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Showing posts with the label cut flowers

That's Not Nicotiana - That's Pokeweed - Garden Edit - July 2024

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A month ago, I posted photos showing the seed packet and the knee-high seedlings that were popping up in my new full-sun cut-flower bed on the side of our house .  I crowed about how I was really pushing things with getting used to direct-sowing seeds like this Nicotiana Jasmine.   In that month since, the seedlings kept getting TALLER AND TALLER.  Some were over my head.  And all of them were crowding out other things - like Zinnias and a few Dahlia tubers that I interplanted in that same bed.   Curious, I thought.  They were growing taller and taller.  No blooms.  Here's what they looked like: Then....we went to Nat's parents house where her mom has plenty of Nicotiana Jasmine.  Too much, maybe.  Her Mom says that it reseeds iteself.  When I looked at hers, they were MUCH SHORTER.  And the leaves were more droop-y and almost like a lettuce leaf.   VERY DIFFERENT from what I was seeing in my bed.   Then, I saw some of the buds had emerged.  They were pointy, long and curving. 

First Cut-And-Come Again Zinnias - July 2024

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Cut flower season has arrived with the first Cut-and-Come-Again Zinnias.  These three followed the first Dahlia that I showed yesterday - a Melina Fleur Dahlia .  These were direct sown seeds and are being over-shadowed by what I'm pretty sure is Nicotiana Jasmine stalks.  I might have to thin those out to keep these happy - not to mention the Disneyland Roses that are tucked back in there. I did exactly what their name implies:  cut them.  Here's to...ummm...coming again. These took a little more than four weeks from seeds being sown to the first cut flowers. 

First Dahlia Boom Of The Season - Melina Fleur Dahlia - July 2024

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Out in the front yard, I am seeing my first Dahlia bloom of the season:  a Melina Fleur Dahlia that is (right now) short and stout with the bloom nestled in amongst the dark green foliage.  These were planted outdoors about six weeks ago after being started in nursery pots indoors .  I left this one on the plant (for now), but hope to cut some of these as they pop-off in the coming weeks.   Below is a look at the first Dahlia bloom of the season - the Melina Fleur Dahlia:

Disneyland Roses Rebound - Late June 2024

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What a difference two weeks make.  Earlier this month, I posted about our Disneyland Roses and described them as 'struggling '.  This is the second year where they 'struggled' - including an infestation of Sawfly Larvae.  The three bareroot ones didn't come back this season and I suspect it was the result of the pests.  As I've done in previous years, I've begun to feed the three remaining Floribunda roses with a combo fert + systemic insecticide on the first of the month (May, June).   But, that wasn't enough.  The leaves of the roses were lace-like and the plant seemed to be in decline. That's when I took drastic measures and first sprayed Neem Oil on them every few days follwing by  bombing all three of them with Eight insecticide dust .  The remaining foliage had a ghost-like quality with the white dust clinging to the leaves and stems.  For days and (now) weeks.     These Disneyland roses grow in 'flushes'.  At least that's what I c

In Praise of Drumstick Allium - June 2024

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The larger, more-showy Alliums are long gone.  Bloomed, were show-offs, and now all that is left behind are husks of their former glory.  But, not Drumstick Alliums.  I planted 50 Drumstick Allium bulbs back in the Fall of 2021 .  And didn't think much about it.  In fact, I'm not sure they were planted in the right spots.  But today?  I'm finding them to add a nice little pop of color to our garden and think I should plant even more this Fall.   I have them IB2DWs, in back and on the side of our house.  They are blooming right now - mid/late June and they work well (for me) when they're interplanted amongst other things so the little purple flower head sort-of peeks out.   My Fall 2024 bulb planting should include more of these.  I could see a big MASS planting and/or interplanted in lots of places.  

Four Cornell Bronze Dahlias Planted - Sideyard + IB2DWs - June 2024

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The last of the Dahlia tubers are in the ground:  I planted four Cornell Bronze Dahlias that I bought this past winter from Longfield Gardens.  I started them in nursery pots indoors, then moved those to the patio to get acclimated.    I've put in six Melina Fluer dahlias - three in the sideyard and three in the front porch bed .  Then, I put in four Orange Nugget dahlias in the new sideyard bed .  And, now I've put in four (2 in sideyard and 2 IB2DWs) Cornell Bronze dahlias.  13 total plants for the season.  Cut flower season. These are behind the others, but with a little water and a lot of sun, I'm thinking they'll close the gap quickly. 

