One thing about the end of Spring and a Florida container garden is that things happen pretty much daily. It’s almost like a soap opera in a way. Meaning gardening becomes both repetitive (water, prune, water, prune, water, prune…) and EXTREMELY dramatic (unplanned babies! aphid attack!) all at one time.
First thing, which was quite dramatic, was that the “dwarf” sunflowers opened. I say “dwarf” because one is about 6 feet tall and the other is over 7 feet tall. And yes, both grew in the SAME fairly small pot.
They are lovely. I was so inspired by their growth that I went on a bit of a sunflower planting spree: I planted some SMALLER sunflowers (Kneehigh Musicbox, usually on 2-3 feet and gorgeous) for inside the lanai, and for OUTSIDE the lanai, in a giant old planter I had on the side of the house, I planted a few more Lemon Queens plus some mixed golden sunflower seeds I had in my stash. If I can get them going, I plan on keeping that huge pot right outside the screen door with a bunch of sunflowers growing in it year round.
My Cha-Cha-Cha zinnias got infested with aphids (f$^%&&%%!!) so instead of doing the “mist them off with the high power hose and show them who is BOSS in this garden” thing I usually do, I just moved the whole pot outside. We’ve had great success with the local ladybug population, so I figure I would give them a treat. Plus, I have been wanting to grow more things for butterflies and hummingbirds outside the lanai (especially zinnias), so I figure that this was my sign from Mother Nature to get that going.
The zinnia actually LOVES it outside the lanai, and is flourishing. So I went ahead and planted some Persian Zinnias in a smaller planter, and as soon as they take off, I’ll move them out there.
In other drama, my beautiful pale blue/perinwinkle hydrangea came back after a very bad case of fungus and is now… pink. I sort of had an inkling it would happen (has to do with soil PH) but I wasn’t sure. I was open to pink, but this is a very *hard* pink so I think I might get some aluminum sulfate and add it to the soil and see if I can scale back the color a little more. Whatever, though, because I’m just thrilled it came back. It was in *bad* shape- I basically had to remove all but ONE leaf a few months ago. Now it’s bushy and has a zillion blossoms on it.
And, look at this! A baby succulent! I have been trying to get this to happen since I started gardening. Then after a weird spell of cooler weather and rain, look what I find?! It’s VERY tiny, but it’s there. I love it.
And look, an orchid spike! That was unexpected, too. My orchids didn’t do so well in potting soil (DUH, I know… but I was out of chips and they needed *something* until I got more) so I finally repotted them properly and they seem to be bouncing back.
I am absolutely madly in love with Lantana. And the one I relocated from my garden to the front yard is flourishing, at last. As is the coleus. The new rose and the new hibiscus? Not so much… but I am hoping it turns around for them.
Finally, Ginger wants you to know she’s keeping up her duties and Loyal Garden Assistant. Lots of laying right in my path and licking water off the leaves of all my plants and knocking over small pots by “cheeking” them. All in a days’ work for her.