Friday, July 26, 2013

Fertilizer Friday: The Daylilies Keep Coming

In order to join Tootsie Time with fertilizer Friday this week I am posting a bunch of photos of the nursery pots and gardens. The stars right now have to be the daylilies and the coneflowers. This beauty to the left is daylily "Blackthorne". Really a striking cream with a purple eyezone and just a hint of a picotee edge. It ages to almost white. Really unusual for my meager collection.

The markets plug on. Missed Royal Oak this morning and I just don't think I'll be able to do it this summer. The turnaround time from the evening Fenton Farmers Market is just too short. I got home from Fenton at 10pm and had to be up by 4 for Royal Oak. Not going to work. Was so whipped from last night that I didn't get up until 9, a real feat for me...

Have some really nice stock to offer customers, the load looked really fresh last night, but most people are done planting in their gardens and want to sip a tall cocktail by the pool instead. Will keep going to the markets with nursery stock until the season wraps up in October. Have a few brainstorms for some other things I can offer at the later markets, I'll let you know when they are closer to fruition. Meanwhile, I keep on putting up jams and preserves that I will sell once I get my labeling together.The labeling required for 'cottage made' goods is very specific, so for my first time out I don't want to piss off any inspectors that may happen by.

 Here is the show of photos for this week:

Another shot of daylily "Blackthorne"

Veronica 'Royal Candles' a really long-blooming performer in pots, it seems great in the gardens as well. Shade and abuse tolerant, a really good garden plant. This one needs to be deadheaded .

Kind of a bad photo but the white looks a bit luminous in its semi-shady spot. An oriental? lily, could be part trumpet. It's fragrant.

Daylily 'Lyrical Presence' - quite a soft pastel and really good substance to the large flowers.

This is the no-name daylily I posted before. Sorry for the repeat but this is the first year, I think because of the rains, it has had a good bud count. Keeps on blooming...

The vegetable garden is not to be forgotten. Certainly not as showy, but Green Zebra is a new variety for me and I am wondering when to harvest it... Keeps its green color but the flavor is supposed to be outstanding.

Nice fruit set on the paste type heirloom 'Paisano' - looking forward to drying these as they have such good meat to them.

The coneflowers keep blooming. I like how 'Hot Papaya' changes color as it matures to a deep orangey-red. The purple ones have started too. Cut some bunches that flopped over after a storm we had last week and they are still fresh in the vase.

Oh, the end of summer must be nearing as the Black-Eyed Susans or Rudbeckia have started to come on. These are in a truly neglected spot in the garden in quite a bit of shade but they still bloom. Has been really reliable in my garden.

Finally, the foliage of some plants is still their strong suit. Like this purple coral bell or Heuchera with the Japanese Banner Grass or Hakonechloa (sp?). Really nice combo of the lime green and the purple.

That's all there is for today. The garden is so wonderful though, as there are new blooms daily and new things to see every moment. Make the most of them in your garden.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Up North Weather

Put on a long sleeve shirt and jeans tonight to sit out on the patio. There is a breeze from the northwest bringing in blessedly cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Walked the garden tonight to see several plants in full bloom. The daylilies are doing their thing and many of the hosta are at their peak.

Hosta 'Emerald Tiara' in full bloom. Lovely for the front of the border.

Daylily 'Hyperion' - I love it for its prolific bloom and sweet fragrance.

Kitty Jo-Jo enjoying chewing on his pot of catmint.

A daylily I got from friend Cathy - I think it is Fairy Princess. Not a dwarf but a shorter variety.

This is my favorite of the bunch - also from Cathy. No name but a neon pinky-orange with an eyezone of gold and three darker petals. Huge flowers!

Going to two new markets this week. Going to give the Fenton Farmers Market a try. It's an evening market from 5-8 on Thursdays. They have a band at the park adjoining the parking lot each Thursday as well. Should make for a fun time. Friend Paul is joining me at this market too and I hope he'll have some fresh produce to sell a bit later this summer. Am also going to go back to the Royal Oak Farmers Market on Friday morning. They changed the time back to 7-1 so it won't be such a long day. When I set up there this spring they weren't even charging booth rental in the hopes of getting more vendors there. Don't know if they have gone back to charging rent.

