A classic southern plant, Hydrangeas are a real sought-after garden plant. And rightly so.
But how to accomodate them in the Rocky mountain region?
Hardiness is not normally a problem, most are good to z5 or so, right?
Soil can be enriched, but which varieties will not take alkalinity in any case?
Sun? We all know dang well that "full sun" is a relative term around here.
I have seen H. macrophylla locally in East sun, North shade, and dappled tree shade. I've seen Peegee hydrangeas in real full sun, but in pots. (When the grower put them in the ground, they had problems.)
I recently received a gift of a glorious 'Annabelle,' and now it's time to take care of it.
What are your experiences or observations of the Hydrangea genus and how it is grown in our Rocky Mountains?
(There is a particular user who has got to know something by namesake!)
Viburnum should exceed well there. I am slowly moving into more Hydrangeas but I will use some hearty ones until my woodland umbrella goes a little bigger. here is what Anna looked like last year as a baby.
How very green those leaves are, nice Steve.
Hyger, is your realtor a horticuluralist? Has he/she treid it scientifically?
After all, neither palms nor bananas nor southern magnolias nor cannas nor passionvines nor tree peonies nor azaleas nor bamboo grow in Colorado... according to which, my garden has no plants in it.
Viburnum comes in bazilions of flavors, all of which I don't know a thing about.
thank you Kenton. You might know that I use a lot of compost. Hee Hee. I was wondering the same thing about the real estate agent. Why would anyone talk down plants in their business? Anyway soil amendment and it is always possible.
I wonder about sun. That's my main concern/curiosity. I could play musical-aspect with it, as a potted plant. But I know that I have the absolute best soil in the world hands-down; except, of course, for a patch in Montana somewhere.
Don't you have filtered sun under the sumacs you plant? Or how about the cottonwoods, aspen, and Plane trees. I'm sure hydrangeas need the acidic. Your truck load of compost material looked just like my truck I today. I am off loading a bunch of mushroom compost for the new stump garden. I just looked at a trailor today that has a large hoist that is over 12' tall to pick up portapotties and telephone booths. Lifting capacity at 4:1 is over 3800 lbs. I am going to buy it and convert it to a large rock hoist so I can use less water by dropping large rocks where the thirsty ones are. LOL It will also be perfect for my Stump collection cause I want to be able to hoist the big old one out of the forest and place them in my stump maize. It will be in a wooded area and you will be able to walk under the plantings with the stumps above. Yarrows are at their peak now.
Sumac are too small. Real sumac, (Rhus) that is. The false-sumac tree AKA "tree-of-heaven" (better known as "tree of hell", scientifically known as Ailanthus) are horrible weeds. Ahh, and don't assume acidity, mate. Too many acid plants are enjoying the pH8 soil in this valley.
Mmmmm (Quoting Homer Simpson) Mushroom compost.
Stump maze. We will need pictures to understand this!
I'm talking real sumac. Rhus ... They will be an over story (12-15') for the shaded woodlands underneath and love the sun they are in. Suckering only problem but with Tiger Eyes and Smoothe you won't have a lot.
Probably the friendliest tree to run into with you bike. Use the plant for your own purposes and create the setting you need to propagate the Herronswood species. So do you have sumac in CO? I did not know that you did. Just look at the specimens you could grow. Don't let the landscape school people (Master gardeners) ruin your outlook at such a plant.
Buckhorn sumac are horrible and they run every where and take over. Smoothe, Tiger Eyes can do the same but in a years time mine only send up one or 3 plants and pulling them is simple and effective. One of the few weeds I have after June 15th. But I love them..
I have several ones that I dig up but the ones near other plants I just pull. Then they don't get started there. Oh I always cut the parent plant end when pulling. You can see in my upper picture the small one at the rock near the base of the parent. I will leave that one cause I want groupings of healthy plants when they start to look sick just cut the plant at the base and nice new growth appears and takes about 10 years to get back to my disired hieght of 12'. Both of these were planted 2 yrs ago at 10" height.
I know nothing about Hydrangea's except I did hear that the more acidic the soil the more blue the more alkaline they can go pink - not sure what variety. I also heard that they are water lovers so a good mulch would probably be in order. "But I did not come here to tell you that" (Bill Cosby) ...
"After all, neither palms nor bananas nor southern magnolias nor cannas nor passionvines nor tree peonies nor azaleas nor bamboo grow in Colorado... according to which, my garden has no plants in it."
'bout those nana's
I have been growing a puppy for about a year now - still have not worked up the courage to actually put him out (know its to late in the season for this year) directly into the garden. Please share your experience with putting them out and taking them back in (assuming you do).
now bout those magnolia's - mine looks kinda defeated, thinking its because of my alkaline soil. To you do anything special for them, thinking I might pull mine out and try it in a container. It bloomed the first year and has done absolutely nothing since. Or maybe I should try it in some other spot in the garden drier/wetter, and/or sunnier/shadier? Right now t gets sun till about 1-2 then its in the shade of the house gets watered 1X week... thoughts?
Monkey's Questionable Nuptuals:
I hope you don't mind my horrible knicknames.
Bananas. It depends dramatically on what you want out of what species/cultivar of Musa.
