Monday, May 30, 2011

Progress report

Since you're dying to know, I got twenty daylilies planted yesterday, but I have twenty-six to go!

Turns out the clumps of five were already separated, so I planted them as singles . Maybe in the next round I'll double up on a few, considering the shortage of space I have . It took three hours - as expected . Not as expected I only forgot something once - the mycorrhizae on the first plant . I also discovered that I apply total concentration to the job at hand . (Must be the new mega-vitamins).  No meandering thoughts on off-topic issues. I wonder why that is . Ah-ha, DH's plan to get me organized has worked!!

I started out on the cool side of the house, using the one-hole-at-a-time method with the bucket of daylilies strapped to the semi-rusty luggage cart, compost in the wheelbarrow and amendments in the handy carrier all close at hand . It went quite smoothly and one might even say leisurely . Then I moved to the blow-torch side of the house . Setting sun or not, Old Sol would not give up easily . So for the last six I used the assembly-line method . Had to get it over with quick . I was starting to burn and weaken, and the GatorAde had begun to cloy .

As I progressed and looked at the work done behind me, I was very pleased . My mind framed the shots that the camera should have taken, and I smiled . I'll take them tomorrow . So the back gardens are almost full but not packed like the front . A few more spaces left to fill with daylilies . Then up the sideyard and into the front . I'll have to really think that through, since these are permanent plantings that will fill the spots that annuals have taken . That's a good thing . Annuals leave voids in the winter, and the more that's green during the long winter the better I like it.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Online Rose Vendors

Without small online specialty rose nurseries I would have very few roses, rather make that no roses at all, because I would not have been able to acquire the ones that do so well in my garden. These nurseries are basically small businesses run by folks who grow and love Old Garden Roses that they propagate themselves. Often they also carry modern roses that are out of patent that have proven themselves strong enough on their own roots to do well without being grafted/budded. (Some modern hybrid roses have lovely blooms but were not strong plants, so they found that grafting them on another rootstock made them stronger plants.) In the last several years we have lost some fine rose nurseries due to the economy and illness, so I'd like to do all I can to strengthen the ones we have left, hence, the need for this list.

Angel Gardens in Alachua, FL *
Antique Roses Emporium in Brenham, TX *
Brushwood Nursery in Athens, GA *
Chamblee's in Tyler, TX *
Cool Roses in West Palm Beach, FL (They graft roses on Fortuniana rootstock.)
Garden Valley Ranch in Petaluma, CA
Greenmantle Nursery in Garberville, CA (They do not ship to Florida.)
Hartwood Roses in Fredericksburg, VA
Heirloom Roses in St. Paul, OR *
Long Ago Roses in Granite Falls, NC
Northland Rosarium in Spokane, WA
Petals from the Past in Jemison, AL
Rogue Valley Roses in Ashland, OR *
Rose Petals Nursery currently in Newberry, FL *
Roses Unlimited in Laurens, SC *
S&W Greenhouse in White House, TN
Seminole Springs Rose and Herb Farm in Eustis, FL *
Spring Valley Roses in Spring Valley, WI (specializes in winter hardy roses)
Two Sisters Roses in Newcastle, OK
Vintage Gardens Antique & Extraordinary Roses in Sebastopol, CA *

Walk-in Only Nurseries 
Amity Rose & Garden Nursery in Hydesville, CA
Crowley Nursery & Gardens, Inc. in Sarasota, FL
Roseglen Gardens in Naples, FL
Teas Nursery Co., Inc., in Bellaire, TX

* I have bought from these nurseries.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Daylily order finally arrived

It took three months for me to decide which nursery to buy from, then about eight hours to decide which plants (a lot of googling ), then four days to get a two-to-three-day Priority Mail package . Now the fans are resting in water . Tomorrow I will plant at least some of them . Dare I hope for all of them to be in the ground at day's end?  It always takes me longer than I think it should to do this sort of thing or any sort of thing .

