Showing posts with label #cleome. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #cleome. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Flowers That Keep Hanging On In Late September In The Poconos

It's late September, and I've gotten into my Fall gardening mode.  I've been dividing and moving some of my established perennials around ... planted brand new ones ... and bought some new daffodil and tulip bulbs to tuck into spots here and there. I've weeded most of my garden beds and even dressed them with a fresh layer of compost to enrich the soil for next Spring's growing season. What I'm having real difficulty with is pulling up my annuals.  Oh, there are some scraggly flowers, long past their prime, that I have no problem pulling up and tossing in the compost pile. It's the ones that are still pretty and perky that make me wait another day ... and another day ... and another day ...
Sweet Alyssum ... it's almost prettier now than it was all Summer. The colors seems more vibrant, and when a gentle breeze blows ... their sweet scent is just intoxicating.
                        The lovely flowers of Lemon Mint still draw plenty of bees each day. 
The bees love Cleome, too. They are still going strong. Now I'm just waiting for the seed pods to start turning brown.
I grow Marigolds in flowerpots. I gave up on planting them in the ground since the slugs totally destroy them. At least this way I can enjoy them until the first hard frost.
Colorful Snapdragons actually prefer the cooler temperatures of Fall. I'll wait a bit longer on these.
I grow Black-Eyed Susan Vine every year, also in pots. They really don't start blooming until late August here in the Pocono Mountains, but the flowers are so pretty. 
Zinnias are also another late bloomer. The leaves show quite a bit of mildew by this time, but the flowers just keep coming.
This is the last of my "hanger ons", and my favorite. I've had this pink mini rose bush growing in a large pot for the last 3 years now. It always amazes me that she's still strutting her stuff in late September. But soon the days will become even shorter, and when the temperatures regularly begin to dip below 50 degrees, that's when I'll  gently prune her back and bring her into the garage to spend the winter. It's sort of like say "goodbye" to a good friend, but at least I know I'll look forward to seeing that friend again in the Springtime.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pinching And Pruning.... If You're A Gardener, You Know The Pain.

Hmnn ... every gardener wants their growing plants to produce beautiful flowers. In addition, they want their plants to be full and stocky. The simplest way to do that is to pinch back the young plants. Sometimes, that includes pruning off flower buds that are just forming.  Oh, the pain of it .... for the gardener.
I hated doing it, but I had to decapitate my mini rose bush. Actually, I have 3 mini rose bushes in separate pots that I had bought on clearance after last Valentine's Day. They lived on top of my curio cabinet all winter, and in late spring I moved them outside. They grew and grew, but I hadn't pruned them back early on. They all became very tall and gangly.  I knew what I had to do. This one being the tallest, was the first to get the axe. 
On July 27th, I brought out the pruners and made a cut halfway down,  just above a 5 leafed section of branch.
Now August 12th, although still a bit too tall, this mini rose is noticably fuller and sporting new buds. On July 27th I had also pruned back the other 2 mini roses. They, too,  look much better and are forming new buds. Now on to a pot filled with annual candytuft.
July 14 this pot of candytuft was getting very leggy with smaller blooms.
So I used my fingers to make a pinch here ... and a pinch there.
Candytuft with a haircut. Not very attractive is it? I kept telling myself I must be patient.
Ta Da! August 12 and the plants are once again more compact and covered with new blooms!
Cleome! Oh, how I love cleome! I have 3  growing in a large pot on the back deck, and I also have about 10 plants growing in my Boulder Garden. Anyway, the flower heads on the 3 plants growing in the pot were starting to form seed pods. The only way to keep the plants flowering through the summer was to prune off the flowers. On July 26th, I whipped out the pruners and made cuts on each plant about 1/3 the way down to decent sized leaf node.
It's August 7th now. Above the cut you can see new healthy growth with additional side shoots. Oh, the flowers will be smaller, but there will be more of them since there is now more than one main flower stalk.  I had also pruned the ones planted in the garden and they are growing fast with branching flower stalks, too! Later in the season I will let some of the seed pods develop so I will have fresh seeds for next year.

Pinching or pruning back your plants is definitely the right thing to do. Your plants might look a bit unsightly for awhile, but on the plus side, they grow very fast during the summer. Before you know it your flowers will look great again!  It's worth the snip! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September Musings From The Poconos ... Part Two-The Unfortunates And The Failures

September is my garden tally month.   You know, walk around the gardens, peruse the flowerpots, and then takes notes. Hmmn ... which plants thrived and which ones are going to be pulled and tossed into the compost pile.  Perennials ... well, they'll just have to tough it out. They will stay put. This year's annuals? The scraggly ones will be the first to go.  Most annuals I classify as the unfortunate ones.  Their only job is to sit there and look pretty all summer.  By the time September rolls around they've pretty much bloomed themselves to death.  This year in my garden such is the fate of  six clumps of dried out lobelia, five annual salvia plants with no flowers,  a few pots of snapdragons with only a handful of buds, and some fading zinnias in a window box.  Now, on to the real failures.

Pictured above is Cleome, also known as the Spider Flower. It's a beautiful, tall exotic looking flower that's a real stand out in the garden.  At least ...  it usually is.
Pictured above are my poor little Cleome plants. Not enough heat.  Not enough sun.  No flowers.  Bugs and deer, and groundhogs.  Oh my.

Another failure for me was Nicotiana Sylvestris or flowering tobacco pictured above. It's a tall, strikingly beautiful ornamental plant with large, oval leaves. It produces large clusters of fragrant tubular flowers. I started with about two dozen home grown seedlings and was left with four nice sized plants growing happily in my garden.  Slow growing at first, but they began to take off in July.
Then August came ...  and so did the hungry wildlife. As you can see, most of the foliage has been chewed. I did have flower buds forming, but they were eaten as well. 

My biggest disappointment this year are my black-eyed susan vines, Spanish Eyes.  Lush foliage, bright green leaves, but no flowers!  Not a single bud! Maybe they don't like coir pots? I dunno.
Now take a look at the photo above.  These were my black-eyed susans, Spanish Eyes, that I grew in a large pot on my back deck a few years ago.  They were spectacular!

Anyway, there is one annual that is tough as nails!
My absolute favorite, Marigolds!
Marigolds are showy, colorful, and very hardy. Critters don't really bother them and they are natural insect repellents. They come in varying heights to suit any gardener's needs. They are among the first annuals for sale in early summer, but they are very easy to grow  from seed. Do you want to really know the reason why I love them so much? Their longevity. They will continue to bloom their heads off right up until the very first hard frost! For me, that's nearly November!  What's not to love!

Happy Gardening!