Saturday, June 4, 2011

Blooms of the Week

I read blogs from many places around the US and one from Canada. The sentiments seem to be the same everywhere. .the weather this year has been WEIRD! Around here, we have sure been lacking in rainfall. Over the last week or so, we have managed to score several small rains, 1/2 inch or less, but with the incessant wind and blistering heat (upper 90's) the soil is still parched. The pastures surrounding our home are dry and brown, with barely any green grass visible. And ranchers are running out of grass for the cattle. .a problem no one likes to have this early in the season when grass should be abundant.
Dragging hoses is the name of the game here. .mostly because I haven't had time to check for and make repairs to the drip irrigation lines. .Hopefully this weekend.
Aside from my containers and spruces, I am trying to plant more things that are succulent, native to our nasty climate, or xeric.  But, despite the lack of natural water and drying winds, I do have lots of blooms in the gardens.
Wondering if anyone has EVER seen petunias in these shades??
They are lime green and hot pink! I was hooked from the moment I set eyes on them. .and they are doing REALLY well in the places I have put them! If someone really wants the name of them, I can try to remember where I threw the plant tags.
The holly hocks are planting themselves around in a multitude of colors. The big one that used to be in this spot has not come back this year, but it seeded several offspring that are all different colors.
I'm not sure I will let them all stay next season, but I didn't have a better plan for this year, so I let them live.
Many different colors along the north side of the house too.  It is on the project list for the future too. Right now it just has all these hollyhocks. .and if any of you grow them yourselves, you know that after they are done blooming, they aren't very lovely at all. .with dried up stalks and bug eaten leaves. So after the climax, this bed will be really pathetic to the eye. I'm just waiting for the inspiration to come to me!
Some are even two toned. .more bang for the buck.
This is my current excitement. This is a Ratibida. .or prairie coneflower. This variety is called Mexican hat. It started blooming this week, and will soon be loaded with flowers. .so expect to see more pictures of it in the future. Isn't that foliage just AWESOME too?? It's a new plant to these gardens and I planted it with a bunch of other prairie wildflower plants I bought from High Country Garden this spring. I thought that they would look great on the south side of the pond. .and will hopefully make a nice little mini-habitat as it fills in.
I have really been making fun of myself over this little pink poppy mallow. It came in the soft colors inferno strip garden I put in 2 years ago from HCG. I have seen this plant EVERYWHERE around here. .in MY own pasture and along MY driveway as well as in the ditches. I had no idea that what I have seen in the past around my area, was the same thing that I paid money for to be sent to me in a little black plastic pot from New Mexico!! It is making a nice little groundcover around the Nepeta and Penstemon though, and I am well pleased with it.
Here's a little niche that I created with limestone while re-working the rock of the falls a few weeks back. I found a hardy iceplant at the local garden center. It is perenniel, and should fill in the spot nicely. Bonus is the big, crisp hot pink flowers it sports. They were closed when I had time to snap the picture a couple mornings back. .I will try to do better next time. .cause it IS worth the view.
Here's my only current "living" bouquet. The larkspur are still blooming in different colors. The butterfly weed just started its bloom. The plant seems to be smaller than last year, and several plants haven't come back. .I will have to get to the bottom of my problem. I am starting them from seed. .and would like to get several fairly large areas of them throughout the gardens. .success has been limited so far.  The last few years I have put all the seedlings in this same area. This year, I put the seedlings in a couple different areas to see if the soil, sun, and moisture level changes will help them take off better. I think it is funny how the same plants just grow in one area and thrive in the next. The purple coneflower was one that I started last year from seed too. It is short. .and I am hoping that it will get some height. .while picking up Cami the other day, I noticed Becky's coneflowers are already better than 2 feet tall. .maybe some Miracle Grow will help mine :-)
Lots more things will be blooming soon, including my crazy shasta daisies--my favorite. The garden is growing too. .I think the beets are ready to come out of the ground, as soon as I have an afternoon free to deal with them. We don't really like beets (maybe we just haven't fixed them the right way) unless they are pickled. .and by the way these germinated. .we should have enough pickled beets to last the year (if I can keep the kids from snacking on them). This weekend I am hoping to get the last of the mulching done, the drip lines checked and working right, and the new path we started from the deck to the greenhouse finished. Wishing for decreased wind and safe work!! Enjoy your weekend.


  1. I am loving the Mexican hat cone flower! Beautiful! Sorry to hear about your drought-like conditions...that must be so stressful for the farmers...I can only imagine!

  2. You don't need Miracle Grow--you need BUNNY POOP! ;)
    Dan was just talking about the pasture situation yesterday. I don't think we are quite there YET, but are trying to think of a back up plan in case we need to find food for the cows. Yuck.

  3. I have loved pink poppy mallow since I was a kid. It likes to grow on the edges of sand roads. We get a few in our alley. I try to leave them hoping they'll move into my wild flower area back there.
    My little butterfly weed is still settling in. Hasn't gotten too big yet.
    Your Mexican Hat is rich looking. Hope you got the irrigation system set up.

  4. Wow! Everything is looking great! We had some similar petunias last year and they were called Picasso. Ours were pink edged in green, instead of striped. They did pretty well, but not as well as some varieties we've had. But they were so striking I just HAD to have them. : )

    Your butterfly weed is way ahead of ours. We have some just now starting to pop open. They are one of my favorite things in our garden. We only had one little stand last year, and this year that one has multiplied and several more have popped up along the fence. I wouldn't care if they took over. Such a bright spot of color!

    I guess I need to get busy and take some pictures!

    Keep your pics coming. It's looking wonderful!

  5. Oh, by the way, I also love the lantana in the first photo. My favorite pot ever was a mix of lantana and coleus. It was gorgeous from spring till late in the fall when we finally brought it inside (in a huge pot). I couldn't find any of the tri-color this year, and that's the prettiest. I do have some pink in a hanging pot.

  6. I enjoyed all the pictures! Especially liked the unusual petunias (neat colors!) and the prairie coneflower. :)

  7. I love the Petunias!! Such a pretty color combination! I have been kind of hesitant to plant many, as mine have been taken over by bud worms in past years. I do have some in wash tubs this year and hope they make it.

    I had Mexican Hat one year, but I don't think it got enough sun and didn't return the next year.

    My Butterfly weed is very sparse this year too, I don't know why. I'm blaming everything on the over abundance of rain, however, the temps have taken a turn to the hot Summer days we usually get in July/August. I'm always amazed at how much farther along your blooms are than mine, considering we're less than a day's drive away from each other. has been a weird year!