Michael Battalio


daylily

amaryllis

This year’s daylilies have not been a disappointment. They are wonderful this year.
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Here is a very proud success. This is an amaryllis I saved from my parents house before I left and my dad mowed everything to the ground. It has taken three years after transplanting for it to get back to a size where it would bloom, but it is worth the wait.

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Here is some monarda I planted last fall. I didn’t expect it to do so well, yet here it is. We’ll see if the plant is still alive come August.

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Finally here are the tomato plants. I harvest about five everyday. I’m sort of regretting planting the daylilies amongst the vegetables. They take up space I could have used for more vegetables. Lesson learned.

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Perennials


With the growing season once again in full swing, this will be a full blog post. We have gotten enormous amounts of rain this year. As of 5/16/15 we are at 23.87”, which is double what we should have. The garden is loving it. Everything looks amazing.

Below is a euphorbia that I got at a box store for $3.33. I hope all the rain doesn’t drown this usually drought tolerant plant.

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Here is a yarrow that I know needs some pampering when first planted, as the last time I tried it, it died during August. I’m hoping the enormous amount of rain will harden the plant up for the inevitable dry spell that will happen later in the year.

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Next a couple of daylilies. The first is one I dug from my parent’s yard “Frans Hals”, which is a prolific bloom and a hardy plant. I put it in the roadside bed because I know it can take the heat. The second photo is a patch of native daylilies that were here when I moved in. This is the first year that they are making such an impressive display. The last two years there have only been one or two bloom stalks. I have to chalk the improved performance to the rain, though in previous year I assumed they weren’t blooming much due to the shade of the live oaks.
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I’m including another photo of an amaryllis simply because they are so impressive.
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Next is a scutellaria ‘Fuchsia Fountains’, which I bought at the Brazos county master gardener plant sale earlier this spring. It is settling into its space very nicely.

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Here are some coleus that I started from seed when I transplanted the tomatoes. They are growing slowly, but they will be read to pot up in containers shortly.

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The mid-summer lull

We had a spectacular rain event on Thursday night. My house received 5.86” of rain in approximately three hours (including a one hour period where we got over 3”). This now brings my house over the average yearly rainfall for this time of year. I never believed we would catch up after getting less than five inches during the first five months of the year. I wish I could save about three inches of that to fall during August here.

As it is the middle of summer and though we haven’t hit 100 yet here, the garden still suffers from the heat. Thusly, I don’t have much to show in the garden. One daylily is still trying to make a go of it. ‘Pardon me’ is a short, late-blooming variety.

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Here I have a simple Black Eyed Susan diligently making a show.
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At bottom I have a shot of a naked lady lily (Lycoris squamigera), a type of amaryllis, so named because the flower stalks emerge quite suddenly after the foliage has died back. These happen to be at my parent’s house where I must sadly confess my father has mowed all the flower beds down. Despite my parent’s neglect, these will continue flowing so long as my dad never catches the plants with the mower while their foot high strap-like foliage is out.

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rabbit damage

Continued rabbit munching damage is occurring; this time on a lobelia. I seem the scamper around occasionally in the mornings. I’ve never had to deal with rabbits before, so I’m not sure how to deter them.

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Here is another plant from yuccado gardens. This is Sinningia sellovii. It is doing quite well in its first year. It seems to like the space in the bed by the driveway. I thought it would be very challenging to fill that bed, but everything I’ve picked seems to like it there.
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Here is another daylily. This one is my own hybrid, Stormy Sunset. Its growth habit is quite different from its time in Mississippi. The leaves are much yellower and the flower stalks were a lot shorter, about half as tall.
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The coleus from the previous couple of entries are doing great. I’ve planted them throughout the yard and in many pots on the front and back porches.
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Here are a couple more orchids that are in full bloom.
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A mysterious caladium has returned in one of the beds. I planted about 100 of them last year, and all of them died except this one. I’m quite surprised that this one is here. The are tender tropical plants, and temperatures dropped into the lower 20s twice during the winter. Perhaps this one is simply planted a bit more deeply than the others were. I have no idea. I’ll be interested to see if it returns next year as well.
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I’ve had an excellent harvest of tomatoes this year. The secret is to planted them as early as I possibly can so that they can put on enough growth to support fruit production. Now that these are harvested I will pull the spent vines up and prepare to plant a fall crop in about a month.
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Getting ready for fall

Not a lot has been happening in the garden over the last month and a half. I’ve mostly just been waiting out the summer. My house has gotten about .75 in of rain since the middle of May, so I haven’t done much gardening. I do have a few things to show. I’ve been on a plant buying spree in anticipation of cooler fall temperatures. I pulled out all the sunflowers from the side perennial bed and some plant waiting to go in. Just some standard plants a purple coneflower, some ornamental grasses, a sedum, gaura et cetera. Admittedly it will take a while for this bed to fill in. I’m okay with that though. I’m leaving that big empty space in for a shrub, probably a torch bush.

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The vegetable garden goes well. Again, I’m waiting on cooler temps for the tomatoes to begin setting fruit again (lows above 70 prevent the plants from fruiting). The bell peppers and okra are going just fine. I just planted potatoes, and the pumpkins need to be watered. I planted some lima beans a couple of weeks ago, but only three out of the whole pack sprouted, then two died, so I have one lima bean plant. I believe the culprit is a hoard of rolly pollies. They are everywhere, and I believe they decapitated the young sprouts. How that one lone bean survived I do not know.

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I have finally finished the daylily raised bed and am waiting for it to cool down to plant them. We are still getting highs in the 100s daily. I’m going to wait until it at least stays below the low 90s to plant.

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Finally, I bought some plants from Yucca Do Nursery which specializes in drought tolerant plants for TX. They were having a sale, and I got a Billbergia nutans, Ctenanthe setosa, Kaempferia x ‘Pink Lace’, Rhodea japonica, and Zephyranthes x ‘Aquarius’ (which bloomed due to the thorough watering I gave it at planting). The common name for Zephyranthes is Rain lily. They flower after a heavy rain. I have some orange ones growing natively in my lawn. I love them.

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Daylilies

I love daylilies. They are amazingly easy to grow, drought tolerant once established, give the potential for repeat bloomings throughout the year, pest resistant, slowly multiply, and are really easy to hybridize. In fact I have a hybrid daylily of my own called Stormy Sunset. The selection of daylilies here in College Station isn’t very good mostly because there are so few private nurseries around. So, I found an online supplier, and I ordered some daylilies from Smokeys Daylily Garden earlier this summer. They came in at the beginning of June, and since I didn’t have the bed I wanted to put them in completely ready I potted them up individually. I’m mostly pleased with the quality of fans (the name of an individual daylily plant), but some of them were lacking enough roots to get started well. Consequently I’ve had a couple of them die. That’s mostly to be expected, but some of the plants should never have been shipped. On the other hand some of the plants were so well developed that a few of them bloomed this month. (Top to bottom: ‘Hemerocallis Chicago Sunrise’, ‘Pardon Me’, ‘Apricot Charmer’) I’m impressed that some did bloom. Over the next month or so I will be finishing the raised bed I will be planting them in. Next summer they will still require a fair bit of water, but after that they should manage mostly on their own even with the hot July summers and drought.
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