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Catching up

July 16, 2017
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I spent the weekend regrouping and catching up on the home front.  I have been staying up later and I have slept in later than normal (Portland was two hours earlier than here) –so tomorrow is going to be a rude awakening!  I got to get reconnected with heat and humidity, and I did do some watering and fertilization.  There is way more work needed in the garden, from dead-heading and weeding–they just never stop do they?!  The dead-heading I did before I left really paid off on the gaillardias.  They will be needing more dead-heading by the end of the week.   I did harvest tomatoes, peppers and some figs this weekend with more coming on.  The garden looks in pretty good shape in spite of my neglect. The family did a good job maintaining things while I was gone. 

My surprise lilies (Lycoris) are at peak bloom and have multiplied.    I have been worried that the increased shade where they are planted would impact their blooms, but they are thriving.  The clethra is beginning to bloom and smells sweet.   I whacked back the baptisia to the soil line not long after bloom. I have not been thrilled with the color and they were growing so tall. I was afraid I may have permanently damaged them, but they weren’t working.  Now they are back and looking nice–and much better behaved than before, showcasing the red blooming ruellia, which is also much better-behaved than it’s purple flowering cousin. 

But the showstopper in the garden right now is the Strawberry vanilla hydrangea.  This is it’s 4th year and it has grown full and the stems are strong and upright–not floppy like in past years, and it is loaded with mildly fragrant blooms.    While you can see maybe a hint of light pink, once again it is mainly vanilla in the heat of Arkansas, but it is planted in full sun and gets rainfall and a little water when needed.  My big leaf hydrangeas have finished quite a bit ago, but their spent blooms are now turning wonderful shades of pink, purple and blue.  Muted, but lovely. 

The give-away caladium bulbs from the state MG conference,  I finally got planted and they are coming up and looking lovely.    How are the rest of yours looking?

We also caught up on some of the TV shows we watch.  One of our favorites is the Great British Bake-off.  Clay channeled his inner baker and did his own bake-off tonight making a cherry cake from scratch.  He is the baker in the house, not me.  I channeled Mary and judged it!  It tastes good–but sweet!  

My cold is almost gone.  I still have to keep drinking something to avoid coughing, but I feel fine.  Each day is an improvement.  I am back in the office to catch-up there tomorrow.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Terry Smyers, Washington County Master Gardener permalink
    July 16, 2017 9:42 pm

    Isn’t early for surprise lilies?

    • uamg permalink
      July 16, 2017 9:46 pm

      These are actually commonly called Naked ladies–Lycoris squamigera. They bloom in July. The “surprise lily” is the red one Lycoris radiata, that is also commonly called spider lily, and it blooms in the fall.

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