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:

Yard plan and whirlwind weekend buys

We covered a lot of ground in the first weekend of March, literally speaking. From Chambersville Tree Farms to Covington’s Nursery, we amassed a truck-bed full of plants. So many in fact, that one resourceful canine thought we could do without one. I’ll tag them for now and call out some of our plant selections in future posts.

First Haul, Mostly Bedding and Container Plants Closeup - 2nd Haul 2nd Haul

After determining that he needed to set the flagstone differently, (in sand as I had originally argued) the man began the arduous task of digging up/destroying all the topsoil and weed mat we had already laid down the previous weekend, breaking a few of the stone in the process. A frustrating outcome to be sure as we had initially paid for the labor to remove the sod the first time around. To redo that work seems such a waste!

A Mudpit While It Rains - Flagstone Path 2nd Pass North Wall Bed

Unfortunately, all our plans were stymied by week-long rain. It’s evident that we probably won’t be able to return to the yard crash until the following Sunday or Monday at the earliest. This also disrupts any plans to visit more nurseries in search of our focal tree (Metro Maples in Ft Worth is at the top of our list).

I invested in a garden planning app to get my fix in the mean time. Garden Puzzle is a decent enough desktop application with a solid database of flora. I found it by way of Better Homes and Gardens’ online design app. Interestingly enough, I can also import plant designs that I worked over with Photoshop to fill out what is missing from the GP desktop database.

2016 Proposed Front Bed Summer Layout

November Garden Scenes

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A week’s worth of gardening in one post

Yikes, gone a week without posting but not without gardening. A brief summary of what transpired in the garden in the past several days:

  • Various succulents cuttings including the Lemon Coral sedum planted in the rosemary bed
  • Added dahlberg daisies to the petunia planter
  • Cuban Gold duranta planted in front yard shade bed
  • Transplanted Victoria Blue salvias to the ends of the front yard flower bed
  • Hard pruned the Hot Lips Salvias in the front yard bed down to 1/3 height
  • Installed Magic Carpet spirea in front yard bed
  • Removed catmint from herb bed, replanted in 3″ pots
  • Transplanted golden sage, tricolor sage and dwarf mini curry plant into the herb bed
  • Removed yarrow from lily bed, installed red lantana in its place
  • Installed Tasmanian Tiger euphorbia  and Nuevo Leon salvia in blue bed
  • Sowed Summer Jewel Red salvia and Cosmic Red cosmos in the tree ring
  • Transplanted rooted cuttings of variegated lemon thyme in the tree ring
  • Returned coleus and snapdragon seedlings to the greenhouse
  • Moved some seedlings and cuttings outdoors, including the zinnia starts (which aren’t doing very well)
  • Purchased another Magic Carpet spirea from Grow It nursery

Did I mention something ate my onion chives and decapitated my Genovese basil? Pictures forthcoming!

New plants, growing seeds under lights fail

Let this be a reminder for the fall and 2013 spring planting season: forgetting to lower the grow lights at the lowest possible distance results in very weedy, weak seedlings. I had to throw out a batch of snapdragon seedlings due to spindly and frail stems that made them unsustainable during transplant. This wasted hours of my time, electricity and a batch of Jiffy 7 pellets. Never mind that it was probably too late to plant the snapdragons this late into the year, I must remember to lower the lights next time. I will most likely write an article reminder to self on what to plant for fall, including snaps, violas (which I have not planted), alyssum, and all manner of spring annuals.

Also resulting in fail: 2 out of 3 dusty miller cuttings rotted at the stems. They may perhaps need a drier, sandy medium; or it may just behoove to start them from seed. These Silver Dust dusty millers seem to thrive in cool shade; since the doorway strip plants have tripled in size since I moved them there. They show a lot of vigor in cooler temps.

The zinnias I started in pellets are also thin and reedy, but I suspect that once I move them into pots into the warm weather, they will thrive. I have already transplanted the coleus seedlings this past weekend, kept them under lights to encourage them to root out. The alyssum I started are sitting outside, hardening off, but I suspect they are too frail to keep out in full sun despite the near-80s temps (mild IMO). My man has been attempting to keep them watered in hopes that they will thrive.

Not thriving: my salvia purchases from High Country Gardens. I’m really disappointed with these starts. They had weak stems, and the one sign of green from the Salvia jurisicii ‘Blue’ fell off; and the leaves of the Salvia dorrii ‘Desert Purple Sage’ have dried off one by one. I am giving them one more week under lights before I request a refund from HCG.

This past Saturday I sated my lust for new plant life by heading off to Strong’s Nursery to pick out some new and interesting specimens. They had a new batch of salvia greggii Nuevo Leon, boasting some of the most neon purple-blue flowers I’ve ever seen. These are more vibrant than the standard salvia greggii violet and purple pastel specimens I currently have in the garden. However, with Nuevo Leon, the leaves are more lanceolate, have a milder scent, and the flowers are much smaller. I hope that it will at least be just as floriferous.

3/27/2012 March New Plants (2)

Cuban Gold duranta and 2 pots of Tequila Sunrise Variegated coreopsis also went into our cart. I was attracted to the bright yellow foliage of the duranta which grows to about 2 feet high. This may be a good plant to position in the sunnier end of the front shade bed; though I worry that it might blend in too much with the hakonechloa and the coleus I intend to plant in that bed. The variegated coreopsis was a surprise; this was the first time we found a coreopsis with variegated leaves. We’re excited to have this plant join our gardens and are now searching for a spot to plant them in.

3/27/2012 March New Plants (3)

We also picked up two Texas Gold columbines for the front yard shade bed. After the spectacular flower show our Origami Red and White gave us, we can’t wait to see this columbine produce its own show. I must remember to give it plenty of water for this first year planting. We also add two red verbenas to the front yard flower bed to compliment our red/white tulip and azalea show going strong right now. Must water, must water, must water!

3/27/2012 March New Plants (4) 3/27/2012 March New Plants (5) 3/27/2012 March New Plants (6) 3/27/2012 March New Plants (7)

Sunday afterwards, we dropped by North Haven Gardens in search of new plants. However, all we came away with were herbs: golden sage, mexican marigold, dwarf curry mini, and lavender Kew Red.

3/27/2012 March New Plants (1)

The first Midnight Blue bloom for this year appeared this week, followed by what I am sure will be a cascade of rose blooms. The first thing to observe is how large and vibrant these cool weather blooms will be.

3/27/2012 March New Plants (8)