Archive | July, 2013

Anna’s Perambulations, July 31st, 2013

31 Jul

Mimulus cardinalis
Cuphea ignea
Salvia ‘Credo Petosi’
Lychnis coronaria
Salvia ‘Hotlips’
Brassica oleracea
Cuphea cyanea ‘Carribeam Sunset’
Abutilon megapotamicum

I assume the brassica was visited because the flowers were so close to the Salvia ‘Hotlips’, as she just visited one flower, but I have seen them checked out before, too. The bees sure like these…

Earlier in the day I caught one visiting the two fuchsias in the corner too- Fuchsia magelanica ‘molinae’ and the unnamed standard I think is Fuchsia ‘Display’

Origami Seed Packets

31 Jul

Ok, so for whatever reason today I decided to save some seeds of the “poor man’s orchid”, Schizanthus pinnatus. Dunno why really, since I suck at actually growing things out from seed, but I like this plant and its not always easy to find. So, since I had at least one plant the hummingbirds graced with a few visits, I thought I would try saving some seeds of it.

I know lots of people have different ways to save seed, and many people buy little velum or plastic envelopes to put their seeds in, but years ago a friend of mine shared this origami fold that adapts itself really well to saving seeds. From a single piece of scratch paper, you can make two to four good sized envelopes that are easy to open, and more importantly REopen, and keep most seeds nicely secured in breathable paper. Experts say plastic doesn’t breath enough and can smother the seeds… Then turn around and tell you to put the seed packets in sealable glass jars, lol. You decide how you want to store them, but maybe this little fold will make it easier to collect seeds on the fly when you aren’t necessarily planning on it.

Anyway, this is a cheap and effective way to make a simple seed packet that works great for all but the largest seeds. All you need is a piece of paper;

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This is regular 8×12 lined school paper, but any kind of paper will work, of any size. I usually prefer to rip the paper in half or quarters, depending on how many or how small the seeds are. Blank paper, or at least something with room to write on it works best, as you can scribble down the name of the seeds, and the date of when you collected and any other pertinent info directly on the seed pack before adding the seeds. Or use a sticker I suppose.

Ok, so start with a piece of paper roughly 4×6 inches, or half a sheet of standard lined paper. I like to fold it in half where I want to rip it, run my thumbnail over it to crease it hard, then open it up and flip it backwards and crease it again from the other side. Now you can open it up and gently rip along the creased fold, and it will usually rip fairly straight and cleanly along that line.

Or just mark it and use scissors, whatever works for you.

Now, long ways, fold it again bottom edge to top-

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Crease hard. Now match the two top and bottom edges again, and make a small fold to hold these edges together, about 1/8 to 3/16ths of and inch deep-

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Do this again, doubling this fold over for a nice tight seal (we don’t want it to come apart with the seeds in the finished envelope, so doubling the fold makes it stronger.)

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It’s hard to see in the above photo, but if you look closely you can see how it’s been folded once then doubled over and folded again.

Now flip the fold over, and fold a triangle on one end, with this double folded edge going up to meet the center fold like so-

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Now do that again on the other side-

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Flip it over again, and fold the corners down, tucking the end into the double folded bottom edge-

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That’s it! You have made the packet. I recommend if your going to use these for seeds, write at least the name of the seeds, and the date you collected them on the outside of the packet. If your collecting from a natural area or park, you can include that provenance information too, or any other notes you want or need to remember the seed location by, or tips on how to grow them, or whatever. I also like to put who I got seeds from if I get them from another gardener or friend. Really, whatever info you need that can fit on the paper. You can even open the paper up, write detailed notes on it, then refold and add the seeds. It’s pretty flexible.

Oh, to open, pop the tab on one of the sides, open it back up to square, and gently blow open the end-

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Be careful when you open these not to pull too hard on the double folded bottom edge, and when you close it, remember to tuck the corner back in under this fold to lock everything closed.

Of course it can be used for all kinds of things, not just seeds, but this is an easy fold to master and can be done anywhere if you just have a piece of paper.

