[gardeners] Garden Reassesment

M T (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Sun, 2 Sep 2001 19:57:41 -0700 (PDT)

Well, It's been another wonderfully warm summer. The
tropicals all look great. (now I just need to find
places in the house to keep 30+ pots!)  While we
didn't get the normal amount of rain this summer (at
least not consistently) nothing has died and
everything has been chugging along.
 I've been working lots of hours so other than
watering the pots and dumping a bit of slow release
fertilizer in them, weed eating the borders and
walkways and a bit of weeding (not enough by a long
shot) I didn't get much done this summer.

 There were no winder losses in the pots or the beds.
Last winter was colder (on average) than normal, but
the lows were higher than normal.

 Spring opened with *lots* of daffodils and the
anemonies (wind flowers). The shasta daisies and
oneotheria in the front parking lot were an absolutely
glorious sea of pink and white for almost 2 months.
Then the hardy geraniums were covered head to toe. 
All the iris looked great, the first flush of roses
were wonderful, and other than earwigs on a few, the
repeat blooms were pretty good. The vinca, marsh
marigold and pink creeping phlox worked great
together. The mophead hydrangeas followed in their
turn with a great showing.

 Currently most of the roses are still blooming, the
hardy argeretum is 2-3 foot tall and winding its way
through everything and coating all with a beautiful
sea of  cool blue. The cactus zinnias reseeding from
last year have been blooming for about a month (only a
month) and look great. The beauty berry is darkening
up and most of the grasses (various miscanthus, some
blue fescue and blue Lyme grass) have done well, if
getting a little floppy.

 Which brings me back to late June, July, and most of
 The crepe myrtles  have had miniscule blooms if at
all, the grasses grew well but are now staked to keep
them upright (a first), the reseeding cosmos popped up
everywhere, but except for maybe a dozen small blooms
(on 40+ plants!) there was nothing, and they were 1-2
foot tall, instead of 3-4 and covered from top to
bottom in beautiful blooms like last year. The late
spireas did ok, but nothing like normal. The veggie
garden didn't quite die, but didn't do nearly as well
as last year. (seldom watered it, but it seldom needs
it most years) The butterfly bushes were not too bad,
but again, nothing like normal. Same with the
daylilies, coralbells, cleome, monarda, caryopteris,
peppers (well watered), Blacked eyed Susans and
coneflowers. Even the Rose of Sharon and swamp
hibiscus had a good flush then nothing. Even the
annual white vinca only doubled in size this summer!

 The colorful tropical foliage scattered about the
gardens in pots kept things from being a total loss,
but most of summer might as well have been as exciting
as most of winter. At least in winter we have
camellias and pansies!

  Any suggestions on long blooming perennials for mid

 The parking lot bed (10' x 60') is in full sun till
5-6 pm. It's amended clay with 4 inches of compost/old
woodchips on top. There are lots of 2-3' squares of
bare earth for the reseeding zinnias and cosmos and
shastas. The oneotheria (Missouri primrose) plows
through everything. The oneotheria plants are still in
good shape, but always stop blooming with the first
flush of serious heat. So far they don't seem to be
gearing up for their usual fall bloom.

 Should I  thin the oneotheria after next spring's
bloom to give the rest of the plants a chance?

 I'm told the cosmos need to be restarted from fresh
(store bought) seed every few years to maintain their
vitality. Is this true?

 The rest of the garden beds are amended sandy loam,
on a gentle slope leading down to the parking lot.

 Thanks for any suggestions!

Matt Trahan   new address 
USDA zone 7/8   southeast Virginia

Do You Yahoo!?
Get email alerts & NEW webcam video instant messaging with Yahoo! Messenger