Tuesday, June 24, 2003
After months of cold and rain we now bring you SUMMER -- 90 plus degrees with haze & high humidity. And the start of a 4-day heatwave . . .
Monday, June 23, 2003
It's official -- we've just had the rainiest June on record -- 10.22 inches. The previous record was a century ago -- 1903 had more than 9 inches.
And the month isn't even over yet . . .
Friday, June 13, 2003
Planted pink & white Marliac waterlilies. The three lilies are in individual waterplant pots that are currently in a large terracotta plastic pot about 2 feet across and about a foot or so deep that is at the north end of my front terrace.
My previous large plastic watergarden pot had developed a big crack in it and would no longer hold water so I got this new watergarden pot as a replacement, since it's a little bit wider and deeper. The kiddie pool I'd used in the past as a waterlily pond has to be tossed since its plastic is also all broken & incapable of holding water, so at least for now I'll be using only this new type of watergarden pot, since I don't feel like replacing the old kiddie pool with a new one at this time. I may buy some more of them & put a waterlily in each -- I haven't quite decided on that yet, but they are much easier to re-position than the roll-up kiddie pool & less likely to have problems with sagging walls, since the plastic is much thicker.
The pink waterlily (ver. "Marliacea Rosea") is not fragrant according to the box but the two white ones (var. "Marliacea Albida") supposedly are -- we'll see once they bloom.
I would have done more but it started to rain -- again -- and I got rather wet just gathering together all the leftover bits of packaging. Well, at least with waterlilies I don't have to worry about all this rain rotting their roots . . .
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Planted a Chinese witch hazel bush (Loropetalum chinensis var. rubrum "Burgundy") next to the driveway fence, immediately to the north of my higan cherry (Prunus subhirtella "Pendulata") -- it has pretty burgundy leaves which are supposed to be evergreen and fragrant pink blossoms. I'm hoping this one will do well in this spot, since it is full sun with the white plastic fence my northern neighbor put up acting as both a windbreak and a reflector of heat & light -- the others of this plant I've planted in the past were in more exposed and shadier sections of the property & didn't make it through the winter.
I also planted a "Blue Velvet" honeyberry at the base of the peegee hydrangea tree. I have several other honeyberries I'd ordered as fruiting pairs but I can't plant them where I planned to since the varieties aren't labelled & one type is about twice as big at maturity as the other. I complained to the company about that but there isn't much I can do. I'd planned to have a nice symmetrical arrangement in the garden underneath the dining room windows (west of the front porch) but now I think I'll plant them in the former Blueberry Row between the elderberries at the south end of the maid's house. There it won't matter if they're asymmetrically placed at maturity. I might also plant them west of the maid's house, since it's very shady underneath the chestnut & they like shade -- between the elderberries might be too sunny for them -- I might put in some currants or gooseberries there instead -- I have to think about this a bit -- decisions, decisions . . .
Saturday, June 07, 2003
Had to do my gardening early as today is going to be very, very soggy -- again. The forecast is calling for 1-2 inches of rain. Some of my plants are beginning to rot from all the rain -- mostly potted plants but the Hall's hardy almond I planted several months ago (at the end of March) has mold growing on some of its branches.
I planted moonflowers and cardinal climbers on the two trellises that are on both ends of the front terrace flanking the french doors. I also planted clematises there -- var. "Josephine" -- but I doubt they will bloom this year, hence the annuals. I also planted some other seeds besides the moonflowers and cardinal climbers -- four o'clocks (var. "Tea Time Rose"), cosmos (var. "Sensation Mix"), oriental poppies (P. carneum) and cleome (Var. "Queen Mix") to fill in the bottom of the trellises. I don't know if the poppies will bloom this year or not -- hopefully they'll be able to survive the winter in containers outside. The four o'clocks probably won't -- I may decide to dig up the bulbs and replant them next year -- it's a little early to decide on that yet.
On the pyramidal trellises that are at either end of the front (east) wall of the terrace, I also planted moonflowers, but this time with morning glories (var. "Scarlet O'Hara") and placed several pots of salmon-pink miniature roses I'd gotten from the grocery store at the base, inside the pyramid. The roses weren't looking too happy from all the dampness -- some branches were moldy but the plants were still blooming, so I'm hoping they'll be okay . . .
I mixed in quite a bit of water absorbing gel into the soggy soil of the planters with the pyramidal trellises -- hopefully that will help cut down on the amount of liquid water in the soil so it won't be quite so water-logged and the roots of the plants won't rot.
As I was finishing planting the seeds, it started to pour -- I'm just hoping the seeds stay in the planters and don't end up floating out of the pots and onto the terrace floor or down the rain gutters.
Friday, June 06, 2003
Decided to take advantage of this brief respite from cold, wet weather to plant several types of fruit trees today, most of which were replacements for trees that died over this past winter.
I replaced the NorthStar cherry that I'd planted in the middle of Blueberry Row and added a pair of beach plums at either end of the row. One of the blueberries hadn't survived the winter (the Bluecrop) so I've ordered a replacement that hasn't arrived yet.
My dwarf Superior and Santa Rosa plums had also not survived this past truly brutal winter so they too were replaced but I decided to change where the new trees would be planted. They are now flanking the weeping black mulberry with Superior to the east and Santa Rosa to the west, just as before when they were planted in the middle of Apple Lane.
Where the Superior plum used to be I planted an Arkblack compspur apple and next to it (to the east) I replaced the dead Crimson Spire pole apple with a Golden Sentinel pole apple. I was originally going to transplant the Granny Smith compspur apple to where the Santa Rosa plum used to be but after some thought decided it might be a better idea to leave the Granny Smith where it is and just put in a new compspur apple. That tree has been ordered but it has yet to be delivered.
Thursday, June 05, 2003
Planted several types of rose-form impatiens (i.e. double) in pots for the front entrance.
In a series of small pots on the windowsills on either side of the front door I planted "Blackberry Ice" impatiens with white sweet alyssum. "Blackberry Ice" is a variety with purple double flowers & green and white variegated leaves -- I'd bought some last year and they were quite pretty, so I thought I'd plant them again, but instead of being at the bottom of the post at the base of the steps they're by the front door where they can be more easily admired. The sweet alyssum acts to hide any legginess in the stems.
I also planted a combination of caladium and salmon and white rose-form impatiens in the planter I have at the west end of the mini-porch, on the far side of the front door. The bicolored blooms look quite nice in this doubled form. I happen to be fond of bicolors in general, particularly when one of the colors is white -- I think the white helps to accent the other color. Most of the annuals I've planted in pots for the front porch and the front terrace this year have been bicolors -- mostly either purple and white or burgundy and white. I still have to make up the planters for the north side of the mini-porch but I have the flowers already -- "Burgundy Star" impatiens and white sweet alyssum. (Can you tell I like impatiens and alyssum?)
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Planted purple petunias and salvia (var. "Strata") in the planter boxes on the front wall of my front terrace. I also sprinkled some white sweet alyssum (var. "Carpet of Snow") in the dirt around the seedlings, to fill in the spaces -- eventually. These planters look nice alternating with the planters of lotuses. I can't wait to see them all in flower . . .
Finished my last lotus planter for the front terrace front wall and added the last two solar lights to it. Now all I have to do is hope my cheap Korean-grocery-store lotus roots actually grow instead of turning into soggy compost . . .