One final look at the finished product here-

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The smaller of the two is made from a quarter sheet, the larger from a half sheet. If you have a large number of seeds, and bigger ones, you can use a full sheet of paper, but I’ve found they don’t hold together as easily. Your mileage may vary.

Hope this is clear enough to figure out! Have fun collecting seeds *grin*.

Anna’s perambulations, July 30th, 2013

31 Jul

Fuchsia ‘Display’ standard

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Salvia microphylla ‘Hotlips’

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Salvia microphylla ‘Cerro Petosi’

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Cuphea ignea (tall form)

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Of course, I was watching this from the deck, hard to say if me being outside prevented her from visiting some things I was too close for her liking? I know I see them on the Cuphea ‘Tiny Mice’ frequently, and the Mimulus cardinalis has been quite popular this year too. Bit maybe I was just too close to those for her.

What’s Blooming July 24th, 2013

31 Jul

Achillea millefolium

Agapanthus hybrid

Agastache foeniculum ‘Golden Jubilee’

Agastache x ‘Apricot Sprite’

Agastache x ‘Grape Nectar’

Agastache x ‘Orange Nectar’

Allium schoenoprassum

Anaphalis margaritaceae

Bacopa monieri

Ballotta nigra

Barbarea vulgaris

Begonia boliviensis ‘Bonfire’

Begonia x ‘Catrin’

Begonia x ‘Kleo’

Brassica oleracea

Buddleia davidii ‘Dark Knight’

Calliandra eryophylla

Campanula carpatica

Campanula persicifolia

Campanula portenshclageana

Cardamine hirsuta

Celosia x ‘New Look’

Celosia (cockscomb)

Cerastium tomentosum

Chaenorrhinum origanifolium ‘Blue Dream’

Chamerion angustifolium

Chrysanthemum partheniacum

Chrysanthemum x superbum

Claytonia sibirica

Clivia miniata

Coreopsis auriculata ‘nana’

Corydalis lutea

Crocosmia masonorum

Crocosmia x ‘Lucifer’

Cuphea cyanea ‘Carribean Sunset’

Cuphea ignea

Cuphea ignea (tall form)

Cuphea llavea ‘Flamenco Samba’

Cuphea llavea ‘Tiny Mice’

Cyclamen hederifolium

Dahlia (white cactus)

Dahlia (red leaved red flowers)

Dicentra formosa

Echinacea purpurea

Ellisiphyllum pinnatum

Epilobium ciliatum

Fuchsia campos-portoi

Fuchsia magellanica ‘aurea’

Fuchsia magellanica ‘molinae’

Fuchsia magellanica (Gram’s)

Fuchsia magellanica (Patrick’s)

Fuchsia magellanica (red leaved)

Fuchsia magellanica (plant swap)

Fuchsia tryphylla ‘Gartenmeister Bonsteadt’

Fuchsia triphylla ‘Mary’

Fuchsia x ‘Auntie Jinks’

Fuchsia x ‘Billy Green’

Fuchsia x ‘Juella’

Fuchsia x ‘Lachlade Magician’

Fuchsia x ‘Marinka’

Fuchsia x ‘Princessita’

Fuchsia x ‘Whiteknight’s Amethyst’

Gazania ‘Daybreak Garden Sun’

Geum macrophyllum

Gladiolus hybrid

Glyceria grandis

Huechera sanguinea

Impatiens hawker

Impatiens noli-tangere

Ipomoea luteola

Ipomoea multifida

Juncus ensifolia

Justicia brandegeana

Kalanchoe blossfieldiana

Lantana camara ‘Anne Marie’

Lantana camara ‘Landmark Peach Sunrise’

Lapsana communis

Lathyrus sylvestris

Lavendula angustifolia

Lespedeza thunbergii

Liatris spicata

Lillium martagon

Lobelia erinus

Lobularia maritimus

Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’

Lonicera ‘Pink Lemonade’

Lonicera ‘sulphurea’

Lychnis coronaria

Malva alcea

Medicago sativa

Mellissa citriodora

Mentha himalayensis

Mimulus cardinalis

Mimulus guttatus

Mina lobata

Mirabilis jalapa ‘Limelight’

