A Lily and Some Dahlias

My secret prayer partner gifted me with a beautiful Asiatic Lily, ‘Orange Matrix’.  I kept it inside until I closed on the house and it lost it’s beautiful petals, but I have hopes it will be okay and come back next year – and for many more years to come.  I wasn’t sure where to plant it, but decided to put it right outside the garage door so I could see it whenever I came home.

There was already an area that possibly had annual flowers before, but it was grown over with weeds, so I went to work with my hoe to chop them up.  I then used a rake to pull out the weeds from the soil and leave the dirt.  Some stubborn weeds remained and I used my weeder to pull them up.  Then I emptied out some rabbit pans into the soil and mixed that in with the rake to give it some fertilizer.  A quick shovel into the loose soil and I had a hole for my new lily.  I tossed a little extra manure in the bottom of the hole then added the lily and lots of water before filling the hole back in with soil.

The lily looked a little lonely there, and I happened to find a 4 pack of dahlias for 75% off at the local greenhouse.  They are labeled as ‘Diablo’ and though they look a little rough, I think they will make it.  I planted these around the lily to add some more color.

Plants Identified

I have closed on the house officially and have moved in and done some work.  Unfortunately I do not have internet access and now that I do have it I forgot my camera so I can’t share new pictures.  I was able to find out what some of the plants from my last post were and am going to write about those.

All of the hostas are staying and I’m slowly working on removing the weeds growing in among them.

Mom identified this and the other bush/tree like things as mulberry bushes, which were probably brought in by birds who eat the berries and then drop them.  Because they aren’t something I want right now, all of them were pulled or cut.

I found a bloom on one of the daylilies and now know that some of them are Stella d’Oro, they will also be staying.

I still do not know what this is or if it was intentionally planted or not, but it had a strange smell and was growing over the hostas and daylillies that I wanted to keep, so it has all been dug up.

Another mulberry bush.

Sadly, the company that was caring for the house while it was on sale before I closed mowed off both peony bushes!  They are both there, just very, very short.  I’m hoping they will survive and come back next year.

More mulberry bushes!  These were everywhere, but are all out.  Thanks to several heavy rains, the soil was damp enough to pull some up by the roots.  Others I had to cut off, so I may need to find some sort of stump killer or something if they come back.

This bush is looking a little better, but I’m still not sure if it is going to stay or not.  If it goes, I will need some help from my dad or someone with equipment I don’t have, so won’t be done right away.

    

No change to these either for the same reason as above, but they will likely stay since they are healthy and look decent – unless I decide to replace them with flowers.

The sedum is coming back nicely even where it was mowed down, I can’t wait until they bloom this fall.  This looks exactly like my mom’s light pink sedum (Hylotelephium spectabile), so I think that is the same.  I do love sedum and may add more varieties later though!

A sharpened hoe, a lot of sweat, a good pair of gloves, and some help from mom and nearly all of these are gone.  I only hacked them down and pulled them up – no chemicals, so a few are returning and I need to repeat the process, but just an hour or so of work made it look so much better!

This bush did have some damage from the thistle invasion, but it seems to be making a comeback now that the thistles are gone.  I believe it is a bayberry bush.  It is staying for now, however in spite of the fact that I like the color, I’m not a fan of it’s thistles.

I found out that this has a bloom that looks similar to a morning glory, but instead of a pretty flower, it is a weed, known as bindweed (Convolvulaceae) which climbs and chokes out any flower, bush, tree, etc. it comes into contact with.  Much of it has been pulled up, but it is still growing in some places.  The worst is where it is intertwined with the rose bush!

    

The blooms are gone now, but it has some buds coming back.  There are several dead stems that I need to trim back and I’m fighting the bindweed above trying to grow over the rose.

This nice healthy looking mulberry bush is gone now also, no more mulberry bushes – until the birdies bring some seeds back, anyway!

Most of the dandelions are gone also, the Oxalis (yellow flower on the clover-like weed in the background) is also gone, though it is starting to come back.

The house caretakers mowed this down, but it is coming back – after mowing down my sedum and peonies, I sort of hope they got poison ivy!  I’m going to have to figure out a very careful way to remove it now that it is returning.

New House, New Plants, New Garden

You may have noticed the lack of posts recently, that is because I’ve been busy looking at houses to buy.  I found one that suits my needs and am preparing to move.  This means a new house, with new plants, and best of all, a garden all my own (that I don’t have to share with mom).

Some of the plants that came with the house I’m excited about, others I do not know what they are, and yet others I am far less than enthused about.  So here is a plant overview of the new house, perhaps you can help identify some of the unknown plants?

This is my new house, it is small, but cozy and perfect for me!  I can’t wait to move in and make it my very own space!
Solid Green Hosta, possibly ‘Royal Standard’?  There are several groups of these along the north side of the house, along with the variegated shown below.

Variegated green with white outline Hosta, possibly ‘Regal Supreme’?  Again, several groups, though they are somewhat overgrown with weeds.

Some sort of tree?  There are several of these as well and I do not know if these are things which should be removed or left.  Also on the north side of the house.

