Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Dry Corner and Other Garden Notes

"Crown Princess Margareta" rose, English rose
Although we are still running a narrow race with our IP regarding the month's data usage (see my last post), I think I can afford to post for the End of Month View in the garden. Once again, I'll keep the post short - all the easier since little has changed in the Dry Corner, which has become the main focus of the meme here.

The succulents are sustaining our increasing temperatures beautifully. Senecio “Blue Fingers” has been in bloom roughly since last month's view. It's not a particularly spectacular blossom, but enjoyable to watch, and it certainly changed the outline of the plant a little.
Senecio "Blue Fingers"

While most of its flowers are finished, a few more may be lurking deep inside.
Senecio "Blue Fingers"

The most striking change to be seen is with Crassula “Campfire”, which had darkened to deep mahogany hues and has just bleached to a range of gold-toned greens, still with red leaf backs.
Crassula "Campfire"

I planted Aloe “Walmsley's Blue” in the Corner, as well as a Lampranthus (from which I still await some blinding pink rebloom). No pictures of either, I'm afraid, but both appear healthy. The bargain Anigozanthos I added was destroyed, presumeably by rabbits - but not eaten, merely shredded... grrr!

Elsewhere in the garden there are a few new flowers to enjoy. The Celosia planted for a summer experiment is doing well. A tiny cluster of Anchusa “Dawn Mix” seems perfectly contented even though it was planted just as temperatures began to spike - a fact worth remembering!
Anchusa "Dawn Mix"

The Gaura recently planted is also thriving, but the Agastaches which decided to bloom early are struggling a little, though I think they will win through all right.

Did I learn from these? No. Call it greed, insanity, determination, or merely A Bad Mistake, but I did pick up another plant just the other day. Lagerstroemia “Rhapsody in Pink” came home from the garden centre and was popped into the south bed. Just a few days ago. Just as temperatures went to the century mark. It wilted next morning, but it revived well when watered so I will be watering it religiously for a while. The reason I went ahead was that I have been wishing for a crepe myrtle for months, but I have always found them offered at tree-size and priced accordingly. This was a young (very young, I believe) plant in a five gallon container, which, in addition to making it more affordable, should allow it to settle in more easily - or would have if planted earlier in the year! The blooms are a lovely, delicate, frothy pink. New foliage is deep red. Hoping for the best!
Lagerstroemia "Rhapsody in Pink"

And now to the roses.

The biggest splash comes from William Shakespeare 2000. Placed in a planter in the front patio, he struggled with the aphids and spider mites which plagued some of my other plants there. He is finally coming along with a couple of those incomparable crimson blooms, packed with petals and fragrance.
Rose "William Shakespeare 2000", David Austin roses

It's a bit of a fight now to keep the rose blossoms from crisping up in the heat. But here are some beauties: a perfect bud from Crown Princess Margareta...
Rose "Crown Princess Margareta", David Austin rose

...and a shy bloom from Wollerton Old Hall...
Rose "Wollertone Old Hall", English rose

And a bonus of a lily bloom. Variety unknown, it arrived as the “gift” part of my McClure and Zimmerman order last spring. A little bag of three Asiatic lilies was included with my package so I potted them up in the front patio, where they have been growing well. This is the first flower. I did not order lilies as I understood that they would not stand the heat well. However, if these pull through all right, I'm sure there will be some lilies on next spring's list. Our long, mild May might have fooled them so far; but that patio is something of a heat sink, and June and July will tell the tale. In the meantime, enjoy!
Asiatic lily, McClure and Zimmerman bulbs

This was a longer post than I intended, a bit of a ramble through the garden after all, but I didn't want to miss a pleasant good-bye to May for the End of the Month View. Thanks to Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting this ongoing theme!

Asiatic lily
Weather Diary: Fair; High: 104 F (40 C)/Low: 74 F (23 C)


  1. The roses look stunning (as always!). It's a good call to buy a smaller tree as it will establish better in the long run and Crepe Myrtles are an awesome tree!

    1. Thanks, Matt! It's a funny thing - I wasn't going to plant so many roses, but... Actually, I've learned that a fair amount of commercial rose-growing goes on here, so it isn't hard to "accidentally" come home with one ;-) DA roses have to be purchased by mail order, however!
      I'm looking forward to the Crepe Myrtle; this young 'un is doing better now I've firmed up the watering schedule.

  2. Oh my - 104! Your roses are looking terrific, as usual, Amy. I hope the crape myrtle makes it - they are wonderful trees and drought tolerant once established.

    1. Yes, summer has struck now. I'm glad it waited as long as it did (I wouldn't have bought the crape myrtle otherwise ;-) By this morning it seemed to be convinced that it could survive here so I think it probably will...

  3. How ambitious growing roses in your climate but then again I struggle overwintering suculents here - we always seem to want to grow what we shouldn't don't we!

    1. That's the way with gardeners, I'm afraid ;-) With the roses, there are trade-offs here: the summer heat is difficult, but the lack of moisture to cause fungus issues may more than counterbalance it. I'm still trying to learn to stop watering my succulents; my instincts are to give them just a little more water, but most of them emphatically hate it, even here...!

  4. Lovely, lovely roses - it's fascinating to see them in a different climate. I added 'Crown Princess Margareta' to my wish list as well as your 'Wollerton Old Hall' after seeing Julie's pictures of it on Peonies and Posies. The succulents are superb - I wish I could grow them, because it's often so dry here, but our winter temps are much too low. I do crave that lovely bluey Senecio.

    1. I've always been fascinated by succulents, myself. I wonder whether some of the sedums might work even with your cold temps? S. kamtschaticum survived winters in my earlier garden (-23 C some years) though I admit it was growing in a pot.
      It's hard not to hold my breath when it comes to the roses though I'm told they should be fine... "Crown Princess Margareta" is a superbly elegant flower, while the blooms of "Wollerton Old Hall" are much more delicate in effect though the shrub seems quite vigourous. Hope you will find just the spot :)