April 29, 2017

Saturday Gardening Thread: Little Blue Flowers [KT]
— Open Blogger

b b eyes.jpg

Happy Saturday, gardeners and wildflower watchers!

Well, #TrackTheBloom is moving north in California, and into the mountains. One of the plants blooming there now is Baby Blue Eyes. Little blue flowers harmonize with a lot of other flower colors, but they can also be used alone.

The Hitachi Seaside Park in Japan features an entire hillside planted in Baby Blue Eyes. "In spring, 4.5 million nemophilas (baby blue eyes) paint the 3.5-hectare Miharashi Hills light blue. The nemophilas are stunning under the blue sky against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean." Finding Nemo (and friends)

Interesting that an American wildflower is so prominently featured in a Japanese park. Simple, yet extravagant. This park has a totally different feeling from Japanese botanical gardens where they put straw hats over peonies (last video here). Don't comment on old threads.

The Nemophilas are blooming at that Seaside Park right now, not far from the Giant Ferris Wheel. This is the park's flower calendar for the year so you can get an idea what they do when those little blue flowers fade.

If you are not into wildflower monoculture but you plan to sow wildflower seeds in the fall, Baby Blue Eyes look great under Tidy Tips (scroll down) or with California Poppies, though the latter two will probably last longer into warm weather in the spring, especially if dead-headed. Nemophila is also charming with other delicate pastel wildflowers.

nemophila_05.jpg

Baby Blue Eyes with 'Red Chief' California Poppies

In part shade, try it in front of Purple Chinese Houses or Phacelia viscida, another native little blue flower.

phacelia_viscida.jpg

You can actually buy seeds for Baby blue and purple and black and white eyes.

What's so good about nemophila (baby blue eyes) in the first place? Well, it's one of the few hardy annual flowers that enjoys shade and also enjoys damp soil. The name comes from the Greek meaning, more or less, liking woodland.

nemx6.jpg

The bottom center photo above is 'Five Spot', which is a different species from the others, N. maculata.

A couple of notes on Nemophila species that haven't made it into garden culture: A hiker and photographer took photos of both Eastwood's Baby Blue-Byes (Nemophila pulchella) and regular Baby Blue-Eyes near the Carmel River in (or near) the Ventana Wilderness. (There are some great flower photos elsewhere on his site, too). I know Clint Eastwood was the mayor of Carmel and all, but I am not convinced that the common name of the wild flower is related to his fame.

Nemophila phacelioides is native to Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Alabama. The flower is known commonly as Texas baby blue eyes, largeflower baby blue eyes, or flannel breeches. Anybody have a clue where the flannel breeches name came from?

Places to Visit in the USA

Can't make it to Japan? Springs Preserve in Las Vegas has kind of a Vegas vibe, with a Boomtown 1905 exhibit and other museum exhibits. Not typical for a botanical garden. Weekends through May there is an Extreme Parrots show. And a Ripley's Believe It or Not thing going through May 7. And more!

Oops. Name of preserve changed above based on an update from cthulhu:

I was there recently. The 10 is part of the logo for their tenth anniversary -- it's just "Springs Preserve" and not "10 Springs Preserve."

There is a lot to see there, so budget sufficient time.

Thanks!

There are also 110 acres of demonstration gardens, wildlife habitat and natural gardens. The "desert wetland" was developed in an existing storm water retention basin. The butterfly habitat is open spring and fall (probably through May, "as temperatures permit". Closes early on May 27 for a Blues and Brews Festival.

lv_wildlife.jpg

Las Vegas Tourist

Their Garden Resources include a search tool which allows you to find, for example, desert plants that take reflected heat. Or you can email an expert desert gardener. I think the climate in Las Vegas is even more challenging for gardeners than that of Phoenix, because of harder winter freezes. So some of these resources could be useful to members of The Horde in the desert.

-Phaceliacampanularia.jpg

Desert Bluebells

NOTICE: Tomorrow (April 30) is the last day to enter to win a Botanic Garden Getaway to an American botanical garden. Which one would you recommend to a winning member of The Horde (and guest)?

Gardens of The Horde or their neighbors

Do you have Pimpernels?

California Girl (not CaliGirl) sent in another nice photo.

jjump.jpg

These are lovely Johnny jumpups in my friend's flowerbed. She always has gorgeous flowers. There's a little peach-colored flower from a weed poking its head through, but it's pretty, too.

Look for the peach-colored flower toward the top of the photo. It is Scarlet Pimpernel. Doesn't look very scarlet, does it? I have never seen a really "scarlet" Scarlet Pimpernel. Flower color is variable. These days, the flower is often seen along the sides of roads that were salted during winter, forming ribbons of color in spring (usually a peachy color in the USA, I think).

Johnny Jump-ups are not particularly large flowers, but a Scarlet Pimpernel is much smaller. Still, it is pretty for a weed. Below is a magnification of one in a more saturated color. It's from a review of the first novel about the famous Scarlet Pimpernel at Goodreads. The tiny flower was his symbol. "Baroness Orczy, who lived from 1865 to 1947, wrote fifteen Scarlet Pimpernel books altogether."

scarp.jpg

Scarlet Pimpernel was once used for medical treatments from skin discoloration to the bite of a mad dog. Its genus name (Anagalis) may have once reflected its reputation for relieving depression following liver troubles, causing people "to laugh" again.

No heart can think, no tongue can tell
The virtues of the Pimpernel.

