I was doing clean-up on my messy email account, and found some overlooked Garden Chat submissions. With due apologies to both La Passionara and JeffG166…
Top photo: 6.18.2022 Sunrise
4.30.2022 More of the peony tulips.
The clivias were outside all summer under the hollies. Monday afternoon I took them out from there to put them on the sidewalk to get rained on. All summer long the birds pooped on them. I was hoping the rain would clean them off.
Attached is a before and after shot of one pot. The 4 inches I got in this yard Tuesday did most of the work. Bird poop doesn’t come off readily when I wash the leaves by hand.
The two pots of clivias have now gone to the room under the front porch for the winter. They will be inside until next May. They might flower this spring if they are happy.
Commentor LaPassionara, also in early June:
Several years ago, before the pandemic, I saw an interesting exhibit at the home garden center at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It was about the benefits of dandelions. I was skeptical, but when we returned from a month-long trip in late April, I discovered that a host of dandelions had taken over one of my planting beds.
As you can see, they are tall and lanky, and numerous. According to the wisdom of the internet, the long tap root of a dandelion can help break up compacted soil, bring nutrients from deep in the soil to near the surface, and provide other benefits. Given that I had a host of other yard chores to attend to, I decided to leave them be for now. I’m sure my neighbors think I am nuts.
The weeds below are milkweed. I have decided that I will let them stay in this sunny spot, in hopes of attracting Monarch Butterflies. Garden centers actually sell milkweed now.
Still have a couple of (recent!) Garden Chat submissions waiting, but more are always welcome.
What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?
Mrs. VB is planning a major reorganization of one of our gardens, so yday we went to the Long Island Native Plant association plant sale and bought 15 babies of various kinds. Next weekend, I’ll be the guy with the shovel in my hands.
Did the dandelions bloom?
Love that first picture.
Something for garden views and garden thoughts: Harry T. Burleigh was a composer, pianist, baritone soloist and member at St. George Church in Manhattan and regular chorister at Temple Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue, and friend of Antonin Dvorak. Today, September 11, is his feast day in the Episcopal Church.
Nice pics! The boss lady is growing increasingly frustrated with her walking boot and inability to commute with her garden! I managed to mow but, aside from that, I’m useless.
Now I know about peony tulips!
The tulips are beautiful.
@raven: How much longer does she have to wear it?
After a summer of crazy high temp nights suppressing tomato fruiting the last month of warm days and cooler nights has been really good for a bumper crop of heirloom pineapple tomatoes. My first one was almost two pounds! My other plants have green ones and the sungold cherries are producing again, but now it’s a race before the first frost.
@JPL: She goes in Wednesday for a checkup so she’s hopeful.
@satby: The temperature didn’t reach 80 yesterday. It was quite pleasant. Next week it will be in the 80’s but cool off in the sixties at night. My air conditioner can use the break.
@Raven: I hope she gets her wish and is able to get rid of the boot.
The sunrise picture is stunning! And that is interesting about the dandelion tap root being beneficial.
@Tony Jay: LoL
Hope your wife can get back into the garden soon!
@eclare: they did bloom, but when they did, I realized they were not dandelions. I don’t know what they were, but they did not have the long tap root that dandelions have and that are the reason why dandelions benefit the soil. So all of this “letting nature take its course” did not turn out the way I had hoped.
Right now, I have a gazillion of these weeds popping up everywhere. When small, they are easy enough to pull up. But there are SO many, it is a daunting task.
BTW, AL, you had not overlooked these photos. These were in Garden Chat last spring.
@JPL: My favorite time of year: pleasant days and cool nights for sleeping 😊 Plus pretty colors on leaves soon! Too bad it’s often a short season (up north anyway).
We’re supposed to get rain today. Hope so, it’s dry, again.
Milkweed is actually pretty nice. But butterfly weed is spectacular, and since it’s in the same genus, works just as well for monarchs. And it’s just a little pickier about conditions.
A “weed” is just the right plant in the wrong place. Granted, the “wrong place” might be the wrong continent, as with a lot of invasives. Control can become a full time job.
Dandelions are native to Europe, and are actually a lot more benign than a lot of Asian species. But I still can’t figure out why the internet needs to have sites on “how to grow dandelions at home”.
Record breaking 91 degrees for September 10th reported at sea level on Maui.
Low 70s and light rain here in tropical southern MD. This summer was a lot more temperate than I expected, especially compared to the rest of the country. But dry. We need more rain, and at the current rate would be great.
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.
Oh, and I’m calling dibs on “Serendipitous Twofer” as the name of my Simon and Garfunkel tribute band.
@Pete Mack: The thing that bugs me about the USDA zones is that it only takes freezing into account. What plants can I find that need to survive a -5ºF winter AND weeks of rainless 90ºF blazing sunny days?
Yeah, yeah. Dandelions.
Those actually look more like Eastern Black Nightshade. Did they produce tiny white flowers, followed by small black berries? If so then you, might consider replacing them with the real thing. Common milkweed can be transplanted without too much fuss. Just make sure your transplant has plenty of root.
Everyone’s least favorite Shakespeare sonnet.
@Spanky: Yes, THAT’s a frustration! Plants that survive below zero temperatures aren’t very happy during long hot, dry summers. Add in dirty sand for soil and I feel like I’m a beginning gardener all over again.
