Preparing for Fall blooms.

>> Thursday, July 5, 2007

Finally found time to go through the new Park Seed catalog, Fall Planting 2007, today. Boy was that exciting! Now that my garden is beginning to establish, minus the few that did not make it, I now have a better idea of the areas that need to be filled in.

Going through plant catalogs is always a pleasure/pain thing. On the first pass, I let myself pick out all the plants I want whether I have space for them or not and then whittle the list down to a more manageable list and then whittle it down again to something a little more reasonable and again to something I can actually budget for.

I purchased a few shrubs on Monday from Wasatch Shadows Nursery to replace those shrubs that did not make it. I suppose I can place the blame on the heat since it has been so hot lately (maybe no one will question my involvement in their demise) but, deep inside, I know it was more due to my lack of experience in caring for new plants in this hot, dry heat. You see, my experience involves starting vegetables from seed and transplanting them in cooler temperatures.

Anyway, I bought two Spirea, one ‘Little Princess’ (the first photo) and one ‘Neon Flash’. These photos are what they have the potential to become. I can only care for them as best I can and pray to the patron saint of plants that I don't mess these up too.

The above Spirea are replacing the Viburnum ‘Aurora’ (next photo) and the Viburnum ‘Red Wing’ that so ungraciously turned into thin, brown, crispy sticks, may they rest in peace. These photos are what they could have become, I don't have the heart to show photos of what they did become.

I also bought a Buddleia ‘Black Knight’ (Butterfly Bush) to replace one of the two Buddleia that didn’t survive my pruning shears earlier this spring. I planted them last year and they were the only plants in the 260 sq ft bed. Actually, they shared the bed with a bunch of bindweed. They took off and looked so beautiful with all of their deep purple blooming spikes. I was afraid they would over-grow their bounds and had I read that they can be pruned to the ground each spring to control their size and shape. I pruned them way back thinking that since they grew so quickly they would come back in no time. I thought for sure I read the instructions correctly but evidently my inexperience once again sent some plants to an early meeting with the compost pile.

My long range plans for this plot calls for creeping thyme around the stepping stones and since the nursery had some Thyme 'Pink Chintz' on sale I bought a flat. Gotta save money where you can, right? Here is what they look like. They only get 3"-4" tall and when you step on them they emit a fragrance of some sort. Sounds good, anyway.

My wife has been after me to fill in the two beds at the front of the house and I found some Scabiosa Pincushion ‘Blue Giant’ plants on sale. I bought two thinking they would add a little height between the roses and the Dianthus and Pansies.

I was concerned about planting in this heat (especially given my luck) but the nurseryman gave me some instruction on how to help them get established. He said to water them deeply 3 times a day for two days, then skip one day and water them deeply again and then wait a few more days and spread the days between watering until they get watered only when the tops start to droop.

Now the two things I have to worry about most are mis-interpreting a 'droop' and drowning the roots from over-watering.


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