Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New Plantings in the Coastal Garden

As we head into fall on the coast I'm looking back over recent summer work in the garden. Over the summer months there is always plenty of busy work happening in the garden. During the summer months there is plenty of pruning, including trimming of the pink roses, cutting back the passionflower vines near the obelisk and also on the front yard fence. The pink jasmine gets cut back often in summer since it grows wildly during these months.

I planted the two new red passionflower vines in the trellis boxes, so far they are showing plenty of new growth with both vines reaching up about a foot taller since being planted. There has been some weird die-off on a small section of one plant (another shoot of the vine), but otherwise overall the vine seems healthy. I'm hoping these vines really take hold so they can go gangbusters by next spring and summer. When I planted them I added in some free fertilizer samples I received from the local garden nursery. The vines look healthy with plenty of growth, better results than the four online vines I planted that did not thrive. I hope the new vines look as good as the old ones pictured here.

The two sets of sweet peas I planted out are doing great, when I planted them I added some free fertilizer sample in the planting hole. So far the sweet pea vines are starting to set flower in September and the vines are growing tall on the obelisk and the front yard trellis near the front porch. I also noticed two vines from the perennial sweet pea seeds I planted a while ago have sprung up under the obelisk also. The perennial sweet pea is not fragrant unfortunately but it is a perennial vine and produces a purple bloom, so far the vine seems thicker and has more pronounced leaves than the annual sweet peas I planted.

I am continuing to water the Goodwin Creek lavender and false raspberry groundcover I planted between the passionflower vine on the fence and the pink climbing roses. Both plants seem to be doing well, I am hoping I can keep the passionflower vine cut back enough so it doesn't cover up the new plants. I wish the passionflower vines in the trellis grew as vigourously as the vines in the yard. Hopefully in spring we'll see this kind of growth from the new trellis passionflower vines.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Heath and Heather Farm Sale

At the end of August we went to my annual heath and heather farm sale. The farm is out in the country with pine trees and rolling hills surrounding the home of the farm owner. There are all sorts of heathers planted on the property which makes it beautiful to look at. The front of the yard has borders filled with colorful full-grown heathers in front of the farm house.

In the back yard where the heather farm is located also has numerous borders filled with heaths and heathers. There is an old gnarled apple tree that still produces apples in the center of the yard and a table with umbrella and chairs so you can sit and enjoy the view. It was a little hotter out there this year, the sale was held in late August instead of late October and held in the afternoon instead of the morning. There are always sweet and savory treats, sodas and coffee and tea available for the plant buyers. Basically we buy our shrubs then sit down and have some snacks and enjoy the scenery, which is pretty spectacular. The people who come to the plant sale are people who visit the farmers market or other events and sign up on her list to get an invitation, so the number of people who come to the sale are smaller.

The selection of shrubs is good, with at least 50 to 100 shrubs total to choose from and multiples of each variety. The heath and heather shrubs run around $3.00 each for a four-inch pot or gallon pot of new cuttings, which are well-established plants, generally four to five inches or more in height. At most nurseries heaths and heathers run $4.75 (if you are lucky) to $7.00 for a four inch pot of heather. I've rarely see heaths offered in the nurseries I've been to, so the variety of heaths and heathers at the sale is really great.

I purchased eight pink, lavender and magenta flowered heaths and heathers and one white heather that is very striking. I have enough of the orange/purple/bronze heathers planted along the front of the walkway up to the house. Some of the foliage of the plants purchased changes color with the fall and winter months while others stay green. Maintenance of the plants is fairly easy: water well weekly for the first year since heaths and heathers have fragile roots, and trim once a year after flowering to shape up the plant. I'm not sure where I will plant this batch of heathers from the sale, frankly I'm running out of room at the moment until we rework one of the flowerbeds in the back yard. Maybe another barrel is in order, the heather barrel in the back yard looks great after a few years and is filling out perfectly with its five smaller heathers.

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