I grow M. basjoo in the ground and leave it there just to get nice leaves. It will not make edible fruit, though, as it doesn't make good ones anyhow. (It is good to zone 5 with good soil, drainage, and mulch.) A neat ornamental that I have found incredibly hard to keep from burning in full sun (not worth it), growable in East sun (still have to water religiously and fertilie like mad). In the east , it does not stretch far enough in one growing season to make a big enough stem for my tastes. I am now trying it in dappled (Honeylocust) shade, because light quality is enough, and the shade may allow it it build a taller pseudo-stem, so it looks more like a Banana.
There are a couple of edible cultivars that just might bear fruit after a mild winter or two with some protection. I think a z8+ microclimate is needed for that. I want to try 'Dwarf canvedish' in ground some year. 'Rajapuri' is supposed to fruit edibly. It is grown in Ohio. I'll get more serious about tryign these when I ahve perfected a place for them. They coudl still be grown and stored in the winter to get fruit.
Musella lasiocarpa is great. "Yellow Lotus Banana" I have it in mostly-sun and have had it in a half-full sun spot. it may just take full sun, I've not tried. The great thing about it is that it is super-tough to wind. Recent windstorms have torn a few things up (like the roof...) but it has stiff, windproof leaves. I nearly overwintered one. It was not in a good microclimate. It is a banana relative that will bloom in a temperate location.
I'm experiementing with Musa sumatrana 'Rojo,' As I saw it hardy in Salem, OR, and bought some there. (zone 8)
"Plant_Madness" knows more about Bananas.
Magnolias. Full sun to part shade- it's a tree.
I've seeen chlorosis. It may not me alkalinity that binds up the iron entirely, I theorize that certain watering schedules will do the same to them and Other trees. Older, more organic soils seem to have very healthy plants. I think that they are easy to grow in amended soil. Then there is the distincion between evergreen and the more common deciduous ones. Decidous guys are very adapted, especially some individuals of "Saucer Magnolia" (M. x soulangeana) and M. stellata. Selected cultivars of evergreen guys are great.
M. grandiflora loves alkaline soil. But like all evergreens, needs some help with winter moisture.
So, after I've written a flaming essay, what kinds of Banana and Magnolia have you?
I gave up on my hydrangea, tried it in every part of the yard and it wasn't a happy camper so it went to live elsewhere...
MQN - I don't think it's too late to put your banana out for the winter if you want to. Is it a basjoo? I just planted 2 Musella lasiocarpas yesterday that I plan on leaving out, bananas don't take long to settle in if the ground is warm. I put one of the lasiocarpas in the corner created by the house and front steps, stays relatively dry during the winter and it will get some warmth from the cement...
In my experience musella can take 'almost' full sun here, mine looked a little burnt at first but after a couple of weeks it had acclimated and looked great. My Apple banana (manzano) is performing quite well in full sun , doing much better than my dwarf orinoco and double mahoi, too bad it's not hardy. Dwarf Cavendish does very well in the sun here also.
I haven't actually left any out for the winter yet, planned to last winter but my dogs helped mix up my tags so I had no idea who was who and I didn't want to sacrifice any.
Some were getting too big to have as houseplants last fall so I dug them up, wrapped burlap around the roots, put them in a loosely wrapped grocery bag and layed them in the crawl space for winter. (It stays about 50 degrees in there throughout winter.) I didn't water them at all but a couple could have used a bit, I only lost 1 or 2 of 13. About half regrew the original stalk, the other half did not but have thrown out many pups, one has at least 8 pups.
Since I have an abundance of pups this year I plan on leaving a bunch of them out, that should sort out who's hardy and who's not. (Somewhere in all those pups are basjoo and sikkimensis...)
Drainage IS the key, I want to raise my beds about 12" more , they are only slightly elevated and wet cold clay all winter equals death to many plants. I did have Pink China Colocasia make it through winter, in a bad spot no less, but they didn't show up again until the beginning of July.
Ah magnolias...I had a nice Hibiscus syriacus until 2 years ago, we had a very early freeze and it bit the dust. I wanted to put a magnolia in it's place but I found a Japanese Maple 'Viridis' that called to me first...
My realtor isn't a horticulturalist. She's a realtor. She has a house so I assume she gardens some. I called a nursery and asked about it, and they said that some hydrangeas are warm regions only but there are some that are cold hardy.
Between our killing weather and my godawful soil, though, I wasn't sure if I wanted to risk it.
I've seen ads in gardening catalogs for the "snowball bush." Is that it's true name, or is that another name for viburnum or hydrangea? Basically I'm looking for the snowball bush like one that a neighbor had when I was a kid.
Most are a viburnum. http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/83631/index.html Is this what you are talking about? My Pee Gee hydrangea does very well in Montana zone 4B so I can't imagine you haveing any problems down in your banana belt. The key assumption is to change the god awfull soil.
Exactly. If the plant has great soil, it will be a hardier plant. Just ask my palms (he says boastfully).
I just saw some 'Endless summer' Hydrangeas at a clients loking good in dappled shade. No chlorosis. The were blooming purple, incedentally...
Well the news on the Hydrange 'Annabelle' at hand is this: It windburned. Badly. (Insert childish I-shoulda-known laugh) The friend that gave it to me had jsut bought it late-season frmo a greenhouse a few hours south of here. (Greenhouse=weakling leaves) Most of its leaves are burnt right off. I'll cut most of it down today and plant it in the garden to let it regrow some tougher leaves.
Kenton, your a doll you can call me anything you like, I am just not sure how you seem to know me so well, each and everyone of your acronyms have been DEAD on.