“The best-laid plans of mice and mean often go awry.“
This past week I intended to work in my garden West of Eden. To undo the violence done to this little slice of heaven by hellish occurrence after hellish occurrence – drought, coffee grounds, caffeinated moles and carp corpses.
I woke early and was finished with my robust farmer’s breakfast by 1:30 PM. I then did some stretching to prepare my aged body for the rigors of my upcoming agrarian labors. Finally, belly full and warmed up, I donned my traditional gardening attire – red flannel shirt, bib overalls, straw hat, engineer boots and my trusty old white leather work gloves.
Out the door I charged. Determined to restore West of Eden from the indignities rained upon It by the gods of the Twilight Hardy Zone. As I neared West of Eden, up on the road, I caught sight of our neighborhood’s social arbiter, the Queen of Mean, Addie Kett.
“Oldgold!,” she screeched, “Have you lost your mind?” Me: “Yes, a long time ago.” Addie Kett: “Yesterday was Labor Day, you cannot wear white gloves!”
So, full of shame, tail between my legs, I retreated to the house and took a long nap.
“For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘What might have been’.“
Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson!)
@Lapassionara: They are one of the wild lettuces or a cousin. So they will have milky sap like dandelions. Maybe Prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola) a non-native field weed from Europe. As you discovered they are shallow rooted annuals and unlike dandelions they have leafy flower stems. I can’t quite see well enough to ID them, but unfortunately those aren’t milkweeds (Asclepias sp.) they have the shape of three-seeded Mercury (Acalypha sp.) which is the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae), I don’t know offhand if they have milky sap like many of their relatives or not. And It’s now raining outside (yea!) so I’m not going out in the garden to find and pull one now. Maybe later.
Rain expected today, followed by a short cool snap. Then 70s/80s return.
The patch of volunteer goldenrod is blooming–yesterday it played host to honey bees, flies, and the odd wasp. The hummingbirds are hitting the Rose of Sharon shrubs. The Autumn Joy sedum is starting to pink up. A small cluster of tall bonesets also showed up–pollinators are supposed to like them and Midwest native plant nurseries sell them, so I’m calling them another freebie from Mother Nature and will keep them. The list of native plants that just showed up and decided they liked it here is getting longer.
I like having stuff that blooms late in the season, when everything else is fading.
@Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson!): Thank you! I’ll read up on these.
I’m ready to put my gardens to bed for the winter, forgetting how dreadful this season was, and looking forward to better next year.
@MomSense: You really did get clobbered this year, garden-wise. Repeat after me: I am a great gardener; the crummy garden this year was not my fault.
It was brutal. We finally have been getting rain but too late. I did get some good basil this year.
@Kristine: I think the hummingbirds in the western edge of central Virginia have decided fall is on the way. A couple of them were fighting over the feeder a couple days ago, but after a cool Friday night they were gone.
This summer most of my gardening was for other people. I did get some gardening in vicariously through horticulturalist Andre Viette’s Saturday radio show. Last week he was talking summer blooming plants. One of his recommendations was a Rose of Sharon variety with blue flowers, named “Bluebird.” He also thinks highly of the “Lord Baltimore” daylily. A classy name.
Viette’s son Mark pitched in with a recommendation for Japanese anemones, or “windflowers.” He said they need partial shade in eastern Virginia but can make under full sun in the Shenandoah Valley. I planted Greek windflower bulbs for a friend last year. I liked how I could place them only 1/2 to 1 inch deep. That’s my kind of bulb!
@oldgold: Nicely done!
The USDA does publish a heat zone map but I have found the east coast west coast divide to be very significant too. The east coast rainy season I’d summer. The west coast is Mediterranean and gets winter rain or snow. It is hugely important.
I learned in a geography class 30 years ago that climate repeated around the world. The big driver is the ocean currents like the Gulf Stream. There are several of these around the world caused by the rotation of the earth, the fact that the equator I’d moving faster than the poles and where the continents are. See, the land is solidly attached to the planet as it rotates and the water isn’t. The water is actually sort of staying in place while the planet rotates underneath. The equator is moving faster so that water gets more momentum than the poles. When it hits land, it gets turned aside in the direction of least resistance which is toward the poles which then go up, and come back down on the other side of the ocean. They make these large circles on either side of the equator. Climates repeat when they are roughly the same difference from the equator, on the same coasts and the same distance inland. Thus Florida has matching climates and therefore plants that do well from southern Japan and China, South Africa on the east coast and a few other place. Europe matches our west coast much better than our east coast.
J R in WV
I am a 1984 grad of Marshall U, which I attended with assistance from the GI Bill and my hard-working wife, as well as minor assistance from my parents who bought my textbooks.
Marshall University beat Notre Dame, soundly, in a football game yesterday in South Bend !!
It isn’t everything great in the world today, but it is up there for Marshall University Graduates!
ETA: Marshall also got paid $$1.2 millions of dollars to play this away game — hurahh!
@satby: Try looking at the website for High Country Gardens, they’re a great source for perennials for difficult conditions and the plant descriptions will tell you what does well in sandy soils, or clay soils, or low nutrient soils.
I had planned a bit of gardening today but the sun is orange and it smells like campfire from the Cedar Creek fire about 30 miles West of here. Maybe staying inside is a better idea.
Yesterday it was supposed to get to 90 but the smoke thickened in the afternoon and it only got to 78. Like most of forested Oregon, it’s a nervous waiting game hoping for cooler temperatures and rain to put an end to fire season.