Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Let the Fun Begin

I'm trying to be sensible this year and it's working! I'm at least not killing myself in eagerness to do all my gardening in 3 1/2 hours...

I've found (like a lot of older folks) I'm waking up early in the mornings - someplace between 4 and 6 am.  I've always been a night person so it's new for me.  The good news is it's an especially beautiful time of the day, the weather is tolerable and it's peaceful.

I have a quick cup of coffee and head out as soon as it gets light.  I work until I'm tired, super hot or have to be someplace.  Funny thing is these short spurts of work are accomplishing more than my marathon all day sessions.    

With my youngest son, Ian, putting down almost 80 bags of mulch in one day, I was able to put down the rest doing a little at a time.  The word "plodding" comes to mind.

A garden this size is never done but at least I'm getting the first round pretty much tolerable and with all the mulch, the second round is much easier.  

One of my miscalculations this spring was assuming the torrential rains would continue into summer.  Wrong-O!  I have a very nice big raised bed where I grew vegetables.  Having decided to quit doing the hundreds of jars of canned goods, it was the perfect place to transplant any daylily that had become too shaded, too crowded, or originally placed wrong.  

Thirty-six transplanted daylilies later and hot/dry/windy weather stretching on and on means I'm watering almost every other day.  For three hours each time.  The daylilies, the pots of annuals and a patch of grass we seeded way too late and whew and whew again.  

I've been ruthless about the daylilies this year.  Anything, no matter how lovely, that tries to crowd out a daylily is dealt with fast and furious.  Either the lily gets moved or the other plant is moved or it's eliminated.

Next year the daylilies in the raised bed will be self sufficient and not need so much or any real care.  

This year, I planted annuals among those 36 daylilies so as to give the bed some color.  Also, a large bag of cheap gladiolus. 

Although my first daylily started blooming May 3, the rest are just starting and soon I'll have many in bloom.  Most of those transplanted may "pout" or only put out roots this year instead of blooming.  
Stella de Oro daylily

I did take every Stella de Oro from any bed (I had started with one plant) and divided them enough to surround two of the outsides of the raised bed.  Another, Happy Returns, was divided on the 3rd side.  Both are super robust continuous bloomers and will keep the bed looking cheerful and help control weeds.

 These daylilies (including Stella de Oro) have started to bloom:
Happy Returns daylily
Bitsy daylily

Eenie Allegro daylily
Middendorfii daylily

Susie Wong daylily
Raspberry Pixie daylily

 Have a good gardening week friends.  It's only just begun.   

Monday, June 5, 2017

Favorite Plant (at the moment)

There are twenty area garden women who call ourselves "Forget Me Nots" because one of us is always forgetting the name of a plant.  Back in early May, I asked them what was their favorite plant. This is what I asked and why:

"I was just reading an article about the 2017 plants of the year.  So many are beautiful and some are also new.  But the thing about "plants of the year" is they are mostly voted on by people who sell them and that's a bit of a turn off for me.  I'm never quite sure if they are designated because it's a best seller, they have too many and want to sell more, they hybridized and get a kick back or they love it more than any plant ever this year.  

So I thought I'd get honest and genuine FMN favorites and publish them on my garden blog and I'll send an e-mail to all of us just in case you don't look at the blog."

The answers are:

Nancy A.  "New England Aster (shorter variety.)  This is a native dependable plant that comes back year after year and puts on one of the best displays of purple color every fall. I love to pair it up with black eyed Susan's or yellow or orange garden mums and other fall perennials."

Robyn T. "Like you said, it depends on the day but if I have to come up with one......bleeding hearts.  Sweet, old fashioned, romantic, and the only flower that my daughter truly loves or ever wanted to plant.  I included them in her bridal bouquet with pink roses and other old fashioned blooms and it was gorgeous.  They always make me smile 😊"  She even attached a picture of the beautiful couple and the beautiful flowers.
Robyn's daughter's wedding.

Kathy F  "I have to say that my alliums are my favorite in my garden this time of year. They stand tall above my other plants and I love the whites and purples and I need more! Like you mentioned my favorite changes from week to week."

Pat M "Tomato plants."
I think most of us will agree with Pat - yum!

Sandy W "Old pink peonies (one light and one dark.)  Her dad had dug them out of their old house and moved to this house (where Sandy now lives.)  Old fashioned petunias."

Rebecca D "The peony!  Even though I have favorites throughout the seasons, I always come back to peonies.   The anticipation is great watching the buds swell and watching the ants and wasps enjoy the process too.  There are "singles" and "doubles" and all have a delightful scent.  And after the blooms are gone the peony bush adds a green fullness to the garden the rest of the growing season.   Best of all they remind me of my mother!!!  I have approximately 20 peony bushes."

Bonnie S. "It is a difficult task.  But, this morning, it is the large, perfect, vivid Hosta. Blue Angel, Great Expectations, Spilt Milk, and I could go on. Later in the season, they lose their #1 ranking, but for now, they are splendid."
Hosta x "Blue Angel"
Diane G. "Although there are many in 2nd place, the daylily is the one that moves into the passion category."
The daylily "Carnival in Mexico"

Hope you've enjoyed hearing what others have to say.  It's been suggested we do this during midsummer and again in the fall.  Plus, doing it by specific species (such as herbs, vegetables, tree and etc.)  I'm thinking we have a new series going!

NOTE:   I've no idea why Joan's comments are in red - even though I've changed it to black.