Sorry took so long to get back was not sure what kind of nana I got. Bought from Gurney's, this is all it says in the product description:
Dwarf Gran Nain Banana
Fruit Trees, Dwarf Banana
Fun, Flowers and Fragrance, Too!
Evergreen foliage, sweetly scented flowers and edible fruit in one! Can be moved outdoors in summer, so the bees take care of pollination for you. Varieties grow from 2-5 feet tall, with banana on the tall side. Pick bananas in 3-5 years.
Zones: 10 (32° F.)
Height: 24-60 in.
Depth: plant at same depth as in the pot it is shipped in
Spread: 36 in.
Sun/Shade: Bright, indirect sunlight
Foliage: leaves to 3 foot
Comments: They do not produce seeds at all. This one we sell is simply a mini or small version of those which are purchased in the supermarket. They do not contain seed at all.
Chlorosis - duh - I had the same prob last year I am an idiot...wanders off mumbling to self
Dually noted sir but since I have been an itsy bitsy nuclei since the 90's (a bit of a cell...) I walk away unabashed...but again I did not come here to talk about that. Just had the most Incredible EXPERIENCE. ALL HAIL MOTHER NATURE. Had Hail storms UNBELIEVABLE here I am just got over 2 broken feet and all at once dorential rain followed by HAIL followed by rain followed by hail (3 total rounds) in Utah in August. Did I roll up my car windows...No...Did I put way my tools...no...did I close my garage door...no...did I protect my tomtatoe plants...no...did I race around my yard puttting up NEW WARM hummingbird stations in NEW convenient locations under protected trees with foot peril all around them...well duh! They WARNED ME! In unbelievable ways...why did I not Listen?
I always feel very uncomfortable being called sir, well except by my DW in submission to my earthy ways. Hail is an event that is never predictable unless you live in the tropics. We all have the joy of dammage that is completly reversable in the miracles of plants and next year. I never worry about a dead plant cause I believe they can come back next year and if they don't I already forgot about the hail storm. I'm 53 years old so I remember nothing and it keeps me happy.
Hail melts and turns to water, right? I could ALMOST wish for some hail. But at least I have a happy aquifer. DH wanted all sorts of things concerning the location of our property when we bought it. I said that if we're moving to the desert, all I really want is a really, really, REALLY good aquifer and a strong well pump. I guess I should have said something about dirt on the ground, too, but it's too late now!
I have discovered that you have to water your compostings here, too, not just your plants!
But in several years, there should be dirt and green stuff all over, and in about 20 years, my little pine forest should start looking like a forest, and by the time I am well composted myself, the oaks that I plan on planting next spring will be approaching teenagerhood... if someone will continue watering after I am gone and burried, that is!
Even if Kenton doesn't want you to ask me about soil construction you must consider the effects of now 6 weeks of no irrigation in beds that have gone without water. The clay, compost, wood chips, nitrogen of unmetionable source, and mulch will provide a source of happiness for the xeriscape garden that has 3 months of drought. Now where you are I don't know the long term aspects of drought. This is my system: http://davesgarden.com/journal/d/t/Soferdig/3149/
The old man, Steve/Soferdig said in humble jestful wisdom:
"No romancing on RMount forum. LOL"
The one with loose bolts is me, my dears. I get ahead of myself and often do not communicate so well. Truly odd that people compliment me on how well I communicate...
Update: Cut the hygrangea's old stems off down to a few inches and planted it under the young sweetbay/southern magnolia. (I thought that fitting) It is a half-sun spot (East of a two-story house and West of a cedar privacy fence.) It is already rapidly growing new leaves from where I cut it.
Oh me, oh my...puts down weak iced tea heads out for cappuccino... sweet cheeks not sure I am up to that sounds a bit too intense ya can't just throw a saddle on a wild horse...I guess a little light flirting never hurt no one...so just a few ground rules
1.) Flowers (unless gone to seed) are NOT acceptable gifts...however roots will get you off the hook for ANYTHING you have done wrong.
2.) No cracks about my cooking I am Canajun therefore it's cajun.
3.) Diamonds unless incorporated into a drill bit do NOT interest me.
4.) Despite what Steve may think $ not as interesting as !
Monsterous Quill Nabber:
I feel for your husband. He may suffer from too good a life.
And, I happen to think that the only thing all Canadian gals have in common is simple pastiness. But if you go on all of those fishing trips, you are an official redneck American!
I'm going outside, this is getting weird...
I won't tell you how the fishing has been here in AK. Thursday my buddy and I went out on a charter and the boat nabbed over 700# of fish in 8 hours. One was a Halibut of 234#. It took the whole boat 5 guys to haul it in. We also caught 4 Ling cod over 40 #, These are big guys and delicious. Lots of Rock cod, and a total of 12 Salmon. (two Kings and 10 nice silvers). To finish our day we had been seeing all kinds of whales, Killer pod, and Humpbacks. Well 50' off our bow with cameras in hand taking pictures of blows the Humpback came out of the water and almost left the water tail and all to breach into our bow and kind of say "Hi guys, have a nice day". It has been kind of tough working up here. Yesterday after work we went out to the Buskin River and Caught or hooked over 40 fish in less than 2 hours. Kept the big ones and help fill the coolers of fish to take home. ( these were all pinks 8 and 2 silvers) We held off on the last fish each so we could catch and release for the last 1/2 hour. Every cast almost and wham fish on I horsed in a few and set the drag down to let some run and walked them into the shallows and off hooked them. Gotta go to work and then fish the whole afternoon and eve. Steve.
