Gotta Garden

Monday, December 15, 2008

Seasonal Daylilies

Although not blooming now, here are some of my daylilies with somewhat appropriate-to-the-season names:


*The hybridizer did not name this daylily after THE Mary, but another Mary...and the above flower is its progeny. However, some license can be taken at this time of year...













Sadly, no pictures of the following (at least that I can find right now): Angelic Messenger, Christmas Cotton, Christmas Is, Creation's Story, Festival of Lights, Flamenco Christmas....

I do have a rather humble picture of GENTLE SHEPHERD (one that usually makes my outta-here list...but has missed the far)

...Glory to His Name, Holly Dancer, Peace Be With You, Peppermint Delight, Peppermint Pinwheel, Peppermint Truffle, Pink Peppermint, Simply Glorious, Sugar Plum Jam, Tin Soldier, Westbourne Faith, Westbourne Music in the Air, Wonders Never Cease and Wonder of It All....


So I'm perusing an email from Lewis Ginter about their winter/spring educational opportunities (gosh I miss the old handheld booklets...) and I notice a glaring Horticulture Symposium...what??....having been to at least three, I have come to expect them...and to always wonder if I'll actually be able to make it as the weather is so uncertain here at that time...but, anyway, I hop over to the Horticulture site...and what do I find??? No More Symposiums?? Say it isn't so....

Friday, December 05, 2008

Meyer Lemons

.....grown by yours bumper crop...hehe. Hey, it's the most my little in-and-out tree has ever produced!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Here it is December...already...and I'm just planting my garlic. Fortunately for me, the weather is just now showing its winter leanings. Outside this morning, a pretty good frost is on the ground. When I opened the door to let the dogs out and saw it, I gave a little sigh that yesterday the garlic below went into the ground.

These garlic (garlics?) are new...mostly...this year. I was pleased with my order from Filaree Farm and all but one has held on remarkably. Long-keepers are my focus now. No fault of Filaree as they delivered the garlic when I requested, which was probably back in September. They've sat in their little bags here beside me...until yesterday. Well, not exactly sat as I have caught the cats, primarily Sam, batting them around. Leo prefers to lie on top of them.

So here we go. First up is Bzenc. This one has incredible color to the cloves. One that will not easily be mixed up (as happens to me quite often). Worth planting for the color alone, wouldn't you say?

Next, Russian Red with nutty brown cloves:

Killarney many times am I going to keep trying this one?? I swear I must buy it for the name, although I did think this year, especially after seeing others, that red is not really warranted.

Softnecks have seemingly done better for me, so here's one for this year Mild French:

Another one I probably liked for the name; however, the cloves do have a light pink/rosy tint. Rose du Var:

I cannot count the times I have grown this one and finally gave up on it. However, while visiting Blacksburg (actually, my DD at VA Tech) and just happening to go to the farmers' market there...I came across someone selling these enormous heads of garlic. Naturally, I asked for the variety name and was hear the reply of Music. So, okay, I have to give it another try....who doesn't want Music in their garden?? (the name thing rears its head yet again...)

One of the things I have become picky about with my garlic is that I no longer plant any questionable cloves. They need to be can just shrinking in the signs of brown whatnot, etc. So, the above cloves didn't make the grade. Plus, I couldn't help but notice...then, as I pulled the head apart...that there wasn't a hardneck...what?? Hmmm, does give one pause. I opened the other head (above) and was happily satisfied with it...see below:

I suspect the other might not have been Music after matter, none were planted as they didn't make the grade. They have, after all, been sitting around here since August...

Tough as it was, I decided to limit myself to just eight cloves from each. Space is such a Plus, the areas I carefully prepared last year which were such a joy to plant have daylily seedlings as well as some reserved space for my stairs-to-be. There is some random garlic growing there and elsewhere as I always miss some....or the top breaks off and I mean to go back and dig the head out...but forget. You can't have too much garlic, I say. That left-in-the-ground garlic is growing quite well...or as well as some of it can, all crowded like that.

But, anyway, with my self imposed limitation, I had quite a bit leftover. Oh joy. Hehe. Really, though, it makes me happy.

Maybe next year, I will keep border space for my garlic...and get it planted in a more timely fashion. I did get some of the basement garlic replanted. Unfortunately, not all that I want to (maybe 2-3 more varieties plus some unknowns...not nearly as many unknowns as last year!). But, joining the new ones above are Polish Spirit, Red Toch, Inchellium Red (New Mex), Korean Rocambole, Persian Star and Ajo Rojo. Inchellium Red (New Mex) is a variety I brought back several years ago from the Santa Fe Farmers Market. Korean Rocambole came from a vendor selling up in Northern VA (farm is actually in PA) who told me it does extremely well for them. Not so for me as the gloves I had were so tiny that ordinarily I wouldn't even bother...but, what the heck, I'll give it one more chance. Ajo Rojo was the most prolific.

I harvested my garlic late this year (note for next year) and that cost me some. The New York White I had looked to have produced big heads (even for me), but it was harvested too hoo. Maybe next year, I'll look for some more.