Enjoy the summer while you can. It's warm days are fleeting.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fertilizer Friday - Paul's Gardens

Went to Paul's gardens on Thursday to see about his progress and to go register for the Fenton Farmer's market. Took him a load of plants to use as cut flowers, last week I took him a load of veggies and flowers to cut for drying. This is the first year of the gardens and Paul wants to develop them into a viable market garden. Next week Thursday evening I'll be going - with him, hopefully, to the Fenton Farmer's Market to sell. They have a lovely and short evening market from 5-8 in downtown Fenton right in the parking lot next to the community center. Lots of interesting vendors there from maple syrup to beef, pasties, homemade items and soaps. Not a lot of produce yet and it looks like I'll be the only nursery there. Looks like a promising gig and the booth set-up fee is very reasonable.

This is the first week after planting. Paul used a tractor with a bottom plow to open up the sod and is hand turning it to remove the clumps.

The soil is a gravelly silty sand and plants dry down very fast, below is a shot of the tomato bed,.

Another shot of the young tomatoes

The little reddish plants are a 'Hopi Dye Amaranth' a very reddish selection, nice for dried flowers

That's the tour for Fertilizer Friday this week. Joining the party over at Tootsie Time 
to join blogs from around the world that show off their gardens.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Wealth of Lilies

The middle of July seems to be the hot time for lilies. The weather is also hot and the lilies have come on strong with all the wet days we've had this early summer. These lilies are in my brother's raised bed planted about 8-9 years ago by my late father. They are probably up to five feet tall plus another couple for the raised bed and make a stunning picture. I think they are an 'orienpet' variety - a cross between the fragrant Orientals and the colorful Asiatics.

This is another view of that large clump.

At my house, the planter bed has gone orange after the delphiniums are through with Echinacea 'Hot Papaya' and the orange Tiger Lily.

I love the spots on the tiger lily.

Close-up of Echinacea 'Hot Papaya' - what a color!

A couple of Oriental Lilies I grew in pots - have no record of the name...

Orienpet lily Montego Bay

The lacecap hydrangea has gone a mellow shade of Pinkish-lavender

Trumpet lily struggling in too much shade

A clump of Hyperion Daylilies, great budcount on this old diploid variety - has a long bloom season and is sweetly fragrant

A clump of three Orienpet lilies

The Asiatic lilies are going past but the Orienpets and Orientals are coming on strong in the lily/iris bed

An Asiatic lily I grew for the nursery.

An Oriental lily in the iris/lily bed, again am terrible with varieties - would have sworn this was a Stargazer I planted but is much more pink.

Last, a spider daylily, probably an old hybrid crossed by the late Al Goldner, a gift from friend Cathy.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Garden Visits

One thing nice about gardeners is that they are usually eager to show off their handiwork. This week I had the pleasure and the privilege of seeing two beautiful gardens.
one of Robin's daylilies

The first, on Monday, was a member of the Pontiac Garden Club's garden. They have a nice tradition of meeting at member's homes throughout the summer for get-togethers and a lot of good food and garden talk. I was invited, as a new member, and had a lovely time. We toured the garden between raindrops. Lots of interesting niches, a fairy garden, a running river into a pond, a small vegetable garden with enormous zucchini and a lovely sort of staged hill garden spilling into the backyard. I was definitely inspired. Sorry didn't get any decent photos as the rain was too thick and it was getting late in the day. But, suffice to say, it was a lovely evening to share with fellow gardeners.

Today, I visited a customer of mine's garden. She is not only a customer but becoming a nice friend, living just down the road. She showed off her lovely daylily collection - her mom was a daylily judge and hybridizer. She has a marvelous veg garden in the front yard (Kudos to Sylvan Lake for allowing gardens - take that Waterford!). She also has some great pots with Jasmine, Plumbago - the tender kind and a large Brugmansia - which is extremely showy and fragrant.

growing cabbage interplanted with peas and garlic

Robin and some of her daylilies

Young Brugmansia - has huge trumpet-shaped flowers

fragrant lilies, bee balm and coydalis lutea
Flowers and veggies coexist

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Vegetable Garden Beds Planted - Finally!

