We have lilies and they are blooming so you can see the color they are. Have some that aren't blooming but are in good shape to plant in your garden. These are so easy to grow and very much a perennial for us. Here is a guide on planting lilies in your perennial bed. Remember we are open today Friday, but this weekend is our first weekend that we will be closed. Back to work on Wed. We will enjoy the 4th of July weekend and hope you do too.
How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Lilies
Lily flowers are valued for their large, very showy, often fragrant flowers. The six plain or strikingly marked tepals (“petals”) are often trumpet-shaped, sitting atop tall, erect stems.
(Note: This page is about growing “true” lilies, which belong to the genus Lilium and grow from plump, scaly bulbs. Asiatic and Oriental lilies are examples of true lilies. Daylilies, canna lilies, and peace lilies, despite having the word “lily” in their names, are not true lilies.) Learn more about “true” lilies.
These hearty bulbs are easy to grow and require minimal care, provided that you plant them in the right place.
At home in both formal and naturalistic settings, most lilies also take readily to containers. Plus, they make wonderful cut flowers, coming in pink, gold, red, orange, and white colors.
Lilies bloom tend to bloom from early summer to fall, depending on the type. By carefully blending early, mid-season, and late varieties into your garden, you will enjoy their magnificent blooms from spring through frost.
•Plant lily bulbs in spring or autumn.
•Note: Lilies do not thrive in Zones 9 to 10 without a period of refrigeration; they need a cold, dormant period.
•Select a site with soil that drains well. How can you tell? After a good rain, find a spot that is the first to dry out. Water trapped beneath the scales may rot the bulb, so a well-drained site is essential.
•Also, select a site that gets full sun. For dependable blooms, lilies need six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day. If it’s too shady, the stems will attempt to lean towards the sun or get spindly and fall over.
•Most of the popular varieties prefer acidic to neutral soil, but some are lime-tolerant or prefer alkaline soils (e.g., Madonna lilies).
•Loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches. The deep planting encourages the developing stem to send out roots to help stabilize the plant and perhaps eliminate the need for staking. Also, deep planting keeps lily bulbs cool when temperatures soar.
•Enrich the soil with leaf mold or well-rotted organic matter to encourage good drainage. Learn more about soil amendments and preparing soil for planting.
•Dig a hole 2 to 3 times as deep as the bulbs are high and set the bulb in the hole pointy side up. Fill the hole with soil and tamp gently.
•Space bulbs at a distance equal to 3 times the bulb’s diameter (usually about 8 to 18 inches apart, depending on the variety).
•For a good effect, plant lilies in groups of 3 to 5 bulbs.
•See more tips on how to grow lilies.
In active growth, water freely especially if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
•Keep lilies mulched so that their roots are cool. The mulch should feel moist, but not wet.
•Apply a high-potassium liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks from early spring until 6 weeks after flowering.
•Keep moist in winter.
•Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch.
•Stake tall lilies.
•Lilies do not rebloom, but you can remove the faded flowers so that the plants don’t waste energy making seeds.
•Leave the foliage until it turns brown in the fall. This is important so that the plant stores energy for next year’s flowering. Cut down the dead stalks in the late fall or early spring.
•Before winter, add 4 to 6 inches of mulch, simply to delay the ground freeze and allow the roots to keep growing. Leave the mulch until spring once the last hard frost has passed. See your local frost dates.
•Divide plants every 3 to 4 years as new growth begins in the spring. Just lift them and divide into clumps. Replant using compost and bonemeal.
•Gray mold is sometimes a problem, especially in a wet, cool spring or summer. Make sure lilies are not crowded and have plenty of air circulation.
•Viruses, spread by aphids, may be troublesome, although some cultivars are virus-tolerant.
•Red lily beetles, slugs, and snails may occur.
•Deer, rabbits, voles, and groundhogs may eat entire plants. If these critters are a problem, plant the bulbs in buried wire cages to protect them from getting eaten.
Displaying Lilies in Vases
•Lilies make wonderful cut flowers. However, avoid cutting off more than a third of the stem, which can reduce the plant’s vigor and longevity. Or, if you are growing lilies strictly for cut flowers, consider planting them in a designated cutting garden, where you can plant fresh bulbs each year.
•When cutting lilies, choose those with buds that are just about to open, not tight and green, with a bit of the flower color showing.
