One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Archive for the ‘pansies’ Category

Garden Report at July’s End

Already its the last minutes of the last day of July.  How swiftly this warm and wonderful month slips by.

Thanks to a regular routine of watering and deadheading, the pansies are blooming nicely despite the heat we’ve had this month.

This purple blossom with the white and blue streaks in it is a particular favorite (Heh.  Just like every other flower I’ve ever seen.).  I’m always keen on pansies with these dark “facial” markings on them.  They are such pretty little things, and so hearty, too.

Not far from the hanging pansy basket is one of my mixed windowbox planters, the one with the marine heliotrope.   Among the seeds sown in there were some zinnias.

Sadly, not as many germinated as I might’ve hoped, but there are three or four, and this first pink one has been a slow-motion firework over the past week.   I love the tiny little flowers in the center of the larger array.

As the month has progressed, the petunias is this “patriotic” planter have gotten happily out of control.   I think it’s funny how the purple and white ones looks pretty uniform here, but they really have shown a great deal of variety in their coloring, which keeps things interesting.

Surprises in the deck garden plantings continue to be a theme this summer, even in that planter.   About a week ago, a couple of plants of blue lobelia have revealed themselves in various pots.   I am usually very fond of the plant, so I’ve used it the past several years in a row.  This year, I never got around to purchasing any, so it was quite a happy surprise when they started their show.

You can see in the group shot up above that the nasturtiums are continuing to bloom well, their plants filling in around the base of my oldest dracaena “palm”.  I like the variety of colors, but the dark reds are especially fun, somehow.   Such a nice rich tone.

Another pot of nasturtiums and asparagus fern (there were supposed to be some four o’clocks, but I must’ve gotten a bad pack of seed, as not one of them has come to the party) hosted a big reveal this week, when it became obvious that one of the other things that was growing in that pot was a tomatilla plant, with a single fruit.   This is fun, since it’s been two summers since I grew these.

Below is a magnolia seedling, which my Granny sent me through the mail.   I should’ve tried for a better photo of this – and I certainly will next time (it’s hard to see clearly against the background of other greens) – but there are three really terrific looking buds on this.   I have a feeling it will try to bloom next week, while I’m away on vacation.  The poker lilies appear to have the same plan.

That seems about right.   Hopefully, they’ll still be doing their thing when I get home.

After what’s been a very dry month, we’ve finally had some rain.  At first it was a couple mild showers, nothing more than teasers, really.   The kind of passing splash that creates the illusion that watering isn’t necessary by wetting everything.  Only a closer look reveals the truth.

Now we’ve had some more.  The end of the afternoon brought showers, that grew heavier over the course of an hour or so, until finally it was a downpour that lasted most of the evening.  Certainly, it was a good start on catching up on what we were missing.  I’ll probably have to drain excess out of plant pots tomorrow morning, in an ironic twist on almost every other morning this past month.

In the past couple days, as foreshadowing of the fun in the sun August will bring, this yellow flower has appeared from one of the plants Laura brought me at Spring’s end.

I think this is a helianthus, or perhaps a heliopsis.   Obviously I’m not entirely sure on that.  I’ll have to do some more research.   I do know it’s beautiful and will be a great addition to the yard, filling some empty bloom time in between the daisies and chrysanthemums.

The morning glories are blooming every morning.  So far, it’s only the Grandpa Ott variety doing so, but I can see other varieties twining and vining about (I do think it’s the G.O.’s which I continue to find more seedlings of in all my other pots – they really may be trying to take over the world, and I say let them.), so I imagine the second half of the season will have all kinds of wonders to wake up to each day.

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Now Appearing On the Deck Garden Stage

Mid-July Garden Report

Already we are nearly half-way through July.  How very quickly this month’s days fly away every year.   Nothing like the holiday revels of Independence Day and a few nice beach days and a buttload of watering to help wear away the first couple weeks of this seventh month, I suppose.

Besides the nasturtiums, all kinds of interesting things are happening in the deck garden.   Those surprise cosmos are coming into their own in several pots, and will probably work in concert with the morning glories to o’ertake the whole affair just as they did last summer.  I’ll lay on the watering and be a little more serious about pruning them this year and we should be fine.

Speaking of Surprises Beside the Nasturtiums (and also morning glories), those beauties featured in the last post were only just starting to open when the first morning glory of the season appeared, nestled amongst the nasturtiums.

I’d never even noticed it growing in between the nasturtiums until suddenly it was blooming in sharp contrast to the other flowers.  This is one of last year’s eager beavers back for another summer.

It could be this will the summer where I enact that chapter of the Evil Genius’ story where he is overrun by the now uncontrollable creation.

Now there’s something to look forward to.

Since I’ve adapted the watering schedule for the verbena (to Twice Always Every Second Or Six in Perpetuity…or as they say, two or three times a day), it’s blooming quite nicely, although it’s ready for a heavy dead-heading once again.

Speaking of blooming nice, this senior geranium is really stepping up to the plate this summer and is just loaded with these wonderful red flowers.

I’m happy to report that the rooting cuttings of Montauk daisy are doing quite nicely in their nursery box on the deck.

This is especially good news, since it appears that the parent plant has not bounced back from it’s difficult treatment during the unfortunate excision of the invading bamboo a few weeks ago.

In that same planter with the geranium, I’m happy to discover that non-conformity is the rule with these patterned petunia blossoms.   While many are quite similar, more often than not, the ratio of purple to white varies wildly from flower to flower, as evidenced by the three different blossoms visible in this photo below.

The southeastern railing of the deck is string with twine, on which clambers my cucumber vines.   Already small fruit are appearing, following closely the legions of yellow blossoms that started just last week.

In another part of the forest (well, the northeastern corner of the deck railing), another morning glory joined the chorus this morning.   Clearly, things have already escaped my control.

But happy surprises have been the order of the week, following the lead of that first stealthy morning glory.   In the pot housing some daylilies and one of those Charleston irises from a few weeks back, I’d noticed some familiar-looking seedlings growing.

I didn’t remember specifically planting anything there, and my “notes” on the  Spring Sowing are sketchy at best (which is to say, non-existant).

One of those familiar seedlings turns out to be lavendar bacopa and some dark blue lobelia, both of which starting blooming just this week.  Nestled in alongside them appear to be some zinnia seedlings not yet blooming.   We’ll have to wait ’til then to be sure of anything, of course.

And then – out of all reason or expectation – in between the oregano and chives in the herb  planter, appeared this hot pink petunia.

Life, I am continually reminded, has many surprises in store.

If you’re lucky, many of them are pretty sweet.