July 2008

PolyannaYou have heard me complain about the cold spring we had this year. This is yet another example. In years gone by we could expect to see our Oriental lilies in bloom by the first week of July, this year the Asiatics have barely broken bud, never mind the Orientals. Here we have 'Polyanna'. It readily sets stem bulbils and multiplies quickly that way.

Red Bull'Red Bull' is a strong, vigorous grower for us and can be found planted both in the garden as well as in large pots.

SuncrestIt's a fair question as to what this particular one actually is. It was purchased as 'Suncrest' but it is more reminiscent of 'Latvia' ones I have seen. The picture on the bag matches the flowers we're getting so I'll stick with the name as labeled.

The other bright flower for us right now is 'Bee Balm', a gift with a warning from a lady who's been a regular at all our spring plant sales. The warning was to keep it potted and to make sure we didn't let seed heads develop because birds would spread the seeds very quickly.

goldfishWe have had an old Beatty wringer/washer tub in the yard for many years. Over those years there have usually been plants in the tub, but we decided last year that it might be nice to convert it for use as a water feature and add some goldfish. Well, last year's experiment was a bit of a disaster. The fish never thrived and all ended up in the compost. This year however we have fared much better. The water has remained nice and clear and while we lost 2 fish, the remaining 9 have thrived.

YelloweenIt was great to finally see -and smell- the first of the Oriental and Orienpet lilies of the year, late though they may be. This here is 'Yelloween'. It'd say these lilies are almost 3 weeks behind in development compared to last year. So much for global warming!

Hosta 'Gold Standard'Hosta 'Gold Standard' has a penchant for burn-out this time of year. Not so far this year. I have made sure we keep it well hydrated and have the large #3 pot it is in sited in a saucer. In years gone by you'd start seeing evidence of burn-out by the middle of July and come the 1st of August it looked quite ratty. Hopefully we can avoid that this year....

Twice this month I have been able to do some Hosta swapping with local gardeners, the latest one on Friday the 18th. These 2 are the long and the short of it. You can barely make out the mini which we figure probably is H. gracillima and is just too cute for words, the other one is H. fluctuans 'Sagae', which looks very regal and statuesque.

Blue Mouse Ears seedpod2008 we sold out of all the 'Blue Mouse Ears' divisions we had on hand during our spring plant sale, we could easily have sold double the number. We made sure one of the larger divisions was kept back to allow it to mature and I was pleasantly surprised to discover one of the scapes actually has a seedpod developing on it. Supposedly BME does not set seed easily, all the more reason to be pleased. Now I cannot wait until next year to see whether any of the seeds will sprout.