Sunday, June 28, 2015

El Dorado Peaches. First Taste. 6.28.15

El Dorado Peaches.  6.28.15

Ed Dorado Peaches.  6.28.15
I thought it was too early but these are absolutely delicious.

Daylilies. 6.28.15

Chicago Apache.  6.28.15
 Some of the larger daylilies are coming into their own now.  They bloom a few flowers at a time, so they last a long time.

I bought Chicago Apache in 2012.  The cluster has enlarged nicely and is growing strong.  The flowers have sgtong substance and the color is great.

Somehow I've accumulated a number of varieties.

Ice Carnival has been in that spot for 2 years.  I blooms a long time, and looks like the label.  A pale, lemonade yellow.   Those flowers also have a nice strong substance.

Ice Carnival.   6.28.15
Daring Deception does not look like its label.  I was at Lowes this week, and their rack of this variety was in bloom.  They were all purple, not pink.  I saw a few images on the internet in the purple, although most are pink.  I wonder if, as it's in the location longer, the purple color will concentrate more in the center eye, and the petals will be pink.  The effect could be soil nutrition, pH, sun, hot day, cool night, or the pink on the label is just marketing.  I probably would have bought the purple version, but it's not what I thought I was getting.
Daring Deception.  6.28.15

Frans Hals.  6.28.15
Frans Hals is looking kind of nice, even if it's not even similar to the label and internet images.  The center eye effect is nice.  I also wonder what will happen to this one as it settles in.

More to follow.  Some older ones, unlabeled, or rescues, are also doing nicely.

Walking Around. 6.28.15

Kniphofia.  6.28.15

First Zucchini of the Year.  6.28.15

Squash Vines Growing Huge.  6.28.15
 Lots of flowers blooming.   This Kniphofia is a named variety but I forget the name.   This is a one year old plant.  Bees are not going after the flowers.  The web info says they do, but my honeybees do not have internet access to read that.

This is the time of year when squash and corn grow really fast.  That zucchini must be one week after blooming.  It's always amazing how fast they develop.  I pollinated with a different squash variety, because the zucchini does not have male flowers yet.

First Tomatoes of the Year.   Sungold.  6.28.15
 Back when I planted the squash seeds I didn't have much energy and neglected to label them.  I am guessing the most vigorous is Pink Banana but it could easily be another type.  The vigor must be in part, due to the nitrogen boost I gave them, pee-cycling.  Ditto for the corn.  It's been 1:4 dilution, about every 3 weeks, over a 100 sq foot are.

Sungold is the first tomato this year.  They are so sweet.  Others have their first tomatoes growing rapidly.

I'm glad I planted nasturtium seeds this year.  They are very rewarding.  The leaves are very distinctive and tasty in salads, peppery flavor.  No pests.  All of the types are nice, this one is from a mix.   In full sun, some varieties get a little sunburn on the leaves.  That does not seem  to hurt anything.  When seeds start to set, I intend to save seeds for next year.

Nasturtiums.  6.28.15
Trinity Sweet Corn, started in containers on  5.12.15.  6.28/15

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Walking Around. 6.20.15

Monarda.  6.20.15
 Another walk around the yard.   Some nice stuff blooming.  The Monarda was planted in 2012.  Becoming a nice clump.  I found one tiny daylily from a group of roots I planted early this year.  I thought they were dead.  It's either Playground or Strawberry Candy, if labeled correctly.   It has a tiny flower bud.  Kniphofia is cool just for the name.  Planted this one last year.  Starting to come into its own.  According to Wikipedia, they produce large amounts of nectar and attract bees.  My bees are yet to discover it.

This was the year of heritage flower seedlings.  The marigolds have the typical marigold pungent smell. 

The Callistemon critinus was at Lowes a couple of months ago.  I bought it on impulse.  Hummingbirds liked the flowers, a lot.  Now it seems to be growing.  I don't know what to expect - just new growth, or flowers. 
Tiny Daylily Start.  6.20.15

Various plants in front bed.  Featuring Kniphofia.  6.20.15

Front walk with marigolds and nasturtiums.  6.20.15

Calistemon citrinus / bottlebrush.  6.20.15

Friday, June 19, 2015

Walking Around. 6.19.15

Ladybug  Browsing Aphids on Apple Leaf.  6.19.15

"Black" calla lily. 6.19.15
 Walking around.  I thought I heard teeny tiny  screams coming from an apple leaf  - looked down and saw a lady bug munching through a field of aphids like a Tyranosaurus rex munching through a field of bunny rabbits.

