Sunday, April 28, 2019

How Does My Garden Grow

Another morning spent in the yard, whipping it into shape because, as we say here,

Summer is Coming.

And, god knows, it will be here sooner than we’d like. 

As most mornings are this time of the year, I planned a work in the yard morning until it is too hot or I’m done (ha! like that ever happens – my getting done).

Yesterday my sister and I visited a local nursery looking for something-I-don’t-know-what.  Well, that was me – Ellen had a list.  And, nothing appealed to me – okay, that’s not true.  Several things appealed to me.  I just didn’t want to spend as much as was being asked. 

A bit later, Ellen mentioned that her purple coneflowers had jumped the flowerbed and were coming up in the grass.  Hmmmm – I like purple coneflowers.  That would be good for one of the two empty planters.  And, maybe zinnias in the other – even though they’re annuals, they grow well all summer and can deal with our sun and humidity. 

Out I went early with the first stop at my sister’s house where I dug coneflowers up out of the grass.  Yay!  Then back home.

Purple Coneflowers.  Are a native perennial.  They attract bees and butterflies.  They are drought resistant and often thrive in dry summers, but here they do best in morning sun as our afternoon sun will scorch the paint off cars!  They grow in any type of soil.  In the winter, they might die back to the ground but will pop back up come spring.  In long past days, coneflower was used to treat scarlet fever, syphilis, malarial infections, blood poisoning, and diphtheria.  Nowadays, it is used to reduce the effects of common cold and flu, soothe sore throat, and reduce fever.  Added bonus - carrying coneflower will provide inner strength during trying times. It can also be grown around the house or brought into a house and placed in a vase to draw prosperity into the home and protect the family from suffering from poverty.  All good things.

What else is going on in my yard???

Nasturtiums.  Now, I’ve planted them several times because I like the way they look in pictures as bushy plants for borders and edges, trailing plants for walls and containers, and as climbers.  Never happens here.  While they are supposed to be grown in full sun (at least 6 hours’ worth), they don’t like our full sun come July.  So, this year I planted them in both sun and bright shade.  We’ll see.  I’m not really encouraged though.  This is such a good garden plant - the leaves and flowers are edible and have a peppery tang, even the seed pods can be pickled as a substitute for capers.  They are good companion plants, attracting hover flies, which will destroy aphids, deter stripped pumpkin beetles, repel cabbage pests and squash bugs.  And they make pretty flowers that look very cool in salads or stuffed with cream cheese or egg salad as snacks.

The Star Jasmine is looking spectacular this year.  As it happens, I sort of, uhmmm, stole a cutting.  Couple years ago, I was walking the neighborhood and saw a jasmine struggling in the yard of a deserted house.  So, I snipped of a cutting.  Rooted it and this year it looks its best!  And, smells wonderful.  Actually, star jasmine isn’t a real jasmine.  True Jasmine is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family (Oleaceae) while star jasmine is considered to be a member of the Apocynaceae (dogbane) family, which also includes natal plum, frangipani (or Plumeria) and oleander. 

The Gardenias are beautiful.  Actually, this picture was taken at the abandoned house next door.  My gardenia never looks like that because as soon as the buds open, I pick them and bring them inside.

What else – well,

The Plumbago is blooming

As well as the Barbados Cherry


 And these things – that I don’t know what they are
they came with the house.

And, finally, today is National Superhero Day.  “It's time to put on your best cape, mask, cowl, or spandex and celebrate the characters that inspire us all to be better than we ever imagined (and use superpowers to do it!).” 

28 Apr 2019


  1. So many uses for a coneflower. Don't know about bringing them indoors for a vase and to ward off poverty. Then the butterflies would miss out, be impoverished, so to speak.

  2. it's called parrot beak lily or peruvian lily. it's a native alstroemeria. Alstroemeria psittacina.

    1. Think I'm going to bag up a bunch for the plant sale. They are a bit like day lilies.

  3. Pretty. I love flowers but I'm limited for space here. That unknown is a Alstroemeria psittacina 'Variegata or Parrot Lily. There are other names but that's what it is. It's very pretty. You should dig it up when it's finished blooming and move it to a better spot in your garden so you can enjoy it better.

    1. Thanks for the identity. They are very prolific and have popped up all over in various flower beds. They kind of remind me of day lilies in they way they grow except after they bloom, all the greenery dies off until late fall.

  4. I love coneflowers! We grew some last year in a small wildflower bed. We might get some more this year, but right now that bed is overrun with Sulfer Cosmos (we think) and Siberian Wallflowers.