and fears for July 2011.

I hope that whatever is eating my honeysuckle stops. Just in case it's slugs, I sprinkled Sluggo under it.

I hope that the barley straw that I bought to prevent the growth of string algae in my stream works.

Barley Straw bale in the left corner

I've already pulled a lot of string algae out of the stream this year. I've cleaned it out thoroughly three times already, and it keeps growing back. I've dumped hydrogen peroxide into it. Finally, it does seem to be turning brown, and dying.

Maybe the water hyacinths that I bought to put in the waterfall will help by stealing nutrients from the algae as well. They don't seem to be thriving, though. They like heat, which is in short supply here in the PNW.

Finally, my biggest hope (and fear): I hope the raccoons that left these footprints on my new fence...

...Don't discover this on the other side of the garden.

They've sampled several other items. They pulled iris seedpods off.

They only took one bite, so I guess they weren't as delicious as they'd hoped.

They've also been eating the water hyacinths.

One more reason why they might not be thriving.

I sympathize, I really do.  I garden for wildlife, I love the birds and the butterflies, and I even like the squirrels. We've actually seen the raccoons out in the daytime, which according to research on the web, does not necessarily indicate rabies. Apparently, raccoons are known to come out in the daytime if they are starving, to hunt for food.

Well, I hope they don't find my food.

You can read what lots of other bloggers are hoping for in July at Sweet Bean Gardening.


  1. Your natives are just precious. I think I've grown five-spot before but it isn't a native here. Our winters are similar but our summers are like a different planet, heat-wise.

    We had a smatter of rain just before dark and the out-of-doors is now like a steam bath.

  2. Your wildflowers are gorgeous. I feel for you with your marauding coons. We started out with 6 beautiful goldfish in May. We're now down to one. :( I know they've got to eat, but can't they go somewhere else? It's my understanding that the stringy algae only blooms in spring and fall. You probably won't have any more problems for awhile.

  3. Wow, your five spot and black penny are so lovely!! I have never seen either before. Great pictures. :)

  4. Alison, so that's what five spot looks like when it's planted by someone who knows what they are doing! I have planted it several times in the greenhouse to no avail, but yours is marvelous! I love the flower on both it and the pennyblack, very pretty.

    The algae and raccoons are both perennial problems here, too. If you have any fish, be wary, raccoons are notorious for fishing in stocked ponds. One night we brought home three six inch long koi for the pond and put them in a smaller pool overnight before releasing them in the morning into the bigger pond. The next day dawned and the fish were gone, two were eaten and one was just dragged out and left to die with some really bad wounds. There were raccoon tracks in the mud, so we knew who the culprits were. Even in the big pond, they will go after the fish and the lilypads will be all torn up. It's a shame they come to rely on the decorative fish as a free meal ticket.

    Your vegetable garden is looking so good, I hope they don't find it, either!

  5. It's just amazing knowing you have racoons visiting your garden. I love those little footprints :) I can understand how concerned you are though, as your veggie gardens are looking marvellous! In fact, everything in your garden is looking marvellous! It's a perfect haven away from all the stresses of the world, Alison. I could spend hours quietly enjoying it all!

  6. Oh dear! I hope for your sake the raccoons don't find your plant smorgasbord. :) I love those little penny blacks too! I've never seen them before. Thanks for sharing your July hopes!

  7. I was looking at some of my seedlings today and wondering if they will ever bloom this year. I guess it wasn't the best spring to direct sow. String algae has been awful in my pond this year. It normally peaks around May and then is mostly gone the rest of the summer. I've been cleaning my filter once a week because of it. Hope the raccoons leave the rest of your garden alone.

  8. I love your wildflowers. The Five Spot and Pennyblack especially are so charming.


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