Tuesday, May 24, 2016

This and That

The caladiums seem to be doing well.  There were a few flower stalks, earlier this month, but I cut them off after reading that the flowers aren't that showy and are often removed to redirect energy to leaf production.


I've planted some morning glories in the trellis planter where the English ivy used to live.  It remains to be seen if that spot gets enough sun for them to bloom much, but last year a moonflower vine seemed happy enough in that area.  I'd still like to eventually put something perennial (maybe even evergreen) in that planter, but for now, I have plenty of annual vines-- and this gives us more time to weigh our options.

Speaking of morning glories, I have lots and lots of seedlings in need of planting.  Too many, really, but maybe this way a few will escape the rabbits long enough to flower!  (There's at least one rabbit living under our shed, and once I came upon a rabbit in a flowerbed in the middle of the day.  That's pretty bold!)

Morning Glory Seedlings

The giant plume ginger leaves are unfurling.  Very exotic foliage.  I like the ribbing and the red stripe down the center of each leaf.  The bottoms of the leaves are slightly fuzzy, too, which is interesting.

Oh, and on a related note, there's finally a sign of life from Curcuma 'Scarlet Fever'!  I was getting worried about that one, so I need to make a mental note that it's very late to emerge.  Now I have to decide where exactly to move it, because I think it probably would benefit from a little more sun.  Somewhere in that same area of the garden-- the semi-shade garden-- but closer to the middle or front, maybe...

Giant Plume Ginger

Side view of the Chinese foxglove:

Chinese Foxgloves

The insects are out in full force again.  Lots of wasps, but also bees, flies, dragonflies, fireflies, and beetles.  We're also seeing our usual many green anoles and (what I guess are) five-lined skinks (the kind with rainbowy stripes and blue-tipped tails).  Blue jays, mockingbirds, cardinals, house wrens.  Martins, hawks, crows, and the occasional vulture in the sky.  A bat or two at twilight.  Rabbits.  Squirrels (not so much in the fenced yard as outside it).  And we've been seeing a couple of foxes on the easement, a number of times, lately.  (There were also a few nights when we heard them calling very loudly just on the edges of the yard.)



This 'Blue Bedder' sage by the garage is doing better than most of the others.  Some of them returned in spring, but are looking very droopy and scraggly now.  I'll probably try cutting them back by half (or more) to see if that rejuvenates them, but I'm skeptical.  It'll probably just finish them off-- but I think they may dwindle away slowly, otherwise.

'Blue Bedder' Sage

The 'Sunshine' ligustrum is very pretty right now.  I've read that some people don't like yellow foliage because they think it looks sickly.  Personally, I love the way the way it stands out from everything around it.

That reminds me, this week I moved some of the daylilies from one side of the ligustrum.  (They went to the front edge of the flower garden, on either side of the stepping-stone path to the front yard.  I was surprised what an improvement that was!  That area needs some more plants to make it feel more like a garden.  If the new daylily seedlings do well, some of them will be headed there, eventually.)

In the place of the daylilies, I put some seed-started celosia and a clearance plant-- 'Blackbird' euphorbia (a.k.a. cushion spurge).  I've never grown euphorbia before, but it looks interesting in photos-- especially when it blooms in spring.  This one's already bloomed, of course, which is why it was on clearance.  I think it will make a striking contrast with the golden ligustrum.

'Sunshine' Ligustrum

The pink shrub roses (unknown) have been blooming prettily.  I do wish I could ID this plant-- just for curiosity's sake.

Unknown Shrub Roses

The roses of Sharon have begun to bloom-- the single white and single purple (with red eye).

Rose of Sharon

So far, the 'Pink Climador' clematis has been stingy with its flowers.  Only one bloom that I've seen.  It was a pretty one, though...

'Pink Climador' Clematis

We've also had a couple of flowers on the red passionflower vine.  I think it's probably 'Lady Margaret'.  The second vine took a very long time to show any signs of life, this spring, but it finally has, so both of them came through their first winter alright.  They have a long way to go if they're going to cover their trellis, but the summer's just getting started.

'Lady Margaret' Passionflower

The bog sage has just shot up like a rocket!  I planted it this spring, and it's already huge.  (I think the flowers are about at face-height for me.  Close to that, at least.)  I'm very happy with it so far.  The flowers are small, but they're such a beautiful blue-- a real blue.  Not violet or purple pretending to be blue.  ;o)

Bog Sage

A few of my purple coneflowers from last year (or the year before) have begun to bloom, and I've recently planted several more plants that I started from home-grown seed, this spring.  I want to get a nice patch of these going.

Purple Coneflower

I've set up a little spot for some of my succulents, at the sunny edge of the semi-shade garden.  Most of them are small, still, but I hope that by the end of the summer they will be heartier.

Flower Garden - Mid May 2016

You can see the "succulent station" in the photo below, too, along with the stepping stones I placed to bridge between the gravel path and the front lawn.  All of this was set up very quickly and could be adjusted at some point, but I was surprised at how much of a difference it makes, already.  The stepping stones in particular make sense of the vast, empty expanse of mulch.

Flower Garden - Mid May 2016

I took this photo before moving the daylilies, but they're at the end of the stepping stone path, flanking it.   As you can see, there's plenty of room for more plants, in this part of the garden.  I probably won't do much more planting before summer's end, though...  Maybe in autumn I'll have some things to plant or divide... Otherwise, it can wait until spring.