End of May Flowers

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Winter prep

The pups and kitty help out with the winter preparations…

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…or not.

Ornamental peppers, basils, hostas, etc., are potted up! Had to bring them indoors last night in case of frost.

October Bed Works

My shopping spree carried over into Sunday, but I didn’t spend as much time as I did Saturday. After all, plants don’t plant themselves (at least, not very often in my own garden).

I did head out to Lowes and Home Depot again, looking for bargains. I ended up with 4 pots, a 9 pack of ornamental kale, and a bag of tulip bulbs, Happy Generation. I know, I know…I just can’t resist those bulbs. And where did I end up putting them? In the front yard bed. That gets a fair amount of water, on and off season. Ah well, I will content myself with tulips being annual…but I’m hoping for a decent show next spring.

So it ended up being sore work Sunday afternoon. Fifty pansies, 36 violas, 30 giant grape hyacinths (Bellevalia pycnantha according to my American Meadows order), 18 tulip bulbs, 6 fall crocuses (Wild Saffron), 9 mixed ornamental kale all found a home. I relocated the 2 Stella de Oro daylilies in the front door landing strip, along with 2 struggling Silver Dust dusty millers. I also tore out the 2 Confetti lantanas flanking the Autumn Monarch azalea (which happens to be blooming quite profusely at the moment) and took cuttings in hopes of overwintering them. Did I mention one of those Confettis had a root as long as I was tall–we’re talking at least 5 feet long! Last, but not least, I also relocated the Seabreeze salvia into the front flower bed.

Next, I spent the rest of the afternoon re-potting pepper plants and hostas. I managed to dig up the struggling remains of the Wide Brim hostas from the shade bed. They were unsuccessful in the bed due to the constant slug onslaught and too much sun exposure. I also got my Francee hosta roots transplanted into their own pots. The Gold Standard and the Minuteman hostas also moved into larger homes. In addition, nine pepper plants also received new homes; unfortunately I’m at a loss at identifying them at the moment. I think the doubled up pepper plants are the Thai chilis. I should have the Jupiter bells, banana peppers, and Fresno peppers surviving from the July starts.

Back and backsides are sore…it comes out of hunching over on uncomfortable bags of sand, while carefully replanting things. I’m still sore just thinking of it. But I have some basil to take indoors with me during the winter time: Pesto Perpetuo, lime basil and classic Genovese basil.

Hey, at least I’m in the spirit of autumn now. I’m referring to the pumpkin display decorating my front porch.

Why is it I can’t seem to successfully photograph the Moonglow salvia greggii’s true yellow color blooms?

Wishlist plant of the day: tricyrtis “Imperial Banner”.

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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.

After the rain

A few scenes from the garden, after surviving 40 straight days of 100+ weather. We had a short rainstorm to celebrate the end, and 5 days later, here are the results:

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