The painter’s touch…a Calla lily in bloom

On the 24th of May, I put in an order for six calla lily bulbs at After the spectacular Mango Calla lily bloom in the front yard beds, I thought the Calla a good candidate for the blue & white beds in the back. The Vermeer Calla lily is a study in white and purple, an unusual bicolor that caught my eye. After 2 months in the side yard, the Vermeer callas are showing off their first blooms. Absolutely fantastic!

Frustrations in garden photography

Photographing with an unfamiliar camera causes a lot of headache when many of your shots turn out blurry and grainy. I’m currently using a Canon Powershot A710 IS…a beginner-friendly camera with a wealth of extra options. I would like to take close up shots of flowers at distances less than two feet away but apparently I’m not geared properly or shooting correctly. I’ve turned to the following page for some assistance in photographing my garden subjects, especially if I plan to venture into manual adjustments.

Seeds in…excitement building…

My orders of Cosmos Ladybird Dwarf Scarlet (Red) and Cosmos Psyche White arrived yesterday. was kind enough to include a bonus packet of Nigella damascena Miss Jekyll Blue. The hefty bag from is begging to be planted, but further research into the Psyche White cosmos indicates that it may grow up to 3 feet tall–not the front-of-the-border height I was looking forward to. Still, I’m eager to sow some seeds now, despite that it is August, to see if I can get a fall showing of Cosmos.

Meanwhile, I puttered around in the garden this morning taking seedpods from Cosmos from the existing beds and spreading them around the other beds that have yet to see some of this cosmic blooming action. I have discovered that the orange cosmos are extremely floriferous as well as excessively reseeding themselves. I’ve also found seedlings in the beds, which I presume have sprouted from the previous week’s deadheading. I hope to find more Cosmic Red and Yellow seeds to retain for next year’s flower show.

I also finally planted the Agastache Red Fortune in a semi shaded spot among the Asiatics, gladioli, gaura and calla lilies. I just dug a hole deep enough to plant the rootball, and down it went. Hopefully the soil is sufficiently well drained enough for it to flourish in its new home.

Today’s wishlist : Agastache aurantica Apricot Spires, Penstemon pinifolius Nearly Red Pineleaf Beardtongue, Cosmos sulphureus Cosmic Yellow or Ladybird Dwarf Lemon.

Agastache and salvia revisited

8/7/2007 Coral and Purple salvia greggiiSo last week I decided to move three of the “purple” salvia to the corner beds. Two of them seem to be hanging in there, the third (and the biggest) suffered a bit…perhaps because I violently yanked it out of the ground with less of a rootball. I’ve been diligently watering them twice a day, which they seem to be responding too. Still crossing my fingers that they’ll pull through and flourish in their new locations.

I visited Home Depot and Lowes last Friday to see if I can dig up some of the elusive blue salvias. No such luck. I did manage to stumble upon a Salvia greggii Coral Star among some of the other Star series colors (red & white). I also picked up an Agastache Red Fortune…it’s not really red, but I wanted to see if Agastache will grow in my beds.

I relocated my three pots of Hot Lips Salvia in the new tree ring bed, and away from the dead/dying rosemary bush that suffered from the excess watering. Not sure if the rosemary bush will recuperate from all that water…

One final surprise that I overlooked during my salvia transplant: in the middle flower bed I discovered two salvia stems looking hale and happy despite the mother plant being forcibly removed from them. These surprise babies are going to find a new home once I decide on where to place them.

Another rain, another bloom

Wondering why it’s been muggy lately? That’s because we had another shower, and my flowers are loving it. Some time last week, I deadheaded the spent Cosmos and Dianthus blooms, and now they’re back for another show. I am loving these Cosmos! So much so, that I’ve ordered an ounce of the Psyche White from and 4 packets of the Ladybird Dwarf Red from to try out. Let’s hope I can get them to grow even though it’s mid-summer already.

Those “purple blue” salvias that I planted in the middle bed last year didn’t bloom true. I found 3 of the 4 salvias showing off rose-colored flowers…so I transplanted them this morning to the corner beds. One of them even had volunteer rootlings which I quickly planted into different holes, with some good soil. I’ve been meaning to fill those corners with salvia anyway.

I was also happy to see one of the Flevo glads laden with blooms this morning. Not exactly the crimson red I expected, but more of a dark rose red  color. Very rich and very vibrant. While this gladiolus was reported as a dwarf in Brent and Becky’s catalog, my specimens averaged three feet tall, and the flower spike needed some support. I noticed not all of the other glads were faring well…some pest is making a meal of the glad leaves.

I’ve become obsessed with finding some true blue salvias of the same habit as my greggiis; current candidates are Salvia azurea and Salvia reptans to fill the holes in my blue & white bed. Oh, and add Salvia chamaedryoides and coahuilensis to the wishlist….