Mitraria coccinea

Monarda didyma ‘Gardenview Scarlet’

Myosotis laxa

Nemesia ‘Aromatica White Improved’

Nemesia hybrids

Nicotiana alata grandiflora

Nicotiana mutabilis

Nicotiana x ‘Knightiana’

Ocimum basilicum

Oenothera missouriensis

Origanum vulgare

Osteospermum hybrid (white and purple)

Oxalis nelsoniana

Oxalis oregano

Oxalis triangularis

Pentas lanceolata

Phaelenopsis hybrids

Phaseolus coccinea

Plantago major

Polygonum pensylvanicum

Rosa chinensis mutabilis

Rosa x ‘Graham Thomas’

Rubus armeniacus

Rumex acetosella

Saintpaulia hybrids

Salvia coccinea ‘Forest Fire’

Salvia coccinea ‘Snow Nymph’

Salvia elegans ‘Tangerine’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia luecantha ‘Phyllis Fancy’

Salvia microphylla ‘Cerro Potosi’

Salvia microphylla ‘Hotlips’

Salvia patens ‘Cobalt’

Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’

Scabiosa alpina ‘Ritz Blue’

Schizanthus pinnatus

Schlumbergera hybrid

Solidago canadensis

Solidago ‘Golden Baby’

Stachys cooleyae

Symphoricarpos alba

Symphyotrichum subspicatum

Sysimbrium altissimum

Tagetes signata ‘Sparkles’

Tagetes ‘Disco Orange’

Tagetes ‘Disco Yellow’

Taraxacum officinale

Trapaeolum majus ‘Alaska’

Trifolium alba

Urtica dioica

Verbena x ‘Estrella Voodoo’

Viola x wittrockiana

July Humplants

13 Jul

There is a bunch going on in the garden this year, so I thought I would go through and make some notes on what is working and what’s not, to attract the hummingbirds.

So this morning I got up way too early, and went out to sit in the morning sun a d see if the hummers would show me what they like. I thought sitting in the truck would be good, cause it was still just a. It chilly in the shade, and that way the birds couldn’t see me. Unfortunately, with the sun on the window I could t see much either. But I did catch one visiting the scarlet runner beans, Phaseolus coccineus-

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S/he must have liked it, since several flowers were visited before flying off.

Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to see a juvenile visiting the flowers of the Japanese false indigo.

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I’ve been calling this Lespedeza thunbergii in my What’s Blooming lists, since that’s what I remember it as, but looking at the pics online the leaves look different for that species, three part rather than 15-19 on mine. The flowers are very very similar though, and beloved of bees. I got this years ago from Heronswood, planted it in a pot and though it gets occassional splashes of water, it’s pretty much on its own. It’s thrived over the years, blooms heavily most of mid summer. This was the first time I’d seen hummers visit the flowers, but the little guy worked several flower spikes over in quick succession, so he must have gotten something he liked.

A plant I just got this year, though I have grown it in the past, is Mimulus cardinalis-

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This rather sprawling California native is one of their favorites at the moment. It makes me want to install a stream or marshy pond in sun somewhere to give it the kind of garden space it would really thrive in. I love the bright reddish orange flowers, and the nice nectar lines in the throat. So do the hummers, consistently visiting these in their passes through the garden.

Another hands down favorite is the Salvia microphylla ‘Hotlips’

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I love this salvia almost as much as the hummers. The cute little flowers often open in pairs, and the coolest thing is they change color based on the weather. When it’s cooler, they are all red. As it warms up, they to through bicolor stages, then when it gets really hot, they can be all white. With our variable temps around here, this time of year you can have all three present at one time.

Another Salvia they have enjoyed since I brought it home is Salvia x leucantha ‘Phyllis Fancy’-

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The fuzzy lavender stems and near white lavender flowers are very different from most of the garden. But I bought it in bloom this spring, and better than any other salvia in my collection, this one has bloomed and bloomed, and steadily increased in size. I need to fertilize I think, it’s now starting to look just a little run down. Something broke off a branch the other day too, and I need to make sure I take cuttings from that branch today. This is one I want to keep.