Is there nothing it can't do?

The Herb Pimpernel is good to prevent witchcraft, as Mother Bumby doth affirm.

That was then, this is now. This plant is apparently quite toxic in quantity, including to livestock. Fortunately, it tastes nasty. Do not mistake it for chickweed when feeding birds or poultry. The seeds are toxic, too. The plant looks a lot like chickweed before (or after) it blooms. Common names include red chickweed, poor man's barometer, poor man's weather-glass, shepherd's weather glass or shepherd's clock. Flowers open only during daylight hours when sun is sufficiently strong. They close on overcast days.

As noted at the link above, the Scarlet Pimpernel and its blue variation were studied by Darwin and other early genetic scientists. Teams of scientists are still studying why Pimpernels are mostly scarlet in the UK and mostly blue in Spain. Go ahead, follow the link. It's not all genetics.

Once I grew Blue Pimpernel. One of the bluest little flowers available. Thompson and Morgan sells 'Skylover' as a plant in the UK. An alternative to lobelia for hanging baskets. In the USA, Swallowtail Seeds sells 'Blue Lights' as seed. Here are Scarlet and Blue Pimpernel together.

425x318-Blue-and-Scarlet-Pimpernel.jpg

Wild Mock Orange

Not all wildflowers are annuals. Kindltot likes fragrant flowers. He wrote this a while ago:

I am lucky because in my front yard I have a Mock Orange, Philidelphus lewisii. It is nice yard shrub, as long as you keep it under control. Mine is not. Here, in my front yard it is strangling the rhododendron while in turn being strangled by the grape.

The branches are very tough and won't splinter but they tend to shatter if you pull them, especially when they get old, and this one I think I will get back under control with the chainsaw next month.

The flowers are so fragrant though, and I hate to cut it back and lose a year of flowers. I can leave the windows open and I get the perfume in my bedroom.

50 mock orange.JPG

There are several wonderful species and cultivars of mock orange, from very hardy ones to a vining species from Mexico. Philadelphus lewisii is sometimes known as Syringa, which is confusing because that is the genus name of lilacs, which are not closely related. It is the State Flower of Idaho. There is a drought-tolerant cultivar developed in Canada called 'Waterton'. It reaches 4 to 6 feet. The taller, looser wild form west of the Cascades where Kindltot lives is sometimes called P gordoniansus.

So, did you take a chainsaw to your Mock Orange, Kindltot?

If plants are that exuberant in Kindltot's yard, maybe he shouldn't plant a Chinese or Japanese Wisteria.

What's going on in your garden?

Here in the San Joaquin Valley, it has been pretty windy, but still cool (for here). We have been replacing our drip system. Anything going on in your garden? Planted any veggies? Harvested any veggies?

The Telegraph has some tips on planting a meadow, including what might be called an eco-lawn here. I think preparation is key to establishing a permanent wildflower display. Weed control should come before planting. Maybe even solarization this summer.

Have a great week.

forgetnot.jpg

Forget Me Nots

If you would like to send information and/or photos for the Saturday Gardening Thread, the address is:

ktinthegarden
at g mail dot com

Include your nic unless you want to be a lurker.


Posted by: Open Blogger at 07:06 AM | Comments (107)
Post contains 1534 words, total size 13 kb.

1 Good afternoon greentumbs

Posted by: Skip at April 29, 2017 06:58 AM (Ot7+c)

2 Hi, Skip!~
  I'll be in and out this morning. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 07:02 AM (qahv/)

3 don't mind me, i'm just flying by...


Posted by: Operation Ranchand [/b] [/i] [/s] [/u] at April 29, 2017 07:02 AM (z1aE6)

4 Greentumbs? Well, I doubt anyone is doing any planting around here. Wet, cold, windy and occasional lightning. Going to kind of like this all weekend.

Posted by: HH at April 29, 2017 07:03 AM (DrCtv)

5 And a hat trick today, but thats not why I came here. The 3 plants rescued from the compost I think either are watermelons or pumpkins. Spotted yesterday tent caterpillars on my crab apple trees. I cut off the branch bagged them and will burn them today or tomorrow. And thinking of getting garden plants today.

Posted by: Skip at April 29, 2017 07:03 AM (Ot7+c)

6 socks are funnier when you spell them properly...

#Doh!


Posted by: redc1c4 [/b] [/i] [/s] [/u] at April 29, 2017 07:03 AM (z1aE6)

7 Beautiful pics, as always.

Posted by: Mr Aspirin Factory at April 29, 2017 07:03 AM (89T5c)

8 Harvested chives twice, oregino finally growing, 2 onion compost survivors are in the garden. Nothing in the seeds I planted in containers yet.

Posted by: Skip at April 29, 2017 07:05 AM (Ot7+c)

9 caligirl's pics remind me I have to pot my johnny jump-ups, and plant lily of the valley for next year. I picked some lilies of the valley from the community garden, what a heavenly scent. And what beautifully formed little flowers.

