Blue salvias, red azaleas

Salvia greggii Nuevo Leon, an electric blue/purple flowered Autumn sage. The flowers are significantly smaller than the standard salvia greggii bloom. Shrubby habit similar to other greggiis.

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Bicolor salvia, or salvia sinaloensis, or sinaloa sage, more of a cobalt blue. Sparse flowering groundcover-like salvia. Foliage becomes maroon- or purple-edged during cool temps. Will die back into the ground if it the temps are too chilly, but bursts back to life vigorously as soon as the temps turn mild. Flower size is also small, and notice the white ticking on the lip.

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Violet salvia greggii. Early morning light gives this bloom a reddish-tinge. In full sunlight, this is a distinctly violet flower. Vigorous grower and bloomer that can grow 2-3 ft wide and tall if not sheared back.

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Purple pastel salvia greggii. In morning light, the blooms have a redder cast, but in full sunlight the blooms are a pastel purple as described. Paler than the violet, it seems to have a more relaxed habit than violet salvia greggii. It does receive a little less sun as well, so position might be affecting it.

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Victoria Blue salvia farinacea in bud. These are classified as annuals, but here in Texas, these Victorias die back into the ground and spring back to life as soon as the weather turns mild. Here, in morning light, the buds look dusky lavender, but in full sunlight, they appear as a brighter bluish-lavender shade.

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Azaleas are bursting with color this week! The Autumn Twist started quietly with blooms obscured by foliage, but there are plenty of buds on it today. Autumn Embers #1 and Autumn Monarch are lovely. Autumn Embers #2 (long-established) hasn’t caught up yet.

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The snow-in-summer asiatic jasmine has doubled in height. Meanwhile, Mariposa Skies iris has issued its fourth bloom. I am waiting to see if this will rebloom as promised. Meanwhile, tray of alyssum sits by patio door.

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Pre-Thanksgiving look at the garden

It’s that time of the year. Almost every year that I cook for the holidays, I make sure to use ingredients in my garden, even if it is only one sprig of rosemary. But since it’s been 10 days since my last post, I thought it time to do a little inspection.

The Shu ornamental pepper continues to hang on for dear life. Peppers are perennial in zones 9 and beyond, but here in my garden, it’s going to be a challenge to keep them alive in the ground during winter. My potted peppers have been sitting outside since this past weekend when we saw temps reach the high 70s. We’re back down to the high 30s to mid-40s during the evenings, but we will continue to reach the 70s in the daytime for the Thanksgiving holiday.

11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (1)

All the garlic have emerged and are looking tall.

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The sage seems to appreciate the cooler weather; I used some sage leaves from this specimen for my turkey brine last night.

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Those appear to be larkspur seedlings surrounding one of the irises. Unfortunately, the man sprinkled it heavily on one side not realizing I only had one pack of Shades of Blue Larkspur (Consolida ambigua). I may have to purchase another pack.

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Finally, a good macro picture of the Oertel’s Rose yarrow blooms!

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I love the white-mottled Snow-n-Summer asiatic jasmine foliage; emerging leaves are a beautiful shade of pastel pink.

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 The Autumn Monarch azalea is our only fall-blooming azalea this year. It received a fair amount of protection from the neighboring Hot Lips salvia this year, unlike the other azaleas on the opposite end of the bed.

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A lone vinca has grown in the lee of an azalea. I had already pulled out its neighbors, but kept this one to see how it would fare. The petunias also appear unstoppable. Even with this crazy weather, they are continuously putting on new growth.

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My eggplant doesn’t appear to put on much growth in the last 10 days; though the plant is leaning farther due to its weight. It still feels way to hard to the touch.

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Valentine dianthus…what a beauty. All the dianthus in the garden favor this cool climate; most are putting on several buds if not blooming.

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A surprise on the camellia: this bud has swelled to 5 times the size as other buds.

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Lemon thyme: I plan on cutting several sprigs of this to insert into my turkey. The other herbs of course are looking fabulous. The Thai basil looks amazing with its flowery spires; I just dread how many seedlings I’ll get out of it. The Red Rubin basil also loves this cool weather. I am curious to see if they will endure into next year.

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October Yardworks

I got a new t-shirt, seeds and digging gloves at North Haven Gardens yesterday.

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Today’s yard projects consisted of: planting coreopsis, Thalia narcissus bulbs (I found only one from my last planting of daffodils), Snow-n-Summer Asiatic jasmine, garlic cloves, and larkspur seeds. I trimmed back the bicolor salvia in the blue bed before adding another bag of soil to level the bed.

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While the man went to work on mulching the blue bed, I got to work cleaning my pruning tools. Naval Jelly worked wonders on these rusty shears. I made sure to spray them down with BP50 lubricant before covering them up and bagging them.

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Had a little time after drilling holes into pots to smell the roses.

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October Wonders

I wonder where I’ll be siting this Snow-n-Summer Asiatic Jasmine. I’ve been thinking about planting it in the shade bed, along with the hostas, but methinks it may get too much exposure there under the canopy of 2 crape myrtles. Currently, it sits next to the camellia planting in the front door bed. However, I am skeptical that this bed will get any more moisture than the shade bed during the warm summer months. And, I want to be sure to that it maintains its dainty pastel coloration during all the seasons.

 10/19/2011 October Wonders (1)

I wonder about the Pesto Perpetuo basil blooms. I read that this particular variety does not produce flowers, but here I have 2 specimens in my garden putting forth buds. I wonder if the seeds will be viable. Notice that the top half of this basil has reverted to solid green leaves during our summer heat wave. I am waiting out to see if it will produce variegated foliage with our cooler weather, or if I will have to snip off the solid-colored leaves.

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I wonder about these Pacifica vincas still blooming their heads off in the planter box next to our backyard door. Neither heat nor drought has slowed them down. And while the vinca seedlings in the front yard bed are displaying some yellowing due to extra watering, these particular vinca have remained verdant and boldly colored. Next year, I’d like to plant some “true red” vincas.

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I don’t have to wonder much about the Coral Nymph salvias. They continue their reseeding and blooming cycle three seasons long. I have them planted in the tree ring bed in the front yard, in the purple bed (next to the purple salvia greggiis, the Midnight Blue rose, and the loropetalum) and in the rosemary bed (in a dry zone behind the rosemary topiary). There isn’t a zone that has daunted the growth of the salvia coccinea. Next, I’ll be trying them into a full shade bed just to see how vigorous they are!

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