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Ye Olde Garden

Rise of the coral nymphs

5/31/2011 Coral Nymph Salvia seedlings in the purple bedThe coral nymph salvia began blooming this Sunday past. These are the bicolor pink and white salvia coccinea that I started from a single specimen a year ago. It’s not a perennial, but here in Texas, it is a crazy self-seeder, as evidenced by the dozens of seedlings I discovered in pots, planters and across the flower beds in our tiny courtyard. As soon as temperatures warmed into the 80s and 90s about mid-April, the seedlings began to appear. And flourish. And multiplied.

5/31/2011 Coral Nymph Salvia seedlings pottedI’ve plucked and transplanted what I can. These things are durable…as tiny rooted seedlings pulled from the beds, I just press them into the soil where I want them to grow. Add water, and they’re back to looking healthy…as if nothing ever happened to them. Easy to kill, but hard to eradicate…they come back with a vengeance. I am eying some particular specimens for removal even now and hope they don’t come back.

5/31/2011 White Nymph salvia planterMeanwhile, I increased my planter footprint nearly five-fold this weekend. I’ve created my miniature gardens with the leftover plastic planters and new bags of soil and compost. Everything from the sweet potato vine to the newly purchased vinca are in new homes. One oversight I made, however, is neglecting to drill holes in my ceramic pots, so some of my summer color might either drown or bake this season. Because they’re already filled, it’s most likely too late. I will have to keep careful watch on the plants and see how they fare in their new homes.

5/31/2011 Petunias and Dusty MillerPetunias, dusty millers, Lanai purple star verbena, red-eyed vincas and one Calico ornamental pepper are featured prominently in pots. I still have an Aztec red trailing verbena, a red-white vinca, and a dusty miller needing a new home. Luckily, friend Kathy gave me a spare ceramic pot from her collection.

5/31/2011 Petunias, Vinca, Ornamental Pepper and Dusty MillerWhat’s killing my peppers? I’ve added soil to see if it will stop the wilt. But I suspect poor soil drainage is the culprit, and adding more water may kill them. This morning, three were afflicted: a hot banana, a thai chili and a Jupiter bell. This afternoon, I came home to discover another ailing Jupiter bell. Oh the cruelty!

A friend that I gifted some pepper and basil seedlings to mentioned that when he stopped watering everyday, the seedlings took off. So I’m following his practice and going to alternate day irrigation to see if the peppers can bounce back.

5/31/2011 Hot Banana Pepper wilting 5/31/2011 Thai Chili Pepper wilting 5/31/2011 Jupiter Bell Pepper wilting

The same could be applied to the basil seedlings I transplanted to their new homes. I have 2 plastic pots planted with Thai, Genovese, Pesto, and Lime basils. I’m hoping they will grow and prosper fast…I’ve been craving fresh basil in my lunch and dinner recipes.

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Ye Olde Garden

Another NHG run ends with Sunday plantings

5/16/2011 Half Pot of Ginger Mint I headed out to NHG today to pick up at least one coral bells and perhaps find my verbena. What I came home with were 1 Amber Waves heuchera, 1 Lemon verbena, 1 ginger mint, 2 jumbo White Dynasty caladium bulbs and 1 jumbo White Delight caladium bulb. Of the above, only the lemon verbena remains unplanted. The heuchera and the 2 White Dynasty caladiums found an immediate home in the shade bed. The White Delight went into a planter bowl along with the two Regatta lobelia and all of the Wave petunia seedlings. I split the ginger mint into half and planted it straight into the herb garden, along with the hot banana pepper and the habanero. I also decided to drop all 6 of the garlic chives pots into the herb garden as well, to see if they will fare better. During my efforts, I stumbled onto two lime basil seedlings, which I’ve repotted.

5/16/2011 Lanai Purple Star Verbena

Meanwhile, the man got busy with the tree ring and front flower beds. He added 4 of the vinca seedlings, and 4 of the Lanai Purple Star verbena as border plants. He also dropped another Hot Lips salvia into the vacant space next to the Autumn Twist azalea. Hopefully this salvia will fare better in this spot. ┬áTaking 12 of the marigold seedlings, he started them in the outer ring. I resolved to start paring down the lemon thyme plant to take more cuttings and hopefully create more plants. I’m convinced that this herb will make a remarkable border plant. It will take no more than a year to create a solid circle of variegated lemon thyme, if I do this right.

I still have basil planters to create, but I’m waiting on the cuttings to take hold. It seems I may have some success with the Pesto Basil since I took a cutting right off the top. I’m also waiting on the tricolor sage to take hold as well. I kept some cuttings under glass on the Burpee mat. I have great hopes that they will endure.

Now I am just waiting for some basil and salvia seedlings to mature so that I can get them out into the garden.

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Ye Olde Garden

Sunday flower run, don’t bake in the sun

Note to self: don’t cover tender young seedlings in microwaveable plastics under the hot May sun. So it was that I lost 3 batches of plants: Seabreeze salvia, Lime and Genovese basil, and all of my Stardust ice plants. Back to square one.

5/10/2011 Sunday Herb and Veggie HaulSunday’s flower run included a 50% off all plants sale at the Lowes in Carrollton of Trinity Mills and Old Denton. The man decided to invest in 2 2.5 quart Stella d’Oro daylilies to add to the front flower bed. We also picked up a hot banana pepper (more than a foot tall), a habanero, a variegated oregano and a Chinese eggplant (Ping Tung cultivar). All of the herbs and vegetables by the way were Bonnie plant branded; they retailed for $3.70 but at 50% off they were a good deal. We also ran by Calloway’s in Lewisville to pick up our Spider Lily bulbs at 3 for $3. The bulbs were disappointingly tiny (what’s with all the tiny bulbs coming out of Calloway’s lately), and the man and I are still debating where to plant them. Somewhere where they’ll get summer shade but fall sun, says the checkstand lady.

I divided and moved the picoteed dianthus in the purple bed, planted the Confetti lantanas (x2) and dahlberg daisies (x4) in the front flower bed, and all the impatiens in the shade bed. A leftover from the purple bed, Super Parfait Raspberry dianthus, has been transplanted to the shade bed near the gate.

A pleasant surprise that I uncovered while weeding out the front flower bed: dozens of vinca and at least 3 impatiens seedlings. The impatiens seedlings, amusingly enough, are tucked under a layered branch of the Emerald Snow loropetalum. Like the numerous calla bulblets I uncovered and transplanted this week, the garden presents continue to appear as the weather continues to warm up. For example, one of the mums is displaying bulbs…of course, I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t lifted the sprawling Oertel’s Rose yarrow–which, incidentally, threatens to fill the entire bed!

Next lilies to bloom: Red Alert asiatic lilies! Interesting to note that they all appear to be opening at the same time!