Posted by: Erin | September 4, 2010

Garden Update – Post-Hurricane Edition

I have been absolutely awful about updating about my garden this season – I never even got my new plants into my little plant database on MyFolia, which I love. But despite my technological neglect, the garden is doing pretty well this year. I bought most of my plants because I was away when I normally would have started seeds. I did a few – zinnias, dahlias, and dwarf sunflowers – which are doing okay, at best. A few of the zinnias are growing, but they look lonely, and the one dahlia seed that sprouted was killed off by the heatwave we had earlier this week. The dwarf sunflowers seemed to be doing okay, except this year, they are truly dwarf – I’m certain they were bigger last year. They also seem to have had some microscopic red things all over them, and I don’t know what they are or why. But they’re blooming (albeit feebly), though the leaves are a bit yellow.

I went out this morning to clean up the garden – Hurricane Earl did basically no damage whatsoever yesterday, but I’d been meaning to clean up at least the marigolds for at least two weeks. The orange marigolds are big, and seem to have crowded out the purple browallia that I planted with them. The red coleus is f-in’ HUGE, but has still managed to co-exist fairly well with the yellow marigolds, though they’re growing a bit sideways in order to get out from under the towering coleus stalks. The Asiatic lily flowered and finished up not too long after I bought it. I cut off the dead flowers and it’s basically just stayed there, with glossy green leaves and no flowers, ever since. I assume it’s just fine, since it’s not dead, but it doesn’t seem to be DOING anything. The yellow dahlia from the farmers’ market is also ridiculously huge – the browallia in with it are faring a bit better than the ones with the orange marigolds). It has developed a bunch of flower buds, but they’ve stayed buds for a while. Maybe it’s just waiting for something. The rudbeckia is super happy, which pleases me, since it’s such a happy plant to look at. It is also a farmers’ market purchase, and it too has gotten very large.

Surprisingly, the baby eucalyptus I bought at the farmers’ market on a whim is also quite happy. It has gotten taller and has a bunch of new growth sprouting sideways off the original shoots. I’m not sure how long it’ll last, but I’m going to try to keep it inside over the winter and see what happens.

The basils have also recovered after an unhappy time when I got back from Rome. They looked fine the day I got back, and then the following day, looked like they were on death’s door. I had to toss a few of the seedlings, but the rest survived and are quite happy – I had to scold the purple basil the other day for trying to flower.

I thought I’d lost the chocolate mint as well, at one point, as it had gone beyond scraggly and looked unsalvageable. But a friend on Twitter told me it would come back, and lo and behold, she was right. I cut it all back, and adopted a “wait and see” approach, and it’s back, full, and happy.

The rosemary grew a little and seems okay – nothing exciting to report. Same with the varigated sage/golden thyme/Munstead lavender planter. The sage never quite filled back in after I cut off all the dying leave a while back, but it still has new growth, so I guess that’s a good sign.

I’m still trying to figure out how to get seeds from my awesome red-and-yellow zinnias. I have a few reference links from friends that I need to read soon. I’ve been letting the dead flowers stay on the plant, assuming that once they dry out, that would allow me to get seeds. I hate doing that, not only because it looks bad, but because I’d think cutting it back would send energy back down into the plant to grow more flowers. I’ll have to read those links soon and sort it out.

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