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The Gardening Shed

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moira finnie
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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby moira finnie » July 21st, 2012, 7:51 pm

Actually, it's called Mexican Petunia here too. The plant reminds me of corn flowers which have the same kind of stalk and pretty blue flower. Christy, have you ever grown blue bonnets, and can they actually be cultivated or are they only found in the wild in Texas? I've always loved the pictures I've seen of them.

Purple Loose Strife is another kind of "invader" who lives in wetlands. They are very pretty, imo, but their presence threatens the habitat and the food supply of several animals.
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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » July 21st, 2012, 8:51 pm

Lovely photo, Moira. Yes, bluebonnets can be cultivated, and this year I started seeing potted bluebonnets for sale right before their usual season, March-April, at local nurseries.

Since they are annuals (bloom only once a year here), people who have large acreage or the highway system maintenance crew usually wait until they bloom, mow them all down after they bloom, and the seeds just wait until the next spring to start sprouting up.

Lady Bird Johnson was valiant in her efforts here, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center here in Texas is her wonderful legacy. Follow this link for more: http://www.wildflower.org/

It is our state flower for a reason! They are gorgeous!
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When I went to Sequoia after the first TCMFF in 2010, I was stunned to see bluebonnets at about 4,000 feet above sea level in May! And it had snowed two weeks before. Ah.....the hearty bluebonnet....
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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby Rita Hayworth » July 21st, 2012, 9:22 pm

Lovely picture of Mexican Petunias ... Moira ... and Sue Sue ... Those Bluebonnets ... I could not believe that many of them!

Moira and Sue Sue ... thanks for sharing it!

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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby MissGoddess » August 16th, 2012, 8:30 pm

This is incredible, a living work of art:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGEjoVlCj6A[/youtube]
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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby Rita Hayworth » August 16th, 2012, 9:32 pm

Beautiful ... thanks for sharing this Miss Goddess. :)

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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby moira finnie » August 31st, 2013, 5:12 pm

I haven't posted much here lately, but I discovered when I moved that the East facing patio on our new apartment seems to be the sweet spot for my many plants. Here's a brief video of my flowers, ferns and fauna before they fade away. All I did was plant, water, fertilize and deadhead the flowers as needed. The rest was Nature's work. The only "practical" plants amidst these are some rosemary and basil... How have your garden's been this year?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9klXuTgrM0k[/youtube]
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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby JackFavell » August 31st, 2013, 6:15 pm

wow, Moira, your garden is just beautiful! That blue petunia thingy is spectacular, and everything looks so healthy! What is that name of that blue petunia? Or is it a yesterday today and tomorrow plant? I love it.

My patio plants have been sporadic this year. At first all was well. I planted a container of yellow snapdragons and pink verbena which looks just beautiful together in the big giant glazed blue pot, until the hot weather made them both stop blooming at the same time. Next time, I'll mix in a plant that doesn't need deadheading to tide the planter over until these two come back into bloom. They've bloomed about 3 or 4 times now but continue on exactly the same schedule of bloom or non-bloom as each other. Oh yes, and I have an eastern exposure too.

Instead of regular petunias, I tried calibrachoas this year. After I planted them, they did nothing for about a month and were just straggly sticks, but we had no sun for a long time, then that intense heat spell with two weeks or so in the 90's. they came into a good bloom once the weather cooled down to the 80's on a steady basis and now they are going crazy. I prefer petunias which bloom constantly for me here no matter what weather we get.

I planted a corkscrew vine in a pot in spring and it's grown about 4 or 5 feet but has no flowers on it.

I got my favorite Alice Dupont mandevilla vine, which I've grown every year since we moved in her, 13 years ago. It died the first week after I got it which never ever happens, they're tough, usually they are the showstopper of my patio. I think there was some kind of disease in the soil already when I got it. That's what I get for picking it up at the grocery store instead of the plant farm.

I tried overwintering my geraniums in a brown bag in the basement this year again, 2nd year for these particular plants, they haven't really been satisfactory either, oddly. One of them is about 2 feet tall now, bushy, the leaves are lovely, and the other is a bit smaller, but they bloom very very quickly when they actually do bloom, and then I've been left with green leaves for most of this summer. I certainly didn't over fertilize, so it can't be that. I think we've just had the oddest combination here of lots of cloud cover and humidity, which hasn't done any good for blooming. I think sometimes because we are on the coast, we are overcast when everywhere else is sunny.

I have two Hinoki cypresses in large pots on my deck that have grown like a house afire this year, in spite of being sat on by squirrels, had bird seed sprout all around them because my husband moved one under the bird feeder before we went on vacation, heat waves, lack of watering during vacation and various other disasters happen to them. They are the only really great plants I have on the patio right now.

My front yard is doing well, almost too well, it's the western exposure, but it needs a total renovation and I just haven't got the gumption to do it this year. The problem is, the seedling plants that filled in so nicely around the perennials are now going crazy. Two accidental plants - one from a so called friend, and one from my father, have overtaken everything else. The Anise hyssop has seeded everywhere, and is now getting annoying. It's not a runner, but its roots are so big that it's a toughie to get out of the ground. The so called friend gave me evening primrose plants which run underground, and now have killed everything in their rampant path. it's time to roundup them (which I have always been against, but you can't dig these things out!). I have delicate plants all around them. I guess I have to figure they will die once the roots overtake them anyway, so I might as well take the chance. Purply pink Phlox has seeded it's way all the way around my north wall, but it looks ugly right now with powdery mildew and they are clogging the hydrangeas. my Jolly Bee perennial geraniums are going strong, staying put. Maybe the greatest plant ever. My clematis did beautifully too this year, except for the one that died due to a giant hosta that seeded right on top of it. Foxgloves did well in spring, but now have seeded. We'll see them in two years.

