Because we’ve had so much rain in the last three days (two inches) and such fine weather, today was a big-time work day in the red dirt. The photo, above, is from some Zinnia haageana seed I received from Botanical Interests. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed these little zinnias. Each plant is a bit different, with some blooms yellow and others like the red ones above. I’ll be buying them again next year.
The Aster praealtus, willowleaf aster, was taking over a small triangular bed and shutting out the Salvia greggii, autumn sage, and choking out the daylilies planted nearby. When I removed it, I discovered why. It has an underground runner root system. Still, I love the look of its airy foliage so I moved it to the meadow garden where it can reach its full potential. I replaced it with a lovely blue Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’, switch grass, along with some ‘Coconut Lime’ Echinaceas and an ‘Apple Slice’ Dianthus. Already in the same bed are two roses, ‘Baronne Prevost’ and Easy Elegance® Grandma’s Blessing; Phlox paniculata ‘Mt. Fuji’; native Rudbeckia; a variegated grass; Nepeta, catmint; a Gaillardia and Cuphea ‘Tiny Mice’. It’s a bit busy. The bed doesn’t look like much now, but will come into its own as the season progresses. We still have warm weather through the beginning of October.
I’ve been shopping the sales at the various nurseries. Horn Seed Company has all of its trees, shrubs and perennials 40% off. I know this isn’t the time of year when people like to shop, but it is when you can see which roses are thriving in spite of adverse weather conditions and those plants now in flower, like the crapemyrtles, grasses (not in flower, but making seed heads which are as beautiful as blooms), Echinaceas, Rudbeckias, Gaillardias, hardy Hibiscus, etc. Speaking of perennial Hibiscus, I bought ‘Fireball’ at TLC Nursery. Starting tomorrow, TLC will be redeeming August Bucks, which is a great way to add a few plants or anything else they sell, to your garden because it’s like getting something for half price. I often buy my more expensive garden gloves with my August Bucks.
I bought two ‘Tiki Torch’ Echinaceas which I put near the Carex ‘Prairie Fire’ I planted last spring. These should grow and be something special next summer. ‘Prairie Fire’ looks a bit like orange New Zealand sedge, but the first has more green and turns a brilliant orange and green in fall.
Since it was cool, I limbed up my original crapemyrtle so that more light would stream through its branches. While doing that little chore, I found an elm tree growing in the middle of ‘The Fairy’ rose at its feet, so I braved the scratches and cut the elm’s stem beneath the soil. I’ll need to do that several times to finally persuade it to die.
I also weeded lots of grass out of the beds, and my dear son, ASW, asked me what he could do for money. (He must want another video game.) I asked him to take my clippings to the burn or compost pile, depending on what they were, and to dig Bermuda grass out of the main path. He didn’t finish all of the Bermuda, but he did make a huge dent in it. After he takes a shower, I’ll give him a kiss, along with some dollars, for all of his effort.
You may remember that I was trying a natural herbicide on the Bermuda. It was Burnout II Weed & Grass Killer made of clove oil. Per the instructions, I mixed the Burnout II half and half with water. It did set the Bermuda back, but did not kill it outright. Of course, neither does Roundup. I’m going to try a second application tomorrow. I think I will be spraying something on the Bermuda until the end of time, but it’s still easier than weed-eating all of those paths.