Monday, May 25, 2009

Let's set a record!

Okay, so this is three posts in two days. Nothing like a holiday weekend to give you enough time to get things done and post to the blog!

So, first things first. I went out this morning and more of the clematis had bloomed. I just had to take another shot!

I had to go to Lowe's this morning to get some Roundup for Poison Ivy, to kill off that nasty stuff I blogged about yesterday. While I was there, I couldn't help but wander on in to the garden center. I went around the side of the building and to the back, where they keep plants they don't have enough room for or that have gone, or are about to go - out of season. I was shocked to find a Sappho rhododendron back the one I lost to the squirrels and drought last year. I was even more shocked to see the price. I paid $90 for the Sappho I bought last year from the nursery. (No one else was carrying Sappho last year, it's an unusual rhodo and it's just on the edge of its hardiness zone to be sold in this area.)

Granted, the nursery Sappho was in better shape than this one, and perhaps about 1/3 larger, but it was $90. But still...the one I found at Lowe's was $24.98. $24.98!! It needs a little TLC because it has been somewhat mistreated and underwatered, but it will come back with no problem. And for $24.98 to replace the one I bought last year that I was just sick about when it got eaten...well, I am in gardeners' heaven. You can be assured I won't be putting it in the same place as last year.

Here's a shot of the bloom on the Sappho. As I said, it's a little wilty, but that's okay, it's temporary...the poor thing was as dry as a bone. I can wait until next year when it should put on a very nice show after it's had a year to acclimate.

Now, a note about Lowe's...I can't say a lot for the quality of Lowe's nursery stock at time of purchase. Their people aren't gardeners for the most part, so plants are underwatered, overwatered, shade plants put in sun, sun plants put in shade...some are just beaten up. If you can buy their plants shortly after they arrive, you can get a good plant at a really good price, but every day that the stock stays there, the quality goes downhill. You will occasionally see sales on stock, which really make it worth the trip. I bought 18 impatiens there that totalled $5. They were small, but they don't take long to really get going. Earlier in the day, I had bought 18 at Home Depot that were about twice the size, but they were three times the price!

Here's our peach tree. This is its fourth season. For the past three years, I haven't been able to get a single peach from it. First year you plant it, you must pluck all blooms to encourage branch growth. Second year, squirrels got 9 of the 12 peaches that set, and the other three fell off before they ripened, probably because the squirrels go apeshit in the trees here. Third year, I only got two blooms...two...because I failed to realize that the forsythia that sits next to it was shading the branches the prior fall and winter and that is when the tree is working to produce its little blossom nubs. This year, I had hundreds of blossoms. It was amazing. I sprayed those puppies with Spray-n-Grow and they had about a 75-80% conversion rate! So I have been busy thinning the tiny little fruits from the branches in order to get a better end product. I am really excited about the fact that I have more than 100 peaches on the tree right now! Of course, squirrels will no doubt eat some of them, but it looks like this could finally be the year - knock on wood - that I get peaches. Whoo-hoo!

See the babies?

Here's another shot.

And yes, I know I show you this every year, but I always am so amazed at the loveliness of this Superstition iris...and it smells as lovely as it looks.

Now I can't wait for the gladiolus, callas and caladiums to come up!


At 2:43 PM, May 25, 2009, Blogger Jess said...

I couldn't help but wander on in to the garden center.That's my Bokey! :)

At 11:47 AM, May 26, 2009, Blogger Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

Marc...will you please come to my garden? Oh wait...I don't even have a garden.

Marc...will you please come and create my garden?

At 7:45 AM, May 27, 2009, Blogger Marc said...

Pua...hmmm...I'll consider it. :-)

At 10:01 PM, May 27, 2009, Blogger Greg said...

Oh, congratulations on the Lowes Find!!! Wooo-eee!! : ) The Sappho does have some lovely blooms, doesn't she?

Is there ever a real doubt about checking the garden center? Heh.

How would you describe the fragrance of this iris, Marc? I'm on the look out for some scented varieties hereabouts, but I think it will require me sticking my nose in other people's irises, as I did last year, and you know, sometimes people are fussy about that. I'll keep you posted.

At 8:11 AM, May 28, 2009, Blogger Marc said...

Greg: very sweet and light, a little grape-ish. All scented iris have a similar fragrance "undertone", I'll call it, at least all the scented ones I've smelled.

Yeah, people sometimes don't like you sticking your nose into their flower business. :-)

At 12:00 PM, June 07, 2009, Blogger ATG said...

That's a gorgeous iris!


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