Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Happenings in the 'Hood (2014 Part One)

Happenings in the 'Hood updates from 2013 are here and here.

We had a fairly cool and rainy spring, and the summer has not gotten to the unbearably hot stage. I'm not sure why it hasn't, but I'm not going to complain. Neither, apparently, are the plants.

My first ornamental oregano died. I'm really glad I tried again. It's beautiful. After the blooms die back, the plant is still interesting because of its striped leaves. 

Kent Beauty ornamental oregano

I could easily become someone who collects different cultivars of echinacea. Better than a crack habit.

Echinacea (Coneflower) among some purple sweet potato vine

Balloon flower

We have tried to plant sunflowers several times. They never make it, which seems impossible. Who can't grow sunflowers? Apparently, we just needed to have the birds scatter some sunflower seeds from their birdseed. This gorgeous thing showed up in a flower bed.

Crazy pretty, right?

A friend gave me some Japanese anemone. She had finally pulled all hers and pitched it because the plant was very aggressive. I can see it spreading, and I'm excited about watching what happens when it gets to the daisies. It's going to be the floral version of a cage match.

I lost one of the wild gingers I bought this spring, but the Brunnera is still doing well.

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

The hellebore (Lenten rose) did make it an entire year! I now have two cultivars that have survived. I can't help but love a plant that still has a bloom in July when it started blooming in February.

Hellebore 'Ivory Prince'

My little vegetable garden has been growing like mad.

The peppers are doing well. I rarely have good luck with plain old bell peppers, but so far they look okay. This is one of the poblanos.

These have me thinking about spicy tomatillo soup!

Red tomatoes! I am eagerly awaiting my first veggie sandwich of the season with homegrown beefsteak tomatoes.

Yellow Jelly Bean, Black Cherry, and Sweet 100 small tomatoes
The larger one might be a Marglobe.

I put a few houseplants outside, and they seem to be thriving. I've definitely killed one of these plants before, but this one is producing gorgeous new leaves.

My shamrocks seem thrilled with being outside as well.

Yesterday I pruned a few plants. Emboldened by the heady use of hand pruners, I attacked a hanging basket. It looked awful. It was leggy with brown leaves, and I thought I might have to pitch the whole thing. A friend suggested that perhaps it was just spent for the season. Realizing that perhaps the plant's appearance wasn't my fault as I had assumed, I decided there was no harm in cutting it way, way back to see what happens.

Apparently, there's some healthy lobelia in there. It had been covered by leggy, brown supertunias. I'm excited to see what happens next with it.

I am so grateful for the weather we've had so far this season, and I will try to remember how nice it's been once it does become a more typical Midwestern summer in the humid 90s. I hope my plants will be kind enough to do the same.

1 comment:

  1. I don't have a green thumb. I love living vicariously through your adventures.