So, things are coming along nicely. The herbs and flowers are coming along, although nothing other than the Duchesse is flowering yet (except for the ones I bought recently at HomeLowe’s, which were already in flower).
The latest blooms off the Duchesse:
I have been pruning her a couple times a week. Well, not pruning so much as removing her blooms in full flower, being careful not to remove any leaves if possible. Since she is less than a year old, its important to prune delicately. The Sevin spray I picked up seems to have taken care of whatever was nomming her leaves, because the damage has not spread. Here she is, pre-pruning:
And here she is with her companions:
The gladioluses in front are really popping up. Their leaves, anyway. I have yet to see a bud or even a proper stem. The knockout rose seems to be acclimating well:
Behind and to the right is a plant that seems to be popping up around in this plot and nearby under the big camellia bushes. It has very unusual veining patterns, with several prominent veins running parallel along the leaf, rather than the typical branching formation. It doesn’t look very much like a weed– in fact, there are even small thorns on its stems. I haven’t pulled it up since I’m not sure what it is and I am curious to see what it does. Here’s a closer shot:
Here’s the gardenia, which, like the knockout rose, seems to be acclimating well to its new home:
The yellowing of the older leaves seems to be going away, even, and there is plenty of new green growth. I’m pleased!
Also out front, I didn’t think the lillies of the valley were thriving. They weren’t dying, exactly, but they also weren’t making much progress. So, I decided to transplant them into the backyard, under the plum tree, to see if they do better there. I replaced them with a selection of shade-loving begonias from HomeLowe’s, already in bloom. Here are two extreme close-ups, since its hard to get a decent shot facing out from the shady porch, with my iPhone and poor camera skills:
The other day, we discovered that our county gives away compost– very rich, black, loamy compost– available daily for pickup. Luckily, we have a truck, so we picked up a truckload, and I moved around some brick stones left behind by the previous owner (not, actually, what I would have chosen, but they are here and they are free!), and filled it with the new compost. Then, I planted some monkey grass donated by a friend and my transplanted lilies of the valley. It should be nice and shady here, with some filtered sunlight getting through, good conditions for the lilies and tolerable for the monkey grass:
Here’s one of the transplanted lilies. I scattered them between the monkey grass patches, as I’m told they are proliferate well on their own:
Here are the wildflowers I “planted” (more like “scattered”) in the bare patch in front of the deck. I see lots of things popping up, and I hope at least a couple aren’t weeds:
Although only about half of the strawberry plants seem to have established themselves, the ones left seem to be doing well, in the hanging planter. I might fill in the empties with some small plants later on.
I am so excited that strawberries are in season. I bought a big ol’ box from the Farmer’s Market this week and am making strawberry shortcake tonight. Yum!
The basil is coming up, slowly but surely. I hope to find a suitable place in the yard to plant these, and thin out the pots a bit:
The chives, however, aren’t really progressing much. I’ve read that they don’t like “scorching” sun so maybe I need to find them somewhere a little more sheltered:
But, wow, check out these mesclun greens! Practically ready for the salad bowl already:
Same story with the cilantro. I even transplanted some into a pot for a friend, and reseeded that patch, so I’ll have coming up at intervals:
The parsley is coming up…. sparsely (SORRY!):
The sweet peas in the windowbox are coming along nicely:
The nasturtiums are really filling out, I hope they bud soon!
The callas are positively glorious. They need to be transferred to a larger pot, I’m pretty sure. And next to them, the morning glories are falling behind a little, but still seem healthy. Perhaps they are getting a bit too much sun?
And the petunias and the “strawberry fields” hybrid I saved a week ago? They are positively bursting with color and blooms:
Look at those happy blooms!
And the only black-eyed susan to sprout seems to hanging on, too. I kept her in the hanging basket, with the petunia hybrids and the “strawberry fields” flower, with plenty of sunlight and space:
The sweet pea vines are still coming along, and I’ve given them some floral wire to cling to, to help guide them to the trellis:
We picked up some solar-panel mini-globe lights at Ikea, and strung them on the trellis. The effect, at night, is quite pretty. I am pleased and I think we’ll be getting a few more sets from Ikea next time we’re there:
(That’s a toy dead bunny in the background.) Here’s the solar panel, pretty discreet but it works really well: