8 - 04 - 2011
Thoughts on Gardening in August….fall will come – it will rain again! Keep telling yourself that…of course this is a weird weather pattern…they say the worst since the eighties. Everyone tells me they don’t remember it ever seeming so horrible! As bad as the weather is, good planting and the right plants have made a difference this summer and beautiful gardens can still be seen throughout Oklahoma City.
This is one of my favorite varieties of Crepe Myrtle – “Pink Velour”, it thrives in the hot summer heat, and in the spring the leaves are a dark burgundy instead of green.
I love to incorporate raised planters into my landscape design. Plants thrive in them, because planters typically have perfect drainage and great soil. This particular planter is filled with English boxwood and white Knock out Roses and “Walker’s Low” Nepata. A colorful mix of my favorite purslane, verbena, and blue scaveola cascade over the wall.
Love to mix in Angelonia into my garden designs…it's about as close as I can get to lavender!
I’m shocked out how fresh these flowers look – I took this photo yesterday. Love the pink profusion
Zinnias peeking through the blue salvia and Angelonia.
More of my favorite summer mix – with the dark cherry colored penta.
Mixed in some little white Mexican daisies in this mix…
Hard to believe we have had nearly 30 days of 100 degree temps when you look at these flowers.
Love how this hardscaping frosted in flowers softens this huge driveway.
And believe it or not my faithful “Abraham Darby” English rose surprising me with a gift – a reward for my hand watering.
Top things to do in August
- Water – of course!
- Move pots and baskets to the shade to give them a break from the sun and heat.
- Cutback things that have lots of brown leaves…like spirea or perennials…remove dead plants – your beds and pots will look better.
- Drive around and look at gardens that are performing well in these extreme conditions.
- Look at how your irrigation system is performing – you may want to modify coverage this fall.
- Take one more last vacation to someplace cool.
Off to Africa….
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
7 - 01 - 2011
Climate is nearly everything in gardening – June has been hot as you know what – now July is coming and we already know what we are in store for…MAJOR HEAT WAVE!!!!
What I am so envious of when I go to the cooler parts of our country in the summer are the flowers….and the reason why is cool night time temperatures. So many of the plants we love like geraniums, lobelia, petunias, dahlias and hollyhocks need late night temperatures to drop into the 50’s to allow the flowers to rest from the previous day of heat. Even really heat-loving plants like hydrangeas and daylilies will benefit and product more luxuriant flowers with the cooler night-time temperatures.
Well here’s my recommendation…get out of town this summer and hire someone to water your pots and roses!
Top Things to do in July – Celebrate the 4th of July – hopefully someplace cool!
- Water – everything!
- Deadhead your plants – believe it or not they will put on new fresh blossoms even in this incinerator heat.
- Use water soluable fertilizer like Miracle Grow…you are watering all of the nutrients out of your pots and flower boxes.
- Look at the zinnias in gardens – you will love them….put out seeds May!
Best of the Season
Purple Cone Flower...
A very darling friend of mine passed this on to me a couple of weeks ago…I had not seen this before and just loved it when I read it…so I decided to share it with my gardening friends….enjoy!
How To Plant Your Garden
First, you Come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses.
FOR THE GARDEN OF YOUR DAILY LIVING,
PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS:
1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul
PLANT FOUR ROWS OF SQUASH:
1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness
PLANT FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE:
1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another
NO GARDEN IS COMPLETE WITHOUT TURNIPS:
1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another
TO CONCLUDE OUR GARDEN WE MUST HAVE THYME:
1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends
WATER FREELY WITH PATIENCE AND CULTIVATE WITH LOVE.
Happy 4th of July and hang in there for the rough 2 months as a Gardener!
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -
7 - 02 - 2010
As a gardener, if you are living in the lower south, the Midwest or the plains – July and August are not your favorite months of the year. Many years ago when I met my future husband he asked me about the weather in Oklahoma City. I told him there were two months he was not going to like….he said…”January and February?” “I said NO – July and August!”
So now it’s here, the dreaded heat that begins well before noon and lasts until midnight! July will show no mercy on plants put in late (after the end of May), the wrong plant in the wrong spot, or plants that love cool weather. July and August are the “acid test” for your garden.
Plants put in late have less of chance to establish a root system before the heat just bakes the soil all day long…they have not stretched beyond their growth that was confined by a container. I always tell my clients that the very best time of year to plant is in the fall….when the earth is warm for months but not too hot – roots have a long time to stretch and grow without just being “baked”.
Wrong plant – wrong spot….I could go on and on about this…but the quick story is….delicate plants or plants that don’t like hot afternoon sun will not be happy with the long hot summer days that July brings. Dogwood, azaleas, hydrangeas, hosta, clematis, Asiatic lilies – ground covers like ajuga, lamium, and woodland phloxes.
Plants that love cooler weather – of course you may already know this….roses, geraniums, petunias, lobelia are good examples of plants that looked fabulous in April, May and June but now look a little “under the weather”! Of course if you live in the Northwest part of our country – they are gorgeous this time of year.
July and August are good times to really evaluate your plantings and overall design, and decide if any changes or editing need to take place – and if so September is just around the corner.
Top Things to do in July
- Adequate water is now a must – but please still pay attention to the weather.
- Water your containers every morning…this can be a must to get them through the day.
- Adjustments to your automatic sprinkler system may be needed – remember to water early in the day – not at night.
- If you do need to water during the heat of the day – be careful not to get water on the plant foliage.
- I hand water newer plantings like roses and some perennials if needed.
- Evaluate your garden – do you have the right plant in the right spot?
- Are your petunias or geraniums looking bad in your containers – you can still refresh your containers with heat loving plants like Angelonia, Purslane, lantana and blue daze.
- Continue to dead head your annuals and perennials – they will reward you with fresh blossoms – especially Nepata, Penta, and roses.
- Continue to support your roses and climbing vines – they are still putting on new growth even if they aren’t blooming…this fall you will understand why you did this.
- In addition to dead heading your cone flowers – be sure to take the seed heads and cut them up and sprinkle the seeds around your existing plants – there are literally several hundred seeds in each head of a cone flower!
Best of the Season
- Crepe Myrtle, Vitex (Texas Lilac), carpet and landscape roses
- Bermuda Grass – bring the heat on!
- All Ornamental Grasses – flower plumes are emerging
- Perennials –Perovskia (Russian Sage) Cone Flowers, Hosta
- Annuals – Perinwinkle, purslane, penta, lantana, dusty miller, blue daze scaveola
This tree form crepe myrtle is beautiful – and still very young - watermelon red!
Pruned correctly this spring – not hacked off.
You would never know it’s nearly 100 degrees when you see this Vitex in all of it’s
lavender colored glory.
Cone Flowers love the heat – remember there are thousands of seeds in each of the heads – before dead-heading don’t forget to spread all the seeds – they are free and will really spread your stand of this wonderful perennial – Echinacea!
Happy Gardening -
All My Best -