Saturday, June 18, 2016

This Week in Review

This week ended up some unusually hot weather-- especially on Friday-- but at least we finally got some much-needed rain.  Maybe we still need more, but I was just relieved to hear and see the rain again.

Last week, one of our hoses-- the bright yellow one you've probably seen in dozens of "garden survey" photos, if you're a regular visitor to this blog-- sprang a leak.  It's one we've had for years and years (and probably even more years), and it's been showing its age (lots of visible weak spots just about to break open), so it didn't come as a surprise.  The replacement hose is red with white/cream stripes.  (Something for you to look forward to seeing at the beginning of July, in the next batch of survey photos.)

I also finally got around to hooking up a new length of soaker hose.  This is my first time using soaker hose in the flower garden.  Last spring, we installed some in the vegetable beds, and I thought it could be a time-saver to have at least one section of the flower garden with an easy-water option.  Also, in theory soaker hoses are better for many plants, since they deliver water at ground level and don't wet the foliage.  Because it lessens loss through evaporation and misdirected spray, it should conserve water, too.  

This new soaker hose is in the semi-shade area.  I chose that section of the garden because so many plants in that vicinity need regular watering and prefer soil to be a little moist (but well-drained).  I'm trying to build up and improve the soil, but a lot of it is sand, in that part of the yard.  The well-drained aspect is easy enough; it's the moistness that needs work.  (This location was also the natural choice because it's adjacent to the covered patio, with its handy spigot.  I have a short hose to use on the covered patio, and now that's fitted with a quick-connect kit that should make it easy to get the soaker started.)

- - - - - - -

I took a few cuttings of our full-size gardenia and am trying to root them in water.  I'd like to try rooting cuttings of the 'Sunshine' ligustrum and 'Golden Angel' Japanese shrub mint, too.  If I remember, I'll take those cuttings next week.

- - - - - - -

Not quite as many daylilies blooming anymore, but what ones there are, I appreciate.  I have noticed some new scapes coming up, though.  Not sure yet if they're rebloomers or newcomers to the party.






This one really caught my eye.  It's a near-white, which is something I haven't seen in any other of my daylilies, so far.  Very pretty!  Love those delicately ruffled petals, too!


- - - - - - -

Coneflowers-- enjoying them while they last.

Purple Coneflower

The unknown pink shrub rose and a Mexican petunia bloom.
I can't remember if the Mexican petunia bloomed well last year or not.  It may be time to thin those plants... Must remember to notice if they flower well in the next two months.  The pink shrub roses might benefit from a harsher pruning, too... Not sure, though.

Rose and Mexican Petunia

I bought a packet of tithonia seed (a.k.a. Mexican sunflower) on clearance, last year.  Some of them sprouted, but I dragged my feet getting them planted, and some of them were looking sulky, so I hurried them here and there into the flower beds-- wherever they would fit.  At least a few of them are doing well enough, but this one is really making up for lost time.

This is an annual that can grow 4 to 6 feet tall, with a reputation for attracting butterflies.  I'm looking forward to the bright orange flowers.

Mexican Sunflower (Not Blooming)

Last year, I tried to divide my clump of Coreopsis 'Mercury Rising'.  It proved to be a very brittle plant, and I wasn't sure division had been such a good idea.  Still, I planted all the pieces that seemed to have roots and stuck numerous rootless cuttings into pots, with fingers crossed that some would grow new roots of their own.

Fast-forward to this season, and there are numerous little clumps of this plant scattered around the garden.  One or two aren't even little clumps, but part of the reason they're not so little is that this plant loves to flop open at the center, out in all directions.  It did that last year, but I'd hoped that it was just a sort of "freshman flop" that would improve in time.  I guess I can't complain too much, but it does decrease my appetite for more varieties of perennial coreopsis, unless I can get them very cheaply... I'll be keeping a watch on this plant to see what the next few months bring.

Coreopsis 'Mercury Rising'

Nothing to say about this last photo...  Bee balm in front of red KO rose.

Bee Balm and Red KO Rose