All the boxwoods are fine as usual. The morning glories have reached up and are twining around the pink window box petunias, which are now a little too tall and leggy. I added some dahlias, big ones, in spring, and they are coming up and into bloom, just barely at this point. There are 9 altogether along the front fence, and the purple ones on either end are just starting to open. I got purple, yellow, bright orange and a white. I'm hoping they will take everyone's eye instead of the seed heads browning away, and the mildewed phlox.

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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby knitwit45 » August 31st, 2013, 7:35 pm

Goodness, Jacks, is there anything in the plant world NOT in your garden? :shock: :shock: Do you offer tours??? :lol: :lol: Take some pictures, it sounds lovely!!!!!
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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby MissGoddess » August 31st, 2013, 9:40 pm

Moira, your garden patio is so lovely. Those petunias are perfection, such a glorious color!
Wendy, you are amazing...I would love to see all those plants you name. I recognize only about 25% of the names, lol. Cyprus being one I do know...how lovely! They always add a touch of Mediterranean elegance.

Masha, I would love to have the ability to grow herbs (I am in a city apartment with very, very little sunlight), especially dill, rosemary and cilantro, all of which I use constantly.
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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby JackFavell » September 1st, 2013, 9:35 am

Oh and those herbs are SOO expensive at the grocery store! I've grown some of them, Rosemary, Basil, Fennel (which is beautiful in the bronze colored version) Cilantro, Parsley. The Cilantro bolts so quickly that I gave it up finally. Basil also seems to grow itself out very quickly. I think the key would be to plant it every couple of weeks, and get fresh plants that way to harvest.

Masha, does your lemon balm grow rampant? I had some that seeded everywhere and got so huge that I couldn't contain it anymore.

Knitty, my garden is an overgrown mess. I kind of went overboard when we first moved in, and tried every possible thing on earth. The ones that are still there are the ones that are tough, because I am not the most careful waterer. It's got a lot of plants but at this point, any semblance of pattern is completely gone, and I think a tight pattern juxtaposed with spilling, exuberant plantlife is what makes a garden good looking. I'm completely missing the control part. It could be seen as a thicket at this point. :D

Masha, when you do get grapes, I found that the birds actually got most of them, and would nest right in the grapevine, which is very nice, unless you sit on a bench underneath. :D

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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby moira finnie » September 1st, 2013, 10:47 am

Gee, I'd love to see pictures of each of your gardens. As you can tell from my images, perfection is sure not my idea of a goal with plants, it's just great to see a little nature and keep it close.

Wendy, have you ever had any problems with browning on dwarf Hinoki cypresses in pots? I've tried them a couple of times and wound up killing them, I guess. I wish I knew what the trick was to growing these. Of course, since temps can go as low as 20 below in the winter (rarely, but it does happen), maybe I should wait until next Spring to try these again.

Masha, your herbaceous garden sounds lovely. I particularly like lemon thyme--the scent is so enchanting too. I used to have more than half the day in the shade in my old house and found that the best flowers were the impatiens, astilbe, and anything flowering white or pale blues. They needed less water than others too.

Miss G., do you think that a small grow-light would fit anywhere? When I lived in Boston in a tiny, dark apt. I wound up putting one on top of my fridge and grew parsley, chives, and tarragon pretty successfully. Of course, if you found a catnip plant, I think certain roommates would like that too.
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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby MissGoddess » September 1st, 2013, 11:48 am

i think you touched on the main problem I have with trying to grow anything here, Moira. :D I have one tiny potted plant in my apartment whose leaves look like the ragged end of nowhere due to toothmarks.
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Re: The Gardening Shed

Postby JackFavell » September 1st, 2013, 1:25 pm

Moira, I haven't had the hinokis turn brown at all but other evergreens have done this for me. So far, the hinokis and the box plants are about the only thing that doesn't have this happen. I wonder if the browning is from either wind burn or possibly it outgrowing it's roots? If the roots are in a pot that is smaller than the top portion of the plant, it might brown around the edges, dying back to the smaller size the root ball will allow it to be.

The first two years I had my arborvitaes planted in the backyard, they browned at the tips, all over the surface of the plant. I think it was wind burn or cold from the winter weather. I was able to prune the brown tips off, or let it gradually turn back to green in summer and eventually they stopped having any wind burn at all. However, mine were in the ground, not pots, and grew quite large.

I also wonder if the plants you got were raised in greenhouses rather than outside? That could also affect how they do in harsh weather. They might acclimatize after one year's winter weather. If you have them in pots, perhaps in winter moving them close to your house where the radiant heat might protect them a bit from drying winds and temps below 0 degrees would work. I also occasionally supplement with water when we don't get much snow. Sometimes it's hard to remember that plants need water in winter also. But I'm sure you already are doing that.

Not to harp on the subject, but what is that outstanding blue petunia? Do you have any idea of the name of it? I love blue flowers but can never find the petunias in that color, they usually have all the pinks, deep velvety purples and reds, or even yellows, but never blue around here.


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