Another that has done well for me, though the hummers seemed to like it better a month ago than now, is Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’-

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This one isn’t hardy here at all, so I am trying to decide if I want to bring one of the two in to overwinter, or trust that Langley Fine Gardens will have them again next year. I do love the color, and earlier it was one of the hummers faves, especially the one in the corner by the birdbath. It was fairly common to see them go from the fuchsias in the rockery, to the Salvia ‘Hotlips’, then to this one.

The other Salvia I have that has always been a steady repeat for me is Salvia coccinea ‘Forest Fire’-

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This picture is of one of the seedlings I took out of the bigger pot where one overwintered with the Begonia boliviensis and the lemon verbena. I also bought the white ‘Snow Nymph’ variety, which has attracted some hummer interest, but in general has been rather disappointing for me. It’s a little too dwarf and compact for my liking, and honestly the hummers don’t go out of their way for it.

The Begonia boliviensis ‘Bonfire’ is another that ill keep growing it till I kill it, mostly cause I like the flowers. I have seen hummers regularly use the one hanging through the railing off the back deck, but I suspect that is as much because the Salvia ‘Forest Fire’ is mixed with it, and they also like the fuchsias back there.

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Speaking of Fuchsias, lol… I have more of those than any other group of cultivars, except maybe red flowering currants. We currently have three hanging baskets in the back- ‘Auntie Jinks’

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Which is nicely compact and seems to be the favorite of the three back here,

Marinka-

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This is a. Odl fashioned cultivar I remember my dad growing, and is consistently a good one to attract hummers to hanging baskets, though these ones, overwintered from two years ago, are looking a little ragged. If I overwinter them again, I need to repot and fertilize more carefully.

The third hanging basket is ‘Princessita’-

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We got this one on sale, half off since it was wilted badly and some of the Bacopa growing in with it was dieing off. Water and a trim perked it right up, and it throws an amazing amount of flowers the hummers seem to like just fine.

Under these there is also a Fuchsia triphylla ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’, which we got at the Issaquah Farmer’s Market last fall.

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These are cuttings, taken from that plant late spring, blooming in my propagation unit. I really need to get them out of there, lol. We bought two at the market in fall, I planted on in a larger container to overwinter, and the other I hung from the fence and left out. It continued blooming till killed by heavy frost and freezing temps in December, long after I thought it would have curled its rather tropical leaves up and croaked. If I had known, I might have been able to bring that plant in and overwinter it too, getting it to regenerate in spring from the roots. As it is, the main plant has been in continuous bloom since we got it. It’s getting a little lanky and could use a trim, but is still flowering well. And attracting hummers.

Honestly in many ways I prefer the hardy fuchsias. One of these particularly so for sentimental reasons.

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This is an heirloom variety of Fuchsia magelanica I got from my grandmother from her garden in West Seattle. Over there, and in the San Juans, this old variety (and quite possibly, seedlings of it, or maybe this is from a seedling of the originals), have been passed along gardener to gardener, over the back fence or, as my grandmother got hers, at church plant swaps and the like.its an untidy, but reliably hardy flu raining shrub. Takes a ton of abuse, drought tolerant within reason, likes sun but will take shade, just an easy going reliable performer. I remember my grandmother’s on the north side of the house, next to an enormous maiden hair fern, shaded by the house but otherwise pretty much in the open. For me it enjoys the bed behind a short fence, roots cool and protected but its branches mostly in the sun. It’s not the a site best Humplant in the garden, but it is certainly a reliable and steady attraction for them, over most of the summer and into fall.

An even more hardy one is the nearly white Fuchsia magellanica ‘molinae’-

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Until this year, this was almost always the first of my hardy ones to bloom, and has a much more upright, shrub over to almost small tree like habit. It grew to almost 15 feet before getting knocked back to the ground a few years back in one of those Arctic Freeze events we occassionally get, but has slowly recovered since, though it isn’t putting on the wood it did before. The palest pink and lavender bicolor flowers look soft white from a distance, and this is reliably on the favorites of the local hummers when it is in bloom, and it blooms for an incredibly long period, often starting in May and going through November when finally hit back by frost. I get the feeling if it was just a little warmer in winter, it would bloom year round.

