Freeze alert

After deceptively mild weather for the Thanksgiving, it was evident that we were experiencing our last patches of warm weather before the cold front hit this weekend. My holiday shopping weekend was cut short by sudden drops in temperature, and I knew I would have to bring in my plants for the last time this year.

11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (1) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (2)

I missed the opportunity to bring in the eggplant yesterday, so I had to rush it into the bathroom greenhouse to see if it could be rescued. I’m not sure if the fruit will make it. It’s pretty short for what I’m used to in Chinese eggplants.

11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (3) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (4) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (5)

Outdoors, the damage from the overnight frosts has manifested into dead/wilted potato and basil plants. The traditional large leaf basils like Red Rubin and Genovese experienced the most damage. The lime, Pesto Perpetuo and Thai basil display browning less so. One of the Thai basil specimens appears to be laughing off the cold; but sooner or later, all the basils will be done.

11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (6) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (7) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (8) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (9) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (12)

The succulent planter seems to be hanging on. Whereas the petunia/caladium planter bowl shows signs of receding.

11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (10) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (11)

I found a surprise greeting me at one of the asters in the blue bed. A few blooms hid at the base of the plant, near the mulch line. I believe this one was Aster novi-belgii Believer.

11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (13) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (14)

Pansies, violas, ornamental kale, petunias, miscellaneous herbs, foxtail ferns, loropetalum, are all still hanging in there. The dusty millers must be enjoying their new location and this cool weather; they have doubled in size since I moved them from the front flower bed. I guess they prefer the protection. I expected the lemon verbena to die back down since it’s considered an annual, but it seems to enduring in the mixed planter box along with the chives, golden oregano, and aster cuttings. (Those are the remaining vincas hanging over from a neighboring planter. And a Red Rubin basil hiding out as well!)

11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (15) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (16) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (17) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (18) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (19) 11/29/2011 Freeze Alert (20)

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:

8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (1) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (2) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (3) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (4) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (5) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (6) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (7) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (8) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (9) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (10) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (11) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (12) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (13) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (14) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (15) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (16) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (17) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (18) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (19) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (20) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (21) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (22) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (23) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (24) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (25) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (26) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (27) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (28) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (29) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (30) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (31) 8/19/2011 After the Summer Rain (32)

Resurrected

Despite neglect and extreme heat attempting to kill them off, the lemon verbena and the tricolor sage have returned. Herbs are so easy!

6/23/2011 Resurrected! (1) 6/23/2011 Resurrected! (2)

What a difference A/C makes

5/28/2011 First Dallas Stars daylily bloomsYes, the cooling guys finally arrived and installed our A/C today. Timely, given that temps rose into the high 90s today. The heat hit like a brick wall when I stepped outside, and it wasn’t any better indoors until the new unit started pumping in cold air. Thank goodness…it was the motivation I needed to get out and start planting.

5/28/2011 More Navona BloomsI picked up some more plants today…I swear this is the last time (until we pick up our Route 66 coreopsis next weekend). At Grow It, I snagged a red trailing verbena, a White Nymph salvia coccinea, 2 rose-eyed white vinca, and 4 dusty millers. At Strong’s, we gathered an 18-count flat of bedding plants: 9 Silver Dust dusty millers, 4 Victoria Blue salvias, 5 petunias (in denim, purple and yellow). To wrap it all up, we stopped at Lowes to pick up a bag of StaGreen garden soil and Hapigro organic compost.

5/28/2011 Coreopsis bloomingWhile the man proceeded to get his haul of Victoria Blues and dusty millers established in the front yard bed, I worked on potting up several of the newest additions, along with some plants waiting for a home. Thus I was able to plant dusty millers, petunias, sweet potato vine, white nymph salvia, a couple of the Lanai verbena, pesto basil, thai basil, and the seedling genovese and lime basils. I’m taking a chance with the seedling basils, since the genovese are barely 2-3 weeks old. I also repotted the eggplant in its own pot, as well as a calla lily which had fallen out of its very confining quart-sized home. Lastly, I situated my Moonglow salvia in its new home, in front of our rosemary topiary, in a deep hole full of good garden soil. I hope to see it prosper.

5/28/2011 Dallas Star blooming in shadeI still have more verbena to plant, as well as 2 Dixie Chip ajugas, tricolor sage, ornamental peppers, petunias, common chives, dusty millers, and vinca. I’m unhappy to report that my lemon verbena appears to have perished after going without water for two days. It’s possible I can take a cutting and coax it back to life, but I’m skeptical at this point. Also, because of the rain last week, 2 of the peppers (jalapeno and thai chili) in the vegetable/herb garden appear to be suffering from serious wilt. I suspect that the ground compacted and exposed roots. One of them even had a pepper already growing; so I added more soil mix to their bases in hopes of rescuing them.

5/28/2011 White Pansy lost in the weedsFinally some blooms observed in the garden today: the first Dallas Stars (3 blooms), more Navona Asiatic lily blooms, another yellow marigold, coreopsis, and pansies discovered in the most unlikeliest of spaces…in the weeds and between the rocks.

┬áMore planting scheduled for tomorrow…and perhaps I’ll finally get some use out of my ceramic pots.

5/28/2011 Pansies growing between the stonework

And wow…I’m sore and exhausted. Thankfully the house is 70 degrees cold. Time to pass out in nice cool room in a nice cool bed. The puppies are happy too…they’re burrowed beneath their blankets again.

Another NHG run ends with Sunday plantings

5/16/2011 Half Pot of Ginger Mint I headed out to NHG today to pick up at least one coral bells and perhaps find my verbena. What I came home with were 1 Amber Waves heuchera, 1 Lemon verbena, 1 ginger mint, 2 jumbo White Dynasty caladium bulbs and 1 jumbo White Delight caladium bulb. Of the above, only the lemon verbena remains unplanted. The heuchera and the 2 White Dynasty caladiums found an immediate home in the shade bed. The White Delight went into a planter bowl along with the two Regatta lobelia and all of the Wave petunia seedlings. I split the ginger mint into half and planted it straight into the herb garden, along with the hot banana pepper and the habanero. I also decided to drop all 6 of the garlic chives pots into the herb garden as well, to see if they will fare better. During my efforts, I stumbled onto two lime basil seedlings, which I’ve repotted.

5/16/2011 Lanai Purple Star Verbena

Meanwhile, the man got busy with the tree ring and front flower beds. He added 4 of the vinca seedlings, and 4 of the Lanai Purple Star verbena as border plants. He also dropped another Hot Lips salvia into the vacant space next to the Autumn Twist azalea. Hopefully this salvia will fare better in this spot. ┬áTaking 12 of the marigold seedlings, he started them in the outer ring. I resolved to start paring down the lemon thyme plant to take more cuttings and hopefully create more plants. I’m convinced that this herb will make a remarkable border plant. It will take no more than a year to create a solid circle of variegated lemon thyme, if I do this right.

I still have basil planters to create, but I’m waiting on the cuttings to take hold. It seems I may have some success with the Pesto Basil since I took a cutting right off the top. I’m also waiting on the tricolor sage to take hold as well. I kept some cuttings under glass on the Burpee mat. I have great hopes that they will endure.

Now I am just waiting for some basil and salvia seedlings to mature so that I can get them out into the garden.