Thursday, April 19, 2018

Garden report

I can't believe how quickly this semester has evaporated. I have a great deal of writing to do to complete my tasks, but it is mostly pleasurable writing, and I hope to get at least half of it completed this weekend. I am much occupied with a handful of papers I must complete in the next two weeks, but I do have a handful of specimens I need to get planted before summer's furnace arrives (I predict we'll see it by the end of May). We've already had a couple days in the 90s, one day reaching about 97. Ugh. Still, my sympathies to our neighbors up North and East who seem to have been more piled under snow this year than not. Count your blessings, because the rest of us appear to be marching resolutely back to drought status, we lucky few who emerged from drought for a couple years.

This morning I planted a bronze fennel at the front corner of one of my rock gardens (around a boulder in the ground), and at the back I planted a lovely specimen of Agastache rugosa called "Little Adder." I think it's also called Anise Hyssop, and it is a variety of hummingbird mint. They are water-thrifty and heat-hardy, and the hummingbirds love the nectar of their flowers. Doubly-delightful, they have the most beautiful flowery/minty fragrance. I have one established hummingbird mint of another variety, and I have two more specimen to plant in the next week. I also planted a beautiful phlox in front of the porch.

My catmint is going bananas, so I'm cutting bits of it off and taking it to friends at school who have cats. It's a beautiful plant and has a lovely fragrance, too. My catmint is the Blue Wonder version, and it's beautiful. I'm thinking of planting a mess of it in another area, if I can figure out how to transplant new growth.

The new shoots are coming up on my Texas Star Hibiscus, and I am thrilled. Several perennials I planted last year have new growth coming in, and I can't wait to see how they do. Also, my Blue  Glow Globe Thistle from High Country Gardens is looking lush and lovely, and I can't wait for its spectacular blooms this summer. :) Also, High Country Gardens is a great resource for many varieties of Agastache (Hummingbird Mint), and that's where I obtained the specimen that I put in last year. I can't recommend High Country Gardens highly enough for their excellent specimens. Also, their website hosts a wealth of information on heat-hardy perennials with regional/zone breakdowns, and emphasis on plants for the particular pollinators you wish to attract (all of them!).

The upper photo is the new Agastache, and the lower one is the new shoots of Texas Star Hibiscus nestled among the canes from the previous year. Last year, there were about a dozen canes, and so far, I have counted over 30 canes of new growth. I'm leaving the other framework to protect the new shoots, since a neighbor runs their dogs through my yard. I'm just hoping I don't regret putting other new things in the area, because it's heartbreaking to toil over my flowers and then find they have been trampled.

What's growing in your garden? Please comment if you'd like to share how your plantings are progressing so far this year.


drjim said...

Everything is greening up here in Colorado as well.

Our tulips, crocus, and iris bulbs are growing, and we can't wait to see them bloom.

The trees are budding like crazy, too!

phlegmfatale said...

I had grape hyacinth in my yard for about a month starting in early February. I don't have any bulb flowers, but I love tulips and crocus. Lots of trees are blooming, and allergies have been off the charts for many people for the past few weeks.
Thanks for sharing, Dr. Jim. Do you have all one variety of iris, and do you divide them up, or just let them roll?

Old NFO said...

Green thumb! :-) Congrats!

drjim said...

You're very welcome, young lady. It's good to see you back in the blogosphere again.

We have no idea what color they are. We're basing what they are by the greenery they're shooting up.

We moved from SoCal (Long Beach) to Northern Colorado in Fort Collins last September. We found this house and closed on October 31st, and nothing was growing then. We didn't even know anything was planted there until the greenery started sprouting, and some of our in-laws told us what they thought the plants were.

And the crab apple tree is budding and leafing out like crazy. I remember those from when I grew up in Illinois, and they're very pretty, too.

I'll to do a Spring post. Been posting a lot more now that we're settled and the house is starting to run smoothly.

phlegmfatale said...

That sounds great, drjim, and flowery surprises are some of the best. Last year, a whole bunch of a flower I'd never seen came up at the corner of my yard. That turf became a no-mow zone until the flowers were done for the year, and I noticed the other day that they are back, so I'm happy to see them again. (and my mowing task just shrank again!) Congrats on the new house. Sounds like it's a happy place to land, with lovely flowers and trees you'll enjoy.

I put out a bunch of seeds last night to wildflowers and other things, so hopefully that section of the yard with little grass will be overrun with other things instead. Just in time, too, because we got a good bit of rain in the night and this morning. Fingers crossed.

I also just ordered some seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, so we'll see how those do, too. :)

Vinogirl said...


phlegmfatale said...

Weeds will always be with us, but hopefully we can corral them, somewhat, Vinogirl!