Friday, September 16, 2016

Sweet Peas

Now is the time to plant Sweet Peas from seed! I planted mine around the first of this month and already have sprouts.  Yay! I soaked them overnight in water before I planted. 
























I am so excited about them this year.  Or should I say next year. They are the only annual that takes SO LONG from sprout to flower.  It takes like 6 or 7 months for flowers to come! Marigolds take like 4 weeks!  Tomatoes take about 8 weeks!  

The reason I am more excited this time is because I brought back with us a packet of Lisa Marie(silver grey and pink flowers seen there were stunning!) seeds from the Chelsea Flower Show in London(back in May). 


Lisa Marie Sweet Peas from The Chelsea Flower Show



And I ordered some ORANGE Sweet Pea seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.   That's right!  ORANGE Sweet Peas!   And I got 2 different orange varieties. I have never seen orange Sweet Peas. Yay!  They should be excellent! 




So if you're in SoCal or the West and want Sweet Peas, go buy some, soak them and plant them ASAP!  

Happy Gardening! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pretty Purple Flowers

I bought this plant maybe one year ago from The Huntington Botanical Gardens nursery. It grew fast and bloomed a little last year. But now it is glorious! 

It is called Dichoriste thunbergiflora.  Say DI-kor-EEST  thun-BERJ-eh-FLOR-a. It's a mouthful, right? I think that means that it has flowers kinda like Thunbergia, or Black-Eyed Susan vine. Yes the flower shape is similar, a tube that flares out at the end with a dark center. Black Eyed Susans are Orange with black throats.  Gotta love Latin. It tells you right there whats what(if you know). 

 It has grown to about 3' tall and 2' wide. I gave it a haircut last year to make it bushier.  It is growing on the east side of our house. But it gets a LOT of sun.  


I love the color.    
Happy Gardening! 


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Chelsea Flower Show Part 4 -Roses

I realized that August is almost over and I hadn't posted here yet!  I am not a fan of summer. If you've been reading here you'll know that it's about all I can do to keep my garden watered in the summer heat.  I look forward to autumn and cooler weather.  

I promised the roses part of our Chelsea Flower Show visit from back in May. Here ya go.  

Peter Beales' booth was glorious.  
Peter Beales Roses
Me at Peter Beales Roses


Chevy Chase






At David Austin Roses' booth there were introducing a rose to commemorate Roald Dahl. Below is an enormous Peach from "James & The Giant Peach", one of Roald Dahl's famous stories.   David Austin's booth had beautiful roses in it. But it was crowded and to be honest, I think Peter Beales' booth was better.
Davis Austin Roses




They were ALL beautiful.  
Happy Gardening! 




Sunday, July 31, 2016

Amaranthus

This is my first time growing any Amarath. I sowed the seeds back in March. Remember those pretty pink seedlings I posted?    See here:   My Seedling Post              Those cute little things are now 6' tall!  I knew they were going to grow big but not taller than me(5' 9")! So I just went back and looked at the seed packet. It says Amaranthus hypochondriacus. What a funny name. And the height listed is 5-8'! The packet also says you can cook the seeds like rice or pop like popcorn!   If I get ambitious enough and the seeds are easy to collect, I might try cooking them.  But I am not that good a cook.   I was growing them for awesome dramatic flowers!  And they are! 



Last week you could see some of the ash on the leaves from the fires in Santa Clarita over the hills from us. 

















Are you growing Amaranthus?   

 Happy Gardening! 



Friday, July 29, 2016

Chelsea Flower Show Part 3


Thanks for coming back to see more of my flower/garden pix from the Chelsea Flower Show from our London trip back in May.

The Begonias were amazing.







The Clematis were gorgeous!









The Chrysanthemums were beautiful.
I REALLY want this new variety named for Princess Charlotte
Princess Charlotte



Okay, enough for today.
Stay tuned.  My next post will include roses from Chelsea!

Happy Gardening!











Saturday, July 16, 2016

Digiplex-who? Is that a Movie Theater?

I began seeing this new plant called Digiplexis(say didge-eh-plex-iss) a few years ago in nurseries.  The name sounds like a movie theater, I know.  The plants were beautiful and looked like a brightly colored Foxglove with beefier green foliage.  They were too spendy for me then and always seemed to come in big containers. And as you know the bigger the plant/pot, the more it costs.

** The following 3 pix taken from the internet to illustrate. 

Research tells that Digiplexis, a perennial

Digiplexis
is a cross between Digitalis(Foxglove), a biennial

Digitalis or Foxglove
 and Isoplexis which is a tender perennial that one hardly ever sees in nurseries.

Isoplexis

So, I was at Home Depot this week and found Digiplexis in one gallon containers for only $5.99!  I broke my own rule(like I often do) of not buying plants in our summer heat and bought 2 of them.  I couldn't help it!  I had been wanting them for several years and they were cheap!!

So here is one that I planted in my garden yesterday and watered many times.  They are supposed to take full sun to part shade. And I have seen them in sun at a big wholesale nursery.  But I planted mine in part shade on the east side. They'll get morning sun.  Wish me luck that I can keep them alive through our hot SoCal summer.



The other one was starting to wilt so. So I cut off the flowers to save the plant and put them in a little vase making a quickie bouquet with an orangey red tacoma and an Erica discolor.  
Are you growing Digiplexis?   

Happy gardening! 


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

New Backyard Arbor

The weather has been cooler here in SoCal. Thanks goodness! Supposed to be low 80ºs all week. 

  Our backyard BAKES. I have there three raised beds for vegetables plus all my potted Pelargoniums.  First I painted the inside of the fence green instead of the blinding white. That didn't seem to help. Then I planted a Silver Dollar Eucalyptus tree.  It is growing but has yet to make shade.  So I thought the more upright things I put back there, the more shade I can make, the better.  This weekend we put in another arbor for climbing plants.  I drug home after asking my friend Diana if I could have them (you can read her blog Life Well Blended) 2 long pieces of rebar that were in her garden she said were left over from house construction.  We bought 1/2" metal conduit and cut it into 4 3' pieces.  Those were pounded into the ground. After bending the rebar together(not so perfectly) Rick and I just slid the rebar legs in to the conduit and wired the top together.  No cement at all!  




I planted a Tropical Lightning rose on the left side. 


And I plated a Petrea volubilis on the other.  


Should make an interesting color combination.  I'll post again when they grow up! Thanks Diana! 

Happy Gardening!