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Dallying In The Dirt, Issue #225--- There is purple eveerywhere in the garden this week.
July 10, 2015
The Martagons were open last week and this week many other Lilies started to pop open in various locations. These gorgeous purple and white Lilies are part of large group that has developed in just a few years from the 3 bulbs that I originally planted. They attract only a few of the dreaded Red Lily Beetles certainly not enough to ever consider removing them from my collection. They are much easier to photograph and enjoy as they are almost a meter (3') tall with upfacing blooms that grab your attention as you walk by. They are an Asiatic hybrid called Cappuccino which leaves me wondering why a purple Lily is named after a brown coloured drink? The front face of the berm is finally weeded again and covered in my favourite coconut hull mulch. One of the big local nurseries had a sale this week and I just happened to wander by and find a half dozen Heuchera to add to the 4 or 5 that are already brightening up that berm. The multi coloured foliage of Heuchera provide season long interest and they are quite happy in some shade. They have been one of the plant breeders favourite subjects for a few years, leaving us with too many choices, some of which are barely distinguishable from each other. Now I have to go out and plant them.
Staying with the purple theme we move to the veggie garden and enjoy Graffiti this wonderful coloured Cauliflower. One of the real delights of this vegetable is its ability to retain its colour when cooked. I have steamed it and chopped it into stir fries and the intense purple colour brightens up the dinner plate at a time of year when the garden is producing mostly green vegetables. I make great tasting Cauliflower by wrapping a whole head in aluminum foil with a generous coating of butter and several sprigs Rosemary and Oregano or whatever herbs might wander into the kitchen that night. This tightly wrapped package goes on the barbecue for about 30 minutes and comes out soft and flavourful.
Why is this beautiful white Tuberous Begonia in a hanging basket? I bought the tuber this spring and the package indicated that it was a pendulous type. It’s gorgeous but has exhibited no pendulous tendencies to this point and it’s difficult to see how those thick stems could ever happily start bending over. I’ll have to make sure and identify it when it goes for its long winter’s nap this year. I started some seed of Tuberous Begonias that a friend brought back from Blackmore and Langdon in England and they are starting to flower with some amazing blooms. I hope I started them soon enough that they can grow storable tubers by the end of the season. By the end of July some of my Tuberous Begonias may start to show the white dots that signal the invasion of powdery mildew. Out will come that magic but simple spray of 1 part milk, yes that’s milk of any fat content, and 9 parts water. Spray the plants at first sign of Mildew and repeat after a rainfall. It works amazingly well.
If you are looking for a short holiday consider spending a day in Buffalo N.Y. Garden Walk Buffalo is one of the biggest and best garden tours I have ever seen and the best part, it’s free. July 25 and 26 are the dates and it truly is an event not to be missed if you like seeing what other gardeners are doing in spaces both large and small.
Now it’s time to answer a few of my reader’s questions. Don’t forget to check the front page of the Website for frequent short ideas for current gardening activities.
Brenda Asks? I have severl coleus plants in planters and the leaves of one particular kind look like lace curtains. Any idea what could be eating them, could it be earwigs? They seem to be in abundance this year. Any other ideas? My Zinnia
leaves look the same.
Also, I have a spotted lungwort that ends up being covered in powdery mildew every year. It is under a Catelpa tree in the shade. I was thinking of moving it further away from the tree. If I do dig it up is it OK to plant something else there or will the spores that are in the soil transfer to the new plant? Would I be better to throw the lungwort away and if I do how do I dispose of it?
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