Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bulbs, Rhododendron Buds and Kiwi Fruit In the Garden

The rhododendron is starting to form flower buds for spring. The flowers are the most intense, brilliant fuchsia pink color, really pretty. I have a dwarf rhododendron with light purple flowers that has done poorly in its container this past year. I plan on planting it out near the pink climbing roses and purple hebe shrub. I am hoping it does better in the ground, it has barely put out a few leaves in the last year. It's time to try something new with the shrub and hope it grows better in the ground.

The kiwi vines have a lot of kiwi fruit hanging from the stems now, but none of the fruit is ripe. The kiwi produced ripe fruit the first year we were here and the last few seasons nothing but unripened fruit. I guess the raccoons don't even like the fruit because with it unripe it is too bitter. We haven't seen our raccoon friends for at least a month now. Yesterday there was a hummingbird sitting on top of the metal structure that holds the kiwi vines. The hummingbird's feathered looked very ruffled, with a bright red head glinting as the bird's head darted back and forth. I am trying to plant more plants that the hummingbirds can use as a food source. The hummingbirds like the pink jasmine at times and drink from the passionflowers, pestemon, and thymifolia fuchsias in the front and back yards.

After the garden center closed in our store, I thought most of the gardening items would not be available anymore. I was excited to see the flower bulbs for summer are still in the store but in a different area now. I bought three boxes of $2.00 bulbs, a small pink dahlia, pink coneflowers, and blue echinops. I've had no success with dahlias before, and have never planted coneflowers, and echinops so I am excited to give them a try. I've always loved the look of coneflowers. The coneflowers are tall with large daisy-like flowers. The echinops are tall as well and look similar to large globed allium with a striking blue flower. The small dahlia is going in a pot on the patio table so I can see it from my kitchen window. The dahlia will sit next to the pot of purple and yellow tulips growing in a pot on the table. Next I need to find some yellow and white flowers to add to the front yard to help accent the flowers in blues, purples, and pinks.

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