Boy-O, Sofer, you have surely figured out the greatest work schedule of anyone I've ever known. Travel to interesting, beautiful places and amazing fishing to go along with it. ~~ good on you.
James, did GJ get a real downpour the other night? It skirted Moab and made a big yeller spot on the radar map right over GJ valley. I was jealous. I think that was Wed night. Not sure, CRS syndrome mixes the days like a blender.
Wed, Blooms? I can't recall. Enough to soak in, I was amazed. It happened in the middle of the night, so I saaw only the start. In the AM, I came out, shocked that the ground was actually moist.
I liek how the plants all perk up in the evening rain...
And a couple days after it (My garden journal says Tuesday night "Long rain in PM, Nice.") all of the Datura went double-duty on flowers, and teh big one had that sought-after lilac-edge to the flowers. Everything likes a good rain.
On topic breifly: I just read an "RM Gardening" book that mentioned growing Peegee (paniculata), macrophylla, and 'Annabelle' with success in the shade in the rockies.
Ah, I dont' know why, but an in-tansit picture of the Annabelle:
My neighbor across from the vacant lot has 2 hydrangeas, one in front and one in back. They are a good size -- considering this is NM and in the cold part-- about 3 feet in length and width. They haven't bloomed yet because she has only had them a short time. I noticed that they look chlorotic, at least a bit chlorotic. I suggested iron but she said her husband had just put some on them. My experience in New Mexico is that anything that looks chlorotic doesn't need iron so much as organic matter.
I once had a giant Silver Maple in my front yard in Santa Fe. It was always a pale yellow green, no matter how many gallons of iron I put on it. But there was always a dark green stripe down the middle -- where the sewer line went under it. That said it all to me!
I hope my neighbor's hydrangeas bloom. If they do, I will get one.
Oh yes on the Great White. I was a sucker for the locals picking on the out of towner. The net/trap was for returning salmon, hatchery raised, so when I saw the salmon being hauled out my neighbor just laughed and said Hee Hee. No great white here. Sorry about the lack of knowledge. I thought it was too far north. Though I got the big splash and when I get home will show it to you. No fast down-load here.
It stinks to be the out-of-towner.
Keep us informed on that Hygrangea, Betty. There are a lot of things that will grow that otherwise wouldn't given enough compost. I bet nobody knew that... I must have written that in the interest of hearing keys clatter...
Knowledgable Experience Native Teaches Others Now...thank the lord that some plants prefer "bad" soil like herbs and such, or I could not grow a thing in my heat strip/parking strip/median - the strip of city land between the sidewalk and the road...I see the makings of a new movie instead of Being John Malkovitch I want to Be Steve aka Soferdig.
This is one thing that is blooming for me. Winter squash. No these are not pumpkins They are a) Winter Squash "Grey Ghost" b) Muscat de Provence c) Marina de Chioggia d) Galeux d'Eysinnes e) Sucrine du Berry e) Waltham Butternut.
This may not be what everyone has in mind but I read The Compleat Squash by Amy Goldman and became interested in some of her squash recommendations. I confess to not liking regular pumpkin very much and she expressed the view that most pumpkins are better for decoration than eating. I decided to try the ones that she thinks are really good.
They are blooming now and I have some medium sized fruits. I am not sure they will get all that large at this altitude but they look interesting.
I already sent you a picture of the patch a while back, but it seems to be growing at the rate of the Amazon jungle and setting fruit like crazy -- but squash won't be ready until the end of the growing season.
This is a pot with Thai basil and Red Shiso. The Shiso is a volunteer. Plant it once and you'll never be shisoless again. I use Thai basil in green bean and eggplant dishes and also various other Thai dishes. I once took a weeklong Thai cooking class in Oakland, Ca. Then I went to Thailand on a month-log trip led by the teacher, Kasma Loha Unchit. I have never been able to eat in an American Thai retaurant since, but cook my own Thai food instead. In order to do that, I have to grow some herbs.
Thank you Betipaja!
Now I will wonder when I eat at a Thai restaurant... Great job, I bet your cooking is fantstic.
I love the reference to the old "sholess" phrase, what a kick: "shisoless."
The exhibition of your Squash is really quite...classy. It makes them some sort of bold new annual bed. Love it! I'm thouroughly inspired.
Actually, I kind of got the idea of the Squash Bed from a neighbor down the street. He has a gravel yard and a very well composted small bed in the middle where he grows huge pumpkins for his kids for Halloween. It really is very attactive and the plants even spill out into the street. It is really very attractive in the summer. I'll see if I can get a picture between rain storms.
Now isn't that just the sharpest thing since needle-nose tweezers?
I'm in love with that dry rock wall. So simple and unfusssy. A great inspiration, LittleBird.
That's it. I'm growing nothing but Watermelon in the front border next year.
It works nicely and isn't hard to do and overall is probably more water efficient than a lawn. But I watermelons don't grow too well here. Hopefully they do in GJ. They would be lovely and lacy. If not, try winter squash and/or pumpkins.
Funny/sadly enough, the squashbugs (carrying the virus) are so prevalent that anything other than KiwanoMelon or Watermelon is doomed early in the season in my garden. 'Sugar Baby' seems to do best from my experiences and other's. Some folks have never had squashbugs at all; Ahh, the wonders of nature.