Posted by: kallisto at April 29, 2017 07:06 AM (kD8Fh)

10 Chives are going nuts. Harvested to make marinade for some yard bird tomorrow.

Posted by: Mr Aspirin Factory at April 29, 2017 07:07 AM (89T5c)

11 Beautiful post, KT. I love wildflowers, and most especially blue ones. The photos are all gorgeous. You forgot only one thing. *cough*

Posted by: Mertensia virginica at April 29, 2017 07:11 AM (sBOL1)

12 kallisto at April 29, 2017 12:06 PM

One tradition is to save the pips from which grew lily of the valley stems for a bridal bouquet.  The pips are then planted in the garden of the happy newlyweds.  Or in a pot. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 07:11 AM (qahv/)

13 Sorry KT, the Mock Orange is still there and bigger than ever.  I'll take the saw to it this fall when it is hot, dry and it is mostly dormant.  I will also look at rooting out the Asian quince and the holly tree while I am at it.  Maybe I'll put in a cherry

The next door neighbor sprayed our joint fenceline and got the Indian plums that I had planted, I think they are all done for.  Next year I'm planting the whips next to the other neighbor's board fence.

On blue flowers, the Camas lilies are blooming at the side of the road, and the heavy rains seem to have done them some good.  They are dark colored and extra tall.  That is my Fall project, to transplant some to the back yard. 

Posted by: Kindltot at April 29, 2017 07:12 AM (T+ln4)

14 Mertensia virginica at April 29, 2017 12:11 P

Forgot more than one.  Heh. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 07:12 AM (qahv/)

15 We had a lovely March and start to April.  This past week we have had temps near to freezing, hail, sleet and today is gray, cold and windy.  Glad I haven't planted anything yet.  I think next week will be busy.  I am cheating this year and only planting vinca in my flower pots since they are so low maintenance. Chive are doing well out front, but still too cold to plant the cilantro, rosemary, basil and parsley seedlings I started.

Posted by: Infidel at April 29, 2017 07:13 AM (uKRys)

16 Cursed be the ground for our sake. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for us. For out of the ground we were taken, for the dust we are...and to the dust we shall return.

Posted by: Insomniac at April 29, 2017 07:13 AM (0mRoj)

17 Kindltot at April 29, 2017 12:12 PM

To limit the size of your mock orange, consider pruning it back in summer, while in full growth.  Maybe not all at once.  That would avoid sending growth hormones to the cuts you make, which is what happens when a deciduous shrub or tree is pruned while dormant. 

When you say "Asian Quince", do you mean flowering quince?  Fruit any good?

The Camas Lilies sound beautiful.  Sorry about your Indian Plums. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 07:19 AM (qahv/)

18 I'm not usually aware of such things, but according to Pookette's Hello Kitty calendar, today is Greenery Day in Japan.

Posted by: pookysgirl watched too much Red Green at April 29, 2017 07:24 AM (ar2KI)

19 Be off with you, old sock! Go mow the lawn for me or something.

Posted by: pookysgirl at April 29, 2017 07:25 AM (ar2KI)

20 Infidel at April 29, 2017 12:13 PM

Are you talking Vinca as in Vinca Major (lavender blue or white flowers) or Vinca as in upright annual "Vincas" (Catharanthus rosea) with white, pink, red or lavender flowers? 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 07:30 AM (qahv/)

21 I meant Japanese quince, the one with the glossy leaves, coral flowers and wicked spurs.  It attacks me every time I'm near it, but the darned shrubs are nearly impossible to kill. 

I was looking into getting a elderberry tree, and I was looking for places to get one.  And then I discovered that there is a volunteer growing beside by porch. 

KT, or any one, do you know if the roots will break my foundation?  I can transplant it now, but not when it gets big.

Posted by: Kindltot at April 29, 2017 07:32 AM (T+ln4)

22 Mertensia virginica at April 29, 2017 12:11 PM

Virginia Bluebells and their relatives are a joy to run across when walking near a stream in the woods.  

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 07:32 AM (qahv/)

23 Beautiful flower pics. Thank you KT. The view thru my windows is snow falling. I hope it warms up today and helps all the tree branches out. I covered my two baby trees that survived their fall transplanting last night and the one I moved several days ago. That one is in a sad state right now. I'll give it longer before decided I killed it but I didn't take notes on how long it took for the trees to perk up when I moved them last fall. I know they lost most of their leaves and then grew some new ones.

Posted by: PaleRider at April 29, 2017 07:35 AM (8qFZP)

24 Kindltot at April 29, 2017 12:32 PM

I would not leave a volunteer elderberry near your house foundation. 

I know you're into natives, but if you want fruit quality (or ornamental "wow", you might consider named cultivars.  You may need two different ones for pollination.  Or a named one and a wild one. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 07:36 AM (qahv/)

25 i need to put fertilizer and weed control on the front lawn today and do some edging but I seem to be lacking motivation. Also need to patch a crack in tha asphalt driveway but WeaselWoman's car is parked on top of it.

Posted by: Weasel at April 29, 2017 07:36 AM (Sfs6o)

26 Kindltot at April 29, 2017 12:32 PM

There are some flowering quinces that don't have thorns.  There are also some dwarfs.  Some have edible fruit, quite acid, that needs to be cooked like most regular quince.  Some fruits are described as 'lemony'. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 07:40 AM (qahv/)

27 pookysgirl watched too much Red Green at April 29, 2017 12:24 PM

Japanese culture is . . . . Japanese. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 07:41 AM (qahv/)

28 No gardening today. It's snowing.

Posted by: Ronster at April 29, 2017 07:41 AM (CDUSe)

29 PaleRider at April 29, 2017 12:35 PM

Hope your surviving little trees make it.  Let us know. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 07:45 AM (qahv/)

30 I like native plants because they are low maintenance.  Thank you for the tip, though.  I will move this one this year.

