Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Meadow's Progress

Last fall, I sowed Crimson clover seeds in an area that had been treated twice with RoundUp. I scattered chopped leaves over the "soil". I sowed a lot of seeds. Things are starting to happen. Right now, the clover is blooming.

Next up, we have larkspur and poppies. I sowed a lot more seeds than I have plants to show for. Perhaps the soil will improve when the clover collapses and begins to break down. More leaves will be added again next year in addition to more seeds.

Cosmos have germinated with just a few infrequent waterings. Wonder what will happen when it rains?

Rudbeckia. Lots of rudbeckia.

Datura. I'm not surprised. I have it popping up in just about every bed in the yard. I think I sleep-scattered some seeds one night.

Even a sunflower from a few handfuls of bird seed (for feeding the critters during the winter) has sprouted. This has got to be the toughest sunflower ever. The soil is so dry, it'd be just as happy growing on a rock.

Other things are coming soon. There should be some agastache, amaranthus, more cosmos, Salvia subrotunda, and even Perilla. I'm curious about how this bed will develop over the course of the year. I'm going to start tracking the results. I might even take a picture a week again. I'll have to look back to see what my most common point of reference has been. I should have some late fall and early winter photos.

As long as the bees are happy, I'm gonna be eating squash and cucumbers this summer. No sign of them sprouting yet. The clover will keep them busy for now.

In the upper meadow, I've been working on planting out pineapple sage seedlings and Yvonne's salvia. They're tiny for now, but they grow fast with ample rain and heat. The red flowers should attract hummingbirds this summer. Salvia subrotunda seeds were scattered in the fall and late winter. I've seen a few sprouts already. Black eyed susans and other heat loving perennials have been planted along the path I created as well.

Yvonne's salvia (S. splendens) - grows to 4' or taller.

Pineapple sage.

It's cloudy and 52 degrees. The high today should reach almost 80. Scattered showers are in the forecast today and all weekend. Sunday, we might see some thunderstorms.

12:12pm - Planted out a few more containers this morning after the charges at the courthouse were dismissed. Expired registration. All good now. In the meadow, I planted goldenrod, agastache Apricot Sprite, Golden Jubilee, and Apache Sunset. I planted pink and purple cleome seedlings in the crape myrtle bed. I moved the dwarf loropetalum from the shrub island to the base of the lavender crape myrtle. It can spill over the brick wall now, hiding the broken bricks and missing chunk.

In its place, I planted one of the Foster Hollies. The other 6 were scattered through the lower meadow, also known as the gully. I've got seedlings of Poncirus trifolata that will go in next week, after some rain. They've got the wicked thorns good for creating a natural barrier, or a boma, as supplied by FlowerLady some days ago in the comment section. The final Foster Holly was installed to provide shade to what was once a shady corner before the oak tree died last summer. Brugmansias, hydrangeas, and other shade tolerant plants are already in their home. It should be a stunning display this year. Morning sun only.

Several rooted figs were planted where I had stuck cuttings this winter. I stuck them too early and only one of 12 had any roots at all. The ones in the hoophouse were potted up a while ago and have done much better. I have a system now, but I think 6 fig trees will be plenty for me and the birds.

All that behind me, I feel a little better than I did when I woke up. I've got a case of the crud coming on, I believe. I woke up sweating. That's not good. Especially in a house that was only 62 degrees.

It's 70 degrees. The sun is out and the clouds are gone. Unless something drastic happens, we won't see any rain today. Tomorrow there's a much better chance.

12:57pm - The first California poppy has opened. Love the orange.


Ilona said...

That is an exciting experiment! I love all the wonderful plants that are popping up.

Cameron said...

I think the variety will be wonderful! Glad you're getting into agastache -- my favorite perennial.

Hope we do get rain. My zinnias germinated in just a few days. I always try to sow seeds right before a rain and it works like magic. Sowed cleome today--very late to get those sown.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your posts so much...just bought a scilla peruviana bulb at Lowe's. Unfortunately the bulb is all dried up so I have to return it tomorrow. While there, I saw plants on a clearance rack. I immediately thought of you!

Have a great weekend.
Tijeras, NM

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Sounds like it's going to look really great, I love the idea of a meadow. I'll be looking forward to watching it grow. I bet you get tons of butterflies this year.

Kris said...

Tom, does your crimson clover reseed itself? Or do you broadcast seed every year? I really do like that deep red...

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Kris, I don't know it if will reseed. It's my first time growing this stuff. I plan to collect seeds if they form. You can get the seeds cheap at a feed mill or farm supply. I bought mine in bulk. It was 5lbs for just over $6.

Anonymous said...

We leave our crimson clover and let the blooms go almost brown before mowing down. This is it's 3rd year to come back.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I clicked on this post in the "others you may be interested in" section. I am so looked forward to April of 2011. LOL You have a nice assortment of plants in your prairie.

I noticed you have a link for the Ruth Stout method in your side bar. I wish I still had her book that I laughed much of the way through as I was reading so many years ago. I did find a different one of hers at a local used bookstore recently and was tickled about that. I also found a 23 minute video called, "Ruth Stout's Garden", filmed when she was in her 90s. The video container looks like the cover of the book I had.

I hope you have good weather today. Ours is set to be quite hot. We could get up to 100.