Wednesday, August 30, 2006


This is the time of year where the colours of the garden seem to intensfy under the late summer sun. And all plants make there last push of growth before the nights begin to cool, triggering a time of rest.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


In Southern California where I am native, many yards had Hydrangeas in them. I was always amazed at these deciduous shrubs with there large clusters of showy flowers that give one the idea that they would be difficult to grow, but actually it’s quite the opposite.

In our area they grow best with morning sun and afternoon shade. They can be grown in full sun, but with our hot August afternoons, the flowers will crisp. If grown mostly in shade they have beautiful foliage but fewer flowers. When planted in preferred conditions the flowers will last until the end of October.

I keep them well water because they can be thirsty plants. And locate them in acidic soil. Nowadays there are some many new hybrids and colours that its hard to just have one in the garden.

Monday, August 28, 2006


I planted my first 2 small clumps ( 4” pots) of Monarda about 4 years ago. It didn’t take long before it took off into the garden beds. I wouldn’t call it a plant bully but it certainly can be aggressive. None the less, I keep in the garden for many of its strong attributes. Two months of beautiful red flowers, a hummingbird magnet, fragrant foliage (of which a tea can be made) and practically no maintenance will always assure it a spot in the garden.

Unfortunately I don’t recall the hybrid that is planted. I do know that I selected a mildew resistant variety because of this perennials predisposition to that fungus. Every 2 years I divide and remove any unwanted Monarda. It’s very simple to remove since all its runners are on the surface of the ground. When in bloom this mint family member (easy to recognize because of its square stems) is always a favorite in my garden.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Growing up in the Inland Southern California area dahlias didn't flourish like along the Coast or in the Pacific Northwest. So when I moved to the Seattle area it was one of the plants I couldn't wait to start growing. I cant think of too many flowering plants that come in some many colours, give you so much, and are so easy to grow and maintain.

I grow my Dahlias in a raised bed. In the Northwest dahlias fail to come back the following year more to rotting in our wet winters than to our cold. So I grow them in a raised bed to ensured great drainage. Each year the Dahlia bed produces about 900 to 1200 flowers of which are shared with Neighbors and Friends.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Nasturtiums Photos

Selected are some photos of Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum). Although it is recommended to sow these directly into the ground I choose to sow these in peat pots on a heat pad. They bloomed for about 2 months before they got black avis ( a bad problem in this area). Still well worth it considering they only cost a $1.79 for a packet of seeds. Next year I'll try them as container plants on the deck. I think it well be a good choice because they don't take much water and fertilizer (as many annuals do) and they are far less messy then many container annuals.

Sorry I don't recall the variety of Nasturtiums. They were suppose to be a bush type. Most stayed very compact and about 15" by 15". Only a few reverted back to a trailing variety.