Tag Archive | Agapanthus

June 2008 Bloom Day

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for getting everyone involved in Bloom Day each month.

The heat wave is getting to everyone, my dear flowers most of all. The Lily of the Nile Agapanthus normally blooms in May and the blooms last for weeks. This year they are already almost gone because of the hot dry winds and scorching heat. That makes me sad, as I always enjoy their longevity and brightness in the front yard.

This one is interesting; it’s a new plant added this year to join the other Agapanthus. When it bloomed, it had one lavender bloom and one darker purple. Nice!

This is most likely the last of the daylily blooms . They are fading fast in the record-breaking heat that seems to be never-ending.

This is a sweet little unnamed Sedum that I picked up at Natural Gardener and it immediately took off in the back garden. It looks great around the large rocks.

I put a new lattice behind this Primrose Jasmine this year so it could climb easier. It took off and finally grew after I followed my Dad the Farmer’s advice and sprinkled my beds with Ammonia Sulfate. He grows peanuts in western North Texas, and years ago his County Agent told him this trick. The ammonia helps the plants absorb the available nitrogen, and the sulfate is acidifying. I usually try to just use compost, but I had things for years that weren’t growing and weren’t blooming, and this year they took off. I guess he was right, but don’t tell him I said that.

This is another plant that never bloomed for 3 years, and never grew at all until this year after the Ammonia Sulfate application. Now it’s gorgeous! I never knew what it could look like, and I’m so glad I didn’t just give up on it. Pam at Digging identified it for me as Mexican Oregano. I planted it so long ago and never saw it do anything that I had forgotten what it was.

And finally, my hibiscus are finally flowering! I bought these in April at Emerald Gardens. They were leftovers that didn’t sell last year, and the store had no idea what the blooms were going to be like. Because of that, I got these huge (3 gallon) plants for only $7.50 each. Since I adore Hibiscus and buy them every year anyway, I splurged on 3. I have been holding my breath in anticipation to see the blooms, and I haven’t been disappointed. They aren’t prolific bloomers, and the blooms only last one day (typical of hibiscus), but these are worth it. I managed to get all 3 in recent days.

This bloom is nearly 6″ across! Quite spectacular, and the color is incredible.

No slackers themselves, these two are about 5″ across, and I adore the colors. Since they close up permanently the evening of the day of their bloom, I’ve been cutting them in late afternoon and bringing them inside to enjoy through the rest of the evening.

Other things that are still hanging in there with a few blooms are the Bicolor Iris and Althea (Rose of Sharon), pictured in May. Other bloomers without pics right now are Guara, Coral Honeysuckle, lingering Pomegranite flowers and one fruit, Hydrangea, Caladiums, Salvia Gregii, Tropical Sage, Petunias, Geraniums, Cannas, Bulbine, Society Garlic, Crape Myrtle Trees (those blooms are too high for me to see, much less photograph) and a bit of Lantana – I don’t think they get enough sun to be big bloomers. Same with my Bulbine and Society Garlic. I need more sun for all.

I can’t wait to see everyone’s bloom day as I browse blogs on Father’s Day. And tomorrow, the Pond Work continues.

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Helpful Pam

Pam at Digging at my home in South Austin

I had the joy yesterday to meet Pam at Digging, when I hired her consulting services to teach me about some of the existing plants in my yard, as well as guide some of my next decisions. She’s just as nice in person as she is in her blog, I’m so happy to report. She also gave me some great suggestions for new beds, and new ideas for old beds, and identified a couple of mystery plants for me. Here’s her smiling face with my Agapanthus in the front yard.

She laughed at my tendency to buy “one of everything” because I love all of it and can’t make up my mind. She said I need to at least start buying “three of everything” so it will make more sense in the garden. yippee – I have permission to buy more!!!

I also have found someone to help with the manual labor on rebuilding and repairing the pond (I don’t have one of those “honey-do’s”, so I’m thrilled to find a hardworker at a reasonable price). The plan is to make the pond significantly smaller, until it is mostly just the waterfall with a filter and small pool, where I can put mosquito fish to keep the buggers away. Then, the large area, which is about 5′ wide at the widest point, and 8′ long, will become a small private patio, where I hope to put a comfy lounge chair for meditation and reading in the cooler weather. Sounds like a great plan, I hope I can pull it off.

I have a question for you folks out there – I will need to fill in that large empty pond area with dirt, etc, then do the appropriate sand on top for the pavers. What kind of dirt should I purchase to fill it in with? And, I have some leftover untreated lumber (cedar) from my old fence that was taken down – it’s gray and falling apart – can I toss some of that into the hole to fill it up a bit? Will it rot naturally and be okay for the environment? I’m just trying to save some money on buying dirt, as well as use up these fence timbers that are stacked on the side of my yard waiting to be hauled away on the city junk pickup day.