A relatively new fuchsia for me, but that looks like it may be as hardy as molinae, is the hybrid ‘Whiteknight’s Amethyst’-

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It a tuay started blooming slightly before molinae, and has a similar more upright form to it that makes me wonder if these are related. The flowers are the more typical scarlet red and deep purple of the species however. I love this plant, and if it proves to be as hardy as molinae, will be propagating it more to spread around the garden. maybe I should wat h for fruit and sew seeds…

Another species that has also done consistently well, both in terms of hardiness, and at attracting hummers, is the diminutive Fuchsia campos-portoi

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It wasn’t quite as early as the other two above, but close. It’s tiny leaves and compact, low shrub habit make it perfect for the rockery with the Salvia microphylla types. It sets fruit easily, so I’m tempted to let a few ripen and plant the seeds, to see what I get out of it. Although small, it produces lots of flowers the hummers seem to go for first, which is a great reason for growing more of it.

The final fuchsia worth mentioning for hummers is the standard I got last year, I’ve been referring to as ‘Display’. That’s a guess, since it didn’t come with a name on it, but it looks like that variety, which is apparently common around here for hanging baskets and the topiary like standards like this one. I carefully overwintered this inside since last summer it was THE favorite of the hummers on the front deck. Maybe because I have lots of other things for them, this year it hasn’t been quite so popular, it it does get regular visits. I’ve also propagated lots of it, overwinter a d this spring straight into pots. If it IS Display, it may even prove hardy here, which would be an added bonus. I like the flowers as much as the hummers, too. Though I dunno if the big standard is going to last long. The height is nice in the dark corner of the deck behind the tables, but it takes up a lot of indoor space over winter.

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Another group I seem bent on collecting is the Cuphea genus. The hummer’s favorite of the group appears to be a dwarf form of Cuphea ignea-

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I have two of these, both in pots, both in shade since this particular one seems to prefer that, and hates drying out in the sun. I got this along with a bunch of other stuff from Langley Fine Gardens, the first time at the Arboretum sale where they are a regular vendor each year, and the second we went out to the West Seattle market, which they attend in spring. Some day I would love to visit them out on Vashon Island where their nursery is. Anyway, at the West Seattle market they also had a larger taller form-

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This one is growing with Salvia patens ‘Cobalt’, which so far I have yet to see a hummer visit, but it’s in a hard spot to discretely watch. Both of these Cuphea ignea cultivars seem excellent for attracting hummers though. I do wonder if this taller form is like the hybrid ‘David Verity’, or if its a natural selection of the species. It does grow much bigger, bigger flowers, and likes sun more than shade apparently. I like both though.

Another similar looking one is the Cuphea ‘Carribean Sunset’-

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One online source said it is a selection or hybrid of C. cyanea. Whatever the. See, the smaller flowers are very pretty, and it does get some use, though it seems not quite as popular as the taller ignea in the rockery nearby.

Another plant near this that has for some attention is a red leaved, red flowered Dahlia cultivar-

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I’ve had this in the garden for a couple of years now, but this year I transplanted it into a larger pot. I’ve never seen it used before, and it doesn’t seem to be a favorite, but the juveniles are using it sporadically so it is on this list for good reason. This may well be one of the Bishop series of tall, red leaved forms. It is certainly getting much bigger this year now that its got more root room. I think I will need to dig it up and divide it a bit this next winter or spring. The single flowers are bright and cheerful, so it is a welcome addition to the garden regardless.

One of the oddball subtropicals I got this spring is Justicia brandegeana-

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This odd little shrimp plant is probably wondering WTF in our cool weather, it seems to do better in the Gulf Coast states and down into Mexico. But it’s been in flower since I bought it and shows no signs of slowing down. Again, it seemed more popular earlier when there wasn’t as much blooming, but I do still see the occasional visit. Hardiness wise, this may be hardy here, but I am going to assume its not, and just need to figure out if it is going to be one of the ones I bring in or not. I like it, and wonder if it got bigger if it would prove more attractive to hummers? We will see I guess.

