Monday, June 28, 2010


It rained this afternoon. A brief but very hard rain. The rain gauge showed 1-1/4 inches - but I think it came so fast that much of it was runoff. I didn't capture any in the rain barrel - I'd used up the remaining water yesterday watering the tomatoes through the drip line, and forgot to close the valve afterward. So the rain went into the barrel and out through the drip line, into the tomato bed that was getting deluged with rain from the sky.

Several tomato plants, that had thus far been standing tall under their own power, were bending low to the ground after the storm. Four of seven bell pepper plants were laying prostrate. This spring I planted bell peppers from two different seed packs. Other than that the treatment was the same. One pack's worth of plants (3) all have flowers on them already. They also were the ones still standing straight after the rain. The other plants, not blooming yet, collapsed in the rain. I wish I had marked which plants were from which seeds!

Even after the rain, temps were still in the 90s. So I waited until late evening to go out to cage the maters and stake the peppers. Three-quarters of an hour later I was dripping with perspiration and chased in by darkness. I got all the plants supported, even those that had not fallen, because I know they will all need it eventually. The garden always looks awkward a this time of the year. Plants that had looked large before caging are now dwarfed by their cages. If I didn't know better I'd wonder if this was all really necessary. But I know those tomatoes will soon be outgrowing their confines.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Daylily Dilemmas

I have daylilies in three parts of the yard, and they are abloom. Ditch and stella (ok, the stellas peaked about 3 weeks ago and are just about done their first bloom) in the upper garden around the plum tree, assorted reds in the side bed, and last year’s trades in pots in the herb garden. Here’s one from the herb garden:

I have the name somewhere. My plan was to eventually replace the ditch lilies in the upper garden with the potted ones; I’ve put some there already. But I’m enjoying the view of these in the herb garden. They are just outside the back door, so I see them every morning and evening. And I’ve really enjoyed the ditch lilies this year, more than usual – they are so spunky. Did they know I had plans to rip them out? Is that why they are extra showy this year?

I’ve taken out a bunch already – they all go to my friend Stacey who is making a daylily border all the way around her back yard with the ones I give her.
I’m tempted to leave some in, but I know they will crowd out the others, which I don’t want to happen. So I’ll have to decide soon.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June Bloom Day

Hooray for June, when there’s something blooming in just about every corner of the garden. At least that’s the goal; reality may not be there yet. The front yard is still pretty bare. Daffodils are the star in early spring, then the peony, then, well, I don’t have much else. Except lavender. Severely squished by the winter storms, it doesn’t care. It is taking over my front walk and blooming away:

In the side yard, I’ll have to leave daylilies and Echinacea for another post, in order to get some variety here. I previewed my Asiatic lily yesterday. Moving around back, here is my “Easter” lily:

I don’t know why it is considered an Easter flower when it never blooms until June. It came with the house, and is right where I hang my string trellis. They don’t really interfere, as the climbing things (pole beans this year), don’t really take off until the Easter lily has done its thing. Here you can see some beans climbing up the lily instead of the trellis.

Staying in the herb garden, one of my Phlox paniculata is blooming. This one is ‘Bright Eyes’. The others don’t even have buds yet.

Coreopsis verticillata in the herb garden is blooming, along with Gaillardia ‘Burgundy’.

I don’t know why I have such a hard time with coreopsis, but they are very short-lived for me at about two years. Three years, tops. Over in the terrace beds I have an ‘Early Sunrise’ that has been blooming for a few weeks and a ‘Zagreb’ full of flower buds. The Early Sunrise was from a trade last year, and the Zagreb came from the spring plant swap this year. I have my fingers crossed that they will stick around.

I don’t know how long Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’ has been blooming in the upper garden. I just saw it yesterday. My neighbor can see it, but it is hidden from my view by my Solidago, which got very tall very early. I think I need to swap those guys so I can see my monarda!

Also in the upper garden: Stokesia ‘Klaus Jelitto and Spigelia marilindica

I just love that Indian pink. It will keep blooming for another month or more. I’m still waiting for it to fill in more, so that it has a presence in the garden. Right now I have to be up close to really notice it.

Moving over to the veggie garden, these are not Queen Anne’s Lace, but a close relative, carrots:

I left them to flower this year, just to see if they really do look like their cousin, and they do! I’ll have to pull them out soon.

I planted nasturtium to guard my squash and melons this year. I’m especially excited to see the first bloom, because this is the first bloom of all the many flowers I started from seed this winter/spring:

And on the other side of the veggie garden is the flower I’m most thrilled about: the cucumbers are blooming! Hooray for my favorite summer vegetable:
Also blooming: kousa dogwood (still, though it is very nearly done), hollyhock, buddleia, rudbeckia, dianthus, cupid’s dart, gaillardia, ....

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting another fun Bloom Day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rain-Soaked Flowers

Three separate storms rolled though here this afternoon/evening, dropping 1.6" of rain. Total rain time was about 40 minutes, so much of that water was runoff. My clay just can't absorb that much water in such a short time.

Meanwhile, the rain affected my flowers in some interesting ways. I was out between rains two and three to take some photos for tomorrow's bloom day post. I'll show some here early.

My white asiatic lilies have been blooming for about two weeks. Here's a flower pre-rain, photographed June 4th:

And here's a post-rain flower. The pollen all washed onto the flower, making it yellow. The yellow/white combination reminds me of a plumeria (aka frangipani), even if the flower is a completely different shape:

I have some daylilies blooming, too. In my yard are three unnamed red ones, numbered one through three, for lack of any better id. I forgot to note which one this was then I took its picture on the 4th, but there's a chance it is Red #1 (could be #2, definitely not #3):

A Red #1 bloomed today. I didn't get to see it before the rain, but here it is after, looking very water-soluble:

I love how the garden can change in an instant, or in a downpour!