These really are tough plants!
The first year (2013) I started them too early, fretted, anticipated, over-fertilized, watered faithfully and watched nervously, all for plants that just did so-so, and not all that much in the way of blooms anyway until just before frost. This year mine did not get much of anything that they should have, except consistent light rains and a bit of sunshine.
No stakes (I just can't abide them anymore
No wind protection
No supplemental water
No fertilizing regime
No fussing and watchfulness
No space (to speak of
Not really any soil even - this was pretty much a no dig year here, so they were just laid out on top of last year's wood chips and covered with a wheelbarrow load of manure-based compost and straw.
No picture yet either (
), but the taller varieties just kind of pop up bloom stalks wherever they can. It works for me. They're doing okay, and blooming much longer than they have in the past.
Thanks for another wonderful story Sharon.
Do you reckon they'll be okay for next year, or have I more than likely exhausted them this year?