I have two native blooming that traditionally have been humflowers favorites; Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium, formerly Epilobium angustifolium) and hedgemint (Stachys cooleyae). I haven’t seen either one used this year yet, but both are in out of the way corners where they are hard to watch.

Stachys cooleyae is a mint, spreads like a mint, and flowers for most of mid summer.

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The bright pink candles on tall stems to four feet have always attracted hummers here. It likes rich soils that don’t dry out completely, even winter wet conditions, and prefers at least part shade unless you give it lots of water. It can tend to flop as the flowers get top heavy, so I like growing it with taller things that can help keep it upright, and not incidentally keep it from overcrowding everything around it.

Fireweed is not a mint, but spreads almost as aggressively. Where hedgemint likes shade, fireweed tolerates it but flowers best in full sun. Drought tolerant, but don’t let the roots sit out an dry out, it will simply shrivel and die. I have two forms, the native natural to the area pink-

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And a white variety that may be a European cultivar-

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Both are lovely, and make beautiful garden flowers. I don’t find they spread so aggressively as to be a problem, but others may differ in their opinion. Funnily enough, this spring I knew we had dear in the garden not because I could see them, but because they had nipped each of the fireweed stems at around 8-10 inches. They are only just now starting to recover, lol. Hopefully next year I will have more to spread around for a nice grove of it in the back.

Along with the Salvias and Cupheas, I also got a few vines from Langleys. I got two different red morning glories. Ipomoea luteola has been blooming steadily through the roller coaster of warm to cool weather we’ve had.

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It’s not growing quite as strongly as its cousin I. multifida-

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Both seem to get steady action from what flowers they have, though I get a distinct impression that they aren’t real happy here.

I have a bunch of other stuff that might be used by the hummers, things like Agastache, Schizanthus which was used earlier in summer, nasturtiums, etc, but these are the ones I regularly see visited this summer.

What’s Blooming July 9th, 2013

11 Jul

Abutilon (megapotamicum)

Achillea millefolium

Agastache ‘Apricot Sunrise’

Agastache ‘Grape Nectar’

Agastache ‘Orange Nectar’

Agastache (?)

Bacopa monieri

Ballota nigra

Barbarea orthocerus

Barbarea vulgaris

Begonia bolioviensis ‘Bonfire’

Begonia ‘Catrin’

Begonia ‘Kleo’

Beta vulgaris

Brassica oleracea

Calliandra eriophylla

Callibrachoa ‘Vampire’

Callibrachoa ‘Tequila Sunrise’

Campanula persicifolia

Campanula portenschlageana

Cardamine hirsuta

Celosia ‘New Look’

Celosia x (cockscomb)

Chaenorrhinum origanifolium ‘Blue Dream’

Chrysanthemum partheniacum

Chrysanthemum x superbum

Claytonia sibirica

Clematis cirrhosa

Clivia miniata

Coreopsis auriculata

Cuphea ignea

Cuphea ignea (tall form)

Cuphea cyanea ‘Carribean Sunset’

Cuphea llavea ‘Flamenco Samba’

Cuphea llavea ‘Tiny Mice’

Cymbidium hybrid

Dahlia (cactus white)

Dahlia (red leaved, red flowered)

Dicentra formosa

Ellisiophyllum pinnatum

Eriophyllum lanatum

Fuchsia campos-portoi

Fuchsia magellanica ‘aurea’

Fuchsia magellanica ‘molinae’

Fuchsia magellanica (Gram’s)

Fuchsia magellanica (purple leaved)

Fuchsia triphylla ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’

Fuchsia x ‘Auntie Jinks’

Fuchsia x ‘Display’

Fuchsia x ‘Juellia’

Fuchsia x ‘Lachlade Magician’

Fuchsia x ‘Marinka’

Fuchsia x ‘Princessita’

Fuchsia ‘Whiteknight’s Amethyst’

Fuchsia (from plant swap)

Fuchsia (Patrick’s)

Gallium aparine

Gazania ‘Daybreak Garden Sun’

Gerbera hybrida

Geum macrophyllum

Heuchera micrantha ‘Palace Purple’

