Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cooler Weather, Prettier Flowers!

The last two weeks have brought us temperatures in the high 80's and low 90's. This week has been a little warmer. .but, as always. .I am amazed at the flower rally that goes on in the late summer garden. .
anyone up for a little garden tour??
This Mexican sunflower was the ONLY seedling out of the whole packet sowed in the memory garden. When I read that germination takes up to 3 weeks, I was already pretty sure that I would NEVER be able to keep a constant moisture to it until they germintated. I was right. .but amazingly. .this one sprouted. .and grew. .and is now one of the most vivid orange colors I have seen. .there is almost a blue undertone to it, and I am TOTALLY in love. .It is supposed to be a good self seeder. .so fingers are crossed!
I have never had good luck with moon flowers. .EVER!
But my good friend Gardener on Sherlock Street shared some seeds with me. .and I tried them for the last time. I kept the spots in the memory garden FAITHFULLY moist. .and nothing!! Until. .one day I noticed a little sprout. .and then 2 little sprouts. .and even a new little sprout just a month ago in a different spot. They must be slow. .but when they DO come alive. .they are stunning.
You can see to the right how large those 2 plants got!! Devin was pretty cute the other morning. We were walking outside to feed the cats and his eyes got HUGE when he spotted the big white flowers. "I swear, those plants were dead yesterday. .I mean, REALLY dead. .how did THAT happen!!" I laughed and told him that they only bloom at night and in the early morning and then they close for the day. .I could tell by his expression that he couldn't even believe that was possible. .but he was impressed!! The purplish plant is a little Russian sage bush that self seeded from my Russian garden. .It likes this spot!
Here's a better picture of the sage in the background, and you can see how well the memory garden is coming along!
The morning glories in the memory garden are finally looking happy!! The blooms haven't been many, and you really have to be up close to notice the purple streaks of this tie dye variety.
These purple ones surprised me. .I didn't realize how much they had grown. .or that they were blooming. The Grandpa Otts variety is my all time fave!! The gardens have been pretty much on Auto-pilot. .so the new blooms were exciting to see!
This purple sedum was a new purchase this year for the little raised rock bed. It is blooming. .The yellow arborivite bit the dust. .not sure if it was too dry or too moist. .It is an arid plant, but I watered him well to make sure he got established. .He didn't!! You win some, and you lose some! The coleus behind it is doing well. .my best experience with coleus ever!
The salvia that GonSS shared with me is STILL blooming it's head off. .with no help from me. I haven't deadheaded or babied it at all. .my kind of plant!
The God-planted melons are continuing to grow and thrive. .and we look forward to eating them soon. I think this must be the black diamond variety, based on the color of its rind. .dark green with no striping!
Here's a larger view of the memory garden. Not the best. .but good enough to show that there is hope. The moonflowers are visible in the background right in front of the distant red chicken coop. The huge patch of Bermuda grass will need to be treated to remove it. .As I said, unfortunately, due to our schedule. .the gardens have been on autopilot for too long. .In fact, mostly for the last 7 weeks, since I pulled something in my back by pulling ONE weed early in the morning before my walk. I think, as of this week, it is finally on the mend!
Speaking of the chicken house. .here's our lovely. .but very opinionated big red rooster. .we have 3 hens left. .after the coon attacks a month ago. .and are due to get some more layers from a friend next week!
And one more view. .The Blue Atlas Cedar (AKA Charlie Brown Christmas tree) in the left is doing very well in this spot. .and I have been tickled with the way it has changed the landscape!! The blue junipers in the back by the moonflower are growing well too. .They will be tall and slender, lending some nice structure to the garden!
Moving over toward the pond, the caryopteris (the purple branch in the lower right) has rebloomed more vibrantly with the cooler temps. The Mexican hats (small reddish blooms) readily self-seeded this year and are still gorgeous. .they could use a haircut for sure, but the gardener has neglected to do so!
Self sown sunflowers and the purple fountain grass make a nice contrast from my front window.
The black eyed susans are finally big and happy looking. .They have such cheery little faces. .and the birds will just love them soon too.
In the same corner garden, the butterfly bushes are thriving too. They have grown well, but the heat stunts their beauty. .they should be a good show until frost.
I'm pretty excited about this little guy. .it is a native yellow coneflower that I started from seed. They germinated well, and I planted about 6 small starts. I was not expecting it to bloom this season. .but he thinks otherwise. .I'll keep you posted!
The purple sweet potato vine starts that I kept in my greenhouse all winter from snippets taken from my mom's garden last year grew well. .and the rubber tree in the corner planter has made a complete recovery this summer in this location. I have kept alive about 3 leaves for the last 10 years. .it would never really grow, nor would it give it up. .and I just couldn't throw it out. It is a stunning little specimen now. .and I can't wait to move it back inside for the winter soon and enjoy it's color up close.
I got some tomatoes, peppers, chives, green onions, greenhouse cukes and some squash germinated for the greenhouse. They are screaming to be moved to bigger cells. .but the time is lacking, maybe the first of next week! I hope I can get it done before they keel over.
On a sad note, the three small crabapple trees I planted in the spring are all dead. They have looked great all summer. After I got back from vacation I noticed the trunks having a dark color, not the normal red that they were. I googled it and felt it was probably an incurable fungus. .and they were all dead within the week. Sniff, sniff!!
On a happier note though, my maple tree that was showing damage from the mole, is now putting out lots of new green growth. .Score!!
Hard to believe that this is the last major weekend of summer. .
Hoping you all have a safe and blessed Labor Day Weekend!
See ya next week. .
God willing!!


  1. Wow-love the salvia from GonSS--beautiful.
    It's all looking great. But honey, 80's isn't cool. No. To a Michigander that calls for breaking out the icy cold "fruity" beverages and sitting under a fan.
    Silly girl!

  2. Definitely seeing a garden revival after another hot, dry summer! I'm not seeing as many blooms as you, but my plants have definitely perked up. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Isaac spares us even just a bit of moisture as he passes to the east.

  3. Love seeing all these photos. Everything looks great! I especially love that Mexican sunflower!

    Still waiting and watching for our Denver Daisy you shared with us to appear. So far, no luck, but it may be one of those that doesn't show up the first year. Still hoping.

  4. That Mexican sunflower really pops!
    Awesome moon flower blooms. They really can put on a show! Watch for the prickly seed pods if you want more or dead head the droopy flowers if you don't.
    My morning glories are revived since we got the rain. Enjoying the same color blooms here.
    The salvia will be loaded with pollinators this fall. It is an easy plant. You may get some self seeders from it next year.
    That rooster is pretty.
    So sad about the trees. Sigh. What a summer for them to survive. Glad the maple is growing.
    The caryopteris you gave me is making buds. They're short but will bloom!

  5. As I look out at my bare flower beds and just sprouting grass I am envious of all you have going on in your yard! However, even if I tried really, really hard I fear I will never be as horticultural successful as you!!