The "black" calla is kind of elegant.  This one is 3 years old.  Got the usual winter treatment, dry out in fall, store in garage, then move back outside in Spring and water / fertilize.

Butterfly on Tiger Lily.  Nice.  Lilies don't seem to survive at the Battleground place.  But this one did.

Squashes have flower buds.  Corn just might be knee high by the 4th of July.

Sal's Fig seems to be the best adapted to the Battleground place.  I don't know yet about the best adapted at Vancouver - Chicago Hardy, King, and Lattarula are in their first in-ground summer at Battleground.

Good demonstration of how much faster Four O'clocks grow from last year's roots, as opposed to this year's seedlings.   Today I noticed another plant coming up from last year.  Long dormancy - they must need a lot of warmth to awaken.

Tiger Lily with  Butterful.  6.19.15

Squash and Sweet Corn Garden.   6.19.15

Main Crop Fig Buds.  Sa'ls Fig.   6.19.15

Left:  Four O'clock from 2014 root.  Right:  Four O'clock from seed.   6.19.15

Store Labels are Not Necessarily Correct. Daylilies. 6.19.15

Daylily Label #1.  "Playground"

Daylily #!.  6.19.15

Daylily Label "Frans Haus" with Blossom.  6.19.15

New Daylily Plant "Fooled Me" 6.19.15
 This is a case of "What you don't see is not necessarily what you get".   The label was, I think, for a package of daylily roots that I bought earlier this year at Lowes.  The roots looked dried out and almost dead.  I planted then in container for extra TLC.  I was surprised that they bloomed the first year.  However - the flower is pale yellow.  Kind of a nice flower, but clearly not what I thought I was buying.

The second was one I bought this year, in bud but not blooming.  This was from Fred Meyer.  It seems like there is a pattern here - the flower shape is similar to the photo, but the colors are not even close.

An argument can be made that the first year flower may not represent the plant, and the second year it might.  I've seen that happen with bearded irises.

Daylilies are nice flowers, almost maintenance free, and tolerate a wide variety of conditions.  I have every daylily I have bought.  They just grow stronger and more vigorous with time.  They make a nice border, among Spring bulbs that have long since finished blooming and foliage died down.

Not learning from previous experience, I bought two more at Lowes.  Some were in bloom, but I wasn't thinking about buyer beware when I bought these, and picked out two that are almost blooming - for longer bloom time.

I'll be interested to see if "Fooled Me", fooled me.  And to see if "Daring Deception" is a not so daring deception. 
New Daylily Plant "Daring Deception"  6.19.15

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Container Garden and Nursery. 6.13.15

Container Tree Nursery.  6.13.15

El Dorado Peach in Container.  6.13.15
 It's getting into the hotter sunnier season.  For container plants, that means more protection and more water.

Previously I took temperatures of container soil with and without reflective foil.  The foil reduced the temperature by roughly 15 degrees.  That was during hot sunny weather.  Based on that information, I've wrapped the 2 to 5 gallon containers with aluminum foil, shiny side out.  I may need to do that with the larger containers as well.

One or  two of the ginkgos may be used as rootstock to propagate my backyard ginkgo tree.  The plums may also be rootstock for next year's scion.  The dwarf peach seedling, I might use as rootstock or might just let it grow.  Without a non-dwarfed peach rootstock, it might never become a tree shape.  In a container, that's fine.  I prefer the compact shape.

I probably should have thinned the peaches better.   But, they are looking good.

I pinched the fig tree branch tips a couple weeks back.  They are responding with figs at the leaf axils.

Nagami kumquat - greening up.  No flowers.

Meyer lemon - lots of flowers.
Container Fig Trees.  6.13.15
 Swiss Chard - we've been eating some in stir fry every day.  It's been a rewarding container crop.
Nagami Kumquat.  6.13.15
Swiss Chard.  6.13.15

Meyer Lemon.  6.13.15

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Walking Around. Fruit. 6.7.15

Bagged Apples.  6.7.15

Chinese Haw "Red Sun".  6.7.15
 Walking Around.

For most of the fruits, there isn't a lot that needs to be done, from now to fall.   If I am up to it, I can cut weeds, re-mulch, and do some summer pruning.  Some will need watering.

The zipper lock fruit bags always seem steamed.  I don't know if that hurts anything.  I have not seen that mentioned as an issue.

