Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dog Days of Summer..and next year

I am so ready for fall-are you? This has been such a hot dry summer. Hubby and I have to go out twice a day and water the little back yard that gets sun all day including the hot west sun in the afternoon. This weekend I was writing in my gardening journal noting some things that did well this summer, and changes I need to make next year. I thought I would share some of those thoughts with you.
A big YES plant again are the zinnias around the tree. Not all the seeds germinated, but the "cut and come again" have been amazing. I didn't get the red flowers I wanted, but thanks to a nice garden blogger, I have seeds for red zinnias to plant next year. Love the zinnias!
Another yes is, buy a purslane basket and put it by the pond. This area gets really hot, which purslane loves. I get these baskets for about $15.00 in early summer. I hope the garden center doesn't go out of business-I never see anyone there anymore.
The most interesting flower I had this year was the cleome. But now it's top heavy and I am wanting to cut it down. I have lots of seeds saved, so that may happen this weekend. I loved watching the flowers grow and change, but next year it needs to live in another spot.
I planted a purple fountain grass with lime and purple sweet potato vine in a shallow container and put it on the flagstone patio. Very pretty and love the contrasting did we have to water it every 2 minutes! I like the combination of colors, but way too much trouble. However, I do need something between these 2 chairs..any ideas??
The purple heart has been great, and will live there forever. I had to re-plant the window boxes as I lost the plants this past winter. Usually our winters are mild and I just cover the boxes, but it just got too cold this year. They look great right now, but please remind me NOT to buy petunias. I get so carried away in spring and planted quite a few in these boxes. The pretty flowers just cannot handle our summers!
Love ornamental grasses and need to find more of these next year. They seem to like hot and dry weather! The old wheel-
barrow is behind this grass, and I am not showing you a picture because it looks too bad. Oh my, what was I thinking last spring. I need a good plan for this special container. I will work on ideas for it all winter.
No, no, no--not ever again!! I simply cannot have morning glories in my yard. I have 2, one here.. ..and one at the other end of the yard. They are in containers, which is wrong, but I needed them up high to attach to the trellis. They could use water every 2 minutes along with the fountain grass and potato vine, and I refuse to do that again. I have learned my lesson-no more morning glories!!!
But I will always have blackfoot daisies and profusion zinnias. As a matter of fact, I made a note to buy more profusions next year for the back.. I only have this one plus 2 more. Funny thing, I always buy the cute little zinnias for the front, and used a few begonias in back for color. Now the back is full of sun, and the trees in front are shading the beds-so maybe I just need to switch. The blackfoots are so heat and drought tolerant. And when I walk outside on a hot afternoon, that sweet honey smell is divine. Ummm--YES to blackfoots and profusions!
The last thumbs up flower is angelonia, the summer snapdragon Without a doubt I will continue to have these. They bloom all summer, don't mind getting very little water, no deadheading required--what more could you ask for? Well, they are annuals where I live, so I could ask them to be perennials!
I have lots more "tweaking" that needs to be done in my yard, and quite a bit of thinking about what to do about next year. The weather people say our summers are going to be hot like this for a while (how do they know these things??). I know I have way too many annuals, but I love the color they add. I am going to try really hard to add perennials and use fewer annuals next year. But gee when spring hits, and the garden centers have all these pretty plants, and I am sick of a brown winter-it sure is hard to resist buying.
So here we are at the end of August. Here in Texas it will still be hot, but we can look forward to those September cold fronts coming our way, along with pumpkins and mums. So how about you-have you made notes for next year? Are you ready to end this summer and think about gardening next spring? I am!

"Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow."


tina said...

Sounds like you have a plan Linda. IT so makes sense to do away with those water hogs. I'm thinking sedums in my garden for drought tolerance-they might work for you in a container.

Susie said...

Linda why not put a pot of sedum or succulents in between your chairs. There are some that get a little taller than others and then some that you could use as a draping effect.

Love zinnias and angelonia. You just can't go wrong with either one of those.

I think your yard is just beautiful.

I know what you mean about petunias. They look so pretty in spring but the summer creates havoc on them.

Have a great weekend!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Tina, sounds like you and Susie both have the same thought about the space between the chairs! And sedums are something I love too. I need to find out what kind are tall and what kind would drap over.

Susie, thanks so much for the suggestion of sedums! You see that Tina also suggested those. I didn't know any were tall, can you give me a name for one. That is such a good idea!!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Linda which one is your ornamental grass .. it looks like "Little Bunny" which I lost over last winter .. I have Hameln which it looks like too and YES ! ornamental grasses take all sorts of punishments .. like lavenders .. they love heat .. lean soil and are fairly drought resistant. YES ! for lots of succulents as well, I have them scattered all over the place and they take it all in and look great !
Your garden looks wonderful !

Lola said...

Linda I agree with Tina & Susie. Sedums are the answer. Would send you a pic of one that I have & like but my mail to you keeps coming back.
Better yet, I will send you some, just need your add. Mail it to me at my mail add.

Racquel said...

Yep I had the same problem with my Sweet Potato plant (water thirsty). I knew you would love that Angelonia, it's a great annual and really stood up to the heat. It didn't look as lush as last summer but that was a wet one too. Have a nice weekend Linda! :)

Meadowview Thymes said...

Joy- it is Little Bunny, and seemed to survive the winter ok. I like the size and the little plumes. Someone gave me a Mexican Feather Grass--do you have one of those? I also have a maidenhair grass, and 2 others that...yep...lost the tag. They all die back in winter, but so far have come back every year. I think my soil is too alkaline and clay for lavender--I always seem to lose them. I need to amend the soil some cold winter day now that I am retired! :)

Lola-I will try and email you and see if you can reply with a picture..and I would love sees. I never had luck collecting the seeds you wanted as the plant never bloomed again like I thought it would. Watch for an email!

Racquel, just took Mother to the Arboretum, and they had Angelonia's everywhere! Mother and I both decided we wanted more, more for next year!

Anonymous said...

No, no, no, please don't rush summer away! I know it's hot there in Texas, but the end of summer fortells the long, cold winter ahead. Argh! It might not be too hot for Alaska nasturtiums here in Ohio, I'll have to try them.

Meadowview Thymes said...

I know Robin--I do think of you when I wish summer away. Actually, I have always loved summer. I could stand the heat more than most, but guess my age is now a factor, plus our Texas summers seem to get hotter and hotter.
Try the Alaska, I bet they would work for you.

Cindy, MCOK said...

Your garden is looking pretty good considering what summer has put it through! I'm ready for rain and cooler temperatures, too.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Cindy, I think everyone in Texas is ready for fall!

Balisha said...

It looks like we have had similar problems with plants needing water twice a day. I'm in No. Illinois, and our weather has been so hot. Petunias are out for me too...they just don't hold up in the heat. My favorites this year are the sedums...they are the work horses of my garden. The always look tidy and so bright green. Balisha

Meadowview Thymes said...

Balisha, another mention of sedums! I think they are the plants to buy for hot and dry. I have several, but think I will look into getting more next summer. Bet your hot days will be over soon! I know you will have a beautiful fall--can't wait to read about it! :)

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Aw, c'mon, give the morning glories another chance! Mine have been pitiful, too, due to the heat. Just yesterday I went out, though and they had 3 HUGE blooms in a beautiful bright blue; maybe the cool weather inspired them. I just can't imagine not growing them!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Nola, mine have blooms now too, but I don't think I want to lug water twice a day just to keep them going for the blooms although they that blue color is gorgeous! I think I am just really tired of summer--must be my old age! :)