I had a california bay laurel that self seeded, too, and I cut that one down to keep my foundation in one piece. 

I've mentioned my apple-grafting experiments.  One of my grafts has finally blossomed this year.  I've gone on and on about it, but the upshot is that I tried my hand at grafting, but I forgot to keep track of what I used for the scion wood. So, it worked, but I have no idea if it was a success. 

Posted by: Kindltot at April 29, 2017 07:45 AM (T+ln4)

31 Weasel at April 29, 2017 12:36 PM

Weed control and fertilization of lawns  is not very motivational.  At least I don't think they are motivational activities. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 07:46 AM (qahv/)

32 Butterfly and hummingbird bushes are reduced in height due to the two hard freezes but they are thick again. http://tinypic.com/r/madsvo/9 And already got these. http://tinypic.com/r/20ztshy/9 The butterfly wall isn't ready for a picture yet but it's coming.

Posted by: Dave at Buffalo Roam at April 29, 2017 07:47 AM (vAcWO)

33 Ronster at April 29, 2017 12:41 PM

It snowed near Zurich in Switzerland, too.  Just as Al Gore's new movie was announced.  Gore Effect? 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 07:49 AM (qahv/)

34 Japanese culture is . . . . Japanese.

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 12:41 PM (qahv/)


Yup. It can be weird but fun. The gardens I saw off the beaten path were gorgeous.

Posted by: pookysgirl at April 29, 2017 07:54 AM (ar2KI)

35
Are you talking Vinca as in Vinca Major (lavender blue or white flowers) or Vinca as in upright annual "Vincas" (Catharanthus rosea) with white, pink, red or lavender flowers?

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 12:30 PM (qahv/)


Not sure KT.  I will let you know next Sat.  I usually try to find Red, White and Blue. (darkish purple)

Posted by: Infidel at April 29, 2017 07:56 AM (uKRys)

36 The butterfly wall isn't ready for a picture yet but it's coming. Posted by: Dave at Buffalo Roam at April 29, 2017 12:47 PM (vAcWO)
=====

LOL because I was just talking to my eldest (she of the big wedding) and commented about the butterflies in the venue.  She claims that no, they are natural and she didn't have them hidden to release at the appropriate time.  The butterflies were awesome, so I was wondering if they were natural.

Posted by: mustbequantum at April 29, 2017 07:58 AM (MIKMs)

37 Love the orange and blue combo ... colors of my alma mater.  Many roads here have a nice blue chicory edging for a month or so.  Not sure if it was planned, but it seems they must deliberately avoid mowing as they develop.  I try to encourage little patches of them in my grassy spaces.

This link (a pic from PA, just found it from a Bing search) has a picture of what they look like here in bloom, along the roadside.

http://tinyurl.com/l2hkhg2

My American Meadows order shipped yesterday.  I picked a few from their "deer resistant" section, but plan to cage them in since even one bite would destroy them when they are so small.  The deer have munched my day lilies but were nice enough to leave several inches.  I have a fence around them, but not high enough.  Hopefully as the corn comes up the deer will eat that instead, or other new growth.

I'd never heard of most of these, but they looked interesting.
Robert Fleming Hibiscus
Crimson Pirate Daylilies
Ajuga Catlin's Giant
Agastache Tango
Gala Madrid bearded iris
white feather pampas grass
Mardi Gras helenium
The Rocket Ligularia
Lavender Hidcote

Posted by: illiniwek at April 29, 2017 07:58 AM (TmCOq)

38 Need to go re-pot a butterfly bush, but thank you for all the pics and tips!

Posted by: Adriane the Other-than-green-thumb Critic ... at April 29, 2017 07:59 AM (AoK0a)

39 The desert bloom east and west of the high sierra will be incredible this year. search; touring highway 395

Posted by: 13times at April 29, 2017 08:01 AM (WHVu+)

40 KT, Thanks for the thread and all those gorgeous photos. They make me wish to heaven that I could draw and paint better than I do.

Posted by: JTB at April 29, 2017 08:04 AM (V+03K)

41 We planted leaf lettuce and spinach seeds a few days ago when the weather was cool and wet. They are already coming up which is a tribute to the seed vendor, a sign that G-d is blessing our gardening efforts, and/or dumb luck on our part. Fresh salad from our garden is one of my seasonal treats. Now I have to be patient until the leaves are big enough to use. I've already learned that standing over the plants and yelling to hurry up doesn't work. :-)

Posted by: JTB at April 29, 2017 08:12 AM (V+03K)

42 We have a planter with chives. Some have developed flower heads. Questions: Should the heads be popped off? And can they be used in recipes? BTW, these chives have great flavor. I've been using them on spuds and eggs. Plenty of flavor but not overpowering.

Posted by: JTB at April 29, 2017 08:18 AM (V+03K)

43 Kindltot at April 29, 2017 12:45 PM

Yes, natives tend to be low maintenance.  In the case of elderberries, I don't think the cultivars for fruit or ornamentation are difficult to grow under similar conditions.  Some of the ornamental ones are dwarf, and either the ornamental or fruiting ones should pollinate your seedling, if it is a Blue Elderberry.  Here's some background on Blue Elderberry.  Read elsewhere that it can grow from one gallon to 15 feet in three years!

http://preview.tinyurl.com/l994d6y

Red Elderberry (also native in your area) should not be used for food. 


Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 08:19 AM (qahv/)

44
Yup. It can be weird but fun. The gardens I saw off the beaten path were gorgeous.
--

It's always been my dream to visit Japan, however Fukishima has sort of doused that idea. Now seeing their gardens is added to the imaginary activities there.

Their culture is weird and surreal and somewhat magical all at the same time for me.

And I don't think they're hats over the peonies. They're little teepees. 

Posted by: shibumi at April 29, 2017 08:19 AM (8zWAk)

45 Our wisteria blossoms were prolific this year but are starting to fade. But they still have enough presence to perfume the warm and moist morning air in the yard.

Posted by: JTB at April 29, 2017 08:21 AM (V+03K)

46 It's shaping up to be a beautiful day today. 80's and no wind. I've had terrible allergies from the wind this week. I need to deadhead the geraniums and roses. Everything looks really healthy, I think it's from the rain.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 29, 2017 08:21 AM (Ri/rl)

47 Kindltot at April 29, 2017 12:45 PM

Congrats on your apple graft. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 08:21 AM (qahv/)

48 Infidel, if you can find red, white and purple, it's Catharanthus rosea.  Won't say so on the tags.  Also called Madagascar Periwinkle.

Real Vinca is generally a vine.  An aggressive vine. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 08:24 AM (qahv/)

49 Red Elderberry (also native in your area) should not be used for food.
Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 01:19 PM (qahv/)


It has cyanogens that will be destroyed by heating. The truth be told they also taste funny, and I can't figure out what the flavor is.  Maybe almond extract.   The red elderberries are so lovely though.

Imagine the green leaves, red fruits against the white clapboard porch.  Makes me want to get some clapboards.

Posted by: Kindltot at April 29, 2017 08:25 AM (T+ln4)

50 My wild Plums were blooming and smelling great. With the snow and 26 degree temperature, they are most likely done.

Posted by: Ronster at April 29, 2017 08:28 AM (CDUSe)

51 Dave at Buffalo Roam at April 29, 2017 12:47 PM

Wow!  A monarch chrysalis already.  And after hard freezes? 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 08:29 AM (qahv/)

52 mustbequantum at April 29, 2017 12:58 PM

It would be easier to tell if the butterflies at the wedding were natural if we knew what kind they were and where the wedding was. 

For example, Gulf Fritillaries are bold around people and can be present in large numbers where there are passion vines. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 08:32 AM (qahv/)

53 Never let my chives get high before last year, but neglected cutting them and found whole plant had flowered. Cut the whole plant down to couple of inches and came back quick. Going to try not letting it get that way this year.

Posted by: Skip at April 29, 2017 08:32 AM (Ot7+c)

54 illiniwek at April 29, 2017 12:58 PM

I love blue chicory flowers, too.

Glad you got your plants in.  Careful working around the pampas grass.  It can have sharp edges.  Not sure if that is the one that is so invasive in California. 

Ajuga can also be aggressive, but it's little. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 08:37 AM (qahv/)

55 13times at April 29, 2017 01:01 PM

Thanks for the tip on Sierra wildflowers.  There are some in the mountains that are really different from the ones found lower. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 08:40 AM (qahv/)

56 JTB at April 29, 2017 01:12 PM

Hope those salad greens hurry. 

Removing your chive blossoms may reduce their dormant period. 

You can eat individual chive blossoms.  The flavor may be stronger than that of the leaves. 

Since you have a good-tasting variety, don't toss your plants if they go dormant after blooming. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 08:44 AM (qahv/)

57 8th day of chilly rain in Iowa. Still waiting for the ground temperture to rise before transplanting things like tomatoes and peppers. I hope most of you are enjoying some sunshine.

Posted by: colkax mimgo at April 29, 2017 08:45 AM (mc8bR)

58 Tangled up in blue.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman at April 29, 2017 08:47 AM (vRcUp)

59 shibumi at April 29, 2017 01:19 PM

Hope you get an opportunity to visit Japan someday. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 08:48 AM (qahv/)

60 I'm spending this Saturday trying to save my tender plants from 9" of snow and freezing temperatures. Ah, the joys of gardening in Denver.

Posted by: lily at April 29, 2017 08:50 AM (5Rl8X)

61 Aaaag I have to get off the couch and see how things are doing? at 2pm on a Saturday? Basil has just barely sprouted. It's odd that it came up immediately over the winter (before being next to the cold window killed it) but now with daily mistings, I can barely get it to germinate. The salad greens in the Aerogarden are doing well; one of the little pods looks like it's got some red lettuce. Outside, green onion isn't doing much but the bok choy, broccoli raab, and radishes have all sprouted. I need to mow the lawn either today or tomorrow for the first time all year, and some of the ground cover wildflowers have moved in (which is prettier than grass IMO). I've got crimson snagglethorn, krisp-o-the-kreme, and hobo merkin going wild out there.

Posted by: hogmartin at April 29, 2017 08:57 AM (8nWyX)

62 My chives have maybe 4 flowers. I leave them. I think they self seed a new plant. I have chives year round in the raised bed area. They are protected from frost. It's a shady spot. I think they die when it's really cold.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 29, 2017 09:00 AM (Ri/rl)

63 60 I'm spending this Saturday trying to save my tender plants from 9" of snow and freezing temperatures. Ah, the joys of gardening in Denver. Posted by: lily at April 29, 2017 01:50 PM (5Rl8X) Oh lily, that must be tough having a late cold snap.

