Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Midsummer Plants

When it was time to head to the Greenhouse back in May, I decided it would be best to cut back on the annual flower pots this year.  After all, we had just put our house on the market and for all we knew it would be sold any day and who would want to move twenty flower pots.  Also, having planters obstructing the stairs to both front and back entries is a bit munch for the average homebuyer.  So, although it may not look like it, there are fewer pots this year than in the past. 

This year I decided to fertilize the outdoor planters with Miracle Grow.  I always see my neighbor carrying around a pitcher of that blue concoction and their planters usually look better than ours.  I have used it on indoor plants before and I will never forget when my indoor mini rosebush which had only had one rose on it during  its life with me suddenly had five flowers on it after a few weeks on Miracle Grow. 

This is my "premier pot".  Usually I plant two mirror images with geraniums, a spike and some fillers and place them on either side of the steps.  But, like I said before, you can barely walk up them so I just made one this year.  I picked a cute little spike thinking it would grow fast but it's still pretty tiny compared to the juiced up petunias in there.  A thriller, it is not and the petunias are taking over as the filler and the spiller. 

Here is a trough style planter which has also been taken over by the remaining white petunias from the four pack.  They are combined with dusty miller and some dark purple tall flowers which I forgot the name of.  You can't even see most of the other plants in here. 

Here's another view. 

I have two troughs on hangers on the deck railing.  They contain a mix of petunias, vinca, moss roses and some crazy double bloom petunias that Tessa had to have.  And of course a spiller vine which I forgot the name of but I buy them every year. 

As usual, the moss roses, which have leaves similar to succelents, are loving it on our very hot deck which gets sun almost all day except for very early in the morning.  The vincas are too.  A few years ago I knew I had to get these for our yard after seeing them growing in landscaping in Las Vegas.  They are drought resistant and love heat.

I like the double petunias.  They look like little carnations.  I wish I had picked a different color of moss roses because the pinks all blend together and the blooms are similar looking.  Orange or yellow would have stood out more.  Or I could have chosen different double petunias but they were Tessa's special flower selection so...that wasn't happening.

This is an oddball pot with the orange marigolds Ben picked as his special flowers.  It is growing well.  It has a "school spirit" vibe to it with the mix of orange and purple. 

We have a favorite greenhouse here that we buy most of our plants from but I chose a special plant when I visited a greenhouse in my hometown at the beginning of summer. 

This is called a Lantana.  It is a sun loving plant with little clusters of ombre rainbow blooms.  In college I had a brief stint in a two credit plant genetics class which I ended up dropping after a week due to it not applying to anything I was considering majoring in but I still find plant breeding very interesting and specimens like this renew my interest.  Like, how can this exist in nature?  It's so cool! 

In addition to the annuals, the perennials around the house our out in all their glory this month.  We have a row of various yellow and gold daylilies along one side of the house and some unique colored ones in the front. 

I just love the red and purple ones.  And the peace ones are a color I haven't seen anywhere else. 

Also, we have a few of these monster sized hostas scattered around.  Hostas were the main landscaping plant we had around the farm when I was a kid but they were the smaller kind with green and white leaves.  This thing is huge. 

After it lives its life in the summer it turns bright yellow.

Oh, I forgot the shade annuals in the front of the house.  These always look good every year.  Shade plants are pretty reliable as long as you give them lots of shade.  I usually have impatiens as the main color flower in these pots but the greenhouse didn't have any this year.  It was weird.  Begonias are a good second choice though.  I love their dark leaves. 

In conclusion, I recommend using Miracle Grow as directed (every two weeks) and it seems that petunias really respond to fertilizer.  Also, moss roses love the hot, hot sun even more when they get fertilizer and I can't cut back on my flower planting even if I try.  Hopefully we have 2.5-3 months left with these plants.  I know some have still been living on Halloween some years although it seems that annuals kind of hit a wall in the fall and stop looking so nice even if they don't freeze. 

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