One point five inches!

My eggplant’s size is enough to make any girl blush!

10/20/2011 October Garden (1)

One of the ginger mints I transplanted into the cinderblock border wall is recovering. Its sibling however did not.

10/20/2011 October Garden (2)

The variegated society garlic wanted to be noticed! It stuck this bloom head directly into my camera lens.

10/20/2011 October Garden (3)

Chrysanthemum (Heteropappus) Blue Knoll…I don’t get it. What’s happening to this thing? I have 2 of them situated in the blue bed. I read that it’s an annual, but it still grows like a weed. It hasn’t bloomed this fall. And I don’t expect that it will this year at all. Will it make it to next year? Or is it really just a weed?

10/20/2011 October Garden (4)

Wishlist plant of the day: Sedum lineare ‘Variegatum’.

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!

9/28/2011 End of Summer Blooms (1) 9/28/2011 End of Summer Blooms (2) 9/28/2011 End of Summer Blooms (3) 9/28/2011 End of Summer Blooms (4) 9/28/2011 End of Summer Blooms (5) 9/28/2011 End of Summer Blooms (6) 9/28/2011 End of Summer Blooms (7)

Bring it on! More plants that love the heat

Today reached the hottest temperature in the Dallas area this year. So far. At 105 degrees (not including heat index) it was broiling hot out in the garden. I had made an error in putting out some ornamental peppers from the previous day into a planter trough, and all but one Purple Flash shriveled up in the heat. Haven’t I learned by now not to put seedlings out in summer?

As part of my morning gardening activity, I started watering and weeding the front bed. The azaleas had been looking mighty stressed all week, so I felt they deserved a good watering. Unfortunately, the weeding of the bed looked more like an all-day task, not something to embark upon during a work day. I did hack down the gaura by 2/3rds its original height. It had been slouching over all week, looking rather unattractive. As much as I hated cutting down the honeybee-magnet, it really needed an early summer shearing.

The blooming pineapple mints in the herb bed border also got a much-deserved haircut. I don’t know how readily they reseed, but I wasn’t interested in finding out. All the herbs, for the most part, are thriving in this heat. Even the frail little coconut thyme is looking healthy. Of course, the courtyard beds receive a dose of heavy watering every other day–the potted plants get water every day. The ginger mint is also blooming, but in a way I can’t describe: the inflorescence work their way up the stems, not something I’ve seen before. Is this typical of ginger mint?

7/8/2011 Ginger Mint Blooming

That’s a Calico ornamental pepper seedling and the chinese eggplant in the background. Sadly, the eggplant flower disappeared, so that means no fruit yet. Hard to believe that the 2 ginger mint plants started from one specimen; I’m thinking of evicting 2 pineapple mints and moving them into the cinder block wall.

Among the losses, I counted the variegated felicia as another goner. While weeding the border between the herb and blue bed I stumbled upon its skeletal remains. All I have left now of the variegated felicia are 2 cuttings that have barely taken root. I’m seriously considering a liquid root fertilizer to speed up the process. But perhaps they just aren’t designed to tolerate this weather, despite being in a somewhat protected spot. The regular daisy is blooming sporadically but seems to like that spot it currently resides in.