Thursday, June 22, 2017

National Pollinators Week June 19-25

It's National Pollinators Week. I signed up for Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. At least I think I did. I didn't get a message that my info reached them.

This is the photo I used in my application to join National Pollinators.

We're in the midst of farmland where many chemicals are used. We use no chemicals except for fireant eradication and it's spot application to only the fireant mounds.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

June Daylilies

Sometimes I move them around and forget who is where. This is Pineapple Crush, or Elysian Fields or something else. It's a pretty yellow.

Another pretty yellow: 
Brocaded Gown, for sure.

 This is a seedling, only a generation away from those common orange daylilies that we always had. I gave it the Garden Name of Brown Saddle Oxfords.

 This is a good edger for Knockout Roses, almost the 
same color. Its name is  Little Business

These last 2 are seedlings, seeds from a Faceville garden. 
Garden name of these: Meet My Sister

Friday, June 2, 2017

When the Garden Turns Pink

The Garden is never really all of a color but there are bursts, like the daffodils in earliest spring when you think of one color. Right now Pink is a main feature.

This is what we see from our side door, seen best here from near the Mule Barn. Pink Crape Myrtles have been here for the last 70 years, this is a seedling from some of the original trees.

 Echinacea seeds itself all around to the delight of Butterflies and the gardener. The big Spicebush Swallowtail I tried to photograph flew away. Butterflies are not yet plentiful. I wonder about the effect of farm chemicals all around us.

Last year there were white Echinacea here, now replaced by pink seedlings. I planted the Castor Beans that wintered in a pot to compliment them.

Byzantine Emperor Daylilies, actually deemed purple by the Daylily Folk.

Angel Trumpets and Pentas are blooming. They clash beautifully in the daytime but at night the Trumpets open wide and pale and smell incredibly sweet.

Out near the highway, Nicotiana lends sweet perfume at night when nobody's around to smell it. Beautyberry has pale pink blossoms, hardly noticed. In the fall the blooms will turn to beautiful purple fruits.

In the back yard, a lone Althea has deep rosy blossoms. Underneath, plants of silvery leaved Rose Campion have seeded about, scattered by me or birds, I can't remember.

Crape Myrtle

That's a sampling of what's blooming pink in the gardens as the weather gets hotter.

I tend to call plants by both common and Latin names. Where I use common names, the Latin can be found in the labels.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What's the Difference Between Martha Stewart's Mid July Garden at her Farm and Mine?

I'm finding drafts that I never published, some that I just failed to go back and click the button:

How Does Martha Stewart's Garden at her Farm Differ from Mine?

I mean, besides nine full-time workers and millions in resources?

We went to my mother's once and dessert was gingerbread with bananas and whipped cream. When I asked where she got that notion, she said, "Why in the latest Good Housekeeping magazine." I hadn't seen any such suggestion and she went on, "It was on the cover." On the cover was an elaborate three layer dessert covered with decorative whipped cream and silver sprinkles. She looked beyond the glitz to the recipe which was easy enough if you didn't need to stack 3 layers and pipe whipped cream all over. Mama just sliced her gingerbread in squares, sliced bananas over it and added a dollop of whipped cream.

Martha Stewart hates bananas, I read.

When I looked beyond the volume and scope of Ms. Stewart's garden, my plain one measured up well.

Martha has pears. I have pears. Both of us have lots of pears. I didn't thin mine nearly enough. I know better. Maybe next spring I'll thin them within 30 days of full bloom.

Her garden features Hostas, mine has Gingers. The blooms of neither are significant except for Curcuma in August in my garden.

She has a row of single bloom Rose of Sharon behind a pergola. I have a double Althea. I may take cuttings to make a row of my double rose color Rose of Sharon. Hibiscus. Althea. I don't have a pergola.

They're running sprinklers 'round the clock. Even when we have a drought, we don't run water 'round the clock. Many of our plantings are water-wise.

Blueberries at her place are covered with netting. Our blueberries are prolific to the point of giving some away. Birds are not a problem here. Birds here find plenty here to eat. Ms. Stewart mentioned that blueberries have fiber and have among the highest antioxidant capabilities. I like eating them right off the bush.

I was awed by all the currants at her place in every color. We had red currants when I was a child. Currants are tasty in mince pies. I would not plant them here because currants are a host to white pine blister rust.

I didn't see anything in the article about farm crops. Corn is mature in the fields here and Peanuts are about to lap in the middles.

Omnimedia vs. a couple of blogs. Did you all know Martha Stewart is just a few months older than I am?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maroon Poppies II

There are three -- count 'em, 3 -- poppy plants in my entire garden.

Here's an old post that never saw the light of day, but still worth seeing, from 2013.
Pink Poppies are still blooming, and California Poppies are stunning. Joining them are Maroon Poppies overplanted in a Daffodil bed.

 Goodbye to Daffodils, except for the very last late ones like Baby Moon. I saw a Hillstar today.Poppies and Larkspur will hide maturing foliage. When annuals are done, the mower takes over.

