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Ye Olde Garden

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.

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Ye Olde Garden

Ugh bugs!

Slaving away in the high 90s…it might as well have been 100 degrees in the shade. This was a searingly long hot day to be working in the garden, but worked (and sweated aplenty) I did. I managed to plant many that had been waiting quite a while for their new homes: both Dixie Chip ajuga, variegated geranium, 3 more Origami Red columbines, all 6 of the red spider lily bulbs, 8 Lanai Purple Star verbena, 2 Calico ornamental peppers. I also transplanted a few of the Navona lily bulbs closer to the back wall, relocated the 2 Charmed Wine oxalis, tore out 3 of the under-performing azaleas (Delaware, Macrantha and Crimson), and cleaned out much of the dead/dying pansies. I also gave the red and white dianthus in the lily bed a good haircut, while pulling out as much of the weeds as I could. After intermittent breaks and drives to the local Home Depots, I also picked up another bag of compost and MiracleGro garden soil, and 3 bags of cedar mulch. The cedar went to the lily bed and part of the purple bed, including my delicate geranium. I hope to use some of it to protect the hostas in front.

Of course, some of the gardening had to be interrupted by some unwelcome guests. Wooly aphids and nest-building wasps caused me a great deal of stress–especially after I came close to smashing into the wasp nest while moving the lilies. Of course, I just had to take the soap to the wooly critters–but the wasps did send me running after I tried (and failed) to jar both nest and wasps in one fell swoop. Luckily, my man fetched a wasp killer from the grocery store–thereby ending the rampage.

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Ye Olde Garden

Sunday flower run, don’t bake in the sun

Note to self: don’t cover tender young seedlings in microwaveable plastics under the hot May sun. So it was that I lost 3 batches of plants: Seabreeze salvia, Lime and Genovese basil, and all of my Stardust ice plants. Back to square one.

5/10/2011 Sunday Herb and Veggie HaulSunday’s flower run included a 50% off all plants sale at the Lowes in Carrollton of Trinity Mills and Old Denton. The man decided to invest in 2 2.5 quart Stella d’Oro daylilies to add to the front flower bed. We also picked up a hot banana pepper (more than a foot tall), a habanero, a variegated oregano and a Chinese eggplant (Ping Tung cultivar). All of the herbs and vegetables by the way were Bonnie plant branded; they retailed for $3.70 but at 50% off they were a good deal. We also ran by Calloway’s in Lewisville to pick up our Spider Lily bulbs at 3 for $3. The bulbs were disappointingly tiny (what’s with all the tiny bulbs coming out of Calloway’s lately), and the man and I are still debating where to plant them. Somewhere where they’ll get summer shade but fall sun, says the checkstand lady.

I divided and moved the picoteed dianthus in the purple bed, planted the Confetti lantanas (x2) and dahlberg daisies (x4) in the front flower bed, and all the impatiens in the shade bed. A leftover from the purple bed, Super Parfait Raspberry dianthus, has been transplanted to the shade bed near the gate.

A pleasant surprise that I uncovered while weeding out the front flower bed: dozens of vinca and at least 3 impatiens seedlings. The impatiens seedlings, amusingly enough, are tucked under a layered branch of the Emerald Snow loropetalum. Like the numerous calla bulblets I uncovered and transplanted this week, the garden presents continue to appear as the weather continues to warm up. For example, one of the mums is displaying bulbs…of course, I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t lifted the sprawling Oertel’s Rose yarrow–which, incidentally, threatens to fill the entire bed!

Next lilies to bloom: Red Alert asiatic lilies! Interesting to note that they all appear to be opening at the same time!