Posted by: CaliGirl at April 29, 2017 09:01 AM (Ri/rl)

64 Ok - I put down the fertilizer and weed stuff, and patched the crack without too much drama. However,WeaselWoman is giving me the look that I think means I should still be working.

Posted by: Weasel at April 29, 2017 09:03 AM (Sfs6o)

65 Blackest of thumbs. From a family of master gardeners!  But I am a very appreciative audience.  And nothing has died by my simply admiring it from a distance.  So, thanks for the lovely pix.  So beautiful.

Posted by: gracepc at April 29, 2017 09:03 AM (OU4q6)

66 Sorry about the late snow on your tender plants, lily.  One of those "Oh, no" moments when you first saw them covered with snow, I suspect. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 09:06 AM (qahv/)

67 I got the rest of the garden in this week, and there is now a cool and wet weekend here for the transplants to get established. The grow-lights are off; I'll be reconfiguring the area for starting cactus and succulent seeds sometime in the next week or two. I grew the "desert bluebell," Phacelia campanularia, last year. It did fairly well here in Kansas, blooming until midsummer, and it was very, very blue: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tancos/27471102791/in/album-72157634035826325/ This year I'm trying Phacelia tanacetifolia. Other experimental wildflowers include tidy tips (Layia platyglossa), blue pimpernel (Anagallis monelli) Gilia tricolor and Limnanthes douglasii and a couple of Nigella species. The question is which ones will reach maturity and bloom well before the murderous summer heat arrives. The Layia is growing strongly and should be flowering soon, but I have less confidence in the others.

Posted by: Don at April 29, 2017 09:07 AM (0yuZ3)

68 KT, Thanks for the chives help. These must have self-seeded from last year and are even better. First time we had chives survive outside but this was a rather mild winter. CaliGirl makes me plan to protect the chives come next fall and winter to extend the season.

Posted by: JTB at April 29, 2017 09:07 AM (V+03K)

69 Romaine lettuce and basil are already making it to my afternoon salad from my garden. Here in NC we have been having an insane pine pollen bloom followed by every non ploughed field turning into an ocean of clover. Folks with allergies are miserable but I am guessing the local clover honey crop will do very well this year.

Posted by: Big V at April 29, 2017 09:08 AM (ep6C/)

70 Ronster at April 29, 2017 01:28 PM

Dang.  Are they wild plums that taste good? 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 09:09 AM (qahv/)

71 Blackest of thumbs. From a family of master gardeners! But I am a very appreciative audience. And nothing has died by my simply admiring it from a distance. So, thanks for the lovely pix. So beautiful. Posted by: gracepc at April 29, 2017 02:03 PM (OU4q6)
=====

Me too!  I did lecture my poor soninlaw about turning over the perennial beds at his house -- that he would regret it because when he tried to replace with something even half as nice, he wouldn't be able to afford it on a bet.  Poor guy is starting to believe.

Posted by: mustbequantum at April 29, 2017 09:16 AM (MIKMs)

72 hogmartin at April 29, 2017 01:57 PM

How old are your onion seeds?  They don't stay viable as long as some other seeds. 

On your basil, don't kill the seedlings with kindness.  Too much water might rot them. 

Can't comment on your crimson shagglethorn.  Heh. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 09:18 AM (qahv/)

73 More later, but a note about chives for now: I think onion chives are plenty cold-tolerant. Mine were not mulched or protected in any way this past winter. They were probably under a foot or two of snow, when the temperatures hit negative 18 F. And currently, they are growing so strongly that I have tried to give them away (I cannot do it fast enough), and I am thinking about actually just digging some up and throwing them in the garbage... otherwise every bed I have, will have chive clumps squeezed into it eventually.

Posted by: Pat* at April 29, 2017 09:20 AM (qC1ju)

74 gracepc at April 29, 2017 02:03 PM

Thanks for checking in. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 09:20 AM (qahv/)

75 Pets thread is up.

Posted by: PaleRider at April 29, 2017 09:24 AM (8qFZP)

76 Don at April 29, 2017 02:07 PM

Wow.  That is a beautiful close-up!

I've grown all of the wildflowers you mentioned except for the nigellas.
Some were grown in the milder climate of Southern California, though.  Hope yours make it. 

Phacelia tanacetifolia is a famous "bee plant".  Looks really different from the Desert Bluebell. 

Your experience confirms the vigor of Tidy Tips.  I also liked the look of the soft yellow Layia at one of the Nemophila links above. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 09:29 AM (qahv/)

77 KT at April 29, 2017 02:09 PM (qahv/)

I call them wild plums, not sure what they are. Got the start from Gurney years ago. They taste OK, not great.  They don't get very big. The last few years some kind of insect burrows in to the seed and that pretty much destroys the fruit.

Posted by: Ronster at April 29, 2017 09:31 AM (CDUSe)

78 How old are your onion seeds? They don't stay viable as long as some other seeds. On your basil, don't kill the seedlings with kindness. Too much water might rot them. Can't comment on your crimson shagglethorn. Heh. Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 02:18 PM (qahv/) All the seeds are at least 2 years old, so that could be the problem with the onions. In re: basil, the old seeds did sprout a few months ago, so I'd think they're still viable. Mom gave me some newer ones that have some kind of coating that makes them look like Nerds candy, but so far I'm only seeing the old seeds sprouting. I mist the basil maybe 2-3 times per day, so it does have time to dry out in between. Mostly it's just until they germinate. Once they're established, I was planning on watering (not just misting) maybe twice weekly.

