The garden is starting to really bloom and here are some of my favorites.
Cheyanne Sunset Echinacea
‘Tis the season for a lot of the flower garden to be in full bloom.
Some of the best blooms are on the daylilies. This year, with lots of moisture and not too hot temperatures, has led to one of the best daylily displays in a long time.
Another plant that’s looking especially good this year is the rudbeckia or black eyed susan. This little patch of flowers has been self-seeding for over a decade and they’re back again this year.
And here are some of the other flowers that caught my eye:
Hibiscus (Rose of Sharon)
Dahlia (Grown from Seed)
I spent a little time yesterday taking a few pictures. Here are the stories behind them.
I’ve written a number of posts about achimenes. This year I had so many rhizomes that I tried planting some of them outside in a shady area. I have to say that I’m shocked at how healthy the plants look. They aren’t blooming yet but they’re the fullest, greenest and best-looking achimenes I’ve ever grown!
This year I had to cut down one of the asian pears because the rabbits had girdled it a few years ago and the tree finally died. I didn’t expect the other tree to have any fruit since asian pears aren’t supposed to be self-pollinating. Well, this picture shows that something pollinated it!
I’ve never had much of a problem with potato beetles. I know some gardens are decimated by them, but I had to hunt to find one to photograph. They’re kind of cool looking beetles. (Obviously my opinion will change if I get an infestation!)
The final pictures show some of the flowers in the garden.
Hibiscus Close Up
Posted in Photos
Here are a few of the things blossoming in the garden right now:
German Bearded Iris
German Bearded Iris
Tomatoes. I’ve never had tomatoes blossom this early but planting them in a cold frame gave them a good head start this year.
And while it’s not a bloom, I had to share this picture of the bane of my existence – the rabbit! (Note the chicken wire around the rose bush in the background; that’s all because of this critter!)
I’m not a fussy gardener, especially when it comes to houseplants. If a plant doesn’t perform well, I throw it out. If it gets diseased, I throw it out. If it gets an infestation of insects, I’ll treat it once or twice, but if that doesn’t work, into the garbage it goes. If it gets too big, I’ll try to take a cutting and propagate it, but if that doesn’t work, I toss it.
This is why it’s a little surprising that I allowed a cattleya orchid to take up space in the house when it didn’t bloom for 2+ years. The only thing that saved it was that was growing well, it had no disease or pest problems and I knew that these orchids take some time to reach blooming size.
I found a small cattleya orchid at Lowes in 2013. (Maybe tiny is a better word for it since it only had three leaves and was in a 2″ pot.) I’d gotten the hang of growing phalaenopsis orchids and wanted to try my hand at growing a cattleya.
As I said, the plant grew well. I kept it in a window with a south-east exposure so it would get a lot of light, something that cattleyas need. Every time I watered it, I’ll look to see if one of the new leaves was going to push out a sheath-covered bud.
It finally happened this year. A bud emerged and it opened into a flower this week. This orchid has finally reached blooming size and I should get more blooms every year. I’m glad I gave this plant some time to perform because it’s performance is pretty amazing. There’s something very satisfying in taking a tiny plant and bringing it to maturity – especially when it looks like this!
As these pictures show, this cattleya is definitely a keeper and a great payoff for my patience.
I describe this spring as slow and steady. There was no fast warm up and the garden took a little time to come to life. But as always, winter gives way to spring and these pictures affirm this fact!
Here are some of the flowers that are currently in bloom…
And a couple pictures of flowers that are coming soon…
Bleeding Heart Buds
Tree Peony Buds
Every year in the fall I plant a few hyacinths and tulips in pots. I keep them in a unheated garage and bring them into the house in early February. After a few weeks in a sunny window, I’m rewarded with flowers at the end of winter.
On a cold but sunny February day, it’s nice to see a hint of spring in the house. These white, double tulips look amazing and they feel like a sign of what’s to come!