Grow Up

These look like perfectly lovely flowers, yes?

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The truth is, I can’t stand them. They’re a perennial sunflower, given to me with the warning that they would spread, and oh, man, have they spread. They’ve snuck under a fence and appeared clear across the yard. That’s annoying, but if I keep on top of it it’s manageable. What’s not manageable is the falling over. They’re long and gangly and I’ve tried every which way to prop them up, but they’re determined to lie down, brought to earth by their own weight.

All of this might be worth dealing with if the flowers themselves were impressive, but at just a couple of inches across they’re really nothing to write home about, and because most of them are on the ground you don’t see them so much as their stems. Unfortunately there seems to be no getting rid of them; they’ve staked their claim. I ignore or cuss, depending on the day, and they go about their business, oblivious to┬ámy angst over their growing habits.

Two Weeks Notice

I visited this flower every evening for fourteen days. I wanted to notice what I normally mightn’t, the process rather than only the end result.

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IMG_6994IMG_7091IMG_7108IMG_7546It was a deliberate-looking unfurling, every night a completely different shape and color, but always lovely and perfectly composed.

Peace on Earth

The Peace rose was introduced in 1945, and was given to each of the delegates at the first meeting of the United Nations, some very clever marketing indeed.

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Ours is still quite small, but will grow to about 4 feet. Flowers bloom on new wood, so it should be pruned early in the year to promote fresh growth. The blooms are not very long-lasting, although I’ve read they will survive longer as cut flowers. We may give that a try when the bush is bigger, but for now we just enjoy them while they last.

Like most hybrid teas, Peace can be plagued by black spot, a fungal disease which can defoliate the plants, particularly in humid conditions. This can be treated with commercial fungicides, but if you’d like to try a more homespun remedy, two parts water to one part milk sprayed on the leaves once a week is supposed to be just as effective.

Endless Summer

The first flush of hydrangea blossoms has passed.

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Endless Summer hydrangea will continue to bloom through the fall, so I clip the spent flowers to keep the bushes looking fresh and encourage new growth. We have somewhere around fifty of these plants, so this is a big project. This time around I filled my wheelbarrow twice. Luckily that doesn’t make a dent in the show, as there are still hundreds of flowers blooming.