Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March Planting

Mulching has come to a halt-- soon to resume, I hope.  I also intend to take another set of "survey photos", sooner or later...

In the meantime, I've spent some time planting things.

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Not pictured, I planted a few teensy bits of anise hyssop-- Agastache foeniculum 'Golden Jubilee'.  Last year, I started it from seed (courtesy of Nan Ondra's seed giveaway), but I didn't get it in the ground before the height of summer, so I kept them in their starter pots in partial shade (to keep them from drying out too quickly).  They're just tiny things, but they have a better chance where they are than in those yogurt cups.  We'll see what happens!

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Again not pictured, new Crocosmia 'George Davison' corms.  I planted 25 of them and am now waiting, waiting, waiting for the first sign of green.  'George Davison' blooms are a sunny yellow, and (if I remember correctly) it's somewhat shorter than the standard orange crocosmia I'm already growing.

This year, I've planted two new colors/varieties of crocosmia-- the yellow 'George Davison' and a smaller number of the red 'Lucifer' (which I have yet to see any signs of, though I planted them some weeks ago-- sometime in January).  The orange crocosmia is a bullying plant that I've banished (as far as possible) from most of my flowerbeds.  It's allowed to grow in its own little corners and patches, but I can't imagine setting it loose in a mixed perennial bed, after the trouble it's given me in the past.  I'm very curious to see how these named varieties will perform.  If they also turn out to be bullies, at least I haven't planted them where they can get in around the roots of shrubs or trees, so it should be easier-- easier, mind you-- to dig them up and exile them to the more remote districts of the yard.

I see mixed reports regarding the amount of sunlight 'George Davison' can take.  Some say that they want full sun; other suggest afternoon shade for hot climates.  Right now, they're in the Oval Bed, so they'll be full to the brim with mid-day and afternoon sun.  I guess I can always move them, if they seem to crave some shade.

(To be honest, though, I'm losing patience with plants that aren't satisfied with shade, and yet can't take the afternoon heat/humidity/sizzling sun of the Deep South.  I mean, I certainly can't take it, but I really need my plants to be stronger than that-- mainly because it's impossible to find that mythical perfect spot that has plenty of sun in the morning, but is delicately shaded and fanned by the fluttering wings of benevolent garden fairies in the hottest part of the day-- oh, and it has rich, evenly moist soil that is also well-drained-- and never becomes waterlogged in winter.  Yeah, good luck with that!)

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Two more varieties of Louisiana irises have found a home in the beds flanking the Straight and Narrow Path.  My choice was dictated by what was available when I placed my order-- so 'Black Gamecock' (very dark purple-black with a narrow band of yellow) and 'Ann Chowning' (currant red with yellow signal) it is!  (We already have 'Jeri'-- dark grape purple-- and 'Sinfonietta'-- deep sky blue with yellow signal.)

They were sold in threes, and I was impressed by the looks of the rhizomes and roots.  Not bad at all for half price!  I did see a reviewer who complained a while back that he was sent the wrong variety... As long as it's not a variety I already had, I don't think I'll mind that.  Any new-to-me variety would be fine.  (One of the benefits of not following any particular color scheme!)

I will be very surprised if they bloom this year, but maybe next summer...

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I finally planted the crossvine (Bignonia 'Shalimar Red') on the new arbor.  The poor thing was not happy about moving house.  It had put down a root along the space between patio paving stones, and had reached out to find supports among its fellow pot ghetto residents-- and then a big ole meanie came along and wrenched it right out of its cozy spot!  I hope it will perk up in time.

Bignonia 'Shalimar Red'

I've seen photos of this plant growing on supports similar to the arbor, but I'm not sure how well it will actually work... There's just not much for the plant to grab onto, until over six to seven feet up.  To give it a little help, I tied some loops of thin cotton string and guided the vine through.  If it simply can't get a grip after a while, I'll move it to another location.  (I have a spot already in mind, but it's a little on the small side.  The arbor would be better for the long term.)

Bignonia 'Shalimar Red'

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This morning, I started planting a mix of corms of Gladiolus nanus (hardy gladiolus).  There is something so exciting about a new bag of bulbs or corms!  (And they smell so nice and earthy, too.)  With luck, they should return year after year.  They're shorter than the standard hybrid glads, with smaller flowers and a daintier appearance.  If grown in a sheltered position, they're not supposed to need staking.  So far, they've all gone in the Oval Bed.

Hardy Gladiolus
These foam pads are useful for cushioning knees-- especially when kneeling on sharp gravel!

I stopped planting because I found a hidden ant bed right where I'd been planning to put a few more of them.  That was my sign to go ahead and poison the ant hills around the yard.  (Well, that and the fact that it's supposed to rain tonight.)  I'll try to plant the rest of the corms in the next day or two.

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And to finish, a selection of random tidbits...

There are several more plants waiting for placement in the garden-- for example, these young tiger lilies and rooted cuttings of ligustrum:

Tiger Lilies and Ligustrum 'Sunshine'

More daylily seedlings are popping up!

Daylily Seedlings

This is one of those things that nag me every so often... The pink of the newer 'Peggy Martin' rose just doesn't fit perfectly with the warmer colors of the 'Joseph's Coat' rose!  For all my talk about not having a color scheme, etc., etc., it does sometimes bother me when the "wrong" colors are in too close a juxtaposition.

I don't want to move either of these plants, so I'm just waiting it out, trying to convince myself that it's okay that they don't coordinate.  And the way the 'Joseph's Coat' is looking, lately, it might solve the problem for me by dwindling to the point that it has to be moved or replaced...

'Joseph's Coat' Rose

Well, after all, there are worse problems than clashing roses!