I wonder if I should change my little tag bit to "Grand Junciton, CO." I do so much of my gardening at clients' gardens... Plus, "Clifton" doesn't mean much to most folks.
I bet Steve is having a great smelly ol' time presently...
I am one of the lucky few who has so far (knock, knock on my wooden desk) never had squash bugs. Just about 35 miles from here and 1000 ft. downhill, they have them and squash don't make it. But up here in the clouds, so far, we are safe.
I was told that no melon would grow in Los Alamos, many times, but this year I asked the horticulturist in charge of a good nursery in Santa Fe why he was selling melon plants and he assured me they would grow. So I bought a few kinds Sugar Baby was one, and Small Shining Light was another. To my amazement they are growing and Small Shining Light has several watermelons on it. They might possibly ripen this year. If it does you will hear my whooping all the way to GJ or Clifton.
I know a bit about GJ but nothing about Clifton. If you live in Clifton you could always list your town as ( Clifton ( Grand Junction) Co.)). Everyone who knows the area would get it. Maybe nobody else would, but any possible clients would get it.
Steve is in fisherman's heaven. I haven't fished in years but found mysef yearning to fish up there in Alaska. The west is *so* fished out. I grew up fishing in South Louisiana, both fresh and salt water and brackish as well. I am so spoiled. But Alaska would be fabulous.
When our babies were 2 and 3 a friend of mine and I both bought fishing licenses and told our husbands they would have to baby sit while we went fishing. It was wonderful relaxation, but our largest catch was about 6 inches. It would not have been worth it if we didn't get a few hours off of baby tending.
But you are right about fishing being stinky. It is especially the bait. You put some smelly small bit of fish or crustascion on your hook and your hands stink the rest of the day, probably your clothes as well. You get all nasty smelling whether you want to or not, yet hooking a big one is an excitement it is hard to forget.
Steven is very lucky. Could we assist in surgery, carry luggage, or something?
Ah, what a lovely red flower. Would it by any chance be a nasturtum? If not, please let us know what. It is lovely.
Brilliant, no, but I do love experimentation in gardening. I rather like it in cooking as well, but I always try the traditional method first. For me, cooking healthy excellent meals comes first. Then comes gardening which provides many of the ingredients. There are many dishes that can't be properly cooked with what is available at the local supermarket. Sometimes a very easily grown garden plant will provide what is needed to make a superb dish, generally unknown in our area. Frequently nice garden veggies are as decorative as any traditional landscape plant.
One of my favorites is Bright Lights Swiss Chard. Landscape or eating wise, it is only good for one year, But what a year! (actually it is a biennial). Thses pictures don't begin to show the variety and beauty of the leaves of this plant. http://davesgarden.com/pf/showimage/34791/
I have also seen artichokes grown as an ornamental at an art gallery in Santa Fe. Maybe you could use those ideas in landscaping?
Cardoon, as far as in the landscape, is identical. A person can cook the flower stems or something, an Italian lady told me once about it dying one's hands black...
You are quite admirable in your vegetable-growing motives.
I'm trying to think less in terms of flowers here, veg there, and just mix the lot. Eat flowers and look at veg. Like the above 'Tip Top Mahogany' Nasturtium. Like pepper or something.
I love nasturtiums. I have used them in salads, both flowers and leaves. They taste like watercress a bit. Yum. Your tip-top Mohogany is georgeous. I like the varigated Alaska blend as well. Very nice foliage and flowers.
I also grew cardoons. People passing by asked me what they were and complimented me on them. But I was out of town when they were ready so I never got to taste them. When they began flowering, I quickly cut off the flower heads. I understand cardoons can become invasive. Well, maybe next year.
I grow Bright Lights chard every year. It is very ornamental and tasty, too. I got the seeds from Seed Savers -- it has all 6 colors where as some of the more commercial companies only have 3 colors in their mix.
I have several garden terrors. One is lovage, that so pleasantly named herbs. I had trouble getting it to last more than a year when I first tried it, but then I learned it loved drip irrigation. It became 6 feet tall and then went to seed! I was so interested in all the insects and birds that it drew that I let it go to seed. Bad Mistake. It has come up all over my yard and irradicating it is one major problem. But it is nice in salads, salad dressing and cooked dishes where you want a celery flavor. Just don't put it on drip irrigation!
Horseradish is another one that should only be grown in a pot. I love the bright green shiny leaves which look rather like banana leaves. But its underground root system is incredibly difficult to irradicate.
Cat mint is another lovely arid desert plant but if you give it water it will take over the whole place. I have been pulling it for years now. But it always comes back from seed or roots or reincarnation. I can't tell what!
With a cardoni, the leafy stems are the edible parts. The large ones need to be blanched first. We do this by wrapping the plant in brown paper or black ag cloth when the plant is three feet tall. In some parts of Italy they push the plant over to the side and cover the lower part with soil to blanch it. These are often sold as "hunchbacks". I ordered wild cardoon (cardo selvatico)seed from Franchi this year. These seem a more manageable size for a small garden.
Seed Savers is a wonderful institution and has made more than one contribution to my garden. I like all their exotic winter squashes as well.
I am starting to get ahead of my horseradish, but I just noticed a new baby coming up today. Lovage can be controlled with water.
