Scenes from the March Garden part 2

The (nearly) everblooming Double Knockout Rose is off to an energetic start this year.


This is the first time since planting that I’ve seen multiple blooms on the Mountain Flame delosperma.

Tiny but mighty pink blooms on this groundcover thyme. (Can’t remember which thyme this is…Elfin? Woolly?)

Betony, salvia and Autumn Lily Azalea:


The bulbs are blooming!


Planter purchases:

Don’t sneeze–tiny seeds ahead

On Monday, I got around to sowing some seeds in Jiffy 7 pellets. It was just my luck that I started with the super-tiny seeds while I had a cold from the morning jog. It took all my resolve not to sneeze while I was planting these near-microscopic seeds: Angelonia  Serena Blue, Snapdragon Bronze Dragon, Snapdragon Montego Sunset, Wizard Mix Coleus and last year’s Origami Red & White Columbine.

Some time last week, I also took some cuttings of the Chocolate Chip ajuga which have been merrily putting out new growth in their temporary pots; as well as cuttings of lime thyme and variegated lemon thyme. The original parent lime thyme was especially vigorous and overflowing in its cinderblock space. Amazing fragrance this little herb has. I was using it to give the pups a lime thyme herb brushing.

This morning I planted 3 leek roots (from this weekend’s Spring Soup recipe that called for spinach, asparagus, and leeks) in the herb garden. Even while it was sitting in the fridge all weekend long, new roots began to appear. From what I read, leeks are vigorous perennials, so I am looking forward to watching them grow.

No pictures today; the red and white pansies are blooming, as well as the purple loropetalum and the various dianthus in the lily and blue beds. The Valentine dianthuses are especially pretty now that they’ve had a full year to grow into their new spots. The remaining three Valentines sitting in the blue bed will have to be moved, perhaps in the front yard bed to complement the coreopsis. I do need to find out if I can divide those winter coreopsis.

Flax and marigold seeds to be popping up here and there (blue bed and tree ring). I have yet to see if the viola I sowed last month are coming up–so far no evidence of them doing so. I’ve got three Sorbet viola seed packets that I’m still deciding on–most likely I will attempt to sow them indoors. The sweet alyssum Pastel Carpet will be sown outdoors–another attempt at trying this–while it’s still cool which will hopefully give them a better start.

Still have zinnias, gomphrenas, and eggplant to plant. I will wait on planting them mid-March since they are typically warm weather plants. However I should get around to planting the Chinese broccoli and baby bok choy as soon as our new veggie bed is laid out. Problem is: when? Two tree stumps are undermining our efforts to prep a new bed.

Wishlist plant of the day: variegated azalea Girard’s Variegated Gem and Silver Sword. More reading on variegated azaleas.

Who ate my garlic chives?

I noticed something nibbled the tops off my garlic chives last week. I inspected it this morning and noticed it was growing back. I can’t think of anything roaming about in the cold, wet few days that feasts on garlic chives.  One of the variegated society garlic clumps nearly got uprooted since it had been in the way. (I have several common chives potted up that were untouched.)

12/20/2011 Chives, Mums & Asters (1)

Asters and mums are making a second round of blooms. Obviously not as floriferous as the first round, especially since I neglected to deadhead them.

12/20/2011 Chives, Mums & Asters (2) 12/20/2011 Chives, Mums & Asters (4)

The larkspur seedlings are coming along…I’m thinking of uprooting the yarrow in this bed and replacing it with a stand of angelonia come spring.

12/20/2011 Chives, Mums & Asters (3)

Seed starting 2011 part 1 and blues speculation

12/31/10 Iona Clear Blue Pansy on display at Arboretum Trial gardenIt snowed today, first snow of 2011. Good thing I broke out the grow lights from the shed earlier this week. I am reusing the Burpee grow system, minus their grow pellets. The man bought me two bags of seed starting soil, which I packed in half of the plastic cells. This morning I got to sow some seeds:  6x Red Rubin Basil, 6x Thai Basil, 6x Jupiter Bell Pepper, 6x Calico Ornamental Pepper, 6x Purple Flash Ornamental Pepper, 2x unnamed Thai Chili, and 4x Pansy seeds which I “borrowed” from the Arboretum trial gardens…I believe the cultivar was Iona Heavenly Blue.

I also planted a rosemary cutting which had a single root after about a week sitting in water. I have another sprig of rosemary and a red dianthus chinensis sitting it water, waiting to see them root. I need to remember to take some cuttings of the verbena and the felicia daisy.

While my attention is on the blue flowers, I must express my affection for the felicia daisy which has bloomed sporadically up to this month. This Cape Town Blue daisy has displayed amazing tolerance for the heat and cold, enduring the summer in a planter, and now mulched int the blue bed. I have tried to capture seeds from it to no avail; so perhaps taking some cuttings may work.

I also have hopes to see the Diana Blueberry dianthus blooms, though I know it won’t come even close to a true blue. Even so, a pale lavender will be a rare sight to see on a dianthus. Speaking of dianthus, these are the only seedlings that I’m aware of that have made it to the garden. The Red Peppermint dianthus seedlings unfortunately perished–to the best of my knowledge–due to heat well before they made it into the ground. I believe the dianthuses in the purple garden were all store-bought this year, and there are some purple, picotees and parfaits that have endured.

As I am browsing my camera pics, I am reminded of the beauty of the annual phlox, however fleeting it was. It seems that growing them from seeds may be too challenging for the home gardener, since I have yet to find any outlets offering them. I believe the 4 specimens that I picked up at Covington’s this last year were of the Phoenix Sky variety, a lovely pale purple star surrounded by white-cream. I’ll keep hunting, though reading suggest that these phloxes are cool-weather annuals.

The angelonia have succumbed finally to the winter cold; the purple variety which seemed a bit sturdier has browned like the whites. It’s amazing how these angelonia have grown so tall and wide from modest specimens. They definitely need more room if we plan on using them again next year.