Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Green Flowers

Usually when flowers are spent, we cut them off to encourage more flowers. It's called deadheading and I know I've mentioned it before. It's what gardeners spend a lot of their time doing.    It makes the plant concentrate on making more flowers instead of making seeds. And most gardeners are all about MORE FLOWERS! I know I am :-)

This is that Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle Smooth Spirit that I bought back in April that I was so excited about. See here Hydrangea Post.   The flowers start out pink then turn green. The plant was sort of laying down with all these green flowers. So I cut them all off to encourage more pink blooms and to make a bushier plant. I like the way they look so I put them in a vase.  


  Do you grow Hydrangeas?  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Shade loving Vine

There are not many vines that I know that are shade loving. Stephanotis does it's best in shade to partial sun. Mine is on the east side of the house behind a Tangerine tree that also gets some shade from a huge Cedar tree. I know I've posted on this before. But it's summer and Stephanotis smells so good. It's native to Madagascar and thereby its common name is Madagascar Jasmine. It will grow in full sun. But then the leaves will be yellowish and not as lush. So if you have a shady spot for a vine, try Stephanotis. The white shows up at night and the flowers smell yummy all day and night.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Deadheading means removing spent flowers from any plant.  That makes the plant stop concentrating on making seed to concentrate on making new flowers.  So I was on a job today and needed to deadhead a hedge of about maybe 7 Jerusalem Sage or Phlomis fruticosa plants. You might have seen them before. They have yellow flower spikes. The task looked daunting and I only had 45 minutes left at that job. The first pic is "before" and the second is "after". I spent all 45 minutes on it and didn't get around the corner by the porch steps. Just wanted to share my tedious job for today. I hope you has a good gardening day.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Just had to share how big my Sunflowers are now. Can you see me between them? I'm 5'9". That makes them about 10' tall! I did sow about 10 seeds but only 3 survived. This is my first time growing them and they grew SO fast!! Are you growing Sunflowers?

Monday, June 30, 2014

New Coreopsis

I used to dislike Coreopsis because they're a pain to deadhead. But you get so much color in a short perennial that I guess it's a small price to pay.

Say Core-E-OP-sis. Research says the common name is Tickseed but I've never heard that. It's native to the Americas and likes full sun. The common varieties are yellow and usually grow to about 2 feet tall which is unusual for a perennial. Most perennials grow taller. I'm always looking for something a bit taller than a border but not too tall. Herbaceous perennial as it is, it needs to be cut back almost completely in winter.

There are many new colored hybrids of Coreopsis. I should have bought that pink one I saw about a month ago but didn't. I AM a sucker for orange flowers and blooms that change color so I had to buy this one today even though I'm breaking my own rule about planting in the summer heat. This variety is called "Citrine" after the crystal rock it resembles. Do you grow Coreopsis?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Reasons NOT To Plant

There are reasons you don't see certain plants in people's yards. It might be susceptible to a disease or takes over or something.

This is a plant called Sweet Broom or Genista. It gets beautiful yellow pea flowers in Spring and is always in the nurseries then in full bloom. But you don't often see them in gardens. Why? Because they get a caterpillar that will defoliate the whole plant and kill it! Most folks don't notice the caterpillar until it's too late and wonder why the plant died. One could spray BT(Bacillus thuringensis) to kill the pests. Or one could resist even planting it and buy another plant. Just a suggestion.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


 I planted watermelon seeds in one of my raised beds in the backyard about 6 weeks ago. This is my first time growing watermelon. Last year I did Zucchini in this bed. The year before I had pumpkins grow all over only to have only 3 pumpkins rot :-(. The watermelon are now growing like crazy and have finally started making fruit! Today they are like half an egg sized. I'll post updates when they get bigger. What summer fruit and/or vegetables are you growing?