Categories
Ye Olde Garden

More March buds and plants

Wishlish plant of the day: Malvaviscus candida Variegata or Variegated Turk’s Cap (a shade plant for Texas)!

First stop is the planter box by the patio door. I dropped some cuttings of stonecrop (?) that I took while trimming my succulent planter. I didn’t have high hopes that these stray cuttings would flourish, but they look pretty alive in that dirt, don’t they?

3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (1) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (2)

The oxalis in the blue bed appear lush and full. Notice the remnants of the yarrow I pulled out a couple of weeks ago lying in wait to take over.

3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (3) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (4)

I am baffled by these rosettes in the blue bed. These are the surviving Blue Knoll Chrysanthemums, aka Heteropappus Meyendorfii. They are reportedly annual, but these two are starting their second year in this bed. They sat in mulch, tolerating dry-to-drought conditions, part sun and displayed no flowers last fall. They have not grown beyond the size they currently are. Is there a chance that these might provide some autumn color this year? I’m going to have to pull out the Days Aster–it spreads everywhere and has invaded the camellia bed on the other side of the fence.

3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (5) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (6)

The next camellia bud is about to burst. This particular bloom occurs very low on the plant and to the back. It requires some position to take it in full view.

3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (7) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (8)

Front flower bed: tulips bursting out of the mulch and the newly transplanted Valentine dianthus. Notice the white edging on the tulip leaves; this appears to be the Happy Generation tulip planted last fall. The other tulip sprouts are smaller and do not display edging; most likely they are Tubergen’s Gem.

3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (9) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (10) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (11)

Hot Lips salvia starting out with red blooms, but the bicolor blooms are coming on fast. I just love the variability of this salvia.

3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (12) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (13)

Daffodil buds have appeared. I expect to see them bloom in a matter of days.

3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (14) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (15)

This particular foxtail fern has new plumes. The foxtail ferns did not die back down into the ground this due to the mild winter weather. It was pleasant to see them provide some greenery and vertical shape to the shade bed. Check out the japanese painted fern behind the foxtails!

3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (16) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (17) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (18)

The lily bed would like to welcome our newest bloomer: origami red and white columbine. Beautiful spurred flowers are blooming on this one specimen. The other columbine is looking rather straggly but at least it endured summer and winter. The colors are synching with the red-and-white theme of the neighboring dianthuses and pansies. I hope in a future season, we will see some lush foliage and growth show off this bed. For example, the orange and white mums appear to be bulking up in anticipation. The Charmed Wine oxalis appear to be a little shy coming out of winter; they don’t show off as many blooms as the neighbors in the blue bed, and they are half the size.

3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (19) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (20) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (21) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (22) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (23) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (24) 3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (25)

I filled in the new garden bed this morning and tried to level the ground up to the bed at the same time. We’ll be requiring some good soil to fill in the rest and start arranging the cinder block edge. Now if it would stop raining/sprinkling long enough for us to get some garden work done!

3/10/2012 March Buds and Plants (26)

Categories
Ye Olde Garden

Freeze alert

After deceptively mild weather for the Thanksgiving, it was evident that we were experiencing our last patches of warm weather before the cold front hit this weekend. My holiday shopping weekend was cut short by sudden drops in temperature, and I knew I would have to bring in my plants for the last time this year.

11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (1) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (2)

I missed the opportunity to bring in the eggplant yesterday, so I had to rush it into the bathroom greenhouse to see if it could be rescued. I’m not sure if the fruit will make it. It’s pretty short for what I’m used to in Chinese eggplants.

11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (3) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (4) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (5)

Outdoors, the damage from the overnight frosts has manifested into dead/wilted potato and basil plants. The traditional large leaf basils like Red Rubin and Genovese experienced the most damage. The lime, Pesto Perpetuo and Thai basil display browning less so. One of the Thai basil specimens appears to be laughing off the cold; but sooner or later, all the basils will be done.

11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (6) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (7) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (8) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (9) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (12)

The succulent planter seems to be hanging on. Whereas the petunia/caladium planter bowl shows signs of receding.

11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (10) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (11)

I found a surprise greeting me at one of the asters in the blue bed. A few blooms hid at the base of the plant, near the mulch line. I believe this one was Aster novi-belgii Believer.

11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (13) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (14)

Pansies, violas, ornamental kale, petunias, miscellaneous herbs, foxtail ferns, loropetalum, are all still hanging in there. The dusty millers must be enjoying their new location and this cool weather; they have doubled in size since I moved them from the front flower bed. I guess they prefer the protection. I expected the lemon verbena to die back down since it’s considered an annual, but it seems to enduring in the mixed planter box along with the chives, golden oregano, and aster cuttings. (Those are the remaining vincas hanging over from a neighboring planter. And a Red Rubin basil hiding out as well!)

11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (15) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (16) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (17) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (18) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (19) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (20)

Categories
Ye Olde Garden

Unlikely bloomers

Unlikely bloomers spotted in the garden: basil Pesto Perpetuo, aster Wood’s Blue, and return of the variegated society garlic mop heads.

10/5/2011 Unlikely Blooms (1) 10/5/2011 Unlikely Blooms (2) 10/5/2011 Unlikely Blooms (3) 10/5/2011 Unlikely Blooms (4) 10/5/2011 Unlikely Blooms (5)

Categories
Ye Olde Garden

October-fest colors

A quick rundown of the purchases I made yesterday:

  • Coreopsis rosea Sweet Dreams
  • Camellia japonica Mabel Bryan
  • Abelia Mardi Gras
  • Snow N Summer Asiatic Jasmine
  • Aster novi-belgii Believer
  • Narcissus Thalia x10
  • Autumn Crocus Wild Saffron x6
  • Bearded Iris Reblooming Mariposa Skies
  • Bearded Iris Reblooming Immortality

10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (1) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (2) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (3) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (4) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (5) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (6) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (7) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (8) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (9) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (10) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (11) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (12) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (13) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (14) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (15) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (16) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (17) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (18) 10/3/2011 Octoberfest Colors (19)

Categories
Ye Olde Garden

October weekend work

Apparently, I am allergic to Texas. Bermudagrass and most of the native trees in Texas makes me break out. It used to be just itchy eyes and uncontrollable sneezing…but these days I’m dealing with the rashes and hives. My face looks like a giant bee sting. Must…resist…scratching.

Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m puttering around in the garden. For the past few days, I’ve been weeding, clearing more debris, and dumping out pots of soil to level the herb garden. The man also did some mowing, kicking up some of that dreaded bermudagrass into the air. On Sunday, I started in earnest taming the jungle. I pulled out more weeds in the front door bed, pushed back on the yarrow in the blue bed, removed the dead gardenia, plucked out a dead salvia, hard pruned the basils and did some tidying. The man, for his part, removed the overgrown stand of boxwoods that lined the path to the doorway. I ended up raking a mound of leaves and trash that had no doubt been trapped by the boxwood hedge for months, if not, years. To finish, my man removed the dead JM and emptied the dirt into the sidewalk bed.

Motivated by the sight of vacancies in the front yard, I had to do some shopping. At Strong’s, I picked up an Autumn Embers Encore azalea to replace the dead one in the front yard bed. I also drove to North Haven Gardens to pick up some shrubs and groundcover. Of course, plans don’t always turn out the way you want them…I ended up with a whole lot more than I set out for. I also dropped by Home Depot to pick up 6 bags of cedar mulch and 4 bags of top soil. I couldn’t resist picking up another aster however.

I’ll be providing more details on the newcomers in a future post. But for now, I’ve ingested a Benadryl-equivalent to tame the swelling and the congestion, the side effect being an early bed time.