Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Biding my sweet time (Updated 6/30/2011)

May 30: A total of six "Sugary" grape tomato plants were set into two pots
June 19: Plants begin to flower
How soon will we have tomatoes?

I'm passing the time waiting by fertilizing, staking, and tying.  Oh, for that pungent tomato plant smell!

My question was quickly answered: this baby was waiting for me that afternoon!

Monday, June 20, 2011

"New Dawn": it's on!

My "New Dawn" rose is celebrating its glory days. This plant is just perfect for its sunny space over the back door--robust enough to cover the arbor, softly colored to complement the house, and freely flowering enough to supply a near limitless number of bouquets.

Although claimed to be an everblooming rose, "New Dawn" really has one good shot and mid-June is it. However, with a little luck (and a bit of fertilizer), a few random blooms will continue to be thrown out until the first snowfall.

My care regimen for this rose is oh-so-simple.  By far the most challenging component is pruning, which is wrestled out only at the cost of several days of teetering on a ladder, buckets of sweat, and armloads of scratches.  Last year, I cut this rose back hard, and it totally paid off: no loss of flowering and a far better shape.

If only it had a stronger scent and fewer thorns!   Maybe not the best climber ever, but pretty darn good. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy father's day

To inspire his fatherly feelings towards native plants: a little pot of woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata) for his shady garden.

It's something that my father used to grow in the small corners of my parents' suburban Maryland yard.

Monday, June 06, 2011

50 daze of daffodils

As if I needed more reasons to adore daffodils--what, their sunny colors, pest resistance, and willingness to naturalize aren't enough?--this year, I learned that season-stretching should be added to the plus column.  From April to June, I've enjoyed fifty delightful days of daffodils.  A longer run is no doubt possible, if you were a more intentional and intelligent gardener than I.

So, here's a fast paced run-down of what was in bloom and when.  No commentary other than the names of the varieties and the dates of the photographs . . . that says it all.

"Marieke" April 16

"White Medal" April 24

"Ice King" April 27

"Hawara" April 28

"Pheasant's Eye" April 28

"Minnow" April 29

"Ceylon" May 1

"Mount Hood" May 3

"Tete a Tete" May 6

"Thalia" June 4

The month of May looks a little sparse. Maybe I don't need any additional reasons, but now I have an excuse at least to plant a few more bulbs.