|One of the plants in Annie's box literally popped up as soon as I opened the box. That's Tithonia diversifolia, aka Mexican sunflower. When I failed to get seeds to germinate, I jumped at the chance to buy the plant during Annie's summer sale.|
|I fleshed out the order by adding one Mimulus, an Aristea major, and 3 'Silver Anouk' lavenders|
I stopped by by my local garden center to pick up planting mix and to look for a flat of creeping thyme. I left with more than I'd bargained for.
|As you can see, I found the 'Elfin' thyme. I also picked up a Plectranthus, 2 Echinaceas, 3 new-to-me Penstemons, six-packs of Zinnias, Ajuga, Nierembergia, and Lobelia, as well as an odd little plant I'd never heard of.|
|This is Pterocephalus depressus, aka Moroccan pincushion. The fuzzy bits shown in this shot appear to be the spent blooms of the pink flowers the plant produces.|
With one exception, I amazed myself by getting everything into the ground or into pots on a timely basis for a change. I'll start with what went into pots.
|Aristea major may eventually go into the ground but I decided to try it in this pot in my cutting garden first. Half of the Lobelia six-pack went into the pot as well.|
|I thought I'd picked up two Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' for this pot but one plant turned out to be E. 'Wild Berry'. Echinacea doesn't usually survive longer than one season here but I couldn't resist its beautiful flowers.|
|With no prior experience growing it, I put the Pterocephalus depressus in a pot (minus its fuzzy bits) so I could give it more careful attention|
Everything else went into the ground.
|Ajuga reptans 'Chocolate Chip' went into the narrow soil space surrounding the concrete pavers that form the floor of my lath (shade) house|
|The white monkeyflower, Mimulus bifidus, was planted near another one I installed after receiving a prior order from Annie's|
|Seven plugs of Nierembergia 'Purple Robe' were added here in the back garden as filler|
|Five more Nierembergia plugs were added here, joining the Salvia x jamensis 'Ignition Purple' and Verbascum phoenuceum 'Violetta' received with my prior Annie's order|
|Plectranthus 'Velvet Elvis' was planted just outside the dining room window near another perennial Plectranthus. 'Velvet Elvis' was labeled as an annual but many are short-lived perennials in my climate.|
|The Zinnias were used to fill in for some of the sunflowers I'd seeded here. Some of the sunflowers germinated but most didn't get the water they needed to thrive here.|
I'd absolutely no idea where I was going to put the Penstemons but finally settled on adding them to the back border. The area I chose had recently been the resident gopher's favorite and, as I began digging, I dug right into one of his tunnels. Because my sandy soil dries out quickly, I usually water the hole before placing a plant. When the water disappeared immediately without ever filling the first hole, I realized it was running right through a gopher tunnel. I decided it was time to try a new strategy.
|I'd been using granule deterrents watered into the soil and solar-powered sonic devices like the one shown here to redirect the gopher. He does respond by moving but I haven't yet succeeded in moving him out in the direction of the canyon.|
|I originally bought several gopher cages like this to use above ground to shield new plants from raccoons but I decided it was time to try them as intended to deter gophers from eating the roots of my new plants.|
|The upper green section of the cage is intended to sit above soil level while the bottom section is buried. I planted all three Penstemon digitalis 'Onyx and Pearls' in these cages.|
So all that's left is to plant the creeping thyme, a time-consuming project (pun intended). Hopefully, we'll continue to get a good morning marine layer to keep the temperatures down next week. For July, we've been very lucky in the weather department.
Stay safe and enjoy your weekend!
*My earlier post entitled "Pandemic Planting" was originally posted on July 9th. In trying out "New Blogger," I ended up republishing that post on July 24th. Every new platform presents challenges and missteps it seems. The current post took twice as long as usual but I got the hang of most things, except how the labels are supposed to work.
All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party