Garden update: August 2016

After a record WET winter, we’ve had what seems like a record SUNNY spring and summer; which made for a very early growing season here in the Pacific Northwest.  My little garden plots surrounding my home have already peaked, and are getting ready to go dormant.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many rose blooms I got; given that I just planted these bare root rose bushes a few months ago.

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Some really pretty colors!  (Remember I didn’t know what colors I was getting.  It was a special offer of ‘mixed roses’ and they were only identified by NAME when they arrived.)

Some different types of roses too.  These are ‘small with ruffled petals’ and bloom in clusters.  I have no idea what the little white spots on all the leaves are.  I got two of each kind of bush and BOTH of this kine have the same spots.  They are NOT aphids. (which was my first thought er FEAR!)  I may have to write the company I ordered from and ask about this.

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I started some Cosmos from seed and planted them between the roses just to fill in the space a little this year.  The Cosmos grew HUGE!  The one in the above picture is AFTER I cut it down bu a couple of FEET.  They were so big that they were blocking the roses from getting enough sun!  A couple of the Cosmos didn’t produce ANY flowers; but they grew as big and tall (almost BIGGER!) than the ones that did flower.

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Here you can see the Cosmos that didn’t flower, before I cut them back.  My back yard is like a ‘wind tunnel’ in the evening.  Really strong winds blow through it several times a week.  Some of the taller Cosmos stems actually got bent over by the wind!

P1280359Mini white pumpkins coming soon!  Two plants grew great and a third (can you see it!) is stunted.  The big ones have nearly doubled in size in the last week.

My Glads were getting bent over by the wind too, so I staked them.  The blooms have died and been cut off already.  I don’t think my ‘second planting’ of Glads (smaller ones between the big ones) are going to bloom this year.

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The potted flowers on my garden ladder have peaked and started dying already too. (notice the bottom planter.)   The vines in pots are either side are still growing like crazy; vining to the top and over and back down again.

The Hydrangea I planted last year have bloomed quite nicely.

These pics are from a couple of weeks ago, hardly any color still left in the front yard now.

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See that HUGE Lupine in about the middle?  It’s now GONE!  sigh.  It was the first to bloom this year and had grown HUGE.  Truly the ‘star’ of the front garden.  Sadly it became infested with aphids.  I tried and ‘home remedy’ to kill the aphids and all it did was kill the leaves on the Lupine and surrounding plants!  Grrr!!!  I cut is Waaaaaaaay back hoping that would help but again it was totally COVERED with aphids.  (I get itchy just THINKING about them!) I know how much aphids love Roses too and I didn’t want them to get my roses, so I dug the Lupine completely up, roots and all!  Have some seed pods saved from it and may try starting some next year.  I also went to the garden center and god some ‘systemic’ stuff for my roses that is supposed to PREVENT aphids.  Any advice on aphids/Roses/Lupine is welcome!

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Originally, I had really wanted to plant Hydrangea in the garden plot along the side of the house.  But that area gets a considerable amount of sun and I know that Hydrangea prefer ‘just morning sun, so I planted other stuff there.  As the summer has progressed and I look at what other people have planted in the sun and shade areas of their yards; I noticed a LOT of beautifully blooming Hydrangea in full sun!  (I’m talking plants so FULL of blooms that you can’t even see any of the green leaves!)

 

Shortly after that ‘ah-HA! moment, I came across 6″pots of Hydrangea at the grocery store for $3.99!!!  SOLD!  I bought nine of them and planted them in the side garden.

They looked SO pretty, so full of blooms.  Of course I know the ‘forced blooms’ don’t last very long and half of them have already wilted away; but the plants are very healthy with new leaf growth.  And THEN . .   I was reading up on Hydrangea and discovered that ‘florist Hydrangea’ (IE small potted ones intended to give as an indoor plant gift and not necessarily ever actually planted in the ground; which is what I am pretty sure these that I bought ARE) seldom re-bloom when planted in the ground.  Heavy SIGH!!  Oh well.  Live and learn.  I guess I’ll have to settle for just GREEN in that part of my garden!

Not sure if I want to plant something in the ‘bare spot’ left from the Lupine right away or wait for next spring.  I typically do not care for bare spots, so I guess we’ll see.  I have no idea WHAT I want to put there??  Maybe a Black Eyed Susan?

How does YOUR garden grow??

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How clever!

And how VERY economical.  And how very green!  Check out this link for step by step instructions for making pots to use for starting plants from seeds out of newspaper.

http://www.wizer.co.uk/?p=29