Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sunday work

On Sunday I tried my first… no, they weren’t my first cuttings. I must be trying to erase the failures from my memory. This was a big batch of eighteen cuttings from ‘Madame Abel Chatenay’. It didn’t go real smoothly – as usual. Once a klutz always a klutz. I wanted to use Jungle Growth organic potting soil but only had Miracle Gro, so I ran over to Lowe’s. Surprise! They don’t carry it anymore. I settled for StaGreen which the Lowe’s employee said was the same as Jungle Growth now. NOT!! When I opened the bag, it choked me. It had a strong chemical smell, maybe turpentine which did not dissipate at all. If my cuttings die, I’m sure it will be due to this soil.

I used the clear 9-oz Solo cups, sticking holes in the bottom, but I don’t think the holes were big enough. They held water!! After trying and failing to enlarge the holes (while the cups were filled with soil, water and cuttings) I finally used a Bowie knife. I’m not sure if it helped, but at least I didn’t cut my hand off. I think DH would have had a stroke if he had seen me wielding that knife! I set the tray of cups in the shade under ‘Bow Bells’ next to a micro-sprayer. Such a simple thing, but I managed to get mud all over the front porch and me. So typical. I really do dislike doing something the first time. It never bodes well for me. Simple things never turn out simply for me, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Murphy’s Law, I guess.

Love this nearly white daylily but can't remember its name.

As I was arriving home this afternoon, it was spritzing rain, so I decided to put out the Blood Meal I had bought on Sunday. You see I had learned something about the timing for feeding roses recently from a post on the Antique Roses Forum. I learned that roses take up the most nitrogen during a bloom flush. The consensus was that feeding a quick release nitrogen when the buds first appear was the thing to do. So I sprinkled six pounds of Blood Meal which did all the roses except ‘Mrs. B R Cant’. She just finished her flush. I wonder if the Blood Meal will make some of my Tea roses leafier. I will be totally thrilled if it does. Also, I’m hoping the roses won’t look as exhausted and ratty after the flush. With better nutrition when they need it most there should be an improvement.

'Mary Guthrie'

Another Sunday event was the death of the power supply in my PC. So I’m using my netbook which doesn’t show the greatest color on the screen, so I’m a little unsure of these photos. They were taken at dusk and needed a bit of exposure tweaking. Kind of like flying blind. So I apologize that they’re probably a bit off the mark. Funny thing, silly me thought I could just access the photos on the PC through our home WIFI network, but the PC had to be ON in order for that to work. Duh. Why didn’t I think of that?


While I was at Lowe’s on Sunday, I bought two six-packs of red Pentas to replace the three ‘Mulberry Frost’ daylily plants that were at the front of the ‘Le Vesuve’ round bed. I must strongly advise that no one ever buy ‘Mulberry Frost’. It is highly susceptible to rust - at least in my garden. I couldn’t stand it anymore so they’re gone. I understand that sometimes daylilies can outgrow or become resistant to rust, and sometimes the next cold winter can reduce it, but this daylily was a mess. When I first started acquiring them, I knew nothing about rust. Then last year when I started educating myself, I saw this one on a list of “susceptibles”. That explained the nasty-looking leaves. So now they’re gone, and the pentas were planted on Sunday. I chose red for around this pink rose deliberately. Red pentas are very attractive to butterflies, and ‘Le Vesuve’ has nice red flower buds and red new growth so it won’t be such a big clash. I planted them pretty close, so hopefully they’ll fill in beautifully and bloom prolifically.


'Le Vesuve'

The coneflowers are blooming abundantly. I could easily photograph them all day long. Hopefully, you won’t mind looking at them often, because there are definitely more coming.



  1. Pretty photos. Can't wait until I have more Coneflowers blooming away. They are always so pretty and make such great photos also.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. Don't stress over 'this' soil or 'that' soil for your cuttings. As long as the pH is okay, you'll be fine.

    Feeding the roses is in my future, too. The back of my Jeep has two big bags of fertilizer, and I hope to get most of it spread onto the roses by the end of this afternoon.

  3. Oh, I hope those cuttings 'take.' You just may have inspired me to try a few myself. Love the coneflowers. They are so cottagey looking.

  4. Nice pictures. I love the coneflowers. Thanks for sharing.

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