Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Casual Garden Update

The mina lobata is blooming more and more, but since this is the first time I've grown it, I'm not sure what to expect-- how long it might continue blooming, what "peak bloom" will look like, etc.

Mina Lobata

The flowers are pretty-- especially when they catch the light against a darker backdrop.  Based on what I've read, maybe we can expect at least another month of flowers-- possibly with flower production picking up as the weather cools slightly.

At their current level of bloom, I don't think they're quite as eye-catching as morning glories-- but on the plus side, they don't wilt in the heat of the day, and the flowers seem to last at least a few days.  (I haven't really kept track, but they definitely don't last only half a day, like morning glories.)

Mina Lobata

Mine may not bloom as much as is sometimes possible, because of where I've placed them.  They don't get full, direct sun.  Assuming I am able to collect seed, I'll try to plant some next year in a sunnier spot to see how that affects them.

Mina Lobata

Some of the leaves have begun to wither and fade, this month, but there are still plenty left, and for most of the summer, the foliage was lush and very healthy.  I still think the foliage is attractive enough on its own to make the vine interesting, but of course, if it doesn't bloom, there won't be seeds, which means you'd have to buy some year after year.  (And it sounds like mina lobata seed is not as widely available as that of many other annuals, so in some places, it may require shopping around or ordering online.)

Mina Lobata

It's an unusual plant and one I'd like to keep growing, so I'll have to remember to collect seeds.  I haven't found much about harvesting these particular seeds, but it sounds pretty simple.  All I know is that you should let the seed pods (the spent flowers) dry on the vine before attempting to harvest them, but that seems to be recommended for just about all seeds.

Mina Lobata

Other "vine updates":
The 'Grandpa Ott's' morning glories are still going, but they're showing some signs of getting tired.  The foliage is much less impressive (and thick) as the mina lobata.

There's an unknown morning glory that's suddenly taken off, in the past few weeks.  It found the newly-built arbor and has already staked a claim.  No blooms, yet.  It's possible that this is one of the 'Heavenly Blue' type, because the only time we grew them with success, they didn't flower until very late in the season.

We have four flowering moonflower vines.  Back porch trellis, ivy trellis, white rose of Sharon, north fence.  The heaviest bloomers are the back porch trellis and the north fence.  The moonflower vines seems more substantial than the morning glories-- thicker vines, healthier foliage.

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The purple rose of Sharon still blooms, though probably less than before.  I saw one or two small blooms on the white one, too, this morning.

Rose of Sharon

Two of the clematis have given us a single bloom each, in the past several days.  One I failed to photograph.  It was one of the two more recently from Mom, pale purple/pink with white (or yellow?) anthers.  Then there's this one that we bought this year.  It's called 'Pink Climador', but the few times I've seen it blooming, so far, it looks more lavender than pink, to me.  I love those dark-tipped anthers.

Clematis 'Pink Climador'

I've been reading a little about 'Golden Goddess' bamboo, as I'm contemplating moving our clump, this autumn/winter/early spring.  I could try to divide it, but first I need to figure out the layout for that area of the garden.  Do we really need two clumps, or would it be better to keep this single one as large as possible?

'Golden Goddess' Bamboo

Curcuma elata looks nice and cool in its shady spot.

Everything looked nice and cool, this morning.  We're enjoying a so-called "cold front".  Don't get too excited, now.  We'll still be up in at least the low 90s every day, I'm sure, but decreased humidity is a big help, and we're supposed to see lows in the low 60s for at least a couple of days.

Curcuma Elata

A few (i.e. I have no idea how many, exactly) years ago, I went with Mom to a plant sale at the local trade school.  I brought home four crepe myrtles.  One was a 'Natchez'-- white blooms, interesting bark coloration, can get pretty tall in time.  (That one's outside the fence, near the pump house.)

Another was the dwarf-form 'Victor', which I've mentioned and shown earlier this summer.

The last two were the same type, but I don't remember the name!  (I wasn't very good about keeping track of those things, back then.)  I'm almost positive they were one of the cultivars with "tribal" names.  'Tonto', maybe?

Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the "watermelon-red" crepe myrtles we planted many more years ago, either.  But apparently it's not the same as whatever the newer two dark pink/red ones are, because they're blooming later in the year and have a decidedly more fuchsia/red-violet pink/red than the watermelon-red of the older ones.

Crepe Myrtle

I'm not sure of the IDs of the white crepe myrtles Mom and I planted many years ago, either.  I've found websites (such as this one) that could be useful for identifying them, but so far I'm just getting confused. (g)

Maybe I'll try to narrow it down, someday, but in the meantime, it's not really necessary to know which cultivars we have.  The only reason it would matter would be if we were trying to buy more to match/contrast with what we already have, and I don't think we'll want to buy more crepe myrtles in the near future.  There are only so many places where I can plant them. ;o)

Crepe Myrtle

They are pretty, though, and I think the disgusting "Reign of Terror Rain of Honeydew" is over for the year.  I haven't noticed honeydew for quite some time, as a matter of fact.  (It may have stopped even a month or more ago.)

Crepe Myrtle

The marigolds around the raised vegetable beds don't ask much of life.  Just a tiny little cubicle, and they're set.  These are all growing in the confines of cinder block holes filled with soil.



One was doing too well.  It was shading out the chives, so I had to pull it up, over the weekend.



The seed-grown blue bedder sage has been blooming.  At least, a couple of them have.  I'm still not sure if they'll come back next year, and even if they do, how they'll look/perform.  I don't think I'll mess with trying to grow them from seed again, in any case.  If they come back, I won't need more, probably, and if they don't come back, they're not worth the bother, imho.

Blue Bedder Sage

The pink climbing rose (which may be 'Lavender Lassie') has been blooming (very lightly) on and off throughout the summer.  This was its best summer in recent memory.  I think it would benefit from some sort of rough support system.  I'll have to see if I get around to that, on top of the other projects we want to tackle, this cool season.

Pink Climbing Rose

The flowers look a little past their prime, but I'm too happy to see (and smell) them to be picky.

Pink Climbing Rose

Pink Climbing Rose

The "too-red" rose has put on another flush of bloom.  I feel proud of the poor old thing, putting out such an effort after being so harshly treated.  It hasn't had an easy life, but it keeps on trying.

Red Rose

Red Rose

Red Mexican ruellia bloom is sparse, but present.
This is one that's supposed to be an excellent "cut and poke" plant-- great for taking easy cuttings.  I keep meaning to try some cuttings... This time of year may not be the best time for taking cuttings, but we'll see.

Red Mexican Ruellia

Hummingbird sage.
Some of the flowers look a little dusty (or... something), up close, but from a little more of a distance, they're nice.  I'm still hoping it populates the surrounding flowerbed area as well as some people have reported.

Hummingbird Sage

The seed-grown Gaillardia is doing well, too.
This one took a while to get started, but now it's performing very well.  It's supposed to be a perennial, so we'll see... I have more seed to scatter, next year, and I'll probably try to harvest some from these existing plants, too.


Nothing subtle about these colors...
However, I'm finding that the plants I have most success with generally aren't known for their subtlety.  That's ok; they're still beautiful, in their own outspoken ways.  Maybe they have to be a little brash and bold to compete with this climate.


'Mercury Rising' coreopsis is still blooming, though not very heavily.  This, despite a distinct lack of deadheading.  I want to divide this plant and move at least some of it to another part of the garden.  Where it is now, I can't see it very well (except from outside the fence), and it's too hard to get to it for easy deadheading.

The 'Nana' (dwarf) coreopsis hasn't bloomed for weeks, now.  I think 'Golden Sphere' may still be flowering, but it's slowed, and the flowers seem smaller or somehow less significant than earlier in the year.  However, both plants are very much alive, and the clumps look to have increased significantly in size.  I'd like to divide both of them, too.  (Spring, I guess?  I need to research.  Early spring or late autumn...)

'Mercury Rising' Coreopsis

That does it for this particular garden update!