Ning's Chinese Haw has a nice crop of fruit, still small and green.  First year for that.  Deer like any branches within reach.

Almaden Duke Cherry multigraft.  I finished grafting yesterday.   Nothing to do until about 3 weeks from now, when the ties need to be removed.

Jonared apple multigraft.  Not much to do.  Re-mulch.  Tie down the branches for better spread of scaffold.  Any time this summer.

Fig row.  Lattarula is the most vigorous at the moment.  They will get water, but no fertilizer.

Meyer Lemon, in container.  Blooming nicely.  The fragrance is present even when not in sight.  Very sweet.  Leaves look yellow, but that doesn't seem to hurt.  Just needs water this summer. I do give it some acid-loving plant miracle grow, dilute.

Other citrus, unknown seedling, about 18 years old, just for decoration.  No bloom, not surprised.  Kumquat, no bloom.  I thought it might.  Same treatment as Meyer lemon.

Yates Persimmon.  Now that it's summer, I will back down  on the nitrogen boost.  This is first-leaf, so it will need regular watering.  Same with Mango Pawpaw and Sweet Treat Pluerry.  Speaking of which, the leaves are insect magnets.  Full of holes.  If it continues like that, I may not keep it.

Genetic dwarf peach seedling.  Very lush.  I think it's in it's 3rd or 4th year.  No idea if or when it will bloom.  Kept out of rain all winter.  Zero leaf curl.  Genetic dwarf peaches that were in the rain - covered with leaf curl.
Amaden Duke Cherry multigraft.  6.7.15

Jonared Apple Multigraft.  6.7.15

Lattarula Fig.  2nd year from cutting.  6.7.15

Meyer Lemon.  6.7.15
Yates Persimmon.  6.7.15
Genetic Dwarf Peach Seedling.  6.7.15

Walking Around. Vegetables. 6.7.15

Corn and Squash Bed.  6.7.15
Walking Around.

Corn and Squash are growing nicely.  Squash includes winter squash, summer squash, zucchinis, and pumpkins.  So are the beans, and tomatoes.  Peppers are OK, we might get some.

Ning's garden is ahead of mine.  He's proving to be a great gardener.

I've left this bed un-mulched, so the sun warms the soil.  Then it requires some hoeing.  As long as I don't let the weeds grow beyond small seedlings, it's easy.

The corn and squash have been boosted via pee-cycling.  I think that's why they are so green and lush and growing so fast.

Walking Around. Flowers. 6.7.15

Tuberous begonias.  6.7.15
 Walking around.  A lot of plants that I started much earlier are showing progress.  We are past the Spring bloom, and not quite into the summer bloom.  Since I usually don't buy flowers already in bloom, there is a wait while they are growing.  I like it that way.  By growing plants from seeds, or starts, or tubers, or bulbs, or  divisions, I feel like I am more of a gardener.  I can follow their life cycle, and see them either flourish, or remain or dwindle.

I planted the tuberous begonias about 2 months ago.  Some are just beginning to grow, others a few weeks.  I thought some were dead but they all came up.  Today they got a little flower plant food.

I planted a historic daylily into the front border.  This area by default is becoming a bed for rescued daylilies.  I don't have the names for most of them.

Rescued Daylily Bed.  6.7.15

Small Yellow Daylily.  6.7.15

First nasturtium.  6.7.15

Second Year Growth, Four O'Clock.  6.7.15

Four O'clock Seedlings.  6.7.15

In Ning's Meadow.  6.7.15
Milkweed Seedlings.  Asclepias syriaca.  6.7.15

Zantedeschia.  6.7.5
Most of the daylilies are just starting to bloom

The nasturtiums have opened their first flowers.  The leaves are nice and succulent.  The leaves have a delicious peppery flavor.

Four O'clock seedlings are starting to grow.  There are also volunteer seedlings.

Four O'clocks that were close to the house, survived the winter.  Re-growth started late, but they are very stout and vigorous, and quickly passed the new seedlings in size and vigor.

Zantedeschia are in a shady area.  Most are in their first year.  I have one container of Zantedeschias that I've grown for about 25 years.  That older one is not blooming yet.

Milkweed / Asclepias syriaca are growing slower than I expected.  Maybe as summer heats up they will take off.  I don't expect them to bloom this year.

Ning's meadow is looking beautiful, full of flowers and pollinating insects.