Among the Hostas are some day lilies, variety unknown since they have finished blooming.  I’m looking forward to seeing these next spring!

Another unknown, a mess of green with some assorted purple flowers, I wish I had a better picture, but it didn’t turn out.  No idea what this might be, or even if it is a weed or flower.

Another thing that could be a tree or could be a plant.  The leaves remind me a bit of my mom’s hydrangea, but I don’t know if that is what they are or not.  There are a few of these on the north and south sides.

Peonies, one of them is pink (had a bloom when I toured that was off now), the other one is unknown color.  Since my new house is in the “Peony Capital of the World,” I feel this is only fitting to have two little Peony bushes!

This is another tree/shrub/plant growing in among the bushes at the front (west) of the house.  Again, I do not have a clue what it might be.

This is a single bush/shrub on the north corner of the west side of the house, it appears to have some dead growth on it, but is doing better than when I first toured the house.  I’m tempted to pull it, as it makes the house look unsymmetrical, but I don’t know yet.  Some sort of coniferous tree, but I don’t know what kind for sure.

    

Bushes/shrubs on either side of the front door, a different, but similar conifer to the taller bush.

It is hard to see and part of it was mowed down by the company taking care of the lawn, but there is a small section of sedum growing on the southwest corner of the house.  I really like sedum, so this makes me happy!

Some of the not-so-wanted plants – thistles!  These are ALL over the place, and are going to seed before I have possession of the house and can do anything about them, so there will be more.  Anyone have good thistle removing techniques that don’t involve Round-Up?

In among these thistles is a pretty reddish bush.  Mom called it a boxwood, but I don’t know if they come in red, so I’m not positive what it is.  Hopefully it makes it in spite of being taken over by thistles!

More of the same as the purple blooming flower from the back, I believe, except without the purple blooms.  Or it could be some sort of ground cover.  Or a weed.

    

The single plant I’m most excited about – the rose bush!  I don’t know variety or anything (it wasn’t even blooming when I first saw the house), but I do love my roses and I’m thinking it will needs some little rose friends to live with it!

I believe this is the same as is growing on the north of the house, but on the south (and much healthier looking) as well as possibly what is growing in the bush in the front of the house.  It sort of looks like a grape or a hydrangea, but I don’t really have a clue.

Thistles and giant dandelions, unfortunately this is what most of the garden is made of, but at least my piggies will have plenty to eat for the first few weeks anyway!

And the single plant I’m least excited about – poison ivy!  Right outside the front door.  Any suggestions on removing it without getting it also appreciated!

Easy to Grow Flowers

This is my comment in response to Dee Nash’s post Which flowers are easy to grow from seed? Here are several I like it ended up being long so I decided to make a post of my own, I want to go find pictures, but I’m sick, so pictures might come later..

My favorite easy-to-grow flowers are Cosmos and Bachelor Buttons.  Cosmos grow all over my mom’s garden – I had some of my senior pictures taken in the garden with the cosmos.  She has the ones that are primarily pink but occasionally throw purple or white (incomplete dominance at work).  We didn’t get Cosmos until we moved, so I was at least 9 before I learned about them.

Bachelor Buttons and I go much further back.  My grandma’s garden has Bachelor Buttons all over – in all the colors.  I didn’t even realize some of the colors weren’t as common as others as far as selling the seed – but I knew that when I was younger, I loved running around picking the flowers and trying to get one of each color.  I would squeal with excitement when I found a color I didn’t have yet.  She has both the white outside with colored inside and colored outside with different colored inside, and same-colored inside and outside – she has variations I’ve never even seen for sale!

Sunflowers are beautiful, but they can be pests too.  For several years, I fed my rabbits black oil sunflower seeds as a supplement to help them have better condition.  Inevitably, some of the seeds would find their way into the manure that we put in the garden.  Mom’s garden is filled with sunflowers and they can be annoying because they shadow the things you want to grow and if you let them grow, their big stems and heavy roots make it hard to work the soil for the next year.  And of course, they seed themselves down for the next year when the birds snack on them.  But I must admit, I love the Goldfinches who come to snack on their seeds!

One other flower I like to grow that is quite easy to grow around here from seed are Marigolds.  You can save seed from one year to the next and to grow, I just mess the soil a little, scatter the seeds, water, and mess the soil again.  They are beautiful (of course, orange is my favorite color), don’t require lots of water, and they can repel bad bugs and deer.  I believe they are edible and can be used in essential oils, but I’ve never tried that.

Paperwhites

I was going by memory on what the white flowers were from last year, but when I was cleaning I found the package from last year, and they are labeled as “Paperwhites, Narcissus.” Narcissus actually includes daffodils and jonquils.  But because these are “Paperwhites,” it means they are Narcissus papyraceus. Unlike other Narcissus species, Paperwhites do not require chilling to promote bloom.  This is nice since I’m not sure they got cold enough in our basement last winter to force a bloom or not.

Last time I posted, I was worried about if I had done the right thing with the little mini bulbs attached to the main bulbs on the plant.  Gardening Know How helped me out with this and said that I should wait until the leave die to divide, but that I don’t have to divide because they don’t mind being a little crowded.  They are growing fast and are just shooting up and up!