Yesterday and today were chore days in the garden. Yesterday I fed/protected all of the rose bushes. I use the BioAdvanced (old Bayer) All-in-One liquid and water it in. I also gave one of my rugosas, Mary Manners, a big haircut. She has grown into a monster. It will grow and bloom one last time just fine. I do that once or twice a season or I would not be able to handle it.
I also had to prune a found rose I have (Antique Rose Emporium found it, not me) called Caldwell Pink. Caldwell Pink is an awesome rose filled with little flowers all summer long. And a David Austin named “Benjamin Britten” which is supposed to top out at 4 1/2 feet tall was towering over me at about 8 feet tall, so he got a cut too.
I have to say that I pruned my roses in the winter and they all have grown like crazy this year. I pruned in late February I believe it was.
Then I attacked some Bridal Wreath Spirea which grows in between our property and a neighbor’s. I hate that shrub almost as much as the ever-encroaching hedge of forsythia and prickly vines on the other side of the property (also a border plant.) If I had my druthers I would take all of both out. I get annoyed with having to maintain my side of shrubs I don’t want and didn’t plant. And both of these border shrubs from hell are FULL of nasty prickly wild vines that it seems like every few days wants to run amok through MY garden beds. (This is why I love my gauntlet gardening gloves.)
Today I also had to stake tomato world in the front. They are growing like gangbusters: Bumble Bee, Celebrity, and Big Beef. I have been busy correcting the soil because I was suffering from blossom end rot. I usually add crushed up egg shells when I am potting on my baby tomato plants and I forgot. So now I have some finally starting to turn red here and there and even with the tomatoes I removed, it’s going to be a banner year. Same with the chili peppers, which are mostly in the new greenhouse, except for one pot of Anaheim and the Tabasco peppers which are the prettiest plants. Chili pepper varieties are: Hatch Red Hot Chilis, Anaheim, Tabasco, Arapahoe, Flaming Flare and El Eden. They remind me of my high school friend Tiger who passed was late in 2020. I don’t even know how many varieties of chili peppers he grew.
I also had to water, water, water this morning. We have had a miserably long and hot spell. Every time they say we will have rain, it rains everywhere around where I live. We had a thunderstorm this afternoon and I got maybe 20 minutes of rain, but I will take it. My garden is starting to feel crispy.
Along with weeds today, I hacked back a lot of Creeping Jenny. That is one crazy plant. I planted a couple of little bits like five years ago and it’s everywhere. It had even gone over a flower bed and was covering the edge of the road. That and the mint. Mint is a love hate relationship. It competes for space with Bishop’s Weed which I find helpful (and the deer do not like minty fresh smells), but if you don’t control it, when you go to control it you find things like coneflowers you forgot you planted.
In the category of trees I am in love with, my baby red buds are growing nicely. My friend Sara gave me two. I also have a volunteer which my arborist help me straighten up and I had to give a little prune to today.
I have also found two other redbud seedlings that I will just let grow where they are. One is starting at the back of a bed where I have a volunteer dogwood that I have loved in the front. However, I do not think the dogwood is thriving so I do not know how many years I will have with it. The dogwood is definitely struggling from drought stress. I have been watering it to help but I do not know how it will end up.
One of my other favorites is getting ready to strut her stuff in the late summer garden. My Franklinia Tree. The white buds are starting to form and then we will see beautiful white flowers soon. The flowers would remind you of large tea Camelia blooms if you have never seen one bloom. I think every garden needs a Franklinia Tree!
I am ordering more lily bulbs as in Asiatic and Oriental. I finally have started to discover ones that I really like. I will be buying some more red and pinky reds to liven up the mid to late summer borders.
Planning ahead includes I am also going to plunk in a variegated witch hazel called “Little Prospect” and a couple of Japanese evergreen azaleas with red blooms (“Christmas Cheer” a Kurume Azalea and “Amagasa” a Satsuki Azalea) and a couple of more hardy camellias. I have this area in the woodland beds that I want to plant up a little more. Deciduous Mountain Azaleas are also on the list. One called “Chocolate Drop” and it has dark leaves and pale pink blooms.
Well that’s all for me this evening other than have I mentioned how much I hate weeding? Weeding is never fun, only necessary.
Happy gardening and pray for actual rain.