Maddie peering over the back fence and looking to see what you all are
growin' in your gardens. It's been wonderful summer weather here
lately. Rains have moved in and doused the area good with soaking
rains that have encouraged my beans to reach further up the poles I
had to purchase as I've not found a reliable place to harvest my own
yet. Tomato's are coming in good, and I spotted some large ones at
the bottom of one of the plants. Radishes are bolting on the white
rooted variety (didn't even know I had sowed white radishes.......oh
well, radishes are radishes, just wish I could locate some of those
BLACK radishes I found one year that would light your mouth up!) but
yesterday I spotted the wonderful swelling roots poking up through the
soil on some of the plants. Nose-twisters (nasturtiums) are cranking
out more and more blossoms, not nearly enough to entice the bees to
rummage around inside to give me seeds for James to pickle, but still,
enough leaves to snip into the salads and if he'd let me pluck a few
The cuke has decided to grow as well, but I should have planted
more seed. Maybe I have time now. And lordy, the burgundy okra
plants started out slow, I resowed seeds and now they're all up! With
this heat, I hope to go out back and see considerable growth in a few
days. My mouth is impatient for the first harvests, let alone just
anxious to see some serious growth.
Sedums are loving this weather, and despite all the rains, the heat
is welcome enough that the Cherokee red crape myrtle I planted in the
front yard has been blooming for three days now.......As are all my
hens and chickens. All the sedums are making broccoli looking buds as
fast as they're able, and the pots of daylilies are teasing me with
openings every day or every second day. Some I don't recognize and
need to find names of, others sadly obviously missing, so I've lost
more than 20 varieties I'd collected over the course of years. No
sign of Bruce either, and will need to contact Dick Krape to see if
he'd share me a toe of the one I sent him years ago.
Some of the roots of perennials that my girlfriend out in Oregon
have finally gotten over the shock of mail transport and are showing
signs of forgiveness. Little tickseed has got buds on it and I need to
quickly lift and trim the irises and put them into pots of soil so I
don't lose them. They're all angry at me right now. Sedums in pots
are thriving and sending out those awesome yellow star like flowers
that attract all the littles and fairy fliers to pollinate them.
Angelique has little yellow stars, but some of the sempervivums (hens
and chicks or semps as some call them) are rosy dark pink! Matrona
wants to be in the blaring sun, so she'll be moved today from her
place I put her when I brought her home.
The Diablo ninebark and the other one (name is buried in the soil
of the large pot) are doing better since putting the pots underneath
the dogwood tree to give it a break from the blaring sun and hot
weather. Happier now and no wilted leaves in the middle of the day.
All the tropical plants are thriving on the front porch and back
porch (that I've nicknamed the tropical desert as it gets eastern,
southern and west exposure and quite stuffy and sauna like) have new
leaves and the split leafed philodendrum that I completely whacked
back and stuck all the pieces into a large beer pitcher have all
rooted, need to be planted and the cut ends are sending out new leaves
as well. I had hoped it would forgive me my whacking experiment. It
was quite leggy and needed filling up.
There is a new experimental pot of another smaller leafed phil.
Brasil, the striped yellow and green leaved one (heart shaped like the
older variety) the darker purplish one called mensis nigra, and the
speckled one that is more fuzzy leafed I have planted all together and
they are finally adjusting to the bright indirect light of the front
porch once I found a spot where it didn't get TOO bright of an
exposure. I wanted it to experience the humidity and heat more than
I've decided to let the herbs flower as it's attracted the bees by
the hordes, and now the bumblies and honey bees have laid claim to the
Veronica that is STILL blooming in the container I tucked it into two
years ago. Naked stems on the bottom but I don't care since the tops
are still making those wierd "facination" distortions on the flower
Another experiment I've tried is the fern pots. Autumn fern and
tassel fern are in containers that are on the north side of the front
porch but the bright exposure was hard on them at first. Now they are
doing well as I make sure their toes are damp. With the sunlight so
strong coming over the house from the south and then the western
exposure, I've taken to moving the pots behind the columns during the
brightest and hottest part of the day. Something I don't usually do,
but have more time to do it now.
The Sweet Kate tradescantantia (spiderwort) is thriving, but I
suspect would appreciate a larger pot or being in the ground better.
And that tropical variety of tradescantia that I've always called a
Cherokee Pipe has finally gotten it's second wind and is now cranking
out "pipes" so I can share pieces with friends that want it. It's
really unusual and a wonderful houseplant that loves being outside
once the frost is over and can get a suntan. The leaves get burgundy
and green as it goes through summer if given direct sunlight. I've
had this plant now since 1986 and shared it with lots of people.
If I thought I'd be here longer, I'd almost put in raspberry
canes, but not sure as to the time we will be here past a year. So
that means even more rabid container gardening which isn't as hard as
it sounds. I've learned over the course of years (decades now as it
turns out) that most plants, bulbs and some shrubs don't mind
container gardening if you attend to their soil and moisture needs.
Placement is imperative for the proper survival rate, my hellebore are
all angry at me right now as there is NO shade in this place other
than the high light area underneath the mulberry tree and young
hackberry in back which is not enough for them.
I hope you all have a wonderful 4th and look forwards to the
sharing of your garden endeavors. I'm watchingn my mailbox (snail mail
box) for V's and Cheryl's gleanings with eager anticipation. Grab
yourself a glass of sweet iced tea and come sit and talk a spell if
you're inclined to. I miss you all. Inquiring maddie is anxious to
know how it goes.
madgardener, gardening in the green bowl in downtown Greeneville,
surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest and Appalachians, zone 7b