Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sunflower Heads

Sunflower head by Aprille

This is one of my Sunflowers that was 10' tall! After the yellow petals drop, the head begins to turn downward. Research says you must wait to cut it to obtain the seeds until the back is brown. If you don't wait the seeds will not loosen easily. IT IS TAKING FOREVER! I'm waiting. I just hope the birds don't get them before I do.

Sunflower leaf by Aprille

I have seen finches eating the leaves. Weird, right? They sit on the tops of the leaves and just eat what's up towards the sun. Those leaves are like 10" across. So 3/4 of them turn downwards. Birds can have the leaves but not the seeds. Are you growing sunflowers?

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Bright Spot In August

Just had to share that my Fair Bianca, a David Austin English rose is blooming today. It is a "bright spot" or shall I say a "cool spot" in these dog days of summer and oh so fragrant! I can't wait until Autumn because I'm so tired of sweating. And as soon as the weather cools ALL my roses will be blooming!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dog Days Of Summer

We're in the middle of the dog days of summer. We've had it fairly good since there's been no 100 degree temps in a month or so. But it has been in the 90s for weeks. I complain about the weather because I suffer(don't do well) in it for a living. I work in the morning before it gets too hot. In SoCal we have summer from June through October. The other 7 months here are the best for working outdoors.

I just wanted to share a bright spot to these dog days. Here is a reblooming bearded Iris Pure As Gold. If you've been following for awhile you know that I love Irises. I have 53 planted, bought 2 yesterday and 2 more came in the mail. It's so wonderful to almost always have an Iris blooming!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Gomphrena "Fireworks"

Back in February I was at my friend Kathy's house taking rose cuttings and I saw this amazing plant in bloom in her garden.  She told me that it was Gomphrena "Fireworks".  Say GOM-free-NA. I promptly went home and looked it up on the internet.   It is from the Amaranth family and native to the tropical Americas, Australia and Asia.    I found plants only sold at Annie's Annuals up in the San Francisco Bay area but it wasn't available then. I put it on my wishlist and waited.  It was probably May when it became available and I mail ordered one plant of it(expensive with shipping) plus a couple others.  I planted it in the ground and it is doing fabulous, blooming almost since I got it.  It is about 3 feet tall now.

Flash forward to last week when I was at my local Armstrong Garden Center and what do I see, a whole flat of 4" pots of that Gomphrena "Fireworks".  Now, it's the dog days of summer, 90º out and I shouldn't be planting. But I was pissed off that it was so difficult to get back in winter and here it is so easy to get now! Ugh, so I bought another.  Had I a bunch of money I would have bought 10 as it's an amazing plant that makes great cut flower filler too!  Said to be an annual, I hope it lasts longer than just this year.  

Happy gardening! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hose Wreath

I got this idea from Pinterest. But every photo I saw used new materials. I wanted to recycle old materials. Did you save an old hose, maybe to use pieces as tree ties or something? Use a piece for a unique upcycled garden wreath. I added a pair of orange rubber gloves, an old sprinkler head, a tiny clay pot, some used tie tape and a cluster of huge Eucalyptus seed pods from a tree near downtown Burbank that we stopped to pick. Trash to decoration. I hope no one steals it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Planting

On July 31 we will have been in this, our first house for 4 years! It seems to have flown by! But I have just to look at how the garden has grown to see those 4 years.

Since I have my own ground I have a really difficult time sticking to my own rule. "Smart gardeners don't plant in the heat of the summer". The reason for that is, it's hard for new plants to establish themselves in the hot weather. And it has been hot, 90s and humid for the past few weeks. I picked up some mulch yesterday at a nursery for a job and couldn't help but buy this Salvia Patio Deep Blue that I had never seen before. I planted it in the garden this evening. I DO love Salvias. Wish me luck that it doesn't fry in August.

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?