Re: [gardeners] Garden Reassessment

M T (
Thu, 6 Sep 2001 22:11:25 -0700 (PDT)

Hi Anne,

Thanks for the reminder of the lantana! I'm
reassessing what annuals (large tropicals) I "have" to
save over the winter and which ones I can reliably
find for $5 a pot next spring. The cape plumbago is
offered only sporadically from year to year.
Fortunately it flowers as much in the winter in a full
sun, east facing, bay window, as it does in the
 We have one cape plumbago now in a 14" pot. Bought it
late last fall at Kmart or Walmart for $5. It looked
fantastic all summer (also well watered). It's sitting
next to a velvety dark red rose (name unknown) and
they look incredible together.

 The yellow lantana was saved over the winter from
last summer and never made it out of its 1 gal pot
this year. It's reliably available from year to year,
so I'm thinking of chucking it in a few weeks.
 Will have to plant the lantana and plumbago in the
ground  together out in the parking lot bed next year.
How much water does the plumbago need in the ground?
Is it still as thirsty as it is in a pot? The lantana
does ok on almost none. 

 Indoor plant space is at a premium this fall. I
decided to stay with my friends here in Surry
indefinately, but I need to be realistic (at least
more realistic than usual ;-)) about how many plants I
can drag in. I'm just a collector at heart. Sometimes
it's obvious even to me that I went overboard during
the summer. <VBG>

Hi Ron, Thanks for the portulaca suggestion. I have a
few of the pink and white striped ones in pots, they
are great! But we seldom get more than a few plants
because they have no height. The iceplant fills the
same bill and it's hardy here.
 WIll have to try the polarized sunglass idea soon! 
Sounds like fun.

 We sat down with the Parks catalog tonight and
bounced a few ideas back and forth.
 The problem with the 10' x 60' parking lot bed is
it's built over marle and gravel.  The dirt on top is
mostly amended  *heavy* clay. I added 3-4 inches of
wood chips and older compost 50/50 to it last summer,
so some nitrogen loss may be part of this years anemic
showing.  We have two soaker hoses running the length
of it. One starts on either side, to help even out the
pressure differential. The ends end up nicely soaked
but the center stays relatively dry. The parking lot
bed ends up alternating between "easy bake oven" and
"swampthing" when I finally drag the hose down to it.

 We sort of sidestepped the problem by concentrating
on buying plants for the 'former' pepper bed. <VBG>
 Like 80% of the yard, it's a great, fertile, fast
draining, sandy loam. The pepper bed near the head of
the long driveway so it's hard to miss.

 A lot of the things Jackie and Cynthia like are for
"Moist, fast draining soil". Not around here! Not
moist anyway.
 I can't tell you how many astilbes and ladys mantle
we've sacrificed over the years. We still have 2
ladies mantle that look ok, almost good. But the
astilbes never last more than a year or two.

 We are now going to go back to salvia's and moonbeam
coryopsis, and euphorbias and pretty milkweeds and
burgundy blanket flower. We're even going to attempt
lavender again. (Way to humid here in summer)

 Hope you're all enjoying the season,

> Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 07:54:20 -0400
> From: "Annetta Green" 
> Subject: Re: [gardeners] Garden Reassesment
> Matt,
> We are also in the summer doldrums of gardening. 
> Here in FL there are not
> any real consistant summer bloomers, except Crepe
> Myrtle and very few
> others.
> This year my Myrtles also look anemic compared to
> previous years.  In fact
> they are already starting to turn color, as in fall
> color.  This is way to
> early for our southern clime.  It is not only mine
> turning, I have seen them
> reddening up all over central FL.   My Cosmos did
> not even try to come back
> this year.  Maybe it is the heat, but cosmos have
> never been reliable
> reseeders for me, nor have cleome or some others
> that should.  Even
> perennials like the canna lilies did not put on as
> big of a show.  My pots
> of flowers are all in the summer doldrums also.  Few
> blooms and very little
> new growth to show that it will be blooming again
> soon.  Sept. is still very
> hot, but the evenings will begin to cool, just a
> little.
> The only thing that seems to be blooming are the
> roses.  Most of my hybrid
> teas and all of the florabunda are putting on a real
> show.  Or, at least,
> were until the rainstorm last night knocked every
> thing down.  It pulled my
> climbers off of the trellis and pulled most petals
> off of the blossoms.  It
> was a real heavy rain, and may have had hail,
> though, there are no holes in
> anything.  This morning all those roses will have to
> be dead headed.
> Thankfully, there are plenty of buds to fill in over
> the next few weeks.
> The only other things that have been blooming are
> the Plumbago and the
> Lantana.  My blue plumbago almost died last winter
> when I failed to cover it
> for the coldest nights.  It is back to being the
> giant plant that covers a
> 4ft X 3 ft area in the front bed.  The yellow
> lantana has been great too.
> Other than haveing to keep it in bounds two plants
> have covered a 5ft x 3ft
> area on either side of the plumbago.  The yellow and
> blue look fantastic
> together.  It is one of the most trouble free and
> best looking beds that I
> have going.
> My small veggie garden was pretty close to a total
> loss.  Not one single
> zuck ever matured on the two vines that we planted. 
> Only a few tomatoes
> became ripe and remained uneaten by birds or
> squirrels.  Course the garden's
> demise came about from a two week vacation with no
> rain.  It was the longest
> we went all summer, and no one was here to fill in
> with the sprinkler.
> Yesterday I went out there and pulled what plants
> and weeds were left.  It
> is now covered with clear plastic for a few weeks,
> to get ready for a winter
> planting of peas and broccoli come Oct/ Nov.  That
> is if I can find seed.  I
> am out and fall seed is not always easy to find.
> Anne in FL
> zone 9b, sunset 26

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