Laboring over divisions and stumpless in color

I had some extra time this morning prior to a doctor’s appointment to putter around in the garden. I took some cuttings of yellow salvia greggii, tricolor sage, and variegated oregano to foster indoors. Meanwhile I discovered it was time  to replant the lime thyme and the variegated oregano since there were clear signs of root congestion in their cinderblock homes.  It wasn’t too difficult trimming down the roots and dividing both plants; I had desired more clones of these plants and now I have at least 2 of them out in the herb garden, with baby cuttings currently fostered in my patio planter boxes.

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Still on my list for cuttings, divisions and replanting: coreopsis, catmint, dianthus, dusty miller, hakonechloa, gaura, white salvia greggii, Sierra San Antonio salvia greggii, basil, and possibly the variegated society garlic. Dividing the gauras will be tricky…the front yard gaura has grown into a monster, and the two flanking our rose look imposing.

Meanwhile, the ajuga cuttings I took recently have begun to bloom. The lily bed is afire with red/white dianthus and pansies. The Valentines look especially vigorous!

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Purple flames arise from our purple loropetalum! Emerald Snow is blanketed in white fringes. Elsewhere, signs of life emerging from the tulips in the front bed. And those giant grape hyacinths are looking thick and healthy!

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Taking a quick peek at the Jiffy seedlings, it appears most have already germinated. I expect to retain the dome for at least another week or two.

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And then back to the stump-sized hole in the ground! Stump has been removed! The man decided he just couldn’t handle another day of sawing and digging and hired some professionals to grind down the remains.

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Summer rains bring summer blooms

Last week’s storms brought a flush of color to this week’s garden. Particularly the salvia greggii and the Desperado sage are looking colorful; nearly every specimen along the neighbor wall is in bloom (the whites have started to bud). I am concerned however with a Purple Pastel that has suffered from what looks like overwatering, perhaps due to poor drainage. The Hot Lips (salvia microphylla), while not in bloom, grows like a weed. All three specimens, front yard and courtyard, have tripled their original size.

The crape myrtles are still in bloom, though not crowned as heavily as they were before the rains. The daylilies in front are still blooming; along with the coreopsis, white coneflowers, the white gauras, vincas, kangaroo paw, Victoria salvias, and the Dahlberg daisies. Those daisies, incidentally, have also doubled in size since we first planted them…I can’t remember a day that I have NOT seen them covered with tiny yellow flowers.

The last of the Picasso calla blooms is receding, and I am unhappy that the Flames nor the Devil’s Wine have produced any blooms. The spotted foliage however towers over most of the plantings in the courtyard flower bed…perhaps due to less light. I plan to dig up the bulbs come winter and replant them in a better spot.

Other bloomers: catmint, oxalis, Imperial dark blue plumbago, angelonia, dianthus, verbena, ageratum, Prairie Sky Hosta, bicolor sage. Even the coleus are flowering (which need to be sheared off).

Casualty list: several of the purple/violet dianthus specimens have died off, most likely due to the extreme heat. Not such a great loss, since they were mostly considered annuals. However, I’m not pleased to see them so perishable after past successes with dianthus. Most of the viola are also gone, fried by the heat. The empty border they abandoned by the front door bed needs to be repopulated…I’m thinking of installing some variegated liriope (silver dragons or aztec grass).

On death’s door: my Tuscan Blue rosemary is down to half of its trunks…it doesn’t appear that it will hang on any longer. I need to transplant it immediately and amend the bed further to permit a larger specimen. Also included on this list is the aforementioned Purple pastel salvia.

On the rebound: the chocolate chip ajuga which long suffered in its planter box is now thriving in its part/full shade location in the courtyard bed. I also believe the japanese painted ferns are coming back, after causing a worry when they dropped all their old fronds. They have new fragile leaves on display. The purple loropetalum is also still putting out new branches and leaves, but I am concerned that it is not gaining as much bulk as I expect.