I find that varigated plants never have the vigor that the non-varigated varieties of the same thing have. Probably they are only using part of their leaves for food making is the reason. But as varigated things go the Alaska blend is very nice, including the flowers. Haven't tried 'Jewel of Africa' and after your description I probably won't.
OK guys I just got home from a long 2 weeks of fishing-oops-work. This is a picture of a few of the patients I saw while up in Kodiak. I got home to a 3 month lightly irrigated garden and all of my assumptions of water retention in the ammended soil seem to be paying off. I will send pictures of unamended and ammended garden areas and you can see the effects of wood chips, compost and clay holding moisture. We have had less than 1/8" of rain in 3 months and my DW has only watered the stressed out plants for less than an hour per day. We have an acre and a half so most are getting none. Leaf fall has helped the stressed one (transplants in June) and the rest are reaching out their roots to capture the remaining water.
But first the fishing trip of only one day. The big fin is a 234# halibut, the orange ones are yellow eyed rock cod, the long ugly ones are ling cod, and lots of salmon and black cod.
The big horseradish is easier to hand grate. The babys get peeled and tossed in the mini-food processor attachment that goes with my stick blender. I admit to being a wimp when preparing fresh horseradish - I wear my scuba mask so my eyes don't water.
Thanks, for the advice on horseradish peparation, garden_mermaid. This wil give me motivation to pull out yet more horseradish babies. I now have 3 large pots of horseradish and can remove it from my lily bed.
I am really impressed at the difference wood chips, compost and a ton of clay will make? This is the first time I have ever heard of anyone bringing in clay. Did you find it on your property or did you have to buy it. But adding clay does make sense in drought areas. What are the pretty white flowers that look like the second year of carrots? Also what are the red ones. Your garden is quite lovely even without water.
New Mexico is beginning to dry out now, so perhaps you will get some of the rain that has been coming our way. All of our reservoirs around the state are filling up because we have been getting a lot of rain and nobody is watering. Santa Fe may have to start letting the Santa Fe River run this week which is really quite unusual. The various reservoirs in New Mexico have been at half or less capacity for several years now.
I just hope we continue to get a little rain every now and then.
The whale picture is wonderful.
Good luck irradicating the horseradish, the taproots convert over to rhizomes when they adults are pulled, sending up plantlets that must be pulled, too. Irritating, but not impossible. Then there is the 2-4D route...
I will not use 2-4d on the Horseradish. There are times when I will resort to it such as a Chinese elm that has been cut down and insists on resprouting or chamisa coming up through seams in the driveway or sidewalk.
I grow too many edibles in the bed where my horseradish is. I would hate to kill them or pollute them too.
I once put some 2-4D -- with a spray bottle on a large infestation of bind weed that had wrapped itself around an apricot tree 10 ft. away from the spot where I sprayed. I really just put some on the leaves of the bindweed that was 10 ft. away. The result in a very short time was a dead apricot tree. The bindweed came back! I don't know which is worse bindweed or gophers.
Have you had any luck using distilled white vinaegar as an herbicide on your weeds?
We've been spraying and/or pouring it on the bindweed. I pull out the portions of weed I can get out by hand and pour the vineagar on the part remaining in the soil. Others in our garden just spray the leaves and let them pickle in the sun. It seems to be working.
PJT On the clay bit I live next to a gravel pit and they got a haul of black heavy clay that would grow nothing on the pile so they let me have as much as I wanted. This particular bed was the first I used it in and I only used about 5 parts compost/pineneedles/wood chips to 1 part of this heavy clay. It doesn't drain as well as I wanted so I have added about 7 parts of carbon material to 1 part clay in following beds. All excell in the heat but all of the bulb/tuberous plants are not doing well in it. I lost my dahlia in a bed that had a lot of mint compost. I don't know if it was the mint or the clay. I'm trying dahlias in another bed of similar mix but no mint.
That was the invasive ribbon grass and it was doing well until end of water. This is my new invention. Grey water collector. I have a sump pump 60 GPM 60PSI in the 300 gal tank. It will be able to pump up hill for 120 of vertical. My kitchen, and bathroom sinks and my bathtub have been routed to this holding tank.
Wow! Your grey water tank is impressive. I think I am pretty much stuck with rain barrels, at least for now. My neighbor across the street built a below ground level storage "tank" out of plastic. Roof water goes into it. He says there is a lot of water in it so as soon as he buys a pump, he will use his stored water for his yard.
I really enjoyed reading this thread. I had read about half of it earlier and now finished the whole thing to here.
Glad you are safely home Steve and nice to see your fish collection. Did you freeze some to bring home. and good to see your amended and unamended garden areas. I use my compost as fast as it matures, or whatever the correct term is.
I have a 50 gal. rain collecting barrel that is mounted on a cedar (I think) drum to be high enough to be piped (lawn hosed) into the greenhouse. I fill 1 gal milk bottles and use to water my plants in winter time.
We had a 5 min. shower Tues. afternoon, first rain type stuff since early June. Smelled wonderfull. Here is a photo of the way my waterlilies have grown this summer. Have no idea why they have grown so vigorously.
gm, Thankyou. That pool is 30" deep in the center with ledges around the edges. The pots of waterlilies are just moved to the center deepest area for the winter. And for the fish I have a cattle water trough heater that hangs from a board that I turn on when the ice gets too thick so that the fish have air.
