Sunday, August 21, 2016

August 21, 2016- the garden moves along

It is time for jackets.
For most of this week in Iowa City, the morning temperatures have been above 70. It was also humid.
         This morning (Sunday) it is 56. It was maybe going to be lower than that. Friday, I actually heard the weather person use the term "upper forties." I suppose I could have been at a Colorado Rockies baseball game Friday night. My sister in law and my niece were there. They had come from Chicago.  It was 53 and raining. Who packs for that weather?
         Fall is coming. We are blessed in our yard with wonderful mature trees. They were all big when we moved here 34 years ago, about this time of year. I sometimes think we are like Noah's Ark. We have one of everything. Well, not quite. We have, in the order that they drop their leaves, several crabapples, a buckeye, a walnut, a linden, an elm and a sycamore. We also have a dogwood and a new little Japanese maple. I am raking leaves from late August to December.
         The buckeye tree is next to the back driveway. I find myself this time of year sweeping that driveway almost every day. I want to convince myself that fall is not yet coming and the leaves have not started to fall.

Another week has passed, with another peeking waterlily. It is about this time of year when the raccoons show up. They try to catch the fish and totally devastate the lilies. Any lily after about August 1 is gravy. Gravy? Where does that phrase come from. I guess it comes from the same place as being a "cherry on top."

How is this for a leaf. It is one of the elephant ears.
I really like elephant ears. They do not need much care, even in the winter when they have to be stored. That is an important character trait in my garden. You just dig elephant ears up in the fall, maybe after a frost. You get most of the dirt off them, cut off the tops, and dry them in the sun. I then store them in peat moss in a cool place for the winter. They can actually stay in the garage until January. (The garage can get below freezing if it gets too cold.) Well, actually they would have to share the garage space with the 25 amaryllis plants that also come inside.
       As fall approaches I am required to think about the great plant migration. That is the movement of so many plants into the house. That would be the orchids and the crotons and the cacti and the orchid cacti. This list has only begun.
       I will try to stay positive and not think about where they will all go this year. (Hint- many of them have gotten bigger.)

Here is the group of elephant ears. The one in the leaf picture above is actually in a pot. That way I can put it where ever seems like a good idea at the time.  It is shorter that the big ones in the picture to the left. There is one like it in front of the big ones. (I will not put that short one there again.)

Next year I want to get some black ones.

There is still anticipation in the garden. Without anticipation I do not know what I would do.)
Here is the largest cactus at the moment. You can see the buds on the right side of the plant.

Here is a close up of the buds. This picture was taken Thursday. We will see how long it takes to bloom. I think it could be a month.

This cactus bloomed yesterday morning. It was greeted about midnight with a half an inch of rain. (The no hose summer continues.) The rain sort of made the flower a little ragged.

Here is another flower that opened this morning/last night. This picture was taken at 5:30 this morning. The flower glows in the light of the moon.
The picture actually glows in the light of the flash.

Speaking of anticipation the night blooming cereus buds are getting bigger. I think they could bloom in a week to ten days.

Did I say that phalanopsis orchids bloom a long time? Last week it had a single flower. I expect it will still be blooming when I bring it inside in October.

This is a hardy cyclamen. This particular plant is 3-4 years old. It started out with a half dozen more. They are all gone. Does that make this one hardy?
It is certainly appreciated.

Let me blow up the picture so you can see the flower better. The patterns on the leaves are very nice. I should get some more. I would put them right next to this one. It seems like that is a good spot.

The Japanese anemones have started. The pink ones come first. The buds are pretty good too.

Persian Shield is a great summer annual. I will bring one plant in for the winter. I then start making cuttings. The goal is to bring 10-20 little plants out in the spring. There is great competition for the spaces on the windowsill over the sink in the kitchen.

This is lantana. I think these flowers have great photographic potential. I am going to work on getting you a sharper picture. This is still pretty good color.

I think that is it for this week. I felt the cool air yesterday afternoon. It was refreshing. A jacket will feel good too.

It is finally getting to be light out. I know right where the jacket is. I will need it as I head out to plant some more of something.

1 comment:

Dave said...

A particularly great week of photos, especially that lantana!