•As soon as you get lilies inside, trim the stem ends an inch or so, making a diagonal cut with a sharp knife.
•If you worry that the orange pollen of lilies might cause stains, simply snip off the stamens in the flower’s center.
•Before arranging in a vase, remove the lower leaves on the stems so that no foliage will be underwater.
•A good lily arrangement will last 2 or more weeks. Change the water every few days.
•To help prolong the life, add cut-flower food to the water. Lilies require only half the amount of food recommended for other flowers.
There are many types of lilies which bloom at different times. Enjoy lilies from all summer long if you plant bulbs from different varieties.
•Asiatic lilies are the earliest to bloom and the easiest to grow. With their upward facing flowers, they bloom early to midsummer. Hardy in zones 4 to 9, Asiatic lilies come in pure white, pinks, vivid yellows, oranges, and reds. Intense breeding has erased much of the Asiatics’ fragrance, but in spite of their lack of perfume, they are a favorite with floral arrangers.
•Trumpet lilies bloom mid-summer. Tall with trumpet-shaped flowers, they are hardy in zones 5 to 9. Trumpet lilies grow throw many blooms (12 to 15 per stalk!) and have a wonderfully heady, sweet fragrance.
•Oriental hybrids end the season, blooming in mid- to late summer, just when Asiatic lilies are beginning to fade. From tiny two-footers to towering eight-foot-tall giants, Orientals are always a striking choice (the shorter ones are great for patio beds or container gardens). Adored for their intoxicating fragrance that intensifies after dark, Oriental lilies produce masses of huge white, pink, red, or bi-color blooms. They make wonderful cut flowers that will fill even the largest of rooms with their spicy scents.
Wit & Wisdom
•The name “lily” can be misleading because lots of other plants use it besides true lilies. Daylilies and water lilies aren’t lilies at all, and neither are lilies-of-the-valley or lilyturf. With so many other plants using the name “lily,” it’s apparent that identity theft must have been around long before the use of computers and credit cards!
•If you have a flower bed, lilies prosper in the presence of other low plants that protect their roots from drying out.
taken from http://www.almanac.com/plant/lilies
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
I AM BACK....sorry I haven't been posting but we have had our daughter and family here visiting with a grandbaby so all in all that was great. Plants still looking awesome, so if you need that color in your garden you know where to come to. We have been working with the herbs and found this article on using fresh herbs. FOOD FOR THOUGHT or should I say DRINK for Thought.
Fresh, fresh, fresh...you will hear mixologists talking about fresh ingredients all of the time. Using fresh squeezed juices, garnishes at their peak, and fresh herbs make otherwise "decent" cocktails spectacular and you cannot get any fresher than growing fruits, vegetables and herbs in your own garden.
Planting a Bartender's Garden is just one more way to customize and improve your drinking experience. If you enjoy gardening anyway, there is no reason not to design a portion of your plantings around your drinking preferences.
I ( the author) do this in my own garden; planting annuals to experiment with, perennials that are reliable favorites, and choosing faster growing, higher yielding, or more flavorful varieties that work just a little bit better in drinks.
Here are a few suggestions of plants you may want to consider adding to your garden which will enhance your cocktails and homemade spirit infusions, syrups, and other drink mixers. If you have a favorite drink or flavor, add those plants to the list.
Fruits & Vegetables:Use as garnishes, fresh juices, and flavored infusions.
Also, think about edible flowers for garnishes. Be sure when buying flower bedding plants (pansies, geraniums, etc.) that they are either organic or pesticide and growth hormone free if you are going to use them in food or drinks, many are not.
till next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
I am starting by last Saturday of this season of being open. This year only 62 days of working in a row instead of the 78 from years past. So looking forward to a day off that is for sure. It will be spent with family as a granddaughter is getting baptized. So all is good. We are open today from 9-6. Then back open on Monday-Friday 9-6. We have plants, plants and plants that look awesome yet. Still working on that video of what my garden looks like on the wagon racks.
Here is another plant I found on the wagon racks...gardening uses all the senses and sight is one of them. BUT smell is something you notice and then you look for it. Heliotrope is one of the fragrant plants. Here is a little information about them.
