Latyrus odoratus – sweet pea – A slow start from seed and a few were planted in different areas as an experiment. One in particular the one that has its first flowers has grown the tallest, a couple alongside it are doing ok. They have a bit more shade from some other neighboring plants. They easily have taken to the chicken wire on the balcony divider.
Dahlia – One of my favorite flowering plants my favorite colors for them are their pinks, purples and white. Only one tuber was planted this year, although I am tempted to pick up a couple more in the next day or two. They are always showy and beautiful.
Thunbergia alata – black eyed susan vine – Like the sweet pea it has had a slow start from seed and now in the last few days taking off like wild fire. Never before has this vining plant been in my garden and already thinking it may become a mainstay. This also has easily taken to the chicken wire which was placed on the exterior wall.
Buddleia – butterfly bush – It is planted infront of a large drainpipe that climbs down from the roof (nearby morning glory vine will hopefully obscure the pipe as the season continues as a lovely backdrop to the rich purple scented flowers of the butterfly bush) was susceptible to some insects – over a few days I plucked infested areas and washed areas around them with some soapy water. Seems better now although it is necessary to be vigilant in keeping any reoccurence in check. Check out the natural pesticide recipes pdf, you can download the pdf and learn more on natural remedies for bothersome insects.
Of note also are the plants that have been struggling –
Osteospermum – south african daisy – Of the two planted, 1 died and another is hanging on. They were displaying an incredible colorful bouquet non-stop for a couple of months. Then it seemed pretty sudden (there were some signs) as they both took a turn for the worse. It seems to have been weather related – there were several consecutive days of rain with little light. That is not really normal here, as it can rain a lot in periods – we normally have at least a few hours of sunshine between showers. I have now transplanted the remaining and what seems to be survivor to a pot in hopes that maybe its own space will allow it to revive itself. This seems to be working.
Hydrangea macrophylla – it seemed to have gotten a slight burn but has continued on. As the area where it finds its home is changing with surrounding plants providing some additional shade it seems too to be determined to continue on. There is new growth and that looks quite healthy. Hopefully it will make it through this period and be strong enough to face even the more difficult period of heat that is to come.
Sempervivum – hens & chicks – Most are thriving in the large beds and reproducing quite well and a cluster that was in a separate pot even appeared to be doing extrodinary. Yet the one that appeared to be extrodinary took a turn for worse in just one day. It was moved to a different location next to a jade plant that is doing magnificently well and in just one day poof – so prehaps it was the move or maybe there is even some truth to an old superstition.
Truth or fiction?
It is said that if you plant sempervivum on the roof of a house that neither lightning nor fire will harm it. As chance would have it, just yesterday we had a lightning storm and in the morning before the storm all was well with this plant and today, post-storm, as I was checking on the garden this is what it looked like…
By the way sempervivum means live forever and many varieties are great for zone 5.