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Ye Olde Garden

A week’s worth of gardening in one post

Yikes, gone a week without posting but not without gardening. A brief summary of what transpired in the garden in the past several days:

  • Various succulents cuttings including the Lemon Coral sedum planted in the rosemary bed
  • Added dahlberg daisies to the petunia planter
  • Cuban Gold duranta planted in front yard shade bed
  • Transplanted Victoria Blue salvias to the ends of the front yard flower bed
  • Hard pruned the Hot Lips Salvias in the front yard bed down to 1/3 height
  • Installed Magic Carpet spirea in front yard bed
  • Removed catmint from herb bed, replanted in 3″ pots
  • Transplanted golden sage, tricolor sage and dwarf mini curry plant into the herb bed
  • Removed yarrow from lily bed, installed red lantana in its place
  • Installed Tasmanian Tiger euphorbia  and Nuevo Leon salvia in blue bed
  • Sowed Summer Jewel Red salvia and Cosmic Red cosmos in the tree ring
  • Transplanted rooted cuttings of variegated lemon thyme in the tree ring
  • Returned coleus and snapdragon seedlings to the greenhouse
  • Moved some seedlings and cuttings outdoors, including the zinnia starts (which aren’t doing very well)
  • Purchased another Magic Carpet spirea from Grow It nursery

Did I mention something ate my onion chives and decapitated my Genovese basil? Pictures forthcoming!

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Ye Olde Garden

New Plants and Blooms of March

My High Country Gardens order arrived. I’m somewhat disappointed by the tiny specimens I was sent. Given that they appear so delicate, I’m placing them under grow lights for the time being.

3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (1) 3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (2)

Check out the new blooms on the ornamental pepper Purple Flash and the “perennial” Easy Wave Petunias. The red petunias have opened, while white buds threaten on the other.

3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (3) 3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (4) 3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (5)

Lavender stoechas Bella Purple is in bloom. The buds appeared about a month ago, and I’ve been reluctant to shear it back since it started to sprawl. As soon as the blooms have faded, I’m trimming it back by at least a  foot so that the neighboring chives, garlic and sage get more light. Notice the lavender bud with the crane fly perched on it? Crane fly populations have exploded in Texas since the temperatures have warmed up (i.e. early February). There’s not a day that I get in a collision with a cloud of these crane flies while puttering in the yard. A friend indicated that these prey on mosquitoes; however, I researched this and discovered that they do NOT feed on mosquitoes at all. They love nectar and their larvae will feast on vegetation, and may cause considerable damage to turf and plants. I would like to find a natural way to get rid of these flies; maybe by enticing more birds to visit.

3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (6) 3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (7) 3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (8) 3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (14)

I finally caught some good pictures of my yellow salvia greggii in bloom. The camera is still having difficulty capturing the pale yellow colors, but at least I now have a record of it.

3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (10) 3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (11) 3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (12) 3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (13)

The potted oriental artemisias look like they are enjoying the cooler, moist weather. I do recall that these are part shade plants and they experienced a difficult time last year in the full sun. The yarrow I uprooted from the blue bed is adjusting to its temporary home. I also snapped another picture of the growing leeks in the herb garden bed.

3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (9) 3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (15) 3/8//2012 New Plants and Blooms (16)

I also spent some time this morning sowing more seeds to the bathroom greenhouse. Stardust Ice Plant, Blue Fescue, Dreams Patriot Mix petunias, Zinnia Profusion mix and Zinnia Starlight Rose are now planted. Thankfully I had easy seeds to deal with this recent go-round, pellets and chaff-like seed aren’t as difficult to stick in Jiffy pellets.

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Ye Olde Garden

Who ate my garlic chives?

I noticed something nibbled the tops off my garlic chives last week. I inspected it this morning and noticed it was growing back. I can’t think of anything roaming about in the cold, wet few days that feasts on garlic chives.  One of the variegated society garlic clumps nearly got uprooted since it had been in the way. (I have several common chives potted up that were untouched.)

12/20/2011 Chives, Mums & Asters (1)

Asters and mums are making a second round of blooms. Obviously not as floriferous as the first round, especially since I neglected to deadhead them.