Even without its fabulous scent, heliotrope would be widely grown in the garden. It has a distinctive scent -- some say it smells like cherry pie; others say a grape Popsicle. Still others say it's reminiscent of vanilla. Regardless, it is undeniably one of the most intriguingly scented plants in the garden. As a bonus, this tropical plant, grown as an annual, bears big clusters of rich purple, blue, or white flowers.
Heliotrope thrives in a spot with full sun and moist, well-drained soil. It's a great container plant -- try it in a window box or next to a doorway where you can enjoy it frequently. For the strongest scent, group several plants together where they can get afternoon sun. That warming sun releases the fragrance. Give it a try. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
I have been walking around my garden racks, and noticed how awesome these zinnias are. They are ready to go into your garden. I am still planting in the gardens, so there is time yet to do these. So come today or tomorrow to pick up some plants that are on sale to make your gardens pop with color. Remember we are closed on Sunday.
ZINNIAS of course I love these flowers
The GO-TO zinnia series for disease resistance and uniformity, Profusion is an outstanding performer in the greenhouse, at retail in containers and in the garden. Extremely heat and drought resistant, Profusion is an excellent choice for the landscape as well. Mix any of the colors, including singles and doubles, in packs or pots for added interest. Compact habit and flower quality combined with vigor and exceptional disease resistance contribute to Profusion's excellent performance and habit in all climates.
##Incredible uniformity allows for bench-run sales in all colors
##Extreme heat and drought resistance makes for excellent landscape performance
##Disease resistant so it's easy to grow and longer flowering in the garden
##Orange, White and Cherry are All America Selections Gold Medal Winners; Cherry is also a Fleuroselect Gold Medal Winner
taken from http://www.sakataornamentals.com/plantname/Zinnia-Profusion
General Description Magellan Zinnias full bloom on 18" stems
These dwarf garden zinnias are high performers that will provide continuous flower color in the heat of summer. Garden zinnias are bushy, heat-loving annuals that are seed-grown. Cultivars in the Magellan Series produce short plants that bloom non-stop for months with very large, fully to semi-double flowers with lots of tightly backed petals.
Warm weather is a must for zinnias. Their seeds germinate readily in warm garden soil, so they are easily planted outdoors. Blooming begins in late spring to early summer and will continue to frost if the flowers are regularly deadheaded (pruned when spent). In tropical and subtropical regions they can be planted year round.
Cultivars in the Magellan Series have large, uniform, fully double blooms that are round with dense rows of flattened petals. They come in a broad array of colors and are very desirable to butterflies. Once pollinated, the flowers turn brown and release brown, flattened seeds that will germinate on their own if allowed to fall to the ground.
Well-suited for both formal and informal garden plantings, zinnias grow best in average, well-drained soil and full sun. When the summer temperatures heat up these Mexican natives thrive, especially if provided regular water. As the summer wanes, zinnias often develop the foliar fungal disease, powdery mildew. These butterfly magnets will add height and explosive color to any border. Dwarf cultivars, like those in the Magellan Series, are excellent for container culture.
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Height 12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm
Bloom Time Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall, Late Fall, Indeterminate
Native To Hybrid Origin, Mexico
Taken from http://www.learn2grow.com/plants/zinnia-elegans-magellan-series/
till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
Here we go another week. We are having humid weather today and storms tonight. But the rain we are getting is doing lots for our gardens, our farm fields and our lawns. I am working on a video to walk you thru my garden, which is the wagon racks. It is a garden and the plants look awesome. We are blessed to have them look so well after the hot and humid weather we had. I know you think it is too late to plant but there is time yet for the growing season so if you are in need of plants, vegetables, trees, shrubs, perennials, herbs come and see us. We are open this week on Saturday but we will be closed on Sunday.
Also in town the flea market at Journeys Past General Store and Flea Market will be open for 2 days. 9- 6 each day Friday and Saturday. There is lots going on but when you are out and about think about putting Dougherty as one of your stops.
I had garden club here for a meeting this week, and there was discussion about clematis. One hasn't bloom for the gardener and she doesn't know what kind it is so that would be the key for the care of it. But here is some information about one variety Dr. Ruppel. It might give you some ideas about your clematis care.
One variety of pink clematis flowers bears the cultivar name of Dr. Ruppel. The scientific name is written as Clematis 'Dr. Ruppel.' This deciduous perennial flowering vine can grow up to 12 feet tall given support upon which to climb. It grows striking pink and violet petals.
