Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Odds and Ends Around the Yard

In between work and rain, I've been trying to fill up the front bed.  It's a big space to fill but I'm slowly getting it filled in.  I've got several types of flowers that I'm starting from seed that will be added later.  This is my Coralbean showing off its vivid red spikes.  Other than the bloom the plant looks a little sickly.  The bush is a new transplant and hopefully it will look a little healthier as the season progresses.

The Japanese Maple has leafed out beautifully.  I really didn't know what to expect after the intense heat and drought of last summer.  It was the only thing planted in the bed prior to Texas becoming a furnace.


The two peach trees we planted right after we moved in last year had a rough time of the summer as well.  They both went into shock and lost their leaves after turning yellow.  Many prayers were said over these trees.  One succumbed to a boring insect of some sort and one survived.....barely.

I can't tell you how tickled and thankful I was to look out one day and see two small, lower branches that had leaves and a peach blossom on them.  The upper branches don't have a leaf on them.  I have been watching this little peach like a mother hen.  It is so adorable and here, it's only about 3/4" long.

Looks like we'll have tomatoes on the table soon!

96 of these little impatiens were planted.  Two days after they were in the ground I found them covered with black caterpillars eating through them, cutting them to the ground.  I used a dish washing soap, vinegar, salt spray on them and they acted like I just seasoned their meal.  I had to get the Sevin dust after them and now I'm waiting to see if they are going to survive.

I bought some red and white caladiums that will be planted right behind the impatiens.

Day Lilies that my sister pulled out of her OKC garden and brought to me.

The Cannas were gynormous last year.  Here they are cut back, ready to give us another spectacular show.

This is where the new canna growth will come up.

More to come soon!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Elephant Ears

This past October I ordered some Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta) to plant in the front bed this spring.  There's nothing like seeing these huge, mammoth ears swaying in the breeze.  Your eyes can't help but be drawn to them in the garden.

This year I wanted something a little different from the plain green varieties that you find at the Home Depot and big box nurseries.  Plant Delights Nursery out of North Carolina had just the sort of plants I had in mind.  They specialize in rare perennial plants that gardeners and collectors seek.

Allow me to introduce you to the new inhabitants of my garden.  By the way, I just want to tell you, the folks at Plant Delights Nursery really impressed me with the care they take in shipping these plants and instructions they provide you with on how to care (and not care) for them when they arrive.

Black Magic
This is what Black Magic looked like when it arrived and I put him in the ground.  When new leaves appear, they are bright green and as they grow larger and older they turn a beautiful purple-black.  Black Magic gives a very dramatic look to your garden; especially when it's growing next to a plant that is bright green.

Lovey and I have had Black Magic elephant ears for many years and they are gorgeous and also grow well in large planters.

This is a photo of what Black Magic will look like as he matures.  See how pretty he is against the green plant in the background?  Please note that the photos I'm showing you of the mature plants come from the PDN website. 

Black Magic will grow to a width & height of 5'-6'.  The leaves will span 2'.

Mojito looks quite poorly doesn't he?  After I got him in the ground he got a little wind battered.

This is what Mojito's leaves will look like as they get larger.

Mojito will grow to a width & height of 3'.  Not sure how big the leaves will get.

You can't tell right now, but as Rhubarb grows it will have bright red stalks, thus the name. 

The stalks will grow to 4' with large bright green leaves.

Silver Leaf Dwarf
This is Sliver Leaf Dwarf and I think I'm most interested to see how this will look when it's clump is mature.

It is truly a dwarf in the elephant ear world, with it's clump growing only to about 18" high and 2' wide.  It will have leaves of velvety, medium green, each highlighted by a wide silver streak down the center vein with smaller silver veins radiating from the center to the leaf edge. The plants are adorned all summer with small yellow spathe and spadix flowers.

As these 'children' grow, I'll share their progress.