There are quite a few to plant . I got eight clumps of five fans and four double fans . I will probably divide the clumps into two plantings, so that's twenty holes, twenty scoops of manure, twenty handfuls of alfalfa, twenty handfuls of milorganite, forty dollops of bone meal, and twenty sprinkles of mycorrhizae . This is the third online daylily purchase I have made, and I've gotten a little smarter about assembly-line planting . The first batch (approximately 32 plants) I did each plant hole separately - dig, put down the shovel, select the fan from the pot of water, bring it to the hole - oh, I'm out of order. I skipped a step - so I bring the fan back to the pot, get the scoop of manure, form it into a cone in the hole, add the alfalfa, bone meal & Milorganite, then go to the centrally located pot for the fan of choice again, place it on the cone of manure, sprinkle the mycorrhizae and fill the hole . On to the next hole that I invariably do out of order again but differently, requiring back-tracking, extra steps, and/or emptying the hole and starting over, since I always forget the bone meal . It wasn't rocket science, but it was very tiring . So the second batch (about 19 plants) I did differently . I did one side of the back garden at a time, dug all the holes, scooped all the manure, made all the cones, added all the alfalfa, all the bone meal and all the Milorganite . Then I had to stop the mass process, retrieving and planting each daylily one at a time . I discovered that grabbing more than one fan got confusing and I wouldn't remember what went where . I had planned to write each one down as I did it, but writing with garden gloves on paper fluttering in the breeze was a pain . This process worked much better and was less tiring with less wandering around, seemingly without aim, deciding where to make the next hole . Decision-making is difficult and time-consuming .

Other gardeners speak of the relaxing joy they feel while doing this sort of thing . That doesn't really describe my experience . I'm an end-game person, get it done . The journey doesn't enter into my thinking or planning . I can't even make the journey-thing fit in my head while I'm sitting here writing this . Another quirky aspect of my brain function, I guess . Hearing people talk about the destination not being as important as the journey makes me go, Huh?

Maybe it goes back to my childhood summer vacations when my father would drive the 1,100 miles from Connecticut to Alabama "straight through" which was a lot tougher in the 50's before interstate highways . He wanted to get there (and so did we - three kids in the backseat and no auto air conditioning back then), and he had no interest in enjoying the journey . We stopped for gas and oh by the way, does anyone have to go? You bet your sweet bippy we had to go . I saw a great deal of this country before I was twelve years old - from the backseat of a car doing 70+ miles an hour . So I guess it's understandable that I'm a destination-oriented person, still missing the sights and sounds of it all .

Well, we'll see how I do tomorrow . The forecast probably isn't very conducive to an idyllic journey . Probably ninety-three degrees in the shade, but oh, daylilies prefer sun . No, probably not idyllic . Probably more like, can I get this done in five minutes per hole?  Five times twenty is 100 minutes . Surely, I can do a hole in three minutes . What do you want to bet this lovely trip takes ten minutes per hole?  Golly, that's over three hours . Sounds like more my speed . Wandering aimlessly adds a lot to the time .

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sundry delights

Imagine my excitement when I saw this beginning of a flower stalk on a Foxglove plant. It's the only one on several plants grown from seeds. I thought they preferred cooler temps and would have been done by now - not just getting started.
'Blush Noisette' (1814) blooms in large clusters, and this is one of them. This bush hasn't looked good this spring, and I was beginning to dislike it. The truth is my watering system had again been attacked by squirrels, and it was simply in need of water. Now it's beginning to look better. Roses do like their water.

This daylily is called 'Frilly Bliss', is quite large and has Unusual Form. Why would anyone think that?
'Souvenir de la Malmaison' and friend
Orange isn't my thing, and I don't know this one's name, but I really have taken a liking to it waving in the breeze on its tall, thin scapes. I bought a box of them at Sam's some years ago, then was disappointed that the color turned out as it did. I'm not disappointed anymore. They add so much fun to the garden.
Such a bright lime yellow! And a big bloomer as well. I ordered it from a less than upstanding online nursery before I knew anything about daylilies and didn't make note of the name. It won't be long before I can divide it, and then I'll have TWO!!
'All American Magic' was a much deeper wine color than the camera was able to capture but, apparently, just for this one cool day. Since then it's been lavender/pink (lighter than this photo) but beautiful nonetheless and a nice cluster bloomer.
'All American Magic'
'Becky Lynn' - I love her color which the camera was really not able to capture. This color is nice but not as nice as the real thing.