This vine's lovely petals are really called "sepals." They are at their pinkest when they are young. Depending on the lighting in which you see them, you may describe the more mature flowers as pink with a fuchsia stripe down the middle or as bicolored (lavender with a bright pink stripe down the middle). The effect is a bright color, made up of some pink with hints of lavender. As the flowers fade over time, the lavender color becomes the stronger color. The edges are wavy. These pink flowers measure about 6 inches across. In fact, Dr. Ruppel is one of the large-flowered cultivars. There are usually six or seven sepals, each surrounding a light-colored center. Dr. Ruppel clematis comes into bloom in June and will continue to bloom off-and-on into September. You can grow these pink clematis flowers in USDA planting zones 4-8.
Other types of pink clematis flowers include the popular cultivars, 'Pink Fantasy,' 'Nelly Moser,' 'Bees Jubilee,' 'Kakio' (Pink Champagne™), 'Sugar Daddy' and 'Lincoln Star.' There are also some choices from the mountain clematis (C. montana 'Broughton Star' and C. montana var. rubens), Texas clematis (C. texensis 'Princess Diana'), and alpine clematis (C. alpina 'Pink Flamingo') groups.
Clematis (for which "virgin's bower" is a common name) is not fussy about soil pH (a roughly neutral pH level should be fine), but the soil needs to be well-drained and kept evenly moist. If you use chemical fertilizers, apply a 5-10-10 in spring, and then, at intervals of about five weeks, apply a 10-10-10 fertilizer. If you are an organic gardener, use compost. The upper part of the plant should receive full sunlight, while the tender roots need to be shaded so that they stay cool. Preventing clematis wilt and fighting slugs will be your two biggest problems when growing clematis.
■ Trim Dr. Ruppel every other year or every few years. You will have reduced flowering if you prune it in this manner, but you will also save yourself a whole lot of work. Since Dr. Ruppel is a repeat bloomer (known as "pruning-type 2"), in the long run, the vine will grow plenty of flowers.
■ Plant Dr. Ruppel deep enough to help keep its roots cool.
■ Apply mulch to block heat from entering the root zone. Or you could use a "living mulch", which means you allow a ground cover to spread around the base of the vine. Another way to keep the roots cool is by arranging flat stones around the base of the clematis.
■ Handle the vine gently when you do train it because its branches break easily. The least damage is done when the breakage occurs at a node. In such a case, the effect of the break is similar to when you pinch a plant to make it bushier and increase blooming. A couple of weeks after a break, you are likely to see that new flower buds have formed where the breakage took place. But the look of the plant will be marred if the damage is not done at a node.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/pink-clematis-flowers-dr-ruppel-
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
Pollinators and our gardens - Birds, Bees, Butterflies and More
There is a crisis in the pollinator populations - it is not just the bees that are dying at an alarming rate, the population crisis is affecting all pollinators. Bees, bats, birds and butterflies have all seen a dramatic reduction in their populations over the past few decades. Healthy habitat for these important creatures has been adversely affected by farming practices, urbanization and widespread pesticide use. You can help reverse those declining numbers by making a pollinator friendly garden that can help the insects survive in both rural and urban areas. Pollinator gardens are colorful, attractive and bursting with life all summer long and easy to install.
Pollinators are crucial if you are growing vegetables, because if you grow vegetables like summer squash, for instance, you will know that pollination is the key to getting good fruit set. Not only do the squash pollinators have to transfer the pollen from the male flower to the female flower but they need to do that multiple times. Missouri Botanical Garden estimates that it takes about 15 visits from a bee to fully pollinate the female squash flower. Many fruit trees and bushes also rely on pollen being taken from one tree or bush to another so attracting pollinators to your garden is vital if you want a good harvest from your fruit and vegetables.
The bugs that pollinate our garden range in size and mode of travel – some fly, others crawl along the ground or are carried around on the hide of other animals. Bees are the most common pollinators but birds, beetles and butterflies also play a role so a garden that is attractive to pollinators has to be attractive to a wide range of insects. Color and form of the flower dictate who will come to visit – a bright red zinnia will attract one insect whereas another insect prefers to walk into the longer flower tube of alliums. When you add in flowers for early and late pollinators, your garden will not only be great for the insect population but will also be colorful and aesthetic to look at all season long. For a healthy pollination population to survive it requires food, moisture and shelter:
Food is the nectar or pollen of the plant.
