Blooms of summer

I have to remind myself about the enjoyment part of gardening. Every day I mentally say “what needs to be done in the garden today?” I spend a lot of time doing things in the garden. For example, yesterday I potted up 25 or more chrysanthemums to their final pots. You will see them next fall. Right now my first flush of roses needs to be deadheaded, but today I am a bit under the weather so I just went out to enjoy the flowers. A rare pleasure.

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Field trip to Sequim: Peony Farm today

Sequim, WA is well known for growing Lavender in the rain shadow of the Olympic mountains. Another lesser well known group of plants that grow really well in that somewhat dry region of Western Washington are peonies. My garden club had a field trip today to the Peony Farm where we learned about three types of peonies. The prices ranged from $28. To $110. I was surprised by that fact. They get dug and delivered for planting in November. My luck, they would make a very expensive salad bar for the deer, but they sure make beautiful subjects for photographs.

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Double Owie! :(

This should be my lesson to NEVER pull a weed without gloves on my hands. If there is one weed we need to learn how to identify, it stinging nettle. OMG! But it was in my prized exhibition mini and miniflora raised bed and I don’t want weeds there. Right. But then… I decided to deadhead roses.

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Yes somewhere along the way a bee decided he did not like what I was doing… Enough gardening for today. I am indoors nursing my owies!

Hanging baskets from scratch

This is one of my most satisfying gardening projects. I start petunias in January the transplant them into hanging baskets in March. They spend the next six weeks growing in the cool greenhouse before moving to their hanging location at the front of our home.

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I start with clean, reused plastic hanging basket. A coffee filter helps contain the potting mix but allows drainage.

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I put in a layer of mix the some pre moistened water saving crystals. Pre moistened is the key word here. If you forget this step, you could see an erupting soil volcano when they finally absorb water!

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Then I gently transplanted the petunias into the pots. The following is an example of a pot by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

Greenhouse blooms to make you smile :)

It’s nice to be able to see garden blooms in late November. Anybody can go to the flower market and buy seasonal blooms, but growing flowers has always been more appealing to me. I want to learn more about varieties I can grow in a cool greenhouse and enjoy over the winter. Do you have any suggestions or experience with this?

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Late Bloomers During a Welcome Dry Spell

The weather here in the Pacific Northwest USA never ceases to amaze me. Statistically, November is the rainiest month but we are currently in a very welcome dry period. Dry but rather cold at night (26* F so far in my garden.) I am amazed at the plants that are still healthy and blooming!
Camelias naturally bloom at this time of year, but it is still fun to share. Recently I moved the tiny chrysanthemum into the greenhouse. I thought Bacopa was an annual but it is still hanging on. The hardy fuchsias are the stars. I have only known the annual fuchsias in my previous gardens.

Hardy Fuchsia love the cool weather

Fuchsias are annual plants in Minnesota, so when I discovered hardy fuchsias here in Western Washington, another plant collection began. I love the delicate flowers, shape and variegated foliage on some plants. All they need is sone trimming in the spring and regular perennial formula fertilizer. I’m hooked!

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