Showing posts with label Gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gardening. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Green Roof and Garden Update. Early April 2014

Hi Everybody!  It's time for an update on the Green Roof, but stuff is starting to happen in the terrestrial gardens too, so you get 3 for the price of one.  Here's Cindy in her down jacket and flip-flops (that's "slippahz" to you Hawaiians).  In one hand, she's holding a jar of dried rosemary that we pulled off last year's plant, and she's pointing out the new greenery in the sedum with the other!

On the advice of my cousin-in-law, Michelle, and because I don't have enough time to build all the planter boxes I hope to have in the future, I'm experimenting with fabric pots this year.  I got the cheap, biodegradable kind.  They're supposedly only good for 3-5 years, so I'm considering it built-in "inspiration" to force me to make the permanent planters before too many years pass me by.

I've got 4 of the big ones lain out along the sitting area.  I have to go to the nursery and get some potting soil to round out the left over "engineered growing medium" I put in the bottoms of the pots to keep them from blowing away.

 Here's a shot of how the strawberries in the Woolly Pocket have survived the Winter.  Not bad, I'd say!  There was a mishap with the automatic drip timer and some of the related fittings (I didn't bring them indoors before the frost came), so I'm replacing the broken stuff and making some improvements.  I'll write about that when I have it connected, the errant leaks stopped, and the timer programed and working.  Anyway, you can see the ½" main water line and the ¼" drip feeder lines on the right of the Woolly Pocket.

Cindy's favorite: the creepy owl.  I only wish it scared the squirrels as much as it does me.

Speaking of squirrels, I think I'm going to have a lot of work to do this year to keep them out of my crops.  They seem to have undergone a population explosion.  The garlic I planted last Fall hasn't sprouted much (if at all), and I found one dried and chewed clove on the top of the soil.  I wonder if they all got pulled.  It was too disappointing to photograph.

Instead, here's the greening sedum with the little stone path.  You can see more fabric pots lined up on the parapet wall in the background. 

Now, downstairs in the front yard, things are starting to look like Spring.  We've got purple crocuses popping up.  Or is it "croci"?

Don't you just love how the crocus leaves sometimes spear straight through the dead tree leaves?

And then there are these things.  If you look carefully, you can see the left one has a dingy little white flower dangling above the leaves.  I think they're a native ephemeral plant, but I'm not sure what kind.    Solomon's Something-OIf you know for sure, please leave me a comment.

By the way, are you impressed that I know the horticultural term "ephemeral"?  I learned it last weekend in my two gardening classes from The Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Growing Food in the Shade; and Native Trees for Small Spaces.  It was a great way to spend the day.

One more Crocus glamour shot:

As for the back yard, I turned the compost today.  I'm eager to get as much finished compost out of the bin as possible, so I can take it up to the roof and put it in the fabric pots.  But it's too moist and not quite ready.  The good news is that it won't take long, because the worms have been more prolific than I have ever seen them!  Crocuses and red wigglers.  It's a yin/yang sort of thing, don't you think? 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Green Roof Update. Feb 25, 2014

Cindy and I went up to check out the state of the green roof after all the snow we've had.  It was a nice day on Sunday; we didn't even need to put on jackets!  In fact, here's Cindy goofing around.

I made this 2x4 and coat hanger TV antenna so we could watch the news during Hurricane Sandy.  I used to have it sticking out of the kitchen plumbing vent pipe, but CBS didn't come in very clearly at that elevation.  So I wired the antenna up higher for one of Cindy's football games, and it's working fine.  It is, however, not going to last much longer - look at all the rust!

And here are the strawberry plants.  There's still a lot of green on them, so I'm assuming they'll come back and start producing as soon as the weather gets consistently nicer.  That's the good news.  The bad  news in this picture is that the nails I used on the copper flashing for those planters are rusting.  I know I checked the box to see if they could be used on copper when I bought them, but either I made a mistake or I'VE BEEN HAD!

Also, I've been having a problem with water getting in under the roofing rubber that's covering the base of this railing upright.  It doesn't seem to be getting into the house (at least there hasn't yet been any evidence of moisture in the upstairs living room ceiling), but I don't want to risk that eventuality.  When I push the rubber down around that area, water bubbles come out at the bottom of that railing leg.  I'm pretty sure that's where the water gets in, too.  I'll have to seal that hole as soon as possible, but in the meanwhile, I cut a little slit to let the water that's trapped in there out.  

This is the state of last year's herbs.  I'm waiting to see if the rosemary and lavender come back.  I doubt the oregano will.

The hens and chicks are proliferating, but that one funky succulent that made the beautiful flowers last year seems not to have survived the snow.  Besides, the squirrels really loved to gnaw on it, so I won't be providing them that pleasure again.

Now, let's play a game.  It's called "Where's Garlic?"