First week of June

6/6/2011 Yellow Durango MarigoldIt’s hot. Pushing 100s hot. I was crazy to work the garden this weekend in this weather. But I got a lot accomplished and made some observations. For example, my first petunia seedling to flower (which I failed to photograph) was an Easy Wave white bloom.

6/6/2011 Purple Star verbena cutting in bloomA couple more marigolds, yellow and scarlet–though the scarlet wasn’t being photogenic–also
made an appearance in the tree ring. Except that yellow marigold is the same one that first bloomed. ┬áThe tree ring’s first salvia also bloomed, but it is the coral nymph and not the Lady in Red that I’ve been waiting for.

6/6/2011 Cedar mulched lily bedBecause it’s been sweltering, the man decided to water everything today…including the freshly mowed lawn. Methinks he cut it too low this go-around. He’ll let it get an inch or two next time. But the dry conditions gave him incentive to plant my purple pastel and mulch the hostas. I didn’t see, but he said the hostas were having a bad time of it.

6/6/2011 Enjoying the last Navona lilies of the seasonThe half inch cutting of Lanai Purple Star verbena grew about an inch long in opposite directions and produced flowers! This was a throwaway piece of verbena and it decided to take root and bloom barely a month later. The heat also agrees with the lemon verbena that I almost killed with neglect. It’s coming back in leaves in its original pot. I’m still debating on where to plant it however.

6/6/2011 Lemon Verbena comebackAll my toiling yielded me my first and only bouquet of flowers from this year’s lily garden: 2 stems of Navona asiatic lilies which I had knocked down while working the lily bed (and running for my life from raging wasps). Nice to have home-grown floral arrangements for a change.

6/6/2011 Emerging caladium in planter bowlAnd it’s also nice to see the tiny nubs of the planter bowl caladium–White Delight–making a showing. I imagine the other caladiums in the shade bed should be popping out about now. Well, that is, if the cedar mulch hasn’t covered it back up again.

I coaxed more seeds out of the white nymph salvia I installed in a planter box. I’m hoping that as the weeks progress, I’ll have a nice size baggy of seeds to plant next year in the front flower bed, or perhaps the tree ring.

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.

Making lily babies

Propagating lilies via leaves? Who woulda thunk! I’m going to try it today! Finally, a use for all those yogurt cups I’ve been holding onto.

Jim @ChopperJim.com sent me a couple pics of his calla lilies. These were the same lilies he planted last year but didn’t bloom. This year, they are blooming their heads off–and Jim is now a fan! He mentioned he fertilized them heavily last year, which may have been the cause of his first-year doldrums. They are making up for it this year, it seems!

5/27/2011 Jim's Callas 2 5/27/2011 Jim's Callas 1

Storm tossed Tuesdays

Still more rain today. Still no A/C today. Email from the landlord says unit has shipped, waiting on installer. I can’t blame the installer; who’d want to work in the rain?

So no new pictures today. Observations aplenty however. Like, how there are no Asiatic lilies blooming right now, just waiting on the Navonas to bust out. Along with the Navonas, all our Dallas Stars have buds on them, and still more buds to come. Can’t wait to see them in bloom. I think I spotted a couple of buds on our new Stellas; but the other one doesn’t seem to be cooperating. Their leaves have turned yellow quite a bit, so I imagine they are acclimating to their new home. The only daylily without a single bud this year is–you guessed it–Hyperion. I asked the honey to cut back the Hot Lips which has again overgrown the lily bed. Perhaps the Hyperion will benefit from the shearing.

The replanted callas might be enjoying all this rainfall. Some of the Flame specimens I replanted along the salvia wall seem perky; the leaves appear lively and healthy-looking. I should think about rehoming some of the potted callas.

The dozens of coral salvia seedlings are assembling into a formidable army of growing plants. Some of the transplants are militantly swelling in size and girth–crazy! I hope the Ladies in Red are similarly vigorous. I’d hate to see them overrun by the corals…I was counting on a brilliant red display in the front yard. In addition, I hope to finally get the cosmos seeds sowed into the tree ring. along with more marigolds; and alyssum in the bare patches near the front yard fence line. I figure I might as well sow them somewhere and hope they don’t mind the short growing season.

5/24/2011 Spider Lily Bulbs Needing PlantingEgads, temps are looking to be around the 90s the rest of this week, with the wet weather behind us. I expect humidity and a lot of lying about the house…until the A/C is fixed. I’m hoping we don’t go cooler-less this weekend…I want to get some work done in the garden before summer hits. Those two bags of Spider lily bulbs won’t plant themselves!!!

On my garden wishlist today: variegated Snow Fairy caryopteris and variegated lacecap hydrangeas.

Surprise blooms!

4/29/2011 First Lollipop Lily of 2011The first lily of the year just made its appearance. My sweet cheeks spotted this Lollipop lily making a grand entrance in the lily bed–luckily he had his new camera phone to capture the moment.

Other blooms seen in profusion include the Oertel’s rose yarrow and the late blooming dianthus. The pansies are still growing strong, and the Hot Lips salvia is just now beginning to put out blooms, after a slow start.

The variegated society garlic have dropped their flowers, though the catnip is daring to bloom immediately, after having been relocated between the rosemary and lavender. There are yet plenty of peppers to put into the ground, but with this last taste of cool weather (May 1st lows of 48 degrees), I am hoping that warmer weather will permit the basils and peppers to flourish.

I also moved most of the Flame Callas to the salvia bed, in hopes that they will take to their new home soon. I know there is still a calla positioned under one of the oxalis plants in the lily bed, but I’m unsure what color it is or where to put it (except in a pot). Hopefully this next weekend I will have time to replant it.