Friday, May 31, 2013

Red Sky at Night, Sailor's Delight..Red Sky in the Morning, Sailor's Take Warning.

 This is a saying I found on the web.  It's referring to rain.  It means that if there is a red sky in the morning, there is rain on the way. Thus the reverse, at dusk weather should be good.  I would think it the opposite but it implies a red dawn is rain.  

The reason why I bring this up, is because watering my plants has always been something I couldn't get a handle on.  I felt better when I looked up the historical rainfall records.  Click HERE for the link.  It took me a while to figure it out but I am not sure if we are in a drought.  What the database did show me is how variable rainfall amounts can be.  I am not including in the equation the temperatures.  There needs to be an algorithm for watering your plants.  In any event, I did buy a moisture meter that helps me a lot.
    I did not feel comfortable about the fertilizer aspect of this meter...(it gauges fertility, moisture, pH  and light).  It was very useful with container plants.  Currently, I think everything needs watering as month to date rainfall totals are 2.05 inches (as of 5/28/2013).

Here I am testing Green Ice Rose, an it shows it that it's on the dry side.

Sorry for the blurriness but I couldn't get my camera to focus.

Drought or no drought, the pool is so far down we may have to fill it soon.

So how much do my roses need in water?  Here is an excerpt from and the link to the source.

"Roses should receive 1 to 2 inches of water each week. Rule of thumb is to water two to four times a week for about 30 minutes, especially if there is no rainfall, or in very hot or windy conditions.
Container roses will need to be watered frequently because water evaporates more quickly from plants above ground. Initially, water the plant well to get it firmly established."
The link to this information.  Click HERE.  So when they mean water, do they mean a hose straight into the plant?  I am close to irrigating the rose beds and I need to understand what it means.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Great Poolside Container Plants

First, I am not a green thumb, as the subtitle suggests.  Secondly, I am even worse at container plants.  So when something works for me, I feel like it can work for anyone.  Container plants by the pool, in the South can be a big challenge.  Because it's hot as hell.

The plants I am talking about are Moss Roses.  Now, I am not an expert but I have two? types.  One has pointy leaves and one has fatter leaves.  I have both and the fatter leaves works much better for me.

These are the flowers they produce.  They aren't really roses.  I believe they are succulents.  They open when the sun hits them and then close for the day.  BUT, they are okay with the heat.  The concrete, also, increases the heat to the plants so if these girls can deal with it, kudos to them.  I water them but most container plants I have had here will dry up in about an hour.  So, my suggestion is to try moss roses.  They aren't winter you either have to replant them or move them inside during the winter.
The pool is on the northside of the house so they do get some morning shade.  But make no mistake, I couldn't sit out there all day on that spot.  Could you?

The long containers have the other type of moss roses.  They are doing okay, but they aren't near as hardy.

This is the second type.  Sometimes, I think they would prefer more shade.

Other container plants
I have a porch that gets very little sun, as it is the North side of the house but I have some other heat tolerant plants (and shade) that seem to be doing okay.  This is a thorned begonia.  It may, also, be called a winged begonia that is doing quite nicely.

Around the pool, I also have Mexican Heather.  But you may notice a irrigation tube going to it.  It will tolerate heat but needs more water than the moss roses.  However, it stays in constant bloom and can be very tidy looking.

Mexican Heather close up.  Oh, and the bees love them.

 There are some plants that get no sun at all, but it's very bright here.  Here is a Macho Fern, Snake and Ivy plant (also, call Mother In Laws Tongue)
Under the covered porch, they never receive any sun but as you can see how very bright it is.  Here you see, ferns, begonias, and a jude plant.

 This Thorned Begonia has really thrived in this spot.

Close-up of the waxed begonia.  Oh by the way, I put them in a horrible spot last year.  I put them in the green house.  This particular plant had MAYBE two leaves on it.  Point is they are pretty resilient and forgiving.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rose of the Week...Ebb Tide

 I had planned doing the established roses first before featuring the bare roots I planted.  But I had to mention this one.  I thought Ebb Tide was a goner...I even posted I thought it was dead.  In the post Is My Bare Root Dead?  But it lived.  I got the plant from Edmund's.
It looked extremely healthy which tells me that it was probably my doing that it didn't start out well.  I have lost three bare roots. One was a surprise.  Two were from Dollar General that were left over and half dead, however, in defense of DG.  The rest lived.  The other one was JFK.  I, also, saw a JFK in the trash bin at the co-op which suggests they may not do well as bare roots.  I bought my JFK from Lowe's and in defense of Lowe's approximately 80% of the bare roots I purchased this year was from Lowe's.

Anyway, she seems to being doing okay now.

A lot of her canes don't look well and I will probably cut them off.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day, last year and this year

First, my deepest appreciation for those who gave their lives for our country and for those who are still serving it!
Comparing last Memorial Day to this almost is depressing.  However, I do feel that there are many things that are vast improvements.  The big difference is the lack of maintenance because of the backyard project.

Split in the driveway leading to the house.  Last year I planted wildflowers which was a weedy mess.
Replaced with a fountain an mulch.  Much better.

Far view after completion

Backyard last year.  Pool was cleaner.

Massive rose garden in progress

Doesn't look better but it will.
Statue replaced 
Front bed last year
Azaleas had grown but looks weedier..this is getting discouraging

Creek last year
Creek this year.  Grass had died and haven't been grooming as much because of other projects
Wildflowers and sunflowers in front field last year
Planted arches this year.

I figured out the difference.  The rye grass has died and since we have been lacking rain greatly, the new grass has not come in.  Opting not to have one more task, I haven't watered the lawn

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wow, what a fast growing rose!

The rose I am referencing is the Lady Diana.  I had never heard of it before.  I purchase a lot of my roses from the Baldwin County Co-op.  There, the caretaker of plants is a lady named Dina.  She used to work at Bellingrath Gardens and probably has forgotten more about roses than I will ever know.  I have never been disappointed by a rose bought there.
Here is the rose I bought.  It is approximately one foot here and the date shows March.  An extremely healthy looking plant and not really in the best spot.  It's really sandy here.  It was so healthy looking that I felt guilty planting it.

They were throwing some roses away a few weeks ago and I asked if I could have it.  Thinking maybe the rootstock would take off.  Nothing has happened with it.  By the way, JFK rose was also in the bin and mine died.  I am starting to think the JFK does not do well as a bare root.

I did not plant my Lady Diana rose as a bare root but I am pretty sure, Dina did.  So for all intents and purposes, it is a bare root.

Right now, it's approximately 5 feet!  If I want to be conservative it has grown 3 feet in 3 months!  I thought climbing golden showers was fast!

I bought it because I wanted something similar to Belinda's Dream, which I do not own.

Unlike a lot of my roses right now, she is extremely healthy.  I highly recommend this rose.

Sorry it's hard to differentiate her but she is huge.  Her blooms are approximately 3 to 4 inches?  Click HERE for more information on this rose. The cane at the top of the picture is going out of the shot.

Another beautiful rose that I do not remember where it is.  After I finish screening and irrigating the rose garden I will be diligent in identifying them.

I am so proud of this rose plant.  I created it.  I can't wait to see what Isabella will look like.


Don't remember.

Back yard is slowly being screen as I develop terret's syndrome.  You may be able to see the manifold that will be the hub for irrigation.  It the green box.

Ch-ching is doing fabulous.  I didn't plant this bare root.