Posted by: hogmartin at April 29, 2017 09:31 AM (8nWyX)

79 JTB,

If you decide to harvest some of your chive flowers, take the entire stem.  It's a lot tougher than the leaves. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 09:32 AM (qahv/)

80 Pat* at April 29, 2017 02:20 PM

I can just see you taking chive starts to community meetings.  Heh. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 09:35 AM (qahv/)

81 hogmartin at April 29, 2017 02:31 PM

Basil seeds can carry some fungi that kill them.  You might be misting too often. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 09:36 AM (qahv/)

82 Basil seeds can carry some fungi that kill them. You might be misting too often. Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 02:36 PM (qahv/) Interesting. I'll lay off a bit, I guess. I figured moisture was the key to triggering germination. The newer coated seeds should be fine though, I imagine.

Posted by: hogmartin at April 29, 2017 09:39 AM (8nWyX)

83 Ditto nine inches of AGW, 25 degrees tonight and last night.  Probably no peaches or plums this year, covered blooming strawberries and blueberries, moved all starts inside.  Another Front Range, CO. spring.

Posted by: stonecutter at April 29, 2017 10:56 AM (Bfr22)

84 F'n Quince...we hates it, truly the devils bush.  It may be beautiful under bloom, but those damn spikes.  The scratches take months to heal.

Things are wet, wet, wet here in WNY and I'm way behind getting things sorted.  We're a week or so from the Lilacs and Quince blooming, the Wisteria is late and the weeds are running rampant.


Posted by: browndog at April 29, 2017 11:36 AM (bGMOs)

85 stonecutter at April 29, 2017 03:56 PM

Darn it.  Late frosts ruin so many things. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 12:11 PM (qahv/)

86 browndog at April 29, 2017 04:36 PM

You and Kindletot are on the same wavelength today.  Sounds like time for a review on flowering quinces.  There are some non-thorny ones. 

Go ahead and cut some branches of that thorny devil, put them in a vase and watch them bloom indoors a little early. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 12:27 PM (qahv/)

87 Some seeds need different handling to sprout. One of the staff at the extension service suggested soaking some in cold tea to soften the skin. This was for seeds that are regularly spread by birds

Posted by: Kindltot at April 29, 2017 12:46 PM (Vx5bs)

88 Just puttin' it out there. https://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/world-naked-gardening-day-first-saturday-in-may/

Posted by: Bill R. at April 29, 2017 01:03 PM (jKUeC)

89 Kindltot at April 29, 2017 05:46 PM

"seeds regularly spread by birds".  In other words, seeds that have had germination inhibitors removed in a bird's guts.  Delightful, eh?

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 01:10 PM (qahv/)

90 So happy to be back in Idaho's Treasure Valley after 11 days in the northeast! Good to visit with friends and my kin, but travel is just plain tiring. Lawn of course needed mowing. Neighborhood irrigation not yet on, because there was so much rain. Annoying, since I will now have to do all vegetable seed watering by carrying buckets of water from behind my house. Good to see my tulips didn't all disappear before I returned - I knew the hyacinths would be gone, but I do get to see my tulips. Some look like they've doubled since last year - nice! Crabapple was already blooming, now the 2 apple trees are as well. Lilacs were budding, haven't flowered yet. Irises are budding (still not completely certain what type they are). Trees have all leafed out (maples, linden) except for the hated sycamores. Indoor pepper plants didn't grow much. Strawberry plants all flowering, one even has a fruit! We'll be transplanting some into their new bed at some point. Red Norland potatoes have sprouted, but not Yukon Golds yet. Green onions are several inches high. Worrying whether all the asparagus plants will come up this year - some have, but we lost a few stems to a previous early frost - hoping it doesn't happen again... Last year's parsley apparently reseeded - will have to transplant the little sprouts later. English thyme got dead bits pruned off today. (There are multiple baby plants left in blueberry bed where the thyme was before - maybe it will just become an understory for that bed.) Spearmint looks like it might finally spread. Planted a few fill-in seeds for the Asian snow peas and spinach today. Also planted 2 lavender 'Provence' we bought earlier today. Still trying to give chives away - reposted on the neighborhood's Nextdoor site. Got some new takers, thankfully.

Posted by: Pat* at April 29, 2017 01:11 PM (qC1ju)

91 Bill R. at April 29, 2017 06:03 PM

Not around thorny plants, I hope.  Heh. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 01:13 PM (qahv/)

92 Pat* at April 29, 2017 06:11 P

Welcome back home!  Sounds like you need a watering can. 

Did you plant a type of tulip known to persist in the garden?  Some are best re-planted every year.  In most climates, anyway. 

My mother maintained some of the Species, Greigii and Kaufmanniana tulips (low-growing, some with mottled leaves) for several years in her garden in Utah. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 01:22 PM (qahv/)

93 Back from digging in the dirt at the pea patch. By the sweat of my brow I earn my bread. And pintos. Last year we hatched 30-40 monarchs that we know of and probably more we didn't see. The one in chrysalis is surely from last year's eggs. There hasn't been a migration of adults seen.

