Thursday, June 11, 2015

Surviving the Hot Spell

Allium giganteum blooming June 10
 I love seeing the big alliums, have admired them in garden blogs and in a few gardens.  You don't see them too often, and I don't suppose they are common potted plants at the garden center.  I planted these Allium giganteum bulbs last fall.  They add interesting architectural shapes to the garden, though transiently.  Different Alliums bloom at different times though, so having a variety can extend their blooming season.  Allium "Purple Sensation" bloomed about a month ago (is half as tall as these).  The already dying foliage on blooming alliums is quite noticeable -- this is normal and expected of the alliums.  Eventually, I should surround the alliums with another plant to disguise its foliage. 

We have had hot days this past week, up to 36 degrees C.  Consequently, garden work has been happening at dusk.  I suppose other people would be taking advantage of the beach right now, but our family will settle for running through the orchard sprinklers. 
Agastache aurantiaca
I have been raising perennial seedlings in my sunroom, mostly drought-tolerant ones such as this Agastache aurantiaca.  I purchased a variety of this perennial last year but it died over the winter, so I (more inexpensively) grew quite a few of them from seed and planted them as smaller plants and hope they are more successful.  They are making their first blooms now.  They are a hummingbird-attracting plant, which is great, because we are enjoying the little hummers zipping around the yard.

Strawberries in stock tank raised bed - netting added this week
 I covered the strawberries with netting this week, as the plants have small green berries on them now.  We haven't really had any problems with animals eating anything out of the garden, but I am proactively protecting them so that no animals start a new berry-habit.  In our last house, the squirrels simply lifting up the netting and run under it to raid nearly every berry.  Some squirrels may have met with bullets.

Praying mantis

One of the mini-gardeners discovered the first praying mantis of the year, clinging to the door jam.  It was removed to safety on a potted geranium and given a hearty welcome to our yard.  The kids know that praying mantises are insect royalty in our yard, especially since they KILL BLACK WIDOWS.  That alone makes them my favourite insect, aside from their intelligent alien appearance and rotating head.  

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