Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Naturalizing Flowers and Beginners Zucchini

Resident-lawnmower-man sawed down the winter-ravaged globe cedar a few weeks ago and left me with a stump. I was thinking about a blog-reader's comments and remembered that their roots are mostly a fibrous mat, so I got out there with a serrated plant knife and a spade and got the stump out. This left a bit of a hole in the driveway perennial border and not much to fill it with. Fortunately, we got out of town and picked up some peat moss, which will lighten the cow manure I already dumped in the hole. I planted a new little peony and a new Rozanne hardy geranium and filled in the rest with transplants from around the yard.
Here are the results:

I added some spiral vertical supports and the metal obelisk to support some clematis vines that previously grew on the sides of the cedar. I'm still not sure what else to do with them, as the Clematis mandschurica is mostly dangling in the breeze off the top of the spiral support posts.

This plant was hanging around in the border, but I don't know what it is. If it is a weed, it's being well-treated with fertilizer, cow manure, and regular watering.
Mystery plant:

I like to try new tomato varieties and felt the need to also grow an heirloom variety this year. "Black Plum" got set back by some cold weather in the first week of June (when I should have kept it indoors), but is now appearing to thrive, though with the most compact and congested growth habit I have ever seen in a tomato. It barely rises over the height of the side of the container, yet is starting to make flower buds.
"Black Plum" heirloom tomato:

Here's one I really like - the container zucchini! It is producing finger-sized zucchinis at this very moment. Now if only the pumpkin plants would do the same. I think the seed came from Thompson & Morgan, who has a selection of vegetables intended for containers. I still want to get "Tom Thumb" lettuce, but it was sold out this spring.
Container zucchini:

Among the group of self-seeding naturalizing annuals/biennials in the yard, the Sweet Williams are well-loved. They were absent in last year's garden because the severe winter in 2009 killed off the 1 year old plants, but the seedlings of 2010 are now flowering in a colorful, sweetly-scented show. I love plants that don't need to be planted, but just show up on their own. You can easily start these by spreading some seeds in the garden.
Sweet Williams (Dianthus barbatus):

Raised beds -- Blue delphiniums blooming at the back:

The annual corn poppies (Papaver rhoeas) started blooming last week. I am amazed how thick they come up, having seeded themselves freely. I hoed many plants into oblivion all spring and early summer, but they still are packed in their raised bed. I have a mix of colors and enjoy spotting my favourites with the white picotee edges.
Corn poppies:


Rebekah said...

beautiful gardens. I am always amazed when I drive by. I'd love to get my hands on some container zucchini seeds. We will have to see how mine do in the ground this year.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog and love it...I'm an Alaskan gardener looking to learn from successes and failures of other northern gardeners! Thank you!