Tuesday, June 30, 2009


In December, I wintersowed several containers of foxglove. In my mind, I saw hundreds of these spikes with trumpet shaped blooms poking their heads above the mess in the perennial bed. Instead, I got this. One single foxglove plant, about 18" tall. Careful, don't step on it, please.

A new rudbeckia has appeared. This one is nearly 4" across.

The "red" bee balm is fading to a dusty maroon color. The brilliance is gone.

Bee Balm "Lemon Mint" is reblooming after my whacking spell a month ago. I cut it back hard when it flopped due to all the rain.

A new sunflower near the birdfeeder.

The arbor in the perennial bed is nearly covered by the cardinal climber. I see buds, but no blooms. This morning the hummingbirds were enjoying Yvonne's salvia.

The front bed is filling in nicely. I'm happy with this area now. Next year it should be much better.

Finally, the future. Datura inoxia's seed pod, also called "thorn apple".

It's 64 and sunny. I put the sprinkler on the potager this morning. At 9am, I'll move it to the sunny side of the perennial bed. We need rain. Low 90s today.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Coming Home

It's always nice to return after a couple days away to find new surprises in the garden.

Cherry Brandy rudbeckia

Turn of the Century hibiscus

Love those Luna Reds

More stargazers

More sunflowers

Brugmansia buds are growing large

pink bee balm

More tomatoes

Either squash or cucumbers have germinated

It's 86 and sunny. No rain at all this weekend. Looks like it'll be another late night of moving the sprinkler after work. No rain in the forecast til Sunday.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

On a hot summer's night...

When I went to bed, there was thunder and lightning coming from all around us. At times, it was like a strobe light going off outside my bedroom windows. But no rain. It did cool down for the night. 66 degrees and cloudy this morning. The cat is grateful too.

95 today, 94 Sunday.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Stella D'oro from Carrie is blooming. She gave me 6 large clumps. I divided them into 14. This is the second one to bloom.

Buddleia is finally blooming. This is the mother plant. Pruned branches in February were shoved into the soil to a depth of about 8". Two of those are beginning to show color.

More sunflowers have opened. Esther's Mix.

Elephant ears perked up after watering.

Malva zebrina. I love this plant. Hardly any rust unlike my hollyhocks, and much showier flowers.

Okra. Yes, I did plant it next to the street. Why?

Some unknown thing is blooming white.

Rudbeckia hirta.

with Shasta Daisy.

30% chance of late afternoon/evening thunderstorms in the forecast. I hope they're right. Going to see Jackie's yard this morning. She wants advice on what to plant and where. Working the late shift. I hope it rains. 78 degrees and partly cloudy at 8:20am. 78% humidity.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Two of my favorites

Stargazer Lily.

Luna Red.

10:23am - For the third time this year, I've had to water the potager. Between yesterday afternoon and this morning, everything has gotten a good drink of water. PM thunderstorms are in the forecast for Friday and Monday. I hope they're right. It's very dry here with no rain since June 14. This winter, I need to install a micro-irrigation system around the yard. I'm wasting a lot of water using the hose and sprinklers.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The moonless garden.

It's about where I thought it would be the first year.

Datura and white four o'clocks in the perennial bed. The fragrance is nice.

Another change in plans

This time, it wasn't my fault. The sign on the window of the scale building at the landfill said "No more leaf/wood mulch effective May 11, 2009." The lady stuck her head out the window to let me know that they had it. They just couldn't give it away until the state regulators give them the okay. She knows me from all my previous trips. She usually just waves me on through.

*sigh* So, plan B. Across the street, I asked Jean if I could have some of the leaves piled up in the back corner of the lot. She told me to take all I wanted. Had I known about the leaf mulch being unavailable, I wouldn't have sprayed the grass yesterday. I would have waited til fall. But I went on with what I had on hand.

Went to the store and got lots of boxes, some big, some small. I laid them out over the area I had sprayed for the shrub border.

I collected leaves in a tarp and threw them on the back of the truck. Four tarps made a load. Four loads was all I needed, for now. I spread the leaves over the cardboard to a depth of over 12" tapering them down around the tiny plants I set out yesterday.

When I was finished, I spread 34-0-0 fertilizer over the whole area. The nitrogen should help break the leaves down quicker. I should have chopped them with the lawnmower, but it's hot out there. 89 degrees and sunny. When I finished, I went to have lunch with Larry and let the sprinkler do my watering.

