Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gardening


One of the things I've always enjoyed is gardening, and now that I've retired I have loads of time for it. The only thing that slows me down is the heat, and this week the rain. I've gotten several books on gardening in the coastal South and slowly but surely I'm learning what will grow and what wouldn't.
Plants that will grow, but not bloom include most iris's, lilacs ,and tulips (they'll bloom once and then need to join the compost heap). I have a lilac because I love them, but it has bloomed only once in the 3 years I've had it. They say it's the fact that it doesn't cool off here at night (we frequently have overnight lows in the upper 70's) that stop them from blooming. I have also tried tulips, which I love and iris's. They say the tulips won't rebloom because our winter is too warm (I'd like to talk to THEM about the January and February we had this year), and as for the iris's it's a matter of our climate being too wet and drainage. Though I've finally learned about Louisiana iris's that are more of a bog plant and I'm planting them this year.
It is my dream to have a cutting garden full of flowers in each season that I can cut and fill my house with flowers. I've always grown Zinnias, they're and annual, but they're so good at seeding themselves that you only have to plant them once and they take care of the rest. Today I added 4 more Zinnias, I keep hoping to find dwarf ones, but no luck so far.
On the patio I have a Hibiscus. Everyone thinks they're delicate, but they're really hardy. The one I have there grows 2 different colored flowers, light orange and dark orange. Plus Zinnias have seeded themselves between the bricks. Along the back wall is our Wisteria, it blooms early and then flowers a little more in summer, it is so pretty. It spreads like crazy, we've had to rescue some of out roses from it.
When we came from California we didn't think we could grow citrus trees here, but have discovered they do fine, so we have a lemon. This Fall we're planning on putting in a couple of olives, something else we've missed.
One of my beds is strickly for veggies and herbs. I grow Rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, and sage. Usually I get good Bell Peppers from this bed, but we've had too much rain at the wrong times this year and my peppers have struggled. The Strawberries have done well though.
Along the side of the garden we put up lattice work and planted HoneySuckle. In no time it was covered! Everything grows so quickly here, particularly the weeds!

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