Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Flowers the Size of My Head!

A twitter friend sent me this cool site: http://madmenyourself.com

So, this is my avatar...my glam 50's (I think it is the 50s) gardening persona...expect make it a glass of wine instead of a martini. It was a lot of fun to pick out everything and make your own little cartoon. I did my guy, too.

Except he would have a bottle of Dr. Pepper in his hand instead of a scotch. Lots of fun, you should try it. Anyways....

My new hibiscus has started blooming. I was astonished to see that the bloom is not only much bigger than my hand, it is at least as big as my head! That is what I call a flower. I am very impressed with these varieties. I don't remember the name of the pink ones right now.

This is of course, Lord Baltimore...but who wouldn't love that fantastic deep red. I also have Luna Red, and I believe Kopper King. I also have one that I have no idea what color it is going to be...

I have to say that hibiscus is one of my top three perennial flowers EVER. I want to get a hibiscus tattoo on my shoulder if I could find an artist that knows how to draw it so it doesn't look like a tropical hibiscus. Those are pretty too, but I know the difference, and this is what I want. That is down the line, though. My next tattoo is most likely going to be English ivy that goes up the top of my foot. Ha...I know I'm crazy. I already have a purple bearded iris on my leg. I swear, I look mild-mannered and respectable when I go to work.

The bee bums have been in everything lately. I have so many of them in my yard. My son used to reverse word parts when he was younger (think maryrose) and he was deathly afraid of the 'beebums', as he said. Now, it is a family word, and they will always be beebums to me. This one is checking out the brown-eyed bettys. Of which I have three. I know the seasoned gardeners out there are laughing hysterically now. 3!!!!??? Only three?!!!! You silly girl. What is even funnier, is that until about 3 weeks ago, I only had one. I am hoping that they self-seed themselves (which I understand is a theoretical certainty) and fill in that section of my part sun bed. I am still a new enough gardener to relish and be delighted by plants that make more of themselves without my doing anything to help them. I also knowingly planted mint without a sunken pot in my shade bed. I am living on the edge...ha ha.

I got some lettuce blooms finally. They still weren't all open...but you can get the idea. They are very delicate and starry. I have received some conflicting information on whether I can save the seeds from the two varieties that are blooming at the same time. One is a hybrid romaine, and the other is an heirloom, 'Grandpa Admire's'. I heard that they will cross, so I am probably will have to buy them again next year. Which I might do...both were excellent producers, and actually neither of them bolted until late June. The arugula was done by midMay.

This was my iris bed. Try not to notice my solar lights that are broken and keep falling off the little posts. I don't think I have weeded the iris bed ONCE this year. It has some major issues. Number one, the clay soil. A recurring problem in my new yard. I think the clay soil is rotting some of my bearded iris rhizomes. So, in September, all of the bearded iris are going to get dug up, the soil amended, and replanted. I didn't get a single bloom this spring. Talk about irritation. Problem number two and three, the weeds and the mulch. Remember, a year ago, this was a TOTALLY BLANK YARD. So, last fall, I just dug holes and plunked stuff down where I thought I wanted it. No mulch, no weed control. It was almost November, and I had no time to lose. I just needed to get stuff in the ground immediately. We didn't know where we were moving until only a month before we moved, so I had to haul. When spring came, I started laying down newspaper layers and covering with mulch to suppress all the weeds, because this was all grass and weeds in October. I know it is not recommended to mulch iris rhizomes, but I had limited options at the time. The creeping charlie in this yard is vicious.

So, a few hours later, much better. I have quite a bit of Siberian iris mixed in with the bearded. The Siberian did bloom, but they were little short ones, instead of the usual tall flowers. I don't think it was too bad considering what was there before. Hopefully as time goes by, I can scale back on the mulch, and after I amend the soil, the rhizome health will improve. Here's hoping.

My mother sent me my grandmother's potato masher. I have been looking for one on Ebay, and I happened to mention it to my mother, because I remembered it from my childhood. I think I used to use this as a microphone. She let me have it, but she said I can't actually use it to mash potatoes. Bummer. So, this one is being kept in a special place, but the search continues, for one I can actually use.


I borrowed this from another blog...

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