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I like the sunshine helenium much better now that it’s bloomed, but it still needs to be moved in the fall. It’s too damn tall and it will crowd out the daylily near it. I’ll have to find something else interesting to plant in that spot.
It is kind of cool that they’re all different, though. I think I’m still partial to the more painted on look of the mardi gras, but the sunshine is very pretty.
And now on to the veggie garden. Sorry for the kind of crap pics (view full size and magnify to see better), but I always take these in the evening when I get home from work, and by then the sun isn’t quite right for the best pics. Have to remember to take some earlier ones on the weekends. Everything in the veggie garden is doing well. We’ve had a bit of rain lately, so I haven’t used the soaker hose in a few weeks. I’m not sure how the advice to pick off lower leaves of tomato plants below the first set of flowers has worked out – supposedly it makes the stems stronger, but some of mine are still floppy (great, now I’ll get MORE searches for that!). I know that part of the reason for that is that they could use a bit more sun – hopefully if we do the new raised bed nearer the deck, I can start alternating the tomatoes yearly to that bed, where they will get more sun. The lack of sun also means they are a bit tall – which means that they are starting to outgrow all my cages – triangle cages (love them), standard tomato cages, and trellises with bambo. Oh well – I’ll make it work. I’m already miles better than last year.
They are still producing fine – between the tomatoes and peppers, I probably pick about 5 or 6 veggies a day. Not too shabby! And the herbs – my god the herbs! Would you like any??? It’s great though – I’m giving them away, and when they start to wane, I’ll dry or freeze them and have plenty for all winter long. Also – check out the GIANT cactus zinnia! I had no idea they got like this. Def going to (more strategically) plant more of these next year.
In this garden is: rosemary, marigolds, cactus zinnia, pimento peppers, banana peppers, cayenne peppers, jalapeno peppers, cherry tomatoes (hanging), roma tomatoes, big boy tomatoes, golden tomatoes, various other heirloom tomatoes, common sage, sweet basil, opal basil (in pot), cilantro (in pot), lemon verbena.
And look what I scored at a local nursery’s tent sale! Two large terra cotta pots (one large enough to grow tomatoes in) with small cracks – one for $7 and one for $3. Also 2 creme brulee heucheras (which I’ve wanted! Now I ummm have to figure out where to put them) and a yellow big sky coneflower (yeah, I have like 40 coneflowers on order from Springhill, but ummmmm I got this one, too). Might check back later on when they tend to put more of the decoration-type stuff on sale later in the year. I got a bunch of smaller pots last year at their tent sale for like $1 a piece.
And just for my hubby, who asked me this morning before getting his wisdom teeth out why I posted the crappy picture of him from the pub in my last post – a GOOD picture of him from the bar (and a not great one of me). It is HARD to find a good one of the two of us when either 1- I miss you when taking a 2-person self photo or 2- We are both in the picture but you are making a retarded face on purpose. Got it?? ❤
On a related note, I need to start blogging about general bitching about things as well as gardening. That is really my forté. We’ll see if it happens. In the mean time, I am picking up another CSA delivery tomorrow and am going to try to sneak some pics of the place…ssshhhhhhh….
I happen to have a problem. A helenium problem. I purchased 2 heleniums for this season. Two sunshine heleniums which came way early from Springhill, and one mardi gras helenium from Bluestone Perennials. The mardi gras has been blooming for quite some time and is really pretty. Lovely blooms that make great cut flowers, and the plant is the perfect height, coming in just above the stella d’oro daylilies in front of it to nicely fill in the section of garden closest to the house. Rudbeckia cherry brandy is planted beside it and it looks great. In the same area opposite those (nearer to the steps) I planted the sunshine helenium. They are finally getting buds on them. And holy effing Jesus they’re HUGE.
(Sorry for darkish pics – I always do this stuff after work when everything is shady!) The one closest to the step isn’t too bad, but the other one is GIANT! I planted that stuff back there to help make it pretty until the teensy euonymous gets bigger. Only it looks more like a crazy weed than a pretty plant right now. I had no idea it go that tall! What to do, what to do? I am planning on ordering that big giant group of coneflowers I mentioned in the last post, so if I plant those around the asiatic lilies, perhaps I can move these 2 giant heleniums over there, too? Only is it OK to do it now, or will I have to wait until next season? I’m kind of dying to move them now since they look so awful. I’d have to replace them with something. I have a smallish black-eyed susan that is a bit hidden from view on the other side of the steps that I could move to the more visible spot.
