White Dahlias and Pink Hydrangeas

Plants

We planted these two dahlias April 20. Our neighbor accidentally mowed them over a month or so ago, which set them back (he took out a young peony too and it never recovered).


After losing our flowers to a mower (neighbor claims he can’t tell what’s a weed or not) Garrett edged and mulched around our mailbox as a precaution. Neighbor was also complaining about the wood chips we had in the mailbox area washing into the street in a heavy rain, so hopefully replacing the wood chips with mulch will be neater. 

We just returned from a trip to Knoxville to find our dahlias in bloom, and more on the way. It’s cool that they look just like their picture on the bulb package.


Since this week’s forecast holds days of storms, I figured I might as well rescue these blooms in case a heavy rain knocks them out. Not that we usually have storms when they’re forecasted, but it’s a good excuse anyway. I also cut some hydrangea blooms and paired them in vases. As Garrett helped me greedily harvesting blooms, we encountered more bounty from our yard–golf balls. Four of them: one in the back yard, one in a side yard, and two in the other side yard. Good grief.

Note: I guess technically the dahlias aren’t white…

Teal Pots Project

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Garrett and I couldn’t help ourselves at the garden center the other day. We had a few projects in mind as we shopped, but spotting the teal pots that perfectly match our front door color caused a fervor for a new curb appeal project.

By the time we left, we had two carts’ worth of soil, plants and pots, and rain had begun to pour. The rainfall recently has been rather heavy and had knocked off many of the blooms of the garden center plants, so I was concerned for my own new plants being thrashed and beat up on the journey home. We spread plastic sheets over the truck’s interior and set the plants inside. The rain halted when we got home and as we began working on our potted arrangements, but sprinkling occurred regularly the rest of the day.

We planted the small pots with two plants: cordyline australis and portulaca. The portulaca have juicy stems and leaves, a pretty texture next to the dry jutting blades of the cordyline. We chose flowerless portulaca that seemed healthy and large rather than smaller plants that already had the pretty flowers, so we are not sure what color we will have. Their water requirements slightly vary; lava rock rests in the bottom of the pots to aid drainage, and the cordyline’s roots are planted deeper than those of the portulaca, smaller plants. The pots are, obviously, mobile in case we need to move them for failure to thrive. We could also transplant either plant if they don’t seem to get along well.

I hope to see the cordyline’s red color deepen, and I expect the portulaca, which I haven’t planted before, to trail out of the pots. We’ll see how they fare over the next few weeks. There is more rainy weather in the forecast.

Flowers for Days

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I love fresh cut flowers, so I was ecstatic that when the ladies and gentlemen of the church threw me a baby shower it featured  short orb vases with gobs of two-toned pink carnations that I was encouraged to take home. Moreover, Micaleigh had brought me blue hydrangeas.

A week later the women in my mother-in-law’s family held a brunch in my honor, and Sharon brought two bunches of mixed blooms and let me keep them. A few days later, the baby was born and Sharon brought me white hydrangeas and roses in the hospital.

The baby is nine days old today, and yesterday I refreshed all the flowers–the hydrangeas had wilted more rapidly than the other flowers, with the blue lasting about ten days and the white lasting eight. The carnations started in five globe vases but now are down to three as I removed dried and droopy members and consolidated the buds and blooms. Certain flowers from the bunches Sharon brought to our brunch had to be discarded. I again trimmed all the stems in a way my mother, a Master Gardener, taught me, gave everyone fresh water and a fresh outlook from a newly arranged vase, and replaced vases of flowers in vantage points around the house.

I’m impressed these flowers have lasted so long–three weeks for the carnations! Their presence and persistence cheer me, and I delight in prolonging their lives so they can continue to brighten the house.