September 13, 2013
As I walked through my garden this past week with almost 90+⁰F every day, it was interesting to observe what plants were holding up well. My black lab, Cody, was at my side and he looked like he just wanted to find a cool shady place to take a rest. Personally, I felt the same way.
However, there are quite a few plants that look remarkably good and here are three that deserve to be mentioned. One is Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia), which we have in a tree form and never do I remember it blooming as well as it has this year. Perhaps the profuse bloom is because of all the heat we have had and while recently visiting with another gardener, he echoed my opinion.
A new plant for me this year is Salvia ‘Dancing Flame’, which has speckled leaves and so the foliage has kept it interesting all summer. It is now beginning to send up many stems with bright orange-red flowers which hummingbirds love. The photo below is one plant I bought in the spring in a 4-inch pot.
A consistently reliable late blooming perennial is Hardy Hibiscus. This tough perennial puts on a great show in late August and September and deserves to be better known. I cut my plants back to ground level in the winter and then in late spring they emerge and grow all summer and hold off on flowering until now. They like full sun and require little care.
And by the way, Cody did find a place to rest!
September 5, 2013
Photos & Comments From Listeners
I enjoy hearing from listeners and especially like it when they send me photos of something in their garden. Here are some photos from listeners that I would like to share.
From Ken in Milwaukie
Look---we have twins!
Kent says “We have never seen this. These are 2 separate tomatoes growing out of one flower. They are not connected to each other, except at the stem.
From Janet in Lake Oswego
Janet says “This has been the best year for cactus. The warm and dry winter didn't make them go to mush. The only hard part is digging down two feet to install the sand and gravel and a little dirt. After that you do nothing but stay out of the way of those barbs.”
Keith from Orchards area in Vancouver
This past spring, Keith decided to take out what was a front lawn and turn it into a vegetable garden. “I have my entire front yard as a garden, no more yard for me! I put out by the street in front of my home almost every day scores of tomatoes with a sign saying, ‘help yourself and enjoy’. They are gone by nightfall.”
Suzanne in Aloha
Last year Suzanne regularly reported on her attempts to grow okra. This year she reported it was a challenge because in the spring we did not get the heat that okra needs. In late July, she sent these photos of okra flowers.
August 30, 2013
On Saturday, August 24, Ken McVicker from Van Essen Nursery in Lebanon, OR was my guest. Ken talked about new plants that Van Essen will be offering; some will be available this fall and others next spring. Check with you local garden center on specific availability. During our conversation, Ken said that he would send photos and here are four photos of plants he discussed.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Sweet ‘n Salsa’
An HGTV introduction plant, this hydrangea has bronze-red foliage and red stems. The flowers are bicolor red and white with shades of pink. With a long blooming period, late spring into late summer, this hydrangea likes afternoon shade.
Hibiscus syriacus ‘Fiji’ (Rose of Sharon)
A new hibiscus with flower buds that are semi-double and medium-pink and slowly fade to light-pink. There is a splash of deep-red color in the center.
Hibiscus syriacus ‘Azurri Satin’ (Rose of Sharon)
Another new hibiscus, this one has large single blue summer flowers.
August 24, 2013
My guest, Peter D’Amato has written a book with wonderful photos and great information about carnivorous plants. It is called “The Savage Garden” (Ten Speed Press, 2013) and is an excellent reference source for anyone interested in growing this very interesting group of plants.
Many of these plants are native to eastern and southern United States but the Darlingtonia californica (Cobra Lily) is found in southern Oregon. In my own garden, I have a grouping of an assortment of carnivorous plants and it attracts much attention from visitors. The plants like to be kept moist and I have seen several gardens where a small bog area has been created for them to grown in.
While this past winter was mild, I had Darlingtonia and Sarracenia both come through the cold just fine. I would recommend either of these for a beginner as they both seem relatively easy to grow. Children delight in the Sarracenia as it is easy to look into the plant and see insects that are trapped. The pot that I have them in does get sun and they seem to have thrived this summer although I do give them plenty of water.
A friend, Craig Quirk, supplied me with the picture of the figure being eaten. He has several different containers of carnivorous in his gardens. It is fun to add some humor to the garden!
Mike Darcy is well known in the Portland gardening community and it all started 30 years ago when he began his garden show on KXL. Mike has done garden television programs for OPB, KPTV, and KATU and did garden segments on Good Day Oregon when it first premiered. He writes a column for Digger, trade magazine for Oregon Association of Nurseries, and has been a speaker at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle and the Yard, Garden & Patio Show in Portland. He and his wife Linda, frequently open their garden to various garden groups and other non-profit organizations.
In The Garden 11/30/13 HR3It's the peoples hour. Mike takes your calls on a variety of topics.
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