Friday, May 1, 2015

Daylilies, Sweet Olive, and Chit-Chat

Thursday brought a few more daylily blooms-- a pink and two more like the yellow from the other day.  (I probably should've waited until later in the day to take the photos, though.  It looks like they weren't completely opened, yet.)

Yellow Daylily

Pink Daylily

I guess it's still early in the season-- and I don't even remotely remember exactly which daylily is which-- but I suspect that we may have to wait until next spring/summer to see blooms from most (if not all) of last year's seedlings.  I knew that was a possibility, but I'd still been hoping our long growing season might have given them a head start.

Well, that's one downside to growing from seed.  You do have to wait two or three years to see flowers.  On the plus side, it's much cheaper per plant, and it's exciting to watch them mature from sprouted seeds to fully grown plants.

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I planted the sweet olive, yesterday, after hesitating over the placement.  Some sources say that sweet olive prefers a spot with partial afternoon shade-- especially when young.  However, there was plenty of anecdotal evidence that it can grow in full sun, like the location I'd settled on.

Sweet Olive

...So it's getting full sun.  I incorporated "mulch-dirt" into the soil, gave it a berm, and mulched right away with pine straw.  With plenty of watering, maybe it will do well.  If it's looking too stressed, I can always move it later in the year. 

I also transplanted some yellow flag iris from another spot in the flower garden to a corner of the expanded bed, where there's more room for them without potential clashes with other plants.

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The other day, a second sprig of passionflower vine made its appearance.  Still nowhere near the trellis, of course.  That would be too easy.  ;o)

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I remembered to stop and smell the magnolia bloom, and it does have a fragrance!  Strange that I'd never noticed before, but I did have to get pretty close to detect it.  Many seem to think it smells like lemon or citrus in general.  That wasn't my first thought, but when I went back and took another sniff, it did seem somewhat lemony.  A "clean/fresh perfume" version of lemon, I'd say.

It's a pleasant smell, but I have to put my face right up to the flower to get a real sense of it.  Maybe the aroma will carry further when (if) the trees get bigger and carry more blooms.  Until then, I would recommend 'Little Gem' more on the merits of its visual appeal than for its fragrance.  If you're particularly set on fragrant blooms, I think you get more bang for your buck with other plants.  Gardenia, banana shrub, honeysuckle, sweet olive, roses (if you make sure to get the "right kind"), and night-blooming jasmine (though it's not my personal favorite), to name a few. 

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The "unknown pink rosebushes" have begun to bloom. 

Whatever they are, the cool-pink flowers are medium-small and don't have any noticeable scent, but they are hardy shrubs that have multiplied into several bushes over the years.  Better yet, they are repeat bloomers, adding color to the garden off and on throughout the year.


The viburnum is in its second flush of bloom:

Bee on Viburnum

All three of the elephant ear plants have emerged from the soil.  They're hardly noticeable at this point, but I'm thrilled to see even the faintest tinge of green from them. 

Elephant Ear Plant

Southern shield fern is settling in:

Southern Shield Fern



Daisy gardenia:

Daisy Gardenia

Pineapple guava:

Pineapple Guava

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I started my first batch of sprouts yesterday.  Here are the alfalfa seeds in their bag:

Alfalfa Seeds

And here they are this afternoon:

Alfalfa Sprouts

In just a few days, they'll be ready to eat.  I like them on sandwiches and burgers (as a substitute for lettuce), but you can also eat them as a side all on their own (Donald does this a lot), mix them into salads, and-- I'm sure-- do lots of other things with them.  I bet they would be yummy in tacos, wraps, and pita pockets-- ooh, and sprinkled over a stir-fry or fried rice.