When I set the posts for the arbor, I wanted the opening wide enough to back the truck through. Not sure why that mattered since I've just built a bed right in the middle of the path. It's a tight fit.

No more planting in this bed until fall. I'll feed and water the transplants all summer. Another Loropetalum will be moved this winter. The color almost matches the shutters and doors.

7:51pm - 82 degrees and still clear. More daturas will bloom this evening. It's no longer a rare occurrence and I've lost the ability to be excited. Quick, huh? And that last sentence from earlier about no more planting? Yeah. Right.

I moved the Colorado Blue Spruce I bought a while ago into this bed.

I also moved the Miscanthus Cosmopolitan.

I planted three buddleia seedlings, each about 6" strong.

The rooted fig also got set out.

And I moved a rose that I rooted from cuttings last year. It's tiny, but it's ugly too. It needs some attention is all. No picture because it's camera shy. I fertilized with 6-6-18 for strong root growth into the rocky soil.

Don't you just love Echinacea?

And Leucanthemum?


Luna Red.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Things Change

First off, let me thank FlowerLady for the new quote that I am using in my profile. It struck a nerve when I read it over at her blog a few days ago. I really thought it was quite poignant.

Originally I had planned a trip to Virgina today to help a friend with some work. Those plans changed early this morning so I was left wandering around the yard looking for something to do. I had asked advice on GardenWeb earlier in the week about my backyard. With the new arbor being constructed, I found that I had inadvertently created an axis from the street terminating at the Belle of Georgia peach tree I planted this spring. I wasn't too happy with the look.

I got lots of feedback and some great ideas. People love to give you suggestions when they don't have to lift a finger to dig a hole. Speaking of holes, I began transplanting some shrubs from various parts of the yard. They're all small, but they grow fast, especially given more sun than they were getting in their previous locations.

When I dig here, I hit stone a few inches down. I use all this stone to create my borders around the beds. This one will be no different.

Even a small hole 12" deep and 24" wide will turn up a lot of rock.

I've already started laying these stones along the back side of the driveway bed I built in March.

With a can of orange paint from my model making days, I laid out what I thought to be a nice shape. I'll be filling it with shrubs to provide some privacy through the arbor into the backyard. Today, I transplanted a white spirea, two loropetalum shrubs that were in poor sun exposure spots, two cherry laurels I started from seed this winter, and 5 rooted rose cuttings. These cuttings were broken from various roses when we received our first shipment in March. I brought them home instead of throwing them away. Almost a dozen cuttings were stuck. These 5 survived and rooted easily. They weren't planted when I took this photo, but I've since sprayed the grass with RoundUp and dug up several more rocks for the edge. I'm only using chemicals here because of the centipede and bermuda grass in the lawn. It's nearly impossible to kill using my normal half-baked lasagna method.

I'll get some cardboard from the store on Wednesday, pick up some leaf mulch from the landfill, and finalize the shape. Overnight, I should see some results from the spray.

While walking around this morning, there were several things I noticed.

I have a foxglove that's sending up a stalk.

Coreopsis Full Moon is about to bloom.

Lemon Mint Bee Balm is coming back nicely from the hack job I did on it a few weeks ago.

Four O'Clocks and KnockOut roses are the same color.

A brugmansia has several flower buds.

The Green Zebra tomato was picked and eaten with cucumbers my parents brought.

Butternut squash gets big.

Yellow squash gets even bigger.

Cucumbers in my own garden are coming on nicely.

The first mammoth sunflower has bloomed. Castor beans and cherry tomatoes in front.

The morning glory at the chimney is starting to climb the new trellis.

The lavender crape myrtle is happy again.

Wintersown Sea Holly is blooming, a year ahead of schedule.

So is the Queen Anne's lace.

I spent some time early this morning pulling weeds in the perennial bed. In the bare spots, I planted more squash with nasturtiums. I sowed some beans and cucumbers in various areas, too. I'd like to get two harvests this year. If we don't get some rain soon, I'll have to water the potager. Right now, only the perennial bed has needed water. I gave it an hour with the sprinkler on Saturday, and another hour today. It's 84 and sunny with no rain in the forecast until Friday evening.

It's been a long day. I'm about ready to call it quits and cook some squash and corn for dinner. Silver Queen from my parents' garden is in the crisper drawer. It's gonna be delicious.