Fun in Acapulco

Not exactly a beach view, just a great daylily. When I asked for a large brilliant yellow daylily at Curt Hanson’s,  a few summers ago, he asked ” do you have Fun in Acapulco?”

My response was ” No”.  He then replied I never would have fun in Acapulco, because it is just a tourist trap.  haha.  I did go home with Fun in Acapulco.  It is a huge flower that yells across the garden.  I love it. Bloom size is typically more than 9 inches.

The smaller yellow  in the background, is Slice of Life, which is a parent of FIA.

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More fun daylilies from peak bloom, which was shortly after the 4th of July.

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Love this one too.  Unfortunately, it has never increased for me.  Same two fans that I started with years ago, yet it does bloom every year with a nice bud count.

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Precious Candy.    Fun color, and it actually rebloomed one year.

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Santa’s Little Helper,  just a fun name.

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More fun with George Jets On.075

Gillian, I moved it last fall, and it took off.  I guess sometimes a change of location can help a daylily.  Gillian didn’t bloom much prior to the move.

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Ruby Spider.   This one typically starts the season off, and it is a blooming machine.

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Early July fun.   The pale, tall, unusual form daylily is Jellyfish Jealousy.   What a fun name!   It has increased well, and has an extended bloom time.

I see my gardening shovel with the yellow handle. Do you see it?  Funny how I find many of my ‘lost’ tools when I look at pictures later.

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Last fall I transplanted a large group of Shasta Daisies over to the field across the street.  I wasn’t sure it would work, and I needed the room in my garden for more daylilies.  The daisies did great and actually behaved better across the street where they had full sun all day long!

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I did finish labeling all of the daylilies, at least the ones that I know the names.  I highly recommend this company for plant labels.  I have them listed on my sidebar. I now have 510 dayliles, and I never thought I had enough room!

I do have 17 NOIDS  ( no identification )   As many of you know 510 is just a drop in the bucket, with all of the daylilies that are available.

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Now time to relax and have fun in the garden, seeing how I am not going to Acapulco.

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Happy Gardening.

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May Mojo

April didn’t seem to have the showers to bring the May flowers.  Seems the rain is catching up now.  The daffodils and tulips are long gone, yet wonderfully, they are replaced with the iris.  Oh, how I love iris.  They seem to be a bit high maintenance with all the dividing, and care that is needed.  But that bloom!!  The dwarf iris start out first, this is Posing.

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Another dwarf that stands out is Jive.004

The tall bearded are absolutely the most dramatic of May flowers, they just have that mojo!  They are just beginning to open.  I have divided them out and moved so many, that I don’t have all the names.  Not sure about the name of this one.  It is just a pleasing lavender.

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Iris have the most wonderful shades of blue of any flower in the garden.

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This one is Secret Service.

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I have quit a few Herrons about the lake, and it is hard to capture them in a photo.  I was able to get this one, with zooming in, so the picture is a bit fuzzy, but it still is so cool.  The Herrons certainly have mojo.

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Back to the iris.  This one is Matt McNames

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Not quite open yet, but what a great blend of color.  I think this is Secret Rites.

The poppies are showing off.

The Lupine are wonderful this May.  This Lupine is Manhattan Lights.  very different from the traditional blue Lupine.

Every day that I walk about the gardens, I am seeing the scapes of daylilies, and that is thrilling!

I did a few projects and added a few pieces of garden art.

The birdbath planter is ready.

 

This bottle is pretty by day, and then lights up at night.  I must say that I didn’t make it. I found it calling my name out at a local garden center.

Another planter finished.  This one is a bit tricky to do, but well worth the effort.  The flowers will fill in and it will be a sphere of blooms.

Bowie waits for me.   Happy Gardening and hoping you have lots of May Mojo.

 

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Spring

Spring came and seems to be running away.  We have days that seem like summer and then days like today, rainy with a chance of frost in the morning.  I have held off planting a few new perennials that I recently brought home.

The daffodils and tulips were amazing until the heat wilted the daffodils and the strong winds blew the petals off of the tulips.  The dark tulips are Queen of Night, white tulips are Maureen, and the lavender edged tulips are Shirley.  These have been in my garden for many years.

015The coffee bench is surrounded with spring bloom.

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Earlier spring blooms which did seem to last awhile.

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A few daffodils to share,  Golden Dawn,  blooms a little bit later.

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Two double daffodils,  Wave , the yellow , and Candy Princess, pink013

Another pleasing double daffodil,  White Cheerfulness, has a great fragrance also.

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The tulips were well worth waiting for.  I planted Salmon Impression, Violet Beauty and Ollioules together in groupings.

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Narcissus Pipit

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Phlox, a must for every spring garden.

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Bleeding Heart, should be in every garden.

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Bowie, in the spring garden!   Happy Gardening.

