Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Summer Rains And Steady Garden Plants

When it was starting to warm up here in the summer months, we did have some rain (and not just a shower) July. In July it stayed at 60 to mid 60's mostly so far but there is more sun out there in summer than the rest of the year. That weekend we were in the garden mowing, watering, weeding, and trimming up the roses. Later that afternoon we looked out the window and it was raining! It's never rained here in July before, so we were surprised. It still looked like it could rain in the next or two as well, and in fact it did rain again. I found it so strange that it rained in July. This past summer was far from even the slightly warm coastal summer we usually get.

I decided one weekend while we were gardening we needed to re-do the trellis boxes in the front of the house. The plants in the trellis boxes just aren't doing well and the passionflower vines that are growing in there only go half-way up the trellis and hardly bloom at all anymore. There are a couple of dead passionflower vines also in there, and the pink jasmine vines in the trellis boxes are not doing much of anything. We think it's best to dig everything out and start all over with new vines. Wouldn't you know that the pink jasmine vines the previous homeowner planted all over the front and back yards grow like crazy except in the trellis boxes.

I would like to plant purple jackmanni clematis vines in each trellis box. I'm guessing having two different vines would be ideal, something that blooms in early spring then the clematis blooms in summer and fall. I've had no luck planting sweet peas in there but maybe once we clear things out and add new soil and vines the sweet peas would do well in there. I'm going to ask the people at our local nursery for advice in planting vines in the trellis boxes and see what they suggest.

The summer blooming heathers started to bud and flower in July, they really are pretty. I have lithodora, a ground cover that looks like tiny ice plant and has brilliant blue flowers all over it during summer. It really grows well but a gallon container is pretty expensive and they don't carry six packs of this ground cover. I'm going to try and root some of the lithodora to see if I can make more plants from the original plant.

The garnet colored pestemon had gotten huge, it was a good three feet tall and just as wide, covered in dark fuchsia tubular blooms, it's beautiful. My hebe shrub was growing well near the roses after I moved it from the other side of the yard, it's doing better in this spot. Hebe shrubs usually have white flowers but this shrub is rare in that it has purple flowers. The shrub is starting to bloom and looks great against the fence. The blooms are small and remind me of bottle brush blooms.

I have a piece of what I believe is a white Shasta daisy I dug up from a crack in the sidewalk in front of our yard. I planted a few of them and one of the pieces grew in July and produced two white blooms. I hope this plant gets bigger next year. The seeding came from the daisies across the street where they have big bunches of Shasta daisies blooming, so pretty. I hope it grows bigger over time.

The kiwi vines had gotten so big this year they were covering the metal structure and creating a shaded area under them. When you walk by the kiwi vines with their cream colored flowers it smells of kiwi fruit and the fruit hasn't even formed yet. The butterfly bushes were full of blooms, lavender, dark purple, and the dark magenta blooms which are my favorite. They have to have grown a good 12 to 15 feet tall this year.

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