Thursday, May 16, 2013

New Flowers, Herbs and Hungry Critters

This week I got some sad news so I cheered myself up by buying these two mixed pots of flowers and the two rosemary plants (the rosemary plants are on the right, in the shade). I put the flowers in larger flower pots (in this picture on of the pots is resting in the larger pot I eventually put it in and the other is on the ground) and the rosemary in my new herb garden (which is where my failed xeric garden experiment was last year - hoping for better results this year!). We're still growing herbs in our old herb garden location too so if the experiment works out we'll have plenty to share and if not, at least we should have enough for our own cooking.

Last week I mentioned that something ate our dill plants down to the ground. If you look closely in the photo above the stem on the right is starting to produce new growth so I'm hoping both plant clusters will recover (each plant cluster has 2-4 stems).

Above is an overview of the new experimental herb garden, taken before I planted the two rosemary plants. In the photo (clockwise from the left) are bee balm (courtesy of my wonderful master gardener and stamp collector neighbors - thank you!!!), cilantro, the chewed down dill clusters and a patch of lemon balm. The area is shaded in the photo but receives more than 6 hours of sun a day.

Here are our artichoke seedlings. They looked a whole lot better a few weeks ago. I guess when we moved the dill whatever creature was chomping on it moved on to the artichokes. We really only need two so if even that many survive we'll be happy. In the back pots my husband had originally planted some echinacea seeds but they didn't sprout so I planted some dwarf zinnia seeds. They have yet to sprout so if they don't we'll change the soil out before trying with some new seeds.

There's a lot to do in the garden in spring. In the past week I've also transplanted another echinacea, put in more of the bee balm our kind neighbors gave us and done some weeding. My husband has done some pruning and added dirt to the flowers in our window boxes and more.

Right now our roses, lilacs, irises, ajuga, goatsbeard and forget me nots are blooming. You can see some of our flowers on my inspirational and photographic blog at

Happy gardening!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Planting Cosmos, Bachelor Button, Asian Day Lily and Dwarf Zinnia Seeds

Today I noticed that the potted cilantro was looking pretty bad (some leaves had turned brown and others kind of yellow and overall just not healthy looking) and the two dill plants had been eaten down to the potted soil level (I guess it tasted good to a local rabbit) so I planted them near our lemon balm. Then I planted cosmos, bachelor button, Asian day lily and dwarf zinnia seeds. The cosmos are in front of our house where I (someday) hope to put a nice bench but for now there was just a big gaping hole in the flower bed. The bachelor buttons are beneath a tree in our front yard (where the red zinnias were last year). The Asian day lilies are outside our bedroom window and the dwarf zinnias are in some pots where my hubby tried to grow echinacea seedlings but they didn't sprout. His ornamental artichoke seedlings are doing great. We're going to have to thin them soon. 

I like having the pictures of the seed packets for future reference. I think I got these at the dollar store. The day lily and zinnia seeds were harvested from a friend's garden (the friend wishes to remain anonymous but thank you, sweetie!!!).

The goatsbeard I planted last week is still looking stressed but the echinacea transplants are looking good now. I suspect if we get a heat wave they'll wilt again but so far so good. Some of the zinnia seeds I planted two weeks ago had sprouted but something ate them down to the ground. I think I'll need to get some netting to put over those pots soon if they're going to have a chance to grow.

How is your gardening going this spring? Any new plants or projects? I'd love to hear about them!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Planting Mexican Blanket Flower, Goats Beard & Echinacea

Today we bought a Mexican Blanket Flower at Home Depot (pictured above, photo from Home Depot) and I planted it and the goatsbeard (pictured below, photo from Spring Hill Nursery) we bought last week at a local garden center this afternoon and I also transplanted two of our baby echinaceas (aka purple coneflowers). I had to transplant these two volunteers from preexisting plants because they fell in an undesirable location - right in the middle of an iris patch). Hubby also did some of his stealth garden work (meaning I have no idea what he did but he was busy for at least an hour).

It was tough digging the baby echinacea plants up (below is photo of their mother plant's flowers) and they were clearly already suffering some shock when I planted and watered them but I'm hoping they'll pull through. Last year I did the same thing and all of the transplants survived.

Of course, I also did some weeding (it's never ending). We have crabgrass that's infiltrated our iris and daylily patch roots. If you happen to have a solution beyond digging the plants up and pulling out the tangled crabgrass (which I've already done but it came back) I'd love to hear it!

May God bless you and your garden!