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I am getting soft

August 17, 2014

I think the mild summer has made me less resilient to the heat and humidity of a normal Arkansas summer. I was outside by 8:30 a.m. but although the temperature was only 76, with the 85% humidity, the heat index was already 85 degrees and climbing (this is all thanks to my new weather station!)   I weedeated, edged, pruned, harvested, weeded, fertilized, watered and planted, and I looked like I had been swimming, but didn’t feel like I had. After two hours I was worn out!  I had to sit for a few minutes just to get enough gumption to walk inside, and I needed help getting my boots off. When I use the weedeater, I wear long pants, boots, gloves and safety goggles. I did have on a short sleeved shirt, but I was drenched!

My garden is coming along. I harvested a mini pumpkin from a volunteer vine from last Halloween.

pumpkin mini aug17.14The tuberose begonias are thriving–I have never had any last past June before.

tuberous begonia aug17.14.

I had the first bloom of many for the next round on my Jubilation gardenia.

mystery plant a.aug18.09My common impatiens got a bit dry while I was gone and look awful. I am trying to salvage them, so I have cut them back hard and fertilized and watered. Time will tell, but the Sunpatiens sure put them to shame, not missing a beat, although one in full afternoon sun does have a bit of sunburn on a few blooms. impatiens sunpatiens. aug17.143 mystery plant a.aug18.11impatiens sunpatiens. aug17.141

I saw so many birds and insects buzzing in the garden today.  This green spider was pretty and waiting on its prey in the midst of my sesame seed plant–I am going to have tons of sesame seeds–and I am not sure what I will do with them all!

sesame seed plant and spiders.aug17.14.1 sesame seed plant and spiders.aug17.14.3

I waited until I had dried off and then did the grocery store run, the gym, another grocery store and then came home and cleaned house.  My family has been filling in for me on the home front while I traveled, but today we did a bit more deep cleaning.  By 3:30 we were done, and so was I.  Did you notice that inconspicuous three letter word gym?  I am not a gym person, but I am trying to be one. Katie and I have now done three trips. Our goal is three times a week, so we will see how long it lasts.  I do reps on all the machines and then Katie and I race on the stationary bikes.  Time will tell.

A friend came to dinner tonight and we had a nice visit and now I am wrapping up for an early start tomorrow morning. It is the final class of our landscape design course at Garvan Gardens in Hot Springs, and then I am meeting with the Garland Co. MG’s.

Here are the answers to your mystery plant challenges from last week and your new ones.  Good Luck!

Mystery plant A – mystery plant aug 11.14This plant is an annual called diascia or twinspur.  Look closely a the picture and you can see the two spurs handing down from the back of the flower.  They did better this season in our mild summer but normally like a cooler climate. I have grown them as a late season annual and they actually overwintered in a mild winter ( not last year).   Diascia comes to us from South Africa, and is a close relative of the snapdragon–so it likes similar growing conditions.  Flower colors range from his orange to pink, purple and white.

Mystery plant B – mystery plant b August another annual flower called euphorbia–Diamond Frost was the first in this series and is still good, but there are several new introductions.  I have been blown away by how well they have performed in the ground and in containers. They are growing quite large and have not stopped blooming since they were planted in full sun to partial shade.  If you haven’t tried this plant, put it on your list of must haves next spring.

Mystery plant C – was the stumper. One of you got it with a hint from me.

pittsburgh garden tour aug16.044The plant is Orixia japonica, ‘Pearl Frost’.   This deciduous member of the citrus family grows to 8′ or more tall with a graceful habit. The original Orixia is a green leafed plant, but Pearl Fost is streaked in creamy white. Though tolerant of full sun, they prefer the edge of woodland with darker plants behind. Slower growing than it’s great parent but vigorous nonetheless in medium drainage in medium shade to full sun.  Many of us at our recent Garden Writers conference had never heard of it, but I bet many will be buying it to trial it.


New plants for the week:

Mystery Plant A- mystery plant a.aug18.23is a sub-tropical that may overwinter in south Arkansas.

Mystery plant B – mystery plant a.aug18.04 mystery plant a.aug18.05is a deciduous shrub that is in full bloom now.

Mystery plant C – mystery plant a.aug18.15is  a deciduous small tree or large shrub with its seed pod.


Good Luck!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Grazzie MasterGardner permalink
    August 17, 2014 10:56 pm

    I don’t think it is you, Janet or getting soft. The milder summer spoiled all of us for the higher humidity and temperatures. Hope you weather it better tomorrow. grazzie



    Montgomery County Master Gardener County 76 Master Gardener Advisory Council

    670 Big Fork Road Norman, AR 71960 870/334-6297

  2. August 18, 2014 1:20 pm

    tapioca, harlequin glorybower & bay

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