I think when I think of non-flowers for things I couldn't imagine not growing, garlic is right at the top. It's just such a fun thing. I'd also miss terribly my chives and the parsley that springs up everywhere (I actually found one in the front yard recently!).

Two spring things that I'm determined to repeat in 09 are those lettuce starter packs and sweet peas. I wish I had more room for peas. I'll have to think about that! The lettuce was so incredibly easy and productive I can't imagine why I didn't try it before. Okay, I did try it, but in pots or planters because I was sure every bug in the world would get it. They did, in the pots/planters but were mostly absent when growing in the garden. Imagine that. I had all the lettuce (and more) that I could want up until the heat set in. And, really, there is truly nothing like fresh picked lettuce. As I probably mentioned, it was astonishing how long it would last in the fridge...which tells you something about what we buy in the grocery.

Let's see now...I still have three daylilies in pots to...hopefully...get in the ground, two pots of Bachman seedlings and some random bulbs to throw in a hole....oh yes, one box of four seedlings....Will I get them planted??? Who knows. My mind is already in winter mode, so we shall see.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Autumn Oddity

Today, November 7, 2008, I have a daffodil blooming. Yes, you read that correctly.

I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I believe it to be part of a mix of daffodils planted in 1996. This particular one, I think, tries to bloom every year too early and gets zapped. Maybe it has decided to try blooming really early this year. So far, so good although we had been warmer than usual. I noticed the foliage coming up and sorta thought it odd, but given how I cram things in, there was always the chance it was something my blue Roman Hyacinth....It would have been too early for that also, come to think of it.

Whatever. It's nice to see.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hokie Colors

Today I had a revelation. Haven't you ever wondered who would put together colors like maroon and orange (besides the Hokies, of course)? Well, I now know....Nature, that's who. And, it's very pretty...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Guess What I'm Doing.... got it! It's time to get those daffodils in the ground. Here's my WDS order and, as you can see, I've got my labels all done.

My Old House Gardens order has already come and those daffodils are in the ground (yea me!)...still have some snowdrops, though. In fairness, the OHG order was smaller than usual (only three varieties of daffodils). Still waiting on one more order...

On my To Do list: garlic...okay, and still moving some daylilies around...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mid-Late October in VA

It won't be long before these are all just memories. October is surprisingly, if you take the opportunity to observe, declaring that bloom season is not...yet...over.

Abraham Lincoln is still sending out blooms. Not a prolific bloomer for me, it makes those it does send out seem especially nice. Fall is a good time here for roses.

This is a miniature that still survives from my brief infatuation with them. Did you realize that miniature roses are own root roses? Unlike the others, that you must make some effort to assure that you are purchasing own root roses, the miniatures have quietly soldiered on...on their own roots.

This is an annual that makes it to my garden...annually...ha. Nemesia. Love it. Blooms and blooms until frost takes it away.

While this camellia doesn't have the best shape, shrub-wise, yet...the blooms sure are pretty.'s really lovely.

I almost missed these rain lilies, hidden as they were...the result of an ever-expanding garden. Once upon a time they were planted on a border where they could be, they're buried behind some other things (hmmm, daylilies, perhaps??).

Dianthus Siberian Blues which I grew from seed several years ago. It has a long bloom season and puts up with neglect.

I didn't know this...perhaps you did...that Loropetalum blooms again in fall. How 'bout that. Maybe because mine has struggled and not attained the glory that I see when I visit South Carolina. Let's hope it is because it has decided it will stay here.

Geranium Rosanne. If you don't grow this, I can't imagine why not. It is simply the best hardy geranium. Blooms forever (almost).

This is one of many phlox seedlings I find around. I particularly like this one. Unfortunately, it has decided to grow between two edging bricks and is perched directly in the path of where I will probably have some professional tree/shrub whacking going on. We shall see what happens.

Another camellia in the backyard. It's growing on me. Not what I thought I was purchasing, but it's very healthy due to, I believe, the fact that my compostor used to be right behind it.

This is my holly leaf osmanthus which only blooms in the fall. It has a stronger fragrance than the others that I grow. I was astonished to go outside recently and find it covered in blooms (sorry the picture is not so great). This has been its best year ever for bloom/fragrance.

Another not-so-good picture, this is my tea olive (osmanthus). As you can tell, it grows under my steps. I love this shrub! It's been here several years, so I'm hoping it's with me to stay. With predictions of a dire winter, I worry. This year, I brought back yet another tea olive, whose name is not in front me right now...anyway, it is supposed to be even more floriferous than the one above (imagine that!). They actually all three were blooming at the same time this year. I do have a fourth osmanthus, but it does not bloom...just a beautiful shrub. I'll be concerned for the two SC tea olives, especially the brand new one, this year. You might cross your fingers for me, too...if you're so inclined.


Toad Lilies.

Hardy Cyclamen...the second one has now begun blooming...

This year I'm expecting eight lemons from my Meyer Lemon...well, tree would be generous...ha, perhaps we'll call it a shrub. It gets dragged in and out each year and so far has managed to survive this torture.

So, in sum....October is a pretty interesting month in the least in this Virginia garden.
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