Saturday, July 28, 2012

Worker Bee

Busy Bee
The bees have been pretty busy in my garden this year.  I try to do everything I can to welcome them.  Here's a list of things to do that are helpful in attracting bees:
  • Don't use pesticides
  • Plant native plants
  • Plant a variety of colors and flower shapes
  • Try to have something blooming every season
  • Plant in sunny spots
  • Plant in masses when possible
Here's one of my garden visitors who has taken a particular liking to my Calibrachoa "Double Pink".  It's a low growing annual that blooms profusely from spring until fall.  This is the first year I've seen Calibrachoa that's double flowered.  Cool.  And what's cooler still is it required no maintenance.   You read that right:  No deadheading, no fertilizing, no moving it to the shady spots when it's 100F here in northern Virginia.  The bees and I are in agreement:  We love it.

Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Books

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Another Hydrangea in the Collection

Hydrangea Serrata Preziosa

This is Hydrangea Serrata Preziosa.  It's the second year that I've had it and it's had a wonderful season so far.  While it's similar to a mophead hydrangea, the flower clusters are slightly smaller. What I like most about it is the way it changes color.  When it first bloomed in late May, it was a very light pink, and now it is a deeper burgundy.

I have this hydrangea planted alone in a terra cotta pot that's about 19 inches in diameter.  During these sweltering few days that we've had, I've had to completely soak it every day. It likes full to part sun, is hardy to zone 5, and grows to about 4 feet.  Also, it blooms on old wood so be careful about pruning--only cut spent flowers or damaged stems.

This is the third hydrangea in my container garden collection.  It joins my Endless Summer and Pee Wee Oakleaf. 
Hydrangea Serrata Preziosa in May 2012

Hydrangea Serrata Preziosa in July 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What's Up Doc?

Carrot "Tonda Di Parigi"
I bought carrot seeds last year that I never got around to planting so I planted them in May of this year.  This particular carrot is called "Carrot Tonda di Parigi."  I bought the seed packet online from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.  This is a 19th-century Parisian heirloom carrot that only grows to about 2".  I harvested these a little early because I couldn't stand the suspense.  They still tasted fantastic.  They were very sweet and nothing like the bland, watery carrots that I always seem to get from the grocery store. 

So this type of carrot seed can be planted in 2-3 week intervals all the way up to the first heavy frost.  And because they are short and stubby, a deep pot is not really required.  It takes about 60 days for the carrot to reach maturity.

Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Books