Water can be found in several ways – rainwater, damp stones or gravel after you have watered, damp leaves from dew in the summer, bird baths and fountains in water gardens all provide necessary water. Natural streams and ponds work well too particularly for providing water for birds.
Shelter from storms and predators comes from nearby shrubs and bushy perennials.
Many bees and insects also need some open ground areas for nesting and butterflies particularly need some plants to be sacrificed for their caterpillars to eat. There are many flowers out there that work well for attracting and nourishing pollinators so you can find flowers that grow well in full sun as well as more shady places. Plant the flowers in groups so that bees, particularly those that target just one flower, can get lots of pollen without expending a lot of energy when visiting one flower and the next. Grouping 3 or 5 plants together more visually appealing in the landscape too.
Early season pollinator plants: Pollinators coming out of dormancy need nourishment early in the year and there is not usually very much in the native landscape available to them. Chives, and other early blooming alliums are perfect for early season pollen. Hellebores, crocus and many daffodils are also good for late winter/early spring foraging.
Late spring into early summer: The number of plants available that bloom at this time gives lots of varieties, so pick what works for you. Good options include lavender, catmint, violas, phlox, poppies and blueberries. For more shady areas try astilbe, columbine and hydrangeas. As the summer progresses the options increase even more and include edibles as well as ornamental blooms in the garden. Borage, raspberries and summer vegetables all provide pollen for insects. In the flower garden zinnias, salvias, sunflowers, Echinacea, monarda, cleomes and cosmos are all colorful and varied which provide nutrients for a wide variety of insects.
By the end of summer the garden is slowing down and many pollinators are preparing for winter. Late season pollen can be the difference between life and death for some of these insects particularly if their shelter is disrupted during fall cleanup of the garden. Late season solidago makes a great addition to your pollination garden along with sedum, rudbeckias and eupatorium.
By providing varied and colorful flowers all summer long you supplement what nature can provide for the pollinators enabling more to survive in the landscape and helping to restore natural populations.
taken from http://www.burpee.com/gardenadvicecenter/about/pollinators-and-our-gardens---birds-bees-butterflies-and-more
till next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse Dougherty, Iowa
So having trouble posting yesterday but had 1800 hits, so wonder if it was that one or the one the day before. Thanks for looking...now here are some helpful hints for container gardening.
Since I( the author Kerry Michaels ) have made every mistake possible, many more than once, the following list of 10 common container gardening mistakes is just a start, and is in no particular order.
1. Filling a large container in the wrong place: Ever tried to lift a large container garden filled with dirt and plants? I have, and it can be overwhelmingly heavy. When using a large or unwieldy container make sure to place your pot where it will live and then fill it – you’ll save your back!
Also, if you know you are planting shallow rooted plants in a very large container (for example, herbs, annuals, succulents), you can fill the bottom third with empty plastic bottles and cover them with plastic screening. You can also use a product called "Better Than Rocks," to take up space. It will make your container lighter and less expensive because you won't need as much potting soil.
2. Overwatering Your Plants: To avoid over-watering your container gardens, use containers that have drainage holes – lots of them. Also, make sure to read the moisture requirements for your plants and then follow them. Before you water, check if your soil is moist. To do this put your finger into the soil up to your second knuckle. If the soil at your fingertip feels dry, water your plant.
If you do over-water, leaves may turn yellow and fall off, or your plants may get limp. If your soil is too wet, move the container to a dry, breezy spot until it dries out.If you have the room, you can also move your container garden into a garage or sheltered spot to dry it out, particularly if the weather is continuing to be wet.
3. Underwatering Your Plants: Most container gardens need watering at least once a day in the heat of the summer. Many, especially hanging planters or small containers, need watering even more often because there is less soil to hold moisture. When you water, make sure to really soak your plants – if you just give them a sip, the water will only wet the top layer of soil. Water until you see it coming out of the bottom of your pot. Lots of people use water crystals but they are expensive and some tests have shown that they aren't particularly effective.
If your plants do dry out, don’t despair; even the most pathetic, limp, plant might revive with a good drink. If the container is small enough, submerge the whole thing in a bucket of water until the air bubbles subside. For a large container take a skewer or stick and gently poke holes deep into the soil to allow water to reach the roots. Then water generously.
