tea root
member

A Good Year for Iris and Garden Plans

13 May '13 11:24 am
Hello All


It's been a while since I posted, but here we go:

The weather here in Kentucky has normalized a bit, I think. After a long cold winter, spring has had its warm and cool days with much rain. Right now the Snowball Bush is laden with white spherical flowerheads while the green sunlit field serves as a background. Meanwhile, white clouds dot a chilly blue sky.

You may wonder how the garden is doing. Well so far, my dad has tilled about half of the garden. He'll do the rest later, which he'd like to have done before May 15th, our frost date. Some things have been removed since I wanted a do-over. So what remains is the Cup Plant, which won't bloom until later in the summer, and the Iris, which are sporting lavender flowers right now. Speaking of Iris, this apparently is a good year for them. On the left side of the house towards the back, I've noticed that the Iris growing there are crowned with their large white blooms. And then on the opposite side of the house are yellow Iris. One of them was set apart and particularly taller and showier with a deeper yellow flower color, so it is obviously a different yellow variety (probably a newer hybrid, too, I suspect). My variegated Iris sent to me from Texas is located in a backyard flowerbed that Dad takes care of. Its blooms are a dark lavender and play off the lavender blooms of the two perennial Phlox that I purchased last year and which also reside in the flowerbed. These Phlox blooms seem to glow when the daylight fades. Dad also has two Heuchera plants there which contrast nicely with the green foliage and the purple flowers. One Heuchera has chocolate-green foliage and the other has tan leaves which are blushed with a rose coloring. Dad had purchased and planted those a year or two ago. This year, however, he planted a third one and its green with deep rose-pink flowers. The other two Huechera have not bloomed yet.

Orange Poppy flowers have opened up out in my parents' yard and on the side of my house. I like Poppies and may plant the red variety (Papavar rhoes) in my garden again someday. Right now my plans for the garden include corn and Sunflowers. In fact, back in April, I started Sunflowers from seed in the plant room inside my house. I kept them in there until it was obvious that they weren't getting enough light even though they were in front of a sunny window. So then I transported them into the greenhouse. Dad has made use of the greenhouse, too, by storing three tomato plants inside until its time for them to go into the ground. He likes to grow tomatoes every year and I think 'Better Boy' might be a favorite of his.

Other seeds I've started in the plant room are Cilantro and Nasturtium before moving them into the greenhouse, also. The greenhouse, however, was just too hot for them and most of them died. The rest are kept safe in in a cooler part of the greenhouse or in the plant room. The Sunflowers are fine, though, and getting tall. In fact, since they are of the mammoth variety, they're going to get a lot taller.

As for the corn, I'll direct-sow it into the ground when the time comes along with the mammoth Dill seeds I purchased. I like Dill and it's easily grown here. It smells good and the airy blooms are beautiful when capturing the gleaming sunlight. And the corn, by the way, is the bi-colored sweet 'Peaches and Cream' hybrid. Sounds yummy, right? And there'll be more than enough to share at harvest time and I can even see how the squirrels take to the bounty.

And one more thing: I started Portulaca from seed in an egg carton inside the plant room. Their sprouts are quite tiny and will be transplanted with care. The plan is to put them in a container on the walkway in front of the greenhouse. In summer, that spot can get scorching hot and that's the way Portulaca likes it. :)

MacFlax
member
Canberra, Australia

Re: A Good Year for Iris and Garden Plans

14 May '13 2:17 am
Hi Tea Root. I hope you have a lovely spring.
It's interesting how some plants that wouldn't be grown here because it's too cold are grown, as annuals I assume, in even colder places. My in-laws grew portulacas up north but here we wouldn't even try because 'it's too cold'.

tea root
member

Re: A Good Year for Iris and Garden Plans

14 May '13 2:32 pm
Hi, MacFlax and thanks. We'll be warming up here this week according to the forecast. :) Portulaca are grown as annuals here and Iris are reliable perennials.

gordonf
Happy Collector
User avatar
Lillooet, BC, Canada

Re: A Good Year for Iris and Garden Plans

14 May '13 7:34 pm
Hi, Tea Root! It's great to hear of someone else who has good luck with portulaca as annuals. They do very well on my roof garden and in some of my window boxes because it's so very hot there (and dry, too)! I just replaced all the ranunculus plants that I've had in the front window box for the past month as they were beginning to dry up (going dormant, perhaps?) and I replaced them with portulaca seedlings that I bought. As usual, they came with several plants sold as one per pot so I actually got more than I needed for the box so I planted the rest on the roof garden to provide colour in summer when the sempervivums have finished their bloom time and before the other succulents and the cacti begin theirs.

