20 August 2009

Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?

Whilst on my early morning stroll to collect greenhouse environmental data, I stopped to say hello to my garden. It's been a while, what with everything going on lately, and my garden was just a little cranky. I obviously need to get out and spend some quality time with it.

My container garden needs a little fluffing up for fall; the patio tomatoes are done and their space needs to be filled so I threw in a couple of the Coleus that I propagated during my time in Greenhouse Production. Since I've got enough Pansies left over from my Greenhouse Management project I'll pop them in when they're big enough.

I was kind of excited about the Millet...not only is the foliage flippin' gorgeous, the seed heads keep the birds happy!

Probably my favorite part of the container is the Salvia discolor, which I grew in my garden in LA. Back there it would have started blooming in the spring and wouldn't stop. Here, it didn't start blooming until a few weeks ago. In LA, the Black Sage went from a 4" pot to a froth of bloom in a few months. Here, it's still a little spindly and not very full, so I'm eager to see how it overwinters and what it does its second year. Fun stuff, this gardening in another climate!

And then there's the Mina lobata...

See the humming bird? No words needed. I watched the hummer as it flew off and saw this...

The Broom Corn absolutely towers above everything else in the garden! To make it even more spectacular, the seed heads are starting to put on their fall colors. It's awesome!

Over in the northwest quad, the Mexican Hat was having a garden fiesta...

And the Asclepias is in full flower, keeping the Monarchs and Swallowtails happy.

One huge disappointment has been this Tanacetum. My garden in LA had two Tanacetums that I was rather fond of (T. haradjani which looks like a carpet of silver ostrich feathers, and T. 'Beth Chatto' named for the English plantswoman I had the honor of meeting a few years ago). Those Tanacetums thrived on the neglect I lavished upon them. They didn't mind the garden's sandy soil and minimal water, either. Enter the poor Tanacetum in my PA garden, where we've had one of the wettest summers in recent memory. Even though I exercised the same amount of neglect I gave their cousins in LA, the heavier - and wetter - soil here has resulted in a superbly tetchy plant! One of them gave it up altogether and another is thinking about it.

The giant sunflowers are finally starting to aspire to their reputed 12' height (no thanks to the deer nibbling them when they were babies) but they have no hope against the Broom Corn!

Another plant I started from seed is this green Zinnia. It's lovely but needs something to make it pop - a contrasting foliage plant or other blooms. Looks like I'll also have to spend some quality time with a few nursery catalogs!

And since I have a plethora of Coleus, I put some in the garden to liven things up. I am exceedingly pro-Coleus at the moment, and have great plans to multiply my humble collection even more. Imagine how the garden will glow with more of these babies in it!

No comments: