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Dallying In The Dirt, Issue #296 - Bloomin' Easy Rose Peach Lemonade is amazingly sturdy
July 02, 2017

It looks a bit small and scrawny but it is really quite amazing. It’s a new landscape Rose from Bloomin’ Easy called Peach Lemonade. It was sent to me as a small sample plant and I decided to really test it by planting it in the new scree garden by the side of the road. It’s supposed to grow to 90 cm x 90 cm (3'x3') when it’s mature and it may get too big for that location. It started blooming the week after I planted it and it continues to do so having almost as many blooms as it does leaves. It has been well watered by the constant rainfall this spring but it is also subject to a lot of runoff from the road and the uphill portion of that little garden. It could probably use a little fertilizer but any fertilizer we apply this spring gets dissolved and leached away by the abundant rain. We’ll keep trying. The Sempervivums, (Hens and Chicks) that make up the rest of that bed are growing well and a few of them are flowering. It comes as no surprise to me that all of that pea gravel mulch has not stopped a few weeds from showing up but the bunnies have stayed away probably due to the traffic on the road. We wait anxiously to see what Peach Lemonade will do when it actually gets a prolonged period of warm weather and sunshine.

Canada Day has come and gone and the Assistant Gardener and I are enjoying a few days at a friend’s cottage. We are better able to do that this year by what you can see in this picture. Between the sub irrigation containers you will notice some small black tubing that leads to each container’s fill pipe. That is an automatic watering system sold by EarthBox the manufacturer of many of those containers. I have it hooked up to a timer on my outside tap and it turns on for 4 hours each day and the sensors in the containers allow the water to fill them up if they need it. So far it has been working marvelously well as they do need to be filled regularly even this spring as the rain water cannot reach their soil. I had to do a few modifications to make sure they worked in the containers that I made. When, or maybe if, it gets hot and sunny and those boxes demand a lot of water we will see if the 4 hours per day is sufficient to keep them filled. Those containers are keeping us in a wealth of vegetables when the sodden garden is producing very little. No weeds, no rabbits, no hand watering and good crops make this kind of gardening perfect as the years take their toll on my body.

Speaking of weeds, they can sneak up on you. The biggest plant in this picture is a weed unless I decide I like Sweet Clover and then it wouldn’t meet the classic definition of a weed and that might be easier than pulling it out. It’s taller than the Tree Peony beside it and the new climbing Rose in front of it is scrambling to find its way up the adjacent trellis. The white flower in the foreground is one of my early blooming Dahlias. The Filipendula in the background will soon put up a cloud of fluffy pink blooms and then I will start to dig some of it out as it is one of those plants that wants more space than I’m prepared to give it and it wants more and more each year. The Sweet Clover is leaving as soon as the soil is dry enough to work in. It’s actually considered an invasive species that is native to Europe and it also gives off a chemical from its roots that inhibits the growth of some other plants. How it could grow 1.5 m tall in the my front yard without me noticing it is one of those mysteries. Probably because the rain has kept me out of the garden for so much time. Now if I could only to teach the rabbits to like it.

Now it’s time to answer a few of my reader’s questions. To ask a question just “reply” to this ezine. Don’t forget to check the front page of the Website for frequent short ideas for current gardening activities.

Ann Asks? I was very interested in the pepper pillar and how one would make one. Is it done around something circular and hollow in the centre? What kind of soil mixture would you put in? If the pepper plants are coming out sideways how does the plant support the pepper?

Ken Answers! Thanks for your interest in the pillar. It is free standing and filled with a soilless media such as Pro Mix. The plants quickly turn upwards and have no problem supporting their fruit. Here is my webpage with all of the details.

Valerie Asks? My question, I have a Magnolia tree which is lovely when it blooms, but it is getting to be too big for the area it is in. Can you tell me please when can I prune it and how? If I prune the tree, I see where a lot of the buds would be gone. Can you please suggest what to do?

Ken Answers! The standard practice for blooming trees and shrubs is to prune them as soon as they have finished blooming so they have time to develop next years flower buds. it's probably not too late to prune your magnolia. If you prune it in the fall you will prune off next year's flowers.

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