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September 5, 2010

What I've Planted in the Garden Lately....

It seems every hardware or greenery-store has a clearance table for those plants that have gone unnoticed and unloved for too long. Last night I came across three Hibiscus variety "Cairo" in 5-gallon tubs for just two dollars and fifty cents apiece. I'm done investing large amounts of cash into my rental property, but at that price I couldn't resist a little long-term landscaping. I put them along the border just in front of my neighbor's (a Vietnam veteran currently in the hospital) front door. That area gets a ton of direct sunlight, and I think these shrubs will grow really bushy and beautiful there. It's also the area directly ahead as one walks up the drive towards my place, so I'll love the huge bright blossoms.

It'll be several years before this area truly comes into being--the starts were only about eight inches tall, but they did have some new green growth. In this picture you can see one right where the shadow cuts across the bed, and there's one about three feet to each side of that.

A few weeks ago I splurged on myself with three single Irises, varieties "Spiced Custard," "Mexican Holiday" and "Devil's Riot." They're all in the golden hues that I"m attracted to, and I planted them in the big rounded bed next to my laundry area.

The Irises are the dead stalks in the lower center--luckily they're bulbs that will come back in full force next spring. The Canna Lilies that I'd transplanted from my old garden were huge and blooming beautifully this spring, but sometime in May they got a blight of some kind that killed off all the stalks and leaves. But the bulbs seem to be intact and they're coming back with new growth in four places.

I also ended up with a past-blooming Daylily off the clearance rack at the hardware store. I put it on the far right of the main bed, next to the composter. Documenting what I plant and where in these posts really helps me to keep track of what I have, what's died, and what's returning from season to season. Just knowing what's doing well helps me make better decisions in what to plant next.

And, finally, here's my artichoke, as it is now. It had so many chokes at one point in June I couldn't keep up (plus I went out of town on vacation for a month) so I let them dry out as flowers. I cut off one stalk recently when it had no leaves, but I was hesitant to cut the entire plant down as I didn't know if it would come back. It is, with a bang! I have three sprouts growing at the base of the one dried-out stalk that still needs to come down. I'm so glad this plant is flourishing as a perennial in my zone. I'm looking forward to the challenge of keeping up with it next year. One of these days I'll get it right and feed my entire neighborhood.

What are you growing right now? What are you doing to your garden to seasonalize it? (I'd say winterize but it seems a bit early for that.) Please leave a comment on the blog to spark a conversation.

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