12/20/2011 Chives, Mums & Asters (2) 12/20/2011 Chives, Mums & Asters (4)

The larkspur seedlings are coming along…I’m thinking of uprooting the yarrow in this bed and replacing it with a stand of angelonia come spring.

12/20/2011 Chives, Mums & Asters (3)

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Ye Olde Garden

The pre-winter graveyard

It’s been a good two weeks since my last post. The climate has turned to rain to freezing temps back to chilly. Since we experienced a solid week of sub-freezing wind chills and temps, it’s natural that the annuals have succumbed to the frost. Where certain parts aren’t buried in leaves, my garden transformed into a graveyard in a matter of days. I hope to clear out the debris when the weather turns mild. Thankfully, the man started with pruning the Midnight Blue rose.

Goners: basils, vincas, marigolds, cosmos, ornamental peppers, salvia coccinea.

Dead top growth: caladiums, sweet potato ornamental vines (not sure if these Illusion potatoes will come back next year), callas, Sinaloa salvia, the purple oxalis in the blue bed, most of the asters.

Subject to change: foxtail ferns, Mexican heather.

Surprises: a few of the petunias are still green, all of the coreopsis have green foliage and appear to have grown, the larkspur seedlings appear unaffected by the freeze, one of the Autumn Embers azaleas actually had a (wilted) bloom on it, succulent planter looking pretty.

Annoyances: the yarrow continues to spread, weeds have invaded my lily bed!

Warning: images of dead plants ahead. On my Xmas wishlist: a compost bin from the city’s Park & Recreation dept.

12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (1) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (2) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (3) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (4) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (5) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (6) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (7) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (8) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (9) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (10) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (11) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (12) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (13) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (14) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (15) 12/9/2011 Pre-winter Graveyard (16)

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Ye Olde Garden

Pre-Thanksgiving look at the garden

It’s that time of the year. Almost every year that I cook for the holidays, I make sure to use ingredients in my garden, even if it is only one sprig of rosemary. But since it’s been 10 days since my last post, I thought it time to do a little inspection.

The Shu ornamental pepper continues to hang on for dear life. Peppers are perennial in zones 9 and beyond, but here in my garden, it’s going to be a challenge to keep them alive in the ground during winter. My potted peppers have been sitting outside since this past weekend when we saw temps reach the high 70s. We’re back down to the high 30s to mid-40s during the evenings, but we will continue to reach the 70s in the daytime for the Thanksgiving holiday.

11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (1)

All the garlic have emerged and are looking tall.

11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (2)

The sage seems to appreciate the cooler weather; I used some sage leaves from this specimen for my turkey brine last night.

11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (3)

Those appear to be larkspur seedlings surrounding one of the irises. Unfortunately, the man sprinkled it heavily on one side not realizing I only had one pack of Shades of Blue Larkspur (Consolida ambigua). I may have to purchase another pack.

11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (4)

Finally, a good macro picture of the Oertel’s Rose yarrow blooms!

11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (5)

I love the white-mottled Snow-n-Summer asiatic jasmine foliage; emerging leaves are a beautiful shade of pastel pink.

11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (6) 11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (7)

 The Autumn Monarch azalea is our only fall-blooming azalea this year. It received a fair amount of protection from the neighboring Hot Lips salvia this year, unlike the other azaleas on the opposite end of the bed.

11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (8) 11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (9) 11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (10)

A lone vinca has grown in the lee of an azalea. I had already pulled out its neighbors, but kept this one to see how it would fare. The petunias also appear unstoppable. Even with this crazy weather, they are continuously putting on new growth.

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My eggplant doesn’t appear to put on much growth in the last 10 days; though the plant is leaning farther due to its weight. It still feels way to hard to the touch.

11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (14)

Valentine dianthus…what a beauty. All the dianthus in the garden favor this cool climate; most are putting on several buds if not blooming.

11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (15)

A surprise on the camellia: this bud has swelled to 5 times the size as other buds.

11/23/2011 Pre-Thanksgiving Garden (16)

Lemon thyme: I plan on cutting several sprigs of this to insert into my turkey. The other herbs of course are looking fabulous. The Thai basil looks amazing with its flowery spires; I just dread how many seedlings I’ll get out of it. The Red Rubin basil also loves this cool weather. I am curious to see if they will endure into next year.

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