May 2 – May 16, 2022: Weeks 17-18 Garden in Review

Busy week in week 17 as we hosted a garden party. The garden was at spring peak and we rented a tent and self-catered the food. We had a lovely time showcasing the flowers and spending quality outdoor time with friends and family.

Pre-buffet set up

Week 18 was the week goal week for getting my sunflowers and zinnias in. I did have to remove some poppies and cornflowers to make room for summer seedlings. I’m hoping the chipmunk and slugs allow me to keeps some! I planted sunspot, sunfill purple, cherry rose, teddy bear and sun rich summer Provence sunflower seedlings started in April. In addition, I put in parks lavender, benary giant mix, and Oklahoma salmon in my back zinnia border. I put parks siesta mix in my lettuce bed after harvesting bolting lettuce. Parks mix, and Art Deco mix ended up in my raised beds. Jim baggets mix and ice queen white were put out front. In addition to planting zinnia seedlings, I started several varieties of dwarf zinnia to fill pots that currently rely on pansies and cool weather flowers that will soon be dried up and will need to be replaced. I have started Aztec sunset, profusion cherry bicolor, Zahara raspberry ripple, and precious rose dwarf zinnias. I also started viscaria oculata, salvia summer jewel pink, Genovese basil and General Lee cucumbers.

My fantastic friend at Doc Green Grows traded me some eucalyptus, ptilotus Matilda, cockscomb celosia seedlings and a cafe au lait dahlia for chocolate mint and pineapple coleus, Avignon dahlia and Persian shield. These were planted in large containers as I do not have room for full eucalyptus trees. Weekend 18 was busy with planting and I still have 4 o clocks to plant which are small seedlings. I received these in a trade with another lady who traded for a rooted Maypop. I received a cutting of Jerusalem sage and some rooted oregano from a neighbor in exchange for a dahlia and an iris. I gave another neighbor a white iris for a split in the fall of her pink ones. If you know people with plants, ask to trade!

I also started rooting cuttings of 6 different Calibrachoa. I have no luck later in the season when they are woodier. I used fiber rooting blocks. Efficacy TBD on these!

Dalmation peach foxglove
Apricot beauty and foxglove mix.


Learning Moment: Building a Bog Container

I really have an interest in sarracenia pitcher plants, but live in an area that gets very hot and dry in the summer. Not the best for building a bog, so I went with a container instead. I used a 24 inch diameter small pond form that is about 8 inches deep. I drilled holes in the side of the container about half way down to drain water and keep the top few inches damp, but not saturated.

Next I created a reservoir from a terra cotta pot. I drilled holes in the side of the pot for water to drain. I put the terra cotta pot in the center of the plastic pond form and filled several inches of the the plastic pond form with pea stones. I put a hose in the empty reservoir and ran it until water drained out of the side holes of the plastic pond form. I then topped the pea stones with a half sand, half sphagnum mix and put a solar pump bubbler into the reservoir. Most carnivorous plants cannot take any fertilizer, so it’s important that your substrate does not have fertilizer in it.

I planted water loving plants like sarracenia (venosa, barba, velvet, farnhamii, maroon) a Venus fly trap, a spiral and a regular juncus, a flag iris, a Siberian iris and a dwarf papyrus.

Finished Product

I added moss around the plantings and covered the sides with pine straw to keep the direct sun off of it. This area gets morning sun and about an hour of late afternoon sun. I added an irrigation drip line to the setup to refresh the water in the bottom during dry spells. The reservoir serves to show water level so I can be assured that I have enough bog water to keep the plants healthy. About a month in, and I am seeing new growth. This was a fun project and I hope some of you give it a try.