Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - or my gardening successes and failures

Summer is about half over already. September is usually a great month, weather wise in our area, so I usually count it as part of the summer season.

My seedlings didn't perform as anticipated this year. Here are some of the successes:

One geranium managed to do it's thing. It's bright, pretty and colorful. I like it.

The blue salvias look great in their pot;

The nicotiana and the datura are adding their individual bits;

I like the Teddy Bear sunflowers (left) and I'm glad I saved my dahlia tubers from last year (right);

So the pots in the front of the house - one group on either side of the driveway;

They're looking OK. There's plenty of green foliage, but not much color. My petunias from seed are still considering blooming, the bidens were a disappointment and the daylilies and lily bulbs I keep in pots have finished blooming. I have two pots of purple millet grass which are doing well. It's an inexpensive alternative to purple fountain grass. (At least I think so.) If you click on the upper picture (with the porch) you can see it just to the left of the elephant ears.

I'm still hoping the thunbergia will bloom. They're growing well enough.

My hanging baskets are just serviceable. Nothing exciting. I planted them with nasturtiums, some pink baby's breath and a moonvine. I'm hoping to eventually receive some satisfaction from the moonvines, but that won't happen until September at least.

I've only had a couple of blooms from the nasturtiums. I never have any luck with those. I guess the best I can say is, they're green and growing.

In the back garden the lobelias have been chewed to bits by somebody;

The phacelia are looking tatty and I'm still waiting on the dahlias from seed to bloom (they have buds). The zinnias are blooming though along with morning glories and some snapdragons.
All in all, the garden is looking well enough. Just some major disappointment with my annuals from seed. After all the tender care I gave them I expect a better return. Oh well.

I'll leave you with a couple pics of the front garden. Keep in mind, we only water this once a month during the summer. You can only see our garage from this view, the front of the house is on the right and out of sight. (click to enlarge)

We transplanted four butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) from the back garden to the front and they're doing very well.


Rosemary said...

Your successes out weigh the failures in my opine.
I think one learns so much from what works and what doesn't. I love the urn of blue salvia. Your drive looks so welcoming.
Beautiful pics.

garden girl said...

Kim & Victoria, I don't think of the less-than-stellar performers as failures, just learning experiences!

You have lots of containers! I love that ornamental millet. They had it at the botanic garden. I'd never seen it before. I've never met a plant with that dark purple foliage I didn't like!

Our containers got off to a very slow start this season, partly due to the very cool spring we had. Last month I broke out my trusty organic fertilizer though, and since then the containers have really taken off.

We use Flowers Alive - they have one for annuals and one for perennials. I order it online from Gardens Alive. They've got the best fertilizers I've ever used. (They're pretty stinky though!) I love their veggie fertilizers too - especially Tomatoes Alive. I had incredible yields with it and will use it again as soon as I can get a veggie garden started here.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Nicotiana and the datura are two of my favorite plants to sow, and I didn't do either this year, for reasons entirely unclear to me now... What isn't doing much in my garden is castor bean--it's only about two inches high. I don't think it gets enough sun... I just love how huge it gets; I love its foliage and, um, fuzz balls. I should start writing down all the tips I think I can keep in my head but then forget at the appropriate time int he next season!
~ Monica

Katie said...

Our nasturiums flower every so often, but I'm just happy they're green too.

I adore the plants around your driveway! Very inspirations to those of us that still have lawns...giving me ideas!

Connie said...

You have some great things going on in your garden, but there are always some disappointments...for me, too.
I switched to using only Black Gold Coco-blend mix for my potted plants and they do ever so much better now. It has coconut coir to hold moisture and worm castings for fertilizer. Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Hi all,
I was looking at your flickr pictures and the one of the really cool lily, with the turned back petals, red, did you grow that? I can't remember what they are called, have often wanted to try growing them. Yours looked absolutely lovely.

Anonymous said...

I love the pots and baskets as much as the plants that are in them . . . just beautiful!

They also cut down on the weeding :)

Daisy said...

Our seedlings have had a similar year. It just hasn't been hot enough here to have bumper crops of pumpkins and tomatoes (though I'm holding out hope that we will... just later than last year.)

Your geranium is gorgeous!

Bek said...

Your garden looks great! I suck with container plants. I only have a couple of them and I still to manage to kill them. That's why I don't have any plants inside the house either. Your pot with the salvie looks awesome. It has such a mediterrean feeling. Your front of the house looks very inviting and relaxing.