Saturday, November 15, 2008

Garden Day Bloom Bellyaching

Another bloom day arrives at Aurora with nothing much to add to the sum of gardening splendor. The Iceberg roses in front are blooming but the petals are wrenched from their stems about an hour after opening by this crazy wind and then strewn about the yard like styrofoam peanuts.

The white plumbago is pretty; but the four plants all take turns flowering, so there is never a mass display which is what I was striving for. Striving plays a big part in my garden vocab. Despite my careful study I am unable to discern the bud/flower/seed pattern in the plumbago so I am never certain when to shear off. I cannot tell what is past flower and what is new flower bud.

The Pink Knockouts are doing better now that the heat is over. Although their color still seems washed out. I would like to say that this photo doesn’t do them justice, but in fact, the color is accurate. I’ve been feeding the living daylights out of them, so I don’t know what more I can do.

Ah, the Port St. John Creeper, the English sheepdog of vines. A shaggy slobbering happy pink blob that is always happy to see you. And it has a two-fer aroma package: the desert willow scent of its flowers and the pinto bean pungency of its crushed stems and leaves.

Here’s poor ’ol Charles Grimaldi, who’ll probably be goners by the morning if the predicted freeze happens. He’s loaded down with buds and not one has yet struggled into bloom. Charles has been thoroughly watered and tonight he'll don his newly-purchased little jacket (a length of foam pipe wrap) so maybe he’ll live to see some bloom. But I think there’s another Arctic front coming mid-week so his future is doubtful.

In preparation for colder temps, I ventured in to the small shed built into the garage, where I keep large pots and cuttings over the winter. I haven’t been in there since last spring. To my horror I saw that I had overlooked a baby yucca. It has been in there unwatered all through this past dire summer. I felt like Hitler.

It looks pretty damn good, all things considered. No amount of striving needed for this hardy survivor.


Mean Rachel said...

yet again, a tortured plant a la libagrouchy!

Diana said...

That Yucca looks darn good! I howled over your Hitler comment. So, I forgot to dig up my Brugmansia and put it in a pot in the greenhouse. it's in a bad place and needs moving, so I thought I'd overwinter it there and find a better home for it next year. But I forogt and it's 7:49 and dark and windy and cold, so it's on its own!

Anonymous said...

More of the plants that can survive not being watered all summer! That's a keeper in my book.

I haven't tried the pink Knockout, but the red keeps its color nicely.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you mentioned the scent of the Port St John creeper. I think the leaves smell like skunk. It's a monster of a plant that I regret ever letting into my garden (especially since this is the only time of year that it gets enough sun to flower). It smothers everything and roots like crazy. I could see that it would be useful for covering a trellis or bower.

Libby at Aurora Primavera said...

I'm hoping the the creeper DOES take over my yard! : )

Cindy, MCOK said...

Libby, it seems to me that the Pink Knockout roses I've seen at nurseries aren't as vigorous as the red. Maybe it's that variety and not you! Hope Charlie G survived the cold relatively unscathed!

Annie in Austin said...

It didn't freeze here last night, Libby so hope your brug will get it's chance. Mine is next to the house and I wrap the plant near the base but let the trunks die down in winter. An amarcrinum and daylilies are planted close by, and making the brugmansia start from scratch means it doesn't fully leaf out until the other plants have a chance to bloom.

Does putting the plants in a wooden shed work? Would that be enough protection for something like aloes?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

vertie said...

I like the shape of the pink knockout. It doesn't look like a typical rose bush. And if that yucca has lived this long, it deserves a prize.