Sunday, June 30, 2013

corky is here

I have been waiting for this day when Corky would appear, and I'm glad I was there when she showed up today. She looks ever so pretty - such a pretty yellow!

Her sisters should be arriving the rest of this week. Perhaps I will see them all on Independence Day?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

strawberry plants: year 2 June update

Strawberries are a sign of summer. Im pleased to report that our alpine strawberry plants are doing quite well - constantly producing fruit. Unfortunately they're left hanging on the plant because TH doesn't think to pick and eat them. The alpine strawberries are tiny and hidden under the layers of large strawberry plant foliage. I have been eating the white ones, which have an unusual mix of pineapple and strawberry taste.

Some of the alpine strawberry plants are doing very while a few did not and I finally decided to pull them out of the planter. I think I will plant borage in those empty pockets, which are good companion plants. 

The pink galore strawberry plants have not been doing well. I was beginning to worry when I noticed the flowers fading without any berry production. Then towards the end of June, I noticed their signature pink blossoms dotting the top of the planter. A few have already started showing strawberry development. 

July should be a very productive month of fruit production. Hopefully, I'll have more positive updates to report. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

tulips: May update

All 6 bulbs of the white tulips bloomed at the beginning of May. It was a very pretty sight!

White tulips

White tulips

The black T. Paul Scherer and black parrot tulips bloomed though with limited success. Only two black TPS tulips bloomed and one black parrot bloomed.

Black parrot

T. Paul Scherer tulip

Black parrot tulip

I did not have any issues with the tulips while they developed and grew until it blossomed and I found aphids on the underside of the leaves! I was horrified and dismayed. I only know this because one of the black parrot tulips was drained of color and withered-looking. When I went to inspect, I discovered a colony of aphids sucking the life out of it!

I was fortunate enough to take descent photos of the tulips because as soon as the tulips bloomed, our zone was hit with heavy rain and strong winds. We have a balcony garden so our plants are sheltered from the rain but the winds really beat our plants especially the tulips. All the petals of the white and black tulips were blown off. A couple of the white tulip stems snapped off, too. The black parrot survived the windy abuse. 

Even after the petals were blown off, the tulips were attacked by aphids. The planter with the white tulips were infested. I turned over leaves and saw a colony. It was a gross and upsetting sight. Whatever is left of the foliage looks terrible. I was going to wait for the leave to yellow before digging them up but now that the leaves are ruined, I will dig up the tulips and inspect their condition and store the good ones until autumn for replanting. 

heirloom irises

TH just sent me these photos he took of the irises that have finally bloomed. I did notice the flower buds this weekend but didn't think they would blossom so soon.

Aren't they pretty?