Our morning temps have not been the norm in Oklahoma recently. At 45F for the last couple of weeks, it’s been chilly, but still a good time to transplant shrubs, perennials and most annuals.
Still, the variegated tapioca I placed in a container and another in the ground are very unhappy campers.
They may not survive. The lesson in this? Wait to put some tender tropical offerings in the ground until mid-May at least. You never know what Oklahoma weather has in store for us.
As for the vegetable garden, everything is performing well. The cabbages are heading up. I’ve sat on the edge of the beds and eaten lettuces with no accompaniment except sunshine. Spinach planted in the fall overwintered, and I harvested it early spring before it bolted. Never making it to the kitchen, strawberries taste like nectar. Plus, I’ve eaten snowpeas and sweet podded peas straight off the vine. I need to plant beans, but I keep waiting until those morning temps are at least 50F.
In honor of Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens on the 15th day of every month, here are some of my favorite flowers thus far. Rehmannia angulata grows in well-drained soil in partial shade in my garden. In cooler parts of the country, it can be grown in sun and seems to grow in a straighter and more stiff fashion (probably from the sunlight.) My initial plant was passed on to me by my dear friend, Wanda F. She now grows it in Anacortes, WA. I’ve never had luck passing it on because I guess it is easily killed.
This purple columbine was blooming last month too.
The always other worldly euphorbias. These are ‘Ascot Rainbow,’ and if you look closely, one has a bloom structure which is trying to revert to the original non-variegated plant. This often happens on variegated plants, and I will be cutting that bloom off, but I wanted you to see it.
Real beauty can be created with the most common of plants. Here, common yarrow and ‘Husker Red’ penstemon combine to make a beautiful statement. They are both easy to find, and once they finish blooming, they have wonderful foliage, with the yarrow’s blue, and the penstemon’s in red fading to green. Another great penstemon is ‘Dark Towers.’ It is similar to ‘Husker Red,’ but has darker purple foliage and pinkish purple flowers.
I would say the roses are not having their best year. They’ve completed one bloom cycle and are in the middle of another due to the early heat we had for a couple of weeks. Now, it’s chilly, and they have thrips. I will not spray for thrips so I’ll sacrifice this second cool weather bloom. Once the weather warms, thrips seem to move on to cooler pastures. One exception is ‘Graham Thomas’ who is having a great spring. He always does. Then, he pretty much rests until fall. The Knockouts are blooming, and so far, I’ve seen no evidence of the horrible rose rosette. Thank God. The roses are just short because of extreme winter die back.
Other than having to weather a sweater while doing garden chores, everything is fine in Oklahoma. That could soon change. Thunderstorms are predicted for Wednesday so get planting if you haven’t done so already.