Monday, July 16, 2012

What Is A Gardener To Do?

What can we do?  Nothing, about the weather, are you tired of the heat, tired of watering, tired of yanking out shriveled plants?  I am learning the hard way that annuals with big root balls do not like confined containers in the heat!

My list is getting longer by the day of what not to plant in the lovely springtime.  Try to imagine 100 degrees and think of plants that not only will survive but might like it.

Coleus can be a staple in the heat affected garden, give it some water and it will perform for the long hot summer.

Coleus Redhead

Trusty Rusty Coleus

Indian Summer Coleus

Wild Lime Coleus

Wild Lime and Indian Summer Coleus

Sedona Coleus

These are the best of the best.  I am sure there are many others that are great performers, but I have found that year after year these do not disappoint.

Spillers are almost a must for most containers and two of the best I have found are:

Blackheart Sweet Potato Vine

Caroline Sweet Potato Vine

Phlox can be counted on to perform in the heat but it is not a xeric plant so does need to be watered.

Peppermint Twist Phlox

Blue Paradise Phlox
Blue in the morning, magenta in the afternoon

Miracle Grace Phlox

Rozanne Geranium
Rozanne takes the heat give her a light trim every so often.

Bob's Blunder Geranium
I am liking this one in its first year of bloom, low growing, gently weaving.

Peach Flambe Heuchera
This one is a winner on the north side of the house, some sun throughout the day, beautiful color.

Heucherella Stoplight
Very green on the north side and very yellow in the south back border

Daylilies are great in the heat and some are very long blooming, like Chicago Rosy and ....

Red Rum Daylily

Entrapment Daylily

Lady Lucille Daylily

Space Witch and Joan Senior Daylilies

Cherry Cheeks Daylily

Pop Art Red and Yellow Zinnia
Zahara Double Fire Zinnia

I started the zinnias indoors under lights and these have not disappointed.  You get very few seeds so it is important that most of them germinate.
Purslane takes the heat on the south side of the house, love it, but do not plant in the garden, only pots, reseeds everywhere.

These have been an experiment this year, started out in containers, not working.  The leaves became mottled with brown spots and flower buds fell off.  I had seen them at Ball Horticultural last year in full sun, not thriving for me in full sun.  They have thick stems and are very tall and stiff compared to regular impatiens.  I moved them to areas with part shade, planted them in the garden soil, and they are doing much better.
Let's keep going, watering, watering, watering and learning from this unusual season!


Beth said...

Hi Eileen, It's pretty discouraging, isn't it? I have lost a couple of plants and have a young Japanese maple that may not survive. Otherwise, things look pretty good so I am blessed. Your coleus look good, Eileen. So does your phlox. I always enjoy reading your posts. You have lovely gardens (and photos) and you do a great job of educating. Must be the teacher in you. :-)
xo Beth

Jim Groble said...

From your pics, you can't tell who brutal the weather has been. Your flowers look wonderful. Keep watering. At least we live in the Great Lakes basin. jim

Jim Groble said...

Your flowers look wonderful. You can't tell how brutal the weather has been. I hope the recent storms missed you. Keep watering. jim

Karen said...

Hi Eileen, I loved this post. I was watering everything for the second time today around 7PM and wondering what to plant next year. Many of my petunias are suffering very much, but not the Bubblegums! Hopefully we are going to see a break in the weather soon. (I can dream, right?)

Balisha said...

I just came in at 7am. Out watering and tidying up. Poor hostas...My dipladenias (Mandevilla) are doing well. Japanese beetles don't seem to like them and they love the heat. Your gardens look so lush...even in all this heat.

Claudia said...

Your coleus look great. Water does seem to be the key in this heat. Hang in there. Claudia

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

Oh watering is such a chore especially when you have plants that demand so much. I love those coleus plants - they really hate our wet summers here.

scottweberpdx said...

It's so true...once summer hits, all our spring indulgences can seem silly! I love those sweet pretty...and I'm so jealous you found some 'Bob's Blunder'!!! I need to find one of those around here somewhere!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Beth,

I am so glad I planted coleus in my large containers this year, wish I had done more of it in my front planters.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jim and Pat,

I did lose a Rhodie that just burned up even though I was watering. I will hate to open my water bill next month!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Karen,

I have other petunias also that look terrible. I wonder if it would look bad to have Bubblegum in every container? Ha, Ha!

However, I did pull the red petunias out of my front concrete boxes and put in Bubblegum two weeks ago.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Balisha,

There isn't much the Japanese Beetles don't like, even ate my geranium this year.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Claudia,

The coleus seems to like the heat, hope they don't enact a watering ban or we're all in trouble.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Rose,

I have heard that the rain just isn't letting up in your area. We could use some of that right now, but too much of anything is a problem.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Scott,

Those sweet potato vines are more controlled varieties than the marguerite type that trailed forever. I love the black one because it goes through color changes as it grows.


Lona said...

This has been the most challenging summer so far.Your coleus plants are all gorgeous. You have quite a few there. I love the Indian Summer and of course all those daylilles.

Zoey said...

I have never seen variegated Sunpatiens...very interesting.

Your coleus seem to be doing great. I love Sedona.

I should have watered tonight, but am not in the mood. I am already at the point of "if they die, they die".

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Lona,

Indian Summer is a very colorful coleus, not as big as redhead but gets pretty big by the end of the summer.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Zoey,

I always said July was my give up month. However, those were the years when I didn't have much blooming after July. I can't give up watering the plants that haven't bloomed yet.

The Sunpatiens are pretty new but I am finding they do not look very good in full sun even though that's what they were bred for.


garden girl said...

It has been a tough summer, and you've shown some reliable performers for heat. I haven't come across a coleus yet that flags in hot weather, as long as they get enough water.

Between carrying 6-month-old twin granddaughters and lugging hoses and watering cans though, my arms are in great shape this summer! ;~)

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Linda,

It is really becoming an unbearable summer. Taking care of grandaughters make it easier to put up with.


Julie said...

Your flowers look lovely! Our gardens are looking fairly tired and unruly with the SC heat and humidity--plus the two weeks of neglect they endured while we visited family in Europe. I'm trying to coax them back into happiness, but I definitely have my work cut out! I love your coleus--I definitely need to add more to our gardens. What lovely pops of color! Look forward to visiting your site again soon!

Patrick's Garden said...

Hey old friend,
If you read my last post you might think I'm not a coleus fan with all the flack some of my respondents are giving me. But I planted 5 of my 12 boxes this year and regret that many when its hit and miss when it comes to their performance in a window box. But I'm taking notes of winners for the future. I love a plant that weeps when it wants a drink.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Julie,

I just had a friend visit from South Carolina and she goes crazy when her watering system is not working properly. Our weather is getting to be pretty much like the south during the summer.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Patrick,

Window boxes are tricky, try the expanding water pellets or the new Miracle Gro Expand Soil. I have many problems with my hayracks and concrete planter boxes during the summer, lots of watering.


Jennifer said...

Hi Eileen, Last year I so admired the coleus that I saw in other people's gardens that I determined to add some to my own garden this summer. They do seem to mind the dry weather, but look so great, I will definitely add more next year. You have some real beauties in your garden. I also love the Bob's Blunder Geranium that you have shown here too.


Oh Eileen, I feel for you. I'm so sorry the heat has been so relentless. If it's any consolation, your efforts are paying off beautifully. Your plants look fabulous. I'm sending you a cool, Pacific Northwest breeze.