Monday, April 30, 2012

Ulmus Gavafolia

Yes, Doctor Greg has developed a new variety of Ulmus (Elm). After viewing a dead stump of Ulmus americana (Amercan Elm) for a little over a year I took the bull by the horns and have created the new variety of Elm.
Yes there it is, the research facility of Dr. Greg. See the compliant American Elm stump ready to sacrifice its dead cambium layer for research.
Kinda muscular for a Elm I must say.
Drum roll please.....
I give you Ulmus gavafolia (Galvanized Elm)
What can I say...pure genius. lol.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Garden Has the Flop's

Achillea 'Coronation Gold'
Yes that's right. Some of my plants in the garden have the flop's. No it isn't a new disease or varietal weakness (that I know of). Some experts would say the plants are mature and need divided. However, these plants were only planted in the last two years. It is possible the plants have excess growth from over fertilization from compost. However, that has never been a problem before. Maybe it's global warming. I should contact Al Gore, he seems to be an expert on these things.
 Nepeta 'Walkers Low'
Salvia nemorosa 'Coradonna'
I'm scratching my head trying to figure this one out and what my solution is to allow these plants to reach their full potential this summer. My current conclusion is it's varietal weakness and too much nitrogen,  then followed with early warm weather in late march and cooler temps in April. On the Coronation Gold yarrows I'm going to deadhead after bloom on one of three plants and compare. I would hate to loose the spent blooms during the winter.
And alas: my first monarch visit, a male.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Just Walking

Just walking around the garden this night. Moving plants from overcrowding and weeding a few neglected areas I always miss. I'm in tune with the garden, almost like a part of the orchestra.
I glance upon the abundant number of butterfly's. It's seems they are all in a hurry to feed before the cupboard goes bare.
Nepeta 'walkers low'
Saponaria ocymoides
 Iris sibirica 'Caesars Brothers'


Monday, April 16, 2012

April Bloom Day: 101, Tornado's, Flu and Landscaping

Corner Hell Strip- - (LtoR) Viola(front),Saponaria ocymoides(soapwort),Salvia 'Rapsody in Blue', and Aethionema schistosim (Persian stonecress).
What is the title suppose to mean you ask? Good question.
101: this is post number 101.
Tornado's: As many of you who live in the central plains know, this is tornado alley.
Flu: stomach flu.
Landscaping: I provide free landscaping services to my sons.
Story Line:
All last week my son has been communicating that he wanted to take me up on an offer to add a perennial bed to his new house in Edmond (near Oklahoma City). I responded with some regret as I knew that the rain had been dropping there all week. And as some of you many know the soil there is nasty red clay. It is so bad that Acme brick has a Edmond quarry near there manufacturing plant that they make brick out of. We're talking sorry soil! Anyways my plan was to add compost from the local municipal recycle plant into the bed. When I drove to the compost plant on Thursday it was closed due to weather! Weather! Come on. Well it probably turned out to be a mixed blessing. Therefore I went to plan B which was purchase compost in Edmond and take tiller and tools along to amend bed.
Friday night finally came around and off we go. As we were leaving we heard we were in a tornado watch. This warning was not a normal warning, as words were using such as total destruction, loss of life possible if not in a tornado shelter. Whoa, never heard that before. (Come to find out the the national weather bureau has stepped up theie warnings as many people were becoming complacence when tornado's never became real. They later replied that this saved lives this weekend as they knew the weather conditions were going to be severe. The tornado's in Kansas were called a month's worth of tornado's in one day.)
We arrived and my son and I immediately went to work removing the builders applied Bermuda sod with mesh netting. This allows the sod to stay together during application. We worked into the night under the street light shadows and completed step one. Not a easy task as the mesh was rolled into the clay soil and was difficult to remove. The wind was blowing 40 mph along with interspersing rain.
That night we were watching the storms on tv radar move through Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The tornado siren went off at 2;30 a.m. Freak out! Went to the inner closet until the storm had passed. Missed it as the funnel never touched ground. Needless to say it was hard to sleep.
The next day we went after bulk compost. None to be found. So we added two yards of amended topsoil and elevated the bed in berms to improve drainage.
Perennials (seedling volunteers from my garden) were placed for review. Rudbeckia hirta, fulgida, Salvia fairnancea, Salvia  guaranitica 'black and blue', Stipa tenuissima, Echinacea purpurea, Gallardia, Napeta 'walkers low', and Foeniculum vulgare (bronze fennel) were added. I finished planting them and then we added shredded hardwood mulch. Done. Then it rained and rained. Then I got the stomach flu. I had not regurgitated since college ( many, many moons ago). Up and down all night.
That night Wichita, Kansas was hit by multiple tornado's. Wichita is only 40 miles from our home. The warnings were well advised. Our home was spared any damage.
 As always the 15th of month is garden bloggers bloom day where bloggers meet and share their blooms at May Dream Gardens. Image above is Yucca rigida, Verbascum (common mullien), and Linum (blue flax).
 Saliva 'Rapsody in Blue' and Aethionema schistosim (Persian stonecress)

As always, have a great gardening season.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

In and Out

An out view of an Oklahoma sunset.
Captured this image as we were driving down I-35 south to visit my son for Easter weekend. Cindy didn't want me to stop but I couldn't resist the view. The yellows of the rapeseed were muted because of the fore-light of the sunset. Viewing this field was stupendous, bright yellow Brassica napus (rapeseed, a type of canola). I wish I could have taken this photo early in the morning with back-light.
Out. Forthergilla
 out. Phlox subulata 'Amazing Grace'.
and out. View of early prairie garden hell strip. Flags are marking new native bare root plantings, Dalea, Baptisa and Geum. Look forward to this new part of the garden.