I also may order some more cherry brandy because I really, really like them (that may wait until the fall or next year, though). I really like these. (Wait, did I already say that?) The flowers range in size from about an inch across to about 3 inches, and the color ranges from maroon and pink to maroon and dark red. Very pretty and they also have a lot of flowers in them, which is nice. The rudbeckia cappucino is also pretty and the flowers are much larger (larger than the palm of my hand), but there are less on them per plant. They also last a week or more as cut flowers and would probably be great dried, as well.
The cappucino is more of an orange and brown combo, whic is fine. Melds well with the gaillardia “Arizona sun” and the daylilies, etc. I tend to like oranges, yellows, and reds in my garden. Brighter primary colors are my thang (though I keep ending up with a lot of pink plants, too – how does that happen?). Between all my rudbeckias and the gerber daisies, I’m trying to keep some cut flowers in the house all summer – it’s really very nice. I’ve been taking them to work to cheer up my cube, too. Few things are more beautiful and perfect than a perfect red gerber daisy, imho. I’ll have to have a photo session with one of mine soon 🙂
So – what should I do with the sunshine heleniums? Think it’s ok to move them this weekend? We actually have guests coming later this month (not staying here, but I’m sure they’ll visit), so I want everything to look *pretty*!
First of all, if you haven’t done so yet, enter my contest!!
OK, now that that’s out of the way…Happy Bloom Day! I missed the last bloom day because I was in Hawaii (!!!), so lots of fun updates. Today I bought some coreopsis (moonbeam, limerock ruby, and a variageated 2-tone one I forget the name of). I used 2 to fill in some spots where I planted the carnations a bit far apart and to cover up the fading carnation blooms (foliage is nice all year). Hopefully this pairing will work out. The third one went in a pot that will soon be featured in the “my fave pots” series.
I also moved a few herbs that had been potted into the place where I pulled the bolted lettuce, and finally pulled the pansies in the front beside the steps – replaced them with some orange gazanias and dusty miller (we’ll see if I like it). So here’s the list, more or less…
- asiatic lilies
- easter lilies (about damn time!)
- stella d’oro daylilies
- fragrant returns daylilies
- happy returns daylilies
- harlequin flower (but I have yet to see one in full bloom – do they bloom and fade all in one day??)
- mardi gras helenium
- arizona sun gaillardia
- all the annuals, or course
- spiderwort (sweet kate and standard)
- the mystery pink rose
- a few dianthus still
About to bloom:
- white, pink, and red coneflower
- rudbeckia – black eyed susan, cappucino, cherry brandy
- sunshine helenium
- frans hals and mystery dayliles
Has baby veggies:
- cayenne peppers
- banana peppers
- roma tomatoes
- big boy tomatoes
- 100 super sweet cherry tomatoes
- mystery heirloom tomato #1
- royal burgundy bush beans
Has flowers but no real veggies yet: (all the rest)
- jalapeno peppers
- 5 other mystery heirlooms
My Mardi Gras helenium finally bloomed! I love it as much as I thought I would! Sweet. The red looks like it’s painted on, the center looks like a little pincushion. The flowers are small (maybe half dollar sized?), but it looks like there will be a bunch, and supposedly it blooms all season and is a good cutting plant. Hope so! They are slightly taller than my daylilies and help fill up the gap back there and add some interest behind my still itty bitty euonymus bushes, just like I hoped (I have a mix of helenium, echinacea/coneflower, and various rudbeckia back there).
Also, noticed this leaf while I was strolling through the yard the other day (strolling – yeah, I was strolling, what of it?). I loved it! Took pics. It had rained for a ton of days previous, but not the day I took the pic, so that leaf had been holding on to it for a while. Can anyone tell me what kind of leaf it is (this is not a test, I really don’t know – it’s the tree that makes the orange flowery things though, I think)?
Stay on the lookout for a giveaway, guys…I want to get good pics of the goods, but here is a preview (in which I look lame): http://www.twitpic.com/6xq8w. I have a few of these to give away, no strings attached!