Posted by: Dave at Buffalo Roam at April 29, 2017 01:31 PM (vAcWO)

94 Just because no one else has posted it yet: They seek him here, They seek him there, Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven? Is he in hell? That demm'd, elusive Pimpernel!

Posted by: Dr Alice at April 29, 2017 01:36 PM (LaT54)

95 Pat*, you have the awesomest garden report every week. From the "frozen tundra", no less! Thank you.

Posted by: Spun and Murky at April 29, 2017 01:45 PM (4DCSq)

96 My tulips are all official Holland Tulip Festival tulips, from Holland, Michigan. Here's how you get them: They don't re-plant or re-use the tulip bulbs after the festival. If you take notes during the festival about what type you want, and go on the day they designate for taking away bulbs of specific types, you can get exactly what you want (assuming nobody else has taken all of your favorite kind already). I don't know if you have to pay to do this. However, if you miss that day, or you don't care what kind of tulips you plant, then you go to the *dump*, on the day they throw away all the bulbs. And you get random colors and shapes. And they're completely free. I have official Holland Dump tulips thanks to my nieces there, who collected them for me. I traveled back to Mich. one summer by trailer to see one of them get married, and they had saved a bag of that spring's dump-tulips for me, so I took them home and planted them. This past winter (their 2nd), they were buried by the Snowpocalypse, and this spring, they came up just fine. There are a few blank spots - but, I put some of the smaller tulips in pots out back, and some of those have bloomed, so this fall they'll get promoted the the front beds. (Colors I ended up with: red - yellow - pale yellow with pink on the outer centers - yellow edged in red - white edged in lavender - dark maroon/purple edged in white - and a lavender/pink shade.)

Posted by: Pat* at April 29, 2017 02:29 PM (qC1ju)

97 Oh, come on! The Gardening Thread must push over 100!

Posted by: Spun and Murky at April 29, 2017 04:09 PM (4DCSq)

98 Dave at Buffalo Roam at April 29, 2017 06:31 PM

Wow.  It seems unusual to have a Monarch caterpillar overwinter.  You got Tropical Milkweed?  A. curassavica?


Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 05:13 PM (qahv/)

99 Dr Alice at April 29, 2017 06:36 PM

Thanks. 
Don't think we will be seeing a Scarlet Pimpernel movie review at AoSHQ.  Heh. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 05:15 PM (qahv/)

100 Pat* at April 29, 2017 07:29 PM

Interesting way to acquire tulip bulbs!  Nice to have nieces. 

Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 05:22 PM (qahv/)

101 Replant tulips every year?  Not here!  They come back again and again, multiply, come back some more...

Lucky, or, just have the right conditions I guess.

Of course, after a decade or so, some tulips just disappear (natural death?) or maybe 'revert' to yellow or red or a bicolor of red and yellow.  Still pretty, though.  We have a *riot of color* in tulips alone right now, in every corner of the yard.  Red, pink, purple, white, yellow-- plus grape hyacinth all over the place-- I love it!  Clematis (3) are all forming buds, too!

Bunnies are munching strawberry leaves, but leaving the flowers-- so we'll get fruit.  Funny.

Cherries are done blooming, apples just starting to bloom, maple seedlings popping up everywhere and of course Dandelions galore.

It's finally warm enough to bring tomato and pepper seedlings out for a bit of sun.  They still must be brought in at night, however.  Maybe will plant out in another month.  (May 10th-15th is *last frost* for here, but it's been so cold this year I think we'll wait a couple extra weeks.)

Happy gardening, and thanks to KT (as always!) for this thread.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 29, 2017 06:17 PM (5muuD)

102 Hmm, new hash.  Oh, yeah... we had a power outage a while ago.  That probably did it.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 29, 2017 06:19 PM (5muuD)

103 JQ Flyover at April 29, 2017 11:17 PM

The tulips sound great!  Are the Grape Hyacinths all the same color and species?  Wonder if grape hyacinths in a single color make multi-colored tulips look better? 

I schlep tomato seedlings (and some other seedlings) in and out of the house to get some sun when the weather changes in spring, too.  I don't usually expose them to a full day of sun the first day.  Unless they are so tiny that they still have their seed leaves. 


Posted by: KT at April 29, 2017 08:30 PM (qahv/)

104 Posted by: KT at April 30, 2017 01:30 AM

Our Grape Hyacinths *are* all the same color. Plain-jane dark blue.  Kind of makes the rest of it look... planned... or something, lol.    (All ya need is ONE clump of those things, then after a few years-- they're everywhere!) 

Lately has been half-sunny and half-cloudy, so I think the seedlings are okay w/full days outside right off the bat.  Will put them in part shade when temps finally forecast to go over 80, but by then we'll probably leave them out overnight also.

This year has been way colder and wetter than usual so far.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at April 29, 2017 09:16 PM (5muuD)

105 Just finished sifting zinnia seed from last summers blooms. Also seed saving Magdalena Acelgas, an heirloom chard from a family in Magdalena, Sonora.

Posted by: AzDesertRat at April 30, 2017 08:21 AM (hPmlA)

106 AzDesertRat: Let us know if you re-plant this year. The chard has an interesting history. Nice flavor? Chard and beets are pollinated by wind and are promiscuous with some weeds, so if the new chard is not the same, that's probably the reason. It will probably be fine, though.

Posted by: KT at April 30, 2017 11:55 AM (qahv/)

107 Test

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at April 30, 2017 12:53 PM (FyX1G)

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