Friday, September 14, 2012

Seeds, bulbs, and rhizomes

Pansy seed pods
My first Botanus mail order arrived and was planted this week.  I ordered two novelty bearded iris "Final Episode" (yellow and purple flowers) rhizomes and they were promptly planted in the center raised bed. I hope they do well there.  They prefer to have some sandy soil and stay on the dry side in the summer.  I have only one other variety of bearded iris, and it has multiplied handily.  It is a plain but sturdy blue flower of unknown name. 
First fall mail order arrives: Bearded iris rhizomes to be planted
I decided to let the alpine currant grow freely this year, choosing not to prune it in the spring.  I decided that it may take up more space in the raised bed, covering ground I otherwise would have to weed and cultivate.  However, there were several lily plants growing under the currant this summer, and those were moved to better locations. 
Cosmos mix in the raised bed

My project in the center raised bed with a succession of annuals has worked well.  July saw a lovely mass of Papaver rhoeas, an annual poppy.  These faded in August and I pulled them in September.  Now, the cosmos are blooming their bright mix of colors.  These are tall cosmos, so they started pushing above the poppies in late August.  However, they are easy victims to wind storms, as the shorter supportive poppies are now gone.  I've pushed a bunch of bamboo stakes into the ground and tied them up.  It's worth the two months of lovely color!  The poppy seeds were volunteers from the flowers of last year (you could directly sow these in April) and the cosmos were directly sown in early May.  Cosmos are one of the few annuals that looks great right up until frost.  I think I may try some shorter ones next year, and focus on planting them around the edges of the raised bed.  For the center, I might try growing some of the late flowering Phlox paniculata.  It grows reasonably tall and flowers in September. 

Ornamental kale

I hope my ornamental kale grows its showy pink centers before the grasshoppers eat it all! 


umesh said...

Loving the information on this website , you have done great job on the posts .

Karen said...

Hi, love your yard, and the built up garden beds with rocks, look beautiful.

Northern Shade said...

It's great to have some late flowering plants to keep the garden going, like your cosmos. I love it when the fall bulbs arrive, and it is always fun to try something new, like your iris.