Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Bulbs Are Growing

I planted a good number of summer bulbs early this spring, including dahlias, babiana, anenomes, ranunculus, and a few varieties of lilies. Sometimes the bulbs I buy at my local store are smaller and less hardy than bulbs I'd buy at a nursery. I've had a few bulbs that failed to grow from past store purchases. At half price I have to take the chance that the bulbs are going to grow. This year it looks like a number of the bulbs are doing well and growing, partly due to my care in where they are being planted this year.

A number of the bulbs I planted are starting to grow as we get closer to summer. My two small pink dahlias that are in pots on the patio table are sending up green shoots, I can't wait to see the plants in bloom. The nasturtium seeds I planted under the climbing roses are starting to send up leaves, and the nasturtium seeds around the obelisk in the back yard are also sending up leaves. Once I get the nasturtiums established in a few areas in the garden I should never need to buy nasturtium seed again because they produce quite a bit of seed. The pot that had a beautiful display of yellow and purple tulips is now growing the ranunculus bulbs I planted in the same pot. The first flower head came up and was quickly covered by black fly, which I easily rinsed off the flower. There is something about the back yard deck that seems to attract small black fly to the plants there. Luckily the flower is still tightly closed, so it is a warning to keep an eye on the ranunculus as they begin to bloom.

The babiana bulbs I planted in the half-moon shaped planter are starting to come up. Babiana produce really pretty flowers in pinks and purples, the shape of the flowers are similar to freesia with a tall, thin stem, wide shapely leaves, and colorful flowers. There are three terra cotta pots with pink and purple allyssum where the babiana bulbs are planted. Plants that are in these small terra cotta pots tend to dry out fast, its harder to get plants established in them so I'm keeping them watered every few days. I'm hoping finally the pots in the half-moon planter look fuller with the bulbs and allyssum in place. The lilies I planted under the green arbor are starting to grow, they have a number of long leaves in layers on either side that are growing up and out, very similar to the leaves of an amaryllis bulb. I'm looking forward to seeing these lilies bloom in summer.

The hosta I bought last year for $2.00 at my local store was potted up in a container on my deck and came up last season, producing a small amount of leaves. Snails love hosta and it is a battle keeping the leaves clear of them in our back yard. The same problem with the leaves is happening this year, plenty of holes and still small leaves, but this year there is a flower stem that has come up from the center with creamy white flowers. I may eventually need to plant this plant out in the garden since the leaves are being eaten anyway, and see if the hosta grows bigger and does better planted in the ground.

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