8/8/14: In the garden this week

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The perennial sunflowers are opening! There’s one at the top right with its back to you, which tells me this picture was taken in the morning (the flower is facing east). This is Helianthus mollis, or downy sunflower, and it thrives in dry soil. Most of the yellow flowers in the picture are Rudbeckia subtomentosa. The lovely white flowers with red centers are Hibiscus moschata. A neighbor originally gave me seeds of this plant, and two natural variations appear in my garden: this white flower with red centers, and a larger pink form. The flowers are almost as large as dinner plates. You see it here surrounded by sunflowers:

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I’m going to be lazy again this week and refer you back to last week’s post for a list of garden chores. We did get just a bit of rain during the past week, so only seedlings or newly planted seeds should need watering. If you’re starting fall crops in your vegetable garden, be sure to keep the tiny plants well watered until they’re established. Do not overwater tomato plants now that they’re producing lots of fruit.

Another plant that we’re enjoying right now is lavender hyssop, Agastache foeniculum. This member of the mint family has licorice-scented foliage and flowers, and the flowers are delicious (but strong tasting) in salads. Like all mints, it’s very easy to grow in full sun, but I generally don’t recommend it to clients because it doesn’t seem to be a true perennial. Since I first planted it I always have it, but in different places each year, so I think it’s behaving more like a self-seeding biennial. But it’s very lovely:

_DSC7265 Enjoy the garden this weekend!

 

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