Thursday, August 01, 2013

Passing on the Garden Gene

While traveling last month, I was sure to take the offspring to some gardens in BC.  I was very happy to hear their life plans for the next while: to have a playhouse with surrounding gardens containing "lavender, beans, and daisies".  The daisies are not my doing, but the beans and lavender are well-influenced.  I smiled quietly.   
Scarlet runner bean is making its way up the deck posts.
I am hoping the scarlet runner bean will impress us with height and some edible beans by the end of the season.  This was a two-for-one deal, pretty red flowers AND an edible product.  The gladioli in the blue pot show no signs of buds yet.  Hmmm.   We picked and pitted some of the Carmine Jewel cherries today and made cherries jubilee sundae for dessert today.  It was more than amazing.  The deep red juice and overwhelmingly sweet and tangy cherries paired with vanilla ice cream was worth the calories.  The cherries were a little smaller this year, but then again, I haven't fertilized or done anything to promote these trees' growth other than letting the rain fall on them and hoped for sunshine.  Perhaps some fruit tree fertilizer would be useful? 
Three of the Carmine Jewel cherries and the Furry Nibbler of our dandelions (and vegetable garden).
Clematis mandshurica among the other perennials
 I had a group of seedlings of an unknown plant growing in a flowerbed.  A perennial geranium was there last year, but it failed to show up in 2013.  Oh well.  In its place were many attractive seedlings, but they were not geraniums!  They didn't look like any of the common weeds, so I left them.  It seems they are seedlings of my white, fragrant, summer-blooming Clematis mandshurica.  I grew my original ones from seed, and now I have more.  Maybe I'll dig them up and share around.  As you can tell from the name, these Clematis originate in Mongolia, and I see that an extract of the plant is also used as a medicinal supplement for arthritis.  It grows 1.5- 2 meters tall, clinging only after it reaches about a meter in height.  The flowers and scent are lovely. 
Salpiglossis"Royale Purple Bicolor"
I like to try new annuals every year, just to see how they grow and learn more about them.  Salpiglossus had an attractive photo in the seed catalog and I bought the mix.  The yellow ones are bright, yet rather flat in color like a plain petunia, and not anywhere as intriguing as the purple/gold ones pictured here.  These flowers grow 24 inches tall, which is a bit gangly for most pots, but mine are living among some other flowers in a half-barrel and don't look too out of place.  They would not work in a small or narrow pot. 

I was hoping they would be amazing after the effort in germinating them.  Definitely a bit fiddly.  Like violas, they only germinate in darkness.  I had them in pots under black plastic.  However, the instant they germinate, they need to be under bright lights, or they stretch out to pale weak stems that don't seem to root well.  This means you have to be vigilant to watch for sprouting every day and move the germinated seeds immediately to the lights.  Looking at the color varieties, I would like to try some more the bicolors.            


Barbarapc said...

Salpiglossis were one of my grandmother's favourites. Tried them once in my first garden - individual blossoms are quite lovely, but never had enough of them to make an impact. Your cherries jubilee sounds scrumptious. The absolute perfect joy of fruit from the garden.

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