Friday, August 7, 2020

An interim strategy

On Wednesday, I published a post on a few small garden projects, including one that involved the removal of several rosemary shrubs on the south end of my back garden.  I initially planned to leave the area I'd cleared bare until fall arrives but patience isn't one of my strongest traits.  In short order, I decided to go ahead with an interim strategy, which resulted in the purchase of another Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' and fourteen small Zinnias.  These went into the ground late yesterday afternoon.

The Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' in the background on the right mirrors the plants to the right of the remaining rosemary shrub (outside the frame of this photo but shown in my earlier post).  The new Zinnias mirror those behind Leucospermum 'Goldie' on the left (some of which are just visible on the far left).

The Abelia will stay as it'll eventually cover the bare legs of the rosemary and will complement the Leucopermmum 'Sunrise' in the center.  With supplemental water, the Zinnias should survive the summer, after which I'll replace them with something yet to be determined.


In the same post, I floated the possibility to getting rid of the over-stuffed strawberry pot containing a large Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire', which caused some commentators to express concern.  I admit that it's an attractive plant.  I considered moving it but I've already got cuttings of that same plant spread throughout my garden.  (In fact, if you look at the last photo above, you can see two of these in the succulent area in the distance on the left.)  So, I elected an interim strategy to deal with the strawberry pot as well.

I cut the Euphorbia back (again).  The before photo is on the left and the after photo is on the right.  In addition to diminishing its height and girth, this gives Dahlia 'Rip City' in the raised planter next to it more sun.

These are the cuttings I'll put out on the curb for "adoption" once they stop seeping sap.  I cut them down to a manageable size for transplant in other gardens or pots.  I plan to include a warning about exposure to the sap, which can cause skin irritation and eye damage if not properly handled.


I haven't dealt with the mass of Centaurea 'Silver Feather' yet but, while we're addressing the cutting garden, here are photos of the first two dahlia blooms to open there.  I planted most of my dahlia tubers a good six weeks later this year than last year but they're on their way at last!

This is Dahlia 'Sellwood Glory', the first to open

This is 'Mr Optimist', which opened on the heels of 'Sellwood Glory'


That's it from me this week.  Thanks to everyone who weighed in on my projects!  Your input helped me sort through my options.

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable weekend.


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

20 comments:

  1. That new planting turned out really good, in your usual meticulous style. Beautiful Dahlias, too.

    My E. tirucalli split the laughably small ceramic pot it was in and sent its roots into the ground, which explains how it got 8' tall.

    Have a good weekend!

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    1. I've wondered if the same is true of my strawberry pot, HB. I find it hard to believe that the plant has gotten as big as it has without being rooted in the ground. In any case, I've little doubt that there's any way of getting the plant out of that pot with the pot still intact.

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  2. Sometimes those interim strategys get longer term than one would like.Popping in annuals will at least force change once they have bit the dust.I also have a Centaurea 'Silver Feather' mass to deal with.I love the plant but I'm extremely indecisive about where to move it. For thew time being it's cut back far enough to allow the postal service, UPS and Fedex to get to the front porch unmolested.

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    1. You've done more than I have, Kathy! I briefly considered taking a whack at mine today but managed to distract myself with other, simpler chores.

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  3. Lovely dahlias Kris.I am starting a link up party pertaining to the gardening .It would be my pleasure if you join this link up party and share your Garden happenings .
    Here is the link http://jaipurgardening.blogspot.com/2020/08/garden-affair-roses-are-back-in-bloom.html

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    1. Thanks for the invitation, Arun. I'll try to link up sometime in the next 7 days.

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  4. Now that I see 'Sticks on Fire' among the blue agave, creating a dramatic vignette that will get even more so as they grow, I don't feel so bad about the one in the pot being on the chopping block :-D

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    1. That Euphorbia needs to be chopped back periodically no matter where it's planted. I've seen them reach roof height!

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  5. Busy busy. The firesticks looks good with it's makeover. So does the new planting. I like Mr Optimist the best out of these two dahlias. The mix of colors is strong. Have a great weekend.

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    1. The color of Dahlia 'Sellwood Glory' wasn't as I'd expected, Lisa, but 'Mr Optimist' fit its profile exactly.

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  6. Your makeover looks great - I love when a plant grows so well that it needs a trim. There's something really satisfying about pruning a plant & seeing the before and after.

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    1. Pruning the Euphorbia isn't a lot of fun as avoiding its heavy seeping sap can be challenging. The sap is an irritant, and dangerous if you're not careful and touch your eye. Hopefully, the plant will remain a manageable size for at least another 6 months.

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  7. My tirucalli is backlit by sun and displayed outside the bay window. It has reached a satisfying size ... we'll seen when I change to ... needs pruning, again.

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    1. It IS a pretty plant! The cuttings I left out for neighbors were gone within 2 hours, despite the warning I offered that they should be careful about contact with its sap.

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  8. Looks great and your dahlias are lovely cultivars. Can't wait to see what you do with them in a vase. :)

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    1. I'm wondering what I'm going to do with them in a vase too, Eliza, as there were still only 2 fully opened flowers as of this evening. We shall see what tomorrow brings.

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  9. Oh the euphorbia definitely looks better for a good haircut Kris. You must be excited to see see some dahlias in flower. I wonder if they will be appearing in a vase sometime soon.

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    1. I expect you won't have long to wait for the answer to that question, Anna ;)

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  10. I'm impressed how you take on each task with decisiveness and don't even sit around and wait months to accomplish things! Looks very much like plants are exactly what and where they should be. I like D. 'Mr Optimist'.

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    1. I all but dare myself to act on what needs to be done, Susie, and once I'm in the middle of a project, there's usually no going back!

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