Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Big Garden Update

Things continue to grow and thrive down in the big garden. I have been so busy the last few weeks with the watering and my big weeding project that I haven't taken much time to sit back and observe what's going on.

The "Hutterite Soup" bush beans are finally blooming at the end of August! I am quite sure that there isn't enough time for the beans to mature and dry on the plant but it will still be fun to watch them grow.

The plants are now about 1 1/2 " tall and have pretty green heart shaped leaves.

I am pretty pleased with the success of all of the varieties of Marigolds that I grew from seed. I know that Marigolds are very common but somehow growing them from seed yourself makes them seem a little more special. Here is a ruffled bloom of "Queen Sophia".

And this is my one plant of "Durango". I like how the underside of each petal is yellow and flips up a bit to contrast with the red top color. Very striking.

My biggest joy has been with the Gem Series of Marigolds. They are about 6" tall in my garden though I think that they would reach close to a foot in height in full sun. They have such fine,airy, detailed foliage and are just getting covered in blooms. This is a plant of "Tangerine" Gem.

And this is "Lemon" Gem.

"Red" Gem is my favorite of the three, I think. I love how each red petal is outlined in orange.

Now this Gem plant isn't like the other three. I think it is a cross from the seed growing fields or a sport but I love it. It looks like "Lemon" Gem & "Red" Gem had a fling! I think I might try to save some seed from this plant and see what I get next year.

All of the Zinnia varieties are doing well too. I get more and more colors blooming each day which is always fun since you never quite know what you are getting when you plant a mix.

The dahlia patch is starting to mature now too. As you can see, I have about 5 more rows to weed and then that huge project will be done! More and more varieties are starting to open their blooms here each day. I love seeing old favorites again but it's exciting to see new varieties bloom for the first time to. You never know if they will be as pretty as the catalog picture was!

Here is "Clearview David" a BB sized Formal Decorative form in lavender.

"Martina" a miniature Formal Decorative in a dark blend of white & purple.

Here's a new one to my garden this year. "Leota Mace" is a Waterlily form in Dark Pink.

"Crazy 4 Jesse" is an Incurved Cactus in a dark blend of dark red & yellow. It was a new variety for me last year and I liked it so much I have three plants of it this year. It seems to be an early bloomer and has been among the first varieties to bloom for me both years that I have grown it.

Good old "Pam Howden" a waterlily form in a light blend of yellow, orange, & dark pink. If I had to choose just a handful of varieties to grow, this would be on my top five list. Beautiful with loads of perfectly formed blooms. Hybridized in Australia in 1995.

Another favorite of mine "Ms Kennedy", a Miniature Ball in Orange. Can you tell that I love orange dahlias? I have won best MB in show with this variety three times since I first started growing it.

More poor neglected morning glories are doing pretty good too. Many have reached the top of the fence now. The bad part about having them growing down in this garden is that I never get to see them bloom except on weekends. The blooms are always closed up by the time I get home from work and make it down to this garden on the weekdays. Above is pictured a pretty bloom of "Milky Way" and below a bloom of "Tie-dye".

And my sweet nasturtiums "Lady Bird Cream Purple Spot" that I bought at the nursery and planted so very late are actually starting to bloom. They are tough little plants!

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