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Solar Spring

So the local weatherman reports that today is the start of Solar Spring, and I do like to hear that.   Starting February 5th, there is a more rapid increase in daylight hours in the northern hemisphere.  Things are starting to turn around and we are now more than a month past the winter solstice.  Yeah!!  We need that. Just in case you are counting, like I am: 35 days to daylight saving time day,  40 until St. Patrick’s day ,  and then just a mere 43 days until Spring.  We can do it!!   This is what I am waiting for.

4428Now while I wait,  I have my indoor gardening to keep me calm and sane.

The daffodils are growing well, with plenty of roots and tall foliage.  I was concerned about the foliage stretching out so much, concerned that there would be only foliage and no flowers.  That would mean that the chill/ dark period wasn’t sufficient to set buds.  I brought out the first leggy daffodil at 13 weeks, then several were brought out at 14 weeks.  001The roots look good and finally after a few weeks inside the house, a bud appears.

005The bud is nestled down in the foliage.  This took about two weeks after the daffodil was brought inside.  I should have been more patient, I know this is how it works!

004The crocus all did really well, and it was so great to have them blooming the past few weeks.  I would advise anyone who is thinking about trying to force bulbs, start with the crocus.  They are fool-proof  and only need 10 weeks of chilling.  The blooms are small, but if they are potted up in a small container, they look great.

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I also potted up the Amaryllis bulbs that had been chilling in a brown bag.  I don’t place these in the same place as the other bulbs.  A brown bag just in the basement is good enough.  The bulbs have all sprouted foliage which is a good sign.  These will likely bloom ( if they bloom at all ) at the end of spring, which is OK with me.  Several of the bulbs are more than 4 years old.

029I did receive a new Amaryllis and it is blooming.

020This is a double Amaryllis, and it is quite the showstopper.   I will do the extra work to save this bulb for sure.

The hyacinth is also a good bulb to force for the beginner.  This looks really odd. It seems to have split in the jar.  It will be rather curious if it provides more than one bloom and I do see several buds growing.

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I hear there is a big football game today.

So Happy Solar Spring.

 

 

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January Junction

Sunrise for a Happy New Year

010  We did have a special gift the first day of the new year, when the temperatures were mild and the sun was shining.  I actually spent that day in the garden, cutting back the iris, something I didn’t get to before we had snow.  That was a sign, that this will be a very wonderful gardening year.  January is the junction  where fall meets winter.  The bitter cold forces me back inside to attempt some inside gardening.

I brought in the crocus from their cold storage.  It has been 10 weeks.  I did leave one in for another week, just in case, these don’t respond with blooms.  The daffodils need another 4 weeks in the cold storage before they come inside.

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They are not in direct sunlight, but they are in a well lit room. You can see how white they are from being in the dark.  Now hopefully they will green up, and start to send up blooms.  I did water them well, and will keep them moist.

I also  rescued a few paperwhite bulbs from the local big box store.  They are starting to bloom.  When I bought them they were growing in the bag and looked terrible, but they straightened out and are providing a wonderful fragrance.  I know some don’t like this strong scent, but I rather like it.

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I brought in a few annuals, just to see if I could overwinter them in the house, and they are providing much needed bloom.  I need this bloom to get through the winter months. I have always overwintered my Gerbera Daisies, but I would let them go dormant, by withholding water.  This works well, and I have several that are more than 4 years old.  I kept watering this one, just to see, and sure enough it is blooming.

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I also brought in a geranium, just because I liked it.  It has been blooming also. Inside blooms are such a welcome relief at this January Junction.

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I also just potted up my Amaryllis bulbs that I had stored.  They had spent 8 weeks in a bag in a cool spot.  They will take a while to bloom, but in the meantime, I have an Amaryllis that was given to me as a gift, and it has several bloom stalks just waiting.

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At least the days are getting longer now, and that helps get through this junction. With the indoor blooms and increased daylight this January junction will soon pass.

It will take some time for me to get this new bird feeder up.  The old wooden feeder succumbed to the weather and a pesky squirrel.

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Happy ( indoor ) Gardening

 

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Persuading Bulbs

Every fall I pot up a variety of bulbs and then gently persuade them to bloom during the winter months.  Nothing is more uplifting than to have daffodils, and hyacinths blooming in your home, while it is snowing outside. Persuading bulbs to bloom takes patience.  It is really just fooling the bulbs into thinking that they have rushed through autumn, winter and then have entered spring.  Some call it a gentle art.

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I have learned through trial and error, and now I expect good results.

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The roots are very visible on the daffodil bulbs.  These were potted up on October 14th, and this is showing  just 4 weeks of growth.  I like to use water with stones. If these were potted up in soil, I would not be able to see the root progress. I did pot up a few crocus in potting soil, and I also  potted up several large containers of daffodils in soil.

When forcing bulbs, size does matter, and you need to use quality bulbs, especially if you wish to keep the bulbs rather than throw them out.  I have never thrown out a forced bulb.  I plant them in the garden after the foliage has died off.  Some may take a few years to regain the strength to bloom.  I have noticed that it is generally the water forced bulbs that take a few years to bloom. Here are a few of the previously forced hyacinth bulbs blooming in my garden.  As you see, they are not as full as a first year hyacinth bulb that was directly planted in the fall, but they still add color.

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I have always used the special jars for the hyacinths.  This bulb has had 4 weeks in the chill room.  Sometimes  if  you buy a chilled hyacinth bulb, it will come with the jar.  You can also find the jars on line, there are a few sellers that carry them.  They also need the 14 weeks of cooling.  After they have bloomed inside, I will plant them outside when the soil is workable.  I have planted all of the forced hyacinths under a cherry tree, and now I have a nice little display.

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The picture above shows the crocus potted up using potting soil.  I just use soil that I would use for my house plants.   The crocus don’t require as long of a chilling time.  They are usually good to bring inside after about 10 weeks.  They will look like grass growing, and then suddenly blooms appear.

I have used a few ways of chilling the bulbs.  A small refrigerator worked for a while, and I would still use it, but I needed more room.  If you do use a refrigerator, you can not keep fruit with the bulbs, and it is best to use a refrigerator that is NOT frost free.  The frost free refrigerators will suck the moisture from the bulbs over time.  I would think that if you use the frost free refrigerator, then you will need to check the moisture levels more often.

The ideal temperatures for the chilling period is  above freezing to about 48 degrees.  This can vary a bit, but it is very important that they do not freeze.  I have a cold storage room, that I imagine was once used as a root cellar.  It is ideal.   Bowie spends his winter there.  His water never freezes .  This is what made me realize that this room would be ideal.  I did install a cat door for Bowie to come and go .  You can see the door to the left of the pots.

Bowie, relaxing under the coffee bench during a warm summer day.  He is still doing great and is a good gardening pal to have around.

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You can use a basement, if it is chilly and dark.  If you don’t have the dark factor, the bulbs can be covered with boxes.

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When forcing bulbs, you will want to plant them much closer together than you would out in the garden.  I also try to use double or even triple nosed daffodil bulbs in order to have a nicer display.  The bulbs can be almost touching, and they can be touching the container.

If you are using the water method, you have to make sure that the water level remains just below the bulb.  You don’t want the bulb to be sitting in the water as it can rot the bulb.  I usually check the bulbs once a week to make sure the water is below the bulb, adding water as needed, and I touch the soil, to make sure it is just slightly moist. Top growth will begin after the roots have started.  Some books on forcing that I have read , stated that when the top growth is about one to two  inches tall, the bulbs can be brought inside.  I found that I have much better luck, if I just wait it out, regardless of the top growth.   The daffodils really need the 14 weeks.  So for me, I will start to bring them in around January 20th.  You can stagger when you bring them in, so that you have some staggered bloom.  Being in the chill  a little longer won’t hurt. When I do bring them in, the top growth is not very green.  I will put them in a back bedroom that is not as warm as the rest of the house.  You can not put them in a brightly lit room at first. The top growth will start to green up, and you will start to see buds. After a few days of adjustment, I move them into a larger room that is well lite, but never in direct sunlight.

The last step is to just enjoy!!!

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Fall Fling

I  realized I left my blog with snow on it!! So busy and the days just rush by. It was a great summer, with some of the best daylily blooms ever. A few are still hanging on, and that is very unusual for this area. I have had quite a few rebloomers, ones that have never displayed this habit before. It is fall, so it is time for bulb planting.

I was so inspired by all the spectacular tulips I saw blooming last spring, I went for it! I generally don’t plant many tulips. They tend to be more annual than perennial, and also tend to be squirrel bait.

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I went for a pink / lavender palate. I ordered tulips Violet Beauty, Salmon Impression and Ollioules.  I just tossed them together in a bucket, and planted in groups of 7 or more.  Can’t wait to see how that mixture works.

Had to order daffodils for forcing.  The jars are ready.

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Now to cold storage for 14 weeks. I have found that the daffodils really need the 14 weeks.  I have so much more success with forcing if I am patient. I used the daffodils Cheerfulness, and Golden Dawn for forcing. Some daffodils are just better for forcing and I try to stick with those that have a good reputation for forcing.

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I also potted up crocus, which takes a shorter time, and I potted up hyacinth.  The crocus are in potting soil, while I used water for the daffodils and the hyacinth .  I have had good luck with forcing in water,  and I like the way the glass containers look with the colored stones.

The fall foliage was somewhat of a disappointment this fall.  Some say it is due to a dry summer.  The peak only lasted a few days, and the leaves were down.  Time to rake. I also mulch the leaves to use around the garden.  I  mulch in the mums after we have a hard frost.

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Things are winding down and I am getting ready to put the garden to bed for winter.

A few daylilies bloomed after Halloween, which was very surprising.

This is Palace Garden Beauty, reblooming down in the foliage, but still a beauty.

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Lake Effect also rebloomed at the start of November.

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Fall has flung!

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