Sunday, July 26, 2009

Garden stuff July edition

Yesterday I was picking flowers for the house, and wanted it to be a nice mix of various colors of Beebalm, which almost all blend well together. I noticed a color I don't recall from last summer, and thought, well, maybe I picked something up in my last summer's greenhouse shopping frenzy--then off to one side I saw a smaller, dusky orchid, darker than the rest, and realized this too was no color I'd seen before.
aha, I thought, you don't suppose beebalm cross pollinates? I know daylilies do, and columbine, which is why I now have dark purple, white, and a muddy pale lavender columbine mix...and sure enough, one online flower site said that beebalm "cross pollinates like horny bunny rabbits".

Pulled our first carrots yesterday; it was a huge relief to find that there really were carrots down there, and not the dreaded orange strings I half expected. The radishes went that way, due, I think, to lack of sunlight on the leaves, and that made me fear for the potatoes and carrots as well. Raised beds for root crops is the way to go, you betcha. In this ghastly New England hardpan/stone mix, a nice six inch deep former compost bin produces amazing veggies.

The potatoes seem to be almost totally insect free (cold summers are not a bad thing, sometimes), and yesterday the first pair of Japanese beetles appeared. I shouted at them, and flung them to the ground.


  1. I noticed one of the four-o-clocks had changed color this year. They have been passed down from generation to generation and have always been a scarlet color, this year one complete plant is a light pink. Kinda strange since they have never been a different color before.

  2. if you can, you might want to mark it for next year (or save the seed) and see if it breeds true. That sounds like a serious bit of mutation, which is how a lot of new varieties get started. Are yours perennial, or do you have to replant every year?

  3. They are perennial, they are actually at my sons house down the street. My grandmother had four o clocks and we just passed the seed down thru generations. It will be easy to see it if does it again next year since it is the plant closest to the corner fence in the yard. He planted those seed about 10 years ago, they have always been scarlet til now. They still smell heavenly although they are pink. Actually a light pink.