It' was a busy day. I planted and moved plants that do not make a show in their present state:

Dug and moved a nicotiana that planted itself on the roadside. Mower ran over it twice, it persisted. It's a fat plant now. Strangely, no nicotiana self-seeded in a flower bed. This is my second rescue.

Planted out two seedling and one cutting of Porterweed. I expect great things from Porterweed in the Butterfly Garden this summer. At least three in the Upper Garden have returned from roots. Most of my cuttings failed to take. The one that did root has strong red roots.

Big project was moving some things to reduce the size of a bed that has overgrown and needs an area mowed -- another of my mow-through projects. What is there about saving every little piece of something? The Hydrangea I dug broke into three sections. I didn't really need ONE Hydrangea, much less three. They are all planted now. Two Milk and Wine Crinums, one the size of a grapefruit and one navel orange sized one, both had side bulbs. All planted now. There's a whole flat of Bath's Pink. I couldn't throw it away. It's under mist to keep it alive until I have the strength to plant again.

Daffodils I'll Plant again

Daffodils have about finished here.  Pictured here from previous years so you can see the various cultivars. These are a few of my very favorites that perform well here. This is an old draft I never published, still timely.

Erlicheer 2013

Hawera, 2011

Thalia -- I can't readily find a photo of Thalia, a fragrant triandrus that should be in every garden. A late bloomer and always a thrill to find in bloom. Sometimes I notice the fragrance before I see the flowers. Ice Wings is like a miniature Thalia and Hawera is like a pale yellow minature Thalia. 

Ice Follies, 2012
Juanita, 2013

Pink Charm and Sailboat, 2011

Tete a Tete and Jet Fire, 2011
Rip Van Winkle was planted with these.
Rip had great foliage every year, never bloomed once.

Jet Fire 2013

Tahiti, spicy fragrant, 2012

Have you noticed that some Daffodils are inexpensive as compared to others? Generally, the more expensive cultivars are hybrids prized by Daffodil enthusiasts who place their best blooms in Daffodil shows. For a garden planting, the least expensive give more for the money.

Daffodil hybridizers are freqently Pacific Northwest growers. Their bulbs tend to bloom beautifully for me. One time. I don't know if it is my winter or my summer, but they tend to peter out. I now put my money in old, tried and true bulbs.

Trumpet Daffodil, 2013

No longer do I strive for a Daffodil Hill except for what's already near the Stick House. I just buy a few bulbs and plant them on the end of a bed somewhere. This past fall I bought a bag of fifty bulbs. As best I remember they were 'King Alfred type' -- the original King Alfred daffodils are no longer seen in the trade. 'Unsurpassable' which is Miss Billie's favorite can sometimes be located, another large Trumpet that will bloom here.

I put more than half at the end of a curved bed just past a small Camellia and the rest down between some rocks in a bed along the driveway, most in a single bed and a handful on the opposite side. I overplanted with some poppy seeds and larkspur.

Poppies and Larkspur will follow the bloom of these Daffodils and
hide the foliage, Spring 2013

Mama always used Shirley poppies over her tulip beds, but I like a mix of corn poppies, California poppies, Opium poppies and larkspur for a cottage effect. The early spring beds never turn out the same because they sprout as randomly as I plant. You never know when a single daffodil will bloom in an unexpected spot, or a handful.

Got Daffodils? Have a favorite?

Fragrance While I'm Thinking about Scent

Vespertine flowers are usually fragrant:
Epiphyllum oxypetalum
Nicotiana and Petunias give off their scent at night as well.

Fruity Frangrances
Sweet Shrub Calycanthus floridus
Tea Olive Osmanthus fragrans
Big Bay Southern Magnolia
Japanese Boxwood in late winter bloom smells like grape Koolaid.
Deciduous Magnolias have a fainter frangrance, but are still delightful.

Lemon Grass is a favorite of my pets. They chew the leaves. I keep a pot of Lemon Grass by Ike the Cat's perch in the greenhouse for him to chew so he won't shred my bromeliad leaves.

Gardenias and Confederate Jasmine -- summer scents along with Japanese Honeysuckle, an undesirable thug in the garden.

Daffodils have varied fragrances. The cloying scent of Paperwhite Narcissus is best enjoyed from a distance. I love to stand in a field of Sweetness Jonquillas and just breathe. Fortune large-cups are fragrant at a distance as well. The sweetness of the late-blooming Thalia is precious. Tahiti has a spicy fragrance.

Daffoldils in Jonquilla and Triandrus Divisions are my favorites.

Sometimes I let weedy native herb Rabbit Tobacco Gnaphalium obtusifolium grow just for the resinous smell of the leaves and dry flowers. I sometimes cut a whole plant to put in the toolshed as an air freshener for the winter. It is said to repel insects and spiders.

Oregano and Rosemary have resinous scents, too. Brushing agains the plants releases the fragrant oils.

Privet and Ligustrum -- allergy instigators.