Wednesday, August 30, 2006

End of August. I can't believe we're almost to Labor Day! Summer goes much too fast.

I've spent the last few days deadheading, weeding & trimming. I opened the path in my scented garden. (It was much more grown over than the picture shows.) It was overgrown with Sweet Allysum (which smells heavenly in the sunshine and re-seeds every year) and Lavender Grosso (another great scent). My Sweet Autumn Clematis is full of buds. I planted it last year so this is the first bloom for me. Ah - anticipation! I trimmed the nicotiana which is almost done for the year but re-seeds and will be back next year with a vengence. The pholx, David, looks a little battered after the rain but was great all summer.

I continue to plant cuttings of coleus and impatiens for next year. I'm keeping a log of how many I plant and how many make it to spring. Maybe this will help me figure out how to "work smarter". :-)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Weeds. Since there hasn't been much rain, there aren't as many weeds - but the weeds do SURVIVE. The biggest problem in my garden is clover. The ground is dry so I have to use my favorite tool, a dandelion digger, all the time to get any roots. The little purplish clover are the worst. The roots go everywhere. Dandelion and the dreaded thistle sprout up here and there and will not come out without the digger. Crabgrass is a menace. It seems to appear overnight!

Every once in a while I get a fit and get the Ortho Brush-Be-Gone and spray. I try to be careful around the other plants but I managed to kill a scented geranium. It made me remember one of my favorite quotes, "I consider every plant healthy until I've killed it myself." Sir Peter Smithers, spy-turned-politician-turned-gardener.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cuttings. I've started to take cuttings of the impatiens. It's time to start the cuttings from the coleus. I put the cuttings in water until they show some roots. They are then potted in small plastic pots in potting soil, a little peat moss and a little vermiculite. Last year I had a bit of trouble with spider mites so I plan to spray (2 tbs. baking soda & a little dish soap in a gallon of water) everything as I bring them in this year.

I love the coleus. They are bright spots wherever you put them - easy to grow - simple to take care of. (My gardening friend Myra turned me on to these delightful plants and shared a lot of varieties.)

Last year, after the spider mites were under control, I had 8 flats of cuttings to plant in the spring. It kept me very busy planting in May but was well worth the effort. I've included a few pictures - you judge.

I will probably bring in the amaryllis and other house plants this weekend (after spraying). They all seem to do better when not left outside too long as the nights turn cool.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Pink & Yellow. I'm happy with my fallen pot (an old milk can) this year - pink petunias & yellow marigolds. I got the idea for the color combination from my daughter.

One of my soaker hoses sprung a leak today and shot water ten feet in the air. I'll have to replace it as soon as I can because it's in a narrow garden on the long, blank side in full sun. The garden contains canna and yellow cone flowers. Since it is under the eaves it doesn't get much water even when it rains.

I fed the roses for the final time this year. After the spring blush, the bushes & climbers didn't put on much of a show this summer. Europena Everblooming Floribunda, Madame Isaac Pereire, Rose Eden (climber), Peace, Don Juan (climber) and a few others just seemed to inch along. I'll have to pay more attention next year.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Heat. With the heat index in the low 100's, there's not much being done in the garden. The pots need to be watered twice a day - maybe more, but that's all I can do. Here's my front porch pot planted with red New Guinea impatiens and pink fushia raised from last year's cuttings. The area is partially shaded so they don't wilt too much during the day.

The soaker hoses are turned on in different areas as needed. I love the soakers. They save a lot of time and effort. I usually put them away for the winter but I'm thinking of leaving them out this year. Has anyone tried this?