Too much to do – too little time!
Has it really been four weeks since my last post? And here I was thinking that I could keep up with a bi-weekly blog post. Well so much for good intentions although I must say, it is the first that I have missed. There is just so much going on but I only have myself to blame. DH is forever telling me that I make my own stress and honestly, he is quite right! It is as if I am taking one step forward and two steps back all the time! Adding two tasks to my to-do list but only removing one! But ..... I am happy and that is what counts in the end.
Now that we have had some good rain again after the two very hot weeks at the end of June, I have seen another spurt of growth and the garden is looking good again.
The first rose flush is over now and looking back I would not rate this as one of the best! There was just too much damage from the late frost and the hot dry weather also didn’t help. I have just finished giving all the roses a second feeding and hope that it will give them a boost!
My trial beds and pot ghetto!
We finally decided on the shape of the new bed which I mentioned in a previous post and the first steps towards realisation have been taken.
The robot mower had to be moved. This involved emptying the wood troughs, moving and refilling them with amended soil, and then reattaching the mower cables. Yesterday, I sprayed the lawn which has to be removed with Glyphosate and will cover the entire bed with black plastic as soon as I get the mower border cable repositioned.
June/July is also a good month for cuttings so ...... I took cuttings. Whether or not they ever get planted in the garden is another story! This year I did some carnations, lavender and heuchera. I also potted up a couple of iris rhizomes. I only had a couple that needed dividing and just didn’t have the heart to chuck them.
Last year, I added to my Lilium collection. Up until now I have only had yellow and orange. My mistake was buying them at the discounter because I think all were incorrectly labelled. Anyway, I now have 6 new NOID Lilium....
I was also so impressed by the daylilies posted on this forum last year that I ordered a couple from a German grower. All correctly labelled! Just goes to show doesn’t it – you get what you pay for!!!
Little Girl (entire plant – bloom), Barbara Mitchell
Blue Sheen, Byzantine Mask, Caribbean Affair
Elegant Candy, Peggy Jeffcoat, Pink Damask
Roswitha, Sammy Russel, Second Glance
Siloam Ury Winniford, Sultry Siren, Super Purple(?)
Another plant which really fascinates me is Sempervivum. They seem to thrive in the most unexpected spots. The one in the first photo is growing on a concrete wall. I only have 6 or 7 different NOID varieties. They always seem to be sold as ‘varieties’ here, even in the nurseries!
A couple of other pretty plants that have bloomed during the last four weeks...
Four of my empty trial beds, intended for future iris and rose-seedlings, are temporarily displaying some pretty mixed summer annuals blooms. Besides poppies, alyssum, convolvulus and many others, I was surprised to see Gilia tricolor commonly known as Birds-Eye (second row, first pic)
I love taking photographs of my garden and the plants that grow in it. It is also a great way of keeping track of my rose seedlings. When it comes time to culling, I search for all the photos of a particular seedling, do an ‘evaluation’ and make a decision. I have a lot of red seedlings this year and have had a hard time getting my photos to display the true colour. I use a FinePix HS20EXR which has met all my requirements up to now. Our DD, on the other hand, has a NIKON D5000 which she kindly let me use to make a comparison. Actually, she has been on at me about the quality of the photos from my camera for ages!
The reds and blues are definitely better .... left FinePix – right NIKON
But what amazed me even more was the quality even when viewing the photos at 150% magnification, they are still clear! I think I might just be writing to Santa .......
Update on a couple of florist roses which I grew from cuttings. The cuttings were stuck in December 2015, rooted by the end of January 2016 and potted up in March. They were then planted in the ground in July last year and survived the winter to bloom again this year. I am not saying that all florist roses will do well in a Zone 6 garden but it is worth a try. I think the orange is absolutely stunning!
Looking back at what I have written it doesn’t sound like I have done that much work in the garden. But, like everyone else, there are the other garden chores like weeding, cutting edges, dead-heading, cutting back and cleaning out and not to forget, watering the umpteen seedling pots. I have also started grafting my seedlings onto the rootstock which I potted up in February. Sorting out photographs is another time-consuming task. So never a dull moment in SunnyValley!!
To end – I would like to share the fact that my first rose has been registered and I am honoured that a local rose grower is going to trial it. The big European hybridizers may frown on the ICRA registration but I feel very proud to have a rose that I have bred officially documented.
Official registration of ‘Adorabelle’ bred by Sharlene Sutter
Until next time .........
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