Michael Battalio

new plants

The harsh winter is finally subsiding. 2013 was a year of weather extremes. I’ve been very busy, so this will be a bit of a long entry. I’ve planted a lot in preparation of the hot summer. I fixed two beds near the road with plants I brought back from my parent’s house during Christmas. There was a stowaway in the irises and daylilies, a lovely crocus.


The Billbergia nutans that I planted in September has bloomed. The foliage still looks rough though.

I’ve taken a chance on a couple of shrubs from a big box home improvement store. They look nice now, but I’ll save judgement until July.

Here is a lone columbine I planted a few weeks ago. I’m told that it will be able to take the heat, but it is so delicate that I’m not sure. Thusly, I only bought one of them.

The vegetable garden progresses along. I inattentively let some of the broccoli go to flower, but the spinach and peas are doing quite well. In the raised beds that house my daylilies I left room for corn and tomatoes. The peppers and eggplant remain in the greenhouse until mid April.

I planted some daffodils around the property, and some of them have bloomed quite late.

I bought another round of plants from Yucca Do Nursery (see “Getting ready for fall”). Mostly I’ve been using them as a source of shade and drought tolerant perennials. Here is a Chinese bloodroot (Eomecon chionantha). It will get about three feet wide and has half-dollar sized white flowers. In the foreground on the right is an African Hosta (Drimiopsis maculata). It is not a true hosta, but is equally as beautiful and should be drought tolerant (supposedly). In the background on the right is a Blue Rabbit’s foot Fern (Phlebodium pseudoaureum). I also purchased a Sinningia sellovii, Pittosporum heterophylla, and Carex leavenworthii. I’ll reevaluate these plants come fall.

In other news I’ve applied a top dressing of compost to the lawn and have started coleus in the greenhouse again. In the near future I’ll be putting down a new layer of mulch on everything in anticipation of the long summer. I recognize that this year and the next should be major planting years so that everything will acclimate in time to sell the house sometime in 2017. Realizing that my timeline is years out I can save money and buy the smaller plants and let them fill in.