Nicotiana alata 'Perfume Deep Purple' Planted IB2DWs - June 2024

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More flowers.  That's a big breakthrough for me as a gardener in 2024.  Last week, I posted photos of the Zinnias and Dahlias that I planted IB2DWs and in the new seed bed.  Today, I'm sharing the details of another new (to me) flower:  Nicotiana 'Perfume Deep Purple'.  I bought just one and planted it in the conifer garden - IB2DWs.  Below is the sign from The Growing Place that talks about the dark purple blooms and the smells that come with this flower: I've had Nicotiana Jasmine before , but it didn't reseed.    This new one is purple (vs white) and it is also in full sun.  Below is what it looks like at the time of planting: Below is a photo that provides a little context - this is in the new (as of last Fall) conifer garden.  

Cut and Come Again Zinnia Seeds Direct Sown - June 2024

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Day four of Zinnia-mania - but now we move from beyond IB2DWs to the new cut flower bed that I carved out on the side of our house.   For 2024 plantings with Zinnias, I first  posted the details of some common orange Zinnias that I planted as bedding plants .  A day earlier, I planted a larger, further-along  Uproar Rose Zinnia  from the nursery.   Then, yesterday I planted a Zowie Yellow Flame Zinnia in the conifer garden IB2DWs .  I pinched off all the blooms on these to try to get them to grow a bit more bushier.   But, I'm also going full-on Zinnia Chaos Gardener with the new bed on the southside of the house .  I bought a couple of packets of Cut-and-Come-Again Zinnias and decided to direct sow them in the bed.  Did I evenly space them?  No, just kind-of scattered them.  Here's the bed recently planted - you can see anything but loam/dirt/mulch/compost/biosolids of course: I also put some in the Greenstalk tower.   But, that's not all.  Last Fall, I collected some Zin

Planting A Zowie Yellow Flame Zinnia IB2DWs - June 2024

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Day three of Zinnia-mania IB2DWs.  Yesterday, I posted the details of some common orange Zinnias that I planted as bedding plants .  A day earlier, I planted a larger, further-along Uproar Rose Zinnia from the nursery.   I have been trying to push myself past the discomfort around flowers and this new Zinnia from The Growing Place certainly is there: out of my comfort zone.   As I walked around the nursery, this Zinnia jumped off the bench.  Zowie Yellow Flame Zinnia.  See below for the sign.  It reads: "This stunning cultivar will stand out in any setting with its 3' - 4' bicolor blooms of golden yellow and magenta orange."   This was the MOST expensive Zinnia that I have bought, but it was a 6.5" nursery pot: And, that meant that I really bought TWO zinnias.  After having them sit on the driveway for a couple of days, I noticed the foliage was drooping.  That evening - after work - I dug them in to the conifer garden.  Below you can see the immediate look - wi

Orange Zinnias As Bedding Plants - IB2DWs - June 2024

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 For Mother's Day, the kids and I bought a couple of flats of ordinary orange zinnias from the big box store that we planted in some pots for the Moms (and God Mothers) in our/their lives.  I ended up having a few extra and put some in our back patio containers (more on those later), and decided to plant four as bedding plants near the driveway in the original IB2DWs bed.  I picked orange because I like orange and it is the Illini color (of course).   Yesterday, I posted about the one Uproar Rose Zinnia IB2DWs - and that one is much larger/bushier than these.    Below the first photo shows what these orange zinnias look like after a week or so in the ground: I have limited experience with flowers (as I've said in the past), but what I've read and watched online, you can pinch off blooms to (try to) get bushier plants.  So, naturally...I decided to sacrifice these early orange flowers.  I cut them all off - you can see the result below.  I left the flower heads there on the

Uproar Rose Zinnia elegans - Planted IB2DWS - June 2024

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#2 on my priority list for 2024 is to 'keep going with flowers' .  That means...pushing through my discomfort around blooming perennials and annuals and planting things that I haven't in the past.  This year, that means that I am expanding a little bit out from what I *do* know and what I *do* like.    Last year, I had a small patio container that mixed some salmon-colored zinnias and Euphorbia .  It was great and I was able to cut from the Zinnias all through the late Summer/early Fall.   This Spring, I cut out a new bed on the southside and planned to spread some Zinnia seeds around (more on this soon) to serve as a sort-of cut flower garden bed.   But, I also went further with flowers this year by planting some dahlia tubers.  So far, I've planted six Melina Fleur Dahlia tubers (that I started indoors) .  Three in the sideyard, three in the front porch bed (where the Disneyland Roses were last year).  And, I put in three Orange Nugget Dahlia tubers in that Zinnia b

