Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Farmer's Market - Mid-Summer Mums

Created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and now hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

UPDATE from last week:   

!!! lantana !!! The hummingbirds love the lantana.They look like giant bees swarming the flowers. I have yet to get a decent picture of them, but keep your fingers crossed. 

UPDATE #2:  

Good Grief! I saved a sickly little Scotch Broom from certain death, and have been nursing it back to health since last year. I figured it was about time to plant it, so I went on line to find out where it would be happiest. Well, it seems that not just in CA, but all over the west, Scotch Broom is considered "perniciously invasive." The articles I read paint a dire picture. If it's true, why does spring find tons of them for sale in any store that sells plants? Now what do I do?

The little fellow in question is in the front row below, in the center square pot, between the lemon grass and the bay laurel.

The Gardener
- Robert Louis Stevenson

The gardener does not love to talk.
He makes me keep the gravel walk;
And when he puts his tools away,
He locks the door and takes the key.

Away behind the currant row,
Where no one else but cook may go,
Far in the plots, I see him dig,
Old and serious, brown and big.

He digs the flowers, green, red, and blue,
Nor wishes to be spoken to.
He digs the flowers and cuts the hay,
And never seems to want to play.

Silly gardener! summer goes,
And winter comes with pinching toes,
When in the garden bare and brown
You must lay your barrow down.

Well now, and while the summer stays,
To profit by these garden days
O how much wiser you would be
To play at Indian wars with me!

(from: A Child’s Garden of Verses, 1885.)

My red mums have gotten so big and heavy that they've started collapsing under their own weight, and they're badly overshadowing the sedum. You can just see in the picture here where the plants are falling down.

I began deadheading and then decided to trim them back a bit when I found a lot of new growth near the base. (Fall bloom?)

I was amazed at how much there was when I started cutting. It kept coming and coming, and the trash pile ended up being larger than the original plant. 

When I started cutting I also found that they were infested with black bugs that look like tiny aphids. The undersides of the leaves were full of them.  The first thing that I did was spray them with the hose. (Well, after going, "ewwww!") Then - luckily - lady bugs are still available.

The bed looks so empty now, but I think that by spring I will definitely have to divide the mums, they're spreading so fast. That means I will have to find some place to put the extras.

The sedum is looking great, spreading and happy. No flowers yet, though. My reading tells me that it may take a few years before it decides to favor us with flowers.

I find myself wondering about folks who have gardens that always look spectacular. Myself, I always have something that needs trimmed, or something that's either past it's prime or not yet at its prime, or something that's not in quite the right place, or a combination that needs changed, or ...

How on earth do they manage? They obviously have more time, money, and wherewithal than I.

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