Monday, September 29, 2008

The Perennial Plant Dance

I have had my garden beds in place less than a year. Large parts of them are bare and still await more population this spring. I am moving somewhat slowly in anticipation of deer grooming the beds this winter. We are trying to get some money saved for a deer fence, but cannot afford something that would look nice in the front yard and do not like those fences that are practical in appearance.

Still and yet my perennial plant dance begins this week. I am moving the guara to the end of a bed that is across the lawn. It's beautiful dancing branches were too close to the sidewalk turn and the lovely pink petals were continually being knocked to the ground. I am moving the purple rhododendron to the bed beneath the bay window. It was becoming hidden by the knock-out rose bush---those babies are really healthy! The rhodo has to stay close to the house because some animal just loves to eat the blossoms! I had to move one daylily to another end of one bed so that I could plant a caryopteris (Sunshine Blue) with lime green leaves that I fell in love with at the garden center---photo above. It was filled with flower buds just ready to open and after this weeks heavy rain it should be beautiful.

That is all the moving for now, but I have a brand new area cleared for another long head is exploding with anticipation.

This next week once the rains stop and the earth dries I have over 100 bulbs to naturalize. (What possesses me I will never know.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Amaryllis Update #3

The leaves are now drooping toward the floor and turning fall yellow in most of the pots. In some plants the leaves are dry brown already. Most of the bulbs still have some green leaves hanging in persistently. The Hawaiian lilies look a little pale but stand upright and green still. I hope they start to go into dormancy before the first cold freeze in November! I will cut all of these leaves off in mid-October or later and then move the plants into black plastic garbage bags and put them in the dark corner of my basement by the sump pump...hopefully they will be ready for show time come late January and February when I bring up a few plants at a time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fairy Visit

The Jewelry Fairies visited during the cool of the evening and sewed diamonds on the edges of my rose leaves. Wasn't that sweet?


Now is the time when the sun rises perfectly in the east, moves across the sky for 12 hours, and sets right-on in the west. I grant everyone on the planet today 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of nighttime. I hope this adds some equanimity to your life.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Black gold

It may not be Texas Tea but it sure will be 'gold' come this spring when we redo the entire garden and create raised beds throughout!! It took about an hour to build this...!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fall Cleanup

While watering the potted plants this morning in the cool, new fall air I noticed what I thought was a cocoon above the architectural stucco ledge that frames the top of the garage door. I took the hose and squirted hard to wash the detritus off the ledge...

and then as it started to wash away I
looked again!

Whoops and sorry!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The End of Days

This morning at 5:00 I awoke without reason and decided to open the front door before dawn and see what was happening in my small world. As I padded across the slate porch and down the steps it occurred to me that:

1) I was barefoot
2) The slate was cool but certainly not uncomfortable against the soles of my feet
3) The air was comfortable against my skin like a soft well-washed sheet
4) Crickets and frogs were finishing their songs and the birds were picking up with their act
5) And the last thing that occurred to me, with a jolt, was that this is the end of summer and one of the very few remaining mornings I will be able to spend time outside barefoot!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Amaryllis Step 2

Here in my garage sit the various amaryllis and the lily I propagated from a bulb I purchased many years ago. They got their last drink of water---just a little last week and now they will not get anymore water and very little sun. Soon they should begin to go to sleep, I hope! Then I will put them in dark garbage bags and move them to my basement. I do not really have a cold basement, so their is always the chance they will spoil, but they have not thus far. This past winter I had to replant the lilies in the cold of March and as a result, they bloomed in late spring and early summer. I hope to reset their clocks!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Amaryllis: Fall Steps

I have had great success with my amaryllis bulbs over the years. I started with two or three and now I have dozens and find that I have to give them away every few years. Since bloggers have asked what I do, I will start with my fall regimen to prepare the bulbs for rest. (Please note that this is what works for me and is something I just did without too much research!) My amaryllis plants are moved outside in the spring as soon as the weather is warm enough and there are no frosts and they sit outside in pots through the summer months. They are on the northeast side of the house and do not get a lot of direct sun. The first week of September I stop watering and feeding these bulbs. If we are getting lots of rain, I will move them to a sheltered area where they will get no water. Since I see we are possibly facing the remnants of at least two more hurricanes, I will move these pots to sheltered areas. This is the beginning process of forcing them to go dormant early so that I can encourage blooms in January and February inside my house.

Post Script: The bulbs are currently planted with the top half of the bulb exposed in a good potting soil that drains well. The pot is not too big and so by fall the bulbs can be somewhat root bound. The pot in the photo above has four small bulbs that I transplanted this past winter. They are too small to bloom so all I got this year was the nice foliage.