The box label showed a pink daylily, so I was disappointed again when the flowers were gold. Well, it didn't take me long to recognize how much they popped in the midst of foliage and pink blooms. I love them, and naturally I want more.
'Clotilde Soupert' (1889, polyantha) - she's a bloom machine! Her flowers are a scant 2" in diameter, but they have a ton of petals. In other parts of the country they say she balls a lot but hardly at all here. She blooms in clusters of about ten flowers and has a lovely fragrance. Very healthy, too, maybe because one of her parents was a Tea Rose.
Looks like something from a creature feature, doesn't it? It's today's photo of yesterday's flowers. They don't get their name for no reason - "day" lilies. Today a stunning flower, tomorrow a star of scary movies. It's name is 'Blueberry Frost'.
Here's the real 'Blueberry Frost', bluer than this in real life but not really "blue", if you know what I mean. Maybe in someone else's soil she's bluer. She's planted in front of 'Le Vesuve'.

'Bermuda's Anna Olivier'
Here's all of 'Le Vesuve' (6' wide by about 4.5' tall) with her sidekicks 'Bluberry Frost' daylilies, and way over on the left is 'Pearl Harbor' daylily.
Don't they look like sweet buddies? 'Pearl Harbor' and 'Le Vesuve'.
Here's 'Blueberry Frost' again.
And again.

I managed to get one plant of Zinnia 'Purity' seeds to survive infancy and grow in the garden. Now it's about 3' tall and the blooms have changed from slightly more than single to this big one, probably 4" in diameter.
The previous flower is in the background of this photo. Doing the seeds and seeing the seedlings grow into mature - and different looking plants has been an enjoyable education.
A cluster of 'Souv de la Malmaison' in the front garden
I think this is 'Chaleur'.
These are two flowers of 'Bow Bells', David Austin's rose from 1991. This rose steals my heart every time I look at her. She's in almost complete shade due to summertime sun-shift, and she doesn't seem to mind a bit - yet. So healthy, too.

Is over-exposure possible for 'Souv de la Malmaison'? Personally, I can't can't get enough of her.
These are the biggest leaves I've ever seen on my 'Aaron' caladiums. They're huge.
Catch ya later!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Come Go - Wax Wane - Ebb Flow

Of all places there is no place that belies the status quo the way a garden does. The garden's present condition literally lasts only a moment. Petals fall, sepals open, blooms turn brown and crisp, new growth arrives bright green while the gardener is mostly oblivious to any of it. The luscious fully open bloom mesmerizes her. The bush covered in color and scent distracts him. Yes, there's no denying the gardener's magnificently capable brain, but no gardener is in the garden 24/7. The time-lapsed changes go uncaptured, missed forever. Days go by between visiting the full flush and finding the deadheads, and the gardener's thoughts may follow these lines: it's here; it's all done; when will it be back?

The truth is the garden is always here; it's never done; and it never left. Stuff is always happening. Do you see a cluster of flowers past their prime? Move your gaze to the right or left or even in between, and I'll bet you see new buds just forming to take their place. That's what I found today. I walked into the garden with a notion in my head that this flush was over. Then the garden set me straight with its burgeoning newness. It was everywhere. Then the garden showed me that it is all things at all times, always ebbing and flowing simultaneously. Buds come, flowers go. Bushes seem to take a giant breath when they're covered in blossoms and then exhale all of it when the flowers fade. They seem to, but they don't. In my garden today the same bush has tiny green buds, buds showing just a bit of petal color, blossoms at all stages of openness, crispy-petaled deadheads and bare deadheads. Sure, it looks like a status quo, but you've got to be quick to catch it. Perhaps in the garden we can call it 'the status quo in motion'.

So the next time you enter your garden expecting to see this,

open your eyes or you'll miss this.

And when you're feeling crestfallen at the sight of your fading lovelies, look harder for the beginnings of new beauty.

When the big picture is starting to look sad, search deeper for what's coming.

Your garden is showing you more than just this.

Are you seeing it?