Do you think you'll have some pics to post sometime? I sure hope so!

Cheers!

gordonf

tea root
member

Re: A Good Year for Iris and Garden Plans

16 May '13 2:24 pm
Hi Gordonf. :) I learned this year that Rununculus is an annual. And it's normal for it to fade with the heat. Here's a picture of the one I bought this spring. I thought the blooms looked like roses.
pic.jpg

Kerole
A Gardener of Disrepair
User avatar
Taupaki, New Zealand

Re: A Good Year for Iris and Garden Plans

18 May '13 7:48 am
Ranuncs are annuals?! Does the little corm thing die after one season? I did not know this.

tea root
member

Re: A Good Year for Iris and Garden Plans

18 May '13 2:59 pm
Yep. And I can tell you from experience that I tried to overwinter a Raunculus outside one year and the plant didn't come back for me- which means I get to buy a new one in spring. ;)

Gabi
distinguished contributor
User avatar
12/4/14 Bayway Village, Fern Bay, Newcastle; NSW Australia

Re: A Good Year for Iris and Garden Plans

18 May '13 6:46 pm
Over here it doesn't get that cold and Ranunulus will pop up again next spring. But they don't all come up and after about 3 years they will all be gone. Is it possible that you would be encouraging its various nemeses and if you replanted the bed without soaking it with some sort of all-purpose cure the new corms might all die?

The only portulaca I am seeing around here is the weedy variety and if you let it flower, you will have a whole bed of it the following season. Since the flowers are invisible, not a good idea. I know this because I let one plant go to seed and 'whoof!' they were everywhere!

I have moved my purple Iris to the bed under the climbing roses, as the front beds are way too small for it. That bloody Dame Leonie is such a greedy *! I am beginning to think about removing one of her trunks, as I have 2, one either side of Buff Beauty, who is struggling to make herself evident. I trimmed everything again yesterday, rose canes 8 feet long! Mind you I did give them all a massive feed and "Cimbing Peace" is still blooming!

I took a lot of "Snow-in-Summer" and Freesia with the Iris and all the Stella D'oro daylilies as well. They seem to like it. The right front bed currently has the little rose, "White Ensign", some Fairy Statice from the other bed and some of the Swan River Daisies, there are still Freesias in there and I am hoping to have the violets come up again from seed, but so far, mostly weeds.

I bought some Coleus and a pretty silver- pink colored leaf Begonia and they have both carked it with stem rot. Bloody Bunnings! Pardon the french, but I don't have a lot of money and I asked and got got the begonia for half price as it was looking very manky, not realising what was wrong with it 'till I looked up my gardening books! I did get some multi-colored freckleface but they are OK. They had all been overwatered!

I would so love a cold climate garden. I will re-phrase that! When I was younger and fitter, I would have loved one, I couldn't cope with it now. It must be so rewarding to have some of the beauties that grow in them coming up as the days warm. sigh!

gordonf
Happy Collector
User avatar
Lillooet, BC, Canada

Re: A Good Year for Iris and Garden Plans

19 May '13 7:41 pm
Well, Gabi, don't we all want what we can't have! This weekend I visited a tropical garden (or rather, a temperate garden filled with tropical plants) that made me sort of want one. But, on thinking about it, I decided that what I REALLY want is a temperate garden like the one I have with a bunch of semi-tropicals added in so I can have the giant leaves and flowers that they have! In other words, I WANT IT ALL!

Cheers!
gordonf

MacFlax
member
Canberra, Australia

Re: A Good Year for Iris and Garden Plans

19 May '13 9:50 pm
gordonf wrote: . . In other words, I WANT IT ALL!

I can understand that. :lol:

Next

Return to My Garden Diaries



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests