End Of July Bed & Plant Update Part 1

Bed on the north side of the house on 7-29-18, #487-17.

Hello again! I hope this post finds you doing well. We have been enjoying a break from the heat but summer still isn’t over. As I mentioned at the end of the last post, I took a lot of photos Sunday and Monday. After I deleted the ones I didn’t need I wound up with a total 131 photos. Even after all those photos, I saw that I missed a few so I took six more on Wednesday.

I don’t know about your beds, but mine don’t look as well this summer. Many of the plants just don’t seem to have much zip while others are doing just as well as always.

The bed on the north side (top photo) just doesn’t have any spunk! Something is definitely needed here that is an attention grabber. If the Colocasia esculenta and Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ were bigger that would do the trick. I know, it takes time and this is still only the end of July. They still have August, September, and part of October. This is the first year I haven’t had Coleus, so they are definitely missing. The Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) have hardly flowered at all this summer. The Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is growing like mad, though.

If I were to stay here, I would definitely consider extending the north bed to at least the end of the porch steps. I would also dig a bed all the way around to the steps on the back porch.

 

PLANTS IN THE NORTH BED…

Agastache ‘Kudos™ Gold’…

The Agastache ‘Kudos™ Gold’ has performed very well. It flowers like mad and has awesome scented leaves. I am not particularly fond of the color because it just kind of lacks the pizazz that the purple-flowered Agastache ‘Black Adder’ had when it was in this spot. I also prefer a taller plant for this area and the Agastache ‘Kudos Gold’ is fairly short. It needs a little deadheading to tidy them up a bit. Removal of the smartweed under the porch would tidy the area up. 🙂

My favorite plant here was the Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans) in 2015. I haven’t seen any at the greenhouse since…

 

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’…

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ is doing very well. Too bad it doesn’t flower all summer, though. The other Astilbe in the north bed is doing very well as always.

 

Achillea millefolium

I had decided last year and this spring to relocate the Achillea millefolium in the north bed. I did get the bigger one moved in front of the barn, but this one didn’t get moved. Someday I am going to put on the south side of the house. There are also several little stragglers that have popped up in the bed and next to the steps. Like I always said, if the Achillea millefolium doesn’t like where it is, it will move all by itself… There is also one in front of the chicken house that doesn’t like where it is either. To much shade… They like it hot and sunny.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’…

The Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ is doing very well here. Lately, I have thought very seriously about moving all the Hosta to the north bed. But, there is one problem with that idea I didn’t notice until I put the ‘Empress Wu’ here. There are a few snails here as you can see by a few holes in her leaves. I have only seen one snail, though. In time, this Hosta will be huge because ‘Empress Wu’, I believe, is the world’s largest Hosta. Time will tell… It is definitely much larger than last year and it will get larger every year until it reaches maturity after five years.

 

Crocosmia x Curtonus ‘Lucifer’ on 7-13-18, #477-8.

I had forgotten to post about the Crocosmia x Curtonus ‘Lucifer’ (Montbretia) when I took the above photo on July 13. A friend of mine in Mississippi had a HUGE patch of Crocosmia. They can multiply fairly rapidly, so we shall see how well they do in this spot. They are strange plants because they seem to like to grow sideways.

 

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’…

The Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ is about the same since the last post about its variegated leaf. I have also noticed a few spots on the petioles. I tried to post about it on the Aroid group on Facebook, but I couldn’t get the photos to load so I will have to try it again. I am PATIENTLY waiting for the next leaf…

 

Colocasia esculenta, one of two in the north bed…

I have been putting the largest Colocasia esculenta bulbs in this bed for several years now. They really like it here and get fairly large. Two plants came up from this one bulb. Of course, there will be several more offsets…

 

Colocasia esculenta, 2nd of two in the north bed…

This is the second and largest of the Colocasia esculenta in the north bed. This is also the one that surprised me with a flower earlier. The Colocasia esculenta flowered profusely when I was in Mississippi but the season isn’t long enough here. They normally started flowering in Mississippi in September, so I was shocked when I saw this one had a flower on July 8.

 

Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) on 8-1-18, #490-3.

The Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) have been weird this summer. There is a lot of dead leaves in the bed AGAIN. I still didn’t move a few to other areas to see if they would do better in more sun. I am still not sure, but this could be Geranium sanguineum var. striatum

 

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ and Oxalis stricta….

The Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ (Creeping Jenny) and Oxalis stricta (Yellow Wood Sorrel) pretty much have the run of the north bed. They seem to be able to go wherever they want without getting into trouble. They have shown me just how much they enjoy their freedom.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ in the north bed…

There are still several Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ in this bed to keep the area lively. They don’t seem to mind the shade from the Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’.

 

THE NORTHEAST CORNER BED…

Northeast corner bed.

The northeast corner bed is doing very well. The Salvia macrophylla ‘Hot Lips’ has not flowered like it did when I had one in the south bed in 2013 and 2014. I believe the problem is because of the yard light. After I planted it here and it stopped flowering, I remembered reading where certain species of Salvia will not flower if there is a light at night nearby. One thing is for sure, though, the plant has really grown! The Gomphrena globosa ‘Gnome White’ has also done really well. I had two ‘Gnome Purple’ between the white plants and they both fizzled out soon after I planted them. The grass, nearly hidden, is Cenchrus setaceus ‘Rubrum’ (Purple Fountain Grass). It was supposed to go next to the front step but instead, I put the Heliotrope ‘Marine’ there. It has done pretty well. The Agastache aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’ has done very well even though its neighbor wants to take over the neighborhood. Somewhere in there is an Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) whose photo I also forgot to take. Oh yeah! I almost forgot the Conoclinum coelestinum (Hardy Ageratum, FlossFlowert, etc.). They had pretty much been the only thing growing on both sides of the steps but only a few came up (from seed) this spring. They are always a little slow anyway. I think two came up on both sides of the steps.

 

Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’…

If you want a Salvia that gets fairly large, then the Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ will definitely do the job. But, as you can see, it hasn’t been flowering all that great. If you click on the link to the page for this plant, you will see photos of how well it did on the south side of the house. It flowered non stop all summer.

 

Red flowers on the Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’…

Most photos you see online of the Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ show the neat red and white bicolor flowers. Well, they don’t always produce bicolor flowers. At certain times of the summer, their flowers will be all red and sometimes mostly white or pink. Right now, it has only a few red flowers but there seems to be a lot of buds…

 

Gomphrena globosa ‘Gnome White’…

The Gomphrena globosa ‘Gnome White’ has been a great performer in the southeast corner bed. Even when it has been very hot and dry, they have kept growing and blooming like crazy. This is the first year I have tried Gomphrena and I have been pleased with them. Too bad the purple didn’t survive…

 

Agastache aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’…

The Agastache aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’ is much taller than ‘Kudos Gold’. They have done very well and have flowered non-stop. I also like the color better than ‘Kudos Gold’.

 

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)…

The Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) has done pretty well considering it is under the other plants. I had to push the Gomphrena and Agastache aside to get the photo. Supposedly they like sun or shade but flower better in more sun. You just never know how some plants will spread out when you haven’t grown them before. I never heard of this plant before and it is very interesting it is being used as a grass substitute for lawns…

 

Cenchrus setaceus ‘Rubrum’ (Purple Fountain Grass)…

The Cenchrus setaceus (Purple Fountain Grass) is sorta holding its own stuck back in the corner. It would have been much better if I put where I intended for it to be. Sometimes we gardeners have to change our mind several times unexpectedly. Well, names change unexpectedly, so I guess making changes is just a part of life. The Purple Fountain grass has been known as a species of Pennisetum for many years then the name changed in 2010.

 

Conoclinum coelestinum on 7-29-18, #487-22.

The Conoclinum coelestinum (Hardy Ageratum, Blue Mistflower) that did come up are doing very well and are starting to bud. That will add more color to this bed. Hopefully, they won’t grow as tall as they did last year. GEEZ! The two on the other side of the steps came up later and not in the right place. You can never predict where self-sowers will emerge. I usually have quite a lot of them coming up, but this year they were even later than usual. I didn’t think they were going to come up at all so I went ahead and put the other plants here. In the past, I have transplanted a few in other areas but they never returned.

 

Heliotropium arborescens ‘Marine’ (Heliotrope)…

The Heliotropium arborescens ‘Marine’ is still alive and STILL blooming. This one seems a bit smaller than the last one I had a few years ago. According to information online, they are supposed to grow 15-20″ tall. Hmmm… It has very nice dark green leaves and the purple flowers last a long time.

That is all for the northeast corner bed.

I am going to break the plant and bed update down into several posts. The photos below are a glimpse of what is coming up…

 

The front porch…

Plants on the front porch. Besides what is in this photo, there are a few plants on the porch and the steps you can’t see. Every plant will be represented in the next post…

 

South bed…

The south bed is MUCH different than last year without all the Marigolds. Well, that was almost a disaster then but this year a few would have been a good thing. The just got too large and crowded the shorter plants out. I never saw them get so HUGE which is why I didn’t transplant any to this bed this spring. I made a mistake last fall in this bed, which I have mentioned before and will again when I post about the plants in this bed.

 

Southeast Corner Bed…

The southeast corner bed is looking very good. The Angelonia ‘Perfectly Pink’ has definitely livened the area up. I did not plant the Marigolds, Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar), or the Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ here. They came up on their own from seeds. I had to remove quite a few Celosia or they would have taken over.

 

Part of the cactus collection.

I decided to move the rest of the cactus from by the shed to the back porch. A few of the cactus have been on the front porch for a while and would probably be better off with these. I was kind of hesitant to move any plants to the back porch because of the cats. So far, they haven’t caused any problem. Well, if I were a cat, I wouldn’t bother anything sharper than my own claws. The only problem I had with the cats is them waiting to lay on the shelf on the potting table. So, we compromised and I made an opening for them. Sometimes I still have to pick up a few pots. The cactus and succulent update will feature all cactus and succulents… Since there are several on the front porch, I will have to may have to merge them all together in one post. Hmmm…

 

Group of Alocasia…

To say the Alocasia are doing well would be an understatement. They always do well despite them needing larger pots. I only need ONE of each, maybe two. The problem is, when I transplant the offsets into larger pots and give them away, I lose the pots. Then the next year, I have no larger pots. I will probably take more photos of the Alocasia for a special update. Maybe by then I will have more potting soil and a few more larger pots and have them all separated AGAIN. We shall see.

I am continually updating the pages to the right and it seems I am behind… So, if you clicked on any of the links connected with the plants on this post to their page, you will see some of them are not up-to-date. It is a continual work in progress… 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoy the plants. Until next time, stay well, safe, positive and GET DIRTY!

 

8 comments on “End Of July Bed & Plant Update Part 1

  1. Jim R says:

    Cats are a curious creature. They like to find the ‘best’ spots to lie down. Not always good choices. I like the arrangement of things on your porch. It looks comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Jim! The cats are pretty good. I am sure sometimes they think their human is a little nutty, though. Bringing the potting table, the cactus, and then the pot of Alocasia ‘Portora’ to “their” back porch wasn’t in their plan. But we get along fine. They weren’t too happy about me limiting their food in the evening, but I told them they only eat a little then the Racoons eat the rest… Thanks for the comment, Jim.

      Like

  2. Vicki says:

    Purple Fountain Grass is my all time favourite grass and it is planted in many public parks and gardens in Melbourne. Pineapple Sage is a favourite also. I had that growing in the back of the large Herb Garden I set out at our family home (before my Parents moved to a retirement village). I remember it was about 5 foot tall and covered with flowers in season. Since the Herb Garden was enclosed by 6 foot fences and the house, I guess it was very sheltered – perfect for a herb garden. My Mother kept it watered during the hot summers during the week as I worked as a live-in children’s nanny Mon-Frid and only worked in the garden when I stayed over weekends.

    The Heliotrope is looking a little sad – how on earth do you manage to water all the potted plants?

    The in-ground garden would be hard enough to keep watered (along with other farming chores). I admire your memory when it comes to the botanical names – you must have a photographic memory.

    So many plants you have that I’ve never heard of, although on sighting the flowers, some do look familiar.

    I’v never heard of Gomphrena at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Vicki! Purple Fountain Grass is pretty popular here, too, as if the ornamental millet. Hopefully, I will find another Pineapple Sage. Maybe I should buy seeds… I agree, the Heliotrope just seems to be hanging in there. It tells me it is OK, though. Yeah, I talk to my plants. 🙂 In ground gardening is easy especially if you were brought up doing it. Mulching the beds is the best way and it helps to keep the soil cooler, conserves moisture, and helps control weeds. Certain plants just do better in pots and I have a lot I would never put in the ground.

      I usually water late in the day after the plants are in the shade. That way everything else is finished. You just develop a routine and everything works out. Sometimes I water by hand but I use the sprinkler for the bed on the south side of the house and Cannas to give them a good soaking. I can even do that after dark.

      I remember botanical names pretty well because I have made a point to call them by their scientific names. All the photos, folders, and documents are by their scientific name. The named of plants I have grown for many years are easy to remember, but new plants sometimes are hard to remember. Then there are the names that change. I have a list that I can always use if I can’t think of a name. 🙂 It isn’t cheating, is it?

      The all-time popular Gomphrena is ‘Strawberry Fields’ which may jog your memory. This was the first year I have ever seen any Gomphrena at the greenhouse (or any garden center). I have seen them in seed catalogs for many years, though. They are turning out to be a good plant with heat and drought resistance. The flowers also last a long time.

      Being in Australia, I am sure we have a lot of plants you may not be familiar with. Just as you probably have a lot of plants I am not familiar with. So many plants are common worldwide, especially these days. I know you have a lot more colorful birds there than we do here.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vicki says:

        Nope, Strawberry Fields doesn’t ring a bell so it may not be found here OR just something I haven’t come across. Much of my experience is merely from living next to the Royal Botanic Gardens here in Melbourne as when I first took up photography as a hobby when I had to quit working in 2010, I wouldn’t upload a flower shot without the proper name, so I learned a few (names) along the way. But it’s 3 years since I lived that close to the RBG so I’m starting to forget the names. Wiping my blog out and starting afresh means I’m trying to put together a list of all the names – birds and flowers – in the sidebar of my new blog as I upload each image from my archives.. In turn this will jog my memory and create an index to refer to (just as you have done). Luckily, many of the old plant identification plaques or tags are on the Botanic Gardens plants or in the ground beside them, so I used to sometimes photograph the name tag as well as the flower.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I photograph the labels on a lot of the plants and keep them in the plant’s photo folder. It’s a good idea because sometimes the labels disappear. If the label is stuck to the pot (as with most cactus and succulents), I try and peel the label off and put it on the new pot. Having a list is very important, especially if your list is very long… It may take some time to get it all finished, but it is well worth it. Then, of course, once in a while you have to check on the scientific names to make sure they are still correct. I have several I haven’t updated yet in the past month.

          Liked by 1 person

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