Our garden has been growing crazy well with all the sunshine and moderate temperatures. Especially the Zinnias and the Amaranthus I planted from seed in mid-June… talk about easy/aggressive growers. I’m going to cut some down as they’re beginning to choke out the other less aggressive flower, but first I wanted to photograph them in all their glory.
Here’s a reminderof what the house looked like when I moved in two years ago:
And here it is meow:
And here’s a reminder of what the empty garden bed looked like earlier this spring pre-prep and pre-plants:
And here it is now!
The garden is along the path I take to get to my car or leave the house at any time, so I pay a little attention to the flowers every day. That’s one reason they look so great- I weed, prune or water for about five minutes every day.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s growing:
SUPER FAST AND HARDY annuals. All these bushes of Zinnias came from one $.88 packet of seeds. They barely need water, and the bugs haven’t taken one bite of the leaves. I’ve actually cut them back and separated and replanted them numerous times. They perk right up, and lemme tell you- I was none to careful or gentle replanting them. I highly recommend planting Zinnias if you’re a lazy gardener and just want some flowers without hassle.
Amaranthus caudatus aka “LOVE LIES BLEEDING”
These guys are SO extra with their dramatic name and appearance. I also planted these giants from seeds in June. The plants that get full sun are taller than I am now (5’7″). They are super hardy, and perennials. The package of seeds warned that they are aggressive and hard to remove once they are established (guess I’m stuck with them!). You can kind of see the bugs have been snacking on them, but it hasn’t stopped it from growing taller, or growing lots of long, fuzzy, magenta flowers.
I’ve got about four kinds of Petunias growing, from red to purple, to hot pink. Again, super easy to grow; the hot pink flowers that are now 30% of my garden came from one $4.99 six pack from the local nursery. With lots of sun and a little bit of Miracle Gro, they’ve expanded 100%.
Every thing but the hot pink in the second image were 60% remnants from the garden store; so they are minimally blooming, whomp whomp. Still, the deep plum is pretty when it gets around to flowering. Petunias don’t require a ton of water, and seem to be pretty hardy and agressive, it’s like a slo-mo death match between them and the zinnias.
Verbena Bonariensis aka Lollipop Verbena
This plant was a little weird looking, with it’s tiny flowers and wide spacing. It does require a lot of watering. When I first planted it, I neglected it somewhat, and it almost died. I pruned it all the way down, and now a few weeks later it’s bounced back with lots of little flowers.
These common flowers are native to rocky areas of Europe, the United States, and North Africa. Mine have flowered profusely, seem to be happy planted alongside a bunch of randoms in the side garden.
Chelone aka Turtlehead Flower
Chelone was a nymph in Greek mythology who elected not to attend the marriage of Zeus and Hera, or at least made some derogatory comment about it. She, and her house, were tossed into a river, where she was changed into a tortoise who carried her house on her back. Whether or not you believe the myth, the flowers do seem to want to snap out at passersby.
I love these flowers, again because they have a weird shape. I took a risk planting them in my full-sun bed because they prefer part-shade. They are a fall-blooming flower, so they should stick around until I get some mums and pumpkins out there.
Oh hydrangeas… you’re like fetch. I want it to happen, but it’s probably just not going to. I had high hopes when I brought them home from the store. I think I underwatered them right from the get-go, and proceeded to assume they didn’t need much water… Jaymes pointed out to me that they are called HYDRAngeas. Alas, after a massive pruning, and a few weeks of deep watering every other day, I’m starting to get ONE flower out of four bushes. Hopefully they bounce back stronger next year!
Climbing Roses aka Massive Dissapointment
Lol, speaking of flowers that have let me down. The bare-root rose I’ve coddled for months has yet to flower for me.
However, where the problem with the hydrangeas was lack of water, I think the rose’s problem is lack of sun. My home has southern exposure, but I did not take into account the shade give by the massive boxwoods. Jaymes did me a solid and chopped the bush down to half it’s height, giving the rose an extra two hours of sun in the morning. This has spurred lots of new growth. The deep red/purple shoots hopefully signify some roses in the near future. I’ve also gotten a tiny trellis, so it helps too that the new growth has access to even more sun. Sigh… I just want some damn roses. Dad was right, they are hard to grow (I believe he said they were in a pain in the ass).
Random Orange Flowers I don’t know the name of.
Wanna attract a crap ton of bumble bees to your house? Plant these guys. I love coneflowers because they add great texture to the garden, plus the juxtaposition of a lavender next to orange is visually interesting. Again, these guys are super easy to grow, and perennials, so a great investment. They got a little stifled by Zinnias (Coneflowers are only 1-2 ft tall whereas the Zinnias are almost 4 feet tall), but after a little Zinnia-cide, they’ll be as good as new.
Where you see the hanging basket of impatients, is where a huge Zinnia bush once was. No worries, it’ll grow back and flower in about a week. The green tallish flower in the middle is a coneflower struggling to survive. Don’t worry bro, I got you.
So, after a little light pruning of the Zinnias, I took the best blooms inside.
I like to remove all the leaves. I read somewhere once the less stuff in your floral arrangement water, the less bacteria grows and the longer the flowers last.
So this is it! Thanks to my garden, I’ve saved about $7.99 in fresh flowers every week, and I’ve got a beautiful little arrangement near the sink through the whole summer. Don’t these look lovely against my swiss dot curtains? Sigh… I love flowers.