Holiday Weekend Flowerworks

Holiday Memorial Day weekend means extra time to work the garden. The man put the finishing touches on his stone layout, then we were off to purchase a rose bush (Neptune) to add to the blue/purple theme. I was then able to finalize our backyard garden and get plants into the ground.

 

The kids of course were on-hand to clown around and check out the new plantings.

Once the yard project was done, it was time to take stock of what was blooming…

Scenes from the March Garden Part 1

Emerging growth, purchases, transplants, and more!

 

Some views of the front yard beds:

What’s blooming? (Excuse some of the out of focus shots.)

    

Start of a new project…installing flagstone on the patio side of the house:

 

Blooms on recent transplants

A few blooms captured during our April showers.

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Fall shrooms and blooms

I love to take a morning walk with the pups and check out the landscapes in my neighborhood. This season especially with the onset of autumn, I get to see the color changes. On today’s walk, I noted the lawns dotted with mushrooms, likely a result from the early week rains we received and the characteristic cool nights/warm days pattern of weather we’ve been experiencing.

Anyway, it’s another look at the garden to see what’s changing. As to be expected this time of year, many of the fall bloomers are sharing the joy: dianthus, mums, asters, salvias especially the greggiis, petunias, marigolds, vinca, verbena and gaura. I mentioned last time that the Pesto Perpetuo basil was budding; now I discover that another specimen of it is blooming. The yarrow is also putting out another bloom head, and the society garlic are happily following suit.

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As evidenced by the photos below, I’ve spotted some strap-like leaves emerging from the spider lily bulbs planted earlier in the year. I believe it is too late for them to bloom (?) but with Texas weather…who knows. I’ll have to consult with the Bulb Hunter’s blog again to be sure.

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The irises I planted in the blue bed will probably get another layer of dirt on top of them; the bed itself still needs more height and leveling before I mulch it. I would love to just get rid of the Oertel’s Rose yarrow we planted in there, but the man would prolly have something to say about that. I’ve already relocated 3 of its offspring in the lily bed and shade bed. Isn’t that Valentine Dianthus gorgeous? That bloom is quarter-sized if not bigger! The crazy, dried up Day’s aster in the corner is still blooming its head off. I  am debating on when I cut it back down so that it can dress up next year.

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I really love how the tree ring bed turned out. For a couple of years, we thought it an eyesore and unworkable. But 2011 proved different: cosmos, salvia and marigolds turned out to be a powerhouse combo. The only thing I would change would be to raise the bed near the tree trunk to give the cosmos and salvia better visibility. Of course, the front flower bed is also just as spectacular with a new flush of blooms coloring it this month. Those silly Dahlberg daisies are still blooming strong…but I am wishing for a sturdier yellow flower for next year.

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The Dixie Chip ajuga is also undergoing a color change; I love the rose leaves contrasting with the dark. The Chocolate Chip ajuga (huge) is undergoing something similar, this time with espresso-colored leaves against piney green leaves. I plan on dividing the Chocolate Chip ajuga in spring, though I wish I hadn’t lost one of the Dixie Chips to an overzealous ant colony.

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So what are those buds on the camellia all about? I guess we’ll find out in a few more months.

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Ah petunias! You were the surprise hit of 2011, weathering the heat wave despite being potted and neglected. I’ll be sure to add you the landscape next year. (If only you weren’t so darned delicate to start.)

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To do list: re-pot all of the pepper plants into larger pots for them to overwinter indoors. Capture some Snow Nymph salvia seeds for next year. Start some Shu ornamental peppers. Dig up the Wide Brim hostas if I can find them to replant in the strip. Plant the daffodils, crocuses and giant hyacinths (ordered last week). Find the pansy flat a new home. Order some flower seeds (violas and snapdragons would be nice). Reseed, weed and feed the lawn.

Weed weeder weedest!

All week I’ve been tidying up in the garden. Weeding here (cleaning out the gravel strip), pulling dead or dying plants out elsewhere (dead rosemary, salvia, dianthus, herb garden). I’ve pruned back on a few plants (such as the gaura) and transplanted a few (ginger mint into the cinderblock wall). I’ve observed some unusual sights, like the brown-burnt asters in the blue bed that are still blooming, the flowering Mexican heather in the purple bed, and the Autumn Monarch azalea that put out a few more flowers this week. I am in awe of the salvia/marigold tree ring in the front yard, though I have also noticed a ton of ant condos springing up everywhere lately. Time to get out the ant killer!

‘Tis the time to be fertilizing and weed-killin’. I hope to have some funds to invest in a good pre-emergent and lawn food this weekend. With the summer drawing to a close, and the weather amenable, it’s easy to get out in the yard to do some work. I spent this morning killing some crabgrass in the courtyard. But of course, I saw some more patches in the front yard.

I also turned out the last of the bathroom tenants. The pepper plants are getting some quality sun time on the patio. I hope to transfer them into bigger pots and get a chance at some fruit before the winter frost. And speaking of fruit, what about some eggplant? Should I sink my Chinese eggplant into the herb garden bed, or bring it indoors over the winter? It keeps flowering but not producing any fruit. It seems to prefer more room to spread its roots.

This is also the time to ponder the fall-winter flower display, not to mention purchase the spring flower bulbs. I’m writing up a list!

Perhaps on this list, we’ll be adding a new Japanese maple. My JM unfortunately has been confirmed dead. And I discovered some alien fungus residing in the pot. Scawy!

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