4. Awkward plant to pot ratio: Make sure to consider the proportions of your plants to your container. A large container stuffed with short plants can look stunted. If you need a rule of thumb (and remember that rules are meant to be broken) try to have at least one plant that is as tall as the container. Also try plants that will spill over the sides.
5. Buying weak or sickly plants: Buying plants at a reputable local nursery is a good place to start in your quest for healthy plants. You have a greater chance of getting plants that are disease and pest free and well cared for than at a big box store. At a nursery, you can often get a wealth of information and advice from knowledgeable staff. Don't be afraid to ask someone to help you pick out a good plant.
If you can’t resist the prices of buying plants from a big box store (and occasionally, who can’t?), try to buy them on or close to the day they’re delivered. Don’t be shy to ask someone who works there which day new plant stock arrives. Delivery is usually the same day every week.
Here are some suggestions for how to save money on container gardening.
6. Fear of pruning: When your container gardens start looking leggy or ragged, don’t be afraid to cut them back.
You may want to put them in an out-of-the-way spot until they re-bound, but chances are they’ll come back healthier and happier with a good haircut.
7. Selecting plants with different requirements: Make sure that all the plants in your container garden share the same sun, soil and water requirements. You can find out this information from your seed packets or plant labels.
8. Starving your plants: Most potting mix has very few of the nutrients that plants require to grow and be healthy so you will need to add those nutrients to the soil. There are many fertilizers to choose from and flowering plants have different needs than vegetables and herbs.
In container gardening what nutrients there are in your potting soil are either quickly used by the plants or are washed out with repeated watering. Fertilizing container gardens regularly is a key to their success. You can start with a slow release fertilizer mixed in with your potting soil and then add a diluted, liquid fertilizer, such as fish emulsion, every couple of weeks. I use organic or all natural fertilizers.
9. Living with ick: After you’ve tried everything, short of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and your plant still looks dreadful, cut your losses and toss it on the compost pile or in the trash. If only one plant in your container garden is icky, just pull out that plant and replace it.
10. Having unrealistic expectations: Before you make your container gardens, evaluate how you live. Do you travel a lot during the summer? If so, either get self-watering containers, an automatic drip irrigation system, enlist some help to keep your plants healthy and alive while you’re gone or get plants that don't need a lot of water.
Garden how you live. Are you casual or formal? I take a loosey-goosey approach to gardening because it fits well with my personality. I like big overflowing containers with riotous colors and luxuriant blossoms. Some people like neat, well-planned, formal containers.
I grow vegetables and herbs galore because I like how they taste and the experience delights and fascinates me.
Remember, this isn’t brain surgery –- there’s lots of room for error. Have fun and experiment. Whatever your lifestyle or personality you can make container gardens that will give you joy and bring beauty to your surroundings.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/common-container-gardening-mistakes-
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
Weather more pleasant this week, so plan on coming and seeing us this week. Having trouble posting this so will try again.
I worked my last Sunday yesterday as we are closed next Sunday the 25th. We have a grand daughter getting baptized so need to be with family. We will be open on Saturday the 24th though. This is the weekend that the flea market and general store will be open Friday and Saturday so if you have a chance come and see us both.
Annuals, and vegetables are on sale, and with the hot humid weather we did work hard to keep them water. So they are still looking great and will look awesome in your gardens. This week hope to get my two flower beds planted that are outside of our house. BUT need to weed first which isn't any fun. I will have help with Wanda so that will be great. I am getting our house in order for our daughter and family coming this week. But we can have the windows open so that will be nice. Open during the week from 9-6, including Saturday this week. Plan on stopping if you can. I will be writing another blog tomorrow so thanks for looking at this when you do. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
I found these treasures on the wagon racks while I was watering all the time to keep the plants blooming and looking good during this hot, humid spell. Stop in and pick them up for your gardens.
I have been watering continually during this hot spells, and have noticed some plants on the wagon racks that look really good. Now that this hot, humid spell has broken it is a good time to work on adding to your gardens. Here are a few of the plants that look good, and will give some conversation about your garden.
