susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Just this one time, Veronica!

Summer is not the usual season to transplant.  Especially when it is a particularly hot summer (global warming?), on a hot afternoon.
On a recent trip to my local Farmer’s Coop, I spied a desired perennial – on sale!  It was in great condition (okay, just a little root-bound), had blooms, and I had recently noticed a location in my flower garden that could use a plant just like this.
Copy of DSCN3452
Another blossom fell off on the drive home, so I immediately put it in a vase.  Veronica is also an excellent cut flower, as it has been on my kitchen table for a week.
Welcome to your new home, Veronica!

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Moving Day for Foxglove, Lamb’s Ear & Lavender

Shastas, lambs ear, lavender ??????????

Today was a sunny fall day, the ground has been thoroughly moistened by rain, but it is still firm to walk on.  A perfect day for transplanting.

First off, I moved some Lambs Ear a great, drought-resistant ground cover.   Next, I put some Lavender plants in to complete a row along side the driveway.  In the lower right of the first photo, you can see a slim transplanted Lavender.  This particular bed now has Lavender, then Lambs Ear, then Shasta Daisies, and on the outside are Irises.  All of these plants are deer-resistant, thus there is no fence around them.  An Oregon Grape shrub (not pictured) in the middle, is deer fenced, even though it is supposedly deer-resistant.  My plan is to keep the Oregon Grape fenced until it is tall enough to withstand the deer nibbling.

Now to the Foxglove.  There was one plant within the deer fence and on irrigation.  It put out an enormous amount of babies.  I counted planting 76 of them.  While I dug the Foxglove from within the deer fenced flower bed, I also dug up a number of Asters that had grown up in places I did not want them.  Many of the rooted Aster starts are now in small pots to give away, but I cannot begin to keep up with them.  The Foxglove was planted along the outside of a fenced flower bed.  The second photo shows a few Foxgloves (I count eight) as they were planted.  There are at least five plantings similar to this, besides other individual plantings. They should look very nice from the front deck by next summer.  I am now learning to keep my flowers deadheaded to prevent an over abundance of progeny.  Should I call it birth-control for perennials?

Honeysuckle

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Honeysuckle

This photo shows three stages of honeysuckle flowers: the bud, full flower and spent flower. These blossoms are on a good-sized vine along a fence near my vegetable garden. Sometimes, when the breeze is just right, the scent will waft for a distance – such a beautiful aroma. I don’t think anyone could say the smell of honeysuckle is offensive. Quite the opposite is true and I think this plant can even stir olfactory memories.

Many years ago, I would admire the garden of an older woman (thank you, Leta). She dug a honeysuckle start from next to her own established plant. For all the gift plants I have killed by mis-timing their replanting in my own garden, I am very happy that this one survived.

What a surprise when I learned that honeysuckle blooms are edible. I grew up in a more temperate climate, where these splendid vines did not exist, and only discovered them as an adult. Nasturtiums move over – you are not near as tasty as honeysuckle.

Santolina in Bloom

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Santolina in Bloom

Yesterday, I pruned the flowering plants back, so they are not so large or plush anymore.  In my second entry in this blog, I showed a photo of this plant in January.  I thought it was pretty then, as so few plants have color in the winter. I like this perennial all year long, with or without flowers.  Although the flowers are profuse, they are very small.  It may not be known for its flowers, as the foliage is quite unusual: first of all, it is not green, but a sort of gray-green color; it sports thin, fine ‘leaves’, that emit a strong scent when brushed against.  I rather like the aroma, though some may find it too pungent and be put off by it.

The original plant was never pruned, and grew to cover a large area, about 10 feet square.  After a severe, unusual winter freeze (below freezing for 4 days in a row), a lot of the mother plant died out.  When I removed the dead plant material, what remained was a number of small plants.  I pruned and transplanted these around the house, and nursed them back to health.  Now, I notice that if I keep the mother plant pruned, it does not make more plants.  It appears the baby plants come from stems that root themselves in the ground.

Silver Thyme

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Silver Thyme

I’ve been moving starts of this plant to different places around the house. Thyme is such a sturdy plant that all the moves have been successful. This example has bi-color leaves of white and green, with spikey flowers in pale lavender.

If I wait too long before I prune this ground cover back, the leaves turn to a solid green.  I discovered that if I prune off the dead flowers, the leaves remain the beautiful bi-color as pictured above.

It will multiply naturally where a longer branch touches the ground, or send up starts on its own.  I’ve given plant starts away, and transplanted it around my house.  The deer and rabbits do not seem to bother with this herb.

Cedar in Daffodils

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Cedar in Daffodils

Tree seedlings come up in my flower beds every year. For the past few years, I have transplanted them around the land. I do have one small tree that grew from a transplant maybe 10 years ago.
Yesterday, we dug up 4 baby cedars, and brought netted tree tubes to protect them from deer and other animals the first years of life. We also found a number of other transplants from previous years, Douglas firs and cedars. Just one dead tree was found.
The daffodil bulbs fare just fine even when something is dug up around them. I have separated daffodil bulbs in the early spring, but don’t suggest it as a rule.