May 26, 2010

Gardenias, May Blooms and a New Way to Water

It seems to me that June is the usual month for Gardenias but they started in May and are really opening fast.

Gardenias like a little shade. These are under an oak.

Blooms cascade down like a Gardenia bridal bouquet.
One of my sisters wore Gardenias for her second wedding.
I was 12.It seemed the most romantic flower in the world.

Vitex is starting to bloom. Buddleia does poorly here.
Vitex is a great substitute, forming small deciduous trees.
I forget the name of this dusky butterfly nectaring on Vitex.

 First Tithonia bloom in the garden.
These reseeded. I pulled some plants at the end of fall
and laid them along the edge of a bed.
Melampodium blooms behind it, another reseeder
for all summer bloom.

I was very pleased with the Duranta that I bought last summer. It grew as tall as me. It came back from the dead when the weather warmed this spring. I kept a cutting over the winter and planted it in the new Stump bed. Today I planted 3 more rooted cuttings. These are in the bed with Tithonia and Melampodium. On top the berm is lavender Lantana montevidensis.

Duranta cuttings, in the ground now.

DH is making soakers for me. I'm not good at making tutorials. They're made of ten foot sections of plastic pipe which fit nicely into the truck bed for hauling home. There are a zillion pieces of fittings and caps. One end has a connector like a female garden hose fitting.

Little holes are drilled every 6 inches the length of the piece. Two 6" pieces are cut off before the drilling and a T piece added on the end with capped 6" pieces at right angles to stabilize the soaker when it lies flat. We ended up with 9 foot soakers.

I've never been overly happy with any soaker hose and I've tried them all. Sprinklers leave me cold as well and we've had an abundance of those. These homemade soakers can be placed with the holes down, or holes up give a gentle rainfall to plants.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia where Gardenia fragrance floats on the breeze. Join us in a glass of iced Ruby Tea, dark and barely sweet.


1 comment:

Bernie said...

Lovely Gardenias and Vitex (that's a new one for me) but that Tithonia flower has the WOW factor ... brilliant hot colour.

I grow lots of Duranta (Duranta repens) ... it's such a hardy plant in my part of the world and the sprays of purple flowers followed by bunches of orange berries is always a fabulous display.

Sounds like you've got the watering situation well sorted out now.

I Blog Here & Here too