Category Archives: Full Sun Annuals

End of Month View – May 2016

This is part of a monthly opportunity to take photos reflecting the progress of your gardening adventures over the past thirty or thirty-one days depending on the length of the month. Depending on your climate this may be quite a bit of growth or none at all. For me it is at the cusp of summer and a lot of growth is happening. So sit back, relax and let me show you what we are enjoying these days. Oh and this is hosted by Helen Johnstone at The Patient Gardener.

In my climate zone the middle of May is the time we can finally put our annuals outside without fear of frost damage. I had to hold off an extra few days this time around as May 10th is usually the bench mark, but we had frost early on the morning of the 13th, meaning it was the 17th before I finally felt free to move things outdoors.

036

Above you see another window box outside the window of my wife’s hair salon on an eastern facing window where the Gerbers will not have to endure full sun conditions. There is also some trailing Verbena to help fill out the box.

 

014

Here is two large clumps of Wild Geranium and a smaller one of a different variety on the back side of the pansies that line the retaining wall outside the hair salon. Although you cannot see it, their are seed pods developing now.

013

This is a new type of Dianthus (perennial variety) we added this year. It is just beginning to bloom.

012

Our Dahlias are slow to emerge, but are beginning to show themselves. We love to cut these and make fresh arrangements throughout the late summer blooming period.

011

This is our first time trying a raised bed for anything. After having such terrible fortune with tomatoes succumbing to blight we wanted to give this a shot.

rue, but due to the nature of the trip, flying 1,300 miles to Be 009

The sporadic moisture throughout April and May have caused everything to grow sluggishly. We finally replanted beans after waiting as long as we felt we could for the first seeds to sprout.

The bed on the left was re-mulched and has many blooms that will come either late in June or early in July. The bed on the right has mainly hostas, with a new butterfly bush in the rear that may take a while to be seen.

rue, but due to the nature of the trip, flying 1,300 miles to Be 006

If you zoom in on this picture you will notice the freshly planted Gerber Daisies. Usually when the heat comes the pansies die back, but we worked really hard to get this new variety of Wave Pansies established and they continue to thrive.

sign pansies

This is another place we worked really hard to get the Wave Pansies established, planting them last fall. Usually by now we have Geraniums in place, but the pansies still are hanging tough.

rue, but due to the nature of the trip, flying 1,300 miles to Be 002

This is a long term project, a flower bed on a steep bank I don’t want to have to struggle to keep mowed. Right now it has Wild Geraniums, Japanese Iris, Gazanias, Cosmos and a few Wave Pansies. I hope by the next EOMV it will show much more color.

Tell me what you think fellow EOMV contributors!

 

Advertisements

We Love Windowboxes

 

One of the ways we like to enjoy our flowers is by inserting them in some large window boxes that are mounted on the west side of our home. We have a brick ranch house, which means the western facing sun heats up the brick during the day and they will radiate heat even after the sun goes down. Usually the boxes do really well as long as you keep them watered regularly.

Usually we have geraniums, wave petunias and another type of trailing flower combined to fill out these larger containers. The issue we run into in most cases is that the plants get rootbound and begin to look tired and less vibrant by the end of July. I want this year to take the plants out during the first weeks of July and cut off much of the root system to try to invigorate the whole window box.

yr2ger.JPG

At first we began with second year geraniums we had pulled out of the window boxes and hung up downstairs in the basement where they could overwinter successfully. To look at these now you would be amazed at how quickly and beautifully they have grown, but in the first weeks they did not seem so robust, causing us to change plans and insert new geraniums we purchased from our favorite local greenhouse.

Normally we will pull these window boxes out after the tenth of May and put them in place, but on May 13 th we had a cold night and frost, which would have severely damaged and possibly killed the plants if exposed. We patiently waited a few more days and finally got our chance on May 17th to get these in place. This was too close for comfort as we were readying for a four child graduation party and this detail was expected to be done long before this date.

027.jpg

But, not to be outdone the second year geraniums had caught up and had their own coming out day.