Huechera x sanguinea

Heuchera (purple ruffles)

Justicia brandegeana

Impatiens hawkeri

Impatiens noli-tangere

Ipomoea luteola

Ipomoea multifida

Kalanchoe blossfieldiana

Lactuca muralis

Lantana camara ‘Ann Marie’

Lantana camara ‘Landmark Peach Sunrise’

Lapsana communis

Lavendula angustifolia ‘Royal Velvet’

Lavendula angustofolia (5)

Lavendula viridis

Leucanthemum vulgare

Lespedeza thunbergii

Liatris spicata

Lobelia erinus

Lobularia maritima

Lonicera japonica ‘Pink Lemonade’

Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’

Lonicera ‘sulphurea’

Lychnis coronaria

Malva alcea

Meconopsis cambrica

Medicago sativa

Mellissa citriodora

Mentha himalayensis

Mimulus cardinalis

Mimulus guttatus

Mitraria coccinea

Monarda (dydima?)

Myosotis laxa

Nemesia ‘Aromatica White Improved’

Nemesia x (pink and purples)

Nicotiana alata

Nicotiana ‘Knightiana’

Ocimum basilicum

Oenanthe sarmentosa

Osteospermum ‘Margarita Purple’

Oxalis oregana

Oxalis nelsoniana

Oxalis triangularis

Pelargonium ‘Tango Velvet Red’

Phaelenopsis (3)

Phaseolus coccineus

Philadelphus coronaria

Philadelphus lewisii ‘Goose Creek’

Plumbago major

Rosa chinensis ‘mutabilis’

Rosa ‘Graham Thomas’

Rosa (mini peach)

Rubus armeniacus

Salvia coccinea ‘Forest Fire’

Salvia coccinea ‘Snow Nymph’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia leucantha ‘Phyllis Fancy’

Salvia microphylla ‘Cerro Potosi’

Salvia microphylla ‘Hotlips’

Salvia patens ‘Cobalt’

Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’

Scabiosa alpine ‘Ritz Blue’

Schizanthus pinnatus

Sedum album

Senecio confusa

Sisymbrium alltissimum

Stachys cooleyae

Tagetes signata ‘Starfire Mix’

Tagetes ‘Disco Orange’

Tagetes ‘Disco Yellow’

Taraxacum officinale

Tradescantia zebrina

Trapaeolum majus ‘Alaska’

Trifolium alba

Urtica dioica

Verbena ‘Estrella Voodoo’

Viccia hirsuta

Viola x wallichiana

Trapaeolum majus ‘Alaska’

10 Jul

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I grow these periodically, both because I like how easy they are to plant, and because I like the flowers. What’s not to like? White speckled leaves, bright flowers, both of which can add a peppery flavor to salads, easy to plant from large seeds even kids can handle easily, and it attracts the odd Cabbage White Butterfly to lay her eggs on, and even the occassional hummingbird checking out the flowers.

I really need to start collecting seeds of my favorite forms though. Most come up in shades of yellow and orange flowers. One this year is a nice salmon pink orange, and a few have nice contrasting darker nectar guides, which I always find appealing on these.

The problem is simply remembering to collect them, and how to store the big, chick pea sized seeds. Maybe a small mason jar? They should come true to leaf type if not flower color, and I don’t grow any other annual nasturtiums, so there isn’t anything to hybridize with.

Unless of course, the fall blooming Nasturtium tuberosum I bought decides to do well and flower. It is a tuberous species, edible tubers actually, though Beth and I weren’t particularly impressed with the taste of them. It’s leaves are also edible, and rather peppery. Not my favorite, but edible. We will see if they decide to flower, or if the tubers prove hardy here in the PNW. Maybe in a pot, under cover in the garage over winter? We will see.

But the Alaska nasturtiums are easy annuals I really should grow more. I e got them in the long box with the white Salvia coccinea ‘Snow Nymph’, some deep purple annual allysum, and the old cottage flower Lychnis coronaria. The orange and yellow flowers are little odd with the magenta catchfly, but it’s still a nice combination of bright cheerful flowers.