Take a Peek at the Peek-A-Boo Plant
Linda Naeve Extension Coordinator Reiman Gardens Iowa State University
Not only is the name whimsical, but this week's Reiman's Pick, the peek-a-boo plant, also known as the toothache plant, has some strange sensory characteristics as well. Long ago, someone must have been surprised when they decided to munch on the blooms of this plant and found it caused drooling and numbness. Although it is not something most of us would try today, chewing on these flowers was used as an effective, temporary relief from toothache pain, similar to the local anesthetic effect of Novacain®. These flowers were also used by natives in the tropics as a urinary antiseptic and as a preventative treatment against malaria. The active ingredient, an antiseptic alkaloid known as Spilanthol, is found throughout the plant, with the highest concentration in the flowers.
The peek-a-boo plant, Spilanthes oleraceae, is a unique, little-known annual garden flower that is native to tropical regions. It is a member of the same plant family as asters, daisies and coneflowers, but the flowers look quite different. At first glance, the blooms on a peek-a-boo plant resemble daisy-like flowers but with all the petals removed and only the round centers left at the ends of the stems. The blooms are olive-shaped, about one inch in length, and yellow with a dark red center. Because these strange flowers look like the eyeballs of a large animal or alien creature, its common name is peek-a-boo or even eyeball plant.
Peek-a-boo plants grow only 12 to 15 inches tall and about 18 inches across. They are covered with blooms from mid-June through September, making them excellent accent plants, edgers in a border garden or container specimens. They coordinate and contrast well with yellow or red-blooming plants and many coleus varieties because of their unusual flowers and dark, bronze-green foliage and red stems.
Peek-a-boo plants prefer a location that receives full sun to partial shade. The soil should be kept moderately moist. Saturated, soggy soils results in poor growth and possible stem rot. Space the plants approximately 10 to 12 inches apart in the garden. Peek-a-boo plants are easy to grow because they are rarely attacked by insects, diseases or rabbits.
Whatever, you chose to call them - toothache plants, eyeball plants or peek-a-boo plants - you will find them at Reiman Gardens looking back at you from the edges of perennial borders and containers.
taken from http://www.extension.iastate.edu/newsrel/2004/jul04/jul0401.html
Dragon Wings Begonia
Latin: Begonia x hybrida 'Dragon Wings'
Big Boy is a large-fruited F1 hybrid that has maintained its popularity for over 50 years.
In 35-plus years following the comings and goings of horticulture, I've seen a number of plants rise in popularity, only to be dashed against the rocks as gardeners tire of them or their less desirable attributes become known.
Dragon Wings begonia is one of the most remarkable new garden flowers to come along in my career. It too will eventually fade from the scene, but for now it's an excellent example of another group of garden plants – the interspecific hybrids – as we continue our discussion of how garden plants are produced.
Dragon Wings begonia is a 2- to 3-foot tall, cane-forming begonia with deep, glossy-green, 5-inch long leaves and drooping clusters of flowers. Because the hybrid is sterile, it just keeps blooming from spring till frost. The original introduction had bright red flowers but pink and white forms are now available.
To follow the story of Dragon Wings begonia, we must first discuss a bit of jargon. The plant is an interspecific hybrid (a cross between two species of begonia), so an "x" is used in the name to indicate its hybrid origins. While this has no legitimacy with begonia taxonomists, some sources are using the name Begonia x hybrida as a catchall name for this hybrid.
The name Dragon Wings is a bit confusing. Chatter amongst members of the American Begonia Society indicate that a plant was registered in 1985 and named Christmas Candy by Mable Cowin, a hobby breeder working with shrub type begonias. From photos on the web, Christmas Candy seems almost identical to what we call Dragon Wings begonia.
By: Gerald Klingaman, retired
Extension Horticulturist - Ornamentals
Extension News - August 27, 2004
taken from https://www.uaex.edu/yard-garden/resource-library/plant-week/begonia-dragonwings.aspx
When this flower is grown in the greenhouse the flower will be red with foliage that is predominantly green but showing some red. Once it is moved outside the foliage will darken to a more purple-toned look and the flower will also darken to a deep purple. This is a GREAT mid-height border plant and will actually stay on the shorter side under high light. So new have a try and let me know what you think of it.
I will be working on the wagon racks today, so will find more plants that need your attention for planting in your garden. Open today from 11-4, so stop on in and have a look. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
Hi! My name is Becky and I am a Master Gardener. I own Becky's Greenhouse in Dougherty, Iowa.