Rain, Rain, Go Away!
I am saying that now, but by the end of next week with temps in the 90’s, I will be praying for some cooling rain. It has been a soggy few weeks, but I think after a rather dry spring, we have needed it. My flowers are flourishing and the grass has finally turned green as well as the many many weeds.
Chamber Bitter is our worst enemy right now. It is easy to full so get it while it is small. It can grow to six feet tall with thousands of seeds stored under the leaves. This weed thrives in wet conditions so it is quite vigorous right now.
I have some interesting Black-eyed Susans right now. There are two varieties – one perennial and one an annual. The perennial version (Rudbeckia fulgida) is a new cultivar this year for me. It is named “American Goldrush” and it is smaller than the annual with sturdier stems so it does not flop. The flowers are bright yellow and large with a red interior. Highly recommended if you see it. I ordered mine online from Bluestone Perennials.
The annual variety (Rudbeckia hirta) reseeds with vigor and I am finding that each clump is a little different. This is because they are non-clonal so you do not get exactly the same plant as the parents were. I even have one mutation where two blossoms are connected together. Very weird looking. I cannot understand that according to garden designers, yellow is the most unpopular color in a garden. I love yellow. Hot colors really work down here with our bright sun. I find that because I do not have much shade at all, the brighter the color, the better it looks in my southwest exposure.
My Coneflowers (Echinacea spp.) are also doing well. Although they tend to be a short-lived perennial in hotter climates, they re-seed and I am giving Coneflower babies away. The bees seem to particularly like them.
I must admit that I have not seen many butterflies this year. Last year, they arrived later in the summer. Usually I have tons of Gulf Fritillaries, but even with this favorite host plant, Passionflower vine, climbing up my porch screen, I have not seen evidence of them in abundance – yet.
After visiting the gardens and conservatory at the Biltmore Estate last week, I am attempting to under plant any container plants with succulents. I hate to see the bare dirt under large plants such as my olive tree. Succulents add a bit of interest plus they take so little care. I will let you know how that works out.
On a more personal note, my book, Lowcountry Gardening for Beginners: How to Succeed as a Comya Gardener, is selling well. You can get a copy at LowCo Gardens, Southern Marsh Nursery, Bruno’s, and the Greenery. These are all great garden centers and well worth a visit even if you are not interested in purchasing the book.
Stay ahead of the weeds, work early before it gets hot, and keep hydrated. I will be in Scotland for 12 days enjoying the lack of humidity. I will pay the price when I get back and spend much time weeding and trimming.