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Back into the routine

June 2, 2014
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Yesterday was a fairly relaxing day, and the rain moved out mid day. The sun came out and it was mild, but quite humid. I walked the garden to see what had changed since I was gone.  My red ruellia survived the winter and had it’s first bloom.

ruellia red

The first bloom is on the daylily daylily first bloom june 1.

I am also quite impressed with the Digiplexis Flame.  It is open now and the color is pretty amazing.  This is a cross between the common foxglove (Digitalis) and the Canary Island foxglove (Isoplexis).  The result is pretty nice.  This is year one and we will see how it does down the road, but for now I am wowed with it.

digiplexis bloom june 2.13 digiplexis bloom june 2.12 digiplexis bloom june 2.11

I only have one, but could you imagine the display if you had an entire bed of these?!

I love the fragrance of gardenias and have numerous plants throughout the yard.  The single flower form ‘Daisy’ is loaded with blooms right now and it smells great. My only disappointment with this variety is that it blooms out too quickly. It will be covered for a couple of weeks and that is it.  My standard double forms blooms last longer and they are more spread out, so I have blooms for 6 weeks or more.  While many gardenias did suffer winter damage, this one made it through with no problems.

gardenia daisy blooms june.

Speaking of winter damaged plants, I had reported that all my big leaf hydrangeas were killed to the ground, so no blooms for me. One of mine is a florist variety that came from a florist last year, so they are never as hardy.  It is fully leafed out and growing, and I was amazed to see a flower bud forming–on the new growth!  I will keep watching, but so far, it is the only one I see.

hydrangea forming flower june 2.

I also have berries forming on the Italian arum. Before too long, the foliage will disappear and all that will remain is the seed stalk.  The green berries will turn bright orange.  We get a lot of samples in asking where they came from.

arum forming seed head june2.1

I have several aesclepias (butterfly weed milkweed) in the garden and they are beginning to bloom.  Reports are that monarch populations are declining because the rain forest area is getting depleted where they overwinter, and there is less milkweed for them to feed on–so plant some milkweed. I have the new Hello Yellow and it is opening up along with a traditional orange one.

butterfly weed hello yellow june1.

I pulled out the English peas yesterday. They were playing out and had few blooms left.  A few of the peas were a bit overgrown so I saved some for seeds for replanting. I harvested and shelled the rest.  My Mother would be amazed to know I am growing English peas, since I hated them growing up. I still don’t like canned ones, but fresh or frozen I do enjoy.

pea harvesting2 pea harvesting3

I need to get more peppers, eggplant and tomatoes to replant, but that will have to wait until the weekend.

Today, I worked on columns and presentations for upcoming programs. I head to the State EHC conference in Hot Springs to speak on Wednesday, and tomorrow is the gala at Garvan Gardens in the evening–the opening event for the topiary display. It should be nice.

Tonight I had my son and some of his friends over for a hamburger dinner.  They are a nice group of young people.  I got some help lifting the stepping stone and placing it in the garden.

kyle and friends1 stepping stone in garden

My kids are not big gardeners–but I think Kyle will be.  He is really fascinated by all my edibles. He had to show one of his friends my vegetable garden, blueberries and fig trees –newly planted with 1 fig growing.  He asked if he could dig a potato and went at it.  He was thrilled to get 5.  The plant still had some small potatoes forming, so they replanted it so it could grow more–which I don’t think will happen, but I am so happy to see them enjoying it.  He had to show them to all his friends.  As they were leaving, the resident bullfrog was singing in the water garden and they went looking for it and found it.  potato harvest

The week of rain really helped get all my new transplants that I planted before I left, settled in. The garden looks really good right now.   I hope yours does too.

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