July 13, 2010

What To Do for Bloom Day?

Please don't forget  Bloom Day, hosted by Carol of May Dreams on the fifteenth of every month. Time sped by and I almost forgot to think about it in advance. We are dry, very dry and many blossoms have dried on the stalk. Hydrangeas are a good example.

I hold off watering just as long as possible, hoping that the little thunderclouds that I see on NOAA in the Gulf will come our way. Lately they miss us more than they hit. Yesterday we had 0.1 inch -- enough to gauge, but hardly enough to wet the ground. The cat didn't even mind walking around in it as it fell.

On my way to the mailbox, I turned on a sprinkler for some dying plants and looked to see what I might display on Thursday. I reviewed what I showed last July: Bloom Day July 2009.
It looks as if we had more rain last July. Blossoms on Zinnias and Pentas were more plentiful.

We're having butterflies attracted to Tithonia and Lantana. I saw a Zebra Swallowtail and several others. Tithonia wants a little water or it gets ugly leaves. I pulled out one that was crowding  companions like Duranta and Porterweed. 

Crocosmia is everywhere. Butterflies are finding it.

I'm considering whether to plant more gladioli.
This shade would be great with Laura Bush petunias.
They laugh at heat and sun.

I'm going to omit caladiums next year. They do love water.

Brazilian ruellia came back from the dead. It has bloomed nonstop,
unlike Porterweed, which has not taken off; blooms are sparse.

If nothing else, there may be a few roses to show. Not lush as they are in spring, almost all have a few blossoms despite the heat.  Deadheading is a chore in the heat, but stimulates more bloom.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you have blooming on Bloom Day.

July 05, 2010

Second Chance for Nasturtiums

When June was really hot and humid my Nasturtiums literally fainted and fell over. I mourned their imminent demise and Renee's Seeds graciously sent more seed for a fall trial. I set the pot and basket aside with some other plants that were not faring very well.

As hurricane season sent winds, moisture and cooler temperatures up out of the Gulf our way, the Nasturtiums decided to make a comeback. New growth appeared and even a few brave new buds. I cut the long dead vines and foliage away and gave them a dose of liquid fertilizer. I am aware that fertilizer isn't necessary, perhaps even sacrificing blooms, but the new leaves are so small they look starved. Topdressing with regular garden soil might be helpful as well. I'll try that.

It was interesting to hear on the national news tonight that temperatures in New Jersey reached 100 degrees with no relief in sight, while we had only a high of 92, cooled off with a rain shower of 0.2 inch of rain. Dark clouds are gathering again to the south.

I am growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project.

Thanks to Renee's Garden for the seeds.

July 04, 2010

Byzantine Emperor

Byzantine Emperor in a cycle of rebloom. Cooler days
have made the colors more vivid than when the sun was
so hot in June. Melampodium reseeded behind it blooms in
the yellow of the daylily throat.

In the fall, these daylilies will get an edging of
Bourbon Kings, a smaller dayliy in the same shade
planted elsewhere and badly in need of relocation.

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