Can you beleive that Greywater is illegal here? Yes! Horrid.
It's legalese: you own your house and all, but somone owns it as a watershed, you see. Someone owns shares to that water that hits your roof and goes down the toilet. Sickening, really. But it won't stop me when I build a home...
Any ideas folks for a southern-esque medium-to moisture loving groundcover? I t goes under a magnolia sapling and the hydrangea, which is looking good.
Yes Kenton, it has been hotter??? than normal, all of July and most of August.
There is extreme fire danger signs often along the roads. I am at the end and nearly highest of the 4 people and their gardens using the community well, lots of water in the well but we are llimited in use. So I being at the end and nearly highest and of course largest garden, have a problem with irrigating. I had another well driller drill 100 feet deeper on my private well, hoping for more than 1 gal. per min., didn't work, so the well is virtually useless.
Have you tried Lamium as a groundcover. I have lots of it in different varieties and different locations. Does have to be kept under control tho as it is a vigorous spreader.
The sun here tends to leave it sadly. Part sun and all, perhaps. I would have to find a nice cultivar. Maybe 'Anne Greenaway.' Oh, no, that' won't due, as it is too pale like the Hygrangea and they will disappear into one another.
I bet you use tons of mulch and all. How do you irrigate? (Deliver water to plants- drip irr, hose-end, what?) It has not been hotter here of late. 80F norms. Cold at night, though. Intermittant rains here and there now and again are keeping fire hazard down to a minimum.
I'm experimenting with Mentha requienii, but I don't think it's evergreen and I don't even knwo if it will overwinter.
Both of my ponds are only 24" deep and they overwinter the waterlillies well. You could use that low flow well and trickle the water into a tank like mine and turn on a pump (sump) and it would water a large area every day.
This is how I hooked up my sink. The sink on the right is for grey water the one on the left is garbage disp and goes to the septic. I found out we are not allowed to use grey water but with this set up you have no problem when they want to inspect. Which is never. The Y piece is positioned so the vent hose (green) is above the flow down into the 3/4" hose black through the floor and out to the tank below.
I haven't read or heard of graywater non-use here in this area.
Yes soferdig I have thought of installing a tank and pump and next year may try that idea.
I do use lots of mulch and compost as fast as I can make it. I use all kinds of irrigation, drip systems, lots of soaker hoses (which use more water than one might think) sprinklers, ( more that normal this year) as I try to use the new well. The drip systems and some of the sprinklers are on timers. Possibly considering my age and angina, the best answer is to down size my garden area. But I can't visulize myself removing already planted and growing trees or shrubs.
no rain predicted in the forseeable future in the weather forecast. But temps until next Wed. are predicted low 90s.
Autumn? What's that? No, the past few years here we have actually had autumns, even long ones. Usually we don't.
Good tree color, Bettipaja? Aspen around?
It is possible to cease expansion, I think Donna, but downsizing I think is impossible. Maybe simplification- reducing a spot to the bare-bones plants (trees, shrubs) and moving/removing the mantenence-hog plants.
Donna that is a gorgeous pond how long have you had it? Are they as hard to maintain as I have heard or do you have it pretty well self sustaining now?
pajaritomt and garden_mermaid thanks for the horseradish info……going to try some in pots next year.
Steve – nice system, so you must monitor what kind of soaps and detergents you use. Do you look for a certain type of phosphate & content and do you shy away from antibacterial soap (I know kinda personal)……Any recipes for homemade fish emulsion?……Seeing that your patients have apparently taken a turn for the worse…..
Kenton : No the Y valve is the air inlet from the top of the system to let water flow down the black hose. Both are open all the time. You need to vent a system that is closed so the water doesn't flow slow. Like pouring gas out of a can it goes continually when vented and stops and starts when not vented. The other system that you see unhooked from the diverted sink is still hooked to the garbage disposal to the left and flows down to the septic system. All of that ground up waste would clog the hose. We wash our dishes on the right and scrape the dishes and dump into the Garbage disposal on the left sink. Two sinks.
Yes you need to use soap and not detergent. I was my dishes in Dawn and collect the water. Where as the dishwasher and Garbage disposal go down to the septic. Yes type of soap is important. All of us have used Dawn to kill insects with no harmfull effects. The dilution of soap is 1000 to 1 or more. Pretty dilute.
Yes, autumn is lovely here. There are aspens on the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo Mountains and great Aspen drives all over the place if you want to get out and really get close to the Aspens. Mushrooms are coming on now and with all this rain, pickings are excellent. The first thing to show color, though, is Chamisa, a gold native plant that grows everywhere around here and native sunflowers, and some lovely purple daisies ( wild asters perhaps?) that grow all over the place. Then come the Aspen and Cottonwoods, all brilliant yellow. Our air becomes crystal clear like it used to be before the coal burning power plants were built. And there are lots of animals preparing for winter -- Appert's squirrels which have elegant tufted ears and bears seeking to clean up the peaches and apples and other fruit left on people's fruit trees. And the raspberry UPick near Mora is already open. The drive would be worth the trip, but the raspberries are excellent.
But what I wanted to tell you is that I saw a hydrangea named Limelight in full bloom in Santa Fe today -- about 35 miles from here and at about the same altitude. It was a green shaded white and had large clusters of small white flowers. Another data point for hydranges in the dry arid. This gardener uses a lot of organic matter and a drip irrigation system. Her entire garden was stunning. Lots of aguastache in the usual purple and a very lovely burgandy and orange colored flower. She also had oriental poppies, California poppies and lots of roses and a few lilies still blooming among her pinon trees. It was quite a lovely garden. She also has lots of columbines, those hers weren't blooming at the moment. ( Mine are.)
