Monday, August 20, 2012

It's flower time!!  One of the things I love, love, LOVE about Spring and Summer here!!  (Sorry, I know I'm not supposed to capitalize those words, but I can't help it!!  They deserve to be capitalized!!)  Anyway, plants grow with wild abandon here....especially the ones that you don't want to grow!!  Since I've been gardening more than making art, I'm posting some pics of some of the flowers that I've been tending.  This vine is growing on my front porch.  It's a Thunbergia Alata, better known as the Black-Eyed Susan Vine.  (Not to be confused with Black-Eyed Susan flowers; completely different thing!)  I knew it would need something to wrap itself around, so I just leaned this metal climbing thingamajigger for it to climb up.  It's not only growing up that and up the wall, it's also growing all over the little bench and into the nest that's there.  I figured it'd do that, though, so that's why I placed the bench so close.  I just love these vines.  It is possible to have them grow in a more salmony color...but, I've never seen a seed package that showed them that way.  So, I'm not sure if it's like Hydrangeas, that will change with the pH of your soil or what??  If you know, please share!!  I love the salmon-colored ones the best!!!  But, the only way I've been able to grow them was to buy a start, where I could see what color the blooms would be.  This one was actually a start, also, from a dear friend.... she gave me the watering-can-pot that it's planted in, too.  Hmm.... can't really see that here.  Sorry!

This is a Passion Flower Vine.  These are amazing flowers!  I had one that grew over my picket must've grown twenty feet that year!  I cut it way back after the end of the season.  Woops! 

Well, I shouldn't say "woops!" because I don't know if that's why it didn't come back the following year or not.  We had some temps in the teens that winter, so I think that may have done it.  Not sure.  My oldest daughter's horticulture teacher told me to put barkdust around the bottom of it in February.  They are fast growers and I was just reading that they do fine with hard pruning, but that it should be done in segments, not all at once, so that you don't shock it.

Coming up the steps to our front porch, you see this on the left.  This is Purple Fountain Grass, which I will transplant out in the flower beds after it's done this year, because it's a perennial, so it'll come back next year.  I've always killed mine, because I'd leave it in the pot that I planted it in and then I stop watering once the rains start.  But, they're under cover, so they don't get any of that rain.  :(  So, this year I'm going to transplant them.  I have two this year....both growing alongside this cool "Wasabi" Coleus!!  I just love the deep purplish/lime green combination!  There's a little Nemesia that wintered over from last year and some Lobelia in there, too.  Another of my favorites!
 On the right side of the front porch....the Passion Flower Vine, along with Cheddar-Pinks (don't have blooms showing in this photo) and Lobelia in the front pot.  Next pot has three different colors of Pansies; next pot is just a big Geranium.... you can see one, big pink blossom.
One of my flower boxes.... I have two that used to be in full sun, so I could plant sun-loving things in them.  But, the Maple trees have grown so much (over the last twenty years, so it's no surprise!) that they shade the area and now I have to plant more shade-loving plants.  This year I really packed in the Impatiens.  I had more than I knew what to do with so I just put them all in there!!  Turned out beautifully!!  I really don't like how the plant tags are always telling you to space things apart... I've always thought they'd fill in that space after they grew...but, that never works for me!!  They grow and look great, but never enough to fill all that space in.  I don't want to see soil or barkdust or whatever between plants, especially those kinds of plants.  I want it to be just the plants!!  So, these boxes turned out great this year.  Lesson learned!  :)  There are the short Snapdragons in there (grow 8-10" tall) that wintered-over.  Oh, I think that Autumn-foliage Fucshia was also from last year.  Can't quite remember... I do know, though, that it hasn't bloomed, yet!!  :(

 This box has more Impatiens, but also Creeping Jenny, which is great in hanging baskets/boxes!  You just have to be aware that it will root wherever it lands in earth!!  It could land in grass, soil, I don't think it'd'll take root!!  The Coleus in this box just loves it here!!  There's also Fucshia in here... you'll see a close-up in a minute.

 Close-up of the Fucshia that was just about to pop open!!  It did, the next day.  So beautiful!  I cannot look at a Fucshia blossom that's just about to open without thinking of my Grandmother's plant that she had growing on the side of her "washroom".... the "laundry room" that was attached to the garage.  I loved popping them!!  You know, squishing them.  I don't know if it ruined the blossoms or not... it must not have because I don't remember my Grandma getting mad at me for it.  But, now that I grow my own flowers and I wait all year for them to bloom again, I don't want anyone messing with them!!  So, I cringe when I think about doing that.  "Sorry, Grandma!"

 Diascia and Lobelia.
 The salmony color is Diascia.
More of the Coleus, Impatiens, Creeping-Jenny and Fucshia.

Off to have coffee and visit with a nephew, his bride and baby-to-be who are visiting from N. California.

Have a beautiful day!

        ~ Teri