Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quarterly Report: September 2010

In keeping with the diary aspects of my blog, I decided to start making quarterly reports evaluating how the plants or any experiments are progressing (or regressing, as the case may be).

Moving Out
As with most gardeners, I tend to believe that the conditions found in my garden fit certain new plants when, in reality, there is too much shade (usually the main culprit) or not enough water.  These leads to certain plants fading away - eventually either being removed from the garden or given a second chance as a pass-along plant (hopefully in a better locale).

Lamb's Ear (Stachys byzantina): Deceased - too little light, not enough drainage
Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus): Deceased  - a larger specimen remains but also struggling

Black Knight Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight') : Pass-along; needs more sun
Bamboo Muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa): Pass-along; needs more sun

Fuzzy Wuzzy Lamb's Ears (Stachys byzantina ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy’): Pass-along; needs more sun

Rose 'Oklahoma': Pass-along; struggled due lack of soil depth and water
Begonias (Begonia semperflorens): Actually did alright, but I'm thinking its time for either a different annual or, even better, a more fitting perennial
Ribbon Grass (Phalaris arundinacea): Deceased - potted plant
Chrysanthemum: Removed - potted plant; needs more sun
Short Leaved Aloe (Aloe brevifolia): Murdered with watering pot (so, so sorry; really miss you)

Moving Over
Struggling in their present location, some plants may simply need to move to a more appropriate spot in the garden (at least that is what I hope).

Strawberry Geranium (Saxifraga stolonifera): Got a little scruffy this year; perhaps too much sun or too little water; it is returning to vigor with the recent drop in temperature - but thinking an even shadier spot might be best
Variegated Flax Lilies (Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata'): One is doing well, one is struggling - but the latter is shaded by some Cast Iron Plants; that one likely needs a new spot
Chile Petin (Capsicum annuum var. aviculare): Has done alright, but thinking it needs to be closer to the path (the more to appreciate its little red peppers) where it could catch slightly more sun
White Margin Snow Rose (Serissa foetida 'Improved'): Really struggled to get enough water; since watering is not likely to increase, thinking more shade would benefit it

Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis): Have never really flourished and are somewhat hidden away; perhaps a move closer to the path and deeper into the shade
Spanish Bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica): Potted; never really produced anything but foliage; may try out in the dappled shade/sun area of a bed

Moving Up
Salvia splendens 'Van Houttei'): In its first year, put on a surprising growth spurt with sporadic deep magenta blooms

Reifler's Dwarf Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum 'Reifler Dwarf'): Nice first year growth, looking forward to seeing how it does next spring
Autumn Ferns (Dryopteris erythrosora): New plantings out front really did well; will likely expand these completely across my front yard Cast Iron Plant beds
Soap Aloe (Aloe maculata): Growing in several spots around the yard (and pupping like a maniac); one produced two blooms stalks in a single year
Gulf Coast Penstemon (Penstemon tenuis): Very nice spring show; would like a few more in the same location to increase the "thickness" of the spring blooms
Manfreda 'Macho Mocha' (Manfreda x Mangave 'Macho Mocha'): Continued strong showing; survived 18 degree winter lows without any protection (recently transplanted one was damaged but recovered nicely)

Agave 'Blue Glow'): Though only receiving dappled shade, has put on some nice growth and maintained good looking leaves.

Experiment Status
Rain Lily seeds: a few germinated and are presently growing

Mahonia seeds: a few germinated but have not done well since move to different medium

Bronze Dyckia seeds: readily germinated, then seemed to stall; recently transplanted to better potting medium

Hydrangea cuttings: still green after all this time, but no new growth

Silver Squill (Ledebouria socialis) seeds: a couple germinated but have struggled when moved to another pot

Gulf Coast Penstemmon seeds: did not germinate


  1. I'm glad someone else is growing rain lily from seed! I need to find some dyckia seed, especially if its as easy as the pineapple seedlings I have growing now! That blue glow aloe is gorgeous!

  2. It bears repeating that I feel your shade pain! I'd really love to see a photo of your autumn fern if you ever feel inclined to post one...I've toyed with the idea of them for some time but worried they wouldn't be as hardy as the river fern. Also, my friend just gave me some rain lily seeds - do I need to pot them or can I scatter them? Any advice?

  3. Rainforest: This is my first year to try raising plants from gathered seeds. The dyckia seeds sprouted quite readily - now if they'll just get bigger.

    Cat: Highly recommend the Autumn Ferns (they're evergreen - even in last winter's lows!) - you can check out one of my previous posts about them. As far as the rain lily seeds, have heard that they can be placed directly in the ground (I jut wanted to try potting them).