17 July 2015

Rainy Days Are Contemplative

Since I work outside at a local greenhouse, it's not uncommon to have a rain or snow day.  Today is such a day.  In fact, we have a rainfall warning. I'm grateful because I also have a summer cold. You know those ones that start with a sore throat, sneezing and then move on to a coughing storm, intermittent with nose blowing?  Yes, that's the one.  The plan for today is to snuggle up with a book under a blanket; once this post is complete, of course.

We've had a drought here in Alberta.  In fact, some farmland has been declared an agricultural disaster due to lack of rain.  Lawns are brown and plants are showing their distaste.  Wilting foliage and humans is not uncommon.  
I tried the pop bottle method of watering while away for the weekend for my son's wedding. I'm not sure if it was effective or the diligence of another daughter-in-law, but no casualties have been observed in my garden or pots.  Yay!!

Speaking of casualties, between last weekend's storm and today's rain, my poor Annabelle Hydrangeas are laying rather flat.  No, I didn't stake them, and perhaps one year I will remember to do so; but until now they were holding their own. 
Elsewhere in the garden, the flowers are fine.  I really like the foliage of the two varieties of geranium I planted this year: Vancouver Centennial Geranium (left) and the other on the right is Mrs. Pollock (a brocade leaf geranium).  

The Vancouver Centennial has flowered.  I wish they'd improve upon the flowers though.  Not my favourite but I do love the foliage!

Vancouver Centennial Geranium (left and right)
I love the brocade leaf on the Mrs. Pollock Geranium (below).  It has yet to bloom.

Blue Waterfall Campanula is hardy to zone 2 and though it's grown in a planter, it won't remain there come fall.

Red Prince Wiegela is crowded much to close to Annabelle.  Whoever planted this bed prior to our residence here didn't take into account the mature size of each shrub.  Hopefully I'll get this rectified in the spring.  Red Prince has been flowering for weeks now.  It started before the hydrangea and just keeps going. It's a zone 4 but don't tell it that!

My favourite planter this year combines an almost black upright petunia, the chartreuse potato vine, white alyssum and a dracaena.  I'm considering designing the same next year, probably in more than one planter, and using New Zealand Flax as the thriller instead of the dracaena.  I'd gain some contrast amongst the foliage but lose it against the brick.  What do you think?

Last but not least, this interesting little annual caught my eye and made it's way into a container with a Fireworks grass.  It doesn't bloom continuously, this is its second flush, but it is certainly worth considering at least once.  It's Calceolaria herbeohybrida, aka Lady's Purse or Slipper Flower.  Read more here:  http://www.plantsrescue.com/calceolaria-herbeohybrida/

The tomatoes are fruiting very well, lettuce has had one harvest so far and the herbs are brimming their respective pots.  Looking forward to the days ahead. May your harvest be bountiful.  

Be back soon.  Now for that novel!


Shirley said...

Calceolaria is commonly grown as a houseplant.

Kim Schaeble said...

Gardening happiness...the plants would dance for joy because of our rain! If they could dance, that is.


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