Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More of my flowers.

     I did take some other photos of some of my flowers as I was walking around my yard. As you can see I love flowers. These are primarily dahlias, zinnias, and my fuchsia garden.

     I always dig up my dahlias after they freeze. I let them dry a little, then break off most of the dirt and put them in some perlite or vermiculite in a plastic bag, and actually I store them in my wine cellar. That seems to be just the correct temperature and it is humidified to protect the corks in the wine. Out in the general basement where the furnace is, it becomes to warm and they dry out over the winter. In the wine cellar, they are usually sprouting by spring enabling me to know where to break the rhizomes apart to multiply my plants.

     I had trouble getting my zinnias going this year. Between the cold June, the rabbits and the earwigs, most of the first plantings came up but soon disappeared. I reseeded a couple of times. Finally I began to spray the seedlings with a rabbit repellant as soon as they came up and I did get a few stands of zinnias. Unfortunately very few of the large tall ones survived. I will collect seeds this year but I will probably need to buy some of the large headed varieties again next year.
     My 95 year old mother always plants zinnias along her driveway. She collects the seed heads and uses her own seed. This year she had a lot of trouble. My sisters helped her replant a couple times and purchased a rabbit repellant also. But then the bed became infested with quack grass. Finally now there are a few plants budding between the quack grass. I think the rabbits didn't find these seedlings amongst the grass so in a sense the quack grass saved a few zinnias.

     One of my favorite flowers are fuchsias. I had let most of my baskets die a couple years ago as they were getting kind of leggy. Last year's drought and heat in the Midwest made it particularly hard to keep the fuchsias healthy. So this spring I purchased some new baskets trying to get as many cultivars as possible and there are thousands. I hang them in my white pine tree which is at the northwest corner of my house, where they receive dappled shade. Below the hanging plants is a stone wall covered with moss, and around the base of the pine tree is sweet woodruff and some cranesbill. This was a favorite corner of my garden this spring and early summer when the fuchsia was in its prime. I put a folding chaise lounge out there and even though it is on the side of the house away from Lake Michigan, I still spent some wonderful afternoons out there reading and daydreaming. I always tried to overwinter my fuchsias by allowing them to grow even though the growth got leggy, and they dropped most of their leaves. I also had to spray periodically for whitefly. But now I have read that one should cut the plants back to just 6 inches of woody stems and just barely keep them watered enough to prevent them from totally drying out, and store them in a dark cool place, preventing them from attempting to grow. I am debating whether to try this method this year. I am a little afraid though because I have never done this before. Does anyone know about wintering fuchsia this way? If so send me a comment or an email.

     A few other flowers: moss roses, and impatiens.


      And here, last but not least, is my saquaro.---- No, of course it is not a saguaro. It is a common mullein which loves the fertile soil of my flower beds. My husband thinks I am nuts for letting this thing grow right there in front of our house. But I recall going to the Chicago Conservatory when Dale Chihuly was exhibiting his glass art works there, and in their side garden as you enter a side door of the greenhouse, here were mulleins growing purposely left in the beds. I tried to tell my husband that but he made a face. I find mulleins pretty when they are in their first year and form the rosette of lovely light green fuzzy leaves, and even in the second year when they first spike they are attractive, but I admit by this time of year, they are looking a little ratty. This one I left because it was so saguaroee -- My made up word.


1 comment:

  1. Recently, I noticed a woodpecker tapping into my White Pine tree. Much to my delight, it was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,Fast Growing Tree Nursery