This last week AJ and I finally planted up the six raised garden beds at Vicki's. We got in about 13 tomatoes and three jalapeno peppers and Vicki put in cuke seed, lettuces and spinach. Unfortunately the plants Vicki put in had LOTS of age on them and were in the process of bolting. But, she has gotten a small harvest before we pull the lettuces and start again. AJ and I put in a variety of herbs into one bed, zucchini and melon in the back bed and we seeded some spinach and mesclun. Trying some varieties that are new to me this year - shallots and bulbing fennel. I watch the food network so much and the chefs on it are always using both of these so I thought I'd give them a try.

AJ working in the herb bed. Since the beds are raised about 6-8 inches it is a bit easier on the back working in them.

Wild Arugula - has a great nutty flavor but I find it is more persistent in the garden - almost a perennial.

The lettuce bed, you can see a couple in the back are bolting. Broccoli is lined down the center.

The finished herb bed. The "blank" area is where the shallots are planted.

A view of the beds from the greenhouse door. The back ones don't get much sun, but I'm hoping we'll get something out of them.

One of the tomato beds. These plants are all staked now but I've got to tie them up and start some sucker pruning.

More tomatoes and one Huckleberry - an annual fruiting plant related to the tomato supposedly can make a good jam or sauce if cooked up.

Today I went up to Fenton to Paul's farm and took him some plants. We're trying to strike a deal. He'll grow produce if I sell it. I'm also trying to talk him into growing cut flowers. Seems to be a great cash crop at Oakland County. Took him my miscellaneous tomatoes and some peppers, flowers for drying - celosia, strawflower, statice and an amaranth. Plus I also gave him the last of the spring broccoli crop and a flat of mixed herbs. He was very happy for the gift. Saw his seed stash that he just purchased and am hoping he'll get this stuff in and have a great garden this year. Going to take him all the leftover sweet williams and I might take him the peonies as well. Got to move out some of this older stock. May take him a few asparagus plants too.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

More garden photos for Fertilizer Friday

Joining Tootsie Time for Fertilizer Friday, a blog one joins to "Flaunt Your Flowers". Check it out, people from all over the world will post and you can see what is happening in their gardens.

It's been less than a week since I went out to take some pictures. My last post was the garden and nursery tour  so I guess this is another tour. Well it's nice to sit at the computer and tour around other people's gardens. Looking at the pictures of other gardens always inspires me to work harder on my own.

Here's the latest tour:

Echinacea 'Hot Papaya' - brilliant orange -red, a real show-stopper

Hydrangea - lace-cap variety, very pretty lavender-blue, this is the first year it has really done anything, been in about 6 or 7 years.

Monarda 'Jacob Cline' - terrible habit, you can see the short purple one just behind it

Monarda-maybe 'Purple Rooster'? Was supposed to be 'Gardenview Scarlet' but I really like the habit of this one, has a beautiful dark green leaf as well.

I don't recall the name of this plummy-rose daylily but it's just starting to bloom

Lilium variety in a screaming hot-pink

This coral bell has held onto its blooms since May

First blueberries are ripe

The photo doesn't quite capture the delicate color of this Shasta Daisy. It is a soft, creamy yellow.

More Lilies in a hot orange color

Close-up of Stella D'Oro daylily. You've got to hand it to this all too overused variety, it is a prolific bloomer.

Red Bartlett Pear set on my scrawny pear tree. Espaliered pear on the back fence hasn't got a fruit on it and my Pear in the front yard is loaded but the fruit is so high up I don't think I'll be able to pick it!

Corydalis sempervirens. Grown from seed - sorry for the blurry photo but the blooms wouldn't stop moving in the breeze. Pretty little thing - I hope it proves relieble in the garden

A mess of parsley gone to seed

Had a shot of these last post, Coreopsis 'Full Moon' - pretty and soft creamy yellow. Easier color to use in the garden compared to those harsh brassy bright yellows.

And finally - the Sweet William hangs on, much of it has gone to seed. I need to cut back some and see if I can get it to rebloom and then of course, collect seed from the others.