Three Orange Nugget Dahlia Tubers Planted - June 2024

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I've been pushing myself to do more flowers in 2024 - and that includes dahlia tubers.  I posted recently about how I transplanted the Melina Fleur tubers that I started in containers into the new flower bed on the southside of our house.  Earlier this year, I picked up three Orange Nugget Dahlia tubers at Menards and did the same container-start with them .  This past weekend, I dug the three of them into that same southside bed.   Below, you can see the three sprouted tubers - Orange Nugget Dahlias. Below is a look at the foliage that has sprouted from one of the Orange Nugget tubers: I have a few more tubers to get in the ground and when those are done, I'll have ten-or-so dahlias in teh ground.  

Sarah Bernhardt Peonies - Cut Flowers - May 2024

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It is peony season around here.   When we were first dating, Nat was a blogger.  Her url was iheartpeonies dot com.  The very first thing that we planted in our first garden was a Sarah Bernhardt peony that was a division from Nat's mom's garden.  The story goes that the peony was her great aunt's peony that had been divided a number of times to be planted in various family member's gardens.   That peony ended up back in Nat's Mom's garden when we moved out.  I said - back in 2017 - that it was being 'fostered' .  But, it has stayed there these seven-plus years.   Our new garden didn't have any peonies.  Until 2018 when I bought a couple of tubers.  The first one was Sarah Bernhardt .  The pink peony that you think of when you think of peonies.  It has moved around a few times, but ended up IB2DWS and has grown quite a bit up there.  Last year (2023), I declared was our first REAL 'Peony Season' .  It was the first time that we had blooms; or

Planting Six Melina Fleur Dahlia Tubers In the Beds - May 2024

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I'm moving onto the 'in ground' phase of my 2024 dahlia journey.    Three weeks ago, I potted-up my six Melina Fleur dahlia tubers into one-gallon nursery pots and started them indoors .  After they sprouted, I began to move them outside and did a little bit of hardening-off by putting them out in the shade for a few hours during the days and bringing them in at night.  Eventually....I just started leaving them outside overnight and they all seemed to be fine.  Here, below, is what they look like now:  about six-inches of foliage on each one: I put three of them on the southside of the house - where I get full sun.  Tucked in/out of the Disneyland Roses along the foundation bed.    Below is one in front of the gas meter, one in front of the power meter and one tucked close to the gate, between a Karl Foerster Grass and the last Disneyland Rose.   Speaking of Disneyland Roses...I now can (sadly) say that the three from 2023 all died.  Didn't come back this Spring.  Bumme

New Bed for Cut Flowers - South Sideyard - May 2024

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The southside sideyard of our property is like most suburban sideyards.  Long and narrow.  It is also one of the very few areas outside of our front yard where we get A LOT of sun.  Over the years, I've planted some things over there including three Disneyland Roses , a pair of espaliered Sugar Tyme Crabapple trees , some Summer Beauty Allium, Karl Foerster Grasses, a few various allium bulbs, our Indiana Street Iris  and last Fall I added a small Blue Star Juniper .  Closer to the front of the house, we have a pair of Limelight Hydrangeas that are adjacent to the porch. The bed along this side of the house has been the same size since we moved in:  long and thin and hugging the foundation.  Something about 18" wide.  Below is a photo showing the bed as it looked before I started this new bed project.  One other note (to future Jake) - the orange spray paint shows where the cable line is buried.   I've been talking about growing flowers since last Fall - and pushed myself

Potting Up Melina Fleur Dahlia Tubers - May 2024

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Back in December, I ordered some Dahlia Tubers from Longfield Gardens and planned to try to both grow them this year AND (importantly) treat them as something that I'll pull out of the ground before the season ends and attempt to over-Winter in my garage.  I bought two varieties - Melina Fleur and Cornel Bronze Dahlias .  They recently arrived and I decided to start some of them indoors.  The Melina Fleur tubers come two-to-a-pack, so I grabbed six one-gallon nursery containers that I had laying around and filled them with a sandy homebrewed potting mix.  It is a mix of sand + potting mix that I normally use for succulents.  Here, below, is a photo of the Longfield Gardens dahlia tuber packaging that lists some specs (18" apart, 32" tall). After potting them up, I brought them down to the basement in the window well.  This is south-facing and while it *is* the basement, they get good light down there.  I put them on some trays that I had laying around and watered them in.