Garden Report: July 10

It's been a while since I wrote about the garden. (I spent the day doing something I cannot yet write about, so there you have it.)

We're in the height of summer, and it's been hot and dry (the sump system has slowed to only a few hundred gallons a day, so we're irrigating but not as excessively as in the spring). We have a lot of fruit (nectarines are in right now, and tomatoes are getting started (we've had a few off Sungold). Peas are done and the vines torn down and composted, and the basil is going to seed (though I don't like the only green basil that grew well this year -- too soapy -- so I'm thinking of just pulling it out rather than letting it reseed itself).

Also, we have some volunteer sunflowers under the birdfeeder (which is hidden by the sunflowers, of course). I like these guys a lot: the bees are all over them, the are cheery and pretty, and when they die they will make good chicken fodder.

Volunteer sunflowers

Here's another volunteer, what appears to be some sort of impatiens over by the quince tree. I'm a bit baffled, since I've never planted anything like that and that part of the yard was formerly paved.

Mystery plant

A little better view of the flower. It's pretty, but of course it's in the wrong location entirely at the very far bad of a bed full of tall stuff.

Mystery plant flower

Lots of flowers in bloom lately, so it's always a nice trip out to the garden first thing in the morning (to let the chickens out and crush any snails I find). This is Campanula incurva, which I expected to be shorter-lived. A couple of weeks ago I saw a bee stuck in one of its blooms (after making that video, I helped it get out, of course).

Campanula incurva in bloom

I have noticed a lot of blue flowers, in part because we had a lot of casualties recently and the blue stuff survived. But also because I do like the blue flowers. This is one of my two hebes, and it is still sort of struggling to get a foothold.

Hebe

And the butterfly patch beside the salvias is full of big blue Scabiosa (bees like it a lot; butterflies are less numerous).

Scabiosa

One of the salvias, but of course I forgot which one and it's a trifle dark to be running around the garden looking for tags. This one is sort of oddly growing half under a Dusty Miller, which is weird and not very attractive. I think I need to dig up that bed and move a bunch of stuff around next winter.

Salvia

Now: a trio of Buddleias. I had one (Royal Red) and this spring I bought two more. This is one of them: Honeycomb. I like the yellow flowers, which are not too typical of Buddleias.

Buddleia honeycomb

Here's Royal Red, which is not very red at all.

Buddleia Royal Red

And the other one I bought, variety hard to remember at the moment. Remarkably like Royal Red, but I never said I was anything but consistent. At least I didn't plant them right next to each other (actually, when I was planting this and Honeycomb, I recall specifically choosing the spacing I did because "it's just going to look like the other one, anyway").

Buddleia

Toward the front of the house, the Passiflora Frederick has some buds, which is interesting. It's supposed to make fruit, but we will see. I should really get on with designing and building a trellis for it to grow up, but there's so much else going on that time is a bit tight.

Passiflora bud

And this plant, whose tag is mysteriously hidden somewhere in its depths (I actually went out to check!) is blooming after being moved. Some neighbors have a more common yellow version, and it's called something I should remember, except I don't. I hate that.

Driveway plant

At the gate, the Salvia clevelandii 'Pozo Blue' is being a great support for this clematis. Our hummingbird loves the salvia and spends much of the evening in it. And it's nice and big and happy with no water added at all (the clematis has a dripper but the salvia's roots are elsewhere and do not).

Salvia clevelandia and clematis

In front, we have happy (but weedy) hydrangeas. I actually weeded before taking this photo, so the piles of weeds are lying there waiting to be cleaned up (which would be where they have remained, actually).

Hydrangea bed

The impatiens are doing very well, happily populating the space they can and blending in very well with the hydrangeas. I look at the bed and sometimes can't tell the two apart, myself.

Impatiens looking happy

My Asclepias speciosa is very happy, and has been spreading. No Monarchs have taken up residence, yet (this is the favoured plant of the Monarch), but perhaps that's because there are no Monarchs in Alameda. Yet.

Asclepias speciosa

And lest it look like things are too pretty, here is the horror that is my front walk. Roses that are desperately overdue for their June pruning, a natives bed gone to seed and weed in a bad way, and huge infestations of Bermuda grass (since I've been lazy about spraying it with Roundup). I've been avoiding it because it will be a lot of work (and it has been hot out lately, whine whine).

OMG I have to weed and prune

This has been a poor year for gardening for me. A lot of stuff has just not gotten done, and this summer I need to do some heavy pruning, too. Where I will find the time for that I do not yet know.

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posted by ayse on 07/10/08

3 Comments

Well, if this is "a poor year for gardening" for you, I, for one, am amazed at what you HAVE done. I too get way behind; suddenly it's, WHAT JULY? There is so much stuff I need to do. Now that I am out of grad school I'm hoping next year will be better.

I think you've done a GREAT JOB and I love all the pics of your garden! It has inspired me!
MaryO

What you have there in the top picture is a "poor man's orchid." They will form seed pods that will pop open with a ping and send seeds everywhere. They have a very shallow root system, and once they've wilted at the end of summer, it's a breeze to pull them up. You'll get them year after year.

njh (heh), interesting. I wonder if they got in via the birds who like to sit on the fence near where this came up. Well, they're pretty enough that they're welcome, even if nobody can see them without climbing through the bed.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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