Friday, September 24, 2010

Fertilizer Friday

Fertilizer Friday is hosted by Tootsie Time.
. Above, looking down from the deck at 'Grandpa Ott' morning glory and 'Meteor' zinnia.
Above, 'Zahara Double Cherry' zinnia, still looking good.
Above, an orange 'Sparky' marigold and 'Burgundy' gaillardia
Above, 'Sparky' marigolds.
Above, 'Aomaraski Zyouhantensibori' morning glory. A real glamour shot!
Above, 'Grandpa Ott' morning glory goes native.
Above, 'Aomaraski Zyouhantensibori' morning glory basking in the sun.
Above, 'Burpeeana Giants Mixed' zinnia's still blooming.
Above, 'Heavenly Blue' morning glory and friend.
Above, the many faces of "High Hopes" morning glory.
This weekend I'm going to be harvesting as much seed as possible. The bone dry conditions have been a boon to my seed saving, but they are actually predicting rain every day next week!
On the vegetable front, I'm still picking at least a pound of beans a week and the lettuce seedlings under lights are sizing up nicely.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dangerous Waters

And I will probably be paddling up them before long.
It all started with the post below.
An innocent ( at least I HOPE it was innocent!) comment from Annie's Granny

"...a page at another webgarden site here A Forum devoted to Morning Glories is here at".

Of course, I followed that link.
An hour later, I had mentally removed half of the plants on the property and had started the web search.

Bear in mind that I recently had my latest horticultural obsession, daylilies, go into remission.

In the very late 90's I bought two newer tetraploids, 'Strawberry Candy' and 'Elegant Candy'.

Two years later I had over one hundred varieties and thought nothing of shelling out upwards of $200 for the latest and greatest. Another thing to bear in mind, I am a Botanist by training, and when an obsession consumes me, the hybridizing bug kicks in. This year was the first year I made no crosses with my daylilies. I finally realized I had no room for 1000+ new seedlings every year!

Now Japanese morning glories have a lot in their favor. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to grow and apparently easy to hybridize. After I got a look at the images in the above mentioned forum, and saw what was available, the Siren Song became much louder.

.I do plan acquiring a few of those luscious Japanese hybrids. Upon going through my vast seed collection I did come up with the following, that are now topping the list of what to grow in 2011.


'Blue Silk' morning glory

'Tie Dye Rose' morning glory

'Mt. Fuji Mixed' morning glory

I'll keep you posted on what happens.

You may be able to witness my descent into obsession!

I already have visions of the gorgeous strains I hope to grow and eventually create.

Good thing my back yard has a six foot privacy fence!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Morning Glory 'Cornell'

Seeds for 'Cornell' were purchased on E-Bay on 2005. I don't remember who from or how much I paid for them. Honestly, I don't know why I bought them since I was living in a rented townhouse and literally had a postage stamp sized garden!

I moved to a house in the fall of 2005 and promptly forgot about them. The seeds spent the intervening years in my basement laundry room. Last winter when money was extremely tight I vowed to sow as many of my old seed as possible and they were added to the list.

I soaked 10 seeds overnight and then transferred them to damp paper towels in a plastic container. The next day I checked them and every seed had sent a out a strong root. They were planted in peat pellets and the rest you can see below.

Here they are looking very strong and healthy.

The glamour shot. The color is a deeper, rosier tone than I can capture in pictures.

Two seedling were planted on each side of the gate. Above is the right side. This is not even a full flowering day.

Here is the left side, a good illustration of the plant habit.

A nice group photo, with 'Grandpa Ott' peeking through.

Still looking good in September.

Judging from the three lobed leaves, this is from the Ipomea nil species, that's the Japanese Imperial Giants strains in the trade. The vines are very vigorous, start to flower in late July. Individual flowers can reach up to 6 inches in diameter. It also sets seed like a champ. I'm hoping to save quite a lot of them this fall. There is one flaw, some of the buds seem to get hung up and need to be teased open. The variety is so floriferous, this is not a major issue. This is definitely a variety that needs to be in wider circulation!

I have not been able to discover anything about the history of this variety. Countless web searches have yielded little. I do have a vague recollection that it is from the early 1960's. If any who read this have any background information, please let me know.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fertilizer Friday

Fertilizer Friday is hosted by Tootsie Time
The blooms are slowing down, but I've still got a few to flaunt.
I decided to try a new fall look for the blog, let me know what you think.
At last, after waiting the entire summer, the first bloom on 'Heavenly Blue' morning glory!

A nice photo of the light pink 'Stripes and Splashes Mixed' morning glory.

A giant bloom of the blue splashed from 'Stripes and Splashes Mixed' morning glory.

'Sparky' marigold.

'Petite Orange' marigold.

Close up of a newly purchased mum.

The second bloom on the red cactus dahlia shown last week. This one is a keeper!

I've been harvesting morning glory seeds all week. By the time I'm through I should have several ounces of most of the varieties that I've pictured.

The bush and pole beans are still producing, I'm still picking about a pound a week.
The lettuce seed are up and growing quickly under fluorescent lights.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fertilizer Friday

Fertilizer Friday is hosted by Tootsie Time
The extreme heat seems to finally be over! There are still a few things in bloom.
A cactus dahlia grown from seed.
Another cactus dahlia grown from seed.

An orange selection from 'Sunset Giants Mixed' marigolds, this one strongly resembles the old 'Guinea Gold'. I prefer this looser form to the fully double forms.

A yellow selection from 'Sunset Giants Mixed'.
This one resembles the old variety 'Yellow Supreme'.

'Broken Colors' four o'clocks still look great.

The first blooms on 'Powwow Wildberry Rose' echinacea. This was a 2010 All America Selection, next year I'll be able to judge this one's true worth.

The fall lettuce is seeded and has started to germinate. Spinach and arugula will be sown this weekend. The summer vegetables are done except for a few tomatoes and the beans. Now that it is cooler, bush and pole beans are starting to produce like mad!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fertilizer Friday

Fertilizer Friday is hosted by Tootsie Time
There was no much going on in the garden this week, although I did have a few interesting visitors.

Above, a Pandora Sphinx Moth, looking ready for deployment.

Above, a very sleek looking Praying Mantis guarding the zinnia's.

Above, 'Grandpa Ott' morning glory.

Above, a dark blue splashed selection from 'Stripes and Splashes Mixed' morning glory.

Above, 'Sunrise Serenade' morning glory.

Above, a pink selection from 'Stripes and Splashes Mixed' morning glory.
I hope I'm not being redundant with all the morning glory photo's, they are the most interesting things in bloom. 'Stripes and Splashes Mixed' were grown from a pack of Northrup King seed purchased back in 2003. Even though they weren't planted until early July, they are starting to make quite a show and are endlessly interesting each morning.
Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!