Sunday, April 21, 2013

Elephant Ears Coming Back Strong This Spring

I have two varieties around here after trying another last spring called Mammoth. Last year I didn't see it until mid June after an early May planting. Anyway they're already popping through or almost on the same schedule as the hosta. What astounds me is the one that did the best last year.

After cleaning out the leaves and pulling winter weeds (I don't remember them in recent years either) from around the star of the show last summer, I found what almost felt and looks like a stump. I didn't expect that. Maybe this sucker will be enormous this year? The others that are planted in shadier areas did not grow as large, nor do they have the stump appearance.


It's a mystery as are many things around here from time to time. Heavy rain this year? I've calculated the rainfall around 25 inches since January 1 which offers a very strong running creek.  Winter temps were similar to the previous year, or on the mild side. But that does not explain why the smaller EE (planted in 2010) are also coming through. They typically don't show until later or in May.

About a dozen or so trailing petunias (from plugs last year) made it through the winter in areas that do get sun in the winter months. How well they'll do is unknown as they really petered out late last summer unlike the perennial wave Petunias I always have growing on the warm east side of the cabin. Here's a really nice chunk that could bloom in a few weeks.

My transplanted Kerria bush (Easter Rose) is blooming. I did manage to root another but it's only twelve inches high. That climbing hydrangea (background) better bloom this year, dammit. Bought it with profuse blooms three years ago. Nothing since, except climb like crazy.

Japanese viburnum (Popcorn) blooming, but only one showing more than a dozen blooms. The other two in the background have a few here and there. Another mystery.

Leaves beginning to show on most trees. Lawn always looks good from a distance this time of the year. Does have a mild winter weed problem.  I'm leaving it alone this year. Some weed and bug killer, that's it. Not worth struggling with anymore. I'm in the woods. That's my excuse.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Looks Like Petunias For Awhile

Yea, I know what I said a few days ago..."why bother." A combination of horrible weather and a case of the black ass led me to those comments. But I thought, I have to do something for my daughter in law Beverly who will be visiting with family May 22 to May 26 or 27. They have a wedding to attend in Helen, Georgia that weekend. Should be a fun four days with the kids.

I never thought they would have time to visit for several reasons. Btw, son Ryan has made a career change. For his sake I hope he sticks with it because it's not easy as time goes on finding good employment. Maybe he can excel at sales eventually here. Or management? Who knows. It's a company that has apparently grown through the tough times in Florida the past several years. Looks like they have a good niche.

About Petunias

They do pretty good around here until July or so, but it's more of a hit and miss with what has a lot to do with the soil used. Mentioned last year, it's the clay they seem to thrive in, so forget that Miracle Grow stuff. Remember the picture below? July 2009. All clay, barely anything else except maybe some leeching from the cement used in the stone wall.

So, Lowes had a six pack buy on Waves for about six bucks...only pink. Probably won't look like the above until mid June, but a start below. Those smaller azaleas that bloom in late May have really done well after pruning a few times last year. Nice and bushy! Should be bursting with color.

I'm not going to touch any Impatiens until the second week of May or so. Probably head up to the  MacCaysville greenhouse and pick some up. They usually have some sizable annuals for cheap because of their growing conditions. Will they last? Probably not, but I'm just hoping for color while Bev is here.

A few more Petunias (mounding) in clay once again. I hope these will show well in six weeks. I've also picked up some six pack whatchacallits. That name I can never remember...snap dragons. Both plants will do okay if there's another frost before summer (likely- average last frost date around 4/22)

Should have some good Azalea color in a few weeks. Most everything around here is about two weeks behind last year judging by photo comparisons. Six azalea in this picture. About 20 total on property. Looking to pick up a half dozen more or maybe something that blooms in mid summer. Tree City in Blue Ridge - great source. Had to get water heater replaced - lattice missing.