Whoa, you describe it well. I happen to be fond of that particular color palette. Thanks for the info. If you can discern the approximate zipcode, put that H. 'Limelight' in PlantFiles.
You also have a lovely romatical description of autumn. Let it come! It's less than 15c now here, actually cold.
Yes we have a big invitational race for all of the NW sailors called Montana Cup. We have had over 70 boats show up to race. This is a picture of last months race. We race every tuesday and friday nights. And have cruise racing every weekend from Memorial thru September. Only Friday nights and Montana Cup are competitive racing. The others are to help the new ones and make it fun for the type A's to play.
It must be threatening to live so close to a hops vine. LOL Nice plants my friend. I like the idea of sedum for grass only you can't walk on it. What else would make a good cover for lawns but concrete and gravel. I kind of like soapwort like in this picture. But the heartiest ground cover is my potentilla. No water and growing out into my gravel drive over 12". Lovely green.
That is my child Kip. Potentilla verna is the best. It covers all and grows without water and takes walking on it well. I also use thyme and it loves dry. My grass is slowly going bye bye. Ajuga and veronicas need too much water.
I find flagstone handles walking well and requires very little water ( like none). I do have thyme and speedwell around the edges, but I don't plan to walk on it.
I love the picture of the dog in Soapwort. Maybe I need to put some here and there for my dogs to lie in. They are very fond of any luxury. Yours looks like he is getting sleepy or just waking up. Soapwort must make a good bed.
My grass is going away slowly but surely as well, but I will always keep a small patch of it.
I haven't tried any of those and find veronica a last choice plant due to the color and short bloom. Not bad to look at but my potentilla has flowers all summer and a beautiful flat green carpet. I will have to reconsider the V. Liwanensis.
Greenjay, where is that picture? It is well designed. I didn't realise V. liwanensis was drougt tolerant as it appears. Steve, many creepeing veronicas (in full sun) will rebloom sporadicaly after their main spring boom.
(and for kicks- I just started reading Michener's "Centennial"
Great Movie but I never read that one. Have enjoyed the history in all of the others I have read. Kip says thank you for your comments. This breed is a unique terrier. They are quiet and very cuddly. My Jack Terrier is noisy and playful. The two fit my personality. After all I am a Gemini. What about walking on the Veronica.
The ones I grow tolerate mild foot traffic. They are sort of dwarfed by it , but not killed.
Liwaneniss and foot traffic:
I have read the following words: "Light," "occasional," and "some." (foot traffic).
You can place some stepping stones in the most worn spots. No, but that's right, you don't like stones at all...
Will you step on it or you dog? Is Kip a puppy in that picture, or one of those that always looks like a puppy? Quiet, fitting for you?
Kenton, who has yappy little dogs.
I planted some turkish veronica this year. It seems to be settling in nicely. I look forward to seeing it spread. Actually I have planted several low growing plants and am holding a contest for which one does best.
Kip is full grown and 4 yrs old in that picture.
I like the idea of a ground cover and will probably mix it in the new bed. We got a lot of rain yesterday and today was perfect. Crystal clear and 58F for the high. Heading up to Bowman Lake this long weekend to paddle the lakes, Kintla and Bowman. You all have a nice weekend. Steve.
Kip looks like a wonderful dog and a great admirer of flowers. How can one help but love such a critter. I have two keeshonds who are rather elderly by now, 13 years. One has too much arthritis to be a good hiker, but the other loves to get out and sniff everything. I take them up to the nearby Jemez mountains. I hunt mushrooms and raspberries. The male goes everywhere I go and more. The female, with severe arthritis stays with us as long as she can then jumps back in the car or truck and waits for us. They are wonderful friends.
Kip looks like a wonderful dog and a great admirer of flowers. How can one help but love such a critter. I have two keeshonds who are rather elderly by now, 13 years. One has too much arthritis to be a good hiker, but the other loves to get out and sniff everything. I take them up to the nearby Jemez mountains. I hunt mushrooms and raspberries. The male goes everywhere I go and more. The female, with severe arthritis stays with us as long as she can then jumps back in the car or truck and waits for us. They are wonderful friend and go berzerk whenever they see me pick up my keys or open the leash drawer. How did I live before I had them?
Yesterday my husband and I went to the Fine Arts Museum in Santa Fe for the last day of the Mexican Artists show. A wedding was going on in the St. Francis Auditorium next door and the bridal party came out into their shared patio for pictures. All the bridesmaids and mothers of bride and groom were carrying the most beautiful bouquets of white hydrangeas. I thought of you, White_Hydrangea. I have now read about a couple of them that grow in zones 4 and 5. After seeing this wedding party I was just amazed at what a great bouquet they make, all by themselves.
The show was lovely. Paintings I have never seen. One or two from the big names, Rivera, Orozco, Siqueros, and Kahlo, then many from their comtemporaries who were equally interesting. So much gets lost in history.
I don't know how long they last, but the hydrangea boquets of the wedding party were magnificent. I have never thought of hydrangeas as being available for flower arrangements. But why not? They are magnificent flowers and last a long time, as you point out.