This is the Indigofera amblyantha. It is a delicate little thing located in the shrub row.
We bought a few plants in July (not all of which have been planted). We have definitely slowed down – on the other hand, we’ve also been busy. Four came from the grocery store (yes a grocery store with plants!), and three came from the everything store.
I bought this blue agastache thinking that when it bloomed the blossoms would be the shape that the hummingbirds like… it is just starting to open, and I think it will be more like Agastache foeniculum ‘Golden Jubilee’ in this post.
The co-gardener picked up this decorative oregano.
Blue plants can be tricky to find, and I think that is why I picked up this plant. It was just finishing blooming, so it is hard to tell from the photo what the blooms look like. Next year!
At first I thought that this balloon flower was a campanula (also typically blue). The balloon flower (with which I was not familiar) is compact, so I think it will be easier to fit it in somewhere.
We had two Indian feathers in the front yard. They got huge, leggy, and completely lay down on some other plants. We pruned them hard and it killed them. I said no more Indian feathers, too undisciplined… but I gave in. At the everything store, some of the plants are outside so that one passes them when going into the store to buy other things. I think this plant will have to have a lot of space, and then maybe be pruned down if it starts to get leggy. The tag claimed that this variety is more supportive than others.
This shasta daisy was only $4!
I liked how pokey this veronica is… and it was only $4. There is a pink veronica (speedwell) in this post.
Yet another varietal shasta daisy
We originally mail-ordered a ‘Double Scoop Orangeberry’ coneflower along with several other coneflowers, but had to cancel the order when the shipment had still not arrived in May when we were headed to Europe. This price was better than the mail-order, and the plant is bigger. All the same, it is exciting to get plants in the mail and some of the many types of coneflowers can be hard to find.
The Chinese primrose grows in the swamp and provides some nice color.
I showed this wallflower before, but I thought it looked full and attractive. Definitely long blooming. It has gotten a bit too big for its spot – I might see if I can tame it a bit.
I really like this alstroemeria. The stems are not long like the cut flowers that can be purchased in the floral department – it is a rather compact lovely thing. I wouldn’t mind having more alstroemerias (this one came from the hardware store last year).
The sweet peas are growing in this pot, and have really taken off. They smell nice and make wonderful cut flowers. The more one cuts, the more they grow. They have largely taken over the container, but that is alright.
There is a dahlia guy by the airport who has been on Ciscoe Morris’s show several times (the footage is apparently ten years old). The guy grows a lot of dahlias as cut flowers and also to sell the tubers. The co-gardener heard from someone that he was selling off his tubers for 50 cents each, so we decided to head over last Thursday. They are marked down because it is really late in the year to plant dahlia tubers.
When we got there we walked around the field for awhile and then went into the little building with the tubers and picked out 10. The dahlia guy told me that he had recently turned 90 and that this was his last year selling tubers (he has to dig them up, store them, bag them, and sell them). He said he’d still keep the fields for cut flowers.
In this area, one can sometimes leave the dahlias in the ground over the winter instead of lifting the tubers. On one of his shows, Ciscoe Morris put fern fronds over his to insulate them. In our garden, last year several dahlia tubers were lifted and then not stored properly. The two marked-down hardware store purchases were left in the ground and one came back this year. We bought two more dahlia tubers at the garden show in February, but after they were planted I hit an immediate problem. I think it was in May and I had to water the garden, but the tubers are not supposed to be watered until they put up growth. So, I think they got too soggy. That, or the workers pulled them out. Thus, it is not certain if the dahlia project will work this time. The co-gardener decided to put the tubers into pots until they had enough growth that they could be watered (a good idea I think).
The dahlia guy said that the dahlias we purchased on Thursday might not do much, and might not bloom this year (that’s why they were 50 cents each). It was still important to plant them, however, for they need the nutrients from the sun and etc.
To temporarily put the tubers in pots, we needed potting soil. As we needed soil-building compost anyhow, and that can only be purchased at nurseries, we stopped at the nursery to get supplies. They were sold out of the large cheaper potting soil, so we ended up with Dr. Earth potting soil (it was on sale) – the same brand as the organic fertilizer we use. The dahlia guy’s instructions said to use 5-10-10 fertilizer. Looking at the fertilizer at the nursery, I saw that we did not have anything similar to those numbers, so we bought Dr Earth organic Bud and Bloom Booster, which is 4-10-7, the closest I could find. So, it started out as an inexpensive project ($5 for ten tubers), but we ended up having to buy supplies.
It was difficult selecting ten tubers, as he had maybe thirty different kinds. The pictures on the boxes were quite faded, so we had to go by the descriptions. Thus, I am not entirely sure what some of the flowers will look like (and if I’ll ever see them). I decided to skip yellow since there are three yellow dahlias in the cat/cornus/yellow garden (purchased blooming).
We purchased (I quote):
- ‘Elsie Huston’: large informal decorative dahlia, attractive shades of pink, 8 inch bloom, 5 foot bush
- ‘Wildwood Swirl’: medium red incurved cactus dahlia, unusual twisted form, 5 inch bloom, 5.5 foot bush
- ‘Tennessee Rose’: formal decorative dahlia, distinctive dark pink color, 5 inch bloom, 4.5 foot bush
- ‘Pacifico’: medium semi-cactus dahlia, blend of lavender and white, 5 inch bloom, 5 foot bush
- ‘Purple Splash’: white and lavender variegated waterlily type dahlia, good cut flower, 5 inch bloom, 5 foot bush
- ‘Black Narcissus’: dark red (almost black) cactus dahlia, split tips, 7 inch bloom, 5 foot bush
- ‘Rothesay Reveler’: purple and white bi-colored formal decorative, light purple with white tips, good for cutting, 4 inch bloom, 5 foot bush
- ‘Sentry’: lavender miniature ball dahlia, good cut flower, 3.5 inch bloom, 4.5 foot bush
- ‘Sterling Silver’: large white formal decorative dahlia, 7 inch bloom, 5.5 foot bush
- ‘Lauren Michelle’: waterlily type dahlia, two toned lavender and purple, good cut flower, 4 inch bloom, 5 foot bush
What I don’t know: if we lift and store the tubers over the winter, can we do it properly? Will anyone feel like lifting when it’s time to plant fall bulbs, and the weather has turned icky? If we don’t lift, can we keep the tubers from getting soggy in the spring before their growth has begun? I don’t know. On the one hand, it is an inexpensive experiment, but on the other hand, it’ll be disappointing if it doesn’t work out.
Yes, I’m categorizing this as “bulbs,” but dahlias are actually tubers.
The co-gardener collects shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum), so there are many in the garden. They are generally reliable, long-blooming, and robust.
The tree mallow (Lavatera ‘Red Rum’) is next to the fountain.
This veronica (Veronica spicata ‘Heidekind’) looks very similar to a salvia.
Two hollyhocks were planted in the rose garden last year. This one, Alcea rosea annua ‘Spring Celebrities Crimson’, is blooming this year. The other one, a purple one, is not dead, but only consists of a few leaves a few inches off of the ground. Hollyhocks generally don’t do well in the Pacific Northwest – they get a rust (fungus). Last year when we bought the plants at the hardware store we were willing to treat them like annuals.