susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Babies

I am a sucker for the little ones.
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A local nursery had fall vegetable starts on sale.
Even though I am tired after a summer of weed-pulling,
I could not resist the chance to nurture these spindly young ones to maturity.
Pony-packs of cauliflower and broccoli came home with me.
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They are supposed to bear in 60 to 90 days.
Which I interpret as home grown vegies by the holidays.
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After pruning the spent flower stalks from artichoke plants,
their many new starts could be seen.
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Two stalk-stumps, one plant from earlier in summer and four new starts.
These artichoke plants are prolific.
My plan is to move a number of the larger artichoke plants
to the flower garden this winter.
I will learn whether or not they are deer-resistant.


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Green on Green

This plant in the papyrus family reproduces itself freely, which leads to
many babies in my flower beds.  I then transplant said seedlings to any place
that tends to get waterlogged in the rainy season.
Nothing scientific, just a sense that papyrus grows near water, and I have areas with bad drainage, so I am trying to make the best use of challenging areas in my garden.

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This Eryngium, or Sea Holly, also reproduces freely – almost too freely for me.
I mean, it grows well, is deer and rodent resistant, and I am still looking for where to move it so it won’t poke me while I weed around it.
I cut some of the ‘flowers’ and laid them in a cool, dark area to dry, just in case they might look good in another season.  Chances do not look good, as I found the stems to be hollow, which is not a characteristic of any other flower that dries well.

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A visitor to my garden recently asked me about this ‘flower’.  These are seedpods of a spring flowering daylily.  No flower here!  When the stems turn brown they pull away easily, so I wait a few months, and it is one less plant to deadhead.


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Obsessed – Compulsed

Gardening can be an addiction.
There is immediate gratification in a freshly weeded bed.
Waiting for seedlings to emerge, then watching them grow can be an exercise in patience.
The expectation of seeing flowers bloom in a regular succession satisfies a need for order in the universe.

I have been caught up in bringing order to my gardens.  It brings peace and contentment to my life.  In the meantime, the colorful show of spring flowers is slipping by.  The blossoms have encouraged my madness, as I try to whip the yard into shape before the rains end and weeds are cemented into the hard ground.

Gardening is also a learning process, not an end product.  I have sympathy for those who feel they must purchase a finished garden, and do not get to endure the trials and tribulations of the learn-by-the-seat-of-their-pants, passionate dirt person.

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Foxglove can be found in the wilds, but I brought it to my gardens on purpose.
They are so easy to care for and flower prolifically.  But … they can be invasive.  Darn 🙂
I actually transplanted many (over 100) to the not-irrigated, outlying areas.  Not realizing how many little ones I left behind in the more carefully tended beds.
Yesterday, I noticed a few stalks that deer had carefully de-flowered.  Although the wildlife will clear-cut tulips and roses as though they were chocolate, they merely prune a few foxglove.  Unfortunately, I will have to dead-head soon, and again, and again to curtail millions more unwanted seedlings.

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I finally found the dirt in the foreground of these beds, while the weeds still proliferate in the back.  Perhaps people who ready-order landscaping are not so stupid after all.  Maybe it is me who insists on doing things the slow way.  Lucky for me, rainy days are still here, and the ground is still soft enough to pull unwanted plants.


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Colorful Asters

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The original plant is this color, but the camera captures a different color than my eye sees.  I looked at a number of photos I took, and kept seeing the same hue.  In person, these flowers look more purple / blue.  I suppose there is a perfectly logical camera explanation for the color difference :-)* * * * *
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I do like this light pink color, perhaps because there are so few plants with flowers this color.  Can you see the purple asters on the far left of the photo?  The camera was fooled into showing those flowers their true color!

I am inundated with aster seedlings in the garden, since it is extremely time-consuming to dead head these plants.  New blossoms open and others die everyday, from the top of branches going down.

My latest plan is to mark the bottom of the plants with pink blooms, so I will know them after the tops have been cut off.
When they are dug up in winter, I can say decisively, what color flower comes from which plant.
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The one plant with white flowers was the last to bloom.

Broccoli Flowers

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Broccoli Flowers

These flowers are growing from a crop of winter broccoli. Perhaps it was the fickle spring weather this year that contributed to the short window of time edible broccoli buds were available and the proliferation of weeds in the gardens.

This year, I observed the strong resemblance among the flowers of broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts and probably all other cruciferous plant flowers. When I checked my dictionary for the spelling of cruciferous, I learned these plants are all in the mustard family. The last few years, I’ve been trying to purchase organic, non-hybrid broccoli plants, that might come true to seed. Time will tell if the seed will produce plants that will grow over the winter and produce broccoli florets next spring.