028.jpg

We also have another window box that is mounted outside the window of my wife’s hair salon. This window box holds Gerber Daisies and trailing Verbena.

036.jpg

The window boxes give us another way to enjoy our plants and are always a highlight of our planting experience.

My Love Affair With Clematis

 

 

Over time I have had the joy of planting and enjoying at least a half-dozen varieties of Clematis. The range of colors is dazzling, from white to dark purple to a combination of different colors. Clematis is a perennial, which means you can get many years of enjoyment from this plant.

Clematis is a full sun type of plant, something many of us seek when we go ot the garden center or greenhouse to find a new plant. To be sure many folks enjoy some shade in their yard but at my house our three and a quarter acres benefit from the shade of only three maple trees. One tree per acre just doesn’t shade nearly enough.

But do not fear, you can still grow these in spaces where they do not benefit from full sun. The one above only gets direct sun until noon or so and does very well along with another that is planted about eight feet away. Both of these benefit from a deck railing onto which they attach and climb.

Of all the Clematis I have grown the one to do so well is a variety called Montana Reubens. On the product tag it said it could grown to be 30-40 feet tall. With this in mind I planted it near a telephone pole and then took some lightweight fencing and nailed it around the pole to allow the plant something to climb on. As you can see from the photo it did not reach the potential height, but rather due to its weight fell back down to the sides to make an even more spectacular display.

To say that I will mourn a plant when it dies seems an exaggeration, because all plants will at some point, but when this beauty failed to sprout two growing season ago I was saddened. Such a beautiful and seemingly vibrant and hardy plant showed no signs of distress. But alas after sitting dormant for most of a second growing season I knew it was time to replace the beauty with another. The replacement has the potential to be somewhat like its predecessor, but the Montana Reubens had been in place for almost a decade and will hold a special place in my flower memory for some time to come.

If you have Clematis photos to share let me know, I enjoy seeing all of them!

 

Our 2015 Mandevilla Experience

During the time as a greenhouse business owner, we had the occasion to try out many new varieties. You can rely on the customer’s experience to dictate how you stock for the next season, but you may not see the customer after they buy a product until the next growing season and in many cases you either need significant lead time to order or grow something to the point of being ready to sell.

One of the great surprises we experienced when taking a simple photo from a greenhouse plant catalog was the Mandevilla. This tropical plant has the most gorgeous blooms. We have had them every years since first trying then in the greenhouse around 2003. This year we bought two, one pink and one red. The pink did not do well, I think due to the location we chose. The red however, well, pictures tell a better story.

255 256 257 258

We live in the Appalachian Mountain chain, near the portion that runs along the Virginia/North Carolina border, so our temperature has already began to drop into the low 30’s and High 20’s. Since this plant will not survive the freezing temperatures, we brought it inside and gave it a trim.

041

The expectation is that we can water the remainder and keep it through the winter and then stick it in our greenhouse about March and watch it return to glory.

2015 A to Z My Favorite Plants – G – Geraniums –

My Favorite Plant that starts with a G is a garden stalwart preferred by gardeners for generations. It is a type of plant that is not particularly showy in the beginning, but as it grows and develops the blooms are quite spectacular. When i owned my greenhouse we had several varieties of Geraniums. In fact when you get into the business you realize there are as many varieties as you can imagine.

Most plants have a base variety or color. But to broaden the potential for sales the breeders of the plants will experiment with the plants to try to create either a stronger or different color variant of the family. The most demanded color was a bright red. We chose these for a few years in our own window boxes.

ger1

We tried white, salmon, pink and many other color combinations with varyin g degrees of success. Invariably red was the star of the Geranium family. However we did stumble across a different variant that quickly became out favorite and that of our customers. It was called a Confetti Geranium and every time it bloomed you got a different display.

ger2 ger3

Gazanias – Friday Floral Fotos – 3/13/15

 

When I owned a greenhouse I came across these great little flowers that were fabulous in full sun and required little water to not only survive but thrive. The blooms close when the sun goes down and re-open with sun-up. This is part of the Floral Friday Fotos link-up.

WP_20140712_002