The philosopher who said that work well done never needs doing over never tended a garden.
- Ray D. Everson
I’m away from home for a few days and envisioning weeds taking over my garden as I type and Japanese beetles treating my beautiful flowers as a sumptuous buffet.
But time with my family trumps gardening. The garden can wait.
Right now my garden is awash in a rainbow of color. The peak of daylily season in my garden will inevitably begin to wane in the next week or two.
A supporting actress has made its dramatic entrance in this week’s garden show: the beautiful balloon flower. The photo below captures several stages of its fascinating growth. First is the tight little pentagon-shaped bud. Then, almost overnight it seems to ‘inflate’ looking much like a balloon. As its petals unfurl, the blue-violet color begins to emerge and deepen. Then comes what I call the ‘fairy ballgown stage’ when the petals flare slightly open. Once fully open, the flower transforms into a sweetly upturned bell.
Rose mallow (hibiscus) ‘Tie Dye’ is loaded with buds this year and should provide a punch of lovely pink until autumn. Though planted by the house, these beauties garner attention from passersby. It’s a bit of a challenge keeping Japanese beetles from munching on them, but I am keeping ahead of them so far.
Last week I mentioned my problem with powdery mildew and asked for your advice. One reader suggested washing with baking soda and water, so I mixed up this concoction and gave it a whirl on my favorite phlox, ‘Glamour Girl.’
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Liquid Soap (I used organic Seventh Generation)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Gallon Water
Here’s a before and after – pretty dramatic cleanup, I would say. We’ll see if it works. I will give an update in a future post.
Well, that’s my little garden tour for this Saturday. If you’d like to tour a few more gardens, check out Six on Saturday hosted by The Propagator who provides the inspiration and forum for a weekly, six photos at a time show ‘n tell. Just click on the Propagator’s site and give his weekly post a read; then scroll on down to the comments section where you’ll find links to a variety of gardens to explore. Have fun!